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Friday, December 29, 2017

New Beer Friday, Westside Social Edition (Dec 29)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Over the last several months our customers have had to work their way around a slew of work trucks, piles of building supplies and a small army of construction workers in the parking lot adjacent to Siciliano's. I’m pleased to report that all that frenetic activity is dying down and that our new neighbor, the West Side Social Tavern, will soon be open for business.

According to owner Joe DiLeonardo, West Side Social will focus on made from scratch, affordably priced American comfort food and will have twenty-four beers on tap. The restaurant will also offer a selection of fine wines and classic cocktails.

The building that housed the Shawmut Inn for the last forty years has been given a comprehensive makeover inside and out. The nicely appointed interior has an open kitchen and a new wooden bar. In nice weather patrons will have the option of sitting on an outdoor patio accented with a stone fireplace.

Joe apprised me that the restaurant should be open by mid-January. Go to West Side Social’s Facebook page for updates and further information.

New and Returning Beer

  • Alaskan Spruce IPA, $1.79/12oz - "India Pale Ale brewed with spruce tips" (source).
  • Brouwerij De Molen Cease & Desist, $6.49/12oz - "Cease & Desist is a sweet imperial stout with lots of chocolate and coffee notes accompanied by plums. Strong yet not overwhelming, very flavorful and powerful. Try aging it for a couple of years to get it’s full complexity" (source).
  • Cambridge Brewing Arquebus, $12.99/375ml - "Named for the 15th Century firearm which was successor to the Blunderbuss, this barrel-aged barleywine aspires to change the way you think of strong beer. Intended for sipping on these sultry summer evenings on our patio (or inside, with the AC), it is at once light and drinkable yet boasts significant body, and is almost syrupy smooth in texture without being cloying. Arquebus presents beautiful, complex notes of concentrated peach and apricot fruit, wildflower honey, toast and coconut oakiness, and a soft, tannin-hinted, white wine-like finish. Aged in French oak chardonnay barrels acquired from the Silverado winery in Napa, the residual flavors contributed by the wood offer a mellowness of character not provided by stainless steel fermentation.This honey-hued, ambrosial beer, beheld in a simple stemmed glass, pours with just a mild effervescence which accentuates its myriad nuances of flavors and aromas. Several more barrels of this elixir await release in the coming years" (source).
  • Estrella Jalisco, $1.69/12oz - "Estrella Jalisco is a premium, 4.5% ABV Mexican pilsner with a pale, beautiful golden yellow color and a refreshingly light, crisp flavor with no aftertaste" (source).
  • Ginger Libation, $8.19/500ml - "Ginger Libation is an effervescent, pre-prohibition style ginger beer with a pleasant sweetness and distinctive ginger zing!  Artisan Beverage Cooperative has been making this popular beverage since 2010" (source).
  • Mikkeller Mastodon Mother Puncher, $6.49/16oz - "A tribute to the metal band Mastodon, this farmhouse IPA ​balances notes of brettanomcyes with the sweet and tart notes of passionfruit creating a deliciously funky and fruity IPA" (source).
  • Mikkeller/Omnipollo Prince and Pauper, $6.59/16oz - "Dry-Hopped Grisette. Collaboration brew with Omnipollo" (source).
  • New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Hazy IPA, $1.99/12oz - "Bursting with tropical aromas and juicy fruit flavors from Mosaic and Amarillo hops, this golden IPA is perfectly bitter with a refreshing, sublime finish" (source).
  • New Holland Night Tripper, $4.49/12oz - "An abundance of roasted malts and flaked barley create rich, roasty stout with deeply intense, lush flavors" (source).
  • Pasteur Street Passionfruit Wheat, $3.39/12oz - "It is the tangy sweetness of Passionfruit that dominates this otherwise mild beer. Light bodied with a crisp taste and refreshing mouthful" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill Grapefruit Renny, $2.29/12oz - "Ever met a crushable Double IPA? Now you have. We took our Renny “session” DIPA, added grapefruit, and turned it up to 11. The addition of grapefruit pairs perfectly with the citrus aroma and flavors that come from the use of Amarillo and Simcoe hops. Warning: It’s way too drinkable" (source).
  • Stone Tangerine Express, $2.09/12oz - "An India pale ale packed with whole tangerine & pineapple" (source).
  • Struise Barrel Aged Rio Reserva, $8.99/12oz - "Collaboration ale with brew master Ryohei Sugawara from Rio Brewing & Co Japan. Belgian dark golden blond quadruple with an enormous potential of aromas and flavors, and added complexity due to oak barrel aging. First aging took place in St.-Emilion oak wine barrels from Tour Baladoz. Bourbon barrels from Kentucky were next due to their very special soft roast quality and noble vanilla flavors" (source).
  • To Øl Sur New England Shandy, $6.99/16oz - "Sour Mashed Session India Pale Ale Brewed with Lime & Lemon" (source).
  • To Øl Tropical Rumble, $6.99/16oz - "Session India Pale Ale brewed with Mango, peach & passionfruit. Enjoy our fruity acquaintance. Heaps of fruity mosaic hops paired with the best fruits we could find" (source).

Video of the Week | Alaskan Brewing

The story of Alaskan Brewing


Friday, December 22, 2017

New Beer Friday, Uncle Andy Edition (December 22)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

I can’t tell you how many times customers asked if I was related to Andy Siciliano over the years but I can unequivocally state that my affirmative replies always elicited the same response. “He sure is a nice guy,” they would invariably say after I told them Andy was my uncle.

My uncle Andy, universally acknowledged as a nice guy, passed away last week. He was seventy-three.

I’m sure that the majority of folks who had asked me about Andy in the store had met him through his work as a real estate agent. His clients liked him and they rewarded him with referrals. His competitors respected him and they had nothing but good things to say about him.

When I heard that Andy had passed I thought about the day he told me he was going into real estate. He was in his late forties and for the second time in his life he had lost a job because of a factory closing. He was excited to be starting a new career but I remember wondering about his qualifications. I worried he didn't have the chops needed to be successful in real estate sales. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

He had been in the business for about ten years when my wife and I decided to sell our house in Grandville and buy one closer to the store. He was doing well so Barb and I gave the listing to a friend who had recently gotten his license. I could sense Andy’s disappointment but he handled it graciously. He never mentioned it again but I regretted that decision for years.

A few days ago good friend and store handyman Rod Lawrence came in for a cup of coffee. Rod had purchased a house a number of years ago and Andy was his agent. When I told him about Andy he offered his condolences.

“He sent me a Christmas card every year,” Rod told me.

“That sounds like Andy.”

“He sure was a nice guy,” Rod said after a few moments.

New and Returning Beer

  • Goose Island Noel, $3.79/12oz - "A Belgian Style Dark Ale" (source).
  • Perrin Foudre, $2.19/12oz - "Black Currant Sour is the first batch in the Perrin Foudre Series. This beer was soured with Brett Trios yeast & Labtobacilus Brevis than aged for 9 months in an oak foudre" (source).
  • Odd Side Fight Milk, $2.79/12oz - "For bodyguards, by bodyguards" (source).
  • Odd Side Mango Dan, $2.79/12oz - "IPA with mango" (source).
  • Odd Side Beer Me, $1.49/12oz - "Lager" (source). - "" (source).
  • Tapistry Northern Trippin, $3.19/16oz. - "Very Juicy New England Style IPA. Get on board the haze craze with this IPA" (source).
  • Shorts Woodmaster, $2.59/12oz - "Woodmaster is a high gravity, American Brown Ale fermented with Northern Michigan maple syrup and toasted pecans. This dark brown, full bodied ale is rich with sweet malt and syrup flavors. These flavors are complemented by the presence of hop aromas and a faint nuttiness" (source).
  • Southern Tier Raspberry White, $1.89/12oz - "Over the years, we’ve fine-tuned our house brew into a beautifully crisp & slightly sweet wheat beer brewed with malted barley, unmalted wheat & raspberry puree. Perfectly balanced, light bodied & raspberry tart, Raspberry White is ready to take on the world one bottle at a time" (source).
  • Southern Tier Blueberry Sour, $4.59/12oz - "Blueberry Tart is the result of two beers blended into one. The first beer is a kettle soured blonde ale. The second is a simple imperial wheat ale into which we add a whole lot of blueberry puree. This process achieves a bright and juicy blueberry aroma and a complex flavor character throughout each sip. At first it is bright and juicy, followed by sweet and round in the middle, and ending with a mild tartness that en-courages another mouthful. Slight notes of pie crust emerge in the aftertaste of this imperial ale" (source).
  • Southern Tier Thick Mint, $5.49/12oz - "Inspired by the legendary cookie, Thick Mint joins our world-class rated Blackwater Series of dessert beers alongside Crème Brûlée, Choklat Oranj, Salted Caramel & Choklat in 2017. This imperial stout is a mouthful of perfectly balanced mint & chocolate. Roasty malts coalesce with notes of Belgian dark chocolate, sweet mint & just a touch of sweet caramel. So decadently delicious, you’ll wish you’d bought another box… er, bottle" (source).
  • New Holland Tangerine Space Machine, $2.79/12oz - "There once lived a bitter soul, with a fruitful life as his goal, hopped in his space machine, went to New England to find his queen, came a haze of tangerine" (source).
  • Latitude 42 Lucifer Cuvee, $2.59/12oz - "Dangerously devastating, Lucifer’s Cuvée is our Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. Intense hearty rye, along with a decadent gourmet of chocolate essence, and balanced by the addition of Cascade hops" (source).
  • Central Waters BBA Stout, $4.39/12oz - "The "Brewer’s Reserve" label is used only for limited edition beers. No time or expense was spared to create these beers! This is a good expression of our passion for brewing" (source).
  • Against the Grain Sho'Nuff, $4.19/16oz - "This Belgian table bier is a traditional entry into the Session category. It is meant to be consumed with food but also stands well on its own. When you need to drink the whole meal and want something with plenty of flavor but don’t want to get shit-twisted from the alcohol, this is a great choice. Look for a smooth malty body with hints of biscuit and rye. The hops are subdued and mostlyp resent as a bittering agent. The yeast plays a prominent role in creating bready and lightly fruity notes" (source).
  • Against the Grain/Stillwater Found Word, $4.19/16oz - "What's going to happen when Stumke comes to town? That's always the question for one of beer's biggest rock stars or maybe he's hip hop, I'm not sure. Whatever it is it's always about more than the beer with this collaboration with Stillwater Artisanal. So this hoppy guava lager is going to be good to drink but that's not all. The can is a word find so you can interact with Strumke and I without the lingering side effects" (source).
  • Lindemans Ginger Gueuze, $33.39/750ml - "Breaking the mold among existing beer styles, Lindemans developed the Botanical Lambics, a collection of old gueuzes with a twist. Third in this series, GingerGueuze is based on a blend of 12 month-old lambic with two- to three-year-old lambic, fermented in oak with fresh ginger. Bottle-conditioned, GingerGueuze has a golden color and combines the sourness of lambic with the subtle flavors of fresh ginger. Ideal as an aperitif, it is also perfect for food paring" (source).

Video of the Week | The Lindeman's Family

A cool video from an old brewery — enjoy!


Friday, December 15, 2017

New Beer Friday, First Big Snow Edition (December 15)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Before going to work last Sunday morning I paused for a few moments on the back deck. The first substantial snow of the season had covered up the monotonous hues of early December and had transformed the backyard landscape into a stark but lovely picture painted in tones of black and white. When I’m in the right frame of mind I can see beauty in the monochromatic shades of winter.

Unfortunately that right frame of mind lasts only until about the second week of January. By then I’ve grown weary of stark sceneries and I begin looking forward to the time when the yard will be painted with a palette of bright colors again.

The black and white photographs of Ansel Adams are nice to look at but I’d much rather spend time gazing at the blues, reds, yellows and greens of Monet, Gauguin and Van Gogh.

New and Returning Beer

  • Brewery Vivant Wizard Burial Ground, $7.19/16oz - "Brewed once a year, this special quadrupel is aged in freshly drained bourbon barrels and disappears into the shadows for a full year of cellaring. This year's brew becomes next year's release. We've been wood-aging beers and experimenting with wild fermentation since we opened in 2010. We encourage those in search of funky flavors to join us at our annual Wood-Aged Beer Festival each Autumn to find out more" (source).
  • Avery Tweak, $15.19/12oz - "Our very own Parker, of the cartoon and cat loving variety, created this cult classic character back in our 17th season. Appearing in several episodes under another stage name that was deemed inappropriate, our executive producers and editors decided that a name change and further character development— a 4-month hiatus in Bourbon barrels—were necessary to satisfy our most ardent and demanding viewers" (source).
  • Ballast Point High West Barrel Aged Victory at Sea, $4.09/12oz (1 per) - "A 12 percent ABV imperial porter brewed with coffee beans sourced from Caffe Calabria, vanilla and peanut butter before being aged in barrels that previously held High West bourbon and rye. The porter has been aged in various brands of barrels and released in bottles over the years, including Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel-Aged Victory At Sea (12.2 percent ABV), Heaven Hills Bourbon Barrel-Aged Victory At Sea (12.2 percent ABV) and Rum & Rye Barrel-Aged Victory At Sea (12.4 percent ABV), among others" (source).
  • Ellison Tailgate Crusher American Lager, $2.59/16oz - "Tailgate Crusher Light Lager 4.25% A pre-prohibition American light lager brewed specifically for hot Summer days and Fall tailgating. Brewed with barley/corn this lager has moderate hops and a smooth finish that makes you want to crush pint after pint" (source).
  • Ellison Dawn Street, $3.29/16oz - "A tribute to the street that the brewery is located on, this hazy pale ale starts with a tropical aroma and then bursts forward with citrus and pine flavor. Deceptively easy to drink, this beer finishes clean and makes you ask, "where has this been all my life?" (source).
  • Ellison Relativity, $3.29/16oz  - "A big late hop addition and big dry hop fills your mouth with a juicy, well-rounded nectar. This Vermont style IIPA is brewed with only Michigan grown hops and is surprisingly sweet and approachable" (source).
  • Evil Twin I've Always Felt Closer to IPA's Than to People, $3.69/16oz - "Double dry hopped with Galaxy, Citra, Simcoe, and Falconers Flight hops" (source).
  • Greenbush Delusion, $6.69/12oz (1 per) - "Our Imperial Cream Stout is aged in whiskey barrels for months for a mind-blowing experience. This concoction will make you ponder the randomness of the universe" (source).
  • Incline Spiced Winter, $2.39/12oz - "Rooibos, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper" (source).
  • Lost Abbey Dead Man's Game, $17.79/375ml - "A blend of Rum Barrel-aged and Bourbon barrel-aged beer, Dead Man's Game begins with heavy aromas of bourbon and dates, leading to rich notes of caramel and cocoa, finishing with a sweet kick of rum and spices" (source).
  • Lost Abbey Devil Went Down to Georgia, $17.49/375ml  - "Bourbon Barrel-aged Ale with Peaches and Black Tea" (source).
  • New Holland Dragon's Milk Reserve Salted Caramel, $4.69/12oz - "An 11 percent ABV imperial stout brewed with salt and caramel as well as glacier and nugget hops before being aged in bourbon barrels for six months" (source).
  • Ommegang Lovely Dark, $1.79/12oz - "Welcome to our winter seasonal – Oatmeal Stout, brewed to keep you company on a winter’s eve sitting beside a crackling fire, wit this fine beer in hand , the woods will always look Lovely, Dark and Deep, enticing you to a rendezvous with your winter dreams. Deep with roasty aromas, coffee with cream and chocolate notes, Ommegang House yeast imparts light fruit and spice character" (source).
  • Right Brain Naughty Girl Stout, $1.99/12oz - "Thin mint cookie, meet John Niedermaier A stout made with organic locally-grown whole leaf mint. She’s just back from a stint in the cooler for being too naughty. She might have mellowed out but this stout is still naughty at heart" (source).
  • Roak Hopgazer, $4.09/16oz - "Prepare to be assimilated. Ekuanot, Citra and Amarillo" (source).
  • Short's Fload, $2.59/12oz - "FLOAD is a Dark American Sour Ale brewed with raspberries. Very dark in color with a red hue and mauve head, this beer smells of fresh fruit, sour raspberries, and a hint of chocolate. Leading with an intense raspberry tartness, FLOAD is complemented with a light chocolate malty backbone. The finish is dry with lingering sourness" (source).
  • Short's Speedcult, $1.89/12oz - "Speedcult Black Lager is a dark, black-colored Lager with an alluring tan lace. Enticing aromas of cocoa and burnt marshmallows lead into big flavors of chocolate in this Lager. Speedcult Black Lager’s finish is clean and dry with a slight hoppy bitterness" (source).

Video of the Week | Tailgate Crusher

Now available at Siciliano's.


Friday, December 8, 2017

New Beer Friday, Stickers Just Everywhere Edition (Dec 8)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

When it gets too cold for backyard deck sitting my wife, Barb and I go back to our cold weather routine of enjoying our pre-dinner Manhattans while listening to albums in our basement.

While our house was built in the 1920s, our basement isn’t one of those dank, low-ceilinged, subsurface spaces common in older homes and generally known in these parts as a “Michigan basement.” We use one room for a beer and wine cellar, another for storage and the laundry is in another. We set up the turntable and speakers in the largest room where there is also a small television set, an easy chair, an end table and a collection of exercise equipment.

It’s a fairly cozy space despite the fact that when Barb and I are listening to music we have to take turns sitting in the easy chair and on the exercise bike. If friends happen to stop over the seating options are the chair, the bike, the steps, the rowing machine and the carpeted floor.

After last May’s homebrew party, a small group of homebrewers came over for an after party on the back deck. When it began raining we moved to the basement. It was a fun night. I had so much fun in fact that I fell asleep in the easy chair. When I woke and went upstairs to remove my contacts I saw that I had a Primetime Brewers sticker plastered on my forehead. A picture was posted on the internet the following day.

My forehead wasn’t the only thing that got tagged that night. We now have both Primetime and Brewsquitos stickers on our exercise machines, on storage racks and on the furnace ducts. A couple of months after the party Barb found a Primetime sticker on a jar of stewed tomatoes in the freezer. A few nights ago she spotted another one on the hot water heater.

There’s probably a pretty good chance that we’ll find a couple more.

New and Returning Beer

  • Alaskan Smoked Porter 2015 and 2016, $3.29/22oz - "Known as “rauchbier” in Germany, smoke-flavored beers were virtually unknown in the U.S. until Alaskan Smoked Porter was developed in 1988" (source).
  • Dark Horse Plead the Fifth 2016 and 2017, $3.59/12oz - "Our Russian Imperial Stout is pitch black in color with a faint tan head that immediately identifies this beer as BIG. Aromas of dark fruits, chocolate, caramel and roast also make it even bigger. Roasted coffee and fruity chocolate notes are just the beginning of this beers complex flavor. You have the right to enjoy or remain silent" (source).
  • Dogfish Head 120 Minute, $10.99/12oz - "Clocking in at 15-20% ABV, 120 Minute IPA is continuously hopped with a copious amount of high-alpha American hops throughout the boil and whirlpool, and then dry-hopped with another pallet of hops. Unfiltered and abundently hoppy, it's the Holy Grail for hopheads" (source).
  • Great Divide Barrel Aged Gift Set, $34.89 - "As Great Divide prepares to enter a new chapter with their Barrel Aged & Sour program, they are offering a limited edition box set ($30) that includes a compilation of their Barrel Aged Classics: Hibernation, Old Ruffian and Yeti" (source). 
  • Great Divide Yeti Gift Pack, $28.99 - A three-pack featuring Oatmeal Yet, Chai Yeti and Barrel-Aged Yet. 
  • Griffin Claw Dark Passenger, $19.29/22oz - "If our beyond oblivious and flying buffalo stout had a baby...this would be it. Add some spices and you have a dark passenger. A tart blast with a rich sweet finish" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Figure it Out, $2.39/16oz - "We had to beg Dan to make this and it turned out awesome! Coconut & Vanilla stand strong in this easy drinking Milk Stout" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Flying Buffalo Barrel Aged Chocolate Raspberry, $19.29/22oz - No commercial description.
  • Griffin Claw Flying Buffalo Barrel Aged Cinnamon Vanilla, $19.29/22oz - No commercial description.
  • Griffin Claw Flying Buffalo Barrel Aged Coffee Stout, $19/29/22oz - "Bourbon-barrel-aged one year with coffee" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Flying Buffalo Barrel Aged Stout, $19/29/22oz - "This award winning ale has a big malt profile with coffee, dark chocolate and coconut notes, accented with American hops. This ale was first brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court. We add American hops to the recipe and dry-hop it for a more balanced profile" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Oblivious, $19.29/22oz - "Our Oblivious Wheat Wine & Coffee beans aged in Bourbon Barrels for 9 months" (source).
  • Odd Side Barrel Aged Rye Hipster Brunch, $8.09/12oz - "Rye Stout brewed with maple syrup, aged in rye whiskey barrels with coffee and bacon added" (source).
  • Odd Side Falcon Punch, $2.39/12oz - "A \"super\ S.M.A.S.H. IPA! A single malt and single hop Imperial IPA. Made with Falconer's Flight hops and French pale malt" (source).
  • Odd Side Hipster Brunch, $6.49/12oz - "It’s morning somewhere! This delectable stout has been aged in bourbon barrels with coffee, maple syrup, and bacon" (source).
  • Odd Side Pretentious, $10.39/500ml - "Sour Brown Ale" (source).
  • Omnipollo Shoutao, $4.09/16oz  - "Shoutao Peach Slush IPA is an IPA brewed with peach and lactose sugar. Very limited" (source).
  • Port Brewing Santa's Little Helper, $3.99/12oz - "Santa’s Little Helper, our Imperial Stout, starts with an emphasis on dark cocoa and roasted coffee aromatics. The finish lends hints of sweet crystal malt, warming tones of alcohol and a touch of hops, making a perfect accompaniment to leftover fruit cake and sugar cookies" (source).
  • Short's Liberator, $2.59/12oz - "The Liberator was made as a 30th birthday gift to Joe Short. As a double IPA, this beast employs a sizable malt bill, but it is the crazy amount of hops added to the boil every 4 minutes, for 120 minutes, that really make this beer special. Fruity, floral, and piney hop flavors penetrate throughout the caramelized malt profile. The Liberator is a well-balanced, full bodied brew that has a bitter finish due to the post fermentation addition of lemon and orange zest" (source).

Video of the Week | 120 Minute IPA

Available for a limited tim at Siciliano's!


Friday, December 1, 2017

New Beer Friday, North Channel Edition (December 1)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Last Sunday my wife Barb and I made a quick trip north to winterize the cottage. Afterwards we took the short drive west to Manistee to check out the recently opened North Channel Brewing Company. Located in a renovated 100-year-old building next to the Manistee River, this new downtown establishment gives fans of hand-crafted beer and southern inspired cuisine another good reason to visit this historic community on the shores of Lake Michigan.

North Channel’s owners Eric and Aaron May have woven Manistee’s colorful history into the décor and overall theme of the brewery. A large picture of the Manistee, an iconic Great Lakes cargo ship, hangs behind the bar and the names of many of head brewer Bill Joslyn’s beers give a nod to the community’s lumbering and salt mining past.

Barb and I were sitting at the bar enjoying a couple of those beers when co-owner Eric May spotted us and came over to say to say hello. Eric is also the owner of Pilot Malt House and his company supplies locally sourced malted grain to craft breweries, distilleries and homebrew shops throughout Michigan.

After chatting with Eric we turned our attention to Chef Carl Eskridge’s menu and decided on an appetizer of fried pickles followed up by two of the barbecue offerings — chopped pork and brisket plates which came with sides of jalapeno corn bread, plantation slaw and house fried chips. A rack of baby back ribs is the third barbecue option. The extensive menu also includes soups and salads, macaroni and cheese, sausage selections, sandwiches, tacos and burgers.

Go to North Channel’s website for hours and additional information.

New and Returning Beer

  • Greenbush Apathy, $2.09/12oz - "Snap out of whatever state of indifference you’re in with our roasty Oatmeal Stout" (source).
  • New Holland 20th, $19.29/22oz - "Smooth * Warming * Vanilla Ale aged in rum barrels just shy of a year. This brew is smooth and warming with notes of vanilla and the spice of rum" (source).
  • North Coast Barrel Aged Old Rasputin, $25.19/500ml (1 per) - "Every year we age a special batch of our much-loved Russian Imperial Stout in Bourbon barrels. The depth, intensity, and complexity of the flavor profile of this special release, like its predecessors, make it a worthy tribute to Old Rasputin" (source).
  • Revolution Amarillo Hero, $1.99/12oz - "Amarillo-Hero showcases the hop's intense citrus and floral notes. A simple, delicate malt bill allows the fruit basket of aromas to take center stage while a touch of Cascade and Mandarina layered in amplify this Hero’s juicy characteristics" (source).
  • Revolution Local Hero, $1.99/12oz - "This immensely drinkable IPA is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, and Nugget hops, all from our friends at Hop Heads Farms in Hickory Corners, MI" (source).
  • Shiner Cheer, $1.79/12oz - "Happy Holidays from the "Little Brewery" in Shiner, TX. We hope you enjoy your Shiner Cheer, an Old World Dunkelweizen brewed with Texas peaches and roasted pecans. The malty flavors of this dark wheat ale are enhanced through the use of malted barley and wheat. And Kräusening ensures a smoothnessthat makes the subtle peach and pecan flavors all the more satisfying. May your days be merry and bright and your Shiner be cold" (source).
  • Shorts Cup a Joe, $2.59/12oz - "Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout uses Higher Grounds roasted fair trade espresso beans in every facet of the brewing process. Prominent aromatics of malt, espresso, and cocoa are abundant, and there are robust flavors of cream and coffee. This is the perfect morning night capper" (source).
  • Trooper Gift Tin, $22.99/500ml - "TROOPER is a Premium British Beer inspired by Iron Maiden and handcrafted at Robinsons brewery. Malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon" (source).
  • Trooper Hallowed, $4.59/12oz - "Hallowed is the fourth beer created by Iron Maiden and hand crafted by Robinsons Brewery. A hybrid beer inspired by Belgium and brewed in England, Hallowed has the TROOPER DNA running through its veins. Still charged with flavour, and with crystal rye giving Hallowed a blood red hue and smooth dry finish, this is one of Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson's finest brews yet: "I have always loved Belgian beer but I had wanted to make sure that we put a British twist on our brew. I think we have created something unique." The Belgian style yeast combines with Noble hops to deliver a complex palate of subtle banana with a plum finish" (source).

Video of the Week | Founders' 20th

Happy 20th Anniversary to our friends at Founders!


Friday, November 17, 2017

New Beer Friday, Deer Camp Edition (November 17)

Nothing to fear from the Siciliano's
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

The deer in the vicinity of Irons, Michigan, will have nothing to fear this weekend from a group of men who will be gathering in a cabin in the woods.

Instead of stalking whitetail, they’ll be grilling short ribs, beef tenderloin and whole chickens. There will be loaves of crusty bread, cases of beer, jugs of cider, good bourbon and homemade wine. There will be poker games, cigar smoke, talking, laughing, bantering and good-natured ribbing around the camp fire.

The men might raise a toast to the relatives and friends who are gone, and they may reminisce a little about mid-November weekends past. They’ll probably add an episode or two to their collection of deer camp memories.

Here's to another year of deer camp. If you're heading out into the woods this weekend, be careful, have fun, and don't forget to stop by Siciliano's before you leave to.

New and Returning Beer

  • Atwater Bockefeller, $2.09/12oz - "Brewed with respect to the season, Atwater’s Winter Bock boasts the body and deep malt flavors matched with a warming, but well blended hint of alcohol. Extended aging reduces the sharpness and acidity typically apparent in strong ales" (source).
  • Atwater Christmas, $2.19/12oz - "Brewed with respect to the season, Atwater’s Winter Bock boasts the body and deep malt flavors matched with a warming, but well blended hint of alcohol. Extended aging reduces the sharpness and acidity typically apparent in strong ales" (source).
  • Vivant Ski Patrol, $3.79/16oz - "This crushable slopes-inspired beer complements our Michigan winters with a hazy golden pour and a warming spice on the nose. The cardamom sets this wit apart from the traditional corriander variety" (source).
  • Ellison Crescent Fresh, $3.29/16oz - "This IPA is packed with American hops that are added to every stage of the brewing process. Big notes of citrus in the aroma are complimented by a smooth bitterness and crisp, piney finish. We added a f*** ton of hops to this beer in hopes that we please even the pickiest of hop heads" (source).
  • North Pier Old Shuck, $2.99/16oz  - "This deep dark brew is an ode to Old Shuck, the ghostly demon dog that roamed the countryside in 16th century England. Big coffee aromas pairs perfectly with a late addition of earthy English hops, making this the perfect roasty ale to drink all year round" (source).
  • Stone Fyodor's, $17.49/500ml - "A special batch of classic Stone Imperial Russian Stout, a rich, massively aromatic beer with notes of black currants, coffee and roastiness, was brewed to create this barrel-aged beauty" (source).
  • Stone Mikhail's, $17.49/500ml - "Like the classic version, this Odd Year edition was brewed in the authentic, historical style, but with the addition of espresso beans, producing roasty bitterness and deep, rich coffee flavors" (source).
  • Uinta Rise and Pine, $1.69/12oz - "Juniper and piney hops build the framework for this bold dark ale. With its assertive bitterness and smooth malt finish, this beer stands tall above the rest" (source).
  • Anchorage Rondy, $17.49/750ml - "Rondy Brew is a saison brewed with Citra hops, fermented with Saison yeast" (source).
  • Fantome de Noel, $15.49/750ml - "A very dark and entirely unique holiday seasonal beer, at a whopping 10% alc. by volume. Reportedly spiced with honey, caramel, coriander, black pepper, and other secret ingredients" (source).
  • Fantome Hiver, $15.49/750ml - "Fantôme’s winter offering, available December through March or so. Brewer Dany Prignon changes his receipes every year, so we can’t so for sure what this year’s beer will be like, but it is sure to please lovers of Dany’s beers" (source).
  • Nogne-O/Stone/Jolly Pumpkin Holiday Ale, $10.89/500ml - "This collaboration ale by Jolly Pumpkin, Nøgne-Ø, and Stone was brewed with ingredients indigenous to the area where each brewery is located. It contains Michigan chestnuts, Norwegian juniper berries, and white sage from Southern California. It also brewed with caraway seeds, malted oats and 25% rye malt" (source).
  • Left Hand Bittersweet Nitro, $3.69/12oz  - "OUR BIG, AGGRESSIVE Bittersweet stout is made smooth and even creamier with the help of tiny nitrogen bubbles that are released when you poured hard. The coffee’s dark cherry flavors and spicy undertones weave into the rich, imperial milk stout like a chocolate-covered espresso bean melting on your tongue. Bitter then sweet. Sweet then bitter. It’s Bittersweet" (source).
  • Left Hand Midnight Wheat Saison, $2.99/16oz - "Dry and crisp farmhouse-style ale. Mild tartness with Colorado barley and midnight wheat" (source).
  • Heavy Seas Partner Ship Mad Tree Wee Heavy, $9.69/22oz - "With Burundi Mpanga coffee from Deeper Roots in Cincinnati, Ethiopian Harrar coffee from Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. in Baltimore and cocoa nibs from Maverick Chocolate in Cincinnati, this robust brew is loaded with local flavor. Deep mahogany in color with layers of malt, chocolate, and roasted complexity" (source).
  • Odd Side Peanut Butter Cup Stout, $2.89/12oz - "A rich stout made with real peanut butter" (source).
  • Odd Side Pink Dank Juice, $2.59/12oz - "Dank Juice, our East Coast IPA, with Pink Guava" (source).
  • Elysian Bifrost, $2.19/12oz - "The rainbow bridge made from fire, air and water, used by the gods to travel from the world tree, Yggdrasil, to the heavens. Asgard. Brewed with Pale malt and small amounts of Munich and Crystal malts. Bittered with Centennial, finished with Amarillo and Styrian Goldings hops. Strong, hoppy, and smööth" (source).
  • Roak Chestnut Porter, $2.09/12oz - "Chestnut Maple Porter" (source).
  • Roak Flavorful 5, $4.99/16oz - "New England style DIPA" (source).

Video of the Week | Deer Camp Traditions

"At deer camp we eat pasties."


Friday, November 10, 2017

New Beer Friday, Ellie Mae Edition (November 10)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

When I was almost parallel with the cottage I stroked hard on the left then let the kayak glide into the recessed cut out of the sea wall. After the bow scraped the sand I threw the paddle up on the grass and grabbed the gunwales. When I stood up the kayak wobbled left, then wobbled right, then wobbled left again, and when I stretched my right foot towards the bank I lost my balance and fell backwards into the icy, waist high water. I got on my knees then struggled to my feet and only then saw Harry standing on the front deck.

“Pretty cold to go swimming, sport,” he yelled to me.

“Get down here and help me pull this out of the water,” I yelled back as I slogged towards the beach.

“I thought you were going hunting,” I said while we were flipping the kayak over on the grass.

“Changed my mind. Glad I did. I can’t wait to tell the boys about this.”

“I bet you can’t,” I said. “Do me a favor and get a fire going while I get out of these clothes.”

“Sure thing, sport. There’s a bottle of Blanton’s on the kitchen counter.”

After I dried off and changed I poured two big tumblers of Bourbon and grabbed two Perdomo Sungrown Churchills from the humidor. When I was outside I handed the glasses and cigars to Harry then pulled up a chair and sat down next to him in front of the fire.

“That didn’t take long,” I said, motioning my cigar towards the roaring fire.

“I’m a master fire builder. Those dry pine needles do the trick.”

“Well we certainly have plenty of those laying around.”

“Did you hear the loons?” Harry asked. “There were two of them about twenty yards off shore. I’m surprised they haven’t gone south yet.”

“Nope, I was busy getting water out of my ears.”

“I sure wish Barb was here to see that,” Harry chuckled. He reached for a burning twig and lit his cigar. “How’s she doing by the way?” he asked after a few moments.

“She’s doing alright. It’s been a tough week.”

“It’s never easy,” Harry said. “You guys did everything you could.”

“I know we did,” I said then reached down for the tumbler of Bourbon. “They brought a blanket in and we sat with Ellie on the floor. Barb and I held her while Jay injected the pentobarbital.” I took a sip of the Blanton’s after taking a pull on the cigar. “Ellie Mae sure did love it up here. That crazy little white dog would stay in the lake all day.”

“Give it some time. It’ll get easier.”

“Oh, I know it will,” I said.

We had another Bourbon and talked about bow hunting and fly fishing and the upcoming college basketball season. Every once in a while Ellie Mae worked her way back into the conversation.

“Well, I’ve got to get going,” Harry said after finishing his drink and tossing the last two inches of his cigar into the fire. “I’m definitely going out in the morning.”

I picked up the empty glasses and walked with him back to the driveway. “I’ll get the Blanton’s” I said after remembering the bottle.

“Keep it,” Harry said while climbing into his truck.

“Thanks Harry,” I said. “I really appreciate it. Thanks.”

“No need to thank me, sport. Lord knows I’ve drunk plenty of your Bourbon.”

“You know what I mean,” I said.

Before going into the cottage I stood on the sea wall and imagined Ellie Mae swimming somewhere in a glassy smooth lake then I gazed up at the stars in the cloudless November sky.

New and Returning Beer

  • Sam Adams White Christmas, $1.79/12oz - "This unfiltered white ale has a unique and festive twist. Its crisp wheat character combines with warming holiday spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel for a flavorful yet refreshing brew that's perfect for the season" (source).
  • Arcadia Shipwreck Porter, $9.39/12oz - "The Baltic-style porter has a robust malt character and a slight herbal hop bitterness. Aged for 12 months in 10-year-old Kentucky bourbon oak barrels, this alluring dark liquid features appealing undertones of vanilla, oak, cocoa and coffee. The aging occurs in abandoned mines in Michigan, at a constant temperature of 45F" (source).
  • Arcadia Porter Rico, $1.89/12oz - "Take a trip to the lost island of Porter Rico, where cacao and coconut live in harmony and frolic on the sandy shores. Our island getaway takes the form of a dark, chocolatey beer, with a balancing sweetness, medium body, and rich mouthfeel, creating the sensation of biting into dark chocolate coconut candy. Brewed with real coconut and bittersweet malt. This perfectly balanced porter rides the trade winds for a truly exotic, yet comfortingly familiar pint" (source).
  • Rochester Mills 12 Days of Milkshake Mix, $30.29/12pk - "What started out as a crazy idea to take twelve different versions of our original Milkshake Stout brew to twelve different bars over twelve days seemed pretty audacious at the time, especially during the busy holiday season.  Over the next few years, we increased the number of bars in the program, changed up the line up of beers, and last year we introduced a mixed 12-pack containing one of each variety" (source).
  • Deschutes Dissident, $18.69/22oz (1 per) - "Introducing our wildest brew yet, The Dissident 2017 is a distinctive Belgian-style brown ale. Fermented with wild yeast, we have to isolate this brew so as not to influence the others. Otherwise, we might have anarchy on our hands. So, here’s to solitary confinement" (source).
  • Oskar Blues Death by Coconut, $3.39/12oz - "Intense pure liquid cacao flavors swirl with popping coconut aromas, all supported by a semi-sweet porter made from loads of our dark chocolate and extra dark caramel malt. This limited release specialty comes around once a year to satisfy that sweet tooth, so get ’em while you can before they disappear. At 6.5% ABV and 25 IBUs, this choconut goodness will have you yellin’ “Pass. Dash. Hit.” all winter long" (source).
  • Perrin Special Two Pack, $34.39/2pk - Featuring No Rules and Malted Milk Ball.
  • Short's Juicy Tree, $2.89/12oz - "Juicy Tree is an experimental India Pale Ale made with blue spruce tips, juniper berries, and cranberries. Big aromatics of piney evergreen and sweet berries tingle the senses. After some slightly tart and tangy flavors up front, a harmonious balance between pleasant fruit sweetness and bitter pine is reached. The finish is laced with a resiny stickiness that flows naturally into a lasting bitterness" (source).
  • Nowhere in Particular Batch 013, $2.99/12oz - "As the warm weather comes to an end, theoretically at least, we decided to make a nice bright but kinda different IPA. We took a ton of citrusy hops, added lactose to give a nice full body and lemon juice to give a nice citrus finish. The results were fucking awesome. Drinkable with a nice round body, and nice bright citrus flavors blend nicely with a slight bitterness" (source).
  • Nowhere in Particular Batch 014, $2.99/12oz - "All the buzzwords in this guy. If we are going to make a pale ale, you better believe we are going to drop a metric fuck ton of hops in it, and do it our own way. This beer has no hops in the boil, just in the whirlpool and in the dry hop. This huge late addition of hops gives this guy tons of tropical fruit hop flavors while keeping the bitterness low, so this is kinda a juice bomb. Low alcohol and light body on this brew means you can drink a bunch of them if you wanted to, and we bet you will after trying this tasty liquid" (source).
  • Ballast Point Victory at Sea, $2.59/12oz - "Our Ballast Point Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with vanilla and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate" (source).
  • Ballast Point Coconut Victory at Sea, $9.69/22oz - "This Coconut Ballast Point Victory at Sea takes our popular Imperial Porter to another place. We added sweet roasted coconut to our robust porter brewed with Caffe Calabria coffee and vanilla,  the perfect complement to this beer’s subtly roasty intensity. A favorite at our annual Ballast Point Victory at Sea Day, but it’s worth enjoying anytime you need to be transported" (source).
  • Ballast Point Peanut Butter Victory at Sea, $9.69/22oz - "This version has both Chocolate and Peanut Butter" (source).
  • Odd Side Jared's Mom, $2.39/12oz - "Belgian IPA" (source).
  • Odd Side Chocolade Koffie Stout, $2.39/12oz - "If you’re a fan of chocolate stouts this is the one to try! A great mixture of thick, sweet, dark chocolate fudge, and light espresso bean undertones will immediately appeal to your senses. Your taste buds will dance when the creamy stout takes flight" (source).
  • Kentucky Ales Old Fashioned, $4.459/12oz  - "It’s a copper-colored brew that plays off the beloved taste of a bourbon Old Fashioned – the most iconic of Southern cocktails. This seasonal is brewed with tart cherries and orange peel, then aged in fresh bourbon barrels as well as bourbon barrels used to age bitters.  Kindly donated Cherry Bitters barrels, originally used by Kentucky’s finest distillers, impart their wonderful character on this beer. Subtly sweet, it’s balanced by bitter hints of hops and bitters, as well citrusy notes of orange" (source).
  • Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, $2.19/12oz - "Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter" (source).
  • Alaskan Smoked Porter, $9.79/22oz - "Known as “rauchbier” in Germany, smoke-flavored beers were virtually unknown in the U.S. until Alaskan Smoked Porter was developed in 1988" (source).
  • Alaskan Winter Ale, $1.79/12oz - "Traditionally malty with the warming sensation of alcohol, Olde Ales are brewed in the fall as winter warmers" (source).
  • Anchor Christmas Ale, $2.39/12oz - "A smooth and creamy winter warmer with rich flavors of cacao, toffee and roasted nuts, and subtle hints of honey and herbal spice, this year’s brew marks the 43rd annual release of this Anchor tradition" (source).
  • Atwater Voodoo Vator, $3.19/12oz - "VooDoo Vator Dopplebock tempers the sweetness of caramel malt with the crisp, more nutty flavor of Munich malt. Despite the depth of color, burnt flavors are not present. Traditional extended lagering makes the VooDoo Vator deceptively smooth though high in alcohol" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Tart Side of the Moon, $4.69/16oz - "One of our most anticipated and highly talked about specialty releases, this hearty stout is kettle soured and blended for a slight tartness along side big dark chocolate notes and hints of black cherries. No adjuncts are added to this beer-- these robust layers of flavor are yeast driven. Listen to the lunatic" (source).
  • Dark Horse Fore Smoke Stout, $2.19/12oz - "Number four in our stout series, this beer is brewed with all malted barley and hardwood smoked malt. Aromas of smoked chocolate and coffee leave way to a full-bodied stout with a smokey finish. Fore is a house favorite among our brewers" (source).
  • Founders Azacca, $1.39/12oz - "Named after the Haitian God of agriculture, the Azacca hop has an intense tropical aroma with hints of citrus and mango. A touch of caramel malt gives a sweet backbone to support the righteous fruit character of this beer. Pouring a burnt orange color and registering at 7.0% ABV, your taste buds will worship this heavenly, hopped delight" (source).
  • Revolution Fistmas, $1.99/12oz - "Our holiday red ale is steeped with fresh ginger root and orange peel, resulting in a beer with aromas of fresh baked bread, caramel, and stone fruits. Fistmas was brewed with specialty malts to achieve a beautiful deep red hue" (source).
  • Upland Darken, $15.29/500ml (1 per) - "Belgian-style sour ales heavily influenced our Sour Program in the beginning, and Darken is a take on an "old ale" or Flanders Oud Bruin style. We add nearly the entire spice rack to this ale, including star anise, ginger, grains of paradise, black pepper, and coriander. Formerly named Dantalion (the powerful Great Duke of Hell, if you’re curious), Darken is complex ale with an approachable tartness and flavors of spice, fruit, caramel, and chocolate. Darken has a medium-low body, with a dry, spicy finish" (source).
  • Upland Revive, $9.99/500ml (1 per) - "After extensive experimentation and feedback from our retail staff, customers, and brewing team, Revive was one of the first beers released out of the Wood Shop. The base beer is Basis, which was inspired by traditional brewing methods of Belgium brewing. The beer is aged for three to four months in oak barrels with pineapple fruit and whole chamomile flowers. That sweet tanginess of fruit combines beautifully with the floral aroma for a tart, dry, and refreshing sour ale" (source).
  • Upland Cherry Lambic, $24.99/750ml - "Brewed with whole cherries. Aged in oak casks for over a year, which creates a tart, complex beer" (source).
  • Omnipollo Nebuchadnezzar, $3.79/16oz - "Neb is a home brew recipe that has been scaled up with no consideration to economies of scale. Some say idiotic, and as an economist I would have to agree. Get fresh or die trying" (source).
  • Omnipollo Pleroma, $4.39/12oz - "Créme Brulée Sour" (source).
  • Stillwater Levadura, $3.39/12oz - "Oaxacan style gose sour ale brewed with salt, agave and lime" (source).
  • Stillwater g13, $4.19/12oz - "Wild India Pale Ale Aged on Cedar" (source).

Video of the Week | Long Road Michigin

Only a few bottles left. Get yours today!


Friday, November 3, 2017

New Beer Friday, Buffalo Trace Edition (November 3)

Preamble by John Barecki

With the popularity of last year's single-barrel 1792, we decided to have a go at it again and were lucky enough to procure for your enjoyment a Buffalo Trace single barrel. The interesting thing about a Buffalo Trace single barrel is that the usual bottle you see on the shelf is comprised of multiple barrels ranging from 8 to 10 years old that are blended together in order to form continuity in the brands overall characteristics. The single barrel variety allows the consumer the ability to experience one part of the whole spectrum, which can differ from barrel to barrel and can only be found in stores that participate in the barrel program.

Earlier this year we were treated to a handful of different barrel samples each containing different intensities of flavor, aroma, body and balance in the final spirit. We deliberated on each one and made a mostly unanimous choice on the barrel that now resides in our store. It was laid down in October of 2008 making it 9 years old, and we believe it to be a fine bourbon that contains a wonderful harmony of spirit and barrel notes that can be equally enjoyed as a sipper as well as a wonderful accompaniment to your favorite cocktails.

In comparison to the original Buffalo Trace bourbon, our single barrel holds more weight on the palate, and contains flavors and aromas of brown sugar, baking spice, orchard fruit, roasted corn, leather and charred barrel notes. While these are similar to the regular bourbon, they are amped up in our barrel giving more complexity to the final spirit. That said, there were only sixteen cases of fifths and four cases of pints that were bottled from this barrel due to evaporation over the years, so stocks are limited, and at $29.99 a fifth and $16.99 a pint it is an affordable way to enjoy a “rare” bourbon when many of the special releases around this time of year can climb into the triple digits.

New and Returning Beer

  • Mikkeller SD Windy Hill, $3.29/16oz - "Windy Hill IPA dry hopped w/Mosaic & Simcoe" (source).
  • Mikkeller SD Beer Geek Vanilla Shake, $8.99/16oz - "Oatmeal stout brewed with coffee & vanilla" (source).
  • Prairie No Chill, $3.89/12oz - "Milk stout conditioned on Mexican coffee beans sourced from Spaceship Earth Coffee in McAlester, OK" (source).
  • Bernard Bohemian Lager, $2.29/12oz - "This unpasteurized light lager is a beer with a balanced bitter taste in harmony with its tasty fullness, hop aroma and rich foam" (source).
  • Bernard Dark Lager, $2.29/12oz - "This non-filtered dark lager with a fine yeast culture is an unpasteurized beer brewed from four types of malt, with a distinctive full taste and a fine bitterness. Its special flavour makes it unique on the Czech beer market" (source).
  • Bernard Bohemian Ale, $3.09/12oz - "Spice up your day with top fermented special beer Bernard Bohemian Ale. The beer is bottle conditioned. Despite its 8.2 % alcohol has a fresh fruity scent, clean malty flavor with a pinch of spicy coriander and subtle warmth in the aftertaste" (source).
  • Short's Sticky Icky Icky, $1.99/12oz - "Sticky Icky Icky is a radiantly dank, clear copper-colored American India Pale Ale loaded with citrusy hop aromas. This light, yet full-bodied, ale seems perfectly balanced by equal parts sweet malt and fruity juicy hops. A medium bitterness lingers in the finish with a subtle earthiness" (source).
  • Short's Double Magician, $1.99/12oz - "Double Magician is a dark red Double London-Style Ale. Deep mahogany in color with an off white head,Double Magician has aromas of toffee, light citrus, and just a hint of roast. Double Magician is medium-bodied with flavors of raisin, toffee, and a slight hop bitterness. The finish is balanced and dry" (source).
  • Southern Tier 2xMas, $1.99/12oz - "2XMAS ale combines traditional brewing ingredients with figs, orange peels, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger root. It’s a holiday addition to the 2X line and another reason to toast to the season, but unlike Glögg, we recommend serving this one chilled" (source).
  • Southern Tier Old Man, $1.69/12oz - "Our winter offering is here to quell your shivers and get you through the coldest of nights. A rich marriage of hops and barley to cast light upon the evening and melt your mind out of the snowdrifts. Old Man Winter’s earthy hue and thickness lace around the glass, inviting you to linger in its warmth and share the spirits of the season with your friends and family. A deceptively strong brew, it’s best to sit and ponder with this old man, sip by sip" (source).
  • Odd Side Citra Dank Juice, $2.19/12oz - "This is our take on an N.E. IPA. Low bitterness gives way to juciy hops and a smooth, creamy, hazy beer" (source).
  • Odd Side Passion Fruit Dank Juice, $2.39/12oz - "Dank Juice, our East Coast IPA with passion fruit" (source).
  • Odd Side Barrel Aged Night Man Leaveth, $7.49/12oz (1 per) - "Rye whiskey BA imperial milk stout with vanilla" (source).
  • Odd Side Barrel Aged Sweet Potato Soufflé  Rye Ale, $7.49/12oz (1 per) - "A big, warming spiced (cinnamon, nutmeg, and lactose) strong ale brewed with sweet potato and aged in rye whiskey barrels" (source).
  • Odd Side Hazel's Nuts, $7.49/12oz (1 per) - "Stout aged in bourbon barrels with coffee and natural hazelnut flavoring" (source).
  • Odd Side Barrel Aged Mayan Mocha, $5.99/12oz (1 per) - "Stout with coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, and habanaeros added then aged in bourbon barrels" (source).
  • North Coast Laguna Baja, $1.99/12oz  - "Laguna Baja is a classically styled Vienna lager (in the Mexican mode), rich dark amber, with a malty aroma and a full, creamy body" (source).
  • North Coast Cranberry Quince Berliner Weisse, $6.49/22oz - "The third offering in our spontaneously soured seasonal Berliner Weisse series, North Coast Brewing Cranberry-Quince Berliner Weisse is made with the juice of Oregon cranberries and the pear-like quince—the perfect accompaniment for all your autumn celebrations" (source).
  • North Coast Barrel Aged Old Rasputin, $23.39/500ml (1 per) - "Every year we age a special batch of our much-loved Russian Imperial Stout in Bourbon barrels. The depth, intensity, and complexity of the flavor profile of this special release, like its predecessors, make it a worthy tribute to Old Rasputin" (source).
  • Great Divide Hibernation, $1.99/12oz - "This robust, dry-hopped ale has a malty richness balanced with a complex hop profile and hearty, warming character" (source).
  • Great Divide Chai Yeti, $10.79/22oz - "Our beloved Yeti is going back to its roots with this Himalayan-inspired variation. Traditional Chai spices of cinnamon, green cardamom, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla blend seamlessly with Yeti’s rich, roasted malt backbone for a spicy beast fit to tackle Everest" (source).
  • Bell's Christmas Ale, $1.89/12oz - "This traditional Scotch Ale is rich and malty with notes of caramel and a warm finish. Certain to make any occasion festive, or at least a bit more bearable. Enjoy with the company of friends and family" (source).
  • Bell's Winter White, $1.99/16oz - "Fermented with a Belgian ale yeast, this blend of barley and wheat malts yields a mixture of clove and fruity aromas, all without the use of any spices. Deliberately brewed to retain a cloudy appearance, Winter White is a beer for embracing winter" (source).
  • Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Aged Quad, $4.09/12oz - "Barrel aged Quad is brewed in the spirit of collaboration. We combine traditional techniques and ingredients like Belgian candi sugar with American innovation and experimentation by the use of bourbon barrels" (source).
  • Griffin Claw 3 Scrooges, $2.19/16oz - "Brewed with Orange, Honey & Clove! NYUCK, NYUCK, NYUCK Bah Humbug" (source).
  • Dark Horse 4 Elf, $2.09/12oz - "4 Elf is holiday cheer in liquid form. Spicy aromas like cinnamon and clove give this dark brown winter warmer a proper holiday welcome. Balanced between malt, hops, and spice at 8.75% ABV this beer goes great with all holiday foods—from sweet snacks to the roast beast" (source).
  • Latitude 42 Mayan Sunrise, $2.29/12oz - "A stout with Mexican Chocolate, Guajillo and Habenaro Peppers, finished off with 6 gallons of espresso" (source).
  • New Holland Cabin Fever, $1.79/12oz - "Cabin Fever is a roasty brown ale and a hearty, comforting companion for long, mind-bending winters" (source).
  • North Peak Gnarl, $1.79/12oz - "Chestnut Amber Ale" (source).
  • North Peak HooDoo, $2.29/12oz - "North Peak Hoodoo Midwest Wet Hop IPA is the first of it’s kind. Brewed with fresh from the farm Michigan hops for exceptional flavor. Hoodoo is hops from start to finish with a little malt in the middle, just enough to keep Hoodoo from going Voodoo on you. not to worry - pretty much nothing but hops" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Trip in the Woods, $19.69/750ml (1 per) - "Narwhals are things of legend, myth, and mystery. Every so often, a rare specimen surfaces for a moment, but then dives back into the deep, never to be seen again. This very special version of our Narwhal Imperial Stout was brewed with toasted coconut and then left to mature in Kentucky bourbon barrels for nearly a year. To the barrels, we added additional coconut and cocoa nibs to create a uniquely rich and decadent stout. Catch a glimpse while you can before this rare treat slips below the surface forever" (source).
  • Spencer Holiday Ale, $3.69/12oz - "Mahogany in color, wholesome in body, lightly spiced, a heart-warming feast day ale from our table to yours" (source).
  • Spencer Imperial Stout, $3.69/12oz - "A massive, roasted, malt-forward American Trappist take on the Anglo-Russo Imperial Stout tradition.  Luxuriantly frothy foam, waves of coffee, chocolate and caramel sensations, a generous blend of dark fruit flavors.  Intense and robust" (source).
  • Spencer Festive Lager, $2.19/12oz - "A Trappist Lager inspired by German tradition! Smooth, russet colored, hearty and malt-forward, hints of smoke and spice. Balanced by noble hops and a bitter finish" (source).
  • Sam Adams Winter Lager, $1.69/12oz - "German brewers were onto something centuries ago when they created rich bock beers for the winter. Our version is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel for a deep flavor and malty finish that will warm you on a cold winter night" (source).
  • New Belgium Accumulation, $1.69/12oz - "This winter, IBUs start accumulating like snow in Colorado with our new Accumulation White IPA . Brewing a white IPA was not only a way to salute the white beauty falling from the sky, but a direct revolt to the longstanding tradition of brewing dark beers for winter and winter seasonal beers . At least that’s what our rebellious brewers like to claim as they shovel in plenty of mosaic and Amarillo hop varietals and a bit of wheat for a smooth mouthfeel. Stack up a few cases of Accumulation White IPA to keep your long nights glowing blizzard white" (source).
  • New Belgium La Folie, $15.99/22oz - "La Folie, French for "the folly," is a beer steeped in New Belgium brewing tradition. This wood-aged, sour brown spends one to three years in big, oak barrels, known as foeders. And when the beer finally hits the glass, La Folie is sharp and sour, full of green apple, cherry, and plum-skin notes. Pouring a deep mahogany, the mouthfeel will get you puckering while the smooth finish will get you smiling. Not a beer for the timid, La Folie is a sour delight that will turn your tongue on its head. Find out why it's considered one of the best sour beers around" (source).
  • Arcadia Deliverance, $12.59/750ml (1 per) - "Semi-sweet, warm yet crisp flavor with intense notes of malty bourbon" (source).
  • Frankenmuth Christmas Town, $1.79/12oz - "Measuring in at 6.8% ABV and 24 IBU, Christmas Town Ale balances a nice fruity aroma with a moderately carbonated body, sweet dark malts, and fresh American hops. Since Christmas Town Ale’s inception in 2013, the winter ale has quickly grown to become one of the Frankenmuth Brewery’s most popular and recognizable seasonal Michigan craft beer releases" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Red Velvet, $2.19/16oz - "Red Velvet Ale is Rochester Mills’ Winter Seasonal offering for 2016 – A decadently dark ale with the rich velvety chocolate notes reminiscent of the popular" (source).
  • Deschutes Jubelale, $1.79/12oz - "Warm spiciness and tradition grace this bold, complex winter ale. The deep garnet color pairs perfectly with holiday celebrations. To celebrate the 30th bottling, for the first time ever, this year’s packaging features not one, but a series of custom snowflake themed illustrations" (source).
  • Deschutes Hop Trip, $1.99/12oz - "Vine to kettle in less than four hours, we wait restlessly all year for the hop harvest celebration. After bagging these aromatic jewels, we hustle back and toss them into the brew kettles within hours of picking. It’s our one chance to capture the bright citrus and pine essence of fresh hops" (source).
  • Deschutes Chasin' Freshies, $1.99/12oz - "Like fresh powder, it’s a seize-the-moment thing. This year we’ve chased down fresh experimental hops #431 from Haas in Yakima, Washington. At harvest, we rush the hops from the vine to our kettles to ensure we capture the purest, juiciest essence of the hop flower in every beer. Enjoy the bright, bold aroma and flavor that comes but once a year" (source).

Video of the Week |  Beer/Pancake Breakfast

Here's one for your brunch menu this weekend.


Friday, October 27, 2017

New Beer Friday, Fish Story Edition (October 27)

The Rogue
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

It was a miserable day to be wading in a river. The temperature was hovering just south of fifty and the rain that had been falling nonstop for two days had transformed the normally knee high, gently flowing stretch I was fishing into a waist high torrent. But I knew that this might be the last time I would be on the Rogue this year and I was hoping to land a trout or two before stowing my gear away for the season.

I carefully worked my way upstream through the steady rain, stopping every few steps to cast the big, brightly colored streamer towards a bank, keeping the rod tip low and the fly line tight, allowing it to swing downstream and then dangle for a moment before stripping it back against the current.

I took mental photographs of the river while I fished. Here’s one of a gaggle of honking geese swooping down and landing en masse on the water off the tip of an upstream island. Here’s another of a sharp, boulder strewn, high banked bend in the river framed against the backdrop of the red leaves of a towering old maple. This bald eagle flew over me so low I could hear the rhythmical swooshing of its slow flapping wings.

I called it quits after a few hours. I didn’t catch any fish that day but that’s the way it goes sometimes. At least I was able to hook into and land a few nice memories.

New and Returning Beer

  • Alaskan Husky IPA, $1.69/12oz - "This IPA has brilliant clarity and exhibits tropical and stone fruit flavors with aromas of tangerine and papaya" (source).
  • Bell's Arabicadabra, $2.09/12oz - "Arabicadabra is brewed with a cold coffee extract made at the brewery using a combination of fair trade, organic Nicaraguan coffee beans and Sumatra coffee beans. Lactose is also used for creaminess (those with dairy allergies or sensitivities should take note). It was inspired by Milchkaffe, another specialty Bell's beer" (source).
  • Blackrocks Nordskye, $2.09/12oz - "We brewed/tweaked this beer at the pub for a couple of years under a different name until it was can worthy. Galaxy hops brings out big tropical/fruity aromas and flavors, the low ABV and easy body make it easy to justify grabbing one more" (source).
  • Vivant Hop Field, $2.69/16oz - "This IPA follows our farmhouse roots while honoring Michigan’s love of hops. Featuring a blend of Michigan-grown hops, this beer celebrates hop flavor on a wholistic level, not solely the bitterness. A rustic, unfiltered cloudiness and farmhouse yeast allows the bright, fruit-forward hops to shine. Well balanced and refreshing, this farmhouse IPA boasts complexity and comfort all in one" (source).
  • Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, $2.29/12oz - "This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. In the 18th century, Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, ordered a stout to be sent to her from England. This beer was brewed strong and hoppy to survive the sea voyage, and it arrived in perfect condition. Soon "Russian Imperial Stout" became the toast of the Russian aristocracy. Brewed since 1994, our Black Chocolate Stout has itself become a modern classic, heralded the world over. It achieves its dark chocolate aroma and flavor through the artful blending of six malts and three distinct mashes. Properly kept, it will improve in the bottle for many years. This stout is the toast of the winter season in many countries, and there is nothing better to enjoy with chocolate desserts, cheesecake, ice cream, fine cheeses and roaring fireplaces" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Nawt A Cawp, $3.59/16oz - "A bitter, moderately strong American pale ale that uses its clean, supporting malt to showcase its hop character" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill Salted Caramel Porter, $1.79/12oz - "Pigeon Hill Brewing Company was founded on the ideals of community, tradition, and great beer. We believe in creating a taproom that is a community gather space, steeped in rich local tradition, and fueled by pints of excellent craft beer" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Celebration, $1.69/12oz - "The start of Celebration season is a festive event. We can’t start brewing until the first fresh hops have arrived, but once they have the season is officially under way! First brewed in 1981, Celebration Ale is one of the earliest examples of an American-style IPA and one of the few hop-forward holiday beers. Famous for its intense citrus and pine aromas, Celebration is bold and intense, featuring Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops—honoring everything we have at Sierra Nevada" (source).
  • Stone Xocoveza, $2.99/12oz - "There’s nothing like making a beer so beloved that people feel compelled to campaign for its return. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, we are very pleased to give our fans the number one item on their wish lists. As illustrated by the avalanche of social media requests, that is Stone Xocoveza, an insanely delicious take on Mexican hot chocolate brewed with cocoa, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. First brewed in 2014 with San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker after his recipe won our annual homebrew competition, this imperial stout is layered with smooth roastiness, semisweet chocolate and a touch of spice. Thanks entirely to you, this creamy, mocha stout has gone from initially being a one-time offering to a yearly tradition. Happy holidays from all of us to all of you…and feel free to continue enjoying it long into the spring and summer, as this gem will age beautifully and is definitely not exclusive to the winter season" (source).
  • Wolverine Massacre, $2.99/12oz - "If you have never called a lager “ferocious” then you haven’t tried Massacre. We start with an imperial dark lager and age it in heavy-toast Kentucky bourbon barrels until it’s ready to package, at which point we dip each precious bottle in red wax to seal in the deliciousness. Releases in October each year -- make sure to get yours while it lasts" (source).
  • Arcadia Hop Mouth, $2.69/12oz - "This remarkably balanced brew has a deep amber hue with a generous white head. Hopmouth showcases a rich, toasty flavor and sweet caramel notes because of the high-quality Maris Otter malt used. The hops are up front in the aroma, reminiscent of citrus and pine, while the resin-like flavors linger well after the last sip" (source).
  • Petoskey Cosmati, $5.19/16oz - "Mosaic single-hopped DIPA with diverse citrus, mango & papaya mingled with mysteriously pleasing bitterness balanced by the large grain bill" (source).
  • Ommegang Winter is Here, $9.99/750ml - "Winter Is Here is a Belgian-style double white ale. Fittingly for a double white (walker) ale, the label is graced by the ominous visage of the Night King, who is expected to arrive as forcefully in Season 7 as this beer's 8.3% ABV will arrive in your stomach" (source).
  • Ommegang Fire & Ice Gift Packs, $23.99/pack - No commercial description.
  • Dogfish Head Liquid Truth Serum, $2.59/12oz - "Our unique process involving pelletized, powdered, leaf and liquefied hops makes for a blissfully inefficient IPA that's truthfully hoppy without being deceptively bitter. You'll find the perfect match of citrusy and tropical notes, making for a zesty finish" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Pennsylvania Tuxedo, $4.19/12oz - "A spruce-infused pale ale, Pennsylvania Tuxedo pays homage to the flannel-suited hunters and gatherers who dwell deep in the backcountry of north-central PA. Brewed in collaboration with family-run outdoor clothing company Woolrich, Pennsylvania Tuxedo is a sessionable concoction with a grassy citrus kick complemented by the resinous conifer notes of fresh green spruce tips. We went into the forests of north-central Pennsylvania and Georgetown, Del., to pick these fresh tips ourselves. A dry yet doughy malt backbone lets the hops and spruce shine while still balancing out the bitterness, making this one an easy sipper" (source).
  • Southern Tier Cinnamon Roll, $4.19/12oz - "The scent of our brewery on brew days is irresistible. Akin to the morning’s first brewed batch of perfectly roasted coffee, the aromas envelope you and cause the corners of your lips to curl into the slightest unconscious smile. In this brew, lightly toasted malts with subtly spicy hops blend into cinnamon flavors and creamy lactose sugar. Their coalescence is so uncannily close to fresh baked cinnamon rolls that it was impossible to name this beer anything other than Cinnamon Roll Imperial Ale! Pairs perfectly with eggs benedict at brunch, after dinner, or next to the fire for an unforgettable nightcap" (source).
  • Abita Horchata Turbodog, $4.69/22oz - "Horchata Turbodog is based on one of Abita’s most popular brews, with a definite Latin twist. This robust dark ale is brewed with pale, caramel and chocolate malts, then fresh cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans are added during aging giving it a traditional horchata flavor. This gives the brew a rich body, dark color and deep flavors of chocolate, toffee, cinnamon and vanilla" (source).
  • Abita Bourbon Street Maple Pecan, $9.69/22oz - "Bourbon Street Maple Pecan is a nut brown ale that is aged in Bourbon barrels. Our Maple Pecan is brewed with a combination of pale, munich, biscuit, and caramel malts. Roasted pecans are also added to the brew for a nutty flavor and aroma. We add maple syrup in the brewhouse as well to give the beer a sweet flavor and full body. After fermentation and 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 brown ale that blends the light flavors of nuts, maple syrup, and baking bread from the beer with the warming flavors of wood and vanilla from the bourbon barrels" (source).

Video of the Week

Now available at Sicilano's.


Friday, October 20, 2017

New Beer Friday, Taylor Ridge Edition (October 20)

Brian Taylor (left) & Steve Siciliano
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

It had been a few years since my wife Barb and I made a batch of homemade wine from Michigan grown grapes, so last week we took a quick drive down to Allegan to pick up 100 pounds each of Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc from Taylor Ridge Vineyards.

We usually hit a few watering holes on our fall visits to Taylor Ridge but we had to make this a short trip due to a late start and the unappealing prospect of crushing and de-stemming 200 pounds of grapes in the dark. But the Tom Petty tunes on satellite radio and the rural landscape awash in autumn colors made for a pleasurable late afternoon drive to the heart of West Michigan’s grape growing region.

It was good seeing Brian Taylor again. He made it a point to tell us that he’s going to be 79 in a few weeks and his age doesn’t appear to be slowing him down. After I loaded up and paid for our grapes, Brian talked about the spring frost and the summer drought and a late season bout of downy mildew.

Later that evening, after our winemaking work was done, Barb and I relaxed with a Manhattan on the backyard deck. The setting sun had dipped behind the line of trees and the warmth of the Buffalo Trace helped ward off the chill. Every so often a breeze would rise and shake loose a few more leaves from the old backyard maples. Before calling it a night we lingered for a moment on the deck to watch a V of high-flying geese heading south.

New and Returning Beer

  • Jester King & Fantome Del Rey, $18.99/750ml - "The Texas version of Fantôme Del Rey is a bière de coupage where old, barrel-aged beer is blended with young beer. The older component of the blend was brewed at Jester King in August of 2014 with malted barley, dark candi syrup, ground coriander, and black peppercorns. It was initially fermented in stainless steel with truffle honey, and then racked to oak for extended maturation. We brewed the younger version in November of 2015, and blended the old with the young" (source). 
  • Jester King Wytchmaker Rye IPA, $16.99/750ml - "India Pale Ale brewed with nearly three pounds of hops per barrel and 15% malted rye. Dry, flavorful, drinkable beer with vibrant notes of citrus, tropical fruit and pine" (source). 
  • Evil Twin Imperial Doughnut Break, $8.39/16oz - "Did the flavors of sugar and bitter sweet almonds and coffee in Imperial Biscotti Break also make you sentimental? Now we topped it off with insane amounts of doughnuts. This all time American favorite is making it’s way back into the spotlight and we at Evil Twin Brewing are not letting a tasty trend pass us by without taking it to the next level. Drink it with great gusto - Forza Doughnuts" (source). 
  • Evil Twin Tropical Super Itchy, $4.09/12oz - "Berliner weisse style ale with passionfruit added" (source). 
  • Mönchshof Schwarzbier, $4.59/500ml - "With an irresistible, flowery hop bitterness that sets it apart from all others, Mönchshof Schwarzbier is relatively light in body – but bursting with character. Its dark, roasted, slightly chocolatey and warming palate is astounding for such a refreshing and drinkable beer. The hearty taste and seductive burt sienna color come from the deep-roasted barley used in every batch" (source). 
  • Founder Backwoods Bastard, $11.99/750ml, $3.99/12oz - "Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate" (source). 
  • New Holland Mocha Mint Dragon's Milk, $4.49/12oz - "Dragon's Milk Reserve Mocha Mint is a festive blend of chocolate & peppermint flavors, with just a hint of coffee. The perfect brew for a cozy night in" (source). 
  • Bell's Cherry Stout, $2.79/12oz - "Rather than doubling up on sweetness, this tart cherry varietal serves as a counterpoint to the warm, dark chocolate notes from the malt bill. Lightly hopped for balance, this stout is one of the cornerstones of our stout portfolio" (source). 
  • Epic Sour Pineapple, $13.59/375ml - "The intense and complex sour character is developed in oak foeders containing select cultures of Pediococcus and wild yeast. Then we blend the soured beer into oak barrels with pineapple, where it undergoes additional sour fermentation and aging" (source). 
  • Epic Common Interests, $13.59/375ml - "Common Interests is a light-straw color with just a hint of green in the highlights. Sweet honeydew rind, clean earth and oak hit the nose. The first sip is bright with citrus-tartness, lime and pith, that fades quickly to a cooling ripe-melon-sweetness with hints of cereal grain, tilled earth and root cellar. The effervescence lifts quickly off the palate taking the acidity but leaving hints of honeydew and the harvest season" (source). 
  • Epic Big Bad Baptist, $13.39/22oz - "One Big Bad Imperial Stout with Cocoa nibs and Coffee beans. Each season's release uses a different dark roasted coffee" (source). 
  • Short's Bloody Beer, $2.39/12oz - "A lighter bodied beer with an appealing ruby red glow and aromas of spicy tomato juice. Fermented with Roma tomatoes and spiced with dill, horseradish, peppercorns, and celery seed lead to an astounding initial tomato flavor, followed by a lingering finish that allows each additional ingredient a chance to resonate on the palate. Decant carefully, and let this 2009 GABF silver medal winner warm slightly in order to appreciate the full magnitude of flavors" (source). 
  • The Lost Abbey Devil Went Down to Georgia, $15.99/12.7oz - "Bourbon Barrel-aged Ale with Peaches and Black Tea" (source). 
  • The Lost Abbey Ghosts in the Forest, $15.99/12.7oz - "There's an aura of mystery that occurs when we close the doors to our barrel room. No one can say for sure what happens each night but it's obvious there are spirits (ghosts if you will) working their magic. We're not sure how many inhabit our oak forest. At present there are five large foeders and more than 1200 oak barrels for them to hide in, around, and behind. to this day, no one has managed to see one during the day but our night time brewers hear whispers and the sensation of unnerving drafts of wind arriving out of thin air. It's as if the ghosts want to be seen or at a minimum acknowledged. After 11 years, we felt it was time to give them their due" (source). 
  • Lagunitas Born Yesterday, $2.19/12oz - "Born Yesterday is a newborn version of our re-born Pale, a Newer New Dogtown Pale with a fresh addition … We added some wet, lupulin-drenched, un-kilned, whole-cone, fresh-picked-and-rushed-straight-from-Yakima hops for your immaculate reception. This Un-Freakin-Filtered, wetter-than-wet beer has 11lbs-per-barrel of Simcoe, Equinox, Mosaic and Indigenous Catawampus. Whoa" (source). 
  • Kona Pipeline, $1.69/12oz - "Hawaii is home to the North shore of Oahu, a seven mile stretch of coastline where big wave surfing was born. The Bonzai Pipeline is a particularly revered surf break that serves up steep, curling waves with a rush that leaves surfers wide-eyed and grinning. Kona Brewing Co. honors this mecca of surfing with a beer that delivers a little kick and thrill of its own. Brewed with Hawaiian Kona Coffee, Pipeline Porter has a boost of flavor with a smooth style that makes it as awesome as the waves that inspired it. The dark chocolate color, rich roasted malt flavor and smooth coffee finish takes the edge off when the waves are high and the wind is blowing. Pipeline Porter’s pronounced roasted malt character and rich Kona coffee flavor and aroma will curl around your tongue like Hawaii’s famous Pipeline surf break itself" (source). 
  • Virtue Cider Cherry, $1.79/12oz - "Our cherry cider is a blend of hand-pressed heirloom Michigan apples and local cherries aged in French oak barrels. The final cider is tart and rich with a touch of sweetness" (source). 
  • Virtue Cider Honey, $1.79/12oz - "Michigan Honey is our homage to the bees, which are imperative for pollinating the new blossoms on fruit trees in the spring. Fresh apple and honeysuckle aroma, finishing crisp with just a hint of sweetness from local honey" (source).

Video of the Week

Congrats to Bell's Brewery, NBWA Brewer Partner of the Year.