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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 d├ęcor — 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.


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