Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brew Day, Batch 348: Return of Winter Ginger

Is 6lbs./bbl. too much ginger? Not in this beer, which has lots of heavy duty malt character from Pils, dark Munich, and a bit of CaraMunich, to about 7% v/v. It does take a while for it to mature, though....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mrs. C In EID

Nicole of awesome foodie blog Eat It Detroit, formerly known as Dining In Detroit, dropped in on Annette at the store Saturday, one thing led to another, and... check out the nice story and pix here.

More CBS fun

Miss Eat It Detroit, Nicole, joined in the fun at Merchant's this past Saturday, too. Here are her pictures...

Beer Week! Whooo!!

This week, we are on the "Beer Dinner A Day" diet, a grueling marathon. The first event, the Dogfish Head dinner at Slows, was amazing; Mrs. C has loads of food-porn pix, and will recap the dinner, but just let me say, Whooo!!

It warms my heart to see a beer dinner at Slows again after so much time off, and to see Chef Brian and Chef Mike so happy to be doing what they do so well. Can't wait for the next one. Meantime, we're off to Foran's Grand Trunk tonight for a dinner featuring Barry Johnson's Saugatuck Brewing Co. beers.

Monday, October 17, 2011

We worship and adore you O! CBS.....

My customers, struck speechless, immediately dropped to their knees upon sighting the Holy Grail.....

Mrs Cicerone & Miss Eat It Detroit with the Sacred Object.

Detroit Beer Week is upon us!

Check out the menu for tonight's Dogfish Head dinner at Slows.

The menu for tomorrow night's dinner at Cliff Bell's with Dragonmead and Kuhnhenn is here.

The Saugatuck Brewing beer dinner at Foran's Grand Trunk pub, also tomorrow evening, is sold out. The menu has not been posted anywhere. We'll report on it after the fact!

Wednesday brings Beer VS Wine with cheese & charcuterie. Can't wait for this one! Last year Mr Cicerone and I did the cheese portion, but this year we're free to just go and enjoy!

Wednesday also brings Short's beer dinner at Andiamo, Dearborn. The menu has not been posted, but these are the beers......
Andiamo/Short's Beer Dinner Beers:
Bellaire Brown
Huma Lupa Licious
Autumn Ale
Mystery Stout
The Soft Parade

Thursday sees Bell's at The Rattlesnake Club. Check out this menu.....

And, I just read that Portofino in Wyandotte will be hosting another Saugatuck Brewing dinner on Thursday. Here's the details so far....

There's also a bunch of Happy Hours, including a Sour Hour at Slows On Wednesday, a Founders event on Thursday with a KEG OF CBS (see next post!), and other interesting events, like this one....., and this one.....and this one....

Full list available here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Beer dinners- past, and future!

Dessert- Caramel mouse, eeer...mousse, with chocolate pot au creme & hazelnut ice cream. Paired with Sam Adams Cream Stout.
We attended a spectacular Sam Adams beer dinner at Wolfgang Puck Grille last week. Chef Marc did another incredible job pairing five beers with 5 mouth-watering courses. Miss Jessica, the Sam Adams rep, did a wonderful job presenting the dinner, and talking about the company and the beers.
APPETIZERS- Shrimp tempura, crab cakes, tuna tartare- all paired with the lovely lemony Coastal Wheat.
TWO- Sauteed red snapper, mussels, caramelized cauliflower, pepperoni & saffron beurre blanc- paired with Sam Adams Imperial White Ale  ( delicious malty, spicy wheat wine). This was Chef Marc's homage to paella!
THREE - Roasted pork tenderloin with cabbage, confit of bacon, cider glaze & mustard sauce-paired with Sam Adams Oktoberfest marzen. Mmm, Mmm.
FOUR - Beef tenderloin with cipollini onion, blue cheese, cabernet reduction & fingerling potato, paired with Sam Adams Boston Lager. A rich, intensely flavoured dish on many levels that may have been a little better matched with a slightly stronger flavoured beer (Black lager or Boston ale would be my first pick from their portfolio), but the Boston Lager was pretty close to matching the intensity. Boston Lager is a delicious, flavourful, and often overlooked beer....
DESSERT- delicious on all accounts. A great match.
Thanks once again to Jessica, Chef Marc, and the entire team at Wolfgang Puck Grille for their exceptional service.

Detroit Beer Week is upon us again. Apart from a bunch of beery events, there's a slew of beer dinners that are not to be missed!
Monday October 17- details not finalised yet, but Slows are having a Dogfish Head beer dinner.
Tuesday October 18 - Cliff Bell's Dragonmead/Kuhnhenn beer dinner, AND Foran's Grand Trunk Pub Saugatuck Brewing Beer Dinner, which I think is sold out.
Wednesday October 19 - Andiamo Dearborn's Short's beer dinner
Thursday October 20 - Rattlesnake Club Bell's beer dinner

Get ready to loosen your belts!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

We need *proper* bagels in Detroit!

As it stands now, I shlep to Elaine's Bagels in Berkley once a month just to buy bagels. Because bread baked in a circle with a hole in the middle is NOT necessarily a bagel. 

 The Detroit Institute of Bagels is coming. Vote for them here so they win the Hatch Detroit competition, which gives them $50,000 to set up shop.

Brew Day, Batch 347: Helles

First lager of the fall, which should be ready around November feasting time. And a good thing, too, because hellesbier has quite the affinity for food. Today's targets: OG 1.044-1.048 from Pils malt with 10% or so light Munich malt, and 22 BU from Sterling and/or Perle, with a nice dose of Saaz for flavor and aroma. The esteemed Wyeast 2308 Munich lager will handle the alchemical portion of the job.

Side note at the bottom: I note happily that the tap water temperature hereabouts is finally below 70F and dropping, good news for those of us who depend on it to chill down boiling hot wort.

Side note at the bottom #2: Today is undoubtedly the last Saturday this year where the mercury hits 80F outside, so here I am, in the basement....

Friday, October 7, 2011

Detroit Beer Week Approaches

We're still a bit short on details, but here is the executive summary:

When: October 13-23, 2011
What: Beer related special events
Where: All of your favorite beery places around town
Who: All of us!
Why: Beer! Whoooo!!
How: Show up thirsty....

A growing list of some of the events can be seen here.

We would also like to point out that the Michigan Brewers Guild Fall Festival will be on the 22nd at Eastern Market. Whooo!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tonight at Fort Street

We'll let Doug tell it:

This Thursday, October 6th at 8ish p.m., we'll tap our 189th cask-conditioned beer. "Ginger On The Bottom", is actually a cask-conditioned lager. The base beer is one of those "when ya gonna have an Oktoberfest beer on tap?" beers. To the cask, we added fresh peeled ginger. If you like ginger snaps, ginger ale, Ginger from Gilligan's Island, or pestering me about why we don't have an Oktoberfest beer on tap, you're sure to love this beer! As always, we'll have free beer and autographed photos of Tina Louise for a few lucky folks in attendance at the tapping!

Mmmm, ginger....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brew Day, Batch 346: Bitter

Target gravity 1.038-1.042 from Marris Otter plus 3% 80L crystal, 30 BUs from Mt. Hood, with a nice big late dose of Northern Brewer. Northern Brewer, to my senses, gives an interesting blend of flavors, with tea, mint, and wood chief among them. Fermentation to be carried out by W1056, which, while not exactly ideal for this beer, gets the job done reliably. If it does a good job with this wort, I just might give it something more challenging to do....

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday afternoon....

We spent yesterday afternoon drinking some fine beers at Tashmoo Biergarten, Detroit. Some innovative people have created a temporary beer garden of sorts in a vacant residential lot there. They managed to get the licenses involved to pour and charge for beer, and I'm sure proceeds will be going to local charities. It runs for 5 Sunday afternoons.
It's outdoors, and there's no tents or any other cover, so as long as it doesn't rain.....Beer are poured from a temporary bar toward the back of the lot, and people sit at very cool communal tables made from old doors atop trestles (I love these!).
The beers were great- Jolly Pumpkin Bambiere and La Parcela (their pumpkin beer) for $6 a pint, and MillKing It BRIK Irish-style Red & AXL Pale Ale, New Holland Poet Stout, and...I think there was one more, for $4 a pint. There were 2 food booths- brats and perogies, both sourced locally.
There was a good crowd there, despite the chilly day!

Double take

Thanks to The Rockery for hosting a fun evening last Wednesday. Scotty Karate, AND Scotty Karate. And a bunch of other Dark Horse beers.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Brewdog Insanity, round two!

A couple of months ago we went over to our friend Richard's house to share Tactical Nuclear Penguin, a freeze-distilled beer with 32% ABV. Well, Brewdog usurped themselves with Sink The Bismark, a "quadruple IPA that contains four times the hops, four times the bitterness and frozen four times to create at a staggering 41% ABV", and a Sunday evening a few weeks ago saw us at Richard's again, with our teeny pours and scared looks on our faces.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.....

Barb, AKA Mrs Richard.  (Thanks for a wonderful meal!)
Mr Cicerone's reaction- a slap on the face!
I guess I started breathing fumes.
Richard was very happy.
The beer did still taste like beer though. It had zero carbonation (unlike Penguin which had a moderate carbonation level), but the malt and hop character came through nicely, along with the HUGE alcohol. You could tell that this was (once) an IPA!

A pre-dinner cocktail of Cascade Kriek. Woody and sour, and very good!

This is what he was talking about....

First runnings into the kettle, boiling and reducing away....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Brew Day, Batch 345: Wee Heavy

We're packaging the porter from Beer Camp #2, and I didn't want to waste such a nice fresh yeast slurry. Said slurry had to dictate what sort of beer, though, (more than usual, I mean,) as the porter contains a small bit of smoked malt. There are a few flavors that will hitch a ride on yeast, including bitterness and smoke, so today's beer had to be one that a potential smokey nuance would not ruin. While I am somewhat annoyed by the common American misconception that strong Scottish beers should have smoked malt in them, the intense malt, caramel, and smoke flavors will be nice together, and while I greatly respect tradition, and draw inspiration from it often, I am not its prison bitch. Thus, an ale made from Marris Otter malt to a gravity of around 1.075 or so, with 1% black malt. High mash temp, around 155F, and vigorously boiled wort from the time the bottom of the kettle is covered. All very Scottishy. 26 BU from one kettle addition of Northern Brewer, and we should be in good shape. The aforementioned yeast is Wyeast 1098, which we will run in the low-mid 60s. Och, laddie, 't'wull be a bonny bree....

Update: Make that OG 1.086. Whoo!

Beer Camp #2: Porter

Recently, another group of folks from Slows BarBQ came over to talk beer, drink beer, and make beer. Chef Mike, Gregg, Kyle, and Slows Official Beer Mom*, Tara, spent an afternoon and evening in the brewery bunker under Chez Cicerone, crafting a batch of porter.Chef Mike Metevia is a big fan of stouts and porters, and this one is slated to be served up at a party celebrating his recent nuptials. We used my standard porter recipe, which includes crystal 40, crystal 80, chocolate, and black patent malts, as well as a wee touch of home smoked malt, on top of a Marris Otter pale ale malt base. 30 BUs from Northern Brewer and Willamette hops balance out the malt side nicely. Since this beer is going to be drunk up in the course of a couple of hours, we are dry hopping, priming, and packaging it as cask ale. Should be nice....

Chef Mike and Mr. C prepare to dough in.
An ancillary chore performed by the campers was to apply labels to the couple of cases of bombers from Beer Camp #1.

* That's like a Den Mom, only cooler. At the first Beer Camp, Tara declared that she would be attending every subsequent one. OK by us!