Beer & Wine

How does the rest of that go? Here in Yellow Springs we have our own slice of heaven on earth (inside the beer cooler).

My favorite beers from this area are made by Bell’s in Kalamazoo. Now Bell’s has an upstart rival in their own backyard; Dark Horse is brewing some tasty ones, too. At the moment we have Dark Horse Amber, IPA, and their reserve special black beer. We just obtained a very minute quantity of their extra special and incredibly rare Perkulator Coffee Doppelbock and their One oatmeal stout ale.

I neglected to include some English seasonal beverages in my last post. We have the Lump of Coal stout, Bad Elf ale, and the barleywine style Criminally Bad Elf. We sold out of the Santa’s Butt right away. I might have more on Tuesday…

Other new brews of particular lusciousness are: Founder’s Imperial Stout, Left Hand Fade to Black stout ale, Magic Hat Feast of Fools winter variety packs, and the incredible rare and awesome Avery Dugan A IPA. It is like their Maharajah IPA but of imperial magnitude.

I’m the beer dude.

Vick Mickunas


OK, it is December. That means my hibernation is over. Beer guy is back.

And the Emporium has lots of Christmas cheer (and beer).

At the moment we have Abita Christmas Ale. Breckenridge Christmas Ale. Anchor Steam’s 35th annual Christmas Ale. Bell’s Christmas Ale. Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Goose Island Christmas Ale. Heavy Seas Yuletide. Lakefront Holiday Spice Lager. Stoudt’s Winter Ale. Quantities are limited.

We have some exotic beers passing through too. The Otter Creek Quercus Vitus Humulus is one such oddity. Aged in French oak, this beer has French grape juice added. You know, the stuff they usually turn into wine? Good grape juice. And this stuff is wine strength at 12% alcohol.

Another tasty brew comes our way from scenic Akron, Ohio. Cerberus Belgian style Trippel from Thirsty Dog Brewing is another heavyweight beverage.

I’m the beer guy.

Vick Mickunas

Yay! No kidding. We got our first Octoberfest beer in on August 1st from Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland. Since then we have gotten Octoberfest beer from Stoudt’s (Pennsylvania), Summit (St. Paul), Left Hand (Colorado), and Weihenstephan “Fest Bier” from Germany (they can’t call it Octoberfest in Germany because the brewery, which is the oldest in the world, is not located in the city of Munich).

Other seasonal beers fresh off the truck include Weyerbacher Autumnfest, Abita Pecan Harvest Ale, Left Hand Rye Bock lager, and Rodenbach Red Bach (it’s Belgian sour beer with cherry juice).

Lest I forget, we have Shipyard Pumpkin, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, and Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin.

Oh yeah, I saved the best for last: Bell’s Batch 8,000. Imagine an imperial version of Bell’s Oberon. It is so gooood! And, SOOOO limited. We could get only 2 cases of it.

Come on down. The beer tastes mighty fine this Octoberfest.

Vick (the beer guy) Mickunas

Here at the Emporium we have lots of summer beers. I have tried them all and I have chosen the best. Here they are:

Dogfish Head Festina Peche–If you have ever had wheat beer in Berlin you know how tart it can be. That’s why they drop a dollop of fruit syrup into your glass to provide a refreshing counterpoint for the astringency of the beer. I had never had anything that compares in this country, until now. Festina Peche has all the puckering tartness of a Berliner weiss and they have thrown in some peach concentrate to give you that savory suppleness that the syrup would lend if you were quaffing like a Berliner. Perfect lawnmower beer. Low alcohol so you can imbibe without fear.

Anchor Steam Summer Beer–Dogfish Head is east coast brew (from Delaware). From the left coast we have the pride of San Francisco, the grandpa of the micro-brew set, Anchor Steam. Their summer beer is an amazingly complex wheat beer that goes down as easy as a summer rainstorm. Refreshing and revivifying.

Schneider/Brooklyner Hopfen Weisse–A collaborative effort of Schneider, the eminent Bavarian producer of legendary brews like Aventinus and Garrett Oliver of the Brooklyn Brewery. I didn’t know what to expect? It is a hefty 8.2 % alcohol and the perfect marriage of delicate German wheat style with hammerin’ Amerikan hoppiness. Wow! Bring me another!

There you have my favorite summer quaffings… I’m Vick (the beer guy) Mickunas.

And they are here now at the Emporium. Quantities are VERY limited. We were allowed to place one order and we had a ten case maximum. We got all that we could.

They are in our coolers now; five liter kegs of Bell’s Oberon Ale. Is there any better way to say: HELLO SUMMER–where you have you been all my life?

glug-glug-glugga-glug-OH YEAH, I’m Vick (the beer guy) Mickunas

That is the question. I think I can do both. I have been so busy blogging about books for the Dayton Daily News that I have been neglecting my beer bloggin’ for the Emporium.

Time to get all caught up. The biggest beer news is the return of our most popular brew, Bell’s Oberon Ale from Kalamazoo. Oberon is baseball beer. It comes out on opening day and it vanishes at the same time the Chicago Cubs are once again eliminated from another World Series title chance. 99 years and counting (for the Cubs that is). Tasty!

It’s not summer yet but the summer beers are foaming nicely already. There’s Boulder Brewing’s Sweaty Betty Blonde, Southern Tier Hop Sun, Clipper City Red Sky at Night Saison, Harpoon Summer, Breckenridge Summer Bright, and New Holland Zoomer Wheat.

We still have some spring beers in stock; Old Dominion Spring Brew, Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA, Avery Karma Ale, Dogfish Head Black and Blue (made from black raspberry and blueberry), and Victory Whirlwind Wheat Beer.

I’m pleased to say that we now carry Magic Hat from Vermont. We have their H.I.P.A, Circus Boy Hefe Weiss, and Not Quite Pale Ale. We also have some tasty beers from Pittsburgh’s Penn Brewing. We have their Pilsener, Dark, and Weizen.

So, crack open a beer and crack open a book and check out my other blog about books at

Vick (the beer guy) Mickunas

I know, Italian beers are not exactly thought of as being high quality. I’m here to tell you that there are some craft brewers in Italy who are doing some unusual things.

One such brewer is BIRRA TROLL. We have two of their brews in stock. SHANGRI LA is a fruity beverage. I’m not a big fan of that style but there are lots of folks who are. I really like the other type that we have. PALANTRINA is brewed with chestnut flowers, dried chestnuts, chestnut honey and chestnut jam. You get the idea. I’m nuts about it!

We also have a third variant of the Italian craft brewing movement. CASSISSONA is sparkling beer brewed with black currant (cassis). Matured over 6 months, our shipment was bottled almost 2 years ago and it is getting quite drinkable. Are you looking to pair up an unusual beverage with fruit desserts or savory cheeses? This brew would fill the bill and I guarantee that your guests will never have had anything quite like it!

That reminds me of my most memorable Italian beer experience. It happened on July 7, 1973. I was in Florence (Firenze) and I was drinking a Nastro Azzuro. Several of us were sitting on the street enjoying the Tuscan scene. A long, black limousine pulled up across the street in front of a boutique.

Two women got out along with a frumpy looking man. They strolled over to us. The man looked familiar. He extended his hand to shake mine and said: “Hi, my name’s Nelson Rockefeller. What’s your name and where are you from?”

I guess the Governor of New York was good at spotting Americans. A few years later this scene would not have happened. The Red Brigades kidnapped and killed one Italian Prime Minister and Nelson Rockefeller was serving as Vice President to President Gerald Ford.

I was so stunned to meet him that I almost dropped my beer.

Vick (the beer guy) Mickunas

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