Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mmm, Dan Roger's beer!

Big Rock Chophouse is having a beer and food event on Wednesday 11th. There'll be a saison, an imperial stout, an IPA and a "wild card" beer from Big Rock, Kuhnhenn, Short's and Merchant's Fine Wine, each paired with food. Here's more info.

I also believe you can add a "VIP" option to the ticket and hang out with Dan in the brewery (which usually means more beer!)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dark Corner- What's your vote?

Arbor- cocoa in the nose, cocoa & chocolate in the flavour, and 'twas, sadly, a tad muddy, despite us leaving a half inch behind in the bottle. Better suited to a dessert pairing.
Dark Horse- malty, with black malt aroma & flavour, & fruity esters also apparent. Balanced hoppy finish. Poured a rich brown colour, and 'twas perfectly clear. The winner with our dinner (salmon marinated in oil, soy, and tamarind, seared, with a side of sauteed fennel, onion, shitake & oyster mushroom.)

A very nice, lemony, slightly hoppy, unfiltered wheat beer....

The bottle IS the colour of bile. Luckily, the beer was not.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Liberty Street BC Beer Dinner at Foran's Grand Trunk

This coming Wednesday we are headed to Foran's for a four course dinner featuring Liberty Street Brewing Co's beers. Here's the menu:

Clementine Lemon Thyme Wheat Ale


Wild Mushroom Bruschetta

Liberty Belle Blonde Ale


Baby Spinach Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing,
Blue Cheese, and Crispy Shallots

Steamy Windows Amber Ale


Braised Beef Short Rib "Wellington"
Mushroom-Leek Duxelle, Crisp Pastry Shell,
Root Vegetables, Natural Jus

prepared by guest chef Jason Stoops
Executive Chef at the Inn at St. Johns

Starkweather Stout


Chunky Chocolate Brownie
Calders Vanilla Ice Cream a la mode
Saigon Cinnamon Caramel Sauce

Sounds great, and our buddy Joe Walters will be there representing the brewery. Can't wait....

Saturday, April 16, 2011


This is the name of a taxonomic genus that includes, among around 150 other things, black currants. This is one of the descriptors that shows up as "catty" on Dr. Morton Meilgaard's iconic flavor wheel at 0810, in the oxidative flavor division. It's also a term used sometimes by Europeans to describe certain American (US) hop varieties. The black currant reference is not to the fruits, which are quite delightful, but to the leaves of the plant, which, like tomato plants, are kinda funky. The flavor wheel also mentions the term 'catty,' which I think is a polite reference, not to the smell of an actual cat, which is nearly nonexistent, but to the smell of cat piss, which is pretty pungent. And, to the nose of this Cicerone, pretty foul. There are a couple of popular varieties of hops in circulation now that exhibit this character, and Mr. C is pretty damn sensitive to them. Were it not for the understanding, gained from many years of comparative beer tasting, that not everybody perceives the same smells and flavors and tastes at the same intensities, I would be inclined to cry: "Why don't we order an air strike on every hopyard that cultivates the ghastly Chinook?" Simcoe would be tolerated only in the hands of brewers that had passed an exam where they demonstrated the ability to use it safely. Other folks indict different hop varieties, such as Cluster, but those two are the ones I can identify (and balk at,) at an arm's length. I've been pondering this lately, and found myself wondering why a guy that is quite fond of stinky aged cheeses and cured meats is so put off by these "catty" hop varieties, and why can't he make peace with them. I'm inclined to write, 'because they're nasty!' but that would be  kind of jerky. Still and all, everybody has something they can't abide, and I don't think it's unreasonable to draw the line at cat piss....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Out with the old.....

Our serving fridge just died. Mr Cicerone saves the day by building a new one, just in time for dinner.

Rye peppercorn pale ale- a perfect pour.


T-shirts- Multi-tasking

Atmospherium, staying warm, protected from light, and bubbling happily away......

Nice article about Detroit's "women-in-beer"

This posting deserves much more than just a link to this Metromode article that came out today (I'd love to share some stories about Kristy & Gail and talk about what great women they are- I don't really know Sarah), but I'm here, at Merchant's, with a delivery of 93 cases of beer coming in the door as I write this! So, simply put, it's great to be a part of the craft beer industry, especially here in Michigan, and it's wonderful to be a woman-in-beer! Cheers to Kristy, Gail & Sarah. And to Amy who wrote the article!