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Friday, October 26, 2018

New Beer Friday, To Sell or Not to Sell Edition (October 26)

The old house on Collindale
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Should we stay or should we go? It’s a question my wife and I have been wrestling with since the beginning of summer. Like many folks our age, Barb and I are trying to decide whether to sell our house and move into an abode that requires less maintenance. Not having to worry about mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, cleaning the gutters and shoveling snow is starting to sound pretty good to us.

Three months ago we met with the realtor we’ll be listing with if we decide to pull the trigger. Vito Dolce from Five Star Realty gave us a list of things we should do to make the house more marketable. Paint the ceilings and walls he told us. Redo the kitchen. Get rid of the clutter.

We’ve been following Vito’s advice. Barb hired the folks from Shelly’s Kitchens to paint the kitchen cupboards and an electrician to enhance the lighting. For the past three weeks Jim from Grand River Painting has been patching cracks in the plaster and applying fresh paint to one-hundred-year-old ceilings and walls. Barb has been making weekly trips to the Goodwill Store. We’ve given away dressers, old lamps, bookshelves and an assortment of items that we haven’t used in years. We donated six big boxes of books to a used bookseller in Eastown.

A few nights ago we sat with Manhattans on the back deck watching the sparrows, blue jays and cardinals gorging at the bird feeder. They instinctively know that winter is coming. Plump squirrels scurried around on the freshly mowed lawn. Every so often one stopped scurrying to bury a walnut. A gaggle of honking geese flew high overhead. Light from the setting late October sun splashed against the turning leaves of the tall maples.

While we watched the birds and squirrels I reminisced about the day Barb came home and told me that “our house” was for sale. We had spotted the 1920s Craftsman Style Bungalow a few years earlier when we were driving down Collindale. It sat a ways back from the road and was tucked behind a wall of overgrown evergreen shrubs. From that day on we admired it from afar during the few seconds it took to drive by it. The first thing we noticed was the big front porch. On subsequent drive-bys we admired the tapered brick columns and triangular knee braces under the broad, overhanging eaves. We wondered what it was like inside. We made an appointment to see the house on the same day Barb saw the For Sale sign in the yard. We made an offer that night. While I was remembering that day my wife said something that I didn’t quite catch.

“What’s that?” I asked her.

“I said I think the house is looking pretty good.”

“It sure is,” I agreed.

“I’m not sure I’m going to want to sell this old place,” she said a few moments later.

I told her that I’m not sure that I do either.

Special Announcement: Fresh cider is back! On Saturday, November 3rd, from 10am to 1pm, the owners of Square Nail Farm in Allegan will be in our back parking with fresh cider for sale. Cider is a blend of Jonagold, Jonathan, Baldwin, Gala, Original Yellow Delicious, Ida Red, Empire and Smokehouse apples. Cost is $4.00 per gallon. Bring your own containers or purchase them for us.

New and Returning Beer

  • Atwater First Brown, $1.99/12oz - "First Brown ale features a brown color, arising from the use of pale, crystal (caramel), Victory (rich in nutty, toasty, and biscuit-like flavors) and cara brown traditional English malts. In brewing, we use 100% imported English hops (East Kent Goldings and Fuggles) It is sweeter on the palate, with a fuller body and a nutty character" (source).
  • Ballast Point Victory at Sea, $1.99/12oz - "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).
  • Bell's 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout, $4.19/12oz - "This version was brewed in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of our Cherry Stout, another specialty beer that was first brewed in 1988 as a nod to a local homebrew club in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It has grown to be one of the most anticipated beers we brew at the brewery every year" (source).
  • Bell's Cherry Stout, $2.99/12oz - "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).
  • Bell's Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout, $6.99/12oz - "Aged for up to 12 months in whiskey barrels, our signature Cherry Stout evolves into something even more flavorful and complex. Notes of oak, vanilla and dark chocolate are intertwined with tart Michigan cherries in a stout that seduces the palate" (source).
  • Brew Detroit Electro Brut, $3.59/16oz - "Aggressively dry hopped with mosaic, citra, mandarina & Amarillo hops. This brew is fiercely hop forward with a delicious balanced finish" (source).
  • Central State Gus, $3.59/16oz - "Farmhouse India Pale Ale — Named in honor of Indiana-born astronaut Gus Grissom who lost his life in the pursuit of taking a man to the moon, this IPA is aggressively hopped with Australian Galaxy and American Mosaic hops" (source).
  • Central State Hot Yoga, $4.39/16oz - "This Double IPA is fermented with a special Norwegian Farmhouse yeast strain called Kviek. Fermented in half the time and at temperatures in excess of 95 degrees that would cause normal yeast to produce off flavors, this DIPA features both flaked & malted wheat and a double dose of Citra, Loral, and Mosaic hops" (source).
  • Central State Noyau, $3.79/16oz - "House beer with secondary fermentation on 250 lbs each of of peach and apricot puree" (source).
  • Central State Snake Skin Boots, $3.99/16oz - "Hazy India Pale Ale with Simcoe Hops — Flashy? Maybe. Practical? Maybe. Tasty? Coiled up like a rattler ready to strike, this beer is loaded up with the finest Simcoe hops we could get our hands on" (source).
  • Central State Turn the Page, $4.39/16oz - "Turn the page and begin the next chapter. Time and progress stop for no one. Aggressively hopped with Warrior, Simcoe, & Citra hops, including a double dose of Simcoe & Citra dry hops, this DIPA has a soft mouthfeel thanks to a healthy dose of wheat and lactose sugar" (source).
  • Griffin Claw Idiom, $2.39/16oz - "Porter" (source).
  • Griffin Claw You 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).
  • Lagunitas Sparkling Swan, $1.59/12oz - "This sparkling beer-wine hybrid is something to toast to... brewed with red wine grapes and super bubbly like champagne, but with a gentle kiss of hops and a light malt backbone like a beer. It's a purple people pleaser, perfect for any celebration" (source).
  • New Belgium Oakspire, $2.59/12oz - "A limited-edition collaboration between New Belgium and Knob Creek, Oakspire is a unique bourbon barrel ale aged with bourbon-steeped oak spirals and char from inside the barrel. Smooth notes of toffee, vanilla and caramel wrap up with a pleasantly warm finish. Oakspire: Where innovation meets tradition" (source).
  • New Holland Cabin Fever, $1.99/12oz - "Cabin Fever is a roasty brown ale and a hearty, comforting companion for long, mind-bending winters" (source).
  • New Holland Sour Inc Sour Stout, $3.49/12oz - "As the name implies, Sour Inc. Cherry Stout is a 6.7 percent ABV sour stout brewed with cherries. The fourth and final addition to the Holland, Mich.-based brewery’s Sour Inc. Series, which is made up different styles of sour beers" (source).
  • Odd Side Hoppin Mad, $2.79/12oz - "Rye Double NEIPA" (source).
  • Ommegang Barrel Aged Adoration, $5.69/12oz - "The beer is brewed with coriander, mace, cardamom, grains of paradise and sweet orange peel, and if that’s not enough fun, this dark ale is then aged in Bourbon barrels" (source).
  • Perrin Malted Milk Ball, $12.69/22oz - "A 12% Imperial Porter brewed with lactose and spiced with vanilla and cacao nibs then laid down and aged in Woodford Reserve Oak bourbon barrels for 9 months" (source).
  • Rogue Counter Currant, $2.39/16oz - "On our farm in Independence, Oregon, we grow marionberries, pumpkins, honey and 10 varieties of hops. We also tend the Revolution Garden, where we grow experimental crops for our brewers in Newport. Inspired by the black currants from our garden, our brewers created this lovely tart fruit ale that pours deep purple in color. Join us in our fight against the status quo and go Counter Currant" (source).
  • Short's Juicy Tree, $2.59/12oz - "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).
  • Upland Boysenberry, $27.19/750ml - "Boysenberry is a barrel-aged sour ale that combines our take on a traditional, Lambic-style base beer, with a fruit not typically found in traditional Lambics. We ferment our base beer, Basis, for six to eight months in oak tanks to produce tart flavors, fruity notes and a funky character. Then, we blend individual batches before aging on boysenberry fruit for an additional month to extract the perfect balance of fruit flavor. We bottle conditioned this beer, resulting in a fine carbonation and spritzy mouthfeel" (source).
  • Upland Panorama, $27.19/750ml - "A slightly tart, dry and funky beer developed through the use of naturally occurring microorganisms from Monroe County. Four different regions of microorganism collection developed unique flavors for each of the beers in the Spontaneous Project Series" (source).

Video of the Week | New Belgium Oakspire

Now available at Siciliano's.


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