New Beer Friday, Hodenpyl Dam Edition (May 31)

Steve with a nice one.

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

Now that our trifecta of spring homebrewing events is in the rear-view mirror my wife and I have time to concentrate on other fun activities, like fishing. Barb hasn’t ventured into the rain-swollen rivers as of yet, but last Thursday I hit the Little Manistee for a few hours and had three nice, adrenalin-pumping pokes on an olive-colored wooly bugger. While I didn’t land any fish, I was pleased with the performance of my new wading staff and it was nice to feel the Little Man pushing against my waders again.

The next day my son Chris and I went on a day-long float down the Hodenpyl Dam to Red Bridge stretch of the Manistee River. Matt from D-Loop Outfitters was on the oars of the drift boat and he did an excellent job of navigating the tricky hydraulics of the big river. The thirteen-mile stretch flows through an impressive valley that the river’s fast current carved out of a glacial moraine. There are many towering banks, much of the land is wooded and because the stretch is part of the Manistee National Forest, no human habitation besmirches the wild scenery.

Quality as opposed to quantity would best describe our angling that day. We netted some good-sized, healthy brown trout that aggressively smacked our colorful streamers. A couple of hefty small mouth bass were a nice bonus. Halfway through the trip Matt beached the boat and grilled up some tasty smoked pork chops that we devoured while resting our casting arms.

That evening back at the cottage Chris and I enjoyed a pre-dinner Manhattan on the deck while I tended to the steaks and Barb cooked up a big panful of fungi that she picked from Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc. in Scottsville. A bottle of Nero d’Avolo was a nice accompaniment. It was a good way to end a really good day.

New and Returning Beers

  • Atwater Lederhosen, $1.99/12oz - No commercial description.

  • Bell's Sparkleberry, $3.99/16oz - "Sparkleberry is an American interpretation of a Belgian Tripel brewed with raspberries" (source).

  • Blackrocks Honey Lav, $1.99/12oz - "An American Wheat brewed with Michigan honey and full lavender flowers" (source).

  • Central State Honey Bop, $3.79/16oz - "Inspired by Love Handle's culinary genius in combining diverse ingredients to create the perfect dish, we took a simple base of flaked