Preamble by Steve Siciliano
We’ve had more rainy days than sunny days in the environs of Beer City USA of late but the skies did clear last weekend just in time for an outdoor celebration of National Homebrew Day. Perhaps Mother Nature has an affinity for hand-crafted beer and a soft spot in her heart for homebrewers.
The weather for last Saturday’s Big Brew at Trail Point really couldn’t have been much better for the twenty-five teams of brewers and the scores of guests. Those guests got an up-close look at the homebrewing process and were treated to a sampling of a vast array of excellent hand-crafted beer.
This marked the seventh consecutive year that Siciliano’s Market has sponsored a local iteration of this annual celebration of the hobby of homebrewing and was the first time that my wife and I enlisted the help of the local brewing community. That help was much appreciated because it enabled Barb and I to occasionally step away from our duties to enjoy the festivities.
We would like to thank our good friends at Trail Point for once again allowing us to take over their parking lot for the day. Special thanks to Chad Zomerlei, Mies Martin, Tim Goodyke and Jim Verlinde for setting up, manning and tearing down the chilling station.
Just a reminder that the annual Siciliano's Homebrew Party will be held this year on Saturday, May 18, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the enclosed shelter at Johnson Park. The event will be free of charge and participants do not need tickets to attend. The party will be family-friendly (children are welcome) and will be an open-house and picnic-style format. Participants should bring their own food, plates and utensils and beverages to share.
The Best-of-Show winner of the Siciliano's Cup will be announced at the party at 4:00 pm.
New and Returning Beer
Abomination Bedtime Stories, $5.99/16oz - "Brewed with graham crackers, flaked oats, midnight wheat and fermented on a unresponsible amount of vanilla beans, cacao nibs and marshmallows" (source).
Abomination Shotgun Sour, $5.99/16oz - "Lactose Sour brewed with a massive amount Peach juice and than fermented on top of 600+lbs of black currant, apricot and peach puree. Refreshingly tart and juicy" (source).
Anderson Valley Briney Melon, $2.19/12oz - "Born from our passion for experimentation, our Briney Melon Gose boasts a thirst-quenching tartness that is perfectly balanced by subtle watermelon flavors and aromas. Gentle additions of sea salt create a refreshing harmony between the acidity and fruity sweetness leading to clean, dry finish" (source).
Anderson Valley Framboise, $2.19/12oz - "By adding rose hips to the boil and fresh raspberry puree at the end of fermentation, this kettle-soured beer is a mélange of flavors and aromas. With a light ruby hue, subtle raspberry fruit notes greet the nose and fall soft on the palate; tangy, hibiscus-like flavors mingle with the salty tartness of gose to create a uniquely complex and refreshing drinking experience" (source).
Anderson Valley Summer Solstice, $2.19/12oz - "Summer Solstice® is a slightly sweet, malty session beer with a creamy mouth feel and clean finish. With hints of caramel in the nose and a touch of spice, it’s become affectionately known as “cream soda for adults”. The unique flavors and superior drinkability make for the ultimate refreshment on a hot summer day" (source).
Arcadia The Devil Went Down To Gary, $2.19/12oz - "Brewed in our new 100bbl closed fermenters with American Ale Yeast, a divergence from our 21-year-old proprietary yeast strain. Dry hopped with Mosiac and Citra, tropical and hoppy flavors and aroma are balanced by a solid malt backbone. Light copper in color with a creamy white head, you’ll never guess at 7.7% it’s so easy to enjoy a pint, or two" (source).
Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat, $1.89/12oz - "Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer is a lively, refreshing ale with a natural citrusy flavor and distinctive cloudy appearance. This easy drinking American-style wheat beer has become our most popular offering, and the best-selling craft beer in the Midwest" (source).
Brewery Vivant Tropical Saison, $3.79/16oz - "Brewed with real pineapple and mango along with fruit-forward Citra hops, this saison offers both delightful complexity and refreshment. Light bodied and boasting a lively effervescence, this beer is the perfect pairing for a beautiful sunshine day, or to remind you of one. Tropical vibes ahead" (source).
Central State Alastor, $6.49/16oz - "Rising from the Underworld, this Imperial Stout is loaded with milk sugar & oats" (source).
Central State L'agriculteur, $3.79/16oz - "Dry-Hopped Buckwheat Farmhouse Ale — Beer, above all else, is an agrarian product tied both to the land & to the farmers who raise the ingredients. This beer features earthy notes from a special batch of malted buckwheat produced by our friends at Sugar Creek Malt and is balanced by a light dry hopping" (source).
Fat Orange Cat Sweet Jane Pineapple Coconut, $6.29/16oz - "This very small-batch version of our SWEET JANE series takes the SWEET to a new level: Think Pina Colada. Contains lactose" (source).
Founders Mas Agave, $4.49/12oz - "We took an imperial gose brewed with agave, lime and sea salt and then aged it in tequila barrels. Consider it a party in a bottle" (source).
Great Divide Strawberry Rhubarb, $2.89/12oz - "STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SOUR ALE is a gift for the senses. Strawberry is the yin to rhubarb’s yang—the sweet to the tart. This beautiful partnership creates a beer that glows ruby in the glass, bursts with strawberry aroma, and bites with every sip. Bright and effervescent, this sour is a fun and refreshing, lip-puckering treat perfect for every occasion, any time of the year" (source).
Lansing Brewing BBA Black Magic, $5.49/12oz - "Our Soul Slayer Imperial Stout laid to rest in bourbon barrels for 10 months. The beer that came out is completely different and we named it Black Magic Stout. Black Magic has a smooth bourbon nose and is rounded out by complex chocolate, roast, coffee, and vanilla flavors" (source).
Left Hand Flamingo Dreams, $2.99/16oz - "You stand out in a crowd and only need one leg to find balance. You’re not afraid to get your feet wet and you don’t give a flock what others think. You embrace your inner flamingo and dare to turn your dreams into reality. You’re ready for pink beer. Flamingo Dreams is a refreshing change from the ordinary with a berry burst, frisky zing, and a nitro glide that’ll bring out your vibrant side. Join the flock and let’s flamingle" (source).
Left Hand Wheels Gose Round, $2.59/12oz - "Brewed to help raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis research and Team Left Hand Bike MS rides. Team Left Hand is dedicated to solving the riddle which is Multiple Sclerosis. Since 2008, we have raised over $3 million, and hope you’ll consider joining us to raise funds and awareness for the millions of people around the world who are fighting this disease today" (source).
North Pier Cut & Run, $2.99/12oz - No commercial description.
North Pier Gold Coast Tiki, $2.99/12oz - "Catch a tropical wave without leaving your hammock. This cocktail combines the smooth sweetness of dark rum with a refreshing citrus bite that’s made for hot summer days" (source).
Odd Side Citra Radler, $1.99/12oz - "Not a true IPA, but a radler made from their Citra IPA with grapefruit soda & grapfruit juice" (source).
Odd Side PB Stout, $2.89/12oz - "This seasonal favorite hosts a chocolate and peanut butter party in your mouth" (source).
Omnipollo Polymango Mango, $6.29/16oz - No commercial description.
Paw Paw Sylvester Select, $2.59/16oz - No commercial description.
Rogue Cold Brew 2.0, $2.29/12oz - "Rogue Cold Brew 2.0 continues the exploration of our two favorite things, this time with a blonde ale. Brewed with Stumptown Coffee Roasters' famous Cold Brew Coffee, this brew opens with a big hit of coffee aroma and flavor. As the nuances of the hops and malts come through the initial coffee blast, you'll find yourself in awe of this flavor combination" (source).
Rogue Honey Kolsch, $22.9/12oz - "Situated just across from 40 acres of Rogue hops, 119 colonies of bees are carefully kept and fed. The honey is uncapped, extracted, filtered and finally infused into a refreshing Honey Kolsch Ale" (source).
Rogue Rouge, $4.39/16oz - "Every day we get letters and emails that misspell our name, heck we even do it ourselves sometimes. Fed up, our brewers decided to make a beer to fit the name. They started with a brut IPA and blended in Oregon pinot noir. The resulting beer is pleasantly complex and dry with a rouge hue" (source).
Sister Lake 12:00 Whistle, $2.99/16oz - No commercial description.
Sister lake Primos, $2.99/16oz - "Mexican Lager" (source).
Starcut Squishy, $1.79/12oz - "Squishy is a semi-sweet Fruit Cider fermented with Michigan apples, Northern Michigan Balaton and Montmorency tart cherries, and English Cider yeast. Ruby red in color with appealing sweet aromatics, this cider’s initial flavors of dark fruit shift toward a bold tartness that dries the palate between tastes" (source).
Stillwater Rhinestones & Sequins, $5.99/16oz - "Sour brut double india pale ale brewed with sauvignon blanc grapes" (source).
Stone Revengful Spirit, $3.19/12oz - "We’ve often been inspired to brew beers on a theme. In 2007 it was black IPAs. 2008 saw Belgian-influenced IPAs, and more than once it’s been Triple IPAs. It’s been fun to dive deep, and you’ve ridden those waves right along with us. But like you, we also crave new breaks to surf. Right now, it’s tropically-inspired IPAs as represented both by this flavored ale, Stone Tangerine Express IPA and others we’ve got waiting in the wings....With Stone Vengeful Spirit IPA we employ a bit of tropical mythology to pay homage to our ever present gargoyle. Since 1996 he’s had our backs, and yours, by representing an aggressive intolerance for commoditized beer. He constantly inspires us to forge ahead with resolve–even with the omnipresent forces of forceful evil. Vengeful spirits can be awesome when they’re on your side" (source).
Upland Two of Tarts, $2.19/12oz - "If you play your hand right, you will be enjoying the vibrant flavors of Two of Tarts. Pouring bright golden orange with a glowing translucent haze, this gose has the unmistakable flavor of mango and passion fruit and is slightly salty with notes of lemon and a crisp, dry finish. It’s a sure bet that it will make a doubly pleasant citrus impression" (source).
Vander Mill Raspberry, $3.19/16oz - "Pressed Michigan raspberries blended with Hard Apple for a refreshing balance of tart and sweet. This is a drier cider than our other fruit flavors, but true to the fruit it is born from. Gluten free" (source).
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