Monday, March 29, 2010

Exotic First Meal In Oz

Marinated baby octopus, Wensleydale, Manchego, sheeps milk blue, olives, bread, oil, accompanied by the excellent Little Creatures (American style) Pale Ale. OK, pretty much the same sort of thing we eat at home. Except we did it UPSIDE DOWN AND COUNTERCLOCKWISE! Boo-Ya!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

OK, Let's Try This Again

Once more into the breach! Wish us luck, and endurance, as we again attempt travel to the other side of the globe...

We'll try to post some of our Aussie cuisine adventures....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

No Oz For You! Try Maybe Next Week!

Bah. Short of it is that our flight through Denver to LA was cancelled, and no one else could get us there in time for our flight to Melbourne. New plan is next Saturday (fingers crossed.) Meantime, we'll just have to settle for Coopers....

Friday, March 19, 2010

In Search of Antipodean Beer

We're off to Oz for two weeks. Some of the places we're hoping to check out:

The Local

Royston Hotel

Two Brothers (Not the Ebels!)

Beer DeLuxe

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dry Dock

Kind of sad, don't you think? All of those fermenters idled. Problem is, the brewer/cellerman will be in Oz for the next two weeks, and won't be able to keep the fermenters fermenting. So add 100% yeast unemployment at my place to the parade of dismal labor figures from Michigan....

Notes From the Road: Revolution Brewing

Sunday before last, on our last stop before heading back home from some beery adventures, we had some of the best commercially produced mild ale I have had in a long, long time. Visually perfect- bright ruby/brown, with a long-lasting creamy head, and perfectly balanced. "Good as homemade!" I exclaimed to the bartender. See?
OK, so the CrapCam (TM) in my phone doesn't make for the best images. So, you'll just have to trust us. The truly eagle-eyed may discern that that is the famed (or soon to be) Bacon Fat Popcorn. Yeah.

Breakfast of champions

Stout. Irish style, brewed to perfection by Doug from Fort St Brewery. One quick pint this morning at 8AM, then off to work.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St Patty's Day feasting tip.....

The ABSOLUTE best beer to go with corned beef is..... DIEU DU CIEL! ROUTE DES EPICES. It's a rye pale ale with black peppercorns from our friends at the Dieu Du Ciel! brewery in Montreal. Merchant's Fine Wine, Dearborn have it on display on the "New & Interesting" beer rack, in the import section under "Q", and in the cooler. Mr Cicerone brews an awesome rye peppercorn pale ale also, but you can only get that one if we like you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another stellar beer dinner at Uptown Grille....

...last Monday. The featured brewery was Bell's, and we had the pleasure of having Mr John Mallett, Bell's production manager and all-around suave and brilliant dresser, in attendance to tell us all about the beers, plus keep us laughing with his witticisms. The first beer we were handed was Consecrator Doppelbock at 8%ABV, and the beers grew successively stronger.....

Pepper encrusted pork tenderloin stuffed with dried fruit, and served with a port and blue cheese demiglace.
Perfect pairing- sweet rich malts combining well with sweet pork and fruit, and the blue cheese offering a nice hint of a contrast.

Blackened sea scallops, arugula & fennel salad, and mango vinaigrette.
The scallops were really spicy hot, and overwhelmed the beer (based on a Belgian-style tripel) a little, although the beer was great with the fennel salad.

Chicken breast with red, yellow & green peppers over creamy creole sauce-dressed pasta, topped with asiago, smoked bacon and parmesan.
Mmmm. Wonderful pairing. The big citrus notes in the beer paired really well with the peppers and creole flavours, and cut the rich creaminess of the creamy sauce.

Lamb, beef & pork meatloaf atop a cabernet sauce, served with breaded goat cheese and green beans with roasted shallots.
Delicious meat loaf! I thought the strong, malty and hoppy Old Ale was a little "big" for the meat loaf, but Mr Cicerone declared it perfect!

BATCH 9000
Sweet grape and rosemary calzone.
THE WINNER! This was an amazing dish! The calzone dough had cinnamon and nutmeg baked into it, and tied in with the malt flavours in the beer. This beer is spectacular by the way- rich, strong, boozy, with molasses and licorice apparent. The sweet grapes, and the grape sauce that adorned the plate coated the tongue with just the right amount of sweetness to stand up to this big, big, flavourful beer. The fresh rosemary leaves created a fragrant foil to the rich flavours. Bravo!!

Uptown Grille has planned all the beer dinners for this year. Here's the schedule. Next month- Beer VS Wine with a game menu.

...Full post

Friday, March 12, 2010

Real Sahti from Finland at Merchant's

Merchant's just scored one case of a really unusual style of beer from Finland, Sahti.

If you are interested to try this really unusual, 7.5% ABV juniper flavoured beer come on by and grab a bottle. $5.99. We're keeping the whole case in the cooler, so please ask.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Food For Dudes (And Others)

Check out the funniest, coolest cooking show I know of:

Solid Dudes Kitchen

The page renders a little funny on some 'puters; you may need to use your browser's "zoom out" function to display things correctly. Trust me, it's worth futzing with....

What I'm Doing (Drinking) Tomorrow Night

4x4 is back! Almost...
Greetings and salutations!

If you weren't here for last week's cask tapping (and unfortunately, not many were), ya missed a hell of a show! Every time we think that it's not possible to make a bigger mess, someone proves us wrong! Gordie, Gordie, Gordie! I guess I just gotta be more serious about those pre-tapping instructions!
Now that most of the mess is cleaned up, we'll be tapping our 124th cask-conditioned ale this Thursday, March 11th, at 8ish p.m. "Roselle, Roselle" is a young beer's strange and erotic journey from fermenter to cask. The base beer is the soon to return, "4x4" (made with barley, wheat, rye, oats, and four hop varieties) with hibiscus flowers added to the cask. Flowers in beer?! Hell, yeah! These are some fabulously fine-flavored flowers! Fabulous flowers? Anyways, it's a must have. As always, we'll have some priceless prizes for a few lucky folks in attendance at the tapping.
I was just reminded today that St. Patrick's Day is next week! We'll be open at 7 a.m. for breakfast with "St. Pat's Nitro Stout" on tap and we'll stay open until the last leprechaun has left the building.
We have tentatively sold all the limited edition bottles of "Opus Amor", but if you're willing to pay more than $25, I'll gladly give you someone elses bottle. Just let me know ASAP, because I plan to start giving them out this week.
Our drinks of the week this week are Don Q Rum & Coke for just $2, and the exotic and refreshing Carribean Cooler (Don Q Silver Rum and Coconut Rum with pineapple and OJ) for just $2.50. That's a real deal. But you might be thinking to yourself, "If I spend $2.50 on a drink, I won't have enough money to buy a tube of toothpaste!" No problem, just go to and click on the toothpaste icon, fill out the form, and get yourself a free tube of Burt's Bees Natural toothpaste!
If you don't know about all our other new specials, there's just far too many for me to list here, so check out our new and improved website, or check out our Facebook page everyday to see that day's specials.
This week on "Hammer For Hire", you'll hear Katie say, "Hey, Ricky, wanna come over to my house and split some wood?". You'll also hear Ricky say, "OUCH!". And finally, you'll hear Pete say, "This is precisely why I need more cooks!".
On your swollen plate this week, look for Picnic Party Pizza (cold pizza with cream cheese and veggies), Popped Chicken, Italian Sausage Saccotini, Stuffed Pizza (stuffed with chicken spinach, chicken, and 3 cheeses), Honey Baked Walleye, Chicken & Waffles, Stuffed Turkey Burgers, and Beer Can Chicken (Thursday - Sunday).
To summarize: cask-conditioned ale in your glass, and not on the floor or your face; "Flowers for me? You shouldn't have!"; "Does anyone mind if I brush my teeth at the table?"; "Maybe Ricky could work at I-HOP!"; and "yep, we're still short-handed".

See ya soon,

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

...Full post

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cicerones On The Road

Mr. and Mrs. Cicerone are hitting the road tonight, off to Chicago for tomorrow's (sold out) Night Of the Living Ales at Goose Island Wrigleyville. Tonight, we make camp in Grand Rapids, about halfway there, to take a late dinner at Founders taproom. While we're in Chicago, one of our additional targets is Revolution Brewing, which boasts a *gasp* mild ale as one of the regular beers....

A Nice Combo

Made it down to the very cool and swanky Cliff Bell's for the March edition of the Detroit Moth Story Slam, and had the opportunity to have dinner before the festivities got under way. They always have some decent beers, and I was pleased to find Kalamazoo Stout on tap. I was doubly pleased when I decided to have some smoked duck pierogi, served with red cabbage, crumbled bacon, and creme fraiche. The fruity esters in the stout really hooked up with the red cabbage, and chocolaty roasted barley, smoked duck, and creme fraiche got on together very well, indeed. I felt like I'd been run over by a truck full of flavor....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Merchant's Update ( aching arms)

We have just moved *every single bottle of beer/6pack/case* into a new location. It took us three weeks, thanks to help from everyone in the store, and my temporary helper Richard. The beer department looks totally different! It's really spread out, and is more open. And alphabetically organized into Michigan, USA Craft, and Imports. (Yes, I'm a crazy organizational nut.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

What's Up At Fort Street

There is still some Opus Amor left. Get some. Trust me.... We'll let Doug tell all about it, plus some other stuff going on at our local brewpub:

Greetings and salutations!

Welcome to March! Can you believe that St. Patrick's Day is just a little more than two weeks away?! Before ya know it, we'll be drinkin' Irish stout, dancing a jig, and talking baloney about blarney!
This Thursday, March 4th at 8ish p.m., we'll tap our 123rd cask-conditioned ale. I'm sure you remember "Bootlegger's Porter". For that beer, I took oak spirals, soaked 'em in bourbon, and then lined the serving tank with 'em. After we ran out of "Bootlegger's", we had alot of used wood on our hands and I hated to waste it. So I took some of that oak, soaked it in Scotch this time, and added it to a cask filled with "Beernormous". We call it "2nd Hand Wood". For a big beer like this, maybe I should've called it "Big Wood". Either way, it'll be great! As always, we'll have some fabulous prizes for a few lucky folks in attendance for the tapping.
With a new month comes new specials! Monday's are now Meatball Mondays! You can get a delicous meatball sub for just $3.50. You can also get juicy knackwurst for only $3 and wash it down with $2 Lincoln Lagers. We also host Texas Hold 'Em tournaments at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. on Mondays. On Tuesdays, Fan Club members can get any beer for just $2.25, and everyone can get $3 cheesy bread (basically a parmesan & mozzarella pizza cut into smaller pieces) or $5 Turkey Taco Pizza (seasoned ground turkey, refried beans, and cheese). On Wednesday we offer $2 Lincoln Lagers again, plus $3 turkey legs, and $3 Humpday Hamburgers (1/4 lb. burger with grilled onions). On Friday you can get a pint of beer for $5 in a logo glass and keep the glass. We also offer $6 Long Island Pitchers. On Saturday, we have happy hours until 6 p.m. and $4 pepperoni pizzas and $6 Long Island pitchers all day. Finally, on Sunday, Fan Club members can once again get any beer for just $2.25, and everyone can get $4 pepperoni pizzas and $3 knackwursts. There ya have it. I know that's alot to remember, so you can check it all out on our new website, or see each days special listed on our Facebook page.
Our first drink of the week for March is Milagro Tequila Margaritas. You can get one for the ridiculously low price of $3.75! That's a great deal, and ya know what else is a great deal? Free hot ceral! Just go to click on the free sample box and tell 'em where to send it.
I still have 5 bottles of Opus Amor left to sell. These are beautiful, limited edition, numbered and signed one-liter bottles. The profits go to Homes For Troops, which is a very worthy charity that build new, or retrofits existing homes, for disabled veterans. Minimum bid on a bottle is $25, which is a steal! I'd like to get at least five more high bids this week and get these bottles out of my way.
This week on, "The Popularly Priced Pepperoni Pizza", you'll hear Nicole say, "What's that ticking noise?". You'll also hear Doug say, "That's my head. It's gonna explode if we don't get some help here soon!"
On your crowded plate this week, look for Chicken Fried Chicken (with mashed potatoes, beer gravy, and stuffing), Parmesan Perch, Portabella Stroganoff, Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Meatatarian Pizza (just in time for lent), Salmon IPA Burgers (Friday-Sunday), Chicken & Waffles, Stuffed Turkey Burgers, and Beer Can Chicken (Thursday - Sunday).
To summarize: used wood in your beer might sound funny, but it's tasty!; Meatballs Mondays; Turkey Taco Tuesdays; Humpday Hamburgers; "Dude, did you steal that glass from Fort Street Brewery?"; there's just no knocking knackwurst!; "That Fan Club thing sure sounds like a hell of a deal!"; free Cream of Wheat!; "Come on! Buy a bottle of Opus for crying out loud!"; and "If you need money, we've got a job for you!".

See ya soon,

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

...Full post

Brew Day, Batch 317: Schwarzbier

Yeah, buddy; dry, clean, bit of bitter chocolate, French roast coffee, and burnt toffee. Overall, smooth and drinkable. Base malt is 3:1 Pils malt to dark Munich, with 3% each CaraMunich, Carafa 1 and Carafa 3. OG mid fifties, 28 BU from Perle and Mt. Hood.

Let it be known that for the third time in as many days, the dumbass has remembered to add the salts....