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Friday, September 23, 2016

New Beer Friday, 244 Percent Edition (September 23)

Beer tax the focus of local politician
By Steve Siciliano

With the growth of the Michigan craft beer industry showing no signs of slowing, I suppose it was only a matter of time before an axe grinding Lansing lawmaker deemed it necessary to introduce legislation that would increase the excise tax on suds manufactured and sold in the state. The inevitable became reality last week when Representative Tom Hooker, R-Byron Center, introduced a bill that would increase the Michigan beer tax by 244%.

An avowed teetotaler, Mr. Hooker maintains that alcohol creates its own set of societal issues and stated that the additional revenue raised by the proposed tax increase would be directed towards state recovery programs, drug treatment courts and the enforcement of underage drinking laws. He also noted that the beer excise tax is a “sin tax” and would have no effect on those who don’t drink. Apparently Mr. Hooker feels that drinking hand crafted beer is the modern equivalent of reefer madness as increased taxes on wine and spirits were not included in his proposed legislation.

The bill elicited negative reactions from industry professionals, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Brewers Guild. According to the Detroit News, it’s also highly unlikely that Mr. Hooker’s proposed tax increase will get much support from his fellow legislators. Representative Hooker is not seeking reelection this fall due to term limits.

In other beer-related news, the folks at Trail Point Brewing Company have announced the release date for the Best of Show recipe for the 2016 Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition. Jeremy Gavin’s “Master Blaster," a nicely balanced Dark Czech Lager, will be tapped at the Allendale brewpub at 6:00 pm on Thursday, September 29. Go to Trail Point’s Facebook page for more information.

New and Returning Beer

  • Alaskan Perseverance Russian Imperial Stout, $8.99/22oz - "A full bodied beer with a velvety texture and a wide range of intense aromas and flavors" (source).
  • Texas Corners Imperial Buffalo Brown, $7.99/22oz - "A true Michigan beer brewed with brown malt from Pilot Malt House in Byron Center and Willamette hops from Hop Head Farms in Hickory Corners. This toasty, malt forward beer is pleasing to the palette, especially as the leaves begin to color and the cool autumn nights arrive" (source).
  • Blackrocks Nordskye, $2.09/12oz - "We brewed/tweaked this beer at the pub for a couple years under a different name until it was can worthy. Galaxy hops bring out big tropical/fruity aromas and flavors, the low ABV and easy body make it easy to justify grabbing one more" (source).
  • Bell's Expedition Stout, $3.09/12oz - "A Russian Imperial Stout with a huge malt body that is matched to a heady blend of chocolate, dark fruits, and other aromas" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Bourbon Imperial Screaming Pumpkin, $17.19/22oz - "Rich oak-vanilla flavor with a oak barrel nose. The blending with the spices, hops, and malt creates the ultimate pumpkin beer" (source).
  • Stone Anniversary IPA Collection, $37.69/22oz/4pack - "Experience our 20-year journey through this hoppy foursome of colossally flavorful, commemorative IPAs—three of which are only available here" (source).
  • Perrin Unfinished Business, $15.99/22oz - "As we continue to push the outer boundaries of stylistic freedom, our brew team continue to swing the sword with our own version of a Japanese Emperor’s Stout. Hand picking 10 specialty malts, the finest flaked oats, golden wheat, and Japanese rice give the body of this beer a silky, smooth, and clean mouth feel. To age this rare beer down, they found a cache of barrels from a small batch, award winning bourbon distillery out of Washington. These heavy toasted rare American bourbon barrels impart hints of light vanilla, coconut, and fresh oak. The dark bourbon notes add warm caramel, ripe tobacco and a soothing boozy finish to this velvety Stout" (source).
  • Short's Pangalactic Gargleblaster, $2.39/12oz - "Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is a double Belgian IPA brewed with Australian Galaxy hops. The nose is an impressive dank blend of citrus aromas reminiscent of guava and lemons, very green and fresh with subtle Belgian yeast esters. An intense clean bitterness dominates the flavor profile with little malt character to compete with. A slight, fruity yeast sweetness is noticeable in the finish alongside a resounding bitterness" (source).
  • Weyerbacher Sunday Molé Stout, $4.29/12oz - "As the name suggests, this 11.3% ABV American Imperial Stout is the foundation of everyone’s favorite, Sunday Morning Stout, with a twist (and without the barrel aging)… This brew captures everything you’d expect from a traditional molé – coffee, chocolate, heat and smokiness. Foremost is coffee, which is followed by layers of chocolate courtesy of the chocolate malt, cocoa powder and cacao nibs. Finally, a subtle lingering heat and smokiness from our blend of ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle peppers, as well as cinnamon, which is gone by the time you’re ready for your next sip" (source).
  • Destihl 1920 Stout, $27.59/500ml - "In the spirit of the Franco-Belgian Military Accord of 1920, this beer unites a Belgian-style Imperial Stout with one year aging in a French Cognac oak foudre, coalescing into aromas and flavors similar to dark roast coffee & dark chocolate, black cherries, plums, hints of molasses and slight smoke, all pairing beautifully with the French oak tannins, medium body, gentle warming and dry finish" (source).
  • Oskar Blues Hotbox Coffee Porter, 3.09/12oz (2 per) - "This porter (6.4% ABV, 30 IBUs) is based on malt flavors of roasted nuts, crème brulee, cocoa, and caramel, extracted from English and German roasted and caramel malts. Hotbox Roasters then crashes the party and infuses potent, cold-extracted coffee from Burundi and Ethiopian beans and deals out flavors and aromas of dark plums, chocolate, and hints of blueberry" (source).
  • Goose Island Caution Tape, $1.69/12oz - "Light, refreshing and slightly tart with just enough toasted malt character to balance the unique hop aroma of white grape and sweet melon" (source).
  • Elysian Space Dust, $1.99/12oz - "The hopping is pure starglow energy, with Chinook to bitter and late and dry additions of Citra and Amarillo" (source).

Video of the Week | Bell's Two Hearted

Classic Michigan beer. Classic Michigan river.


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