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Friday, December 19, 2014

New Beer Friday, Return of Kevin Edition (Dec 19)

With Steve and staff extra busy in the days leading up to Christmas, we thought this week, rather than bug them for a preamble, we'd repost something the from the vast Buzz archives. Our pick: A post from March 29, 2012, in which former Buzz advice columnist Hey Kevin explains the phenomenon of out-of-season seasonal beer releases. Enjoy!

Doughnut beer: Never out of season
Hey Kevin,

I was in Siciliano's the other day and even though it's March, the spring and even summer beers are out in full force. What gives?

Lem in Cedar Springs

Hey Lem,

You often hear it said that professional brewers and brewery owners march to the beat of their own drum. The out-of-season-seasonal-beer-release is scientific proof that this and similar statements are absolutely true.

We should not attribute the phenomenon solely to the quirkiness of idiosyncratic beer folk, however. What's happening is far more complicated than that, and to pin it all on mere personality traits is shortsighted.

I'll spare you the physics lesson (mostly because I don't know physics), but the appearance of seasonal beers before they're "due" has everything to do with regular (aka seasonal) distortions in the space-time continuum, particularly the way light bends around conical fermenters in the brewhouse. Such bending will often cause brewers and the beer they make to literally catapult back and forth through time, more so in certain "transitional" months of the year. In the simplest terms, the beer we're drinking now doesn't actually exist. It will at some point, but not yet. Follow me?

To date, there is no way for the individual brewer to anticipate or compensate for time travel, neither in his brewing schedule nor his shaving ritual (another reason why professional brewers tend to have such epic beards).

On a grander scale, the relative intensity of time travel is subject to evolving patterns within a 28-year cycle—we've figured that out at least. In other words, the lag between beer and season will grow more and more extreme at a generally predictable rate until summer beers are released in the dead of winter and vice versa. The phenomenon will then reverse itself, wrap back around the calendar and eventually settle for a short time—just a week or two—in a sweet spot, a space where season and beer are paired in perfect harmony.

According to our best calculations, the next projected balance in the seasonal beer release schedule will occur in November 2030, at which time enthusiasts will enjoy harvest and pumpkin beers at their most logical point in years.

Some in the industry have named this event The Great Equilibrium of 2030 and a number of breweries are planning to release special beers to commemorate the occasion. Expect to see them begin to hit shelves in early 2028.

New and Returning Beer

  • Dogfish Head American Beauty, $14.39/750ml (limit 1 per) - "More than 1,500 loyal fans of the brewery and band suggested an ingredient idea and the Dead-inspired story behind it. Our favorite was granola, from California Dead Head and craft beer lover Thomas Butler. “The components of granola – honey, toasted grains, oats and fruit – offer a lot from a beer perspective,” says Thomas, a chemist by day, homebrewer by night. “The idea is to have a bold pale ale that highlights the oats and honey with a nice ‘dank’ hop selection.” American Beauty is brewed with all-American malts and hops, granola and little bit of soul. It’s malty with a big hop kick, and notes of toasted almond and honey round out the flavor profile and balance out the hop bitterness" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Peircing Pils, $2.59/12oz - "A Czech-Style Pilsner brewed with pear juice, pear tea and Saaz hops" (source).
  • Victory Winter Cheers, $1.79/12oz - "A wheat ale, combining German wheat and barley malts, oats, torrified wheat and whole flower Tettnang and Citra hops, this fruity and warming holiday brew delivers a refreshing finish, with spicy hints of banana, clove and citrus" (source).
  • Big Sky Powder Hound, $1.69/12oz - "Powder Hound is our Winter Ale, and since it is our own creation we call it a Northern Rockies Strong Ale. Powder Hound satisfies, with the fine hand selected British hops fully complimenting the smooth malt notes. After a day on the ice or in the snow, enjoy a Powder Hound Winter Ale. Available November through March" (source).
  • Fort Collins Double Chocolate, $3.09/12oz - "The most decadent creation ever to be crafted in FCB’s brewhouse. Deep roasty flavors, rich chocolate nose, coffee undertones and impeccable balance are the result of imperializing an already flawless brew" (source).
  • Lagunitas Imperial Red, $4.79/22oz - "This special ale is in reality, the exhumation of the very first ale we ever brewed way, way back in 1993. Brewed with a big head, a muscular malty thorax, a silky texture and all strung together with a hoppy sweet nerve sack…Ick. A dank and roasty treat. Back again in bombers" (source).
  • Lagunitas Sucks, $7.59/32oz - "Originally brewed in 2011 as a Brown Shugga’ substitute, due to construction-induced capacity issues. But we liked it so much it had to make a return trip" (source).
  • Greenbush Jadis, $1.99/12oz - "A Winter White Ale because what else is Winter? The cold sets in and hangs for months it seems. Everything slows down. Time warps… and you’re covered with a wash of white. Thought I meant winter, didn’t you? Jadis will take you away from winter, even if temporarily" (source).
  • Atwater Winterbock, $1.79/12oz - "This malty, sweet, dark amber colored German-style bock beer is brewed with imported malt and hops. Its uncommon smoothness and impeccable taste make it the perfect companion for a cold night" (source).
  • He'brew Rejewvenator, $8.99/22oz - "Born in California now Reborn in New York - it's a Rejewvenator 2014 - with grape! Concord & Merlot, East Coast West Coast mashup - everyone is a winner" (source).
  • He'brew Reunion, $7.19/22oz - "Shmaltz teams up for the fourth year-in-a-row with Terrapin Beer Company and Alan Shapiro (founder of SBS Imports) to create Reunion Ale ’14, a Dark Imperial Brown Ale Brewed with Toasted Coconut, Cocoa Nibs, Vanilla, Cinnamon and Coffee" (source).
  • Oddside Hop Gobbler, $1.99/12oz - "The hop fairies have taken charge on this extra pale ale. A well balanced ale with loads of flavorful hops" (source).
  • Oddside Beautiful Disaster, $4.89/12oz - "Pale ale aged in red wine barrels" (source).
  • Oddside Red Eye IPA, $2.29/12oz - "A ridiculous rampage of ruthless rowdy hops in a rebellious rusty red ale" (source).
  • Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, $1.99/12oz can - "Each year, when people are starting to unpack their winter clothes and replenish their firewood, our tiny brewery in the coastal redwoods of Northern California makes seasonal preparations of a different kind. As the cold arrives, we release a unique beverage created to add warmth to even the coldest and darkest of winter's days. Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale begins with a very high original gravity to create a hearty and spicy brew with a deep amber hue and a smooth finish. Anderson Valley Brewing Company wishes you the very best for the holiday season and the New Year" (source).
  • Shorts Good Humans, $1.99/12oz - "Good Humans was created to showcase one of Briess Malting Company’s new malt varieties. Originally planned as a one-time thing, it quickly became one of our big successes. Good Humans is a Double Brown Ale made with Carabrown Malt, and then dry hopped with Simcoe hops. The brew has sweet malty esters that are met by huge toasted caramel and toffee flavors. The finish is dry with a bouquet of hops" (source).
  • Southern Tier 2xPresso, $1.99/12oz - "Our 2xStout is considered by many to be a perfect milk stout. We started with that in mind, and added espresso beans and lemon peels for a true Italian style pick-me-up. The result is a stout so black, so rich, so creamy, it’d be at home in a café along a cobblestone street in some neighborhood in Rome. Yet, it’s beer" (source).
  • Shorts Aphasia, $2.19/12oz (limit 2 per) - "A medium bodied dark brown Old Ale with a sizable nose of molasses and alcohol.  Predominantly sweet, with unique flavors of plum, figs, and brown sugar. Further compliments of toasted malt and an increased ABV, aid in a pleasant warming finish" (source).
  • Rouge VooDoo Lemon Chiffon, $14.39/750ml - "Rogue Ales has again collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale!  This unique artisan creation contains a baker's dozen ingredients including lemon juice, vanilla bean, and marshmallows to match Voodoo's Lemon Chiffon Crueller doughnut" (source).

Video of the Week | Superior Water


Friday, December 12, 2014

New Beer Friday, "Merry Xmas to Me" Edition (Dec 12)

"MerryOldSanta" by Thomas Nast - Edited version of Image:1881 0101 tnast santa 200.jpg.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -
"Any KBS in stock?"
By Steve Siciliano

As soon as I unlocked the door a cherry-red Subaru pulled into the parking lot. An old man with a long white beard got out, hitched his pants up over his considerable midsection, crossed his arms behind his head and had a good stretch. Before walking into the store he replaced his wire-rimmed spectacles with dark glasses and put a red plaid Stormy Kromer on his head.

“What can I help you with,” I asked when he came in.

“Am I the only one here?” he whispered looking around.

“Yes,” I said. “I just opened.”

“Good,” he whispered. “I’m looking for Michigan beer.”

“Well you’ve come to the right place.”

“That’s what I hear,” he whispered and pulled his hat further down on his forehead.

“You don’t have to whisper,” I told him.

“Of course not,” he said. “Can you show me where your Michigan section is? I’m afraid I’m in a bit of a hurry and I’ve got a long drive ahead of me.”

“Where are you from?” I asked him.

“North,” he said.

“Up north?” I asked.

“Way north.”

“The U.P.?”



“Farther yet,” he said.

“Farther than Canada? And you came all this way just to get Michigan beer?’

The old man looked at the five case stack of Breakfast Stout that was sitting in front of the sales counter and smiled.

“Yes I did,” he said. “Merry Christmas to me.”

New and Returning Beer

  • Breckenridge Christmas, $1.99/12oz - "The chill of a Colorado high-country winter calls for a beer with extra flavor and strength. Here it is. At over 7% alcohol, with a sturdy texture and rich flavors of caramel and chocolate, our holiday seasonal is the fermented equivalent of a good fire" (source).
  • Epic Big Bad Baptist, $12.09/22oz (1 bottle limit) - "It’s Big, it’s Bad, Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, with Coffee and Cocoa Nibs" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Ovila Abbey Quad, $3.29/12.7oz - "Ovila Abbey Quad with plums is heady with aromas of caramel, rich malt, and dark fruit-balanced by the spiciness and delicate fruity notes of a traditional Belgian yeast. This beer features sugar plums grown on the grounds of the Abbey, and harvested by the monks in Vina. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale" (source).
  • Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, $4.79/22oz - "Laying there, staring up at the ceiling, head pounding, last night was a dim recollection. How did he get home? Was he alone? Looking to the left and right, the answer was yes, maybe. His head was full of ’rag water, bitters, and the blue ruin’.His teeth felt like he’d been chewing aluminum and his breath smelled like a burning tractor tire. There was a wrenching knot somewhere between his liver and East St. Louis and he couldn’t be sure whether or not he’d wet himself. A yellow sine wave rang in his ears so loud nit made his teeth itch and he was sure that if he touched his skin anywhere it would induce a rhythmic retching jag. Even in the face of all that, he found himself smiling at the realization that today represented the fresh breast of a new year- an undiscovered country- and also there was still one warm, half-full, flat redolent Hairy Eyeball on the nightstand. Yes-there is a God" (source).
  • Abita Wrought Iron IPA, $1.69/12oz - "Abita Wrought Iron® IPA embodies the resilient, indestructible nature of New Orleans. This india pale ale is forged with the intensity of Apollo, Equinox and Mosaic Hops. Brewed with pale ale malt for a golden color as bright as iron from a fiery forge" (source).
  • Abita Grapefruit IPA, $1.69/12oz - "Abita Grapefruit Harvest is a brilliant golden IPA with a subtle zest of grapefruit flavor and aroma that enhances the strong hop character. This bright, snappy brew is made with real Louisiana Ruby-Red grapefruits, pale, pilsner and caramel malts and cascade hops" (source).
  • Short's Dan's Pink Skirt, $1.99/12oz - "Dan’s Pink Skirt is an American IPA brewed with Summit and Simcoe hops. Malt characteristics are mild and practically undetectable in the nose. Dan’s Pink Skirt has pronounced floral and citrus aromas, with a pine resin hop bitterness that attacks the pallet" (source).
  • Short's Thirst Mutilator, $1.69/12oz - "Thirst Mutilator is a light straw-blonde lager with sharp doughy yeast esters that gather atop a perfectly retained head. Kilned barley produces perfect bready and flour-like qualities that blend pleasantly with the beer’s mild hop bitterness. Aided by a wonderful effervescence, these delicate flavors fade into a crisp clean refreshing finish" (source).
  • Green Flash Cedar Plank, $6.19/16.6oz - "This hoppy pale ale starts out as 30th Street Pale Ale and then undergoes Spanish cedar aging. Wood aging imparts an intense cedar aroma which dominates the dry hop. The flavor contributions from the Spanish cedar include peppercorn spiciness and a tannic dry mouth feel that makes the hop flavor and bitterness linger in the finish" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Wizard Burial Ground, $6.29/16oz - "This Tier 5 Single Batch Release is a Bourbon barrel-aged Quadruple ale. The 2015 release is barrel-aged for one year, it will be packaged in 16oz cans and it comes in at 10.4% ABV" (source).
  • Goose Island Festivity Ale, $1.59/12oz - "Every year we brew a brown ale to celebrate the holidays. To make each year’s special, we alter the recipe. This year we wrapped caramel and dark fruit malt flavors inside a creamy toasty brown ale. May your holidays be filled with Festivity" (source).
  • Arcadia Cocoa Loco Triple Chocolate Stout, $2.69/12oz - "This triple chocolate stout is a unique interpretation of the style, combining three different chocolate malts, cacao nibs and 63 percent semi-sweet chocolate, creating a sinfully delicious brew. The addition of blackstrap molasses produces an earthy, caramelized tone in an already complex flavor profile. It's creamy, milkshake-like mouthfeel earns this beer the reputation of being dessert in glass" (source).
  • Greenbush & Small Bar Mr. Hyde, $2.19/12oz - "Maris otter, biscuit malt, carafa iii, crystal 10l, crystal 60l, crystal 120l, pureed dates" (source).
  • Summit-Harvest Fresh IPA, $2.09/12oz - " Harvest Fresh IPA will be the first beer in the Unchained Series from brewer Tom Mondor. It is an exploration of fresh hops picked at the peak of the fall harvest and shipped directly to Summit. Some of these hops will be fresh hop pellets from Roy Farms, pelletized fresh off the kiln floor. This process leaves more wonderful hop oils intact than complete drying and results in more hop character in the finished beer. These fresh pellets will include Centennial, Cascade and Chinook. It will also be brewed with super-fresh, whole-cone Chinook wet hops from Michigan" (source).
  • O'Fallon Cherry Chocolate, $2.09/12oz - "A dark wheat beer that tastes like a chocolate covered cherry…only better! Voted Best Overall Beer at the 2004 Ninth Annual International Beer Fest in Springfield, MO" (source).
  • Einbecher Winter Bock, $2.69/11.2oz - "Doppelbock. Das Einbecker Brauhaus erweitert mit dem neuen Einbecker Winter-Bock sein Sortiment. Die saisonale Bockbierspezialität in der traditionellen Exklusivflasche startet im Oktober 2008 in limitierter Auflage. Einbecker Winter-Bock wird dann für kurze Zeit im Handel und bei ausgewählten Gastronomiepartnern zu haben sein" (source).
  • Left Hand Fade to Black (Foreign Export Stout), $2.09/12oz - "2013 & 2010 Gold Medal Winner at the Great American Beer Festival in the Foreign Stout category. That time of year when the day seems to fade away. Drifting further into the darkness with each passing day. Volume 1 - Foreign Stout - Pours black with licorice, espresso bean, molasses, and black cardamom notes that give way to a feeling of self loathing, burnt opportunities and smoked relationships" (source).
  • Southern Tier Choklat, $9.29/22oz (1 bottle limit) - "At Southern Tier, we’re not surprised that hieroglyphs of the ancient Maya depict chocolate being poured for rulers and gods. Even through the many voyages of Columbus, the mystical bean remained nothing more than a strange currency of the native peoples. Moving through centuries, the circular journey of cacao has been realized in our brewing house, encompassing the complexity of the darkest, bitter-sweet candy together with the original frothy cold beverage of the ancient Maya to bring to you our Blackwater Series Choklat Stout. We have combined the finest ingredients to tempt your senses & renew the power & interrelation of history in every bottle" (source).
  • Oddside Sinister Vertigo, $2.59/12oz (2 bottle limit) - "A spunky imperial stout" (source).

Video of the Week | Hopcat Detroit

Congrats to our pals at Hopcat who are opening their Detroit location this weekend.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Keeping it Simple: Let's Make Hard Cider!

Pure hard cider. Boom.
Former Siciliano's employee and longtime friend Sarah McGrath checks in with this great recipe for making hard cider. 

By Sarah McGrath

Hard cider is possibly the easiest fermented beverage to make. If you've never made cider, now is the time! It doesn't require pressing grapes, mashing grain or boiling wort. All you need is a couple of fermenters, some fresh cider, some siphon tubing and an airlock—most of which you'll find at Siciliano's (you'll have to look elsewhere for fresh/raw cider). Since fall and winter are the traditional times for pressing apples, now is the perfect season to start a batch.

There are a number of fancy things you can do to cider, which are a lot of fun, but I also like to keep it simple. This recipe makes a dry (not sweet), still (not carbonated) cider without added fermentables (like sugar or honey) or flavorings (like oak or bourbon barrel).

And it tastes great!

Equipment List

    • 2 fermenters (one 6.5-gallon ale pail plus lid and one 5-gallon carboy OR one 6.5-gallon carboy and one 5-gallon carboy)
    • 1 rubber stopper and airlock
    • Sanitizer (I like Iodophor)
    • Siphon hose (or even better, buy an autosiphon!)
    • Bottles/caps/capper OR wine bottles/corks/corked

Ingredient List

    • 5 gallons fresh cider without preservatives
    • Pectic enzyme (optional)
    • Wine yeast
    • Campden tablets

Basic Instructions

  1. Sanitize everything
  2. Combine cider, campden and pectic enzyme
  3. Wait 24 hours, then add yeast
  4. Transfer cider to secondary fermenter when fermentation slows (about 1 week)
  5. Bottle when fermentation stops and cider fully clears (about 2 weeks)
  6. Age 6 months or longer if you can wait that long.
  7. Enjoy!

Full Instructions

For starters, always make sure that any equipment that comes in contact with your cider is cleaned and sanitized. You can clean equipment with warm water and dish soap or buy a brewery grade cleanser like EZ Clean or One Step. For a sanitizer, I like Iodophor. Cleaning removes any surface dirt. Sanitizing eliminates bacteria that could spoil your cider. Remember: You can't sanitize dirt! Clean your equipment first!

You can use a 6.5-gallon ale pail (plastic) or a 6.5-gallon carboy (glass). Both work fine. Even though you're making 5 gallons of cider, you need that extra headspace for the foam that accumulates when the fermentation gets going.

Once your bucket or carboy is clean and sanitized, add your cider, pectic enzyme and crushed campden tablets (1/2 tablet per gallon). Then close up your fermenter with a lid and airlock if you're using an ale pail or with a stopper and airlock if you're using a carboy. The cider MUST not contain preservatives, like sorbates, or it will not ferment. That rules out most grocery store cider. Locally, you can get fresh cider from Hill Brothers, Klein or Engelsma orchards. If you're making a lot of cider, it is much cheaper to buy it in bulk. Many orchards are happy to fill your fermenters directly, saving them the trouble and expense of filling gallon jugs.

The pectic enzyme is optional. It ensures that the pectin from the apples won't make your cider hazy. If you don't care about hazy cider (the haze is aesthetic; it doesn't affect the taste), leave the enzyme out. If your cider is raw (not pasteurized), then haze shouldn't be a problem anyway. The campden tablets help ensure a clean fermentation by suppressing bacteria that could turn your hard cider into cider vinegar.

Now you must wait 24 hours for the campden tablets to work. Then add your yeast. Any wine yeast (and most beer yeasts) will work. There are also specialty cider yeasts available (White Labs makes a couple kinds). I like Lalvin's KIV-1116. It's fun to make several batches that are identical other than the yeast strain. That way, you can taste the effect of different yeasts and decide which you like best.

Keep the cider around room temperature, and in a day or two you will see it begin to ferment. You can see small bubbles rising and often, though not always, a foamy head will form. After about a week, depending on the temperature, the fermentation will start to slow and the yeast will begin to fall out of suspension and accumulate at the bottom of the fermenter. If you're doing your initial (primary) fermentation in a carboy you can see this accumulation. Now is the time to transfer (rack) your cider to your secondary fermenter, which has to be a carboy since it excludes oxygen better than an ale pail. You can't just pour the cider from one container to another, you have to siphon it off with a hose in order to leave those dead yeast cells on the bottom of the fermenter behind.

Siphoning is easiest with an auto siphon, which I highly recommend. You can also use a racking cane or plain hose, but, whatever you do, don't use your mouth, and keep everything sanitized! Keep your cider in the secondary fermenter at least until it clears. Then bottle it using your preferred setup. Again, everything must be sanitized first.

Alternatively, you can "bulk age" your cider in the secondary fermenter until you are ready to bottle. Although you can bottle straight from the secondary, bottling is easiest with a bottling bucket, which is just an ale pail with a spigot. Siphon the cider into the ale pail, add another crushed campden tablet, and fill bottles directly from the spigot. I use wine bottles and corks because I have a nice corker. If you don't, it is easiest to fill beer bottles and cap them with an inexpensive capper. The cider can be consumed at any time, but is generally best if you age it for at least 6 months. The more acidic the cider, the longer it takes to mellow. If you bulk age the cider in the secondary, allow at least two weeks in the bottle for the cider to settle. I'm not sure what chemical reactions are behind this process, but the flavor changes perceptibly.

The author with cider
And finally, enjoy!

Editor's Note: You'll find everything you need to make a batch of hard cider—except raw juice—at Siciliano's Market. Contact any one of the many cider houses around West Michigan for raw cider availability. Cheers!

Friday, December 5, 2014

New Beer Friday, KD aLe Edition (Dec 5)

Professor Edward Long
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

This winter the Kent District Library (KDL) is reprising its popular KD aLe program, a series of classes, presentations and events focusing on the enriching hobby of homebrewing and the appreciation of hand-crafted beer.

Siciliano’s staffer Edward Long and local homebrewer Matt Ross are teaming up to give the program’s Beer Making 101 classes at various Kent District Library locations. In addition to the series of beermaking seminars, the KD aLe program is also providing folks the opportunity to sign up for beer tastings, tours and informational presentations at local breweries.

The program’s introductory beermaking classes are free of charge and no registration is required. Dates, times and venues for the Beermaking 101 classes are as follows:

    • Monday, December 8, 6:30 PM: Sand Lake/ Nelson Twp. Branch
    • Thursday, January 15, 6:00 PM: Byron Twp. Branch
    • Tuesday, January 20, 6:00 PM: Caledonia Twp. Branch
    • Thursday, January 22, 6:00 PM: East Grand Rapids Branch
    • Tuesday, January 27, 6:30 PM: Tyrone Twp. Branch
    • Wednesday, February 11, 6:00 PM: Wyoming Branch
    • Thursday, February 19, 6:30 PM: Comstock Park Branch
Click here for a complete listing of the KD aLe program’s events.

In other news, it seems that we just can’t stop tweaking the layout of our brick and mortar store. We recently acquired a number of shiny new chrome-plated racks which are now being used to display our constantly expanding inventory of winemaking ingredients kits. Just a reminder that this Sunday, December 7, is the deadline to submit preorders for this year’s excellent lineup of Winexpert’s Limited Edition kits. Click here for complete details including descriptions and pricing for the 2014 Limited Edition offerings.

New and Returning Beer

  • Black Rocks North Third Stout, $1.99/12oz - "A beauty of a Foreign Extra Stout, full of roasted malt/chocolate flavors. Unlike many other winter stouts that can get a bit unruly, the North Third is very drinkable and smooth (so have a few)" (source).
  • Jolly Pumpkin IO Saison, $15.49/22oz - "Ale brewed with rose hips, rose petals and hibiscus" (source).
  • Perrin Kill 'Em All, $17.19/22oz - A Russian Imperial Stout aged in Van Winkle family bourbon barrels (source).
  • Perrin With Kindness, $17.19/22oz - An English-style Barley Wine aged in Van Winkle family bourbon barrels (source).
  • North Peak Blitzen Festivus Ale, $1.89/12oz - "North Peak Blitzen is a Festivus Ale with raisin, current and berry notes attributed to Bramling Cross hops, 3 types of Crystal malts, Cara and Chocolate malt. A combination of citrus peel and citrus pith flavors are accented by the Hercules, Cascade and Pilgrim hops added throughout the boil. Riwakas’ subtle spiciness in combination with the crisp spiciness from the Rye malt liberates flavors reminiscent of savory holiday cakes. This is a well balanced, rich, Festivus Ale that will warm the palate and soul, awakening memories of holidays past. It is brewed in Traverse City, MI, on Old Mission Peninsula incorporating locally grown hops" (source).
  • Southern Tier Tripel Cafe, $8.99/22oz - "In this beer, we wanted to experiment with green coffee beans. The unroasted coffee beans bring a light coffee bitterness to compliment the citrusy hops, spicy phenols, and yeasty floral esters. Tripel Café is light, with a delicate body and a rounded, soft bitterness. Classic Belgian lacing gives way to pale straw color and highly effervescent mouthfeel" (source).

Review: Forty Creek Barrel Select Whisky

Available now at Siciliano's, $20.99/750ml.
Review courtesy of the Driveling Dorda and friends.