Preamble by Steve Siciliano
Dieticians tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it revs up your metabolism and gives you energy throughout the morning to get stuff done. When Barb and I are up at our Lake County lake house, we take this advice to heart. Before we venture out to get stuff done (i.e., hitting the area trout streams), we make it a point to eat a hearty breakfast.
There are some good breakfast joints in the environs of the cottage and the one we hit is determined by the direction we’re headed that particular morning. If we’re fishing the Sauble, we’ll fuel up at Blossom’s on Bass Lake Road. If the Little Manistee is on our agenda, we’ll stop at the Irons Café. If we’re fishing in the Wellston area, we’ll hit Annie’s Kozy Kitchen.
All three restaurants offer solid food and friendly service but the Kozy Kitchen is hands down our favorite. If you stop at this nondescript eatery on Caberfae Highway, you’d better bring your appetite because the portions are huge.
Since the Kozy Kitchen is in the vicinity of some of Michigan’s finest trout streams, it makes sense that it sports a fishing themed motif. The walls are lined with dozens of kitschy signs and plaques -- good things come to those who bait; teach a man to fish and he’ll play with his fly all day -- that sort of thing. There’s also a couple of interesting old photographs that were taken during the construction of the nearby Manistee River’s Tippy Dam, an autumn angling hot spot for migrating steelhead. Go here for restaurant hours and more information.
New and Returning Beer
Atwater First Brown, $2.09/12oz - "First Brown ale features a brown color, arising from the use of pale, crystal (caramel), Victory (rich in nutty, toasty, and biscuit-like flavors) and cara brown traditional English malts. In brewing, we use 100% imported English hops (East Kent Goldings and Fuggles) It is sweeter on the palate, with a fuller body and a nutty character" (source).
Austin Brothers Slamnesia, $3.89/12oz - "This unfiltered triple IPA pours a hazy golden yellow hue. Strong citrus, grapefruit, peaches and tropical fruit notes hit the nose. Noticeably drinkable for a big beer" (source).
Blackrocks Nordsky, $2.19/12oz - "We brewed/tweaked this beer at the pub for a couple years under a different name until it was can worthy. Galaxy hops bring out big tropical/fruity aromas and flavors. The low ABV and easy body make it easy to justify grabbing one more"" (source).
Brewery Vivant Coq Toberfest, $3.79/16oz - "October? More like Coqtober!! Our take on the traditional Oktoberfest style: deep roasted caramel notes, raisin toast on the nose, subtle sweet undertones of dark dried fruits. Just in time to share this with friends and celebrate each other and the changing season" (source).
Creston Harvest Ale, $2.99/16oz - "Expect a dank aroma of citrus, pine, and tropical fruits to cascade into a soft and juicy mouthfeel, with a creamy finish to finish off the freshest beer we can possible muster" (source).
Dark Horse Scotty Karate, $2.09/12oz - "For those of you who don’t know who “Scotty Karate” is… He is a local one man band who plays an amazing slurry of honky-tonk influenced, punk-country songs. (Check him out at www.scottykaratetime.com) A big bold musician deserves a big bold beer, that's why Scotty and our Scotch Ale are a perfect tribute to one another. Scotty Karate is brewed with cherry wood smoked malt instead of the traditional peat smoked malt offering up warming notes of coffee, caramel and sweet caramelized brown sugar. Scotty finishes earthy giving this beer a character all it's own, just like the man himself" (source).
Founders Blushing Monk, $4.89/12oz - "When our love of fruit and our love of beer come together, Blushing Monk happens. Brewed with a ridiculous amount of raspberries for tart yet luscious raspberry-jam character and fermented with Belgian yeast for subtle fruit and spice esters. Think of Blushing Monk as Rubaeus’ older sibling – more intense, slightly larger and just a little bit more mature" (source).
Founders Harvest Ale, $3.79/12oz - "Each fall, our brewhouse looks more like a greenhouse as thousands of pounds of wet hop cones arrive within hours of being picked by some of our favorite local hop growers. Acting quickly, we then load up these wet hops into what will become Harvest Ale – an impossibly aromatic and bright IPA bursting with fresh pine, melon and citrus notes. Our ode to the beauty that is the wet, American hop" (source).
Great Divide Hopnaut, $2.89/12oz - "We’ve traveled to the far reaches of the galaxy to track down the juiciest hops for our Hopnaut Double Juicy IPA. Brewed and double dry-hopped with an unearthly amount of Simcoe, El Dorado, Mosaic and Huell Melon hops, this beer lifts off with over a pound and a half of hops per barrel. Showcasing bold tropical fruit and citrus notes along with hints of berry, stone fruit, pine and bubblegum, Hopnaut Double Juicy IPA is an extraterrestrial sensory experience" (source).
Latitude 42 Lucifers Cuvee, $2.59/16oz - "Dangerously devastating, Lucifer’s Cuvée is our Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. Intense hearty rye, along with a decadent gourmet of chocolate essence, and balanced by the addition of Cascade hops" (source).
Left Hand Nitro Chai, $2.99/16oz - "Super smooth Milk Stout Nitro with aromatic spices" (source).
New Belgium Hop Avenger, $1.99/12oz - "The people have spoken! With over 50,000 votes, Hop Avenger IPA edged out Starship IPA in the battle for the next super beer! With its super juicy tropical aromas and light sweetness, Hop Avenger IPA packs a powerful pineapple punch" (source).
Odd Side Lava Cake, $6.29/12oz - "Imperial stout with chocolate vanilla and ancho chilies" (source).
Short's Pure Michigan, $2.09/12oz - "Pure Michigan Autumn IPA is an India Pale Ale made with all Michigan ingredients. We’ve partnered with three Michigan maltsters (Empire Malting Co., Great Lakes Malting Company, and Valley View Farms), two Michigan hop farms (MI Local Hops and Michigan Hop Alliance), and Craft Cultures from the UP to craft this purely Michigan beer. Straw-colored and slightly hazy, this beer leads with slightly sweet, fruity, and malty flavors that are immediately followed with a pleasant hoppiness that finishes dry" (source).
Surly Axe Man, $4.39/16oz - "Double dry-hopping with Citra and Mosaic hops creates this world-renowned IPA’s intense tropical fruit and citrus aromas. Brewed with Golden Promise malt, this beer finishes rich and dry" (source).
Surly Coffee Bender, $2.99/16oz - "Guatemalan coffee, roasted locally, added to Bender, our oatmeal brown ale. Coldpress coffee aromas, intense coffee flavors balanced by the oats in the malt bill, resulting in a cappuccino-like creaminess" (source).
Surly Furious, $1.99/12oz - "People ask us to describe Furious all the time. It’s not quite like any other IPA out there. We give them the flavor notes and the hop profile, but it never seems like it’s enough. What makes Furious Furious? Let’s try this: You know that feeling when you do something that pushes you to your absolute limit? And people think you’re a little off your nut for even doing it? And you kind of agree with them, but goddammit, it’s getting done? And then you fucking DO IT? And there’s no one there to see it but you and the dog so you high-five the dog? That’s Furious" (source).
Surly Hell, $2.19/16oz - "Dorit Ansari is from Germany. Omar Ansari is her son. He has a brewery. She wanted a beer that reminded her of home. This is that beer. Hell is a pale-gold lager not unlike the zwickelbiers popular in Dorit’s hometown of Bremen. It’s not filtered and it’s brewed with lager yeast. You can expect bready malt aromas and flavors, floral hops, and a balanced finish. BTW: The name is a reference to the German word for “light”, not Satan’s nefarious kingdom, so you don’t have to sell your soul for another" (source).
Surly One Man Mosh Pit, $4.39/16oz - "An absurd dose of Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic dry-hopping hoists this IPA above the fray. Juicy and hazy, it’s the perfect soundtrack to the music in your head. Running in a circle and shoving yourself optional" (source).
Surly Xtra Citra, $1.89/12oz - "Bursting with Citra hop flavor and tropical, citrusy notes, this sessionable pale ale showcases Surly’s bright side. It’s called Xtra-Citra because we had extra Citra hops in the brewhouse. We made a beer with them for a one-time seasonal beer. The overwhelmingly positive response to this sessionable stunner soon made it a year-round favorite" (source).
Terrapin Hoppin Bubbly, $1.79/12oz - "Hoppin’ Bubbly Brut IPA celebrates the classic malt bill from “The Champagne of Beers” and Terrapin’s affinity for IPAs. Innovative brewing and dry hopping techniques help create a beer that has a crisp, bone-dry finish and an aromatic hop profile" (source).
Three Blondes Drachenfutter, $2.19/12oz - No commercial description.
Video of the Week | Short's Pure Michigan
Short's Pure Michigan Autumn IPA is available now at Siciliano's.