This week's list of new and returning products follows the third installment of a piece we ran back in February, 2011. Enjoy!
By Steve Siciliano
I think the Road House is the name of the next bar we hit and I think the road on which it sits is M43. I’m not really sure of either. The beautiful thing about road trips is that while you might not know where you are at the moment rarely are you ever completely and hopelessly lost.
I knew we were heading west and I knew that anytime I wanted I could take a right at some crossroads and eventually find the freeway. But sometimes it feels good to be a little lost. Too often our lives are overly regimented—we always seem to be dragging the past with one step and entering the future with the next. Too often we forget about living in the present. Sometimes it’s good to have no clear destination. That’s why I like road trips. Whatever its name that bar was a good one. We drank PBRs out of cans. We ate salted peanuts out of cellophane bags. We sat suspended in time, not worrying about the past, not looking toward the future, just enjoying the present.
Sam had a long conversation with the fellow sitting at the bar next to him. I think this fellow was a farmer but I really don’t know what they talked about. I think Sam bought him a drink or two. It felt good to be sitting in an unfamiliar place, my wife at my side, my eighty-year-old dad enjoying himself, my existence nothing more than the cold can of PBR sitting on the bar in front of me.
I don’t know how long we were there. It might have been an hour, it might have been two. When we were back in the car heading west again Sam got a little edgy.
“Where in the hell are we?”
“Don’t know, pop,”
“Are we lost?”
“Maybe a little.”
At the next crossroads there was a sign indicating that a place called Sunfield was somewhere to the right. “All right,” I said aloud. “Next stop Sunfield”
We drove north for a few minutes then saw another sign. I turned right again and saw huge grain silos rising over a small cluster of store fronts. In that cluster was a bar.
It was another good bar but I can’t tell you much about it. When you're existing in the present moment it's easy to ignore your senses. I know that I drank High Life out of long neck bottles. I can't tell you what Barb and Sam drank. I know we spent a good amount of time there but I can't tell you how long. I know that we talked to the friendly bartender, that we ordered deep fried pickles and jalapenos, that they tasted wonderful and that just as we were leaving the bartender told us we should come back sometime for dinner. I decided to look at the menu again and another appetizer caught my eye—deep fried chicken gizzards.
“Hey pop, they have gizzards."
“Boy that sounds good.”
We ordered another beer and ten minutes later a huge plate of gizzards was sitting before us. They too tasted wonderful.
When we were back in the car I headed north, found the freeway, and parked on the side of the road. My fellow travelers looked at me. “I need a nap,” I said.
One of the things I love about Barb is that she always has my back. She wouldn't be much help in a bar fight but she's always willing to drive when I get sleepy. She got in the driver's seat and both Sam and I fell asleep.
When I woke I saw the bright lights of the freeway. “Get off at Fuller,” I said.
“Let's take the old man to Vivant.
Sam hadn't been to Brewery Vivant even though his grandson, Jacob Derylo, is the head brewer. He woke up just as Barb was parking.
“Where are we?”
“Brewery Vivant,” I said.
“Where Jacob works?”
“I'll be damned.”
Barb helped Sam out of the car and held his arm so he wouldn't slip on the icy sidewalk. Inside it was packed. There were no empty tables and there was no place to sit at the bar. We stood for a few minutes and just as I was ready to suggest that we leave the bartender got my attention.
“Dude down there wants to buy you guys a drink.”
I looked to where he was pointing and saw a young man wave at me. I had no idea who he was. I ordered an IPA for myself and Barb and a Farmhand for Sam. A few minutes later a man and a woman got up to leave and the man came over to Sam. “Take these seats,” the man said.
Barb said she would stand so I sat next to my dad at the bar. A woman walked over and began talking to Barb. It was Kim, one of the Brewers On The Lake, a local homebrew club. She was with Brian, her husband, and Scott, another BOTL member. While Kim and Barb talked I walked over to their table.
“We just left your store,” Brian said. “I spent a lot of money.”
"God bless you," I said.
“This is my wife,” said Scott.
“Pleased to meet you.”
When I made my way back to the bar Barb was sitting next to Sam. “Steve, I like this beer,” Sam said.
“Good for you, pop.”
I looked around the packed pub. It felt good to know all the people were enjoying my nephew Jacob's beer. I was proud of Jake. He had worked at the store during the lean years and was there when we first started selling beer- and wine-making supplies. I like telling people that I taught Jake everything he knows about brewing. It's a lie, of course, but I figure it's not really a lie when the person you're lying to knows damn well you're lying. While I was feeling proud of Jake I heard a loud shout coming from my dad. “Heeyyy!”
I turned and saw my brother, Mark, his wife Barb, and their friends Jeff and Robin Boorsma.
We left after another beer. I carefully made my way from the East side of Grand Rapids to the West. When I parked in front of Sam's house I helped him out of the car. I took hold of his arm but as we were walking on the sidewalk he slipped and fell face first into a snowbank.
“Are you okay, pop?”
“Hell yes,” he answered.
I walked with him into the house. My mother was watching television. “Where have you guys been?” she asked. And then, “Oh, Sam.”
I looked at my dad. He was bleeding from a cut on his nose. But it was a small cut, not more than a scratch. I'm quite sure that my old man would have agreed that it was a small price to pay for a most enjoyable day out.
Featured Wines of the Week
Chateau Camplong Grand Reserve 2020, $12.49 This blend in which the Carignan mixes harmoniously with the Granche, Mourvedre and Syrah offers a fruity, drinkable, remarkably structured wine. We reccomend you drink it with bean stew or "Cassoulet," grilled meat or goat cheese, and served slightly chilled in the summer.Three hundred fifty million years ago, the Leelanau Peninsula lay at the bottom of a tropical sea south of the earth's equator. Ten thousand years ago, Laurentide glaciers unearthed the ancient sea floor. Today, our vines grace this unique land from which cool climate wines are hand crafted for your enjoyment. Grapefruity and grassy, a perfect white wine by the glass or with all creatures from the sea...
Chateau Galochet Bordeaux, $13.09 Chateau Galochet is located in the beautiful his wine delivers great expressions of fruit with soft velvety tannins and a long aftertaste. The perfect companion to a grilled steak or a nice cheese platter
Suze, $29.49 Suze is a pleasingly bitter French apéritif made from the gentian root, which grows in the mountains of Switzerland and France. "It really captures the essence of the earth. You can sense how the root twisted its tendrils into the rocks like an octopus," says Scott Baird, founder of the cocktail consulting firm Bon Vivants. It manages to be earthy, bitter, and floral all at once. Suze is ideal both for cocktails and for straight sipping as a pre- or post-dinner drink. Visit https://www.bonappetit.com/drinks/cocktails/article/what-is-suze for cocktail insperation.
Buy three or more bottles of wine get 10 % off.
"It's our mission at Siciliano's to sell quality wine at affordable prices
Featured Spirits of the Week
Forty Creek Barrel Select, $23.09 A blend of various grain whiskies aged in a mix of seasoned ex-Bourbon barrels and new American White Oak for a unique and full flavour profile. Features aromas of honey, vanilla and apricot fused with toasted oak, black walnut, and spice. Robust, complex, rich, and bold flavours of vanilla, honey, and cocoa with a toasted earthiness. Neat or over ice, although it's versatile enough for cocktails or mixed drinks. https://fortycreekwhisky.com/product/barrel-select/
New and Returning Products
Greyline Steamroller, $4.69/16oz-Coffee stout
Arvon Space Chase, $4.39/16oz-New Zealand Pilsner with Motueka and Riwaka hops
Arvon New Year, $5.39/16oz-NEIPA with Galaxy, Bru-1 and Amarillo hops
Arvon The Grand, $5.09/16oz-New England style IPA hops with Citra and Mosaic.
Avon Rags to Riches, $5.09/16oz-Galaxy and Cascade hoppped NEIPA
Arvon Trandcendent Trend Setter, $6.29/16oz-Kettle sour with blueberries, blackberries, lactose, vanilla, granola and cinnamon.
Arvon Tropical Passion, $5.69/16oz-Kettle Sour with passion fruit, tropical gummies and lactose.
Lagunitas StereoHopic Vol. 4, $2.09/12oz-This fourth volume in our Ltd. Series of experimental hop duets shows what happens when the orange-vanilla vibrancy of Lotus meets the creamy, tropical complexity of Sabro. Combined, it’s a Copacabana-in-a-glass, full of fruity citrus stirred up with a coconut-orange-creamsicle swizzle stick, for a palate trip straight to the Tropics.
Prairie Buntastic, $5.49/12oz-Imperial Stout with actual carrot cake. Carrot cake recipe provided by our resident bakers, Paula and Cara. Happy Easter!
Prairie/M4 Raining Hats and Dogs, $14.09/12oz-BLIS MAPLE SYRUP BARREL AGED IMPERIAL STOUT
Speciation Dry-Hopped Incipient, $6.99/16oz-Our sour golden base, dry hopped with a rotating variety of hops. Open fermented with house cultures to express our yeast and bacteria and to capture additional native microbes.
Speciation Biodiversity, $10.89/375ml-Barrel Aged Blended Wild Ale
Speciation Fermi Paradox, $8.69/375ml-Native fermented cider dry hopped with Galaxy (2lb/bbl)
450 North Filet of Fruit, $10.89/16oz-Filet of Fruit XXL is conditioned on Passionfruit, Dragonfruit, Starfruit, Jackfruit & Grapefruit.
Untitled Art NA Hazy IPA, $2.89/12oz
Blom Perry Saision Cider, $4.09/12oz
Untitled Art Donut Stout, $5.19/12oz-Stout - Pastry
Prairie Thai Delight, $4.89/12oz-Mango Sticky Rice inspired sour ale with mango, flaked rice, and coconut cream.
Mikerphone Check 1.2, $5.19/16oz-Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA with Citra hops
Mikerphone Tuned In, $5.19/16oz-Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA with Citra, El Dorado, and Simcoe Hops
Untitled Art Saskatoon Berry, $5.49/16oz-Berliner Weisse style ale brewed with Saskatoon berries (Collaboration with Mts Walking)
450 North Slushy Meal, $9.79/16oz-Slushy Meal XL is conditioned on Peach, Mango, Papaya, Guava, Apple & Lactose.
450 North Small Fry, $9.79/16oz-Small Fry XL is conditioned on Cara Cara Orange, Passionfruit & Prickly Pear.
450 North Unicorn Juice, $8.69/16oz-Unicorn Juice is conditioned with rainbow amounts of Starfruit, Peach, Mango and Pink Guava!
New Belgium Juice Force, $2.19/12oz-Juice Force is a fruit forward, highly drinkable, 9.5% ABV blast. Buckle up, with this hazy IPA you'll be buzzing the tower in no time.
Anxo Kulture Cider, $4.69/12oz-A unique, old world meets new world blend of 50/25/25 Albemarle Pippin, Dabinett, and Harrison apples. The resulting liquid is juicy with bold, gripping tannins producing a textured mouthfeel accompanied by balanced acidity.
Anxo Time and Place, $5.19/12oz-3rd-Leaf bittersweets/sharps grown at Glaize Orchards in Winchester,VA fermented in oak casks with native/wild yeast.
Graft Green is Gold, $3.09/12oz-Green is Gold a lemon tonic cocktail in a can cider with gin botanicals and honey! 10% of profits are donated to One Tree Planted.
Graft Lost Tropic Mimosa, $3.09/12oz-Hop Mimosa Cider. NY Apples, dry hopped with Citra hops, orange zest, organic orange extract.
Black Rocks Float Copper, $2.19/12oz-Malty lager, crisp, smooth.
Brewery Vivant Verdun, $4.69/16oz-This ale is named after the fortified city of Verdun, France. Bière de Garde is a classic French beer style that is brewed to be malt forward yet smooth.
Founders 4 Giants Haze of Glory, $3.09/16oz
New Holland Full Circle, $2.19/12oz-A kölsch-style beer, Full Circle is a refreshing
celebration of our brewery’s belief in balance. The soft, well-rounded malt character,
light hop profile and crisp finish bring us back around to the familiar tastes of classic, thirst quenching beer.
New Holland Bananas Foster, $4.89/16oz-Porter
Revolution A Little Crazy, $1.99/12oz-A Belgian Pale Ale that is a Little Crazy! Pale Ale, Munich & Caramunich malts provide a nice, toasty flavor with hints of caramel. Belgian Wit yeast ferments this beer, contributing hints of spice and a slight tartness. Dry-hopped with Cascade and Citra hops to drive home the aromas of fresh citrus rind.
Upper Hand Sugar Bush, $2.39/12oz-Introducing Sugarbush, brewed with help from our friends at Yooper Forestry and MSU Extension. This late-winter red lager has a kiss of caramelized sweetness and a dash of Upper Peninsula-harvested, open vat maple syrup.
Waypost Saison d'Hiver, $3.89/16oz-Super saison brewed a bit stronger to take the chill off. Plenty of golden raisin, candied orange and herbal chamomile notes. Finishes as a saison should - crisp, dry, with a touch of white pepper.
Waypost Blackberry Sour, $4.29/16oz-We tried to capture all the delicate, tart and earthy notes of a ripe blackberry in this spritzy little treat. The lactic tones of the base beer enhance the floral-fruit character. Conditioned on blackberries from right here on the farm.
Waypost Helles Bock, $3.89/16oz
Descriptions courtesy of Untappd