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 oats & Indiana malted barley and added orange blossom honey, a touch of sea salt, and a ridiculous amount of Citra and Simcoe Cryo hops" (source).
Central State Man's Best Friend, $3.79/16oz - "He do a protec. He do a bork. He's a heckin good boy. He love you hooman. Indiana Pilsner and Ye Old malt combined with Flaked Oats make up the malt bill, but the real stars of this show are the hops; Amarillo, Sorachi Ace, Citra, Cascade and Simcoe Cryo " (source).
Central State Wave Partical Duality, $2.99/12oz - "Combining two of our favorite things – well-attenuated sour beer with excessive amounts of dry hops, this beer combines a crisp sour base of Indiana-malted Pilsner, Oats, and Wheat with a generous dose of Citra and Ekuanot hops" (source).
Detroit Garage Project The End of Everything, $4.69/16oz - "Imperial Oatmeal Pastry Stout. Detroit garage Project beer between Antithesis Brewing and Glassworks Coffee" (source).
Goose Island Dry Hopped 312, $1.89/12oz - "A different spin on 312 - extra brightness from dry-hopping on top of the lemony, doughy notes we love" (source).
Haymarket Blood Orange, $2.09/12oz - "This refreshingly fruity blonde ale will help to usher in warmer weather. We used a very liberal amount of real blood oranges to perfect this lighter bodied summer time crusher" (source).
Illuminated Brew Works Brony, $5.19/16oz - "Double Dry Hopped IPA. Huell Melon, Motueka Citra & Rakau hops wim together in rainbows of citrus, strawberry & orchard fruits" (source).
Illuminated Brew Works Gay Agenda, $5.79/16oz - "Gay Agenda combines Idaho7, Motueka & Galaxy hops in a delicious, pilsen-based DIPA that then doubles-down on that decliciousness draping it in a cubic crap-ton of peaches. What you get is a stone fruit explosion of pure pleasure that will coat your taste buds in flavor linens like only gods would wear. Woah" (source).
Illuminated Brew Works Orange Sunshine, $3.69/16oz - "We’ve combined our house yeast, orange and lemon zest and topped it all with experimental German hops. The result is an insanely sessionable beer with the flavor and complexity of something twice it’s weight in booze. The wine-dry, crisp body and delicate citrus notes insure you keep Orange Sunshine close during those long Summer days melting your face under the Chicago sun" (source).
Lagunitas Phase Change, $2.29/12oz - "Hops are good, fresh hops are better, wet hops are best. We say 'wet hops' because they have not been dried after harvest. We say 'better' because they possess the fullest expression of hop flavor; vine-fresh. Since harvest only occurs one time a year, achieving year-round wet-hop flavor has become the Holy Grail pursuit of hoppy brewing. Our quest led us to develop a new hop liquification process which Born Again Yesterday first proved damn-near divine. Today we're changing things further: bringing that Seasonally Unexpected wet-hop flavor to an unfiltered, juicy nectar that's somewhere between a solid and a liquid... a Phase Change of sorts" (source).
Lord Hobo Freebird, $1.19/12oz - "When you are a Freebird the world is yours! This beer embodies everything it means to let loose, be yourself and soar. Freebird is a beautifully crafted golden ale brewed for those who fly to the beat of their own wings. Hops take a back seat to sweet and crisp malt flavors and a touch of fruitiness produced by the fermentation process. It's the easy drinking beer that will have you chanting for an encore" (source).
Mitten Mango Gold, $1.99/12oz - "A kettle-soured wheat ale made with real mango. Tart, refreshing, and tropical" (source).
Odd Side Krispy Boiz, $2.39/12oz - "Collab with HopBuds. A crispy 'lil pale ale" (source).
Odd Side Pink Guava Dank, $2.59/12oz - "New England IPA with Pink Guava. Sweet, creamy mouthfeel with notes of papaya, melon, and ripe pear" (source).
Perrin Kveik'n it Real, $2.49/12oz - "This Norwegian Style IPA was brewed with Hornindal Kveik yeast that produces tropical fruit aromas. It was then double dry hopped with Sabro hops to impart even more citrus and pineapple hop notes. A delicate malt backbone of oats and wheat creates a soft mouthfeel to balance our soft and hazy Nordic IPA" (source).
Revolution Rosa, $1.99/12oz - "A highly drinkable Golden Ale steeped with hibiscus, resulting in a natural tartness and slight pink hue" (source).
Roak Power Boat, $2.19/16oz - "Unmalted wheat adds to the alluring bready flavor and cloudy-straw like appearance of this Belgian-style White Ale. Brewed with orange zest and coriander, this beer is perfectly balanced with a crispness suitable for any time of year" (source).
Untitled Art/Equilibrium Espresso Marshmallow, $5.49/12oz - "Coffee and beer, the greatest gifts to humankind, should never be mutually exclusive in our opinion. Our Espresso Marshmallow Imperial Stout achieves this philosophy in spades! Created in collaboration with our friends at @eqbrewery, you’ll be able to taste some of that East Coast flair" (source).
Untitled Art/Narrow Gauge Hoppy IPA, $5.49/16oz - "Juicy and tropical, brewed with Nelson hops" (source).
Untitled Art/Speciation Michelada, $4.69/16oz - "Say ¡hola! to the Michelada just in time for Cinco de Mayo celebrations tomorrow💃🏽! With a hint of heat🌶 from @tabasco, a touch of tang from lime and a dash of salt🧂 to finish it off, what’s stopping you from celebrating? - This fun brew was made in collaboration with @speciationales on the other side of the lake in Michigan" (source).
Untitled Art/Yazoo Fudgesicle, $5.49/12oz - "Imperial stout brewed with Hershey's syrup, Cholaca syrup, Dominican, Madagascan and Guatamalan cacao nibs from Nashville based Olive Sinclair for an intense chocolatey flavor. Contains lactose and vanilla" (source).
Upland Beyond Resin, $3.59/16oz - "Beyond Resin began with the template of a West Coast IPA: bright, crisp, and dry with a hop character focused on classic American hops. These hops have a pronounced pine character like Chinook, Simcoe, and Columbus. In a deviation from the West Coast style, we decided to use what we learned brewing New England Style IPAs. By eliminating the vast majority of the bitterness from the hot side of the brewing process. We’re coming to realize that many beer drinkers who believe they don’t like hoppy beers really just don’t like the bitterness. Whereas the fruity, piney, citrusy characteristics of American hops are almost universally enjoyed" (source).
Dive Into Craft Beer | Blackrocks Bewery
Check out the latest from Blackrocks in this week's New Beer Friday!