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Friday, June 29, 2018

New Beer Friday, Country Watering Hole Edition (June 29)

Steve outside Delaney's in Fountain, MI
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Now that I’m semi-retired my wife Barb and I have been spending a lot of time at our cottage in Lake County and that means we’re in close proximity to a lot of rural bars. I’ve always had an affinity for these country watering holes. Maybe it’s the décor — the ubiquitous knotty pine walls, the worn floors, the taxidermies of huge fish and trophy deer, the ancient wooden cooler doors that make that satisfying latching sound when the bartender slams them shut after grabbing your beer.

Barb and I will usually order a bottle of mass produced lager when we visit these joints although in summer we’ll sometimes opt for a refreshing G & T if I happen to spot a decent gin on the back bar. That’s not to say that we can’t get a pint of craft suds in these out of the way places if we so desire. Even the remotest saloons now usually have at least one draught offering of craft. Oberon seems to be everywhere, Two Hearted is on tap at Jackie’s Place in Irons while The Hoff in Freesoil always has something from Starving Artist, a solid nano brewery on the outskirts of Scottsville.

The best place to sit in these country saloons is the bar because you can shoot the breeze with the typically laid back and friendly bartenders. You can ask them about the history of the region and you might learn that the town once had a lumber mill or was a stop on the Pierre Marquette Railroad. Sometimes they’re even willing to tell you about their secret fishing spots. When that happens it is appropriate to leave a sizable tip.

New and Returning Beer

  • Arbor Brewing Tilted Earth (Summer), $2.19/12oz - "Tilted Earth is our Rotating IPA Series, an ode to the changing seasons with an IPA that changes every three months. New season, new beer! Our Summer 2018 release is a Session Wheat IPA, an ideal hop-laden pairing to a Michigan summer. Brewed with wheat and loads of citrusy Amarillo and Citra hops, it’s crushable and packed with hoppy goodness to quench your thirst all summer long" (source).
  • Big Lake Michi-Gander, $2.79/16oz - "Michigander is a Session IPA brewed with Mosaic Hops. Fruit & floral characteristics come from the Mosaic Hops, making for a delicious lighter IPA" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Tart Side of the Barrel, $7.19/16oz - "After being tucked away in Bourbon and Rye Whiskey barrels, Tart Side of the Moon re-emerges from sleep to become Tart Side of Barrel. All the big flavors of the original beer plus a sleek and luscious barrel aged component" (source).
  • Central State Phase Shift, $.79/16oz - "Dripping with juicy hop flavors, this tart pale ale is loaded with Mandarina Bavaria, Citra, & Eukanot Cryo hops. This beer is the perfect convergence of two things we love - sour beers & an aggressive use of dry hops" (source).
  • Central State Unigov, $4.09/16oz - "A hybrid of several beer styles, this farmhouse IPA is loaded down with oats, Belgian malts, and Indiana Pilsner malt. Excessively hopped with a cocktail of Simcoe, Sorachi Ace, Citra, and Amarillo, and finally fermented with our house wild yeast cultures" (source).
  • Cigar City White Oak Jai Alia, $2.59/12oz - "A truly unique India Pale Ale, this iteration of our Jai Alai IPA boasts the addition of white oak spirals to impart sleek notes of vanilla, coconut and a touch of dill to Jai Alai’s bold citrus and caramel character.  The oak also serves to temper the bitterness in the 70 IBU base beer while oak tannins elegantly dry the beer’s body to create a unique drinking experience that still remains true to Jai Alai’s unique qualities" (source).
  • Watermark Slippery Bob, $4.69/16oz - "Tropical with a kiss of Pineapple" (source).
  • Founders Barrel Runner, $3.99/12oz - "Inspiration for our barrel-aged beers can come from the most unexpected places and our latest release is proof of that. Sweet and hoppy, rich and bright – this rum barrel-aged imperial IPA brewed with Mosaic hops will make you believe you’re in the tropics" (source).
  • Mountain Town Machine Shop Great Lakes Wit, $2.79/16oz - No commercial description.
  • Mountain Town Machine Shop Imperial Stout, $3.19/16oz - No commercial description.
  • NIP Batch 24, $2.89/12oz - "Gose's are perfect for summer, quenching, tart, and drinkable. There is just one problem, its really hard to drink brews that light and get the desired drunken results. Well friends, worry no longer! This big imperial version of the gose will tick all those boxes! Slightly tart, a little salty, really drinkable, and just a hint of sweetness, this beer will give you a big kiss and trip you while you're not looking. Get out on the river, hike a bit, enjoy the weather and throw back some of these beasts, cause even if you don't remember it you won't regret it. And don't forget to drink promiscuously" (source).
  • NIP Batch 25, $2.89/12oz - "Kia ora, kiwi hops and kiwi fruit assssemmmbllleee! And before you think it, yeah yeah its a fruited IPA, but this guy has some fun tricks up its sleeve. The unique tropical flavors of that little brown and green fruit combine lovingly with the equally tropical flavors of exotic and aromatic hops. Orange, mango, kiwi (duh) all harmonize on top of medium bodied and dangerously high alcohol backbone. So give your mouth a vacation to the land of the long white cloud, middle earth, or whatever you want to call that delicious southern hemisphere island. Drink promiscuously friends, cheers mate" (source).
  • NIP Red While and Blue Collar, $2.39/16oz - No commercial description.
  • Odd Side Laughing Clown, $2.39/12oz - "This is our take on your classic brown bag malt liquor" (source).
  • Odd Side Fruitsicle (Multiple Flavors), $2.89/12oz - "Juicy, fruity, slightly tart ale with lactose, blackberry and blueberries added" (source).
  • Odd Side Wheatermelon, $2.39/12oz - "The perfect summer treat. A wheat ale brewed with tons of fresh cut watermelon" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill No Diggnity, $2.29/12oz - See video below.
  • Prairie Birthday Bomb!, $10.39/12oz - "Birthday Bomb! was conceived to celebrate three wonderful years of experimentation and fun loving flavors like the current incarnation with caramel sauce. Made in house by our brewers with nothing but black gloves and a propane tank. The rest is the complex mix of hops and malt with a healthy dose of the signature coffee and spices" (source).
  • Prairie Vape Tricks, $3.29/12oz - "Sour ale aged on cherries. Pours a ruby body with a spare white head. Aroma of cherry, hibiscus, straw, and herbs. Flavor of cherry, dough, marzipan, earth, and citrus with a moderately dry finish" (source).
  • Prairie Blueberry Boyfriend, $3.29/12oz - "Blueberry Boyfriend is a 5.4 percent ABV sour ale brewed with blueberries and lemon zest. The Tulsa, Okla.-based brewery released the ale as a draft-only option late last year, but this is the first time it has been packaged" (source).
  • Revolution Freedom of Speach, $1.99/12oz - "Freedom of Speach is naturally soured in the brew kettle and fermented out dry with a lower alcohol level. Our easy-drinking session sour demonstrates a clean tartness, balanced out by an assembly of ripe peach flavor. Exercise your right to refreshment" (source).
  • Revolution Tropic Hero, $2.39/12oz - "Tropic Hero is an American IPA brewed with 2-row and Pale malts to establish a smooth malt profile and golden color.  We used Apollo, Warrior, Crystal, Cascade and Amarillo hops in the brewhouse to achieve an intense but clean bitterness and aromas and flavors of fresh flowers and citrus juice" (source).
  • Shiner Ruby Redbird, $1.79/12oz - "Shiner Ruby Redbird is brewed with genuine Texas Rio Red Grapefruit, and ginger" (source).
  • Southern Tier Cherry Cordial, $3.99/12oz - "Big, juicy cherries covered in rich chocolate? Yes! Not overly sweet, with just enough contrast between the fruit and chocolate, Cherry Cordial is every bit as tempting as it sounds" (source).
  • Tallgrass Key Lime, $1.89/12oz - "First released in summer 2016 as an experimental draft-only release that was met with raving enthusiasm from fans, Key Lime Pie returns to the Tallgrass lineup as a summer seasonal in 6-packs of 12 oz cans. An American sour blonde ale brewed with lime peel, Key Lime Pie is true to its namesake, recalling the sweet, tart and refreshing dessert in beer form" (source).
  • Tapistry Heart Full of Napalm, $3.59/16oz - "Double IPA brewed with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops" (source).
  • Watermark Kwan-Tsu, $4.29/16oz - "Belgian Style White Ale w/ Passionfruit" (source).
  • Yazoo Preservation Ale, $6.49/12oz - "Inspired by the Biere de Garde styles of Northern France – in 2016 we brewed a fresh hop ale with local hops grown at Sulpher Creek Farm and aged it with funky Brett yeasts and a locally sourced souring Lacto strain. It laid in wait until Spring, ready to cheer on the new hop vines" (source).
  • Yazoo Summer Gose, $2.39/12oz - "A light bodied ale made with enough wheat to provide a slight citrus flavor that is complimented well with fresh ground coriander and sea salt. We may have created the best Summer beer possible" (source).

Video of the Week | Pigeon Hill

No diggnity. No doubt.


Friday, June 22, 2018

New Beer Friday, Gourmet Mushroom Edition (June 22)

Mushroom Fettucine
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Every Friday my wife and I make a forty-minute drive from our cottage near Irons to the Mason County community of Scottville, Michigan. Now, chances are good that if you have been to this nice but nondescript burg on U.S. 10 you passed through it on your way to Ludington, the pleasant little city on the shores of Lake Michigan ten miles to the west.

On the other hand, you might have never set foot nor tire in Scottsville but have heard of it because you have seen the famous Scottsville Clown Band perform at a small-town parade or a county fair. In other words, it’s not exactly a destination and you might be wondering why Barb and I make these weekly trips. Well, we go there for the mushrooms.

Scottsville is the home of Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc., a company that produces thousands of pounds of gourmet mushrooms a week. The majority are shipped to restaurants and grocers around the country but every Friday from 12:30 to 3:00, the plant opens its doors to cash-paying customers who can purchase the fresh mushrooms in prepackaged three and fifteen pound bags.

I’m not sure how Barb heard about the weekly sale but I’m glad she did. The mushrooms have wonderful earthy flavors and are flat out the best fungi we’ve ever had. We always pick up three varieties and we enjoy them with meals all week. We usually sauté them in butter and sprinkle on some garlic salt but last week I sautéed them in olive oil and fresh garlic and tossed them over fettucine. A simple but tasty dish. Go here for varieties and more information.

New and Returning Beer

  • Abita Watermelon Lemon Shandy, $1.89/12oz - "Inspired by the taste and aromas of summertime, this crisp, golden lager is brewed with pilsner and wheat malts and blended with refreshing watermelon and zesty lemon juices for a sweet, freshly squeezed flavor. All of our Harvest Series brews are made with the finest Louisiana-grown ingredients, keeping us Louisiana True" (source).
  • Arvon Bush Wookie, $9.39/22oz - "A  piney, resinous, West Coast style IPA with slight citrus notes that is well hopped in accordance with the style. Light bodied and hop-forward, Bush Wookie finishes dry. Best enjoyed fresh" (source).
  • Arvon Fort Gratiot, $9.99/22oz - "Arvon Brewing Co.’s Lighthouse Series of New England style IPAs are each distinctly hopped with a single varietal, displaying the unique character of the hops as a shining beacon. The explosive hop flavor and aroma of Falconer's Flight featured in Fort Gratiot is best experienced when this beer is enjoyed fresh – drink now" (source).
  • Arvon Sand Point, $9.99/22oz - "Arvon Brewing Co.’s Lighthouse Series of New England style IPAs are each distinctly hopped with a single varietal, displaying the unique character of the hops as a shining beacon. The explosive hop flavor and aroma of Nelson Sauvin featured in Sand Point is best experienced when this beer is enjoyed fresh – drink now" (source).
  • Avery Bug Zapper, $2.39/12oz - "Bug Zapper is a limited release Sour Ale to help scratch your summer itch. A lively mix of mint, ginger, and lime are both cooling and invigorating, and we sour-dose after fermentation to impart the finishing electric zap" (source).
  • Boulevard Ginger Lemon Shandy, $1.89/12oz - "Ginger Lemon Radler is a zesty, refreshing take on the tradition of mixing beer with soda or lemonade to create a light, thirst-quenching beverage ideal for warm weather. Radler (literally “cyclist,”) takes its name from active German sportsmen of a hundred years ago, but our version tastes just as good even if you do nothing more strenuous than lifting it to your lips" (source).
  • Deschutes The Ages, $16.29/500ml - "A tasty new tart offering in our Reserve Series lineup. Flavors hit the back of the throat first and end with a tingle on the taste buds. Limited, small batch release" (source).
  • Deschutes Passion Fruit IPA, $2.19/12oz - "Just in time for Valentine’s Day we bring you an IPA brewed with love, heart and PASSION…fruit.  Juicy citrus aroma and flavor highlighted by tropical hop character and background caramel malt notes" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Liquid Truth Serum, $3.29/16oz - "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 ... honest" (source).
  • Goose Island Grumpy Old Man, $1.99/12oz - "Simple pale ale brewed with two-row and caramel malt. Kettle hops are Cascade and Chinook" (source).
  • Goose Island Midway IPA, $1.99/12oz - "Paying tribute to Chicago, Midway IPA is sessionable and refreshing, or as Goose Island likes to refer to it -- easy drinking. With lower ABV, balanced IBU's, and a tropical fruit aroma, make Midway your new go-to" (source).
  • North Channel Manistee IPA, $2.09/12oz - "2-row malt forms the backbone of this beer along with some rye malt. Michigan Copper hops were added during the boil and Citra was used to dry hop making it a balanced, yet hop-forward IPA" (source).
  • Odd Side Fruitsicle Cherry, $2.89/12oz - "Juicy, fruity, slightly tart ale brewed with lactose and cherries added" (source).
  • Odd Side Fruitsicle Pineapple & Tangerine, $2.89/12oz - "Fruit Beer" (source).
  • Short's Freedom of 78, $2.59/12oz - "Freedom of ’78 is a medium-bodied IPA brewed with guava. This IPA is bright and clear with a pleasing bronze hue. The beers aroma is a unique fusion of citrus fruit and subtle pine. The distinct characteristics of the guava nectar are impossible to miss with flavors of tangerine, nectarine, and even faint honey detectable. The finish is bitter and dry" (source).
  • Weyerbacher Last Chance, $2.39/12oz - "Last Chance IPA, 5.9% ABV, is a full-flavored IPA with pleasant citrus flavors of tangerine and grapefruit. We’ve tweaked the recipe a bit and the result is a well-balanced, very refreshing beer that we’re sure you’ll enjoy! In addition to the new blend of Cascade, Centennial, Citra & Mosaic hops, we’ve also dry-hopped this brew with Citra and Mosaic" (source).
  • Bell's Q Falls, $2.09/12oz - "Larry Bell, president and founder of Bell’s Brewery, dreamt that he was at the mystically hidden retreat of Quinannan Falls, somewhere in the boreal north. Neither Quinannan Falls nor the beer actually existed outside his imagination, but he remembered enough about it to sketch a recipe and label, which was put into full form by Michigan artist Kathleen Kalinowski, the following morning. The end result is 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).
  • Creston Bloody Fifth, $3.89/16oz - "Red Ale dry-hopped with Michigan Summit hops" (source).
  • Creston Bokonon, $3.89/16.7oz - "New England IPA with Mosaic, Citra, and Simcoe hops" (source).
  • Decadent Ales Wildberry Smoothie, $6.29/16oz  - "Our Tropical Smoothie IPA featuring raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and vanilla bean" (source).
  • Evil Twin Big Ass Money Stout, $9.99/16oz - "This is Big Ass Money Stout and it is a collaboration with Lervig. This imperial stout will roll in at 17.4%-AbV and it will be brewed at Westbrook Brewing in Mount Pleasant, SC" (source).
  • Evil Twin Even More Pecan Jesus, $4.59/16oz - "This is Even More Pecan Pie Jesus and it is a limited release imperial stout brewed with molasses and pecan extract" (source).
  • Evil Twin Modern IPA, $2.19/12oz - "This is a tasty tribute to a beloved and iconic beer style - the India Pale Ale. The style goes 200 years back - has been through every spectrum of the flavor palette and had it’s ups and downs on the IBU scale. This time around we re-created a contemporary style IPA - basically the taste of the perfect IPA right now. Understated hop flavors, fruity and crisp. The future is now" (source).
  • Evil Twin Molotov Surprise #4 (Pink Guava), $3.29/12oz - "Triple IPA" (source).
  • Evil Twin Race Day IPA, $4.99/16oz  - "A sour IPA brewed with aloe salt and pineapple" (source).
  • Evil Twin Whereof One Cannot..., $4.99/16oz - "A double dry-hopped IPA" (source).
  • Fat Orange Cat Vito the Beer Whale, $5.49/16oz - "The hop combination of Azacca and Simcoe creates a unique and intense mix of tropical fruit flavors up front with a creamy mellow finish" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Bonnie Raggedy Ass, $3.59/16oz - "2010 world beer cup silver medal - brewed and dry hopped with American, Centennial, Columbus, Cascade and Bravo" (source).
  • Hoppin' Frog B.O.R.I.S. Crusher, $8.79/12oz - "BORIS stands for Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout and it will crush you like no other stout! BORIS The Crusher will crush your taste buds under its intense flavor and full body" (source).
  • Hoppin' Frog Baltic Pirate Porter, $7.69/12oz - "Immensely smooth, yet complex and substantial. Made with our Baltic brewing friend Wojtek, a master of the style from Brewery Widawa in Poland. Pirating this awesome recipe from Baltic history, we created this crazy collaboration by getting all the traditional malts, lager yeast, and even fresh hops from his source in Poland! Then for distinct hop character, we increased the kettle aroma hops by 3X. Plus, to make it world-class. we added a touch of dried plum which is often part of the flavor profile of the best Baltic Porters" (source).
  • Hoppin' Frog Grapefruit Shandy, $4.49/12oz - "Born from European traditions, a fresh grapefruit character nicely compliments the light malt flavor of this Grapefruit Turbo Shandy" (source).
  • Hoppin' Frog Infusion A, $4.49/12oz - "Infusion A starts with the base of our Silk Porter and adds to its deliciousness with tasty swirls of chocolate and peanut butter flavor" (source).
  • Hoppin' Frog Lemon Lime Shandy, $4.49/12oz - "Its crisp and inviting lime character adds a tasty pizzazz to the refreshing lemon and light malt flavors of our Turbo Shandy" (source).
  • Motor City Brewing Ghetto Blaster Mild, $1.19/12oz - Motor City Ghettoblaster is a classic English Style Mild Ale, tawny in color with a clean biscuit flavor. Ghettoblaster is also the “Beer You Can Hear” an on-going documentation of the Detroit music scene" (source).
  • Shacksbury Arlo, $3.29/12oz  - "Aromatic, grapefruit, lightly sparkling, and dry" (source).
  • Shacksbury Rose, $2.79/12oz - "Meet Rosé, crafted in partnership with our friends at Sunday In Brooklyn. Rosé features 100% local fresh pressed apples from @sunrise_orchards in Cornwall, Vermont. Post fermentation, we let the cider age on local Marquette grape skins — collected from winemaker friends here in Vermont — to impart flavor, color, and tannin. The result is a fun-loving but refined cider that is as delicious as it is beautiful" (source).
  • Stillwater Action Bronson 7000, $4.39/16oz - "Dry hopped sour ale with muscat grapes" (source).
  • Stillwater Mainstream Pop, $5.49/16oz - "Mainstream Pop Song is a double IPA brewed with Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic hops" (source).

Video of the Week | North Channel Brewing

Siciliano's welcomes North Channel Brewing to the market.


Friday, June 8, 2018

New Beer Friday, Country Roads Edition (June 8)

First fish on the fly
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Now that we’re semi-retired, my wife Barb and I have been spending a lot of time at our cottage, which means we’ve been spending a fair amount of time driving around on country roads. We take those roads to get to our fishing spots and we travel down them on our occasional trips to the stores, restaurants, bars and fly-fishing shops in the rural areas of Lake and Mason counties. Since there’s never much traffic on those roads, I see more vehicles on my five-minute drive to Siciliano’s than I do during a week’s worth of driving up north, and I’m better able to focus on the lovely country scenery. That’s not to say that you can completely zone out. You have to keep an eye out for the ubiquitous deer and for the flocks of oblivious turkeys.

While many of those roads are paved there’s still a good number that are not. I prefer unpaved roads despite the fact they're dusty when dry, muddy when wet and have the tendency to get terribly washboarded. There have been times I was driving down a gravel road at a pretty good clip when I hit a stretch of ripples that rattled the truck so hard that I feared the fillings were being dislodged from my teeth. But the scenery always seems to be better on those roads — the dilapidated barns, the pine-stump fences, the meadows of wildflowers, the rickety wooden bridges over the occasional creek.

Perhaps another reason I like gravel roads is that they usually lead you to the best fishing spots and lately we’ve been doing a fair amount of angling. Barb has been learning the intricacies of fly fishing and last week she caught her first brown while wading in the Little Manistee. She was lamenting the fact that the trout was a tad small until I relayed to her what the late Pete Hamlin said to Harry Winston and I one night at the Bear Creek Inn. “If you can catch a trout on a fly in the Little Manistee,” he told us, “you can catch a trout on a fly anywhere.”

New and Returning Beer

  • Boulevard Jam Band Berry Ale, $1.89/12oz - "Accompanying a simple malt base, blueberry, raspberry and tart cherry play in perfect harmony to create a slightly tart ale that sings with ripe, bursting fruit flavor. Aromas of dark berries, citrus and melon open the show, bridging to zippy fruit flavors that meld into an easy-drinking summer beer worthy of an encore" (source).
  • Central State/Transient Haizon, $4.39/16oz - "Combination of a hazy dry-hopped beer and light, refreshing farmhouse ale. Malt bill of Indiana-malted Rye, Pilsner, and Wheat with Citra and Loral cryo hops" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Festina Peche, $2.79/12oz - "In addition to fermentation with an ale yeast, Berliner Weisse is traditionally fermented with lactic cultures to produce its acidic (or green apple-like) character. Served as an apertif or summertime quencher, Festina is delicately hopped and has a pale straw color. To soften the intense sourness, Berliner Weisse is traditionally served with a dash of essence of woodruff or raspberry syrup" (source).
  • Eel River Emerald IPA, $2.59/12oz - "A bold, West Coast-style IPA bursting with pine and citrus notes supported by a solid malt backbone. Hopped and dry-hopped with Magnum, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Simcoe varieties" (source).
  • Eel River Organic Acia, $2.39/12oz - "A Certified Organic, delicate crystal wheat beer with a light, thirst-quenching body, balanced by the equally refreshing aroma of organic acai, pomegranate, and other mixed berries " (source).
  • Eel River Organic Blond, $2.39/12oz - "Our lightest beer . A great organic beer. With an exceptionally crisp palate, this ale balances the light malt palate with a subtle bitterness. This ale is an ideal beer for those unaccustomed to micro-brewed beers. Made with pale, wheat, carastan and carapils malts. Hopped with Cascade, Saaz and Tettnang hops. Made with pride and great taste from the worlds first certified organic brewery" (source).
  • Eel River Organic Tropical Sparkling Ale, $2.39/12oz - "An Organic Sparkling Ale, light in color, and effervescent in body with a clean finish. It lends itself perfectly to the tropical flavors of the Organic Passionfruit and Kiwi that are used to bring summer into the glass. The Organic Tropical Sparkling Ale is the perfect companion for any outdoor activity" (source).
  • Ellison You Can Get With That Juice, $3.29/16oz - "Are you ready for some hazy, NE Coast love? A double dry hop gives this IIPA an aroma that is packed citrus and fruit. It's sweet to start, with a succulent mouth feel that finishes smooth and dry" (source).
  • Marz Jungle Boogie, $4.69/12oz - "Jungle Boogie is an American Wheat beer with just enough complex malt character to balance the juicy Mosaic hops and rooibos tea flavors. Canned version brewed at Against the Grain" (source).
  • Odd Side El Dankerino, $2.79/12oz - "West Coast IIPA" (source).
  • Perrin Passion Fruit Gose, $2.09/12oz - "Passion Fruit Gose combines the tropical taste of ripe passion fruit with the distinct flavor of pink Hawaiian sea salt to balance the taste buds in a crisp, refreshing beer for summer thirst" (source).
  • Roak Ice Cream Man, $3.39/16oz - "Sour ale with aromas of orange and vanilla leading into a slightly sweet tartness that is balanced and refreshing. Brewed with orange zest, vanilla, lactose" (source).
  • Roak Zenyatta, $3.09/16oz - "This session IPA is hazy in appearance and brewed with lactose for added body and a pillowy mouthfeel. Dry hopped with Amarillo, Calypso, El Dorado, and Denali hops. Zenyatta has notes of citrus and tropical fruit that lead to a clean finish" (source).
  • Short's Power of Love, $2.19/12oz - "Power of Love is a truly unique pink-colored shandy created by blending local lemonade and a Wheat Ale brewed with raspberry and rosemary. Enticing sugary aromas intermix with appealing citrus and herb fragrances. Very sweet lemon flavors give way to a shock of tart raspberry before turning sharply dry, as if eating a piece of grapefruit" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Sidecar IPA, $1.79/12oz - "We pushed the complex and citrus-heavy flavors of hops to a new level with this orange-infused IPA. Combining bright and bold hops with real orange in the fermenter creates layers of citrus-crazy flavors, yet it maintains a balance and a crisp hop bite that make it the perfect aromatic IPA" (source).
  • Stone Enjoy By 7-4, $3.19/12oz - "For this version of Stone Enjoy By IPA we thought: “We don’t always have a filter, so why should our beer?” By skipping a step and letting this devastatingly fresh, golden-hued double IPA go un filtered, the beer takes on a hazy appearance and its peach and tropical fruit hop aroma are intensified. So though it may sound like it, this missed step was no misstep" (source).
  • White Flame Hardball IPA, $2.99/12oz - A 12.5% IPA from "Hudsonville's oldest brewery" (source).

Video of the Week | Enjoy By 7-4-18

Available at Siciliano's while supplies last.


Friday, June 1, 2018

New Beer Friday, The Sixth of June Edition (June 1)

Fiction by Steve Siciliano

The clerk was sweeping cigarette butts up on the sidewalk in front of C’s when he spotted Joe Nelson across the street waiting for the traffic signal to turn. After dumping the butts into a metal trash container chained to a lamp post the clerk bought a newspaper from a kiosk chained to a stop sign. When he was back in the store he lit a Marlboro then sat down with the newspaper and didn’t look up when Joe Nelson leaned heavily against the sales counter. “Starting a little early today aren’t you, sport,” the clerk said.

The old man looked at the stubble on the young man’s chin, at his wisp of a mustache, at the stringy blond hair poking out from beneath the turned around baseball cap, at the dangling earrings and the thick, braided necklace. “Anything in the paper about the invasion,” Joe Nelson asked.

“What invasion?”

“You know what date today is?”

“It’s Wednesday,” the clerk said.

“I said do you know what date it is.”

The clerk gave Joe Nelson a disgusted look then glanced at the date at the top of the sports page. “June 6,” he said. “What of it?”

“Nothing,” Joe Nelson said. He took six crumpled one dollar bills and a handful of change out of his pants pocket and laid them on the counter. “Give me a fifth of Old Crow,” he said.

“Since when do you drink Old Crow?”

“On June 6,” Joe Nelson said. “On June 6 I drink Old Crow.”

The clerk stubbed out his cigarette and rang up the bottle of bourbon. “You’re short nineteen cents, sport.”

Joe Nelson carefully recounted his money and then looked up at the clerk. “Last week when I asked Mary she told me it was eight twenty-nine.”

“Well guess what. It went up.”

“Front me the difference. I’ll pay you when I get my check.”

“No credit,” the clerk said.

Standing at the sales counter the old man looked around the store. “Is Mary working?”


Joe Nelson looked at the clerk then picked up the bills and coins and slowly walked out the door. Fifteen minutes later he slowly walked back in with two empty beer cans. “Here’s your nineteen cents,” he said. “Now give me that goddamn bottle.”

It took Joe Nelson an hour to walk the mile to Riverside Park and then another half hour to find a good spot along the river bank to sit. While walking down the hill through the run-down neighborhood, over the abandoned railroad tracks, past the warehouses and factories and then across the busy four-lane to the wide expanse of the park, he thought about Private Jack Carter. Jack Carter, big, strong country boy from Kentucky. Self-proclaimed expert squirrel hunter. Wise-cracking, gum-smacking, bourbon-loving, toughest son-of-a-bitch in the platoon. “We’re gonna get through this,” he told Joe the night before the invasion. “When this shit is over you and me gonna drink us some Kentucky hooch,” he told Joe while they were crossing the channel on the troop transport. “Let’s push them damn Huns back to Germany!” Jack Carter yelled over the noise of the engine while they were going in on the Higgens boat. When they hit a sandbar the coxswain lowered the ramp and the Germans opened up with the MG-42s. Private Jack Carter never made it off the ramp. He was twenty-two.

With the bullets from the machine guns splatting around him Joe Nelson hoisted himself up and over the side of the Higgens boat. When he realized he couldn’t touch bottom he let go of his rifle and it was only after he released his pack and tore off his assault jacket that he was able to keep his head above water. He knew that the only way he would make it to shore was by floating in on the surf like a dead man. When he was finally able to stand he began running for cover towards a burning tank and it was then that he was hit. For Joe Nelson, the war was over.

When the bourbon was gone he stood and threw the bottle as far as he could into the fast moving current. “Another dead soldier,” he said to himself. On his way back through the park he came upon a baseball field. There were people sitting on metal bleachers behind each dugout, more people sitting on lawn chairs along the baselines and a man leaning by himself against the left field fence. Joe Nelson walked up and leaned next to him. “Whatssa score?” he asked him.

“Nine to one,” the man said.

“Who’s winning?”

“The blue team.”

“You got a kid out there?”

“Yes,” the man said. “The pitcher.”

Joe Nelson stopped leaning for a moment and brought his hands up to his mouth. “Throw the heater!” he yelled. “Throw the goddamn heater!”

The man moved a few feet further down the fence.

“Whatsa matter?” Joe Nelson asked him.


Joe Nelson decided to try again. “You know what date it is?”

“It’s Wednesday,” the man said.

“Do you know what date it is?”

The man moved a little further down still, and was relieved when Joe Nelson finally turned and walked away from the ball field.

This story appeared previously on the The Buzz.

New and Returning Beer

  • Stone I'M Peach Double IPA, $3.19/12oz - "Who wants to kick fruit out of beer? Not us. When done right, adding orange or grapefruit or tangerine can contribute a deeper level of delicious complexity to the beer. In this case, peach was the perfect complement to enhance the substantial bill of hops in this double IPA. May its reign last more than a few terms" (source).
  • New Holland Honey Sour Inc Honey Ginger Ale, $3.49/12oz - "This is Sour Inc Honey Ginger Sour Ale and it is exactly what you think…a sour ale brewed with honey and ginger" (source).
  • Atwater Traverse City Wheat Wheat, $2.09/12oz - "The addition cherries from Traverse City, MI, prior to fermentation, Atwater’s Cherry Wheat brings a bright tartness together with the crispness of an American Wheat ale" (source).
  • Perrin & Cigar City North South IPA, $2.49/12oz - "To celebrate the launch of Cigar City Brewing to the Michigan & Chicago markets John Stewart of Perrin Brewing invited Wayne Wambles of Cigar City up to brew a collaboration IPA. Using Denali, Enigma, Galaxy and Citra Cryo-hops this North-South IPA beer takes all the aroma and hop flavor of an NE-IPA with less haze to create a more stable full hop flavored beer with delicious tropical and juicy hop aromatics" (source).
  • Founders Double Trouble, $3.39/12oz - "An imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops will get you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front pair with a malt-balanced backbone and a smooth, bitter finish" (source).
  • Terrapin T-Time, $1.99/12oz/1.99 - "“T-Time” Berliner Weisse is a tart and thirst-quenching wheat beer made with fresh tea and lemon peel. This easy-to-drink summertime refresher will get you back into the swing of things both on and off the course" (source).
  • Ballast Point Fathom IPA, $1.89/12oz - "Fathom IPA highlights our favorite characteristics of the west-coast IPA style. This crisp and clean brew features a touch of malt on the surface with an ocean of zesty orange and piney hops below. The result is a refreshing, easy drinking IPA with just the right amount of depth" (source).

Video of the Week | Proper Glassware

Join the education team at Founders for a quick lesson in glassware.