Preamble by Steve Siciliano
Every so often I entertain the notion that I should look for other ways to while away my years of semi-retirement. Sometimes I think I need to embrace a hobby that is less physically demanding, less obsessively consuming and a lot less frustrating. Stamp collecting comes to mind. Bird watching, trainspotting and coin collecting might be good options.
My chosen hobby, fly-fishing for trout in Michigan’s tiny creeks and log-clogged streams, can tax me physically, often wears me out emotionally and, more often than not, exasperates the hell out of me. I’m starting to wonder if some deep-seated neurosis lies at the root of my mania. Maybe I just have a self-destructive personality and would also enjoy periodic bouts of banging my head against a wall.
One day this past week I spent the better part of the morning wading a mile-long stretch of a small, shallow stream fifteen minutes away from the cottage. There was a hatch in progress and for as far as I could see fish were rising and slurping bugs off the surface of the water. I slowly made my way upstream, pausing occasionally to extricate my wading boots from the mucky bank, periodically stopping to make a long cast to a feeding trout, cursing when the casts were clumsy and the fly landed with a loud splat spooking the fish, cursing when the casts and upstream mends were perfect and the fly had a drag free drift but the trout still ignored my offering, cursing the time I hooked a bulrush with a back cast, cursing the time I snagged a protruding log, cursing the time my long leader became a tangled mess.
I tried a half dozen different flies that day. I tried tying on a finer tippet. The only fish I landed was a small, beautifully colored brown trout that I briefly admired before letting slip back into the water.
While working my way back downstream I stopped to watch two beavers swimming along the far bank. Each was clutching a bullrush that curled up from their mouths over their heads making it look like they were wearing florescent green hats. After climbing up the steep bank I walked to the bridge where I stood for a few moments having one last look at the rising trout. On the drive back to the cottage I thought about the hours I spent on the lovely little river that morning and smiled.
New and Returning Beer
Arvon Another Day in Paradise, $5.49/16oz - "NEIPA hopped with Simcoe, Idaho 7, Citra and Motueka" (source).
Arvon De Tour Reef, $5.49/16oz - "Arvon Brewing Co.’s Lighthouse Series of New England style IPAs are each distinctly hopped with a single varietal, displaying the unique character of the hops as a shining beacon. The explosive hop flavor and aroma of Citra featured in DeTour Reef is best experienced when this beer is enjoyed fresh" (source).
Arvon Timber, $5.09/16oz - "For those who love the flavors of West Coast IPAs, we have intensified them in this NEIPA. Generously hopped with Columbus, Simcoe and Chinook, this NEIPA is loaded with piney, dank and resinous flavors" (source).
Arvon Voyager, $5.49/16oz - "An IPA loaded with Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra hops" (source).
Barrel + Beam With the Currant, $7.79/500ml - "Barrel soured black ale with blackcurrants. Wild yeast funk and dark fruits up front with rich malt and sour barrel notes adding depth" (source).
Black Project Stargate: Redhaven Peach, $23.89/500ml - "STARGATE begins as a custom blend of 9-10 month old spontaneous solera sour golden base with 100% coolship caught microbes. Over the course of this year's peach harvest we selected three different Palisade peach varieties during different points in the season. Redhaven, O’Henry and Glohaven peaches were added to a number of different Bourbon Whiskey Barrels, creating a delicious, fresh peach flavor that plays wonderfully with the delicate apricot notes produced by our native yeast. Instead of blending the three different peach beers, we thought each were complex and different enough that we should package them separate, each creating a different peach nuanced beer. Moderate acidity is backed by subtle hints of deep bourbon whiskey and oak vanillin. This beer will develop in the bottle for years, however much of the fruit flavor will diminish or change, so we recommend enjoying at least one bottle fresh if you do intend to cellar" (source).
Black Project Supercruise: Cab Franc, $30.39/750ml - "The SUPERCRUISE range is our standard fruit sour beer series. We combine mature light and golden sour base beer (aged in our stainless steel solera vessels) with an amount of fruit traditionally used in sour fruit beers like Belgian Kriek or Framboise. The resulting beers are beautifully tinted, fruit-forward sour beers that allow the drinker to appreciate the complexity of the base beer mingling with the fruit" (source).
Black Project Supercruise: Cab Sauv, $30.39/750ml - "SUPERCRUISE starts with wine grapes from locally-sourced, family owned vineyards in Palisade, CO. Once the grapes have been de-stemmed and crushed, we allow the juice to rest for a few days - developing a a rich color and depth of flavor - before finally transferring the juice to nuetral oak barrels along with our base Golden Sour. The beer then goes through a secondary fermentation while resting on the grapes, and after a few weeks is ready to bottle" (source).
Brewery Vivant Sangria Ale, $4.69/16oz - "The spirits of lazy days and festive gatherings are imbued in this ale that we aged in red wine barrels. We finished it off with blood orange, hibiscus, and apple for a take on a sangria" (source).
DAB Original, $1.79/16oz - "Original Dortmunder Premium lager Beer. The Beer of World Fame" (source).
DAB Radler, $1.79/16oz - "DAB Radler blends the iconic taste of DAB beer with carbonated lemonade, creating a delightfully, refreshing specialty beer in the German Radler tradition" (source).
Epic New England Maximum Cowbell, $3.19/12oz - "Citra, mosaic, and Motueka hops" (source).
Farmhaus Grapefruit Skinny Dip, $1.99/12oz - "Apples, local lemonade and grapefruit" (source).
Greenbush Starchicken Shotgun, $2.09/12oz - "Yes, we did equate a beer with a dancing chicken in an Elvis costume. After tasting the five different hops in this west coast-style IPA, you'll be dancing too" (source).
Jolly Pumpkin Lo Roja Boysenberry Guava, $12.79/750ml - "Aged in large oak casks then bottle fermented, La Roja is a Franco-Belgian style ale crafted on the Flander's tradition of aged and blended beers. La Roja is rich and lush with undertones of caramel fruit and spice. Truly an ale of grace and distinction" (source).
Jolly Pumpkin Yikes, $17.59/750ml - "This Sour Saison was inspired by our good friends at Off Color Brewing. Jon has a way with light, funky fresh beers, that we find magical. To emulate this, we took a grist bill of Pilsner and Pale malt, added German Hallertaur hops, and then let it mature in oak for 9 months. This Saison is extremely quaffable with subtle notes of lemon, citrus, and funk, followed by a refreshing tartness" (source).
Keeweenaw Wequedong Cherry, $1.89/12oz - No commercial description.
New Image Coriolis Effect, $2.79/12oz - "Pairing up New Zealand's Motueka hop with Citra, we brought together their blend of melon, tropical, and stonefruits and added a dry hop of Columbus to bring those voluptuous flavors to the surface. Sweet on the first sip while finishing dry, this beer brings an understated elegance to the standard IPA" (source).
New Image East Coast Transplant, $3.29/12oz - "East Coast Transplant is styled after some of the famous DIPAs of the northeast U.S., it's absurdly hoppy, hazy as hell and incredibly smooth to drink. Complex and pungent notes of peach dominate the nose, while juicy tropical fruit, full bodied mouthfeel and subtle sweetness round out the flavor. Get it fresh and enjoy slowly" (source).
Paw Paw 2 Paws, $2.19/12oz - "Full malt & hop characteristics. Well balanced full of great smells & tastes" (source).
Rogue Marionberry Sour, $3.59/16oz - "Dedicated to Farmers and Fermenters. Not only is Oregon the birthplace of the Marionberry but our Farm is located just miles from the original Marionberry fields. You really can't find a better place to grow these big juicy berries. We brewed this sour ale to highlight the tart side of the Marionberry while ensuring a pleasant balance through the fruit's natural sweetness" (source).
Stone Enjoy By 7/4, $3.19/12oz, $4.99/19.2oz - "For this version of Stone Enjoy By IPA we thought: “We don’t always have a filter, so why should our beer?” By skipping a step and letting this devastatingly fresh, golden-hued double IPA go un filtered, the beer takes on a hazy appearance and its peach and tropical fruit hop aroma are intensified. So though it may sound like it, this missed step was no misstep" (source).
Tapistry Night Trippen, $3.59/16oz - No commercial description.
Victory Sour Monkey, $2.59/12oz - "Tastefully tart is how our monkeys describe their sour sibling. Born from the same imported malts, Belgian yeast, and a mix of magical spices, this monkey decided to take a walk on the tangy side. With a swirling citrusy, lemon bit and a delectable essence, you better pucker up and respect this monkey" (source).
Victory Summer Love, $1.99/12oz - "Summer is all about good vibes. This refreshing beer includes earthy and lemony hop notes that create an unexpected burst of flavor for a vibrant taste combination that you will never forget" (source).
Video of the Week | Greenbush Brewing
A day in the life of a brewer at Greenbush Brewing Company.