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Friday, March 28, 2014

New Beer Friday, Help Wanted Edition (March 28)

Work Here!
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

It was Confucius who said that when you choose a job you love you will never have to work a day in your life. I have a feeling that the members of Team Siciliano would beg to differ with the great sage on this one.

I can say with a great deal of certainty that our employees love helping customers with craft beer, fine wine and liquor, beer and wine making supplies, cheese making supplies, coffee, tea, hand rolled cigars and every other lifestyle enhancing product that we sell here at the store. I also know that there are many times when they are working their tails off.

During an average week the members of our staff price and stock hundreds of cases of beer, wine and liquor. They unload skids of inventory and unpack dozens of boxes. They keep the shelves full, the coolers stocked and the store looking presentable. That’s a lot of hard work. But they are passionate about selling the things that we offer here at the store and that is what makes the job so enjoyable.

We are now looking to add a part time person to our sales team who is equally passionate. We are looking for someone who loves craft beer and fine wine. A knowledge of beer and winemaking would certainly be a plus.

If you would like to join the sales staff of one of the area’s premier specialty stores and if you wouldn’t mind working hard at a job you can love, I urge you to drop a resume off at the store or contact me at No phone calls please.

New and Returning Beer

  • Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale, $1.59/12oz - "We are from the city that invented the skyscraper. We constructed our Urban Pale Ale on a balanced malt backbone, so the citrus hop aroma and crisp flavor can stand tall. Recipe Information Style: Urban Pale Alcohol by Volume: 5.4% International Bitterness Units: 30 Color: Marigold Hops: Amarillo, Mt. Hood, Nugget Malts: 2 Row, Crystal 60 Serving Suggestions: Preferred Glass: Nonic Pint" (source).
  • Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, $1.49/12oz - "Beer with natural lemonade flavor" (source).
  • Giradin Gueuze, $6.69/375ml - "Unfiltered" (source).
  • Traveler Beer Company Curious Shandy, $1.79/12oz - "Driven by wanderlust and a desire for discovery, the Curious Traveler™ set out to explore the globe. Always fearlessly inquisitive, he relished opportunities to befriend other travelers and to experience cultures he had only previously imagined. He sampled their wares, their foods and most importantly their libations. Some were good. Some not so good. Others were downright dangerous. Many years into his travels, his pace slowed on a particularly sweltering day. He sought refuge in a small pub to escape the oppressive heat. Before he could even finish wiping his brow, the bartender handed him a glistening glass of ale. The Traveler took a liking to the invigorating lemon shandy concoction. “Quite a refresher!” he said gratefully. The Traveler has never stopped exploring – in fact, he’s on the road this very day. Somewhere. Only one thing has changed: he now makes sure he orders a shandy everywhere he goes" (source).
  • Traveler Beer Company Time Traveler Shandy, $1.79/12oz - "A beer truly ahead of its time. A vibrant wheat beer brewed with real strawberry for a subtle yet complex flavor" (source).
  • Traveler Beer Company Illusive Shandy, $1.79/12oz - "Ale with real grapefruit" (source).
  • Abita Spring IPA, $1.69/12oz - "Spring IPA (March-May) is a West Coast-style IPA with an up-front intense hop flavor and aroma. Amarillo and Centennial hops give the brew a rich and resinous flavor of citrus and spice. This bright pale ale has a malt sweetness that will give way to a pleasant bitter. It pairs well with Mexican or spicy Szechwan Chinese food. Spring IPA is a nice accompaniment for cheeses with strong flavors, like sharp cheddar or goat cheese" (source).
  • Big Sky Olde Blue Hair Barley Wine, $1.579/750ml - "A taste of apricots, honey flavors, a sliver of vanilla, and a hint of caramel, round out the Barley Wine. Like so many things in life, Olde Bluehair just gets better with age. Aged for a minimum of 3 months in American Oak Bourbon Barrels" (source).
  • Left Hand Good JuJu, $2.09/12oz - "Our beer is basically a pale ale brewed from a relative low gravity, with some of the hops which would normally be used in the beer replaced by freshly ground ginger root. The beer is light in body, lower in alcohol, has a distinct ginger aroma, and has a very crisp finish. It was initially brewed as a refreshing alternative to the plethora of wheat beers which are popular in the summertime. Popular demand turned it into a year round beer" (source).
  • Victory White Monkey, $9.69/750ml - "Golden Monkey aged in Chardonnay barrels. 'Our Golden Monkey is beloved by many, so we anticipate some heartfelt responses to our intriguing transformation of this beer,' expressed Victory brewmaster Bill Covaleski. 'The wine barrel aging has had a substantial and delicious impact on the Golden Monkey.' Approximately 100 oak barrels that once held chardonnay varietal white wine from Wente Vineyards of Livermore, CA were filled with Golden Monkey and aged at ambient temperatures in the Downingtown brewery for 3 months. This process is an extension of an experiment dating back 6 years prior, when a single oak barrel once holding white wine from local vintner, Chaddsford Winery, was used in a similar manner to produce a test batch which never left the brewery. Deemed delicious by Victory brewmasters and brewing staff, the White Monkey project was made possible through a collaborative partnership with Wente Vineyards" (source).
  • Anderson Valley Summer Solstice, $2.19/12oz - "Summer Solstice Seasonal Ale is not just your average summer seasonal. This unique copper colored ale is smooth, malty, and lightly sweet, with a delicate hint of spice for that oh-so-drinkable, extra velvety flavor" (source).
  • Blue Mountain Estate Winesap Hard Cider, $7.89/22oz - "Fresh pressed from our sustainably grown Winesap apples, this single varietal cider has a dry refreshing finish, with a hint of tart apple taste. Blue Mountain Cider Company is committed to environmentally safe growing and production practices, which is why all of our apples are certified Salmon Safe. It’s not only easy to drink, but easy on the environment" (source).
  • Blue Mountain Eden Ridge Hard Cider, $7.89/22oz - "This crisp hard cider was created using our fermented "five-apple" blend made from apples grown in the Pacific Northwest. Lightly carbonated with a hint of tartness balanced with fresh apple aromas and sweetness, this cider is an easy to drink beverage that provides a great introduction to the world of hard apple ciders" (source).
  • Blue Mountain Dry Creek Hard Cider, $7.89/22oz - "Dry Creek is our handcrafted semi-dry cider fermented from select apples grown in the Pacific Northwest. This clean crisp cider brings out the true essence of the five primary apples which make up our cider blends. It is lightly carbonated with tartness, acidity and a sparkling dry finish, a sure delight to your taste buds. This cider is a perfect compliment to salmon, poultry and spicy foods.  Pair with a blue cheese or a gourmet pizza and you’ve found a match made in heaven" (source).
  • Blue Mountain Cherry Hard Cider, $8.29/22oz - "Created using our fermented 'five-apple' blend from apples grown in the Pacific Northwest, this lightly carbonated cider has a refreshing balanced apple flavor with a splash of tart cherry freshness.  It is a perfect blend of sweetness and acidity with an unmistakable quality that will surely delight your taste buds. Enjoy it for dessert or use this cider for a recipe of pork loin with a cherry cider glaze. It pairs extremely well with rich chocolate desserts and strong cheeses" (source).

Picture of the Week

Chest freezer turned kegerator
by Siciliano's customer Ross Vander Weide

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Remarkable Legacy of Sammy the Bull

On February 25, the one-year anniversary of the Boss’ father Sam’s passing, his family gathered at Brewery Vivant to toast his legacy.

By Dominic Siciliano

All of us will at some point in our lives begin to consider our legacy. I find myself contemplating how people will remember me more and more now that I have a family and children of my own, and because for the first time in my life I have lost someone significant to me: February 25, 2014, marked the one-year anniversary of the death of my grandfather, Sam Siciliano.

A year to the day after his passing, the family gathered together at Brewery Vivant to enjoy a few rounds of ‘Sammy the Bull’, the beer my cousin Jacob brewed in his honor—Sammy the Bull was our grandfather's nickname as a boy.

The perfect beer to commemorate Grandpa, Sammy the Bull was a little boozy and, just like its namesake, if you spent too much time with it, you could easily find yourself three sheets to the wind.

Jacob and Grandma
That evening at Vivant, I was lucky enough to find myself siting across from my grandmother and Jacob. They are not expressive people like Grandpa, more on the artistic side. Grandma, who rarely drinks, took a sip of Jacob's beer. Folks were laughing at the novelty of it. But I caught a glance she gave Jacob. She knows how much it meant to him—to brew this beer for Grandpa, a tribute to his best friend.

I looked down one way, toward my dad, his brother Mark and their wives, both named Barb. Mark and Barb's kids were there as well as some close family friends. Down the other way my four kids were eating fries and coloring on napkins, and my wife Janelle was directing traffic. I looked across to Aunt Laurie, who was holding Jacob’s daughter Izzy, with Jacob’s sister Sarah sitting next to her. On a sleepy Tuesday night in February, this big goofy family had taken over the brewery and exploded it with food and beer and laughter.

What do you think about when you think of your legacy? How do want to be remembered and honored? I’d say on that Tuesday night we honored Sammy the Bull the right way.

Salute, Grandpa. We all miss you so much.

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Beer Friday, Casting Call Edition (March 21)

The Chudy Boys: Band of Brewers
By Steve Siciliano

I know that many of you homebrewers harbor aspirations of someday turning pro but have you ever dreamed that you could possibly leverage your passion for your hobby into a role on a TV series?

Yesterday I received a call from Aimee Dirkson from Part2 Pictures, a documentary film and television company based in New York City that is developing a series about homebrewing. Ms. Dirkson, a producer, informed me that her company is in the process of looking for homebrewers to cast in the show.

Folks, this is not a joke! I repeat, this is not a joke!

Wouldn’t it be great if this series was to feature some of our local homebrewers?

The following is the company’s formal casting notice.


Are you insanely passionate about making beer? Are you an amateur brewer who competes? Are you part of a group of friends, social club, or family who brew together? Do you devote every waking second (or all of your free time) to making beer?

A major cable network and Part2 Pictures, an award-winning documentary film and television company based in New York City have teamed up to develop a quality TV show about the fun, competitive world of amateur beer brewing.

We are currently casting people who represent the wide-range of folks making beer – especially those of you who are very active members of a brew club or beer brewing group. We’d love to speak with you to learn more about the where’s, how’s and why’s of brewing beer.


    • Amateur brewers who participate in competitions (or will be entering their first competition)
    • Members of a social brewers club who brew together
    • Colleagues or friends who are part of a brew team
    • Siblings or a whole family of brewers
    • We will also consider individual brewers not part of a cohesive group
    • Brewers with a “friendly rivalry” – or who have someone they’ve been dying to outbrew
    • We are open to people who have been doing this for many years or just starting out, or amateurs who have the dream of going pro
    • We are interested in people who just LOVE beer
    • Big personalities and huge passion for making beer a must!
If you fit the description or know someone who does, please email: with the following info:

    • Name, email and phone number
    • A recent photo of yourself and your “brewmates”
    • Where you live
    • Why you love making beer 
    • How long you’ve been brewing beer
    • Describe your group (or indicate if you brew and compete on your own)
    • Your local brew club (if applicable)
    • Details of the competition circuit (how many competitions you participate in, when you will be next competing, etc.)
    • Describe the type of beer(s) you make and why you think it’s the best!
    • Why you’d love to participate in a show about beer brewers

Part2 Pictures is a reputable television company that has produced a variety of high-quality documentary programming for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, PBS, The History Channel and other major broadcasters. We are committed to telling great stories about people, their take on a world and how they operate within it. Thank you! (

New and Returning Beer

  • Black Rocks Barbaric Yawp, $8.29/22oz - Please see the video below for a description of this beer.
  • Short's Superfluid, $1.99/12oz (2 bottles/person) - "An American Double IPA with a large, but basic malt bill, that explodes with a perfume of resiny hop aromas. 177 IBUs" (source).
  • Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale, $1.99/12oz (2 bottles/person) - "We brewed this especially bitter ale in dedication to all the world’s would-be astronauts, in remembrance of the 2005 St. Patrick’s Day Massacre on the Brewery Party Grounds and also in joyous celebration of our 20-day suspension that following January. Do the crime. Do the time. Get the bragging rights" (source).
  • Fort Collins Chocolate Stout, $2.09/12oz - "Chocolate malt and roasted barley provide the dark color and fully body of chocolate stout. Toasty accents and a hoppy dryness add to this smooth brew. An old time favorite you’ll remember" (source).
  • Avery The Maharaja Imperial IPA, $8.19/22oz (1 bottle/person) - "Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, - "great" and rajan - "king". Much like its namesake, this imperial IPA is regal, intense and mighty. With hops and malts as his servants, he rules both with a heavy hand. The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops: tangy, vibrant and pungent along with an insane amount of malted barley - fashioning a dark amber hue and exquisite malt essence. This newest Avery Dictator completes the "Dictator Series" joining the likes of The Kaiser & The Czar. Be aware that The Maharaja is a limited release only available for the summer" (source).
  • Shiner Ruby RedBird, $1.59/12oz - "Shiner Ruby Redbird is brewed with genuine Texas Rio Red Grapefruit, the signature sweet citrus of the Rio Grande Valley, and ginger. This lager beer features grapefruit tartness and finishes with a ’lil kick of ginger. With Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit and Ginger, Shiner Ruby Redbird is a crisp and refreshing summer beer" (source).
  • Smutty Nose Summer Weizen, $1.69/12oz - "Light, tasty & full of character, our summer wheat ale is brewed with a combination of domestic and continental wheat and barley malts, lightly hopped & fermented with a Belgian wit yeast, resulting in a delightfully tangy & refreshing flavor. This beer is brewed for warm weather enjoyment. Bring some to your next picnic, barbeque or Frisbee game" (source).

Black Rocks The Barbaric Yawp | Video of the Week


Sunday, March 16, 2014

In Defense of Brown Ales

By Steve Siciliano

I’m sure more than a few eyebrows were raised when we announced that we will be donating the ingredients for a brown ale for May 3rd’s Big Brew at the Calder. “Wait, the recipe is a brown ale??” an incredulous commenter posted on our Facebook page. “Why????”

Any inquiry with that many question marks deserves an answer.

If we were to poll the forty-eight Big Brew teams as to which three beer styles they would least want to brew up at the May 3rd event, chances are good that brown ale would appear on many of the lists. Why then are we supplying the ingredients for what we realize is a decidedly less popular style? Why not an IPA again? Why not a pale ale? Why not a malty scotch ale, a robust porter or a Russian imperial stout? Why a boring brown ale? Why????

The primary reason we chose brown ale as the Big Brew brew is precisely because it is such an overlooked and under appreciated style. Now, I will be the first to admit that many commercial browns are indeed boring and some might deserve to be under appreciated. But there are also quite a few good ones, and the ones that I consider to be good are being produced by domestic craft brewers who are making browns in the American style.

American browns are hoppier than their English counterparts and the recipe that we will be formulating for the Big Brew at the Calder will feature a nice American hop presence. Of course the brewing teams can tweak the ingredients that we are donating and do whatever they wish with the recipe at their own expense. Doubtless some will choose to do so and we’re fine with that. But it is my hope that the majority of teams will consider it worth their time and effort to make a nice, decidedly not boring, American brown.

Friday, March 14, 2014

New Beer Friday, Key West Serendipity Edition (March 14)

Nice shirt!
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

About a week or so ago Barb and I were in Mallory Square watching the nightly entertainment put on by the street performers and Mother Nature.

If you’ve ever been to Key West you know what I’m talking about.

We listened to an old, bearded banjo player and laughed while his BVD-clad golden retriever snatched bills out of people’s hands and deposited them into a bucket at his master’s feet. We watched a young man wiggle out of chains then extract himself from a straight jacket. We oohed and aahed in chorus with other tourists while a man juggled knives, hatchets and lit torches while riding a six foot unicycle. After watching the red sun sink beneath the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico we joined in the mass applause then joined in the mass exit away from the waterfront.

You can’t amble twenty yards in Old Town Key West without passing a bar and we ambled past quite a few before deciding to stop for a beer at the Island Dogs Tavern. Why we chose to go in that particular watering hole on that particular night was pure serendipity.

If you’ve ever been to Key West you know that you’re liable to see some pretty strange things—Spiderman riding a bicycle with two huge green parrots on the handlebars, a pirate on stilts parading up and down Duval, an old woman walking a pair of leashed roosters. But I never expected to randomly walk into a Key West bar one night and hear my name called out by a man wearing a Siciliano’s T-shirt.

New and Returning Beer at Siciliano's

  • Shorts Uncle Steve's Irish Stout, $1.69/12oz - "A true text book Irish Stout. Amazingly light bodied full of rich creamy flavor. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink, an instant Short’s favorite" (source).
  • Arbor Michael Faricy's Irish Stout, $1.79/12oz - "Our award-winning Irish Stout, fashioned after Guinness on tap in Ireland, is light and dry with a dense, creamy head. Ours is accented by a noticeable roasted coffee flavor, and a touch of bittersweet chocolate" (source).
  • Stone Go To IPA, $2.09/12oz - "Since Day One, we’ve been abundantly forthright and fully transparent about our lust for hops. It’s led us to craft many an IPA, most of them imperial—some intense for their time and all timeless in their intensity. For Stone Go To IPA, we are embracing our hop obsession in a new way, funneling an abundance of lupulin-borne bitterness into a "session" IPA delivering all the fruity, piney character of a much bigger IPA. To accomplish this, we employed "hop bursting," a new technique wherein an irrational amount of hops is added during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out extreme flavors and aromas while also imparting a burst of desirably pleasant bitterness. The result is an Alpha-acid-rich beer that fans can enjoy more of without missing out on the assertive hop character you, like us, crave. So, sit back and go two with your new everyday go-to IPA and bask along with us in the glory of the almighty hop" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant Plow Horse, $4.39/16oz - "Deep black in color with flavors of chocolate, molasses, stone fruits, and a slight roastiness. Hops are basically non-existent as the malt dominates throughout. Subtle sweetness knocks this one out of the park" (source).
  • Epic Elder Brett, $12.09/22oz - "Epic Brewing Company’s latest barrel-aged beer brings something new—wild yeast. This brew is a collaboration ale with Crooked Stave Artisan Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado. Chad Yakobson, Brewmaster/Owner of Crooked Stave, is well known for his skill and knowledge in the brewing of sour and Brettanomyces driven beers.  The beer was brewed at Epic by the two brewers. Kevin Crompton, Epic’s Brewmaster, and Chad spent several weeks working on the recipe and selecting the proper Brett strains and barrels for the beer to morph from a golden Saison into a Saison-Brett Golden Ale" (source).
  • Evil Twin Imperial Doughnut Break, $20.69/22oz - "Brewed for Brewvival 2013 and later bottles. Imperial Biscotti Break dry-doughnuted" (source).
  • Evil Twin Freudian Slip, $5.49/12oz - "Did you also at some point in your life get seduced by promising words like ‘probably (not) the best in the world’, ‘it (doesn’t really) work every time’ etc. This American Barley Wine says it how it is. It’s intense, attention seekingly hoppy and definitely your kind of beer. A beer with a big ego, drive and a huge thirst for recognition" (source).
  • Crispin Blackberry Pear, $2.09/12oz - "Naturally fermented using 100% pear juice, not from pear juice concentrate,or flavored hard apple cider. Filtered cold for extra purity and infused with natural blackberry juice. With no added colorants, sugar, sorbate or benzoate preservatives. No added malt, spirit, grape or apple alcohols. Naturally elegant, refreshingly adult with an authentic blackberry dark-fruit taste and a sweet-sharp fresh tang. Mouthwatering juicy complexity. Luscious pear-berry bouquet" (source).
  • Crispin Pacific Pear, $2.09/12oz - "Naturally elegant and refreshingly adult with a sparkling clean natural pear finish, and a subtle woody complexity, completed by an intense fresh pear bouquet" (source).
  • Smith and Forge Hard Cider, $1.89/16oz - "Built from apples, built to refresh" (source).

News of the Week | Flat Lander's Barstillery

Congrats to Siciliano's family-friend Gregg Palazzollo and his partners:
This weekend marks the grand opening of Flat Lander's,
a first-of-its-kind "barstillery" on Michigan Avenue in Grand Rapids.
Learn more here:


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Siciliano’s 2014 Homebrew Competition: Registration & Submission Instructions

By Steve Siciliano

This year we will again be using the Beers to Fear online competition center for entry registration for the Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition. Everyone submitting a beer in the Siciliano’s competition will be required to register the entry on this site.

Entry registration will begin on Monday, March 17 and will close either on Sunday, April 6 or at the moment the 250-entry cap for the competition is reached, whichever occurs first. We must receive the registered entries by Sunday, April 13. No entry will be accepted after that date. Instructions on how to register and submit an entry for the 2014 competition follow.

If you entered last year’s Siciliano’s competition or have entered beers in the Homebrew at the W.E.B. or Michigan Beer Cup competitions you will be able to use your existing login information for the Beers to Fear site. Those who have not previously used this site for entry registrations will have to create a user profile before you can log on. Check your spam folder for your confirmation email if it does not appear in your in box. After you confirm the email, you may access the site and register an entry.

Once you access the site you will see a “+” button on the “Entries” tab of the homepage. To register a beer click on the “+” button. A submission form will appear asking for information regarding the entry name, assistant brewer and BJCP style. Fill in all applicable information and select the BJCP style that best fits the beer being entered. In Categories 20-23 (except 22-A Classic Rauchbier), the form will ask for any special ingredients and the base style of the beer being entered. Providing relevant information will help the judges with the evaluation of the entry. After all the information is inputted, select the “Add New Entry” button then select the “Finished” button.

Next go the “Entries” tab. Select the box next to your entry and click on the printer icon underneath. This will download the bottle ID labels which can then be printed out and attached to the bottles with rubber bands.

Once the registration process has been completed and bottle labels printed off, entries can be dropped off or shipped to the Siciliano's Market along with the $5.00 entry fee. Cash or check only. Remember, all registered entries must be received by Sunday, April 13. Please ship entries to:
Siciliano’s Market
2840 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Complete details for the Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition can be found here. Questions can be directed to

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Siciliano's 2014 Homebrew Events: Updates and Reminders

Homebrewers on Calder Plaza
By Steve Siciliano

We will begin accepting entries for the Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition on Monday, March 17. Online entry registration will open Monday, March 17 and will close Sunday, April 6 or until the 250 cap is reached, whichever comes first. You will have until Sunday, April13 to drop off entries. No entries will be accepted after this date.

This year’s Best-of-Show winner will receive a $500.00 gift card from Siciliano’s Market and will have the opportunity to brew the winning recipe on New Holland Brewing Company’s seven-barrel pub system. Complete competition details can be found here. Information on how to register entries through the Beers to Fear on-line competition center will be posted on The Buzz later this week.

Also, there are still a few open spots for brewing teams for the Second Annual Siciliano’s Big Brew on the Calder. Complete details for the May 3rd event can be found here. Anyone interested in being assigned as a brew team captain can contact Steve at this address:

Finally, the Eleventh Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party is going to be held this year on Saturday, May 17 at Townsend Park. Tickets are $40.00 per person and will go on sale on Monday, March 24. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance. Please note that party attendees will be receiving T-shirts this year and we will be asking for sizes at the time you purchase your ticket. If you are purchasing tickets for a spouse, friend, family member or significant other, you are going to need to know the correct size. Please don’t guess.

Please contact Siciliano's or email me directly with any questions that you have.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

New Beer Friday, Dream of Warmer Days Edition (March 7)

Turn your thoughts to beer
By Chris Siciliano

Lately our impulse on the blog has been to reassure everyone, ourselves included, that spring is most definitely on its way. From a psychological perspective, it makes sense—short of moving to Florida, the best strategy for combatting abysmal weather is to continuously reaffirm to each other the fact that winter just can't last forever (can it?).

But if you're like us, the last thing you need after yet another week of brutal cold is one more reminder that spring simply refuses to get its butt in gear. Better just to turn your thoughts to beer and dream quietly of warmer days.

With than in mind, and without further ado, here's the list of the newest beers to hit the shelves at Siciliano's. Enjoy.

New and Returning Beer

  • Southern Tier Gemini, $3.59/12oz - "High in the winter sky, two parallel stick figures are visible & known as 'the twins,' or the constellation Gemini. The astronauts of the 1960s flew as teams of two in a program named after the celestial pairing. At Southern Tier, we have our own fraternal twins, Hoppe & Unearthly. Blended together & placed in this vessel, the mission of our Gemini is to travel high & take passengers on a journey far into the heavens" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Aprihop, $2.59/12oz - "A strong IPA brewed with real apricots and finished with whole leaf Willamette and Cascade hops" (source).
  • Evil Twin Falco, $4.09/12oz - "What makes a great leader? First of all a perfectly balanced blend of qualities; the ability to stand out - be authoritative without overpowering. Show courage and endurance - you will lead the way and set standards. Very important; be appealing and refreshing to the people. This stereotypical portrait applies whether referring to politics, religion or maybe even this outstanding IPA" (source).
  • Evil Twin Joey Pepper, $14.49/22oz - "Belgian blonde ale brewed with white peppercorns and bottle conditioned with Brettanomyces claussenii" (source).
  • Bells Consecrator Doppelbock, $2.79/12oz - "Consecrator is a traditional doppelbock-style fermented with a Bohemian lager yeast. Reddish brown in color, with a mild hop profile, Consecrator is a well balanced, full bodied beer with hints of caramel and molasses in its smooth, malty finish. Brewed for a Fat Tuesday release" (source).
  • Schmaltz Death of a Contract Brewer, $7.19/22oz - "Death seems so obvious: the end of life, no mas, kaput. But Humans stand an optimistic animal. Many traditions suggest alternate endings: Resurrection, reincarnation, rebirth, afterlife. Even the atheist view of Eternal Oblivion doesn’t seem quite final, more of a shift in spiritual states of (un)consciousness. As usual, Jewish tradition prescribes… Food. 7 days of family, community, and bagels (beer!), called, Shiva, meaning “7” in Hebrew. The flip side to the 7 days of Creation with the 7th as a holy day of rest. The first meal of Shiva is “the comfort meal.” And the number 7 provides powerful mojo: 7 Jewish wedding blessings, 7 Liberal Arts, 7 Lucky Japanese gods, 7 stars of the Big Dipper, 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 seas, 007 license to kill, 7 dwarves, We are 7 by Wordsworth with a child’s view of death, 7 deadly sins, Best of 7 finals in NBA, NHL, MLB, 7th Inning stretch, #7 on Elway & Tiny Archibald. George Castanza yearned to name his firstborn, “7” as a living tribute to #7 Mickey Mantle. The 7 Award however must go to the immortal George Carlin for 7 Dirty Words, inspired by another hero Lenny Bruce. Coming into 17 years of beer, and Year #1 with our own Brewery, we commemorate this conversion with Death Of A Contract Brewer, our Shmaltz homage to new life – L’Chaim! Jeremy Cowan, proprietor" (source).
  • Arcadia Whitsun, $1.79/12oz - "Arcadia Whitsun is a modern interpretation of a mid-19th century English spring and summer festival ale. It is light golden in color with a rich, creamy head, full bodied and has a lightly toasted caramel flavor. The addition of Michigan star thistle honey contributes a uniquely smooth drinkability to this unfiltered wheat ale" (source).

Picture of the Week | Submitted by Matt Olthoff

Matt Olthoff: "I brought a bottle of Founders I picked up at your lovely
store before returning to San Diego. Then we decided to enjoy it
 on Mt. Laguna's Garnet Peak at 6000ft. Cheers!"

Cheers to you, Matt, and to everybody else!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Brewery Ommegang Glimmerglass Saison

By Doug Dorda

Brewery Ommegang Glimmerglass
It seems that most human beings in this far state are as unenthusiastic about the upcoming weeks of weather as I am. In fact—no need to sugar coat it—this weather sucks something fierce. However, in the spirit of keeping on while keeping on, there are many things we might do to harden our resolve until the seasons finally shift. Might I suggest drinking a beer?

I could pour syrup-laden prose all over my review of Glimmerglass, the “spring” seasonal offered by Brewery Ommegang this year, but you will have heard it all before. At the risk of tiring my fingers I will simply state that this saison, made with sweet orange peel and pink peppercorns, conjured an image of a morning's dew bending blades of new grass that unabashedly bathe the atmosphere in a sweet aroma, all of which somehow reads “new” in my mind.

As of this moment, there is nothing that the common man can do to make the season change. There is no magic that we can wield. Unfortunately we get to be reminded of that on a daily basis. Nevertheless we might find a small comfort in knowing that our favorite breweries will not cease to bottle “spring” and therefore we are able to enjoy it now, if only 12 ounces at a time.

Brewery Ommegang Glimmerglass ($2.89/12oz) is now available at Siciliano's.