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Friday, June 30, 2017

New Beer Friday, John Palmer Edition (June 30)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

I'm excited to announce that we are bringing noted homebrewing author John Palmer to Grand Rapids during the second week of August. John recently released the fourth edition of How to Brew and we are setting up a number of meet & greets, book signings and presentations during his four-day visit to Beer City USA. We will post specific information on John's itinerary in future issues of The Buzz.

In other homebrewing related news, I received an email this past week from a casting producer at Viceland, Vice Media's television network. Tina Logie informed me that she is currently working on  the second season of Beerland, a series that focuses on homebrewing communities across the United States.

Tina apprised me that they will be filming the next episode in Michigan and asked if I knew of any homebrewers who would like to appear on the show. Those interested should send the following information to Tina at

    • Name, Age and Photo
    • Years brewing
    • Who you brew with
    • Where you brew
    • Any “specialty” brews
    • Where you DRINK your brew
    • Homebrew events/club involvement
    • What makes you/your brew unique

New and Returning Beer

  • Evil Twin Tropical Itch, $3.89/12oz - "Berliner style weisse ale with passionfruit added" (source).
  • Evil Twin Even More Coco Jesus, $3.89/16oz - "Imperial Stout with maple syrup & coconut added" (source).
  • Evil Twin Lemonade IPA, $3.89/12oz - "A refreshing drink often associated with childhood nostalgia to others a pop-cultural symbol of emancipation. Whatever the association we teamed up with good old Swedes, Henok and Karl of the fashionable Omnipollo to squeeze out a tasty, tempting and deceivingly well balanced IPA with sweet and sour notes of old-fashioned memories. Perhaps you can taste the dishonesty, it's all over your breath -it's Lemonade" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Woodward Milkshake Stout, $2.39/16oz - "Rochester Mills Beer Co. & Production Brewery announce the 2017 release of Woodward Bold, a Coffee flavored Milkshake Stout brewed with locally roasted Detroit Bold Coffee Co.’s Woodward Ave. Blend coffee" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Raspberry Radler, $2.19/16oz - "Blends even parts Razz Mills Pills and house made lemonade that then has a higher level of carbonation added to create a sparkling and very refreshing" (source).
  • Petoskey Juicy, $3.09/16oz - "Bursting with rich, mouthwatering citrus and tropical hop aromas, this New England style IPA is a melange of juicy flavors" (source).
  • Odd Side Chicka Chicka Yeah, $1.99/12oz - "A Belgian summer wheat ale with chamomile, orange peel, lemon peel and peppercorn. Finishes light and citrusy" (source).
  • Odd Side Lolly Catcher, $1.99/12oz - "A carefully crafted, comforting concoction of creamy cohesiveness" (source).
  • Odd Side Havanna Lima, $1.99/12oz - "Ale with habanero and lime" (source).
  • Epic Oak and Orchard, $13.59/375ml - "Epic's cellar contains many curiosities and one of kind beers. These extremely limited sour releases are fruited and aged in oak for months until our brewmaster decides they're at their peak. Each release is unique and range from light to dark with a large variety of fruit. Check the release notes for specifics" (source).
  • Epic Sour Peaches, $13.79/375ml - "The intense and complex sour character of this beer is developed in oak Foeders containing select cultures of Lactobacillus, Pidiococcus and wild yeast. The process is slow and delicate, regularly taking a year or more. Once our brewers have decided it’s ready, we blend the soured beer into hand-selected oak barrels with fresh peach puree, where it undergoes additional sour fermentation and aging" (source).
  • Epic Blizzard Conditions, $8.59/22oz - "New England style IPA" (source).
  • Avery Hog heaven, $3.29/12oz - "This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty is a hop lover’s delight. The intense dry-hop nose and the alcohol content are perfectly balanced for a caramel malt backbone. This is a serious beer for serious beer aficionados. Oink" (source).
  • Avery Real A Peel, $2.19/12oz - "Inspired by a summer's day and crafted to crush year-round, our IPA twists real tangerine peel and citrusy hops into this juicy experience. It's the real deal" (source).
  • Short's Space Drop, $13.29/22oz - "Space Drop is a bourbon barrel aged American Pale Ale we make by aging Short’s Flagship American Pale Ale, Space Rock, in bourbon barrels for 7 months and dry hopping the nearly finished brew. Bright with a golden hue, Space Drop pours with a big head that settles quickly into a thin layer that clings to the glass. Citrus aromas are accompanied by subtle scents of oak and bourbon. Upon first sip bitter, citrus flavors abound. Accompanied by light oak and bourbon, Space Drop is quite balanced. This brew finishes dry with a slight bitterness" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant, $4.29/16oz - "" (source).
  • Founders Redankulous, $3.09/12oz - "reDANKulous Imperial Red IPA is a no frills, bold 9.5% ABV India Pale Ale. It pours a pleasing burnt amber with some sweetness due to the Caramalt and roasted barley used in the malt bill. But hops are the true headliner in this elaborate sensory experience. The spicy, piney, tropical complexities of Chinook, Mosaic and Simcoe hops hit you right away with their dank aroma—and they stick around. Take a sip to have your palate simultaneously walloped and caressed in all the right places. Combined, the hops take the beer to 90 IBUs. It’s not just ridiculous. It’s reDANKulous" (source).
  • New Holland Dragon's Milk Reserve S'mores, $4.29/12oz - "Hints of toasted marshmallow and Graham Cracker complement the chocolate character of Dragon’s Milk, giving this Reserve a flavor reminiscent of campfires and summer nights" (source).

Video of the Week | Beerland

Homebrewers, this could be you!


Friday, June 23, 2017

New Beer Friday, Gin & Tonic Edition (June 23)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Summer officially arrived in the environs of Beer City USA this past week and while a frosty craft beer can help beat the heat on a scorching summer day, my favorite cold beverage for cooling off on a sultry summer evening is a refreshing gin and tonic.

It wasn’t that long ago that gin lovers only had a handful of decent options to choose from. That began to change a few years ago with the widespread emergence of craft distilleries and today there is a wide array of both domestic and imported hand-crafted gins on the market.

Siciliano’s stocks a number of these unique, botanically infused spirits. There’s plenty of warm weather ahead of us so there’s plenty of time to try a few new gins if a cooling G & T is one of your go-to beverages for beating the summer heat.

New and Returning Beer

  • Against the Grain Rico Sauvin, $3.89/16oz - "An India Pale Ale featuring Nelson Sauvin hops. Named after the Sauvignon Blanc grape, is a variety of hop developed and grown in New Zealand. It has a strong fruity flavor and aroma that is described as resembling white wine, or fresh crushed grapes or gooseberries. Some reviewers of this hop perceive the fruitiness as being very tropical with descriptions including passion fruit, tangerines, and grapefruit. These hops are organic and are about 4 times as expensive as our normal American varieties, hence the footed glass only" (source).
  • Against the Grain Pile of Face, $3.389/16oz - "What's the first thing you need to do when you start a brewery? Develop your logo, of course. With any potentially decent brewery, your logo must be a skull, it has to be a skull, you'll be laughed out of the room if you don't have a skull. So we went hunting in the area where all the great skulls have come from and were shit out of luck. By those fateful dumpsters all we found was this deformed neanderthal type deal, or maybe it's from an ape, and a big ol' pile of face. To celebrate our lack of success in finding a really cool skull, we are embracing another required cliché by brewing this American IPA. A modicum of simple malts provide the mediocre backbone to the mountain of various hops that are utilized and rotated throughout the brewing process. Look for dank overtones supported by various citrus and heirloom fruits. It's the straight forward fuckin' IPA that you always wanted from us. You lucky bastard" (source).
  • Against the Grain Brown Note, $3.09/16oz - "The brown ale to end all brown ales. Enjoy it, because there is no longer any reason to drink another. You’ve reached the pinnacle. A healthy blend of traditional British malts give this popular style a semi-sweet, biscuity, slightly roasted flavor. Oats thicken the mouthfeel, and a handful of specialty malts add complex chocolate, toffee, and caramel notes. The hops are mostly traditional, earthy British hops, but we cocked it up a bit with some Cascade late in the boil just to show those snooty Brits that we don’t approve of that Constitutional Monarchy crap" (source).
  • Evil Twin Food and Beer, $10.29/22oz - "This all Brett pale ale is brewed with peaches and it is brewed to celebrate the release of the chef Daniel Burns / Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso’s Phaidon book Food & Beer" (source).
  • Prairie Flare, $2.89/12oz - "Gose Ale Brewed with Orange and Coriander" (source).
  • Grimm Super Shine, $11.99/22oz - "Oak conditioned gose dry hopped with Mosaic & Azacca" (source).
  • Grimm Rainbow Dome, $11.99/22oz - "Tart aromas of stone fruit and fruity hops (El Dorado, Columbus, Cascade). Intense apricot on the palate with soft, inviting acidity" (source).
  • Anchorage Darkest Hour Whiskey Barrel Aged, $27.99/50ml (1 per) - "This years batch is totally new recipe using regular ale yeast and several high end whiskey barrels for aging" (source).
  • Anchorage Darkest Hour Brandy Barrel Aged, $27.99/750ml (1 per) - "Spanish brandy barrel aged Darkest Hour" (source).
  • Arbor Framboozled, $11.99/500ml - "The newest addition to the sour series is richly complex and reminiscent of brandy-soaked dark fruits, toasted nuts, and a sweet balsamic reduction. Framboozled features a hint of barnyard funk from extended barrel aging in the presence of friendly microbes" (source).
  • Bells Q Falls, $1.89/12oz - "A dry-hopped lager that possesses a crisp, dry bitterness you would expect from a German pilsner, but the use of highly aromatic Simcoe hops from the Pacific Northwest, evoke the fragrant pine forests that inspired this beer" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Angelina, $11.99/500ml - "Sour Ale" (source).
  • Dark Horse Tres Blueberry, $2.09/12oz - "Number three in our stout series, this stout is full-bodied and brewed with all malted barley and fresh blueberries added after fermentation. The nose is where you will begin to realize this stout is in a league of its own. Blueberry, chocolate and roasted aromas lead the way to a very pleasant drinking experience which leaves you wanting the next November to arrive sooner than last year" (source).
  • Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Tres, $3.29/12oz - "This stout is full-bodied and brewed with all malted barley, fresh blueberries added after fermentation and then aged in bourbon barrels. The nose is where you will begin to realize this stout is in a league of its own. Blueberry, chocolate and roasted aromas lead the way to a very pleasant drinking experience which leaves you wanting the next December to arrive sooner than last year" (source).
  • Innis and Gunn Original, $3.29/12oz - "For 30 days this honey-hued beer sleeps in hand selected oak barrels, locked inside a bonded warehouse, gradually assimilating the subtle flavours that reside in the wood. Barrels are then emptied and maturation continues for a further 47 days in a marrying tun where these natural flavours infuse and fall into perfect balance. This 77-day process is unique and produces a delicious, refreshing beer: Aromas of vanilla and toffee, hints of citrus, with a malty, lightly oaked,palate. Deftly balanced and light in texture, soothing and warming in the finish" (source).
  • Innis and Gunn Rum Cask, $3.59/12oz - "We are delighted to present this unique limited bottling of Innis & Gunn finished in oak barrels which previously contained navy rum. Maturation in special oak barrels imparts Navy rums with the sweet, spicy character for which they are renowned. We have long wondered what flavours might be imparted to our beer by finishing it in these same barrels and earlier this year we decided to find out. We brewed a special batch of Innis & Gunn beer and matured it in oak for 60 days. Every single drop spent half of that time in American oak barrels before being refilled into selected navy rum barrels to finish the lengthy maturation. Once the beer had absorbed the unique character the barrels were emptied, the beer blended and then maturation continued for a further 47 days until all of the flavours had married together and mellowed. We think the result is absolutely delicious" (source).
  • Innis and Gunn Bourbon Dark, $3.69/12oz - "This very special dark ale has been brewed in small batches and then matured in hand-selected, first-fill bourbon casks to give it its rich, rounded character. Notes of brown sugar, orange oil and coconut are complemented by an earthy freshness from the hops, and the 30 days the beer’s spent in oak have ensured a satisfyingly smooth finish. We spend a lot of time at Innis & Gunn finding the perfect casks to home the new beers that we make. So many factors can influence the reaction between the wood and the beer, that we like to give the casks the best possible chance of success, by considering things like their age, their previous occupants, their finish, their char level... We’ve selected relatively new bourbon casks for this recipe in order to complement the rich, heady flavours of the beer with a light touch of vanilla and spice from the wood. The casks have also helped to smooth the finish of the beer, making it velvety and very long" (source).
  • Victory Old Horizontal, $9.99/22oz - "Massive amounts of barley malts, combined with fresh harvest American hops make it aromatic and spicy on the nose. Floral, fruity aromas slide into honeyed malt depth with lingering sensations of candied and citrus fruit. Late warming alcohol brings all of these flavors into wonderful harmony to finish" (source).
  • Odd Side mango IPA, $2.19/12oz - No commercial description.
  • Jolly Pumpkin Olas Espaciales, $14.39/750ml - "Bottle conditioned sour ale with cherries, salt and lime added" (source).
  • Boulevard Love Child, $17.99/750ml (1 per) - "Boulevard's Love Child Series of "wild" ales are barrel-aged with such boisterous cultures as Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces. These wayward offspring can prove so complex that we employ gauges on the label to convey the intensity of three key personality traits, Funk, Sour and Fruit, presenting a picture of the ale at the time it was released. It will change as it ages, but don't we all? A blend of wood-aged sour beer, Love Child No. 8 is composed of multiple vintages of a Flanders-style sour red ale and a sour Belgian-style golden. This release features soft lactic acidity punctuated with slight acetic notes and a tart, fruity flavor remiscent of sour cherries and green strawberries" (source).
  • Lagunitas 12th of Never, $1.99/19.2oz - "The magical, mystical 12th of Never is a blend of Old and New School hops that play bright citrus, rich coconut, and papaya-esque flavors, all on a solid stage of English puffed wheat. Tropically hoppy. Light, yet full-bodied. Bright and citrusy. The 12th of Never Ale is everything we’ve learned about making hop-forward beer expressed in a moderate voice.  Pale, cold, slightly alcoholic and bitter" (source).

Video of the Week | Tres Blueberry

Now available at Siciliano's.


Friday, June 9, 2017

New Beer Friday, Ludington Bay Edition (June 9)

Patti & Tom Buchanan
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

If you're traveling in the vicinity of Ludington, Michigan, this summer you should make it a point to stop by the recently opened Ludington Bay Brewing Company. Located directly across the street from Jamesport Brewing Company, this new brew pub offers an extensive menu of well prepared food and the solid lineup of beers gives craft beer aficionados one more reason to pay a visit to this beautiful community on the shores of Lake Michigan.

My wife Barb and I visited Ludington Bay a few weeks ago. After snagging two seats at the crowded bar we were disappointed to hear that we had just missed good friend and head brewer Tom Buchanan. We tempered that disappointment with a couple of Tom’s beers — a hefeweizen for me and a Rye IPA for Barb. Both were excellent.

After perusing the menu we decided on a tasty appetizer of smoked wings followed by an equally tasty chicken pesto pizza. We had another beer and just as we were getting up to leave Tom and his wife Patti walked into the pub.

It was nice seeing our old friends again. After getting a tour of the 20-barrel brew house we reminisced about old times and, of course, had another beer. Visit Ludington Bay’s website for hours and more information.

New and Returning Beer

  • Bitburger Radler, $1.49/16oz - "Unmistakably sparkling and with a fine touch. In equal parts from Bitburger Premium Pils and fresh Lemon Lemonade Bitburger Radler tastes with 2.5 per cent alcohol volume not so sweet. Its typical Bitburger-Pils flavor lends its unique fine note and makes it an ideal thirst extinguisher" (source).
  • Left Hand Traveling Light, $2.09/12oz - "Golden, crisp, dry and refreshing with herbal hops" (source).
  • Left Hand A Blessing & A Curse, $9.99/22oz - "This double IPA delivers a synthesis of hops from opposite hemispheres with an aggressive disposition of citrus, pine, and tropical fruit characteristics for a delightfully juxtaposed consequence. Count your blessings, accept the curse" (source).
  • Short's Exeter, $2.39/12oz - "Exeter is an American Sour Ale fermented with strawberry and lemon. Ruby red in color with an initial head that dissipates quickly, Exeter has a big sour fruit aroma with just a hint of lemon.  A mouth puckering tart strawberry and sour lemon flavor is complemented by a growing sweetness. The finish is very dry" (source).
  • Short's Strawberry Short's Cake, $2.39/12oz - "Strawberry Short’s Cake is a Golden Ale brewed with the addition of strawberries and milk sugar. The flavors of shortcake and fresh strawberries transform this beer into rose-colored party nectar that is pleasingly sweet with hints of cream. Biscuit flavors and aromas arise from the use of large amounts of Victory malt" (source).
  • Great Lakes Steady Rolling, $1.69/12oz - "Inspired by the Great Lakes region (our big backyard), our single hop Session IPA is brewed for days when you can only guess the time based on where the sun sits in the sky" (source).
  • Great Lakes Light Keeper, $1.69/12oz - "Inspired by Marblehead Lighthouse (the oldest operating on the Great Lakes) our Blonde Ale's effervescence is guided home by a shimmering beacon of dry and fruity hop flavors" (source).
  • North Coast Alt Nouveau, $1.99/12oz - "Alt Nouveau is a decidedly hoppy take on the style, reviving a brand the brewery first released in the mid-nineties. The Art Nouveau style illustration on the label is inspired by the artichoke plantings at North Coast’s partner, Fortunate Farm, in Caspar" (source).
  • Lagunitas Lagunator, $4.79/22oz - "It’s a dry-hopped California Common with a massive malt character, rounded out by a bitter balance from some experimental hops from the Yakima Valley" (source).
  • Oddside The Implication, $4.49/12oz - "Citra Triple IPA" (source).
  • Southern Tier Choklat Oranj, $4.99/12oz - "Choklat Oranj is the fifth beer currently in our highly regarded Blackwater series. Warlock, Creme Brulee, Mokah and Choklat have RateBeer scores of 97, 98, 99 and 100, respectively. Choklat Oranj is a stout brewed with chocolate and orange peels, opaque black in color, 10.0% abv, and a delicious dessert beer. Perfect alone, or enjoyed as a float. Scoop organic vanilla bean ice cream into a snifter or pint glass and top with Choklat Oranj. It’s impossible to be disappointed" (source).
  • Greenbush Broken Promise, $2.19/12oz - "In the land of hop contracts, you can't always get what you want.  Lucky for us, when brewing our Wheat IPA we found Zythos hops, which lend a serious citrus burst to this fine brew" (source).
  • Arbor Bavarian Bliss, $1.89/12oz - "U.S. Open Beer Champion – named “Best Hefeweizen in America” by the Craft Beer News Service.  Classic aromas of banana, clove and floral citrus blossom. Fruity, spicy aromas show a rich yeasty character that follows through on a smooth, medium-bodied palate with a delicately spicy finish" (source).
  • Dark Horse Kamikaze Kaleidoscope, $1.79/12oz - "Kamikaze Kaleidoscope appears hazy straw in color with a bright white head thanks to the healthy amount of wheat in this friendly summer Wit, making it very approachable. Sweet wheat and citrus aromas come to the scene next with a slight hint of Wit yeast that makes this such a unique and drinkable beer. Subtle flavors of Orange and Lemon lace in nicely with a big wheat mouthfeel and a slight tartness thanks to the Wit yeast used in this beer. Finishing dry and clean, this beer will definitely be on your list of summer beers to crush from now on" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Mr. Blue Sky, $2.19/16oz - "American wheat ale that is crisp and refreshing, light in appearance with a slight haze" (source).
  • Saugatuck Mandarina IPA, $1.89/12oz - "An Imperial IPA with a great malty backbone and a huge hop flavor.  Bright copper color and a medium to heavy mouth feel pair with a nice thick head.  Hop aromas of sweet fruit with a tropical citrusy twist to it" (source).
  • Stone Enjoy By 7/4, $2.99/12oz, $8.99/22oz - "Our all-important, hop-driven quest to deliver the most devastatingly fresh IPA on the planet facilitated a paradigm shift in 2012 with the launch of Stone Enjoy By IPA. Not only did we brew this beer with more than 10 different hops, we brewed it specifically NOT to last. Acclaimed for its groundbreakingly short shelf life, this intense double IPA brought forth a whole new conceptof what constitutes “fresh” — guaranteeing fans the ultimate level of hoppiness. This defiantly independent batch you have in your hands is no different. It, like its predecessors before, is a celebration and declaration of the fresh beer revolution" (source).
  • Stone Mocha IPA, $2.99/12oz - "Clearly, style lines have been crossed. Is it half-IPA, half-stout? Not quite. It’s definitely all IPA, but it’s also the best of both styles, making this love child of a beer simply just a beautiful, pleasure-seeking meld of imperial IPA and mocha indulgence. How did we come up with this inexplicably delicious creation? Well, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it exists and that it’s here for you now, thanks to our deliberate disregard for brewing norms. Some things are not meant to be known, just enjoyed...thoroughly" (source).
  • Stone Ghost Hammer, $2.99/12oz - "A fermenting beer never slumbers. Consequently, there is always scattered activity tending our precious beers throughout the dark hours. In these late nights and wee hours that hallowed responsibility falls to the shoulders of the overnight Brew Crew. These brewing soloists brave the long nights, often alone, to do what needs to be done. Most areas of the brewery are dark or in shadows. Throughout the night the cellars resonate with the occasional knocking of expanding and contracting pipes. It can be a bit spooky to hear the brewery creak and groan as if possessed by a spirit randomly knocking about with a mallet. This IPA, liberally hopped with Loral, honors our intrepid overnight team by naming it after their mischievous poltergeist companion – the Ghost Hammer" (source).
  • Uinta Ready, Set, Gose, $1.59/12oz - "This tart and salty ale smells of fresh lemon rind and coastal sea breeze. Wheat malts give this beer flavors of freshly baked bread and coriander" (source).
  • Uinta West Coast IPA, $1.59/12oz - "Our bold and citrusy West Coast-style India Pale Ale—brewed using four different hop varieties—features pronounced aromas of pineapple, mango and pine" (source).
  • Unibroue Elderberry Ephemere, $2.09/12oz - "Belgian Style Fruit Flavored Wheat Ale. Bottle refermented ale" (source).
  • Evil Twin Low Life, $2.59/16oz - "A clever woman once said; ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’. On that note we threw in a young, unacknowledged hoppy pilsner gave it a limp, wrinkly flavor and finished it off with an insulting high price that will give you a foul feeling in your mouth. That’s why we name Evil Twin Brewing’s Low Life the Golddigger of Beers" (source).
  • Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break, $3.39/16oz - "The Roman Empire had a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ - festive food culture, extravagant architecture and spectacular live entertainment. Some might argue the Emperors were brutal, mad and hungry for power, and the people vain when taking baths and working out all day. Listen - that’s still all part of the secret Imperial ingredient - keep it cool, clean, confident, arrogant and flamboyant" (source).
  • Omnipollo Shploing, $4.19/12oz - "INDIA PALE ALE Brewed with marshmallows, graham crackers, salt and lactose sugar with mango and vanilla added" (source).
  • Prairie Paradise, $8.99/12oz - "Coconut Vanilla Stout. It’s about to get really hot outside. How about a cold glass of refreshing Imperial Stout" (source).
  • Stillwater Cellar Door, $2.29/12oz - "Brewed with white sage" (source).
  • Stillwater Big Bunny, $2.09/12oz - "Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout" (source).
  • Way Beer Jabuti Gose, $6.9/12oz - "Beer Jabutigose is a beer that stands out for the use of Sea Salt from the region of Mossoró, in addition to Jabuticaba, a Brazilian fruit. It is a sour" (source).
  • Maui Bikini Blonde, $2.09/12oz - "A clean, crisp & refreshing Helles, perfect any time" (source).
  • Maui Big Swell, $2.89/12oz - "Tropical citrus hops burst from this dry-hopped India Pale Ale" (source).
  • Maui Coconut Hiwa, $2.89/12oz - "A robust dark ale with hand-toasted coconut & hints of mocha" (source).
  • Maui Double Overhead, $2.89/12oz - "Double Overhead IPA is a fresh handcrafted double IPA featuring copious amounts of hops. Laden with hops from begining to end and not overly bitter, it’s hop aromas and flavours give hints of Guava, Passion Fruit, and orange spice which blend well with the silky malt flavours. "Big braddah to the Big Swell IPA" (source).

Video of the Week | North Coast

The story of North Coast Brewing Company


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June Brew of the Month: Sofrunky Wow Pear Gose

Original label by Jaime Miller
By Hayden Shelley

We’re a few weeks from the start of summer now and it finally feels as if the warm weather might be here to stay. Around this time of the year I find myself filled with a sudden urge for two styles of beer: fruit beers and Gose (Goses?).  Therefore, for my brew of the month I wanted to combine the two. I brainstormed about which fruit would combine best with the crisp refreshing flavor of a Gose when, finally, my mind came to pears, and I got to work on my recipe.

For this beer, I chose a classic grain bill of 60% wheat malt accompanied by 40% pilsner malt. I mashed in for a 60-minute rest at 148°F to finish with a highly fermentable wort. To achieve the sourness I felt appropriate, I added two pounds of sour malt after the initial mash was complete and followed with a second rest for 45 minutes. Once complete I sparged as usually and proceeded with a 90-minute boil. Tettnang hops were added at 60 minutes for bittering. The only other additions came from coriander seed and pink Himalayan sea salt added with 10 minutes left in the boil.  For a clean yeast character I chose to pitch Wyeast 1007 German Ale. After two weeks in the primary I racked the beer onto five pounds of Bartlett pears where it sat for one more week prior to kegging.

With this being my first experience using pears I was eager to tap the beer. To the eye it has a light-yellow color with the familiar haze and creamy white head often seen in wheat beers.  The flavor shows a subtle pear sweetness combined with citrus character from the coriander and a salty minerality from the pink Himalayan sea salt. The beer finishes tart, dry and highly refreshing.

Overall I am pleasantly surprised with the way this turned out.  It is a Frankenstein creation of two of my favorite styles of beers and I feel as if it can please even the pickiest of beer drinkers. Oh, and for the name, let’s just leave it at AutoCorrect’s attempt at translating a drunk text message. Vital Statistics OG: 1.048 FG: 1.009 IBUs: 11.3 SRM: 3.6 ABV: 5.1%

All Grain Brewing ($28.31*)

    • 5.75 lbs. Briess White Wheat Malt
    • 3.75 lbs. Avangard Pilsner Malt
    • 2 lbs. Acidulated Malt
    • 1.4 oz. German Tettnang Hops (60 mins)
    • 1 oz. Coriander Seed (10 mins)
    • 0.75 oz. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt* (10 mins)
    • Wyeast 1007 German Ale
    • 5 lbs. Bartlett Pears*

Extract Brewing ($34.24*)

    • 4 lbs. Wheat Liquid Malt
    • 2.9 lbs. Light Liquid Malt
    • 2 lbs. Acidulated Malt
    • 1.4 oz. German Tettnang Hops (60 mins)
    • 1 oz. Coriander Seed (10 mins)
    • 0.75 oz. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt* (10 mins)
    • Wyeast 1007 German Ale
    • 5 lbs. Bartlett Pears*

*Cost of pink Himalayan sea salt and Bartlett pears not reflected in this price.

Friday, June 2, 2017

New Beer Friday, Founders Beer & Cigar Event (June 2)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

I am excited to announce that on Wednesday, June 28, Siciliano's Market is teaming up with Founders Brewing Company for a beer and cigar event on the patio of the brewery's Centennial Room at 235 Grandville SW in Grand Rapids.

For the admission price of $60.00, attendees will receive three pints of Founders beer, two Perdomo cigars and a selection of light snacks prepared by the Centennial Room catering team. Two of the beers that will be served at the event have been chosen by the Founders education staff to pair with two different blends in the Perdomo Special Craft Series, a premium line of cigars that Tabacalera Perdomo recently created to complement the aromas and flavors found in various styles of craft beer.

Representatives from both Perdomo and Founders will be on hand to discuss how smokes and suds complement and enhance one another. The event will begin at 6:00 pm. Go here to purchase tickets and for additional information.

New and Returning Beer

  • Goose Island Summertime, $1.79/12oz - "With a light fruity aroma and a bright, crisp finish, Goose Island Summertime Kölsch is the perfect summer session ale.  A Kölsch beer brewed in the traditional German fashion, you’ll find yourself enjoying and savoring each sip of Summertime as much as you do those hot summer days and cool summer nights" (source).
  • Perrin Black Goat, $11.49/22oz - "This beer is aged in Woodford Bourbon Barrels, some of the most sought after bourbon barrels in the craft brew industry. We took the recipe for our Black Lager and doubled the ingredients. Forty days after the magic happened, the goat was birthed. Black Goat is a Double Black Lager, sure to please the harshest of critics" (source).
  • Arbor Brewing Mackinac Island Fudge, $2.89/12oz - "Each small batch is brewed with 5 different malts , real fudge, milk sugar, and a light dose of hops for a deliciously rich and complex chocolate flavor that’s not too sweet or too heavy" (source).
  • Vivant Tropical Saison, $3.49/16oz - "Live the good life. Pair great beer with great food and enjoy it with friends and family. Tropical Saison is a summertime reverie, bringing together the best our Midwest sunshine has to offer. A slightly spicy character, light effervescence, and the addition of real pineapple & mango juice make this beer perfect for a Michigan summer. The hop presence lends a complexity to this brew. Live the Bon Vivant" (source).
  • Wolverine Barista, $1.99/12oz - "A collobration brew with Ann Arbor’s RoosRoast featuring locally roasted Colombian coffee. Wolverine Brewer Karl Hinburn, once in the coffee roasting business himself, spearheaded the coffee side of this beer, finally selecting a Colombian Excelso bean roasted at Roos. Part beer, part coffee, what’s not to love" (source).

Video of the Week | Oberon Beermosa

A new recipe for Sunday brunch.