Preamble by Steve Siciliano
It’s a lot of fun hooking into big browns and rainbows on light fly-fishing tackle but what I find equally enjoyable is catching and releasing a beautifully colored, diminutive brook trout. Michigan brookies are runts compared to other species of game fish found in the state. They mature slowly, rarely live longer than six years and, other than the ones called coasters that live in Lake Superior and migrate up rivers to spawn, they rarely grow beyond 9 inches. If you catch a 12-inch brookie in a stream in the lower peninsula it’s considered a big one. Last week on the famed AuSable River I tied into a big one.
I knew the fish was big as soon as I set the hook. It had rose to the surface to inhale the brown drake imitation then immediately began bending my 5-weight rod. “Get it away from that wood,” my guide Shawn yelled from the back of the Au Sable River Boat. I kept the fly line taunt with my right hand, reeled in the slack with my left and carefully eased the brute away from the submerged logs. It then went on a reel screeching run down river, jumped three feet out of the water, continued its run downstream and threw the hook.
“That was a good fish,” Shawn said after a few moments of silence. “How big do you think?’
“Eighteen inches,” I said while reeling in my limp line.
“Every bit of that,” Shawn said. “Every bit of eighteen.”
After you lose a fish like that you allow yourself a few minutes of pouting and then get back to business. Shawn would occasionally make suggestions as to where I should cast as he poled the boat downstream. “Did you see any brown on that fish when it jumped?” he asked a half hour or so later.
I thought about the thick, reddish slab arcing high out of the water and told him that it certainly didn’t look like a brown trout.
“That was a brookie,” he said quietly. “I didn’t want to say anything before now because I wanted to give you time to lick your wounds.”
“Mighty kind of you,” I said.
Shawn texted me later that evening that he’ll remember that big brookie jumping for the rest of his life. I have a feeling that I will too.
New and Returning Beer
Abomination Dystopian Galaxy, $5.69/16oz - "DDH New England DIPA brewed with Galaxy, Mosaic, Denali and Citra hops" (source).
Abomination Good as New, $5.99/16oz - "DDH NE IPA brewed with pale malt, flaked oats and wheat. Hopped aggressively with an irresponsible amount of Summer, Styrian Dragon, Vic Secret and Mosaic hops" (source).
Abomination Only Hell Can Save Us Now, $5.99/16oz - "DDH Milkshake Ipa brewed with lactose, golden promise, flaked oats and wheat. Hopped and double dry hopped with Galaxy, Pacific Jade, Mosaic, and Styrian Dragon. We than ferment this juicy beast on top of a monsterous amount of passionfruit, Pink guava, Red raspberry and vanilla beans" (source).
Abomination Slushie Fight, $6.29/16oz - "Cherry limeade sour brewed with flaked oats and lactose, ddh and conditioned over top a insane amount of tart sweet cherries and key limes" (source).
Bell's Wedding Ale, $10.19/750ml - "Originally created for the nuptials of one of our brewers, Wedding Ale is one of the rare Bell’s brands to use spices. A subtle blend of orange peel & coriander enhance the aromatic profile of this golden ale. Brewed with a combination of wheat and pale malts, Wedding Ale is fermented with our signature house ale yeast. A light touch of European hops rounds out the beer, while a generous addition of honey adds a dry complexity rather than sweetness" (source).
Cigar City After Sesh, $1.99/12oz - "Skatepark of Tampa and Cigar City Brewing, two Florida originals, have collaborated on this crisp beer with notes of lime, orange and salt that can be enjoyed after a skate session or anytime you’re with friends" (source).
Decadent Elderflower Mochi, $5.49/16oz - "Part of a series of floral forward Japanese Mochi beers. This is an IPA with elderflower, vanilla, and marshmallow" (source).
Destihl Wild Sour Blueberry Gose, $2.99/12oz - "Our Leipzig-Style Gose (Here Gose Nothin’®) is often seen being French-pressed through blueberries for a combination destined to be together, so we’ve done the hard work for you with this edition of our Gose by adding the blueberries at the brewery, which unites another layer of fruity complexity in this sour ale already known for its tart, citrusy, lime-like qualities, slight spicy note from added coriander and a noticeable mineral mouthfeel from added sea salt harvested from the shores of France" (source).
Destihl Wild Sour Lynnbrook, $3.29/12oz - "Lynnbrook, named after our founder’s family farm, is a wild Berliner-Style Weisse with raspberries added, resulting in a very refreshing beer presenting with fuchsia color and an aroma reminiscent of picking tart red raspberries growing next to an old, abandoned barn, with the raspberry-lemon aroma giving way to hints of brie and barnyard funkiness. The flavor is absent of any hops or bitterness and instead has initial impression of subtle lemon and yogurt supported by tart, fresh raspberries and underlying lactic sourness. The beer’s dry finish helps cut through some sweetness from the fruit" (source).
Destihl Wild Sour Synchopathic, $2.99/12oz - "Synchopathic is the combination of a refreshingly tart and acidic sour ale with robust-citrusy, fruity & floral dry-hops one would otherwise find in a pale ale, with aromas and flavors reminiscent of grapefruit, orange, lemon, tangerine, pineapple and hints of pine, giving way to a biscuity-crackery malt backbone, low bitterness and dry finish to bring it all in synch" (source).
Evil Twin Mission Gose, $3.19/12oz - "Effortlessly cool, popping up in a cultish fashion and constantly on a tasty mission. This is Mission Gose: our take on an old-fashioned and slightly odd German beer style that is with good reason trending as the tastiest right now. It’s tart, salty, low in alcohol and probably the most refreshing beer you’ll ever have. Perhaps enjoy this beer in a restaurant with a mission near you. Wherever you are we made it stylishly good and exclusively well balanced just for you" (source).
Evil Twin/Decadent Ales Decadent Delight, $8.99/16oz - "Our first collaboration with Evil Twin brewing. This imperial stout was brewed with pistachio. Coconut and cinnamon tie the nutty aroma with the roast and chocolate of the base" (source).
Founders Double Trouble, $3.39/12oz - "An imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops will get you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front pair with a malt-balanced backbone and a smooth, bitter finish" (source).
Lakefront New Grist Gose, $1.99/12oz - "With a punch of lime and hint of sea salt, this gluten-free, Gose-Style beer is sure to satisfy that hankering for something a little tart and super refreshing" (source).
Nightmare Brewing Flayed, $5.69/16oz - "Nectarous citrus aromatics of ripe tropical fruits, marmalade and sweetgrass. A massive base of Oat varietals provide the foundation of mouthfeel for tangerine, sugared grapefruit, sweet tarts and tangelo" (source).
Nightmare Brewing Glasgow Smile, $5.69/16oz - "Gose soured on Wild Scottish Bilberries with Heather, Lemon Zest, Raspberries and Blueberries" (source).
Nightmare Brewing Matricide, $8.19/16oz - "Imperial Stout with Coconut, Almond, Lactose, Madagascan Vanilla, and aged on Cacao" (source).
Nightmare Brewing Windlass of Eramus, $5.69/16oz - "Gose with Blackberries, Blackcurrants, and Black Sea salt" (source).
North Peak Tropical Diabolical, $1.89/12oz - "A take on our classic Diabolical IPA with a tropical twist. Brewed with generous amounts of passion fruit, pineapple, guava, tangerine and sweet orange peel combined with eight hop varietals for a hoppy bite and exotic flavors and aromas. Diabolical goes tropical for a limited time" (source).
Odd Side Apricot Dank Juice, $2.79/12oz - "Hazy, juicy IPA made with Apricots" (source).
Odd Side Bror IPL, $2.39/12oz - "India Pale Lager" (source).
Odd Side Simcoe Sensation, $1.99/12oz - "A seductive brew with succulent simcoe hops and a splash of sublime spunk. When you pop the top, an aroma of pine, resin and grapefruit with permeate the air" (source).
Odd Side The Implication, $4.99/12oz - "Citra Triple IPA. No one is in any REAL danger..." (source).
Old Nation Helles, $2.79/16oz - "Soft, subtle, and so clean you can taste the field the barley grew in. Less is more in these lagers, and balance is the goal. The yeast, time, and talent we put into our Helles light notes of honey and soft herbal hops with just a hint of bitterness" (source).
Pigeon Hill Grapefruit Renny, $2.29/12oz - "Ever met a crushable Double IPA? Now you have. We took our Renny “session” DIPA, added grapefruit, and turned it up to 11. The addition of grapefruit pairs perfectly with the citrus aroma and flavors that come from the use of Amarillo and Simcoe hops. Warning: It’s way too drinkable" (source).
Public Access Emergency Broadcast, $4.69/16oz - No commercial description.
Public Access Omniscient Signal, $6.29/16oz - No commercial description.
Short's Chief Hopper, $2.09/12oz - "Chief Hopper is a Double IPA hopped with Vic Secret, Simcoe, and Centennial hops inspired by the show “Stranger Things.” Chief Hopper is deep gold in color and has a dense white head. Dank aromas of pine, grapefruit, pineapple, and mango are accompanied by just a hint of malt. Smooth and balanced in flavor, a citrus forefront is matched with equal malt character" (source).
Sierra Nevada Life and Limb, $4.29/16oz - "Life & Limb is a collaborative effort, the brainchild of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Life & Limb is a 10% ABV strong, dark beer that defies style characteristics- brewed with pure maple syrup from the Calagione family farm in Massachusetts and estate barley grown on the Grossman "farm" at the brewery in Chico, CA. The beer is alive with yeast-a blend of both breweries' house strains-bottle conditioned for added complexity and shelf life, and naturally carbonated with birch syrup fresh from Alaska" (source).
Stillwater Retail, $5.69/16oz - "New England style india pale ale" (source).
Video of the Week | Founders Brewing Co.
With Founders Fest this weekend, we figured this was an appropriate video to post.