This week's new beer, our wine picks of the week and some additional words on what we're doing to help keep our community safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
By Steve Siciliano
With the number of COVID-19 cases in the environs of Beer City USA escalating daily I now know that closing our doors to the public for the duration of the stay at home order was the right thing to do to help ensure the safety of our customers and staff. Barb and I would like to thank our loyal clientele for adjusting to this policy during these crazy times and for continuing to spend their hard-earned dollars at a local, family run business.
Just a reminder that the following policies and procedures are in effect until further notice:
Business hours are from 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Sunday.
Orders may be placed on the phone (616-453-9674 or 616-453-9687) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will bring your purchase to your vehicle. Please keep in mind that filling some phone orders may be time consuming. We will take your phone number and we will notify you when the purchase is ready for pickup. Please call us when you arrive. We will ask you to identify your vehicle and if you are purchasing alcohol, we may ask for your ID. We will then run your credit card and place your purchase in your vehicle.
During the time that these policies remain in effect we won’t be able to accept bottle returns.
The transition to exclusive curbside deliveries has for the most part been smooth. When I’m at the store, and I’ve been there a lot lately, I’m usually at my desk manning the phone and checking the emails. When orders came in during the first few days of this new normal, I printed them out, yelled “Order up!” and handed them off to one of the staff. I cut that out after it became obvious I was getting on Sarah’s nerves. No sense in poking the cheetah.
At first a good number of the phone and email orders we filled were for home brewing and wine making supplies but lately requests for spirits, craft beer, fine wine, premium cigars, bulk tea and our locally roasted coffee are on the uptick. If we have to shelter in place we might as well have some tasty treats to enjoy while we're hunkering down.
WINES OF THE WEEK
Vouvray ”La Lanterne, Demi-sec, France, 2017, $22.89/750 ml- The nice amber-colored yellow announces a complex nose, revealing a nice floral smell. The expression in mouth is full because of the body and good balance between residual sugars and acidity. It provides this Vouvray a lot of delicacy and a nice roundness in mouth. Slightly sweet, with flavors of smokey peach, pears and quince. (Source)
Flint and Steel, Sauvignon Blanc, California, 2018,$17.59/750 ml- lively aromas of grapefruit, honeysuckle and lime followed by notes of minerality. Juicy nectarine and mango flavors flow across the palate. A steely backbone frames the fruit and delivers a refreshing wine well suited for sipping and pairing with food. (Source)
Silk and Spice Red Blend, Portugal, 2017, $11.69/750 ml- Structured out of 40% Touriga Nacional, 20% Baga, 20% Alicante Bouchet, 20% Syrah. This wine boasts a ruby color with intense aromas of red and black fruits and spicy notes of mocha, vanilla, black pepper, and pink peppercorn. It is balanced with very soft tannins and a long finish. (Source)
NEW AND RETURNING BEER
Bitburger Prost Variety Pack/8pk/$16.99 - Germany- German Pilsner - Various ABV. Bitburger variety pack containing the best from the German brewery. Two of each great beers from Germany's best selling draft beer.
Bitburger & Sierra Nevada-Triple Hopped Lager/12oz/$1.99 - "Bitburger Triple Hop’d Lager is a beautiful harmony of German and American brewing styles. Brewed in collaboration by Bitburger & Sierra Nevada, this 5.8% dry-hopped lager is full of grapefruit citrus and aromatic fruit notes, balanced by a pleasant bitter finish and light malt backbone." (Source)
Rockford Brewing-Fuzzy Nugs/12oz/$2.19 - "This pale ale was brewed with 100% Michigan grown barley and wheat. Also unique to this beer is the fact that it is brewed with 100% Nugget hops. Nuggets are usually used only to add bitterness, however we used them throughout the boil for bitterness, flavor and aroma. The flavor and aroma is described as being green, resiny, herbal and floral. We also get a small fruity character in the front that plays well with the clean malty flavor of the Michigan grown malt." (Source)
Destihl-Wild SourPina Colada/12oz/$2.99 - "If you like Piña Coladas, then you're going to love this fun, refreshing take on our Leipzig-style Gose, which is brewed with pineapple and coconut for a tropical twist on this classic sour ale. The combination provides an added layer of sweet, fruity complexity to our Gose that is already known for its tart, citrusy qualities while still balanced by French sea salt and hints of spice from added coriander." (Source)
Oddside-Morning Wood Mixed Variety/4pk/$31.99 No splits
Batch Brewing-Gentle Jack Jones/12oz/$2.79 - American brown
Foundation Brewing-Let's Do Brunch/16oz/$4.69 - "Let’s Do Brunch! Inspired by French Toast, this beer is a milk stout aged with coffee, cinnamon and vanilla beans. Brewed with lactose." (Source)
Brew Detroit-Pineapple Cloud 19/16oz/$3.59 - "We took our haziest yet and added a hefty dose of fresh pineapple. Heavy notes of pineapple accompanied by mango, stone fruit & tropical fruit flavors. Brewed with Mosaic & Hallertau Blanc hops, our pineapple cloud 19 variant delivers everything you love about Cloud 19 with an added fresh pineapple kick!" (Source)
Farmhouse-Skinny Dip Grapefruit Cider Lemonade/12oz/$1.99 - "Apples, local lemonade and grapefruit!" (Source)
Founders-Pilsner/15pk/$17.99 - "Always brewing to taste and rarely to style, Pilsner is the culmination of our love of American hops and appreciation of easy-drinking styles. Where traditional Pilsners typically feature European Noble hops, our version celebrates some of our favorite American varieties: Chinook, Centennial, Cascade and Crystal. Crisp and bright, with notes of citrus, this Pilsner is refreshingly untraditional." (Source)
Grand Armory-Grindage/12oz/$2.19 - "A Mango IPA for mugs, chillin, and grindage, bud-dy! The Mango addition in this juicy IPA makes you feel like you’re in Encino, sneaking slushee pulls right off the machine." (Source)
Brewery Vivant-Tree Bucket/16oz/$4.69 - "Big, bold, and balanced, this double IPA is unlike most. We take an artistic Belgian approach to our beer. Our brewers sling some serious Citra hops into the kettle as you might expect, but we overlay that excessive hoppiness with Belgian candi sugar to add dimension to this beer. The result is a siege of hop flavor without the bitterness. Tree Bucket catapults out of the brewery once a year. Hoppy beers are not for cellaring. Find it, drink it, enjoy it now." (Source)
Ludington Bay-Summer Fling/12oz/$1.99 - "Straw yellow colored hybrid half of Ison brewed from the German yeast in American money creating banana and clothes labels with a slightly dry biscuit finish." (Source)
Revolution-Ghost Ride/12oz/$1.99 - "Technically, this is not a Kolsch Bier, because it was not brewed in the city of Koln (Cologne), Germany. It is fermented with a unique ale yeast that ferments out at cooler temperatures than many other ale yeasts, so it doesn’t produce as many fruity esters as many styles, but has complexities almost reminiscent of some white wines. The style is light-bodied, crisp, and refreshing – in part due to its extended cold aging/maturation- similar to that of a lager." (Source)
Revolution-Freedom of Speach/12oz/$1.99 - "Freedom of Speach is naturally soured in the brew kettle and fermented out dry with a lower alcohol level. Our easy-drinking session sour demonstrates a clean tartness, balanced out by an assembly of ripe peach flavor. Exercise your right to refreshment." (Source)
Atwater-Coconut Vanilla Java Porter/12oz/$1.99 - " Coffee notes? Check. Porter notes? Check. Coconut? Absolutely. A coffee beer that any brewer could make? Better check again. This is VJP- an easygoing dark beer with the makings of both a sweet-vanilla coffee house java, and a smoky English style porter. Despite looking every bit as black as a regular dark roast Joe, it goes down like it’s frothy with cream and sugar with a fruity finish. Find yourself falling in love with VJP all over again with this new variant of our famous porter. Sip and ‘ahhh’. " (Source)
Austin Bros.-Blackberry Sourbet/16oz/$4.09 - "Fruited Kettle sour pours a vibrant Maroon color. Brewed with lactose sugar and 1500 pounds of Raspberry, Blackberry, and Blueberries giving a tart bold fruit character." (Source)
Austin Bros.-Shooter Murkgavin/16oz/$3.79 - "This New England IPA pours a murky orange color. Dry hopped with Mosaic, Citra, and Michigan Chinook hops. Super smooth delivery of juicy tropical fruits with a velvety mouthfeel." (Source)
Creston Brewing-Sweet Street/16oz/2.99 - "Wheat Beer - American Pale Wheat." (Source)
Perrin-Call Me Hazy/12oz/$2.19 - "Juicy IPA is a juiced up IPA packed full of intense hops for a hazy, complex brew with a bright finish at 7.5% ABV. The brew kicks off Perrin’s new rotating Call Me Hazy IPA series, which will allow Perrin’s brewers to explore the breadth and depth of hop flavor." (Source)
Perrin-Low Rise IPA/12oz/$1.79 - "Introducing Low Rise, a crisp, easy-drinking Lo-Cal IPA with 100 Calories. This light-bodied IPA blends Sultana and Citra Hops with malts for slight floral and citrus aromatics." (Source)
Perrin-Northern Dream IPA/12oz/$2.49- Hazy IPA
Stormcloud-Nightswimmer Stout/12oz/$1.99 - "Our Belgian-style Stout. With an appearance as dark as swimming in Lake Michigan on a moonless night, The Nightswimmer Stout reveals a light chocolate and roast aroma intertwined with dark fruit flavors.
One of our house yeast strains, sourced from Belgium, adds a slight background fruitiness. Altogether this a great beer to drink with rich cheeses, smoked or barbecued food, and chocolate desserts." (Source)
BA Salted Caramel Porter/12oz/$4.39 - "This slightly sweet porter is brewed with select additions of crystal malts and sea salt to create flavors of peanut brittle and caramel without being cloying. The medium body and mouthfeel lay the perfect foundation to support the rich vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors imparted by extended aging in Wild Turkey® barrels." (Source)
Briney Melon Gose/12oz/$2.19 - "Born from our passion for experimentation, our Briney Melon Gose boasts a thirst-quenching tartness that is perfectly balanced by subtle watermelon flavors and aromas. Gentle additions of sea salt create a refreshing harmony between the acidity and fruity sweetness leading to clean, dry finish." (Source)
Framboise Rose Gose/12oz/$2.19 - "By adding rose hips to the boil and fresh raspberry puree at the end of fermentation, this kettle-soured beer is a mélange of flavors and aromas. With a light ruby hue, subtle raspberry fruit notes greet the nose and fall soft on the palate; tangy, hibiscus-like flavors mingle with the salty tartness of gose to create a uniquely complex and refreshing drinking experience." (Source)
Summer Solstice/12oz/$2.19 - "Summer Solstice® is a slightly sweet, malty session beer with a creamy mouth feel and clean finish. With hints of caramel in the nose and a touch of spice, it’s become affectionately known as “cream soda for adults”. The unique flavors and superior drinkability make for the ultimate refreshment on a hot summer day." (Source)
Tropical Hazy Sour Ale/12oz/$2.19 - "The beer is brewed to be pleasingly tart and refreshing using a traditional kettle souring method, similar to our renowned and award-winning Gose series of beers. Tropical flavors are introduced in the fermentation process through the use of real guava and passion fruit. Finally, we found that leaving the beer hazy resulted in a more aromatic beer and added to the overall balance of the beverage. As a bonus, we kept it low-calorie and low-carb." (Source)
Short's-Soft Parade Shandy/12pk/$15.29 - "Soft Parade Shandy is a blend of Short’s flagship Fruit Ale, Soft Parade, and homemade lemonade. This beer is raspberry in color and smells like fresh berry lemonade. Soft Parade’s signature berry flavor is enhanced by the addition of citrus. Soft Parade Shandy finishes with the faint taste of fruit candy. It is light in body and very refreshing." (Source) Clausthaler-Grapefruit Shandy N/A/12oz/$1.59 Liquid Death Mountain Water N/A/16oz/$1.69
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Our country has made it through tough times before. We'll do it again.
STAY SAFE AND SANE. SPREAD KINDNESS NOT GERMS!