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Friday, October 28, 2016

New Beer Friday, Acquisition Edition (October 27)

Much ado about homebrew
By Steve Siciliano

Internet homebrew forums last week were buzzing over the announcement that the venture capital arm of Anheuser Busch InBev has acquired Northern Brewer and its sister company Midwest Supplies, two Minnesota-based retailers that together make up the largest online marketer of beermaking supplies in the country. The announcement closely followed news that AB InBev had finalized its $100 billion acquisition of chief rival SABMiller. The global conglomerate’s combined portfolio will now account for more than a quarter of all the world’s beer sales.

While a few posters put positive spins on the Northern Brewer/Midwest Supplies acquisition by ZX Ventures, the majority of comments were decidedly negative. “AB can’t make good beer so they buy every avenue to corner and control the market,” one poster commented. “This news is a bit concerning for the little guys as InBev likely has a plan to expand their presence in the market,” wrote another.

That some members of the homebrewing community are viewing AB InBev’s foray into the supply side of their hobby as suspicious is understandable. In a New Beer Friday post last January I noted that many craft beer enthusiasts have perennially viewed the mega corporate breweries as enemies hellbent on stemming or destroying the craft beer resurgence. I also presented reasons as to what makes this a plausible point of view.

In view of AB InBev’s blatant mocking of craft beer drinkers in Super Bowl commercials over the past two years, perhaps the global behemoth’s latest move can simply be regarded as nothing more than a hypocritical instance of an if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them mentality. Whether it’s hypocrisy coupled with nefarious intentions remains to be seen.

New and Returning Beer

  • Brewery Vivant Verdun, $3.49/16oz - "A traditional biere de garde ("beer for keeping"), brewed in the Northern French tradition. This is the classic indigenous French beer style. Breweries dotting the Lorraine landscape would brew with rustic yeasts in the coolnes sof the hillside and enjoy a drink at the end of a day's toil. Our Verdun pays homage to the town in Northern France and keeps this brewing tradition at the center of its focus" (source).
  • Founders Backwoods Bastard, $3.99/12oz - "Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate" (source).
  • Arcadia Porter Rico, $1.79/12oz - "Take a trip to the lost island of Porter Rico, where the cacao and coconut live in harmony and frolic the sandy shores. Our island getaway takes the form of a dark, chocolatey beer, with a balancing sweetness, medium body, and lingering mouthfeel. Intense toasted coconut rides the trade winds for a truly exotic, yet comfortingly familiar pint" (source).
  • Big Lake Dark Star, $2.69/16oz - "A breakfast style stout brewed with Kona and Sumatra coffee aged on cocoa nibs" (source).
  • Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, $15.29/750ml (1 per)  - "La Roja, an artisan amber ale brewed in the Flanders tradition. Deep amber with earthy caramel, spice and sour fruit notes developed through natural barrel aging. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and blended from barrels ranging in age between two and ten months. Truly an ale of distinction" (source).
  • Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otono, $14.39/750ml - "To catch a bit of soft radiance in each special bottle, we wait for fall colors to begin their bright and fleeting glow before brewing this wonderful ale under their autumn fire. Gentle amber malts lead smooth caramel notes, gently lapping against a shore of distant forgotten spice. A beer to contemplate and enjoy" (source).
  • Short's Sticky Icky Ick, $1.99/12oz - "Sticky Icky Icky is a radiantly dank, clear copper-colored American India Pale Ale loaded with citrusy hop aromas. This light, yet full-bodied, ale seems perfectly balanced by equal parts sweet malt and fruity juicy hops. A medium bitterness lingers in the finish with a subtle earthiness" (source).
  • Short's Barrel Aged Huma, $12.19/22oz (1 per) - "Bourbon Huma is our best-selling American India Pale Ale aged in bourbon barrels for up to 9 months. An initial malt sweetness is replaced with flavors of charred oak and sweet vanilla, followed by the standard Huma hop punch to the palate. This new combination creates the sensation of sipping on a sweet bourbon that finishes like a bitter hop theme park in your mouth" (source).
  • Oddside Granny's Apple Pie, $2.29/12oz - "Made with vandermil cider. clear amber with minimal head, Apples, cinnamon and malt with the crust showing up on the back end. Tasted super fresh with a somewhat dry finish. Kudos to Odd Side for their tasty concoctions" (source).
  • Alaskan Winter Ale, $1.79/12oz - "Traditionally malty with the warming sensation of alcohol, Olde Ales are brewed in the fall as winter warmers" (source).
  • Pilsner Urquel Lunchbox, $12.59/4pack/16oz - "In this original classic Pilsner, brewed in the Czech Republic since 1292, saaz hops & soft malts roll gently over the tongue to a lingering, bitter finish. This edition of the classic beer is featured in an old school lunch box with 4 different classic looking cans" (source).
  • Victory Harvest Ale, 12oz/$2.59 - "Highly aromatic and sensual, this novel pale ale delivers a fresh hop flavor like no other brew. Its secret? Fresh hops piled into our boiling kettle just hours after their harvest. With many more of their essential oils intact, these “wet” hops add glorious notes of juicy, fruit to a lightly sweet and balanced brew. Best enjoyed fresh" (source).
  • Deschutes Chasing Freshies, $1.99/12oz - "Like fresh powder, it’s a seize-the-moment thing. This year we’ve chased down fresh Centennial hops from the Goschie Farms in Oregon. At harvest, we rush the hops from the vine to our kettles to ensure we capture the purest, juiciest essence of the hop flower in every beer. Enjoy the bright, bold aroma and flavor that comes but once a year" (source).
  • Breckenridge Mango Mosaic, $1.99/12oz - "Mosaic hops naturally give off aromas of guava and mango, lending a unique sweetness to the hop character of this pale ale. To build upon the tropical attributes of the hops, we've added a healthy dose of mango. Mango Mosaic Pale Ale is a well-balanced montage of fruit flavors, fresh aromas, and refreshingly crisp goodness" (source).
  • Dogfish Head Flesh and Blood, $2.59/12oz - "Flesh & Blood balances the resinous hoppy characteristics of an American IPA with the explosive zesty fruitiness and subtle drying tartness of citrus to deliver a highly quaffable ale that’s incredibly unique and lovely to down the whole year round" (source).

Video of the Week | Flesh & Blood IPA

Available now at Siciliano's.


Friday, October 21, 2016

New Beer Friday, Nobel Prize Edition (October 21)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Legions of Bob Dylan fans were ecstatic over the announcement last week that the 75-year-old music icon is the 2016 recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature.

Here at Siciliano’s, there’s no bigger Dylan fan than longtime staffer Sarah Derylo and over the years I’ve occasionally teased her about her unabashed adulation for the legendary singer songwriter. “Too bad Dylan can’t write a lyric,” I would occasionally quip when one of his songs was playing on the radio. The jibe never failed to elicit a volcanic, expletive-riddled reaction.

Sarah Derylo, consumate Bob Dylan fan
While I’m also a big Dylan fan, I’m among those who were more than a little surprised that the Swedish Academy honored him with this esteemed annual award “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” It’s not that I feel that Dylan’s body of lyrical work isn’t deserving of high accolades — I’ve always considered his best lyrics to be fine poetry. Whether that poetry is deserving of literature’s highest accolade, however, is open to debate.

There are those who will argue the absurdity of elevating Mr. Dylan to the status of past Nobel laureates such a George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Others will maintain that a lyricist who possesses the keen insights and polished literary skills necessary to pen such classics as Blowin' in the Wind, Chimes of Freedom, My Back Pages and The Times they are A-Changin' deserves to be bestowed with this esteemed award.

I understand and can appreciate both points of view. Perhaps both of them are right.

New and Returning Beer

  • Rockford Butternut Spiced Ale, $6.99/22oz - "This fall specialty was brewed with 100 pounds of fresh locally grown butternut squash. It has a toasty, rich and malty body with layered flavors of toffee, caramel and dark fruit. We also used a unique blend of fresh spices to give this specialty a warm, fall personality" (source).
  • Pigeon Hill Walter Gets Buzzed, $1.79/12oz - "Blonde ale with snicker doodle coffee" (source).
  • Crankers Wandering Wizard Wheat Wine, $10.69/22oz - No commercial description.
  • Brewery Vivant Plien de Vie Stone Fruit Sour, $9.99/500ml - "Foeder-Age sour aged with peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries" (source).
  • Detroit Brewing Evo Pils, $1.99/12oz - "Time, technique, hops, malt and yeast are the only ingredients that make a great pilsner, and Detroit Brewing Company, puts the best of all of them in Original Pils. The extra step of dry hopping with Bavarian Mandarina hops lets this old Northern German recipe speak with an original American voice, Our goal is to stay rooted in tradition and to perfect every beer we make; we think you’ll enjoy our work" (source).
  • Jolly Pumpkin Bam di Castagna, $5.39/12oz (1 per) - "Sour ale brewed with chestnuts" (source).
  • Arbor Fig Jam, $2.89/12oz - "Bourbon Barrel Aged Fig Jam" (source).
  • Bell's Cherry Stout, $2.89/12oz - "This unique ale begins its life as a powerful and richly sweet stout to which Michigan tart cherries are added. The resulting black brew is complex, sweet and tart with a distinct cherry finish. It will improve with cellaring" (source).
  • Bell's Java Stout, $2.89/12oz - "The satisfying elements of both stout and coffee come together in this full-bodied treat. A marriage of Sumatra's best with rich chocolate and roasted malt provides for a truly enlightening beer" (source).
  • Wolverine Gulo Gulo, $1.99/12oz - "This ground-breaking style combines the essential ingredients and hopping methods used to create a world-class I.P.A. with our expert lagering techniques and house lager yeast. As soon as this beer hit the shelves, we created an instant favorite among the existing and steadily growing number of “hop-heads” and craft “lager-heads” in the beer world today. Gulo Gulo India Pale Lager (I.P.L.) is hopped with Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, Warrior and Pilgrim hops. It is dry-hopped once in the fermenter and then a second time with whole-cone Cascade hops before packaging" (source).
  • Wolverine District 16, $1.79/12oz - "This Vienna-style Amber Lager is a complex, smooth, malt-forward, and balanced lager. Formerly known as Wolverine Amber Lager, this brew pays homage to the Viennese brewers who pioneered this style" (source).
  • Wolverine Lager, $1.99/12oz - "Our flagship beer. This classic brew is easy-drinking and thirst-quenching, but still draws complexity from its grain bill, which features all American ingredients: Premium North American Pilsner malt, American brown rice, and Northern Brewer hops. Looking for local flavor? The water used to make this crisp and refreshing lager is sourced right from the Huron River in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Premium is enhanced by its brilliant golden color, which in turn magnifies its true malt flavor and crisp finish. Its complexity, crispness, and freshness mean this beer is as perfect for everyday drinking as the Huron River is perfect for floating on a summer day" (source).
  • Wolverine Massacre, $4.49/12oz - "If you have never called a lager “ferocious” then you haven’t tried Massacre. We start with an imperial dark lager and age it in heavy-toast Kentucky bourbon barrels until it’s ready to package, at which point we dip each precious bottle in red wax to seal in the deliciousness. Very limited production, sold only in October. Make sure to get yours while it lasts" (source).
  • New Belgium Accumulation, $1.69/12oz - "Accumulation White IPA was inspired by the white beauty that falls each winter from our Colorado sky. Flurries of Mosaic and Amarillo hops bring soft fruit and citrus flavor, followed by a layer of bitter. Piled high in IBUs, Accumulation will make your winter brighter" (source).
  • New Belgium Terroir, $15.39/22oz - "Le Terroir is a French term meaning ‘Of the Earth.’ Used to reference the environmental conditional that affect the brew, we like to think about the terroir of our foeders. These wooden barrels age our sour beer in varying temperatures, humidity and vibrations. The terroir of New Belgium, so to speak. Add in another variable by dry-hopping with peachy, mango-like Amarillo hops, and we created a beer that changes every time we brew it" (source).
  • New Belgium Lips of Faith De Koninck, $3.29/12oz - "A beautiful summer day in Antwerp; the sun pours past the belfry and rooftops and floods into the market center. A ballet of brightly colored shoppers twists and twirls through the commotion, pinwheels of color against the cobblestone square. You find two seats on the café’s patio, ordering beers to pair with the bustling view: De Koninck Flowering Citrus Ale. This Lips of Faith collaboration with Antwerp’s historic De Koninck Brewery is a delightful burst of citrus and flowers, keeping pace with the color and commotion of summer. Sit back and enjoy the pop of key lime and whole lemons; breath in the fragrance of hibiscus, rose petals and strawberry-tinged Mistral hops; toast to life’s pleasant surprises. Soak in the summer scene with a Flowering Citrus Ale" (source).
  • Lagunitas NightTime, $4.79/22oz - "Kinda like Daytime's big, dark and scary sidekick, this ale is packed full of highly roasted malts then bitterly balanced with fistfuls of the dankest hops. Not for the lunch crowd or the faint of heart" (source).
  • Central Waters Headless Heron, $7.69/22oz - "Generously spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, this barrel-aged pumpkin spice ale overflows with dark fruit, dried fruit, and hints of bourbon. Perfect for settling in to watch a few leaves fall to the ground" (source).
  • Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale, $4.09/12oz - "" (source).
  • Boulder Shake, $1.79/12oz - "Our twist on the traditional robust American Porter, Shake Chocolate Porter is dark black in color with rich, sweet aromatics and flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and caramel. This unique brew blends five different grains, including Chocolate Wheat, that along with cacao nibs create a devilishly delicious chocolate finish with a velvety mouthfeel" (source).
  • Alaskan 2016 Smoked Porter, $8.99/22oz - "Known as “rauchbier” in Germany, smoke-flavored beers were virtually unknown in the U.S. until Alaskan Smoked Porter was developed in 1988" (source).
  • Boulevard Cranberry Orange, $1.69/12oz - "Beautifully hazy and slightly pink in color, Cranberry Orange Radler will open with an aroma of sweet blood oranges and just a hint of cranberry. The blood orange character boldly manifests in the flavor giving way to cranberry tartness. The base beer, Unfiltered Wheat Beer, contributes a slightly sweet bready flavor to the malt profile of the beer that shines with bright citrus flavor and a touch of acidity" (source).

Video of the Week | I Shall Be Released

Congrats to Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate.


Friday, October 14, 2016

New Beer Friday, Great American Beer Edition (Oct 14)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Ten Michigan breweries garnered awards last week at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado.

A total of 286 gold, silver and bronze medals were presented at the festival’s commercial beer competition which drew a record 7,227 entries from 1,752 breweries located in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Congratulations to the following Mitten State breweries that received medals in this year’s competition.


    • Dirty Frank Stout, River’s Edge Brewing, Milford (Export Stout)
    • Raucher, Wolverine State Brewing Co., Ann Arbor (Smoke Beer)


    • Expedition Stout, Bell’s Brewing Co., Galesburg (Aged Beer)*
    • reDANKulous, Backstage Series, Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids (American Imperial Red)


    • Angelina, Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer)*
    • Kusterer Original Weissbier, Cedar Springs Brewing Co, Cedar Springs (German-Style Wheat Ale)
    • Broadway Light, Detroit Brewing Company, Detroit (American Style Cream Ale)
    • Bangin The Mash, Latitude 42 Brewing Co., Portage (Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout)
    • Good Mooed Milk Stout, Railtown Brewing Co, Dutton (Sweet Stout or Cream Stout)
    • Live Wire, Roak Brewing, Royal Oak  (English IPA)*
*Currently available at Siciliano’s

New and Returning Beer

  • Pike 51 Cherry Sour, $10.79/22oz - "Wild Golden Ale w/ MI Balaton Cherry" (source).
  • Anchor Brotherhood Steam, $2.39/12oz - "Our friends of Chris Robinson Brotherhood released their new album “Phosphorescent Harvest” and kicked off their U.S. tour in the SF Bay Area earlier this spring. To celebrate, we tapped the first keg of our Brotherhood Steam Beer, a Golden State Collaboration of handcrafted California tunes and handcrafted California brews. Inspired by the brewing tradition of our flagship, Anchor Steam® Beer, Brotherhood Steam Beer is brewed with its own unique recipe. A distinct malt bill gives the beer its copper color, and dry-hopping with Citra and Nelson Sauvin hops adds aromatic hints of citrus and mint. The result is a smooth, full-bodied malt flavor with a lingering, fresh hop finish" (source).
  • Left Hand Fade to Black Vol. 1, $2.19/12oz - "That time of year when the day seems to fade away. Drifting further into the darkness with each passing day. Volume 1 – Foreign Stout – Pours black with licorice, espresso bean, molasses, and black cardamom notes that give way to a feeling of self loathing, burnt opportunities and smoked relationships" (source).
  • Anderson Valley Fall Horn'n, $2.19/12oz - "With a brilliant, deep copper hue and creamy beige-colored head, our Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale has inviting aromas of caramelized malt and baking bread with highlights of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and seasonal spices. The pleasantly creamy mouthfeel and silky body embrace the sweet caramel flavors and tang of spices (with just hint of hops) that ends in a smooth, round finish" (source).
  • Lagunitas Tuberfest, $2.19/12oz - "The TuberFest is a smooth and malty lager that is counterbalanced with some delicious Pacific NorthWestern Idaho #7 hops, giving it a cedary, herbal zing… Brewed to jumpstart your salubrious slide into late-Summer" (source).
  • Oddside Black Citra, $1.99/12oz - "Just like our Citra Pale Ale with just a slight variation in flavor and of course color" (source).
  • Short's Black Cherry Porter, $2.69/12oz - "Black Cherry Porter is made using sweet black cherries and eight different malts. The combination of ingredients provides the deep radiant flavor profile and creates a dark opaque color. The beer leaves a slight purple lace from the fruit puree and finishes with flavors of roasted chocolate and pleasurable black cherry" (source).
  • Ommegang Valar Dohaeris, $10.09/750ml - "After an exciting season that saw the Starks reclaim the North and Cersei take the Iron Throne as the first queen of Westeros, Brewery Ommegang and HBO Global Licensing are introducing a new beer and bringing back a previous brew to steady the nerves of fans as they anxiously endure the show’s off-season break. Valar Dohaeris Tripel Ale is the latest beer in the series and pays homage to Arya’s season-long struggles within and around the House of Black and White. Valar Dohaeris Tripel Ale is, much like a “faceless man,” not what it first appears to be; it shares the complexity of its sister-brew, Valar Morghulis Dubbel, and a strength masked and belied by its lighter color" (source).
  • Petoskey Cosmati Mosaic, $10.99/22oz - "Mosaic hops are the star of this single-hopped composition. Diverse citrus, mango & papaya mingle with mysteriously pleasing bitterness balancing by the large grain bill. A few sips of this unique Double IPA will have you mouth watering and your mind wanderin" (source).
  • Founders Harvest Ale, $3.49/12oz - "This liquid dream pours a hazy golden straw color with a white, two-finger head. Your first sip rewards you with a super juicy hop presence bursting with fresh citrus, then finishes to introduce toasted malt undertones" (source).
  • New Holland Dragons Milk Reserve Vanilla Chai, $4.29/12oz - "New Holland Brewing Co. has taken its top-selling, year-round, bourbon barrel stout – Dragon’s Milk – and infused it with flavors of Vanilla Chai. The Michigan-based brewery is releasing its first 2016 “reserve” batch of Dragon’s Milk to markets around the country with Dragon’s Milk Reserve Vanilla Chai shipping from New Holland’s production facility by the end of January and hitting stores and local watering holes soon after. This reserve blend is aged in bourbon barrels for three months, with the nuanced flavor of Vanilla Chai for a portion of that time" (source).
  • Trooper Red and Black Porter, $5.89/500ml - "The limited edition beer, designed once again by Iron Maiden vocalist and ale aficionado Bruce Dickinson together with Robinsons’ Head Brewer Martyn Weeks, is a modern take on a recipe that dates back to the 1850’s; a time when porter style beer was becoming increasingly popular in Britain" (source).
  • Anchorage / Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Boreal, $15.49/750ml - "Saison brewed with mosaic and galaxy hops. Fermented and aged in oak tanks with fresh grapefruit peel, peppercorns, and fresh grapefruit juice" (source).
  • Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’Été aux Framboises, $5.09/12oz - "This beer is an adaptation of a wheat beer brewed in Berlin known as a Berliner weiss. This is a cloudy blond coloured beer lightly tinted by the fruits which are steeped in it: either strawberry, raspberry or blueberry depending on the time of year. It is a highly acidic beer due to the lactic fermentation which takes place. Its aromas are acid, tart, and fruity.A light tasting beer, its acidity is quickly felt on each side of the tongue before leaving all the room for the wonderful fruity taste. 5.9% ABV on bottled version" (source).
  • Freigeist Berliner Scheisse, $6.79/330ml - "For the last 70 years or so German had almost nothing to do with sour, funky beer — until our friends at Freigeist changed all that in a big way. These specialists in reviving and updating freaky old Deutsch styles have now come up with a version of a dark, historic Berlin Braunbier, hilariously named Berliner Scheisse Wild Strawberry. (If you don’t know the translation of scheisse, look it up immediately — and never offer the beer to a German grandmother.) This 5% specialty is, as per usual with Freigeist, very drinkable, in the way a shit-brown, roasted, lactic, mildly acidic and sour beer with lots of sweet strawberry can be" (source).
  • Jopen/Cigar City Wayne's World, $5.09/12oz - "This American Blonde is brewed with Wayne Wambles from Cigar City Brewing. It is brewed with loads of fruity aroma hops to give the beer a fruity resiny flavour. Then we added spicy juniper berries and fresh sliced grapefruit and to top it off , we aged it on cedarwood. So many flavours in one glass" (source).
  • Panil Barriquee Sour Red, $18.99/750ml - "This masterpiece is ‘œtriple-fermented.’ Primary fermentation is in stainless steel. The deep earthy, sour character results from three months of maturation in cognac barrels from Bordeaux, followed by re-fermentation and further aging in the bottle. Barriquée is not pasteurized or filtered, and no sweeteners are added, so it is uncompromisingly dry and complex, and endlessly interesting" (source).
  • Prairie Ales Ace, $11.39/500ml - "Prairie Ace is a candy sugar saison that has been dry hopped with Sorachi Ace" (source).
  • To Øl Mr. Pink, $6.49/16oz - "Berliner style weisse beer with lychee and pink guava" (source).

Video of the Week | Plain de Vie

A video in honor of Brewery Vivant's GABF bronze medal. Please enjoy.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

October Brew of the Month: Mark's American Brown

Mark Iacopelli

Now that Octoberfest is over — yes, it actually is celebrated in September — and fall is in full swing, it's time for the dark, malty ales of the season. It is an exciting time in the beer world with countless seasonal beers on the shelves. For this month’s brew I decided to do an American Brown ale to kick off the fall, and to pay tribute to the browning leaves.

To make this one different I decided to go with a Munich malt base and omitted any type of caramel malt. Caramel malt is in almost every brown ale recipe I have seen and/or written for myself and for our customers. My reason for opting against Munich is to challenge my recipe design skills and to explore new malts. I believe that putting limitations on yourself in this way can better familiarize you with the different flavors you are picking up from each malt. To fill the void that the caramel malt left I decided to boil for two hours to pick up some maillard (browning) reactions. This is where I hoped to get the caramel sweetness found in many browns.

The finished product pours a deep brown with dark ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is a light tan with medium retention. On the nose the beer is predominately biscuity and bready with very slight chocolate, but mostly clean. In the flavor the beer is considerably toasty up front. In the middle it has a balanced savory sweetness before finishing a nutty dry. The carbonation is medium with a soft round body, yet finishes dry.

Overall, I found it to be a pretty comforting beer that is satisfying on its own, but light enough to have two or three in a sitting. I think the only change I would consider in a rebrew is to add a little rye in order to give the beer slight fruitiness. If you choose to pair this beer it would go well with honey ham and a side of mashed potatoes with apple pie for dessert.

All Grain Recipe

    • 8lb Briess Munich Malt
    • 1lb Pilot 6 Row
    • 1lb Biscuit Malt
    • 1lb Crisp Pale Chocolate
    • .5lb Aromatic Malt
    • .5oz Centennial (60mins)
    • 1oz Northern Brewer (15mins)
    • .5oz East Kent Goldings (5mins)
    • US-05 yeast

Extract with Specialty Grains

    • 6.6lb Liquid Munich Extract
    • 1lb Liquid Pilsner Light Extract (bring a mason jar)
    • .75lb Biscuit Malt
    • .75lb Crisp Pale Chocolate
    • .5lb Aromatic Malt
    • .5oz Centennial (90mins)
    • 1oz Northern Brewer (15mins)
    • 1oz East Kent Goldings (5mins)
    • US-05 yeast
The staff at Siciliano's is always eager to answer your homebrewing questions. Stop by for help developing custom-made recipes like this one!

Friday, October 7, 2016

New Beer Friday, Winexpert Limited Edition (Oct 7)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Each year Winexpert releases five super-premium kits from the world’s great wine regions that are not part of the company’s regular portfolio.

These kits are available only on a pre-order basis and are released during the first four months of the year.

We are now taking orders for the 2016 Limited Edition offerings. The following are the individual varieties along with the respective pricing and release dates. Complete descriptions are available here.

    • Yakima Valley Cabernet Franc, $157.95 (Available January)
    • Italian Vermentino, $151.95 (Available January)
    • Spanish Milagro, $157.95 (Available February)
    • California Blanc De Noir, $151.95 (Available March)
    • Australian Grenache Cabernet with grape skins, $182.95 (Available April)
These kits yield six gallons of wine which translates into thirty 750-ml bottles.

Please note that we must receive pre-orders by Friday, December 2, 2016 either by phone (616-453-9674), email or in person at Siciliano's.

New and Returning Beer

  • Arbor Eik, $20.99/750ml - "A big, floral, citrusy nose with hints of blood orange, brett and oak. This refreshingly sour, light bodied IPA is reminiscent of lemon grass and has a strong oak character carries through to a very dry finish" (source).
  • Arbor Peaches on Regalia, $20.99/750ml - "A perfect summer sipper for those funky enough to imbibe. It’s dank, earthy, and has peach aromas in the nose with hints of lemon and grass. Light bodied on the palette and slightly tart. The unripened peach notes lead into a mildly sweet, biscuit finish" (source).
  • Dark Horse Scary Jesus Rockstar, $2.19/12oz - "This collaboration beer made with Chef Cleetus Friedman of Chicago's Fountainhead will save your soul and then melt your face off. Aromas of chamomile touch your nose as they lead into the soft body and mouthfeel of this liquid symphony. Just as your mind is clear and your sins are washed away, a tasty riff of sweet and earthy fresh apricots hit your palate and rock your tastebuds finishing dry and hoppy. Drink, rock, repeat" (source).
  • North peak Dubious, $2.19/12oz - "North Peak Dubious is a smooth and rich beer, brewed with real chocolate, and roasted and black malts. The aroma, flavor and body are underscored by chocolate added at the end of the boil" (source).
  • North Peak HooDoo, $2.69/12oz - "North Peak Hoodoo Midwest Wet Hop IPA is the first of it’s kind. Brewed with fresh from the farm Michigan hops for exceptional flavor. Hoodoo is hops from start to finish with a little malt in the middle, just enough to keep Hoodoo from going Voodoo on you. not to worry – pretty much nothing but hops" (source).
  • Stone Coffee Milk Stout, $1.99/12oz - "North Peak Dubious is a Dark Chocolate Stout that has the perfect combination of chocolate, roast and black malts resulting in a smooth rich beer. Judicious use of hops bring out a complex, yet subtle bittering finished off with a big Goldings nose. This swirl of aroma, flavor and body is underscored by the rich chocolate that is added at the end of the boil. This medium bodied beer is brewed in Traverse City, MI, on Old Mission Peninsula incorporating locally grown hops" (source).
  • Stone Xocoveza, $2.99/12oz - "Harmoniously layered with cocoa, Mostra coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and milk sugar, this beer is an insanely delicious take on Mexican hot chocolate. Thanks entirely to you and fan demand, it has gone from being a one-time offering to a yearly tradition too special to skip. Feel free to enjoy it long into the winter months because this festive beer will age beautifully and is definitely not exclusive to the holidays" (source).
  • Stone Enjoy By Tangerine 10.31.16, $8.99/22oz - "After brewing this intense double IPA with more than 10 different hops and consistently delivering it faster than any bottled IPA on the planet, we decided to do something different with this Stone Enjoy By IPA—we took it to another level, again. Puréed tangerines were added to the batch to create a devastatingly fresh IPA with a tang of tangerine. The flavors yielded by this addition to the recipe meld beautifully with the bitterness of the hops. True to this series, Stone Enjoy By Tangerine IPA is brewed specifically NOT to last, and should be enjoyed within 37 days" (source).
  • Uncle John's Cinnamon, $2.99/16oz - "For generations, we made hard apple cider simply for our family’s enjoyment. When word got out about its crisp taste and perfect amount of carbonation, folks asked us to put it in cans. So here it is, direct from our farm to you. We use only fresh, quality apples-great apples make great cider! This cider is made from our traditional apple blend with other fruit and/or spice flavors added" (source).
  • Crispen Charred Cider, $8.99/22oz - No commercial description.
  • Painted Turtle Java Vanilla, $3.29/16oz - "Crafted for the coffee lover, Java Vanilla is made with exceptional coffee from our favorite local roaster, Schuil Coffee Company. This coffee is combined with quality vanilla and blended to perfection with an outstanding semi-sweet cider. Java Vanilla is a unique flavor you'll rave about" (source).
  • Painted Turtle Apple Crisp, $3.29/16oz - "Apple Crisp hard cider is dessert in a can inspired by mom’s incredible apple crisp. Cinnamon and vanilla complement Michigan’s best baking apples, which are slow fermented to give you a hard cider experience you just won’t forget" (source).
  • Painted Turtle Blueberry, $3.29/16oz - "Sweet Michigan blueberries are blended with an incredibly refreshing semi-sweet cider to create an amazing beverage that you just can't help but smile about. Blueberry Bliss is bursting with blueberry flavor. This cider is light, delicious, and a fan favorite" (source).
  • Painted Turtle Traditional, $3.29/16oz - "Painted Turtle Traditional cider is the best you will ever taste. It starts off bright with an apple explosion and finishes with mild pear and floral notes. It is smooth, refreshing, and uplifting. Semi-sweet and balanced, it makes a perfect drink for any occasion" (source).
  • Sierra Rose Strawberry, $2.29/12oz - "Strawberry and apple cider fermented for a great subtly tart taste" (source).
  • Sierra Rose Peach, $2.29/12oz - No commercial description.
  • Sierra Rose Blueberry, $2.29/12oz - "Smoked blueberries, dark and very rich" (source).
  • Sierra Rose Blackberry, $2.29/12oz - "Like a dry wine with complex flavors. The apple character marries with the added fruit to create a balanced flavor" (source).
  • Farmhaus Hop Crop, $2.29/16oz - "This cider isn't for everyone. Made for those looking to take their taste buds on an adventure, this cider is aggressively hopped from start to finish. Not bitter, but a real mouthful. It's big. It's bold. It's beautiful. It's a whole crop of hops fresh from the farm exploding in your mouth. Packed with citrus and passion fruit flavor, it's mouthwateringly delicious" (source).
  • Northern Naturals North Star, $2.69/12oz - No commercial description.
  • Northern Naturals Blueberry, $2.69/12oz - "Our blueberry apple has playful characteristics, sweet on the nose and semi dry on your palette. Our cider is very clean, crisp, & refreshing.  Wild Blueberries and a blend of local Heirloom Apples" (source).
  • Deschutes Hopziet Autumn IPA, $1.79/12oz - "If you’re looking for a traditional Oktoberfest, head to Munich. This modern ale inspired by the time-honored flavors of a Märzenbier combines classic malts with the latest hop varietals from Germany to deliver an herbal and balanced Autumn IPA that’s as at home in your backyard as the biergarten. Celebrate the season by sharing with friends, and skip the lederhosen- your friends will thank you" (source).
  • Deschutes Sagefight IPA, $2.09/12oz - "The main event for hopheads has arrived! In the right corner we have lively botanicals hailing from the high desert; in the left, heavyweight citrus hops are looking for a knockout. Get ready to take a punch and keep on swinging with this bold Imperial IPA brewed with sage and juniper berries that’s best shared with those in your corner" (source).
  • Oskar Blues Hotbox Porter, $3.09/12oz - "This porter (6.4% ABV, 30 IBUs) is based on malt flavors of roasted nuts, crème brulee, cocoa, and caramel, extracted from English and German roasted and caramel malts. Hotbox Roasters then crashes the party and infuses potent, cold-extracted coffee from Burundi and Ethiopian beans and deals out flavors and aromas of dark plums, chocolate, and hints of blueberry" (source).
  • Starcut Phuzz, $2.29/12oz - "Phuzz is a semi-sweet cider fermented with Michigan apples and peaches. The cider is a brilliantly clear amber-straw color and has aromas of fresh apple and peach. Phuzz is mildly tart and subtly sweet with flavors of bold apple and pleasant lingering peach" (source).
  • Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela, $14.39/750ml - "Ok, so the joke was that Jolly Pumpkin doesn’t brew a pumpkin beer. Well, now we do. Just this one. Packed with real pumpkins, hints of spice, and a gentle kiss of cocoa to liven the soul. An everyday easy way to fill your squashy quotient. Guess now folks will have to find something else to joke about" (source).
  • Avery Raspberry Sour, $13.79/22oz - "Sour ale with raspberries added. Aged in oak barrels. Luscious ripe red raspberries are elegantly intertwined with a bountiful amount of lactic acidity and delicate barrel nuances to cultivate this stunning sour ale" (source).
  • Avery El Gose, $1.99/12oz - "A timeless, traditional tart gose (goes-uh) with its zesty and salty disposition is brightened by a tangy citrus twist. A bier for every día" (source).
  • Ballast Point Cinnamon Raisin Commodore, $2.59/12oz - "Our Cinnamon Raisin Commodore is truly a story of experimentation. Originally a gold-medal winning American stout first born in our R&D program, our brewers developed a new variation, adding cinnamon and raisins to this dark, bittersweet brew. The result is just the right amount of sweet and spice, with roasty maltiness at the helm" (source).

Video of the Week | The Cider Shed

A fitting video to accompany the many hard ciders on this week's NBF.