ANDI’S BEER CORNER

The craft/micro -brew world is always changing.  Keep an eye on this section so see Andi’s most exciting and newest additions.

Celebrate North Carolina Craft Beer month by taking 10% off any size single and 15% off make-your-own 6 packs for the entire month of April!

Now check out what in Andi’s Beer Corner this week:

BLAKE’S HARD CIDER CYSER

Blake’s Hard Cider, Armada MI

Cyser ABV 6.9%

Available in 22 oz. bomber $12.99
One of the biggest misunderstandings in the cider world is the definition of a “cyser.” Cidermakers understand it to be the combination of apple juice (cider), honey, and yeast. It’s very similar to a mead which is commonly referred to as honey wine. There’s a lot of gray area here because a cyser really does fall into the category of a mead but there are some differences. Mead is produced in a very similar way to wine and even uses the same yeast as wine during the fermentation process. Cysers, despite the added honey ingredient, stay true to the cider making process. You can think of cyser’s as variants of both a cider and a mead. This one from Blake’s showcases the bee crisis on our planet by donating a portion of sales from each bottle to the Honeybee Conservancy. The Conservancy offers Sponsor-A-Hive projects to organizations such as schools and community centers to educate people on bees and allow them to connect with them in a way that highlights their importance to the earth. This Cyser is made with apple blossom honey and has hints of bergamot and jasmine. A very unique take on a traditional Cyser.


CIGAR CITY LAGER

Cigar City Brewing, Tampa FL

Lager ABV 4.5%

Available in 6 pack cans $11.99
March saw Cigar City expand its distribution into North Carolina. The craft community has taken note and since Cigar City’s beers have entered NC, there have been release parties all over the state to celebrate! Cigar City’s hometown of Tampa is the core of inspiration for their brewery and beers. Their name is taken from Tampa’s history of being a huge cigar producer in the 1800s. This time in Tampa’s history really made the city what it is today. The hot and humid climate of Florida was perfect for the mass production of cigars and brought over immigrants, mostly Cubans, that fostered community and culture in the area. Today, Cigar City honors the Latin community and cigar industry roots of the city by highlighting them in their beer names and recipes. They often use Florida ingredients to further celebrate their hometown. This Lager is made with German malted barley, Hallertauer hops, and authentic Bavarian lager yeast. It won a gold medal last year at the Best Florida Beer championships in the category of European & International Beers category. Despite this being a German style of beer, it’s brewed in a way that creates a lager style unique to Tampa. Aromas of grain and grass followed by a light body and some carbonation. The taste is malty and it finishes dry.


MOTHER EARTH BREWING BERLINER WEISSE

Mother Earth Brewing, Kinston NC

Berlinerweisse Ale ABV 5.2%

Available in 6 pack cans $12.99
Mother Earth is well known for their commitment to honoring the planet through the operation of their low impact brewery. After a nine month observation period in 2013 the US Green Building Council awarded them with a Gold certification, the second highest rating possible, in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program making them the first and only brewery to ever receive this honor. The certificate is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in regards to green building and shows that Mother Earth has come a long way in making sure their brewery is sustainable.Their building in Kinston is made from 95% of the original structure’s brick, wood, and steel. It’s insulated with 100% recycled blue jeans and is painted with low volatile organic compound (VOC) paint. A 2,500 gallon cistern in their beer garden allows them to pump gray water to their toilets and catch rainwater for their gardens. They also have a tankless water heater that heats water on demand rather than wastes energy keeping water heated at all times. This combined with eco faucets and eco flush valves reduces their water use and prevents them from wasting fresh water. As far as the brewing process goes, they continue to remain conscious of “Mother Earth.” Most of the spent grain they use to brew beer is sent to local farmers to provide feed for their animals. The rest of the grain is used to make dog biscuits and homemade soap. The bags the grain is stored in are then recycled by being donated to the NC Forest Service to help reseed our forests. They also grow their own hops! And to top it all off, their tap room and beer garden are 100% solar powered by the six-kilowatt solar array sitting on top of the roof! It’s truly remarkable the steps they have taken to avoid making an impact on the environment while making a huge impact on the craft beer community. These sustainable practices contribute a lot to the making of some high quality beer. Their latest Spring seasonal is a sour white beer originating in Germany. The acidic taste is created by the combination of yeast and lactic acid used in the fermentation process. This also imparts a lot of sourness which complement the intense aroma of grapefruit and lemon, classic of a true Berliner Weisse. This beer is perfect for sour lovers but it’s also really great for people who are less familiar with sour beers and are trying to experiment more with them as it has less funk than some other beers out there. It’s brewed with “pluots,” a combination of plums and apricots, and a heavy dose of Citra and Mosaic hops giving it even more layers of refreshing citrus and leaving behind no bitterness.

NO. 139 DRY ROSÉ & WHITE CIDERS

Wölffer Estate Winery and Cidery, Sagaponack NY

No. 139 Dry Rosé & White Ciders ABV 6.9%

Available in 4 pack bottles $17.99 and singles $5
Located in the heart of the Hamptons, New York is family owned and operated Wölffer Estate Vineyards. Most recognize them as a winery but recently they released two hard ciders. Created by one of the most famous winemakers on the East Coast, Roman Roth has been making ciders for the Wölffer family since 1992. It began as making apple juice for the Wölffer’s children and then hard cider for the parents at their request. The apples used are harvested locally from a family owned 4th generation orchard in upstate NY. They are taste tested and handpicked tree by tree on 14 ft. ladders to ensure quality. This batch of ciders we currently have in stock is made exclusively with dessert apples that experienced a very hot growing season. For apples, hot and dry climates can negatively impact the fruit’s size and color but the taste is much sweeter than apples experiencing a more favorable climate season. Both ciders are produced from these extra sweet apples and they each have a special ingredient distinguishing one from the other. The Dry Rosé cider was made with Merlot grape skin extract to give it color and a dry finish. A lot of floral aroma once you open a bottle. Taste is very clean and crisp with a slight acidity. Very refreshing with a little bit more sweetness than its counterpart. The White cider is just as fresh with a little more bite. Asian pear was added to the White cider for the 2016 vintage giving it another layer of complexity. The aroma is less floral and more fruity like green apple. A nice acidity combined with a tartness. Overall both are very clean and fresh ciders that would best be enjoyed in warmer months. And of course, they’re both organic and gluten free!