Monday, August 31, 2009

Fort Street Happenings

From Doug:
Greetings and salutations!

Thanks to all who came out to "Festivus in August" last week! Congratulations to all of our contest winners, especially Kathy Polatka for creating the winning Playdough sculpture and Mike Glaser for winning the challenging Name That Tune Competition. If you were unable to hear the drunk, obnoxious street walker who kept shouting out the answers, all of the songs were either by Michigan musicians, or were songs about Michigan. Also, thanks to Mike & Kathy Arend for brewing and providing their tasty "Toll House Porter".
This Thursday, September 3rd at 8 ish p.m. we'll tap our 109th cask-conditioned ale. "A Two Stroke Cycle" is Piston Pale Ale with something added to the cask that we normally add to the draft version, but didn't this year. I hope to have a new, hoppier version of Piston (the one the cask came from) on tap that night as well. In addition to the cask, we'll also be tapping "Royale" (aka The 1/4 lb. Queen). "Royale" is an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) style. Mild and easy drinking, it is the quintessential session beer. I have it on tap now for Fan Club members. As always, we'll have some wonderful prizes for a few lucky folks in attendance. We'll also play another exciting game of "Beanbags For Beer" (formerly known as Cornhole For Cash).
Our liquor of the week is Pama Liqueur. It's a pomegranate flavored liqueur that makes a great mixer. You can get a Pama Breeze (Pama, vodka, cranberry, & grapefruit juice) for just $4, or a Pama Kiss (Pama, apple vodka, and cranberry juice) for just $3.50! Would you like to try 'em for free? Well, then, come in Thursday when we'll have free samples and probably some free Pama swag too. Free booze to go with your two new beers! Throw in some dancing monkeys and you'll think you've died and gone to heaven!
Fan Club members, you're big day is almost upon us! The legendary annual Members Only Party will be held Sunday, September 13th. I don't know a time yet, but probably around 3 or 4 p.m. Free beer, free food, free air, free water, free Michigan road maps! It doesn't get any better than that! Of course, we'll be open to the general public, but only members are allowed behind the velvet ropes. For the 40 or 50 of you who haven't picked up your membership cards yet, make sure ya do, 'cause ya can't get in without it!
This week on, "You Say Taquito, I Say Tequila!"; you'll hear Fran say, "So I make a couple of taquitos for everyone to try, and now ya got me making 10,000 of 'em! Thanks alot!" You'll also hear Pete say, "Make sure you don't roll 'em too tight! The last thing I need is taquitos exploding in people's faces!"
On your plate this week, look for Chicken Parmesan, Chicken or Beef Taquitos, Grilled Tropic-ale Pork Chops, Thai Chicken Pizza, Shepherd's Pie, Shrimp Kababos, and Baked Turkey Subs (on our new grinder rolls).
To summarize: Festivus was good, Festivus was fun, only five more months until another one!; two new tasty beers on Thursday; free booze on Thursday; Fan Club members with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads; tightly rolled tantalizingly terrific taquitos, and someone please come in on Labor Day to keep us company!

See ya soon,

Fort Street Brewery
1660 Fort St.
Lincoln Park, MI
(313) 389-9620

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Feinschmeckers- rejoice!! Or , September Slows Beer Club

Mr Cicerone and I will be hosting Slows BarBQ's September "Beer Club" on Monday September 21st. It will be an Oktoberfest celebration. Genius-Chefs Brian & Mike will pair food with the beers.

I'll be donning lederhosen (Hmmm, Mr Cicerone in a dirndl perhaps?)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brew Day, Batch #306

More Pils. Because, that's why.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Great Taste of the Midwest, in pictures

Madison, lovely Madison. First beer- New Glarus' "Yokel" zwickelbier. Mmmmm., Paul, and Matt at the Bell's "Mash" booth.
It's the Jolly Pumpkin crew- Ron (well, half of him), Lori, & Mike. Ron's lemongrass-infused Bam was delicious, and a perfect foil for the hot day. Oh, look who we found inside the booth! Our friend Aaron, the Stone Brewing rep.
The other Doug & Tracy. Doug & Tracy Hurst, Metropolitan Brewing, Chicago. The other person I know who has a plethora of hops tattooed on her person.

A happy lot! Mr & Mrs Cicerone with the lovely Nina, & husband Doug from Chicago Beer Society.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New at Merchant's

Here's the "great-beers-for-cheap" scoop.....
*McChouffe Belgian Brown Ale, 750ml, only $5.45 bottle. Reduced from
$9.49. Wow. Beautiful beer.
*Maredsous Triple, Belgian abbey ale, 750ml, only $5.99 bottle. Reduced
from $8.99. Wow. Again.
*Sam Adams Longshot 2008 winners 6pk. Has two bottles of Mike McDole's
Imperial IPA. Only $6.99 6pk (reduced from $9.99). Once more. Wow.


*OKTOBERFEST! (Speaking of such things, look out for Slows BarBQ
Oktoberfest celebration on Monday September 21st. It will replace the
regular "Beer Club" dinner. Mr Cicerone and I will be the speakers,
and yes, I, at least, will be wearing lederhosen. More details coming at a
later date!)
Time to don one's lederhosen, and sing the Schnitzelbank song! Arrived a
little early, but oh well. We have....
MUNICH Spaten, Hofbrau- bottles, and 5L MINI KEGS!, Paulaner, Hacker Pschorr.
OTHER GERMAN BRANDS Ayinger (my favourite!!), Erdinger Oktoberfest Weizen,
Weihenstephan Fest, Beck's O'Fest
USA Bell's, Flying Dog Dogtoberfest, Great Lakes, Summit (so far).

*GREAT DIVIDE CHOCOLATE OAK-AGED YETI. Mmm. Has a hint of cayenne.
*LE BALADIN SUPER BALADIN "SOUR EDITION 2005". Italian sour Belgian-style
tripel. Quite lovely.
*DOGFISH HEAD THEOBROMA (returns). (An interesting beer that,
unfortunately got stomped on by my spicy mole sauce.)

Next week there's some new beers coming from Shelton brothers, including a
single blend lambic from Drie Fonteinen.

Okay, all for now....
Annette May
Beer Department Manager,Certified Cicerone
Merchant's Fine Wine, Dearborn

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Sam comes to all our parties






** Is not Mr Cicerone's sweater the absolute WORST sweater you have ever seen? I'm responsible for finding this gem (and very proud!)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Life Just Got Easier

Annette found the ultimate labor-saving item on a recent shopping trip. No more dashing outside to the barbecue to tend the fire or check the food- The Hostess Grill with amazing Sparkcoal can have me cooking in one minute, indoors or out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Doug Days Update

Doug says:
Greetings and salutations!

Yeah! Yippeee! The Doug Days of Summer are here! The funnest days of the summer! It's that time when visions of beer guzzling, cotton candy eating, pony riding monkeys come true!

All week long we'll feature a special menu of some of my favorite foods (more on that later). Wednesday through Friday we'll tap six beers that I like to drink (two each day). The Beery Dog (yes, she does exist) is responsible for all the festivities this week, so I don't know for sure what beers we'll be drinking. All I know is that she asked me what my favorite beer styles are. I told her, "IPA's, any Belgian styles, braggots, porters, and almost any barrel aged beer". So hopefully, my wishes will come true, and we'll see those styles on tap.

In addition to the beers, if I have the time, we'll play some fun games each night for prizes. Of course, just for the heck of it, we'll give out prizes each night when we tap the beers.

Our liquor of the week is Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum. You can get a Seadog (Sailor Jerry, ginger ale, and sour mix) for just $2.50, or a Popeye (Sailor Jerry and Red Bull) for just $4! Delicious and ridicuolously cheap! Did you know that Sailor Jerry Rum is named for a real guy, who was in fact a sailor and a famous tattoo artist?

You already know that our prices are so low, that Pete cries everytime he crunches the numbers. But did you know that the first day of The Doug Days of Summer is also Chinese Valentine's Day? Did you also know that prarie dogs possess the most sophisticated of all animal languages, and can run up to 35 mph? All important information, and free with the purchase of your beer!

Have you voted for us yet in the Channel 4 Best of Detroit poll? There's less than two weeks left, and we're currently tied for second place. If you haven't voted, please do so; and tell all your friends, family, imaginary internet friends, co-workers, etc to do so as well. Just go to

This week on "Lunch, Dinner, and the Occasional Midnight Snack With Doug"; you'll hear Tracy say, "How can this be your list of favorite foods?! There's no peanut butter toast on here!" You'll also hear Nicole say, "Boy, rutabagas aren't easy to peel!"

On Doug's plate this week (and hopefully yours too), look for Cheesy Bread (for an appetizer), sausage and pepperoncini pizza, The World's Greatest Lasagna, Hamloaf (just like mom used to make), Asparagus Quiche (sometimes vegetables are good), pasties ('cause I'm a Yooper, eh), Pale Ale Salmon Burgers (none of the canned stuff here), Ice Cream Cookies, and of course Beer Can Chicken (as featured in an upcoming issue of Crain's Detroit) on Friday-Monday.

In summary: yeah Doug!; cute and speedy little beer making prairie dogs; so many new beers I don't know where we're gonna put 'em all; Jerry the Sailin' Man; Chinese Valentine's Day; voting for us; and mmmmmm! ham loaf!

See ya soon,

Fort Street Brewery
1660 Fort St.
Lincoln Park, MI
(313) 389-9620

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

At Long Last

Executive summary: Grow your own tomatoes. Heirlooms. Ideally, Caspian Pink.

Long winded version: It started last September. As the weather moved towards the first frost, I determined to save seeds from one of our last tomatoes, so that we could start seedlings indoors in the spring and get a jump start on the next summer's harvest. It was a good plan; too bad the coldest summer in memory had to come along this year. Better late than never, however; I think we're going to enjoy our first homegrown tomato tonight.

But I'd like to back up:

It actually started for us a couple of years ago. The reader is likely familiar with the term 'heirloom' as used to describe various agricultural products. It typically designates varieties of vegetables (and sometimes animals) that were once farmed but have been supplanted by newer varieties bred to incorporate superior ship-ability, shelf life, and appearance. The poster fruit for this sad state of affairs is the ubiquitous Red Delicious apple. Insipid to eat, but looks great in a still life. The newer stuff typically is photogenic at the expense of less-important qualities like, oh, flavor. As a result, it is almost impossible to buy a tomato worth eating. Even the "tomatoes on the vine" one finds at the supermarket are crunchy, tasteless spheroids. Better markets, like Dearborn's Westborn, may carry some heirloom variety tomatoes, but for around $3.50 apiece. And they are still picked before peak ripeness. Gotta grow your own, kiddies.

Mr. and Mrs. Cicerone are garden-impaired. Much of this has to do with being absorbed with other things. It's not that we don't like flowers, for example, it's just not where we apply our efforts most of the time. We have the worst lawn on our block, owing partly to my stated philosophy, vis: "Anything green, mowed short enough, is grass." We do have a lovely hibiscus hedge- check it out:

That sucker flowers for about two months in the summer. We love it. Needless to say, it was planted not by us but by a competent gardener, AKA Mr. Cicerone's Ma, AKA the Crazy Plant Lady. She couldn't stand seeing our barren yard, and applied corrective measures. Two years ago, she also planted a couple of tomato plants for us, one Early Girl (a modern grocery-store variety,) and one Caspian Pink. The tomatoes from both plants were good, but the Caspians are the best tomatoes we have ever eaten. They are also the ugliest tomatoes we have ever eaten-- streaky pink and green, lots of splits, large ungainly shape.

Left, Early Girl. Right, Caspian Pink.

Tasty produce was the key to overcoming our disinclination to gardening. The next year, we planted our own Caspian, plus another heirloom variety called Black Nyagous. The latter sounds like a skin condition, but produces bruise-colored but otherwise normal looking, delicious fruit. The seeds saved from last year's Caspians produced the three plants now bearing fruit this season. And since there's lots of basil growing by the back door, it looks like there's going to be a Caprese salad on the table tonight....

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Report: Beer and Food Pairing at Greenfield Village

Thursday, Mrs. Cicerone and I were the guests of Bell's Brewing at the sold-out Blues, Brews & Local Roots Evening Dining BBQ at Greenfield Village. This was the second year for this event, and our first time attending. Chef Nick Seccia planned an extravagant five course meal, constructed around local ingredients. Local Bell's rep Dave Munro drew on his 20 years' experience as a chef and selected beers to match each course. The result was a large pavilion full of groaning, but smiling, diners. The pairings were interesting; instead of pairing the Kalamazoo Stout with dessert, Dave put it with the focaccia, cheese, and sausage. The flavor intensities were roughly equal, so it worked OK if not spectacularly. On the other side, Bell's Pale Ale was paired up with the pies, and worked very nicely. The fruity flavors came to the fore in the beer, and its crispness worked well to refresh the palate between bites of rich dessert. This pale ale is often overlooked, I think, overshadowed by its many sibling products, but is delicious and distinctive. Check it out. (Of course, the stout we'd saved back also went very nicely with the pies, as well.)

This was one heck of an event, which they plan to repeat. We will try to get advance notice on it next year, as it sold out very quickly.

The gory details, with beer descriptions by Dave:


First Course

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout
Greenfield Village herb focaccia
Peppercorn and sea salt focaccia
Infused olive oil, whipped Calder's butter
Farmstead Cheese and TMZ Farm buffalo summer sausage

Kalamazoo Stout: A rich, full bodied stout, the emphasis is on a roasted malt character that is balanced by straightforward hop bitterness, with subtle hints of brewer's licorice. 6.0%abv

Second Course

Bell's Oberon
Heirloom tomato and caramelized onion panzanella
Cider vinaigrette and micro greens

Oberon: Wheat ale fermented with Bell's signature house ale yeast. A mix of spicy hop character, mild fruit aromas and wheat malt lends a smooth mouth feel, making it a classic summer beer. 5.8%abv

Third Course

Bell's Two Hearted
Grain mustard fire roasted Tandoori Chicken
Ann Arbor goat cheese creamed corn, charred tomato salsa

Two Hearted Ale: One of the archetypes for the American India Pale Ale, Two Hearted uses 100% Centennial hops from kettle to dry hop to obtain its signature grapefruit and pine resin aromas. The hop presence is balanced by a strong malt backbone creating a highly drinkable IPA. 7.0%abv


Bell's Amber
Honey barbequed apple fed pulled Berkshire Hog
Roasted chili stone milled corn bread
Grilled squash and zucchini
Rosemary roasted Michigan potatoes
Corn relish, bread and butter pickles

Amber: Our flagship beer that focuses on toasty, caramel malt flavors, with a hint of fruitiness. Amber is great on its own or paired with food. 5.8%abv


Bell's Pale Ale

Calder's buttermilk pie
Michigan blueberry linzer pie
Vanilla sauce
Minted local melon

Pale Ale: Our Pale Ale belongs to the British school of Pale Ales in which the malt and hops play equal roles. Interesting contrast to a hop dominated American Pale Ale like Third Coast Beer. 5.2%abv

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stone Brewing beer dinner at Slows-Monday Aug 17th

From Tara.....



Your FSB Update

Something Mr. Cicerone has long hoped for: a traditional sort of cask beer....
Greetings and salutations!

I know. I'm a day late with the newsletter and you were probably worried about us. Have no fear! Your newsletter is here!
First off, this Thursday, August 13th at 8 ish p.m., we'll tap our 108th cask-conditioned ale. "P.O.P." (Plain Old Porter) is a sneak peak of sorts. This is a different version of a robust porter style that will be replacing "Third Shift Breakfast Stout" in the near future. All good things must come to an end. If you like porters, stouts, brown ales, or hot air balloons; I think you'll really like this cask. As usual, we'll have some fabulous prizes for a few lucky folks in attendance.
Speaking of new beers, next week are the Doug Days of Summer. We'll celebrate Wednesday through Friday with new beers that Doug likes to drink, tasty food that Doug likes to eat, and maybe even some fun games that Doug would like to play (if Doug had time for such things).
Our liquors of the week are Skyy Melon Vodka and Grey Goose Pear Vodka. You can get a Vodkamelon (Skyy Melon, triple sec, 7UP, sour, and cranberry juice) for just $3, or a Voodoo Anjou (Grey Goose Pear, vanilla vodka, 7UP, and a splash of lime juice) for just $4.50. Tasty stuff to refresh ya on these hot summer days! You already know that every Tuesday we have $2 tostados and turkey legs and that Fan Club Members can get $5 growler refills every Saturday and Sunday. But did you know that if you can find the pair of eyeglasses that I lost this past weekend at Great Taste of the Midwest (my third pair of lost glasses in the past year), I'll buy you a growler of the beer of your choice? Heck, maybe even two or three!
This week on, "What Else Can We Cook With a Beer Can?"; you'll hear Francisco say, "Judging by the size of these legs, I think we'll need a keg to cook the whole turkey!" You'll also hear Nicole say, "That might be just the thing to get Guy Fieri to feature us on Diners, Drive-In's, and Dives!"
On your plate this week, look for Italian Strombolis, Pasta Primavera, Lemon Orange Roughy, Thai Shrimp Wraps, Chicken Paprikash, Grilled Corn on the Cob, and beer can chicken on Friday and Saturday.
In summary: a new cask on Thursday filled with a beer you've never had before, counting down to The Doug Days of Summer, vodka in a pear tree (or a melon patch), hiring volunteers to keep track of my personal belongings, turkey legs, beer can chicken, and other things that go bump in the night.

See ya soon,

Fort Street Brewery
1660 Fort St.
Lincoln Park, MI
(313) 389-9620

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Rough Life

Decisions, Decisions!

Not in picture: "Smokey Joe's Rauchbier," awww, yeah!

Friday, August 7, 2009


(The title of this post comes from a funny Aussie movie.) We are actually going to The Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, WI, by way of our buddy Steverino's house. We will be spending a couple of days on the beaches of Lake Michigan on the way back, so posting will be sparse, sporadic, and possible incoherent....

Thursday, August 6, 2009


At last, a commercial version of this unique beer style. (The last one disappeared some years ago.) And, what an amazing example. For those that don't know what steinbier (or "stone beer") is, it's a beer created using a unique method of boiling the wort- rocks are heated to white hot, and are then added to the wort. The heat causes the sugars to caramelize, creating a beer with some smokiness, and some caramel notes.
The new commercial example, Granit Bock, from Brauerei Hofstetten in Austria, is amazing. We saved some for our dessert last night- another piece of that delectable New York cheescake mentioned in a previous post. Wow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Batch #305 - Deutscher Pils

What kind of idiot brews beer, and labor- and heat- intensive lager beer, on a 90+ degree afternoon? All right, the answer is clear, but I have an excuse: it's for our friends Aaron and Beth, to be served at their October wedding. And who could refuse such a charming couple:

(They don't normally dress quite like that, but we were having cassoulet for dinner.) So, anyway, target OG around 1.048, 40 BU from Sterling in the kettle and a couple of sizeable additions of Saaz late in the boil. As luck would have it, I have an earlier version of this same beer in my stein right now....

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Killer Pairing of the Weekend

Real homemade New York style cheesecake, with real homemade schwarzbier. Wow.

Next Beer Club Dinner at Slows - Stone Brewing

The next beer dinner at Slows will be earlier in the month than usual. You can now watch the Events page at the newly functional Slows website for upcoming stuff. Details are being worked out, but future dinners will include an Oktoberfest themed meal in September, with help from Mr. and Mrs. Cicerone, followed by Jolly Pumpkin in October...


DATE— August 17th, 2009

TIME— 6:30PM


Come join us Monday 08/17 for the Stone Brewing Company Dinner featuring a tasting menu paired with Stone Beers. $30/person. Please call our host @ 313-962-9828 to reserve your spot. Spaces fill quickly and we can only accommodate 30 people. First come, first serve.


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Fort Street Update

Brew-Ha-Ha went swimmingly this past Saturday. From Doug:
Greetings and salutations!

I had a dream. I dreamed of creating a Brew-Ha-Ha! that would start with a foundation and grow to be something bigger and better each year. In this dream, the first year attracted a huge turn-out of thirsty beer lovers who appreciated the event for what it was, and understood that this was only the beginning. But you know how dreams are. They so rarely come true. I awoke this past Sunday morning exhausted, but oh so happy that this dream had more or less come true. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We were overwhelmed with the turn-out on Saturday (in more ways than one)! Brew-Ha-Ha! will return next year with more beers, more events, and more of everything (including more help)!
Despite releasing a new beer on Thursday and six more on Saturday, the cupboards are far from bare! This Thursday, August 6th at 8 ish p.m., we'll release two more! Yep. First up is "Indie Brown". Remember "Brown Bomber"? Sort of a hoppy brown ale style. Well, "Indie Brown" takes that and kicks it up a notch. Who says pale ales have to be pale in color? Not me! A brown ale with the usual chocolate-toffee-caramel notes with a whole lot of hop character. If you like IPA's, pale ales, brown ales, candy bars, or back rubs, you'll probably like this beer.
If you have a copy of the official Fort Street Brewery August calendar, you'll see that there's only one beer scheduled for release this week. There's been a change to your programs! We've decided to move up the release of "Up North" from the 13th to the 6th. Many of you are already familar with this beer. It's a rye pilsner style that is replacing "Stimulus Ale". It'll be available sometime on Tuesday for Fan Club Members.
As usual, we'll have some great prizes for a few lucky folks in attendance at the tapping on Thursday.
Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to vote for us in the annual Channel 4 Best of Detroit poll. We moved up to second place, but have now dropped back down to third. Voting continues through the end of the month. We would really like to win this thing! So please go online to and vote for us as best brewpub.
Our liquor of the week is Hound Dog Sweet Tea vodka. We have regular, peach, lemon, and raspberry). If you like vodka, ice tea, banjo music, or sittin' on your porch while the cool summer breezes blow across your face, you'll like this stuff! You can get a Lemon Tea (regular tea vodka with lemonade and orange juice) for just $3, or a Sparkling Tea (any of the flavors with 7-UP) for just $2.75. It's a deal no reasonable redneck (or anyone else for that matter) could refuse! You already know that every Tuesday you can get a turkey leg the size of homeless chihuahua in Dearborn for just $2. But did you know that my Uncle Bill knows a guy whose neighbor has 202 chihuahuas? He said he figured that if they could get 101 dalmations in a house, then surely he could fit twice that many chihuahas in a house!
This week on "I Think Your Chicken Is Sitting On My Beer", you'll hear Jason say, "Why does Doug like us to cook everything with beer?" You'll also hear Francisco say, "We won't run out of beer to drink, will we?!"
On your plate look for: Shepherd's Pie, Risotto Balls, Pub Pickles (beer battered fried pickles), Chicken Fajita Pizza, Meatball & Macareena Strogonoff, Beer Poached Salmon sandwiches or salads, grilled corn on the cob, and more beer can chickens on Friday and Saturday.
In summary: thank you!, more beers this Thursday!, vote for us or we'll turn all the street lights out!, banjo playing vodka swilling hound dogs, chihuahuas in the news, new tasty food items, and me taking the weekend off! Can I get a "Yipppeee!"?

See ya soon,

Fort Street Brewery
1660 Fort St.
Lincoln Park, MI
(313) 389-9620

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