Preamble by Steve Siciliano
My mother was a life-long Detroit Tigers fan. Her unconditional devotion to the team dates back to when, as a young girl, she accompanied her father on annual train trips to Detroit. I wish now that I knew the small details of those mid-summer excursions. Since my grandfather didn’t drive, I wonder how they got to the train station. I wonder if she was scared or excited to be in the big city and how she felt the first time she saw the stadium on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. For some reason I would now like to know if she held my grandfather’s hand. Those are some of the little things that I now wished I had asked her.
I wonder if a love of baseball is inherited trait like brown eyes and dark hair. Probably not. Most likely my own affinity for the sport is the result of nurture rather than nature. I have good memories of my grandfather sitting in the shade of his backyard grape arbor sipping homemade wine while listening to a Tigers game. I have good memories of summer evenings sitting on the steps of our back porch, my mother reading a book at the kitchen table, me fantasizing about someday replacing Al Kaline in right field, each of us listening to Ernie Harwell doing the play-by-play.
I have to confess that for the last dozen years I’ve been a fair-weather fan. My mother, however, followed the Tigers whether they were good or bad. During the last years of her life they were bad. Whenever my wife Barb and I stopped for a visit there was a good chance there was a game on TV. If the game was live and the score was tight and the Tigers were ahead, she would switch the channel in the ninth inning because she was too nervous to keep watching. Whether the team won or lost she would watch taped replays of the game the following day.
This past April, a few weeks after opening day, she asked me if I had been watching the games. I told her that I wasn’t. “Oh, you should,” she said. “Those young kids are trying hard.”
“Okay, ma,” I said. “I’ll start.”
“Are you watching the games?” she asked again a month or so later.
“Not yet, ma, but I will.”
A couple of weeks ago I began watching baseball again. The Tigers are winning a few games but mostly they lose. That’s okay though because those young kids are trying hard. It feels good to be a fan again. It feels good to be following the team again. And it’s good that now whenever I hear my mother’s voice, whenever I hear her asking if I’ve been watching the games, I can look up and smile, and tell her that I am.
Anita Siciliano passed away peacefully at home on May 31, 2019. Coincidentally or not, the Tigers beat the Braves that night 8-2. RIP, Grandma Nita. You will be missed.
New and Returning Beer
Arbor Tilted Earth Summer, $2.19/12oz - "Tilted Earth is our Rotating IPA Series, an ode to the changing seasons with an IPA that changes every three months. New season, new beer! Our Summer 2019 release is a cool-fermented Session IPA, brewed with a pungent and citrusy blend of Amarillo, Huell Melon and Cashmere hops. Crushable and packed with hoppy good-ness to quench your thirst all summer long" (source).
Arcadia Sipilicious, $1.99/12oz - "Bavarian Hefeweizen yeast creates the classic banana, clove and bubblegum flavors and aromas; no fruits or spices are added. Pale copper and hazy in color with a pillowy white head. Banana, clove, bubblegum, citrus zest and slight grainy wheat aromas. Flavors mirror aromas with almost no hop flavor or bitterness. Relatively dry and bright, but vicious mouthfeel of a 50% wheat beer" (source).
Blakes Tonic, $2.09/12oz - "The Tonic is our spring seasonal that pairs well with warm weather, sunshine, and everything outdoors. The crisp cucumber notes meld well with the fresh ginger we juiced and added in at the end of fermentation. The Tonic is a fan favorite here on the farm and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome" (source).
Deschutes Lil' Squeezy, $1.99/12oz - "Refreshingly juicy. Effortlessly drinkable. Freshly Squeezed. No fruit was harmed in the making of this beer" (source).
Grand Armory Blurred Limes, $2.19/12oz - "Everybody get up! Blurred Limes is highlighted by flaked maize, lime, and Cascade hops that creates a distinctive key lime pie flavor" (source).
Great Lakes Buckin' Mule, $3.29/12oz - "We ponied up loads of lime peel, tangy ginger, and dry rye, then kicked in bright Citra hops to create this cocktail-inspired beer of a different color" (source).
Incline Legend Lemongrass, $2.79/12oz - "Bright and bold, The Legend Lemongrass is incredibly refreshing. Citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit on the nose with a tart, balanced finish" (source).
Incline White Peach, $5.99/19.2oz - No commercial description.
Odd Side Cat in the Wall, $2.39/12oz - NEIPA
Odd Side Mango Dank Juice, $2.79/12oz - "Hazy, juicy IPA made with Mangos and Peaches" (source).
Prairie Barrel Aged Birthday Bomb, $14.19/12oz - "Barrel-Aged Birthday Bomb! is a 14.7 percent ABV imperial stout brewed with cacao nibs, caramel sauce, chili peppers, coffee and vanilla beans that has been aged in bourbon barrels" (source).
Prairie Birthday Bomb, $10.39/12oz - "Bomb! was a mad creation in response to the many complicated brews that required an interpreter to approach. The path to creating this ultimate beer that never planned on taking itself seriously led to many unexpected revelations. It contained almost every ingredient imaginable. It was difficult. It was delicious. It was a free spirit, complex but lending itself to endless possibilities. It became a much loved member of the family, and a representation of our brewing style and how it has evolved. In its original form Bomb! comes close to being a heady, strong dessert in itself. This led to the conclusion that we had exponential possibilities with flavor profiles and aging processes" (source).
Prairie Vape Tricks, $3.29/12oz - "Sour ale aged on cherries" (source).
Rogue Just a Pinch, $2.29/12oz - "With our brewery sitting on the Pacific Ocean, all that salt air went to our heads and had us dreaming of a cold, refreshing gose. So, we went out on the water and hand-harvested our own Yaquina Bay sea salt to brew the beer of our dreams. Tart and with a pinch of salt, this beer reminds us of our home" (source).
Terrapin Beerista, $4.09/16oz - "By skillfully blending two batches of our award-winning Wake-n-Bake Imperial Stout, we have crafted “Beerista.” Batch one was expertly aged in bourbon barrels to highlight complex wood, bourbon and vanilla notes. Batch two was brewed with a heavy dose of lactose sugar to achieve a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The addition of Jittery Joe’s “Wake-n-Bake” Coffee tops off this masterful brew with a delicious coffee flavor and aroma" (source).
Trail Point Perk Ya Later, $2.39/12oz - "Coffee cream ale bursting with caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla coffee" (source).
Upland Pawpaw, $27.19/750ml - "One of our most sought-after beers, Pawpaw is a golden sour ale that was created by aging our base sour blonde ale, Basis, on fresh pawpaw fruit from Indiana. The Pawpaw, (also known as Asiminia triloba or the Indiana Banana) is the largest fruit bearing plant native to North America. Due to the lack of commercial cultivation and the quick perishable nature of the fruit, it is a highly prized foraged fruit" (source).
Wolverine NZ Pils, $1.99/12oz - No commercial description.
Video of the Week | The Tonic
Blake's The Tonic is available now at Siciliano's