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Friday, March 15, 2019

New Beer Friday, Return of the Snowbirds Edition (March 15)

Snowbirds: Steve & Barb
By Steve Siciliano

Well, I’d like to say it’s nice to be back in Michigan but you have to be a little crazy if you like coming home to grey skies and frigid temperatures after the warmth and blue skies of Florida.

Actually, weather notwithstanding, it is good to be back in Beer City USA. I’ve been reclaiming my perch in the corner of the store for a few hours each day and it’s been nice reconnecting with friends and customers between periods of working on the Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition and May 4th’s Big Brew at Trailpoint Brewing Company.

Folks who have been to Ft. Meyers Beach warned Barb and I that the traffic would be a bit of an annoyance and they were right. Estero Boulevard is the town’s only main thoroughfare and there are times that it can take an hour to drive five miles. You quickly learn that if you want to get off the island you have to leave early and return late. You also learn that hoofing it is sometimes the best way to get around. There is a trolley that runs up and down Estero but it’s usually as packed as a cattle car and about as reliable as my former cable provider. After waiting for the trolley for forty-five minutes one evening we gave up and walked the mile to our destination. From that time on we referred to the Beach’s public transportation as the “Effin' Trolley.”

In spite of the traffic we thoroughly enjoyed our extended stay on Ft. Meyers Beach. The weather for the most part was great, the beach itself is beautiful, the restaurants are good and there are some nice watering holes where you can kick back and listen to some solid live entertainment. We even formed a friendship with a couple of transplanted Midwesterners who traveled with us on the ferry down to Key West.

The area draws a good number of vacationers of all ages looking to get away from the cold for a spell but it is also a popular winter roosting place for thousands of snowbirds. Like many of these retired and semi-retired sojourners, Barb and I took a brisk walk on the beach almost every day in an effort to stay in shape. One day while walking out on the pier we stopped to watch two dolphins frolicking in the surf. It was also pretty cool watching squadrons of pelicans soaring in formation over the Gulf of Mexico and then plunging like dive bombers down into the water and coming up with a meal.

The realization that Barb and I now officially belong to the ranks of older folks who get out of Dodge for the winter really sank in on the day we went to a Minnesota Twins spring training game. Before walking through the metal detector, I informed the elderly fellow who was manning the station that I have titanium hips.

“Don’t worry about it, buddy,” he said and smiled. “Almost everyone down here this time of year sets this gizmo off.”

New and Returning Beer

  • Anderson Valley Brut IPA, $2.19/12oz - "Extra dry IPA brewed with Champagne yeast" (source).
  • Atwater Whango, $1.59/12oz - "There’s nothing complex about this beer: it’s a straightforward, pale wheat ale made with mango that finishes clean. A real easy drinker" (source).
  • Big Lake Little Red Ale, $2.79/16oz - No commercial description.
  • Destihl Wild Sour Apricot, $2.99/12oz - "Dry-hopped sour ale with apricot" (source).
  • Glutenberg Stout, $3.19/16oz - "Robust notes of espresso coffee, dark chocolate and ripe dark malted fruit give it a pleasant mouthfeel that will not leave Stout lovers indifferent. The Glutenberg Stout is distinguished by its opaque black color and its powerful scents of cocoa and roasted cereals" (source).
  • Grand Armory BBA Sap On Tap, $5.19/12oz - "Bourbon barrel aged for three-plus months, this complex and full bodied imperial rye stout showcases its natural roasty and chocolate malt profile with a smooth rye finish" (source).
  • Hemptails Citrus Gold, $1.89/16oz - "Stay gold with big hemp aromas and fresh twist of citrus flavors" (source).
  • Hemptails Passion Fruit, $1.89/16oz - "Tart passionfruit flavors gives a tropical twist to herbal hemp flavors" (source).
  • Odd Side Double Brut, $2.79/12oz - "Double Brut IPA. Fermented very dry with almost no residual sugar along with retained bitterness showcase the full flavor and aromas of the hops finishing clean and crisp" (source).
  • Odd Side Fruitsicle Boysenberry, $2.89/12oz - "Juicy, fruity, slightly tart ale brewed with lactose, boysenberry, and blueberry" (source).
  • Perrin Lil' Griz, $2.49/12oz - "Deliberately blazing our own trail, we brewed this barrel aged brown ale believing there is room for a new craft beer category: “Sessionable Bourbon Barrel Aged Beers”. Weighing in at 6.8% ABV ( Alc. 6.8% by Vol. ), the rich chocolate notes & creaminess of the flaked oats easily justify this beer bringing home a FoBAB medal this year" (source).
  • Roak Wee Who See, $3.39/16oz - "Beguiling undertones of dark berries and citrus subtly illuminate the bold, dark palate of coffee and chocolate in this sour ale" (source).
  • Tripelroot Eighteen 99, $2.09/12oz - "German Style Hefeweizen with subtle notes of cloves and bananas" (source).

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