Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Overdue Report: AHA Conference

Another conference come and gone, and us asking wha' happened? Thanks to our friends Jason Smith and Mike O'Brien, our kegs, cases, and cooler made it safely to Minneapolis for our talk, where it was handled efficiently by the hard working folks who volunteered to run this year's event. We think our talk went OK; at the very least, no one died, and we were not chased by an angry mob wielding pitchforks and torches. Our talk contained approximately 10% useful information, and 90% tommyrot, which seemed to go over well enough. Plus, there was beer, which always helps. Here's a picture I copped from David Greenbaum's online album:

Mrs. Cicerone is wearing her Cicerone.org official logo headpiece, thus managing, as always, to look simultaneously 1) like an escaped lunatic, and 2) utterly fetching.

Some conference high points:

The all-Cicerone dinner--

When we arrived in Minneapolis, the first thing we did was head to a great beer bar and restaurant called Happy Gnome for dinner with a gaggle of Cicerones. The only person in the picture that isn't a Cicerone is Raymo himself, and that's OK, I reckon.

Clash of the Luchadores--

One of the speakers at the conference, Mr. Kris England, has been submitting a picture of himself in a luchador mask when asked for biographical information. We thought he might, well, shit a brick if we slipped into the back row during his talk wearing our El Santo (Annette) and El Demonio Azul (Mike) suits. He did. After his talk, we did duly administer groin kicks, eye gouges, and hammerlocks, as required. While we have yet to score a picture of Kris receiving his furious beating, I do have for you a picture capturing my aerial assault of one Mr. Stevie Hamburg.

I refused to let go until he said, "Tio!"

Next year, we hope to see you all in San Diego....

...Full post

Aussies love Two Hearted Ale....

Our friends Miro and Barney, the Beer Ambassadors from Melbourne (Australia) spent the day (yesterday) having beery adventures in Michigan. After picking them up at the Amtrak station in Detroit (where they'd arrived from Utica, NY) we went on a wee tour of downtown Detroit, and then headed home for a brief stop so they could have a nice fresh homebrewed Kolsch, made by Mr Cicerone. Then- on to Merchant's for some beer shopping, and then to Ann Arbor where we lunched at the Jolly Pumpkin Cafe. I enjoyed the smoked tofu salad with some Luciernaga (on tap). The guys drank Bam & Bam Noire, and had the magnificent truffled fries, and a pizza each, which they proclaimed to be quite delicious. Ron & Laurie Jeffries chatted to us at the cafe, and then the affable Mr Turriff, AKA The Big Banana, took us on a tour of the brewery- a must for any out-of-town beer nerd.A stop at home to scoop up Mr Cicerone, and then on to Slows BarBQ for beers and dinner. Lots of meat and beers later - Dogfish Festina Peche, Liberty Street Clementine Lemon Thyme (exactly as it sounds, and delicious!), Rochester Mills Cornerstone IPA, Arcadia Angler's Ale, Celis White & Pandemonium Pale Ale- we headed home to taste the wares at Chez Cicerone and howl at the moon. This included Mr Cicerone's Rye Peppercorn Pale Ale, Batch 300 Rye Barley Wine, "Buster" Helles Doppelbock, and some Short's Anniversary Wheat Wine, Bahnhoff Berliner Weisse & Leipziger Gose that Barney & Miro had purchased at Merchant's. At this point I cried "Uncle", we abandoned the Brooklyn Black OPS that was supposed to have been a part of the evening's offerings, and we retired for the evening.

This morning, after a breakfast of Mr Cicerone's IPA, I dropped the guys at the Amtrak station, (along with the aformentioned Brooklyn Black OPS and a couple of cups) where they headed for Chicago. As I write, they are sitting at Hopleaf with Mr Daniels himself, enjoying the beers, food and hospitality of that wonderful establishment.

...Full post

The best brunch in town

That would be at Foran's Grand Trunk Pub, on Woodward, downtown Detroit. One can feast on Lobster Benedict, which I paired with Short's Soft Parade. Mmmm. Mr Cicerone enjoyed a huge chunk o' tender, rare prime rib, with eggs, potatoes and toast (all for $12!!), paired with Bell's Porter. Go!!! You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cicerones love grilled octopus

.....with Sarasola (Basque) cidre.

The Aussies are Coming!

Our friends Barney and Miro, aka the Beer Ambassadors, are stopping over in Detroit tomorrow on their way to Chicago. We will be showing them our beery best, and have even prepared the bottle fridge to help them feel at home:

...Full post

Friday, June 25, 2010

Michigan Beer Event- tomorrow

The Great Michigan Beer Tour at Ashley's Westland- tomorrow.
Saturday June 26th 2-10 pm

3:00 pm - Atwater
4:00 pm - The Livery
5:00 pm - JP/ North Peak
6:00 pm - Arcadia
7:00 pm - Original Gravity
8:00 pm - Short's
9:00 pm - New Holland

For those on facebook- more info HERE

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tonight at Slows BarBQ

NEW HOLLAND PATIO PARTY at Slows, June 23rd, 2010, 6PM - 11PM

New Holland will be pouring some of their Hatter-Day Specialties as well as beers from their High Gravity Series.

SLOWS will lay out a sneak-preview buffet of Slows To Go menu items.

Cost $25/person (at the door)
First Come, First Serve (no RSVP needed)

Monday, June 21, 2010

2010 AHA Recognition Award Winner - Randy Mosher

For those who haven't heard yet, Randy Mosher was awarded the 2010 AHA GC Recognition Award. Congrats Randy!!!! Ray Daniels gave the introduction and the Award.

"As chairperson to the AHA Governing Committee, it was my honor this past Saturday evening to present the 2010 American Homebrewers Association Governing Committee Recognition Award to Randy Mosher. However, I was even more delighted to have his dear friend and recipient to the 2009 Recognition Award join me on stage to share his words on what Randy Mosher has meant to our homebrewing community. These were Ray's words to his friend..."

"I met this year's winner within a few months of when I started homebrewing in 1989 and we've spent 20 years collaborating on a wide range of activities related to beer. Certainly I know that my own career has been enhanced by the many projects we have worked on together.

The key to understanding this person's contributions is to understand that he truly is a Renaissance man, a modern polymath who is just as familiar with the nuances of color balance in graphic design as he is with the sounds produced by alternative electronic amplification circuits. And like any true Renaissance talent, he views knowledge and technical mastery as just the first step in exploring any field. For once skills and knowledge are gained, they can be used as tools to create new things unimagined by others. Things like the Buckapound brewery—a complete stainless steel homebrewing system that he has designed and built himself from scavenged stainless steel parts; like his homebuilt boom-boxes with a sort of steam punk design and silky smooth sound quality; like his fascinatingly tasty beers and equally wonderful food creations—not to mention his voluminous contributions to the visual presentation of beer and beer events. For nearly everyone
who knows him, this individual has become the "go-to" guy for any creative endeavor whether the finished product was to be paper, stainless steel or electrons.

Now, if these things were all this individual had contributed to the beer world it would truly be a good thing and he would be fully deserving of the honor we bestow on him tonight. But Randy's greatest gift to the American beer scene has not come from the things that he does while slaving over a hot brew kettle, a steel-melting TIG torch or quad-core Mac Pro. His greatest gift to beer has been the generosity he personifies in his every meeting he has with fellow brewers—no matter whether they be recent converts to homebrewing, masterful craft brewers or salaryman big brewers. Unlike those who sometimes hold back knowledge to make themselves more important, Randy has always shared his knowledge freely and copiously with the spirit of a true pioneer who is all too happy to have others share what he has found. This willingness to put the sharing of ideas above personal ego and community above self are key reasons why the American homebrewing scene
has blossomed and thrived. Thus the contributions Randy has made through books, lectures and countless conversations have enriched our community in immeasurable ways—ways that affected not only the knowledge of individuals but indeed the spirit of the community. This generosity also extends to his valuable service on governing boards for the Chicago Beer Society, American Homebrewers Association and the Brewers Association as well.

When you look at Randy's activities as a craftsman, an author, a teacher and indeed a leader, I cannot help but think of Benjamin Franklin—a man who was also widely talented and endless engaged in learning, sharing and shaping the world around him. So I will frame that as my summary and hope that Randy will find it sufficient—and that Franklin himself would have considered it flattering.

And with that, I give you tonight's recipient of this year's recognition award, Randy Mosher, the Benjamin Franklin of American Homebrewing!"

Crispy Frey
AHA Governing Committee - Chairperson
Brewers Association - Board Member
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild - Treasurer & Mouth
Fermental Order of Renaissance Draughtsmen - Member
AHA Lifetime Member & Evang-ALE-ist

...Full post

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lights, Camera...

Getting ready to speak at the AHA conference. Wish us luck....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Look! A Shiny Thing!

Life's been hairier than usual at Chez Cicerone, thus the lack of posts. We'll hopefully be posting from the AHA conference in Minneapolis this coming week, for all of you who cannot be there.

Meanwhile, check out what some of our friends from Oz are up to on their visit to the States: Beer Ambassadors! Good times....

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Making gazpacho.....

....for our talk, Creating Fireworks With Beer & Food, at the National Homebrewers Conference in Minneapolis. 20 quarts of it.