A listing of this week's new and returning beer, wine & cider and a few words about a stress relieving day trip Up North.
By Steve Siciliano
I'm a merchant not a clinical psychologist but you don't need a PhD to know that during times of high anxiety you need to occasionally detach from the dire news of the day if you want to maintain a modicum of sanity. Last Sunday Barb and I took advantage of the nice spring weather and took a stress free day trip north up M37 to Lake County.
We wanted to see how our cottage made it through the winter but the underlying purpose of the trip was to just get away from it all for a few hours. The "all", of course, refers to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hit a few of our favorite rural watering holes, who knows when we'll be able to do that again, and it was nice shooting the breeze with the friendly and still laid back locals. (As of this writing, there are no presumptive or confirmed cases of the virus in Lake County.)
When we pulled into the driveway we were pleasantly surprised to see that Yeoman was up from Ohio working in his yard. We had a nice chat, we haven't seen our loquacious and likeable Big Bass Lake neighbor since last November, and after checking out the cottage I mentioned that we were going to the Oak Grove for a beer.
"Thanks," he said, "but I've got to do these leaves."
After bidding Yeoman goodbye we made our way to Irons, stopping briefly at Dewitt Bridge to peer down at the high flowing Little Manistee, and then taking a detour up to Dublin to see if they had begun to rebuild the General Store. The iconic business was burned to the ground last fall by arsonists. A big sign in front of the construction site informed us that it would be reopening sometime this spring.
When we walked into the Oak Grove we were again pleasantly surprised to see Yeoman sitting at the bar.
"I thought you had to do your leaves," I said.
"I got thirsty," he replied after taking a swig from a long neck Strohs.
NEW WINES OF THE WEEK
2019, Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, $14.49/750 ml- "Bright, forward and direct. Vivaciously crisp, showcasing gooseberry, citrus and fresh tropical fruit flavors that linger through the finish." (Source)
2015, Chateau De Montfaucon, Les Gardettes Red Blend, France, $12.79/750 ml- "The nose is an explosion of red fruit like cooked strawberries and sour cherries. This is a well-balanced, medium-bodied wine. It has a long mouth with elegant tannin structure; notes of blackberries and spices abound!" (Source)
2015, Ledge, Dante Dusi Vineyard Zinfandel, Paso Robles, California, $29.69/750 ml- "There is a strong but not overripe fruit character on the nose of this bottling from historic vines, with baked strawberry, plums and mulberry as well as a dusting of sweet clove. The palate is more lightly bodied than many Zins of the area and is also full of energy, showing bright and fresh red-fruit flavors and baking spice, eliciting elements not often seen from the grape these days" Matt Kettman, Wine Enthusiast 93 pts (Source)
Buy three or more bottles of wine get 10 % off.
"It's our mission at Siciliano's to sell quality wine at affordable prices."
NEW AND RETURNING BEER & CIDER
2nd Shift Bridget Foeser: Cherry, $3.79/12oz - "Foeder fermented and aged brett beer refermented on sweet cherries. Tart and funky." (Source)
2nd Shift Conjunctivitis, $4.09/16oz - "We brewed this New England-style IPA with Zythos hops, lactose, and hibiscus flowers." (Source)
2nd Shift River des Peres White Caps, $4.69/12oz - "New England-style IPA with lemon zest." (Source)
Anxo Hereford Gold, $4.49/12oz - "Quintessential tannic English West Country cider fermented by Tom Oliver before blending at ANXO with GoldRush | Annual Release | Batches vary based on the English growing season." (Source)
Bells Oberon, Various Packages - No description needed
Brewery Vivant Contemplation, $3.79/16oz - "A favorite at our pub in Grand Rapids, this beer encompasses our farmhouse roots. Michigan-harvested honey and carefully selected Michigan-grown hops showcase Michigan’s agricultural heritage. The honey introduced to the boil contributes color and complexity but adds little sweetness to the beer as those sugars are consumed during fermentation. Look for whispers of apricot and nectarine on the palate, mixed in with the floral aroma of hops. This is a beer worth pondering upon each sip." (Source)
Epic Vanilla Brandy Barrel Big Bad Baptist, $19.59/22oz - "This is a whole new Baptist, of course still Big and Bad, but the big guy is moving on up to also be refined and sophisticated. We took our award-winning Imperial Stout and aged it 100% in Brandy barrels with just a touch of coffee and vanilla. Smoking jacket optional; snifter highly recommended." (Source)
Foundation/Old Nation This One Sparks Joy, $5.19/16oz - "Collaboration Double New England brewed with Old Nation, using CRYO Sabro and Mosaic hops for a delicious Piña Colada profile." (Source)
Founders Red's Rye, $1.99/12oz - "Serious hop bitterness, along with an unyielding grapefruit bouquet from the Amarillo dry hop, balances the malty richness of four varieties of imported Belgian caramel malts. Pours a spectacular crimson with a creamy tan head. A generous addition of rye malt accentuates a spicy, crisp finish." (Source)
Hopewell Table Salt, $2.99/12oz - "A Gose-style Sour Ale brewed with French grey sea salt, lemongrass, lime leaf and cardamom. Vibrant and punchy with huge lemon-lime aroma, followed by a gentle tartness and a touch of salinity on the finish. Incredibly refreshing and easy-going." (Source)
Lansing Brewing Union Golden, $1.69/12oz - American Blonde Ale
Railtown Hammond Station, $4.89/16oz - New England IPA
Stone Peak Conditions, $3.19/12oz - "West Coast hops. East Coast haze. Passion fruit, orange and guava juice inspired by the popular Hawaiian drink. This ridiculously tasty double IPA combines influences from across the country into one of the most flavorful beers we’ve ever released. One could call it a perfect storm, we’d say it’s Peak Conditions." (Source)
Untitiled Art Fruit Smootie: Orange, $4.69/16oz - No commercial description
Untitled Art/2nd Shift New Zealand Pils, $2.99/12oz - No commercial description
Untitled Art/Eagle Park Lemon Meringue IPA, $4.69/16oz - No commercial description
Untitled Art/Eight State Macadamia White Chocolate Stout, $5.69/12oz - No commercial description
Urban Artifact Epicuerean: PB&J, $4.69/16oz - American wild ale
Urban Artifact Pinwheel, $2.49/12oz - "Gose brewed with 500 lbs of oranges, 22 lbs of sea salt, 1 lb of coriander & 30 g of vanilla beans per 30 BBL batch." (Source)
Urban Artifact Spyglass Lemon Lime, $2.49/12oz - "Lemon & lime golden sour ale. Tart & refreshing." (Source)
Urban Artifact Vocoder, $3.59/12oz - "Grab a mic and sing hello to our new Midwest Fruit Tart, Vocoder, made with 1,600 lbs of apricots and 1,200 lbs of blackberries. This beer is crisp and fruity, balanced by a malty tartness." (Source)