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Friday, April 29, 2016

New Beer Friday, Hinting at a Winner Edition (April 29)

Judges, judging.
West Michigan Homebrewer is Best-of-Show Winner in 2016 Siciliano’s Competition. Story by roving freelance reporter Joseph P. Sprinklehead.

A West Michigan homebrewer has won Best of Show (BOS) in the Thirteenth Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition according to an unnamed source involved in the competition’s judging last Saturday at the Guest House in Grand Rapids. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source told this reporter that the 2016 winner of the Siciliano’s Cup resides in West Michigan and is very active in the local homebrewing community.

“I’m sorry but I can’t tell you anything more than that. I can't give you a name,” the source recently told me over a few beers at Trail Point Brewing Company, looking nervously over his shoulder from time to time. “There will be hell to pay if The Boss finds out I talked to you.”

Stewards, stewarding.
Siciliano’s Market owner and competition organizer Steve Siciliano wouldn’t confirm or deny the information but did agree to provide some details about the 2016 competition. Out of the 172 entries submitted, a total of 121 were awarded medals with the breakdown as follows: 21 gold, 38 silver and 62 bronze.

“It was a strong competition,” Siciliano said. “There were some very high scores and the BOS round was very close. Folks will just have to wait until the party to find out who won the Cup.” The BOS winner will also have the opportunity to brew on Trail Point’s seven-barrel system and will receive a $500.00 gift card from Siciliano’s Market.

The awards ceremony and the presentation of the Siciliano’s Cup will be the highlight of the Thirteenth Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party on Saturday, May 21 at Johnson Park. Tickets are $45.00 and must be purchased in advance at the store or with a credit card over the phone by calling 616-453-9674.

Homebrew, homebrewing.

New and Returning Beers

  • Texas Corners 1st Anniversary Ale, $9.99/22oz - "Double IPA crafted for our 1 year Anniversary. Brewed with Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic hops lending tropical fruit tones" (source).
  • Green Flash Cosmic Ristretto, $8.49/22oz - "Live long and drink Cosmic Ristretto. This highly revered brew will go down in history as one of the first graduates of our Genius Lab program into our front line. Marvel at its rich black appearance with bruleed edges and mocha-colored beer foam. Breathe in its coffee aroma and sweet malts, and savor its smooth, espresso, chocolate flavor. Don’t fight its gravitational pull. This bold, complex, java-centric Baltic Porter with Espresso is irresistible. Houston, we have a problem, my glass is empty" (source).
  • Shipyard Blood Orange Wit, $1.99/12oz - "Shipyard Blood Orange is a crisp, refreshing Belgian style wheat ale with a subtle orange aroma and hints of coriander and citrus on the finish" (source).
  • Shipyard Blue Fin Stout, $1.99/12oz - "A classic Irish stout.  Full-bodied yet smooth and spectacular in appearance" (source).
  • Shipyard Melon Head, $1.99/12oz - "This beer is a crisp, quenching wheat ale with a refreshing essence of fresh watermelon" (source).
  • Shipyard Monkey Fist, $1.99/12oz - "Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA is edgy, aggressive and unique in style.  This beer is brilliant copper in color and exploding with flavorful hop character but able to maintain a beautiful balance" (source).
  • Shipyard Smashed Blueberry, $2.99/12oz - "A hybrid between a Porter and a Scotch Ale, this beer has a rich mouth feel and a body of complex intensity.  Up front, there are notes of coffee and chocolate; beautifully accentuated by the aroma of blueberries.  The finish features a delicate balance of sweet fruit and dry hops.  To fully experience all the flavors, this beer is best enjoyed at 55 degrees Fahrenheit" (source).
  • Stone Encore 6th Anniversary, $8.59/22oz - "We celebrated our first five years in business by releasing anniversary India pale ales, with each subsequent IPA brewed to be hoppier and more intense than the previous. For our 6th anniversary in 2002, we extended this concept by making an intensified version of Stone Smoked Porter. We cranked up the malts and hops a notch or three and conditioned it on French and American oak, which accentuated our porter’s distinctive smokiness and amplified its chocolate and roast coffee flavors while also adding subtle notes of toffee, cherries, dried berries and vanilla. We’re proud to give those who missed out—as well as those who didn’t—a fresh shot at experiencing this smoky, dark-as-night wonder" (source).
  • Shiner Prickly Pear, $1.69/12oz - "Doubly good in triple digits, our unique summer seasonal is made with the fruit of the prickly pear, a cactus native to Shiner, Texas. With a tart, citrusy flavor and a crisp finish, it’s the best use of cactus yet" (source).
  • Shiner Wicked Ram IPA, $1.69/12oz - "Over the past hundred years, our brewers have certainly engaged in their fair share of mischief. This beer, however - our first India Pale Ale - has taken a dose of wickedness to brew. Starting with 2-row, caramel, and wheat malts, which provide a bright copper color and fuller body, we then add Crystal and Bravo hops for aroma and a classic IPA bite. We finish it off by dry hopping with Centennials for an even more aromatic flavor" (source).
  • New Belgium Heavy Melon, $1.69/12oz - "Hot summer nights, jam out to the cooling waves of Heavy Melon Ale, our newest seasonal track. Brewed with juicy watermelon and zesty lime peel, this crushable ale rips with a blast of melon notes. Ripened fruit aromas of melon, papaya and citrus climax with an enticing aroma, and set up an invigorating wash of fruity sweetness, grassy bitterness and the slightest touch of tartness. Super crisp and refreshing from start to finish, Heavy Melon Ale shreds through the summer heat" (source).
  • Big Sky Shake A Day, $1.69/12oz - "This beer is Big Sky’s interpretation of an American IPA (BJCP 21A).  It’s a hoppy, bitter, strong pale ale showcasing some of our favorite hop varieties.  The balance of this beer is definitely hop-forward with just enough malt to support the aggressive hopping rates.  We used Simcoe, Cascade and Galaxy hops throughout the process at a rate of 3lb/bbl imparting aromas of citrus, pine and tropical fruit.  The base is a combination of Pale 2-row and light Munich malt for a subtle grainy-malt flavor with a clean, dry finish.  Fermented with an American yeast strain, this beer was a true departure from our regular brand portfolio" (source).
  • Rogue 4 Hop IPA, $2.09/12oz - "An approachable and aromatic session IPA" (source).
  • Rogue 7 Hop IPA, $2.59/12oz - "A bold and balanced IPA" (source).
  • Abita Bourbon Street Coffee Stout, $9.29/22oz - "Bourbon Street Stout is an Imperial Stout that is aged in small batch bourbon barrels. Our Imperial Stout is brewed with a combination of pale, caramel, chocolate and roasted malts. Oats are also added to give the beer a fuller and sweeter taste. The roasted malts give the beer its dark color as well as its intense flavor and aroma. After fermentation the beer is cold aged for 6 weeks. This is necessary for all of the flavors of the malt and hops to balance and produce a very smooth flavor. After the cold aging the beer is transferred into the bourbon barrels. It is then aged for another 8 weeks to absorb all of the flavors from the barrels. The result is a stout that brings out the roasted flavors from the malt and the warming toasted, vanilla, and bourbon flavors" (source).
  • Odd Side Havana Lime, $1.99/12oz - "Ale with lime and habanero added" (source).

Video of the Week | Bell's Brewery

Brace yourselves — Summer is coming.


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