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Monday, April 28, 2014

Coppercraft Distillery

A review by John Barecki

Located in Holland, Michigan, Coppercraft Distillery is owned and operated by Walter Catton and Mark Fellwock. With a very small staff, these guys churn out spirits that are crafted from locally sourced and grown materials. Using a handmade 350-gallon copper pot still, they coax out the essence of their ingredients and bottle up a wonderful variety of quaffable liquids. As of right now they offer a vodka, citrus vodka, gin and a rum.

The vodka is produced with 100% corn which provides a subtle sweetness. It is clean but still has a good mouthfeel. The flavor is not huge but still apparent. This is more of a mixer style but still has character. The citrus infused version on the other hand is a delight for the nose as well as the tongue. Using a blend of oranges, lemon and grapefruit, they capture a sense of real fruit, avoiding the medicinal taste common to some flavored vodkas. On ice, this citrus vodka is juicy and slightly sweet, and with the addition of club soda it becomes a delightful spritz.

The gin is a herbal journey. With 13 botanicals it brings forth the image of a herb garden next to a juniper tree. The flavors are rich and green and with the addition of water the gin opens up the brighter citrus tones and spice notes. This is not the typical London dry style most of us are used to. This one has a bit more body to it.

I saved the rum for the end because it was a tricky one to wrap my head around. When I first poured this one I feel that it was closed to the senses. They make it using 80% fine-grade locally sourced molasses and 20% evaporated cane juice from Columbia. (Michigan is not really a sugarcane growing region, so you can't blame them for that.) The nose on this is molasses driven at first then clears out to a vanilla and banana that is surrounded by a very nice creaminess. Notes of caramel and toffee come through as well. The flavor is all of the above but more balanced than the nose. I feel that with them planning to barrel age and spice this rum it will show its true colors. As far as mixing it, I went with the classic rum and coke and it proved to be a great decision, although it is worth savoring on its own because of it's eccentricities. Overall these first selections of Coppercraft show a great promise in what the future holds for the company. I for one and anxious to see what is in store for them next.

All of these are available at Sicilianos Market retailing at $30.00. We will be having a tasting in store with Coppercraft on May 9 from 5-7 pm, so please come out and show your support for a great local company with some fun new spirits.

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Beer Friday, Keeping You in the Loop Edition (April 25)

A custom-built six-manifold chilling station
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Judging for the homebrew competition is in our rearview mirror and Team Siciliano is now focusing on the next two homebrewing events in our annual spring lineup—Saturday, May 3rd’s Big Brew on the Calder in downtown Grand Rapids and the Homebrew Party on Saturday, May 17 at Townsend Park.

Last year’s inaugural Big Brew on the Calder was a huge success and we’ve made a few changes that we think will make this year’s event even better. Some minor tweaking of our custom built six-manifold chilling station has enabled us to compress the schedules for the boil and chill times. All the brewing teams should be finished by 1:30 pm this year which will allow everyone to socialize and relax with a homebrew while enjoying the music of Jimmie Stagger. This year there will also be the opportunity to purchase some good eats from Arcadia Brewing Company’s food truck.

The Big Brew on the Calder is free of charge and is open to the public.

We’re returning to Townsend Park this year for the Eleventh Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party. As those who have attended past parties know, this annual celebration of the enriching hobby of homebrewing has evolved into a mini beer festival. For the $40.00 price of admission you get some nice gifts, a meal and live entertainment provided by, you guessed it—local music legend Jimmie Stagger.

Space for the party is limited. Tickets may be purchased in person at Siciliano’s or with a credit card over the phone by calling 616-453-9674.

New and Returning Beers

  • He'brew Funky Jewbelation, $12.59/22oz (limit 1/person) - "The eighth member in Shmaltz Brewing’s Limited Engagement Barrel-Aged series, Funky Jewbelation features a blend of six ales and lagers from the Shmaltz beer lineup aged in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels, and hustles in at 9.4% alc" (source).
  • Shorts Alien Einstein, $1.99/12oz (limit 2/person) - "Alien Einstein is a light bodied India Pale Lager with a dull golden color and an inviting aroma of tangy grapefruit juice. A bright burst of fruity and earthy hop flavors immediately hits the palate. This beer exemplifies the well-rounded versatility of the American Mosaic hops used exclusively in this beer" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada ovila Abbey Saison, $3.29/375ml - "A collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Co and the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux, Ovila Abbey Saison brings the centuries-old monastery brewing tradition to America. Ovila Abbey Saison is complex and contemplative-but also refreshingly dry and drinkable. With earthy and spicy aromas, this rustic Saison has note of green grass and a faint citrus tang. The body is light and layered with fruit and spice accents and a dry, peppery finish. A portion of the proceedsfrom this ale go toward the restoration of the historic Santa Maria de Oliva chapter house on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. This medieval building stood for nearly eight centuries in Spain. William Randolph Hearst purchased the monastery in 1931 and planned to use the stones for a castle even grander than his famous San Simeon. Although Hearst’s plan crumbled, these historic stones will rise again in a California Cistercian abbey" (source).
  • Founders All Day IPA, $19.39/15 packs - "The beer you’ve been waiting for. Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp. An all-day IPA naturally brewed with a complex array of malts, grains and hops. Balanced for optimal aromatic and a clean finish. The perfect reward for an honest day’s work and the ultimate companion to celebrate life’s simple pleasures" (source).
  • Ommegang Fleur de Houblon, $2.89/12oz - "Nothing is more evocative of summer than the beautiful aroma of flowers, and the favored flowers of brewers are hops. Our brand new summer ale, Fleur de Houblon (Hop Flowers), is brewed to bring the many elements of summer into a refreshing and easy-to-drink Belgian-style ale. Fleur de Houblon is a rich gold color with distinct floral hops in the aroma that follow through in the taste. Whole-cone Bravo hops are used to impart their earthy, fruity, and floral aromas and flavors. The body and flavor are clean and dry, with pleasing complexity and spicy notes from both primary and secondary fermentation with our unique Ommegang house yeast" (source).
  • Southern Tier Farmer's Tan Imperial Pale Lager, $1.69/12oz - "Neolithic humans evolved from nomadic hunters into a more settled agricultural society, changing life forever. The ‘founder’ crops they raised included wheat and barley. It is little surprise that the first examples of brewing appeared during this age. Brewers owe much to the epoch. Similarly, we thank our farmer friends of today for cultivating the ingredients the are responsible for the beers we now enjoy. Their laborious days spent ourdoors under the hot sun earn them respect, as well as a mark of distinction: the farmer’s tan. Yes, the inevitable red and white hallmark of hard work" (source).
  • Southern Tier Mokah, $9.29/22oz - "When empirical and creative impulses collide, the result is often timeless. The classic utility-art aesthetic of the coffee maker is an example of design and engineering working in concert. It is through similar cooperation that the simple bitter cocoa bean is transformed into a sweet treat. As scientists, our brewers utilize their materials to exacting standards. As artists, they couldn’t resist the temptation to combine the best flavors of two of our highly acclaimed Blackwater Series Imperial Stouts, Jahva and Choklat. Alone each is perfect, but together as Mokah, they are an inimitable expression of two of the world’s most sought after flavors" (source).
  • Southern Tier Imperial Compass, $7.79/22oz - "We rely on age-old tools in the brewery despite being surrounded by high technology. As a sort of compass, we use the six pointed brewer’s star to help navigate uncharted brews. The cardinal points of water, malt, grain, yeast, hops and a brewer make the baseline. From there anything goes. Sometimes the journey is as important as the destination" (source).
  • Stone Sprocket Bier, $9.09/22oz (1/person) - "Rick Blankemeier & Robert Chandler’s Sprocketbier Black Rye Kolsch Style. We’ve been brewing together for the better part of three years. Rick is an amazing homebrewer and always has at least one spare recipe hidden somewhere in that magnificent head of his. Robbie, on the other hand, is the Igor to Rich’s Dr. Frankenstein (but with less hunchback and more beard). Armed with only a four-letter acronym (KISS) and a mission to make a beer that was balanced and complex but still sessionable, Rick jotted down a recipe on a sticky note that would impress even the most seasoned brewmaster. Out of 19 amazing beers brewed by 19 teams of the best brewers at Stone Brewing Co., Steve Wagner (Co-founder & President), Greg Koch (Co-founder & CEO), and Mitch Steele (Brewmaster) chose this one after a blind tasting of the top nine beers. As we write this, we are honored and humbled by the decision to select our beer for the very first Stone Brewing Co. Spotlight Series release. Our original goal was to pay tribute to the SNL Sprockets skit by creating a beer that even Dieter would think "is dark and easy to drink," and we’re pretty sure we succeeded (Dieter’s not around to ask). We love this beer and can’t wait to share it with beer geeks and Stone fans around the country. Before you delve into this Impressively Dark and Amazingly Balanced beer, let us propose a toast to the ones we have lost, and to those of us who will never let their memories be forgotten…… Cheers, Prost, Salud and Good Memories to all" (source).

Cartoon of the Week


(Get your fill of Headcheese at the official Headcheese Facebook page.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

2014 Homebrew Competition: Judging is Complete

Judging the Best of Show
By Steve Siciliano

Preparations were going smoothly this past Saturday morning at the Guest House in Grand Rapids, the site of the judging for the Eleventh Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition.

The entries had been carefully unboxed and the bottles were safely sitting on tables in the staging area. Water pitchers, dump buckets, sharpened pencils, tasting glasses, bottle openers, BJCP style guidelines and crackers for palate cleansing had been laid out for the judges. The sound system had been set up, the keg of New Holland Full Circle for post judging refreshment was on ice, and Barb, Greg and Katie and were setting up the computer and the printer on the registration table. I checked the time. There was still a half hour before the judges and stewards would begin arriving. We were ready.

I was in the kitchen talking to the caterer about the post-judging meal when the double swinging doors flew open. “Steve, there’s a problem with the score sheets,” Barb said. “A big one.”

The problem was indeed a big one. On Friday I had taken the flash drive with the forty-five PDF files of the judging packets to the printer. There should have been one separate pre-printed cover sheet and two separate score sheets for each of the two-hundred plus entries. The packets had instead been printed on both sides of the paper and couldn’t be used.

Crises mode. Barb retrieved the flash drive from her purse. We debated whether we should reprint the packets ourselves. Did we have enough paper? Probably. Did we have enough ink? Maybe. Did we have enough time? No, not with the basic, slow-moving printer we have at home. Barb raced off to get the packets reprinted at Office Max.

I’m happy to report that despite that rather major bump in the road the rest of the judging went smoothly. Some stellar beers were entered, six of which advanced to the round of Best-of-Show. You’ll have to wait until the May 17 Homebrew Party to find out which entry won but I will share this tidbit of information now—this year the winning homebrewer is from West Michigan.

Much thanks to the stewards and judges, some of whom traveled from as far away as Detroit and Chicago to participate in the judging. Thanks also to New Holland Brewing Company for their co-sponsorship of this year’s competition.

Score sheets and medals will be available for pick up at the Homebrew Party on May 17. Those not attending the party may pick up their score sheets and medals at the store beginning on May 18. Those residing outside the Grand Rapids area may request to have their results and medals mailed by contacting me at this address:

Friday, April 18, 2014

New Beer Friday, Thank Greg Johnson Edition (April 18)

Greg Johnson is one stand-up dude
By Steve Siciliano

Yesterday former Siciliano’s staffer Greg Johnson helped Barb and I sort, catalog and label the entries in this year’s Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition.

Tomorrow we’ll carefully transport the twenty plus cases of 12-ounce amber bottles to the judging venue where the homebrewed ales and lagers will be evaluated according to BJCP style guidelines by certified judges, professional brewers, experienced homebrewers and industry professionals.

Before Greg left Siciliano’s to take a position with Virtue Cider he was in charge of running our annual competitions. Barb and I would like to thank him for teaching us how to use the Beers to Fear online competition center and for acting a consultant while we take over the organizational reins. We would also like to thank Dan Frechette of the Kuhnhenn Guild of Brewers for once again allowing us to use the Beers to Fear resources.

While we drove home from the store last night Barb and I talked about how the competition has evolved and grown over the last ten years. Tomorrow over fifty judges from around the Midwest will be evaluating over two hundred entries in a rented hall. In the competition’s first year, four judges appraised twenty homebrews while sitting around our dining room table.

There’s a lot of work that goes into organizing and running a sizable homebrew competition. I was reminded of that this year. The time and effort, however, are well worth it, and I know I’ll be reminded of that at the homebrew party on May 17 each time I drape a medal around the neck of a beaming homebrewer.

New and Returning Beers

  • Red Hook Keep Calm and Chive On Black Lager, $1.69/12oz - "KCCO Black Lager is deep charcoal in color, with mild notes of coffee and dark chocolate, a hint of smoke, and a clean, dry finish. At just 5.2% ABV and 22 IBU, KCCO Black lager features big flavor without the high alcohol punch" (source).
  • Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale, $1.69/12oz - "Cream Ale brewed with honey and orange peel, with orange flower extract added" (source).
  • Greenbush Sunspot Hefeweizen, $1.99/12oz - "A hot way to cool down Hot. Drenched. Delightfully blinding. Right. We’re not talking about that ball of fire in the sky, but our refreshing hefewiezen. Skip the shade and down a glass or two and be cool" (source).
  • Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger, $1.69/12oz - "India Pale Ale brewed with rye malt and loaded with hops" (source).
  • Epic Big Bad Baptist, $12.09/22oz (1/person) - "It’s big, it’s bad, bourbon barrel aged imperial stout, with coffee and cocoa nibs" (source).

Video of the Week | "Brew Day" by Colin Ragan

Another great submission to Founders "Show us Your Session" contest.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Siciliano's Upcoming Homebrew Events: Info & Updates

By Steve Siciliano

On Saturday, April 19, over eighty BJCP-certified judges, professional brewers, experienced homebrewers and industry professionals will gather at the Guest House in Grand Rapids to participate in the judging for the Eleventh Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition. Included in this year’s record number of entries are submissions from homebrewers in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Florida, Texas and Montana.

The competition’s Best-of-Show winner will be announced at the Eleventh Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party on Saturday, May 17 at Townsend Park. Those not attending the party may pick up score sheets and medals at Siciliano’s Market beginning on Sunday, May 18.

If you live outside of the Grand Rapids area and would like your score sheets and medals mailed to you, please contact me at this address: If you are planning on attending the party and have not yet purchased a ticket you should do so as soon as possible as space is limited. You may purchase tickets in person at the store or with a credit card over the phone by calling 616-453-9674. Tickets are $40.00.

We are in the final planning stages for the Second Annual Siciliano’s Big Brew on the Calder. Fifty-three teams of homebrewers will be brewing up batches of “Beer City Brown” on the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday, May 3, from 9 am to 2 pm. The Big Brew event is free of charge and is open to the public. Entertainment will be provided by local music legend Jimmie Stagger.

Friday, April 11, 2014

New Beer Friday, Let the Beer Do the Talking Edition (4/11)

By Chris Siciliano

This week, we're going to get right to it and let the beer do the talking—always a good idea, in our experience.

Enjoy New Beer Friday everyone, and have a great weekend. Here's the list of the latest beers to arrive at Siciliano's.

New and Returning Beer

  • Angry Orchard Elderflower, $1.59/12oz - "This cider has tropical notes from the elderflower balanced by a fresh, bright, fruity flavor reminiscent of lychee, pears, and citrus. This flower compliments the crisp apple flavor resulting in a balanced sweetness that brings the fruit and flower together" (source).
  • Epic Brewing Santa Cruz, $7.19/12oz - "An Epic interpretation of the recent American trend of brewing Black IPAs, our Santa Cruz Brown is a true hybrid. Inspired by our brewer Kyle’s desire to have it all" (source).
  • Southern Tier Hop Sun, $1.69/12oz - "Pour Hop Sun Summer Wheat Beer into a pint glass, give it a long whiff and you’ll realize that this isn’t your average wheat beer. Filtered to a golden clarity and dry-hopped to perfection, Hop Sun is a fantastic session ale in which flavors of wheat, barley and hops co-mingle to a refreshing and zesty conclusion. Hints of lemon and sweet malts waft to the fore as a touch of bitterness contributes to Hop Sun’s bright finish. Enjoy Hop Sun all summer long as a perfect balance to your outdoor recreation. Summer never tasted so good" (source).
  • Big Sky Pygmy Owl Itty Bitty IPA, $1.69/12oz - "Pygmy Owl is an IPA with full fledged hop taste and aroma, yet is remarkably low in alcohol. In fact, it clocks in at only 4.2% ABV. An IPA with full flavor, but without the harsh bitterness. And the best part, you can have more than one without getting that drunkied up feeling" (source).
  • Atwater Hop-A-Peel, $1.79/12oz - Ale brewed with orange peel.
  • Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen, $1.69/12oz - "Schofferhofer grapefruit is a unique combination of sparkling wheat beer and refreshing tangy fruit juice. Mix of 50% Schofferhofer wheat beer and 50% grapefruit juice" (source).
  • Oddside Hells Yes, $1.99/12oz - "A Munich helles lager" (source).
  • Shorts Hop Stash, $1.99/12oz - "American India Pale Ale dominated by citrus flavors and aromas. Focusing on hop varieties that offer the most fruity and floral characteristics with the addition of grapefruit concentrate" (source).
  • Saugatuck Darker Than Your Soul, $2.59/12oz - "Dark and roasty with hints of dark-pitted fruit and chocolate" (source).
  • Vivant North French Biere de Garde, $3.59/12oz - "A resurrection of Bière de Garde from days gone by; this ale is composed of 100% French malt and Fermented with our house Bière de Garde strain. This ale is malt-forward with our signature Vivant yeast character" (source).
  • Aecht Marzen Rauchbiere, $5.09/500ml (returning) - "Bamberg’s speciality, a dark, bottom fermented smokebeer, brewed with Original Schlenkerla Smokemalt from the Schlenkerla maltings and tapped according to old tradition directly from the gravity-fed oakwood cask in the historical brewery tavern" (source).
  • Aecht Urbock Rauchbeer, $5.09/500ml (returning) - "A smoked bock beer for Bamberg’s strong beer season (October through December). Matured for months in ancient rock-cellars underneath Bamberg and tapped freshly from the oakwood cask. Similar to, but much bigger than the classic Maerzen style" (source).

Video of the Week | Beer Camp Across America

Well, this looks interesting.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Homebrew Competition Update: Registration Closed

By Steve Siciliano

Entry registration for the Eleventh Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Competition is now closed. I would like to remind everyone who registered entries that we must receive your two 12 ounce amber bottles by Sunday, April 13. If you are shipping your bottles please ensure that they are packaged securely as we have received a few that were damaged in transit.

A total of 228 entries were registered for this year’s competition, the highest total for a Siciliano’s competition to date. The following is the breakdown of the registered entries according to BJCP styles:

    • Premium American Lager 1
    • Munich Helles 1
    • German Pilsner 3
    • Bohemian Pilsener 1
    • Classic American Pilsner 1
    • Vienna Lager 3
    • Schwarzbier 1
    • Maibock/Helles Bock 3
    • Traditional Bock 1
    • Doppelbock 1
    • Cream Ale 2
    • Blonde Ale 1
    • Kölsch 4
    • American Wheat or Rye Beer 4
    • North German Altbier 1
    • California Common Beer 1
    • Standard/Ordinary Bitter 1
    • Special/Best/Premium Bitter 1
    • Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English) 3
    • Irish Red Ale 2Strong Scotch Ale 7
    • American Pale Ale 13
    • American Amber Ale 4
    • American Brown Ale 5
    • Mild 2
    • Northern English Brown Ale 2
    • Brown Porter 3
    • Robust Porter 2
    • Baltic Porter 1
    • Dry Stout 1
    • Sweet Stout 5
    • Oatmeal Stout 5
    • Foreign Extra Stout 1
    • American Stout 2
    • Imperial Stout 9
    • American IPA 20
    • Imperial IPA 11
    • Weizen/Weissbier 5
    • Dunkelweizen 2
    • Witbier 5
    • Belgian Pale Ale 1
    • Saison 10
    • Belgian Specialty Ale 4
    • Flanders Red Ale 4
    • Fruit Lambic 1
    • Belgian Dubbel 2
    • Belgian Tripel 1
    • Belgian Dark Strong Ale 5
    • Old Ale 2
    • English Barleywine 3
    • American Barleywine 3
    • Fruit Beer 7
    • Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer 9
    • Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer 2
    • Other Smoked Beer 3
    • Wood-Aged Beer 8
    • Specialty Beer 22
Entries will be judged on their own merits according to BJCP style guidelines by a staff of certified judges, professional brewers, experienced home brewers and industry professionals. Judging will take place on Saturday, April 19.

The Best-in-Show winner will be announced at the Eleventh Annual Siciliano’s Homebrew Party on Saturday, May 17. Details for the party can be found here. Those not attending the May 17 event may pick up medals and score sheets at Siciliano’s Market beginning on Sunday, May 18.

Friday, April 4, 2014

New Beer Friday, New Yeast Cooler Edition (April 4)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

If you came into Siciliano’s Market for brewing supplies sometime in the past month, you probably know that we are now keeping the beer yeast in a shiny new three-door reach-in cooler.

To be quite honest I really didn’t think our old set up was all that bad. It was my wife Barb who kept insisting that we needed more space for our yeast and hops. She contended that the walk-in cooler was too small, that it was cluttered and that, especially on busy days, it got claustrophobically crowded. “The walk-in is fine,” I kept repeating, knowing full well that I would eventually capitulate.

I caved about three weeks ago, when staffer Sarah Derylo repeated Barb’s argument verbatim. I realized then that they were in cahoots and further resistance was futile. “All right,” I sighed. “Let’s get it done.”

Of course they were right about needing more space for the yeast and hops, and I have to admit that I like the new arrangement much better. We hope all you homebrewers will agree.

New and Returning Beer

  • Evil Twin Hop Flood, $3.99/12oz - "On a beautiful summer night in July while peaceful Danes rocked at Roskilde Festival and sipped wine in their picturesque summer retreats, an apocalyptic tidal surge flooded the famous Ølbutikken in Copenhagen and drowned thousands of precious beer – Hop Flood is a bitter tribute to the heroic bottles that didn’t make it" (source).
  • Arbor Phat Abbot Tripel, $2.29/12oz - "This traditional Belgian-style triple is strong, fruity, and slightly sour. It starts with a big malt presence, followed up by a pronounced candy sugar sweetness, and balanced with a spicy hop finish. A must-try. Ask your server for a taste" (source).
  • Arbor Strawberry Blonde, $2.29/12oz - "Strawberries are Spring’s first fruit. They announce the end of the long Midwest winter and welcome the lazy days of summer. They herald a season of weekends at the lake, walking barefoot through the grass, and whiling away the afternoon at your local beer garden. Be sure to savor your Strawberry Blonde while it lasts because like a Michigan summer, it’ll be gone before you know it. Food Pairings: Great with tangy BBQ, balsamic vinaigrette, citrusy or spicy dishes, and strawberry rhubarb pie Tasting Notes: This is a sophisticated fruit ale that doesn’t forget it’s a beer. Rich and flavorful medium bodied beer with a fresh, floral strawberry aroma. Citrus, spice, and fruit are blended seamlessly for a subtle yet distinct flavor that never turns too sweet" (source).
  • Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale, $1.79/12oz - "Why is the Grim Reaper holding a mailbox? Well, that mailbox is from a dead Dark Horse beer. The Grim Reaper better know as "Death" was quite fond of our classic Sapient Summer Wheat Ale. When we changed it into a Belgian Style Triple, Death thought it would only be appropriate to bring something from that beer into this beer. So he picked the mailbox, and we weren’t about to argue with him. You can say what you want about him, but that Death sure has a big heart. So anyway...we brewed this beer with a Trappist yeast strain so it is very traditional. The flavors are incredibly complex with notes of mild fruit and finishes with a bit of clove. Although this beer is higher in alcohol it is very smooth and finishes dry on the palate" (source).
  • Odd Side Bourbon Barrel Aged Citra Pale Ale, $2.99/12oz - American-style pale ale aged in bourbon barrels.
  • White Birch Belgian-style Pale Ale, $5.79/22oz - "This straw colored beer greets with an aroma of noble hops, pears and Belgian esters. The flavor follows nicely with a moderately spicy hop and Belgian yeast effect buoyed by a soft malt body. The finish is crisp and dry. We enjoy this beer with spicy foods, grilled steaks, grilled chicken and mandarin salad. Where you take it is only limited by your imagination" (source).
  • White Birch Hop Session, $5.79/22oz - "Hop Session is in. Starting with a blend of west coast hops for a balanced, bitter effect. We close the session out by dry hopping the beer for a nice resiny mouth feel" (source).
  • Stillwater 'Omnipollo Nebuchadnezzar Remix, $13.79/22oz - "Inspired by the artistry and assertiveness of Omnipollo’s Nebuchadnezzar. I decided on a demure approach. Expressing the lovely hop profile of the original & tying it together with farmhouse yeast & brettanomyces for a fruity, funky fiesta" (source).

Video of the Week | The Cellarman's Half Dozen

On April 1, Greenbush redefined what's possible
in the world of craft beer packaging.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hop Head Farms, Now Available at Siciliano's

By Doug Dorda

There is no better season than spring in which to herald the arrival of a new product. As Mother Nature casts her favor toward the sun once again, a cornucopia of welcome changes is sure to be just around the corner. While we at Sicilianos are unable to coax Demeter, Greek goddess of agriculture, into casting off entirely the veil of winter's scorn, we may be able to offer a salve for the soul with this announcement—we are now proudly offering hops from our friends at Hop Head Farms!

For those who would like a reader’s digest version of why this particular tiding is so tantalizing, we point to the fact that Hop Head Farms is located in nearby Barry County. In short, those of you wishing to support local business, bolster our craft beer industry in a new way, or perhaps brew with all Michigan ingredient beers, we now offer you a way to accomplish one or all of your goals.

We now carry the following varieties of from Hop Head Farms:

    • Cascade – 5.13% alpha acid
    • Centennial – 7.38% alpha acid
    • Chinook – 9.68% alpha acid
    • Willamette – 3.18% alpha acid
The good people of Hop Head Farms have also been more than kind enough to work with German hop growers to bring us a few varieties of hops that we previously were unable to carry. The two that we have brought in are as follows.

    • German Opal – 5.27% alpha acid
    • German Saphir – 2.4% alpha acid
All of the domestically available hop varieties are $2.69 per ounce. Both of the imported varieties are available for $1.99 an ounce. Selections of Hop Head Farms varieties are available in our walk-in hop cooler.