NHC Winners / HopCat Comes to Broad Ripple

National Homebrew Competition

Congrats to the following Indiana homebrewers who placed beers in the regional rounds of the National Homebrew Competition. Their beers now advance to the final round to compete for a national medal during this year’s National Homebrewers Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Good luck everyone!

Matt Anderson (Indianapolis) 3rd place Porter
Harry Bielawski (Saint John) 1st place Smoke-Flavored and Wood-Aged Beer
Agatha Feltus (Noblesville) 1st place Porter
Cesar and Amelia Gonzalez (Mount Vernon) 1st place Standard Cider and Perry
Robert Heinlein (Crown Point) 1st place India Pale Ale, 2nd place Smoke-Flavored and Wood-Aged Beer
Bradley Hopkins (Zionsville) 3rd place English Brown Ale
Erik Howell (Indianapolis) 3rd place Dark Lager
Andrew Korty (Indianapolis) 2nd place Amber Hybrid Beer, 3rd place European Amber Lager
Jenn Myers (Indianapolis) 1st place English Brown Ale
Robert Newman (Garrett) 3rd place English Brown Ale
Christopher Norrick (Evansville) 3rd place Sour Ale
Tim Palmer (Fishers) 2nd place English Pale Ale, 3rd place German Wheat and Rye Beer
John Raczkowski (Plymouth) 1st place Other Mead
Bill Staashelm (Indianapolis) 1st place Light Lager
David Stahl (Fort Wayne) 1st place German Wheat and Rye Beer
Brian Steuerwald (Brownsburg) 2nd place Bock
Jeff Thomas (Goshen) 2nd place Other Mead

HopCat – Broad RippleHop Cat Broad Ripple

You may have seen the announcement circulating earlier today that a HopCat restaurant and bar will be opening in Broad Ripple. The craft beer bar scene has come a long way in Indianapolis, but this will be another big step forward if my experiences with HopCat in Michigan are any indication. Additional tap space is always welcome given the number of new breweries opening in the area, and I would expect HopCat to be very supportive of the local scene in their tap selection. Here is the full press release for you to drool over:

BarFly Ventures today announced plans to open HopCat – Broad Ripple, a restaurant and bar featuring 130 craft beers on tap in the heart of Indianapolis’ Broad Ripple Village cultural district.

HopCat – Broad Ripple, 6280 N. College Ave., across from the historic Vogue Theatre, will be the third location for the award-winning HopCat, which was named the No. 3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth by Beer Advocate. The draft system will be the largest in the city with many of its taps dedicated to supporting Indiana’s craft brewing industry, as well as craft beers from around the country and the world.

“Broad Ripple’s history as a place with an artistic heart and musical soul made it the ideal area for us to open our first HopCat outside of Michigan,” said Mark Sellers,  founder of HopCat. “We see HopCat as a gathering spot where people from all walks of life can come together to enjoy great food and drinks. We also look forward to showcasing the liquid art being produced by Indiana’s brewers. ”

HopCat – Broad Ripple will be located at the southwestern corner of North College and Broad Ripple avenues on the ground floor of the Broad Ripple parking ramp. The unique design includes seasonal outdoor seating along College Avenue and a keg storage room with windows on the street and inside the dining room where guests will be able to see the complex system used to keep more than 130 kegs fresh and ready to pour.

HopCat – Broad Ripple is expected to open in early August, pending approvals by local and state officials.

Hiring for management positions is under way with special hiring events for more than 100 other team members expected to begin in June. Resumes may be submitted to jobs@barflyventures.com.

HopCat’s food menu – “food your Mom would make if she loved beer” – headlined by its famously addictive Crack Fries, includes an eclectic mix of fresh shareables, sandwiches, burgers, salads, wraps and big plates.

As with other BarFly Ventures locations, HopCat – Broad Ripple will implement an extensive composting and recycling program. This program has reduced the amount of waste BarFly’s six bars and restaurants send to landfills by more than 90 percent in the past three years.

About HopCat

Founded in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2008, HopCat is the flagship brand of BarFly Ventures. HopCat is a destination for locals, tourists and beer fanatics alike, earning international accolades as such as: “No. 3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth” by Beer Advocate Magazine, “No. 2 Beer Bar in America” by CraftBeer.com and “No. 1 Brewpub in the United States” by RateBeer.com. HopCat – East Lansing opened in August 2013 in record setting fashion, hosting a 100-tap takeover in partnership with Short’s Brewing Co. In August of 2014 HopCat – Broad Ripple will open in Indianapolis with the city's largest number of craft beers on draft. HopCat – Detroit will open with 130 draft lines and a live music venue in the heart of Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood.

Cheers, Nathan

The 4th Annual Bloomington Craft Beer Festival

A while ago I had written a story about what drives me to go out and try the new beer from all these new breweries popping up left and right in Indiana. In my blog I mentioned how at this point I was more likely to go out to a brewery boasting something different, generally a twist on an already solid beer instead of just going for the same styles over and over again.

What is the relevance to Bloomington Craft Beer Festival? A lot and at the same time not much. Festival time though is generally the time where breweries who usually play it same crank it up a notch. Some breweries do special beer tappings (which in bigger festivals generally make some beer drinkers upset if they can't cut through the crowd to try a special beer). Some breweries pick a theme for their beer offerings (I'm looking at you Flat 12 Bierwerks). Some breweries have some of their house beers but also bring some twists or outrageous beers.  I was pleasantly surprised and delightfully happy that this year's Bloomington Craft Beer Festival offerings were exactly what I was looking for.

First off..having a festival in Bloomington in April is amazing. The weather is perfect, the location is awesome. (Who can argue with an old mill as the festival backdrop), and the festival is smaller, more quaint and also gives attendees the ability to try more beer and get more bang for the buck.  However,  I think it has already started to get a little snug in the Woolery Mill this year with a sold out crowd of 3,000.  Unless you are good at snaking through crowds, being a little tough to get to your next beer, or don't mind being pushed around then by all means come back for the 5th annual BCBF.  This year did offer a little more as far as a grander musical stage, more accommodations and a "dining hall" up the hill for beer drinkers to rest and enjoy local food fair.

But enough about the layout and crowds.. I mentioned how the offerings were what I was looking for, so let me get to the important part of this piece - the beer.

Right out of the gate, I bee lined to Zwanzigs Scorpion Pepper Imperial Stout.
Taking a step away from the Ghost Pepper Infused Imperial Stout that Zwanzigs used to offer, this beer was still exactly what I was looking for. A chocolate, robust start and a slow tickle in the back of my throat burn.  The first offering was just a little to see if I actually would like it, but after quickly swallowing it down I asked for more, plus they had a small batch of it set aside to "kick it up" a notch. I, of course, had that added.  I was almost scared that it would cause a flame to shoot out my mouth, but was back to just having a pleasant burn, a bit more noticeable than the first time, but still just a nice pleasant beer.

From there I stepped down the row, my eyes in search of unique beers and Broadripple Brewpub did not disappoint. Their Cinnamon Roll Porter, could have been a great breakfast beer, if I drank beer at 8am.  The cinnamon flavor was just a slight, but there was definitely a creaminess that gave the drinker a mind set of licking icing off a Cinnabon roll.

Before my next crazy beer I did have a few interesting solid beers.  18th Street Brewery's Bitch Hands Pale Ale was a strong beer, that I would definitely drink more off, not just to say I was drinking Bitch Hands either (which brings up another thought I had during the festival off how crazy beer names are getting).  Choss - A triple IPA from Figure 8 was another solid good beer, that actually gave me a pop of taste as it hit the back of my tongue. It wasn't something that made my head turn like the beer was made unusually, the pop seemed to come naturally from the basic ingredients used for this beer .

Back to the crazy, (again looking at you Flat 12). Sidetrack - Flat 12 never disappoints me. Honestly, even if I may not like some of their crazy beers, <cough> Cucumber Kolsch, </cough>, they take the risk, they combine, they go crazy and almost all the time they hit their mark.  CC3, aka a Cotton Candy flavored Belgian Style Trippel was really great. It smelled like Cotton Candy, it tasted like Cotton Candy, I almost wish it was pink like Cotton Candy. I tried a sip of my friends Caramel Corn flavored beer for their table as well, it was sweet like caramel with that corn twinge.  If I wasn't on a mission to cover as many tables as I could for IB.com I would've tried all the beers at Flat 12. I'm hoping CC3 makes a comeback in the taproom. I know it won't be at another festival. Flat 12 keeps up with a theme per festival and so far hasn't repeated many of their festival beers at other festivals I've been able to attend.

My last special call out of beers has to be Crown Brewing's The Dude White Russian Java Porter.  The Dude definitely abides with this beer. I could almost hear the ice clink in the glass drinking cream, Kahlua and vodka with each sip of this beer.  

Besides being happy with finding these special diamonds in the beer festival rough, I was also happy to find good solid beers. Makes me rethink my intro of only popping into breweries that are pulling beer stunts.  Lafayette Brewing gets a shout out for their Star City Bock. I was definitely fan of this clean,slightly caramelized beer.  Salt Creek also deserves some love for the cream ale.  The biggest applause however goes to the homebrewing club, the Bloomington Hop Jockeys. I love their Berliner Weisse, the sour blonde and I did make it over the tapping of the sour stout.  Their Berliner Weisse opened my eyes to a new style of beer that may rise above regular sours as my favorite. the BHJ Berliner Weisse and later Desthil Brewing's Berliner Weisse were my ideal summer kind of beers. Tart, sour and shocking.

All this love for beers.. I bet you are wondering, did I love them all? No, of course not. There were some beers that just didn't cut it for me. One sip and the rest ended in beer blasphemy by hitting the rocks of the "floor" of the Woolery Mill.  I'm not one for knocking a brewery's beer down cause it could be an amazing beer for someone else, but I will say there was a new brewery's IPA that I was just not a fan of at all, it was flat and flavorless.  Another brewery's wheat ale was just about the same.   It could have been the location or the beer travel. I had a sample of a black ale that I had tried in the pub recently and it didn't taste nearly the same chocolately, slight tilt of sour that it did when I a pint of it a few weeks back.

Overall, the BCBF was a lovely festival. I hope that the 5th year sees an expansion of the layout so people can walk around easily without almost crowd surfing for beer. I also hope more breweries from the north come back down. I missed seeing Iechyd Da Brewing and Bare Hands Brewery.  I hope they either come down and join the southern fun or that centralized northern festival is in the works. Until then, I look forward to the Microbrewer's Festival in July and other great times come forward as the great weather festival events start off.

Hope to see you around!

Cheers,
Kathleen




World Beer Cup Winners

Congrats to the following Indiana breweries who are coming home with medals from this weekend’s World Beer Cup competition:

Carson’s Brewery (Evansville) Red Dawn Silver Medal: American-Style Wheat Beer
Thre3e Wise Men Brewing (Indianapolis) Hot for Teacher Ms. Doppelbock Silver Medal: German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock
Sun King Brewing (Indianapolis) Johan the Barleywine Bronze Medal: Barley Wine Style Ale

 

In addition to the local winners, here are some other craft beer medalists you may be able to find in Indiana liquor stores:

Founders Brewing (Grand Rapids, MI) Mango Magnifico con Calor Gold Medal: Herb and Spice Beer
Left Hand Brewing (Longmont, CO) Sawtooth Ale Gold Medal: Ordinary or Special Bitter
Sprecher Brewing (Glendale, WI) Black Bavarian Gold Medal: German-Style Schwarzbier
Two Brothers (Warrenville, IL) Domaine DuPage Gold Medal: Belgian and French-Style Ale
Widmer Brothers Brewing (Portland, OR) Hefeweizen Gold Medal: American-Style Wheat Beer With Yeast
Fat Head’s Brewery (Middleburg Heights, OH) Head Hunter Silver Medal: American-Style India Pale Ale
Spaten-Franziskaner-Brau (Munchen, Germany) Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel Silver Medal: German-Style Dark Wheat Ale
Sierra Nevada (Chico, CA) Ruthless Rye Silver Medal: Rye Beer
The Bruery (Anaheim, CA) Oude Tart Silver Medal: Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale
Brouwerij Huyghe (Melle, Belgium) Delirium Tremens Bronze Medal: Belgian-Style Tripel
Jester King Brewery (Austin, TX) Le Petit Prince Bronze Medal: Session Beer
Mad River Brewing (Blue Lake, CA) Steelhead Extra Pale Ale Bronze Medal: Golden or Blonde Ale
New Holland Brewing (Holland, MI)  Pilgrim’s Dole Bronze Medal: Old Ale or Strong Ale

Mad Anthony Brewing Company 16th Anniversary Celebration

April 14th starts a week long celebration at all Mad Anthony Brewing Company locations in celebration of their 16th anniversary of their first keg tapped at their Fort Wayne downtown location at the corner of Broadway and Taylor.  The community is invited to share in the celebration of this milestone at all of their regional taprooms.

The week long celebration will include one-of-a-kind beer releases to food specials.  The highlight of this celebration will be the release of their special anniversary ale.

According to their Facebook page, ""Sweet Sixteen" is a Double Imperial IPA brewed in celebration of our 16th year as a Fort Wayne Brewing Company. It was brewed with a large amount of Pale Ale malt, grown and processed in the UK, giving this beer a substantial malt backbone and a nice dose of sweetness to go with the pungent aromas and bitterness contributed by the American grown "Falconers Flight" hops. This beer, crafted by their brewery team, boasts an alcohol by volume of close to 9% and 60 International bittering units as well as a copious amount of hops added late in the fermentation of the beer giving it a very fresh hop aroma and flavor. "Sweet Sixteen" is fermented with our house ale yeast, which leaves a clean but fruity character to the beer."

Join in the fun at any of their taprooms to help them in celebrating their 16th anniversary!




Breweries Converge on Bloomington for Bloomington Craft Beer Week and Festival!

Bloomington, IN, has been abuzz with beer this week as the festivities continue right up the to Bloomington Craft Beer Festival, Saturday (April 12). Tickets are on sale online and at Big Red Liquor stores with the plan being NOT to sell tickets at the door.

This is a recap of some of the activities this week with pictures!

The week started with Indiana Craft Beer on tap and in bottles at most local venues Friday and then the release of Bloomington Brewing Company gold-medal winning Rooftop IPA in 22 oz. bottles at the main Big Red Liquor store in Bloomington.

Brewers Floyd Rosenbaum and Nick Banks, owners Jeff Mease and Lennie Dare, Business Manager Mark Cady, and staff were on hand to sign bottles and posters as the first batch is available. The bottles will roll out within weeks to other locations in Central Indiana. BBC reminds all that this 22 oz Rooftop will be followed by Ten Speed Hoppy Wheat, and eventually by Ruby Bloom Amber in 22oz "bombers." BBC has been flowing around Bloomington and has eleven beers on tap at their Tap Room in Lennie's including a big, bold Imperial Ruby Bloom amber, the Biere de Mars, and the collaboration with New Albanian 80 Shilling session Scottish ale.

Upland Brewing of Bloomington chose this week to reveal their new logo! The former more abstract logo turned into an upbeat tighter view that may suggest the rolling hills around Bloomington of the freshness of craft beer! Upland will be using logo on future bottling and other signage for their beer. They also were on hand at Yogi's on Monday for samples of their delicious Upland Haystack wheat, a crisp clean American wheat that is extremely drinkable and an interesting contrast with the Belgian-style Upland Wheat they've been known for.

Upland and New Belgium Brewing collaborated on two wonderful tart brews "Light Synth" and "Dark Synth" The Light Synth is 50% New Belgian Felix aged in wine barrels with 40% Upland Sour Reserve oak aged plus 10% oak aged cherry lambic with cherries. Dark Synth is 50% NB Oskar aged in wine barrels with 40% Upland Dantilion with spices and 10% oaked Rasperry Lambic with raspberries. With tastings at Yogi's Grill and Bar on Monday night patrons were deciding which they liked best which depends on preference. We thought both were delicious!


MORE PHOTOS FROM THE WEEK:
Jamie from Flat 12 and Mike Collins from World Class were on hand both Saturday and Sunday with the first event being a tapping at Nick's English Pub. They had five beers on tap and provided many stickers and beer coasters to those who stopped by. Nick's was full and Saturday night revelers were drinking up the Flat 12 beer and enjoying!

Flat 12 also stopped by Yogi's on Sunday for a tapping including Nunmoere Black, delicious black IPA with wonderful balanced character.


Tuesday night there was a beer dinner at The Farm restaurant Root Cellar. We hope next year a dinner might be arranged closer to the weekend and more out-of-towners might come in early for the event and stay for the Beer Fest!

Tin Man Brewing of Evansville is Kegging beer now so there beer will be more available on draught. Fred Hillendbrand did a great job of leading "Beer School" with samples at Yogi's. The Rosenweiss weizen with rose is a far cry from the first Tin Man brews and packs a nice combination of the rose and the banana spice notes.

Overlord Imperial IPA is a balanced big bold tasty IPA. The sleeper is Csar Russian Imperial Stout at 12% with as many IBU for bitterness as Overlord but well hidden behind fabulous roast and hints of licorice. Tin Man will be distributed now throughout Central Indiana!

The shot at right are loyal Yogi's fans enjoying their Tin Man brews!

Get your craft beer on and get to Bloomington.

Below are more events scheduled this week!

April 9:
Cutter’s & Bloomington Brewing Tapping at The Tap Beer Bar, BBC: Amarillo Pale, Biere de Mars, Rooftop IPA and Ruby Bloom; Cutters: Nitro Peanut Empire Stout

Sun King Tap Takeover at Yogi’s Grill and Bar: Barrel Aged Ring of Dingle stout, Dominator Dopplebock, Naptown Brown IPA, & Indians Lager

Function Brewing, Bloomington Brewpub taps a test batch of single-hopped pale with Falconer’s Flight hops plus a version adding Mosaic and Citra Hops.

April 10:
Cutters at Nick’s English Hut with Knobstone, Bank Robber Belgian Brown, Rye on the Scarecrow Double Rye IPA, and Monon Wheat

Upland and Oskar Blues at The Tap Beer Bar, 7 PM, with Wheat, Champagne Velvet, and Campside. Oskar Blues beers: White Buffalo West Coast IPA, Dales Pale Ale T45 - dry hopped Dale's Pale, Dales Pale Ale T90 -- another dry hopped Dale's Pale - each beer has a different hop kettle additions.

Bloomington Brewing Company at Yogi’s 6 PM with BBC Biere de Mars, Ruby Bloom Amber, Kirkwood Cream Ale, Rooftop IPA, and BBC/New Albanian collaboration FeastMaster 80 Shilling (delicious session beer with plenty of deep roast flavor)

Function Brew Pub holds a tribute to home brewing with a Robust Porter, Mayan Chocolate Stout, and English Mild

April 11:
Upland holds their beer & music focused Vinyl Release Party at their main Bloomington Brewpub (banquet hall) 5-8PM featuring Vinyl Tap Rye Pale Ale with part of the proceeds from the beer sale going to local community music. All Upland locations start revealing the new Upland logo and look starting April 9.

Bloomington Brewing and New Albanian tap take-over at Nick’s English Hut 7-10 PM featuring: BBC Quarrymen Pale Ale, BBC Ruby Bloom Amber, BBC Vanilla Floyd, BBC Imperial Ruby Bloom Amber, NABC Hoosier Daddy, NABC Oaktimus, NABC/BBC Collab FeastMaster 80 Shilling, + Sampling of BBC Rooftop IPA Bottles

Cutters Knobstone Pale Ale will be the featured Friday beer along with Upland Wheat on tap at the Alley Bar on Kirkwood.

Atlas Ballroom Bar on South College will pour offerings from Cutters, Mad Anthony, and New Albanian.

Player’s Pub on South Walnut will feature Tin Man (Evansville) beers.

April 12: THE BIG DAY
Bloomington Craft Beer Fest is Saturday, April 12, at 2200 Tapp Road 4-7PM for $35. Sponsor The Fourwinds Resort will shuttle you to & from the event from your room with special rates of $89. There will be live music, local food, hundreds of beers from not only most Indiana breweries but many regional and national craft brewers. We participated in a discussion of porta-potties and organizers have considered signage and locations of units to reduce lines. The current weather forecast may prove God and Mother Nature love beer as the sun should shine and forecasts predict temperatures of 71 degrees! If you’ve not been to the historic Woolery limestone mill venue expect a nice canopy of shade with plenty of filtered light and great breezes. Tickets are available at most Big Red Liquors locations (esp. Bloomington – call ahead) and online HERE
Further Fest details here

Then get ready to PARTY at many local venues AND save your wristband for a special deal on Sunday!

Sun King tap takeover and after party at The Tap Beer Bar on the square with Timmie RIS, Batch 666: Sympathy for the Devil (Belgian-Style Black Ale loaded with chocolate, roasted walnut, and banana flavors), Batch 777: Touched by an Angel ( Belgian-Style Tripel), Big Iron Barleywine, Moonlight Serenade toasted oatmeal stout, and Fistful of Hops.

while many BBC and New Albanian beers should remain on tap from Friday, there is no official party at Nick's on Saturday

Upland Beer Fest after party at The Bishop Bar

Max’s bar on the square will have a kill the keg party with BBC Rooftop IPA and Kirkwood Cream Ale where the person to get the last pint gets a Max’s gift card.

AND….
The premier craft beer bars in Bloomington will feature Indiana Craft Beer all week at The Tap Beer Bar and Yogi’s Grill & Bar. As well Scotty’s Brewhouse will feature their own Thr3e Wise Men Indiana beer

Local restaurants
Finch’s Brasserie will feature Indiana beer including Three Floyd’s Dreadnaught, War Mullet, Fountain Square Count Nibula Chocolate Stout, Evil Czech Gypsy American Wheat, Tin Man Rosenweiss German krystallweizen with rose
The Trojan Horse will feature beers from BBC, Quaff On!, Cutters, and Upland

April 13:
Fest Wrist Band Day at Lennie’s Restaurant and Brew Pub 10% off Sunday Brunch at Lennies - Beer Fest attendees get 10% off their meal with their Beer Fest wristbands.


Bloomington Craft Beer Week... beer events worth visiting Bloomington for!

Bloomington Craft Beer Week starts Saturday, April 5 continuing through and after the Bloomington Craft Beer Fest on April 12. It is #drinkindiana week! Many local places will have Indiana beer on tap starting April 4! So maybe you went to school in Bloomington or maybe you've driven to Bloomington on a scenic trip to Brown County, Indiana. You fondly recall the quaint town square, maybe a pound of beer (their word for pint) at historic Nick's English Hut, the beautiful limestone buildings, and a warm Spring Day. COME ON DOWN and have a pint of beer or two sometime this week. Revisit, refresh, and reacquaint with a town and its love of quality craft beer!

Note: all beers, bar events, and tappings were checked with reps and organizers but remain subject to change. Get the Bloomington Craft Beer Week APP! for updates

April 5:
Bloomington Brewing Company, the 20-year-old that was the first craft brewery in Southern Indiana has been a draft-only brewery but kicks BCBW off Saturday with the release of beer in bottles by offering 22 oz. "bombers" of gold-medal-award winning Rooftop IPA at the Big Red Liquors big store at 8th and College Ave, Bloomington, with brewer appearances from Noon to 2:00 PM April 5! Rooftop took gold in the IPA category of the most recent Brewer’s Cup Competition, Indiana State Fair, which receives commercial entries from multiple states as one of the largest competitions in the nation. BBC brewers and staff will be at Big Red Saturday and would be glad to sign a bottle or chat about beer. Rooftop bottles start selling at Big Red and will eventually expand throughout central Indiana. This brew delivers the hop forward and balanced IPA that offers both citrus and pine notes with a bitter finish while still balanced with malt. Rooftop will be the first commercially available ‘bombers’ in a series that will eventually (think Summer) include Ten Speed Hoppy Wheat and Ruby Bloom Amber. Get B’ton Craft Beer Week started off right by celebrating this historic moment! Get one of the first bottles ever produced!

What: Bottle Release Party: 22 oz. Bloomington Brewing Co. Rooftop IPA
When: Saturday, April 5
Noon to 2:00
Where: Big Red Liquors, 418 North College Avenue, Bloomington

Indiana brewery Flat 12 pours beers, passes on information, and provides ‘swag’ at legendary I.U. pub Nick’s English Hut Saturday night at 7PM offering limited edition Pogues Run Vanilla Porter, a flagship Flat12 beer with vanilla beans that opens with big vanilla notes backed by the solid hearty roast of this favored porter. Flat 12 beers on tap also include Half Cycle IPA, Walkabout Pale, and Hinchtown Hamer Down Golden Ale.

Bicycle tour to 3 breweries starting at Function Brewpub on 6th starting at 10:30 AM continuing to BBC, and Upland.


April 6:
Flat 12 brings Nunmoere Black American Black Ale along with Half Cycle, Hinchtown, and Pogues Run Porter along with information to Yogi’s, Bloomington at 3:30 PM for “Sunday Funday.”

April 7:
Upland rolls out their collaboration with New Belgian Brewery sampling “Light Synth” and “Dark Synth” at 6:00 PM. Dark Synth to be on tap along with Upland’s new Haystack Lightning American Wheat (the 2nd beer in the new Side Trail Series), Campside, and Wheat plus New Belgian La Folie, Le Terroir, and Snapshot Wheat.

April 8:
Bloomington Brewing, Cutters Brewing, Quaff On!, and Upland will pair beers and food for a candlelight brewery dinner at The Root Cellar inside The Farm Restaurant, at 6:00 PM. A four course meal will pair with Cutter’s Knobstone Pale, BBC Rooftop, Quaff On! Java the Red, and Upland Wheat. $49 per guest. Phone (812) 323-0002 for details as space is limited.

Tin Man Brewing Co. “Beer School” at Yogi's Grill and Bar. Featuring: Czar Russian Imperial Stout, Overlord Imperial IPA, Circuit Bohemian Pilsner, Rivet Irish Red Ale

April 9:
Cutter’s & Bloomington Brewing Tapping at The Tap Beer Bar, BBC: Amarillo Pale, Biere de Mars, Rooftop IPA and Ruby Bloom; Cutters: Nitro Peanut Empire Stout

Sun King Tap Takeover at Yogi’s Grill and Bar: Barrel Aged Ring of Dingle stout, Dominator Dopplebock, Naptown Brown IPA, & Indians Lager

Function Brewing, Bloomington Brewpub taps a test batch of single-hopped pale with Falconer’s Flight hops plus a version adding Mosaic and Citra Hops.

April 10:
Cutters at Nick’s English Hut with Knobstone, Bank Robber Belgian Brown, Rye on the Scarecrow Double Rye IPA, and Monon Wheat

Upland and Oskar Blues at The Tap Beer Bar, 7 PM, with Wheat, Champagne Velvet, and Campside. Oskar Blues beers: White Buffalo West Coast IPA, Dales Pale Ale T45 - dry hopped Dale's Pale, Dales Pale Ale T90 -- another dry hopped Dale's Pale - each beer has a different hop kettle additions.

Bloomington Brewing Company at Yogi’s 6 PM with BBC Biere de Mars, Ruby Bloom Amber, Kirkwood Cream Ale, Rooftop IPA, and BBC/New Albanian collaboration FeastMaster 80 Shilling (delicious session beer with plenty of deep roast flavor)

Function Brew Pub holds a tribute to home brewing with a Robust Porter, Mayan Chocolate Stout, and English Mild

April 11:
Upland holds their beer & music focused Vinyl Release Party at their main Bloomington Brewpub (banquet hall) 5-8PM featuring Vinyl Tap Rye Pale Ale with part of the proceeds from the beer sale going to local community music. All Upland locations start revealing the new Upland logo and look starting April 9.

Bloomington Brewing and New Albanian tap take-over at Nick’s English Hut 7-10 PM featuring: BBC Quarrymen Pale Ale, BBC Ruby Bloom Amber, BBC Vanilla Floyd, BBC Imperial Ruby Bloom Amber, NABC Hoosier Daddy, NABC Oaktimus, NABC/BBC Collab FeastMaster 80 Shilling, + Sampling of BBC Rooftop IPA Bottles

Cutters Knobstone Pale Ale will be the featured Friday beer along with Upland Wheat on tap at the Alley Bar on Kirkwood.

Atlas Ballroom Bar on South College will pour offerings from Cutters, Mad Anthony, and New Albanian.

Player’s Pub on South Walnut will feature Tin Man (Evansville) beers.

April 12: THE BIG DAY
Bloomington Craft Beer Fest is Saturday, April 12, at 2200 Tapp Road 4-7PM for $35. Sponsor The Fourwinds Resort will shuttle you to & from the event from your room with special rates of $89. There will be live music, local food, hundreds of beers from not only most Indiana breweries but many regional and national craft brewers. We participated in a discussion of porta-potties and organizers have considered signage and locations of units to reduce lines. The current weather forecast may prove God and Mother Nature love beer as the sun should shine and forecasts predict temperatures of 71 degrees! If you’ve not been to the historic Woolery limestone mill venue expect a nice canopy of shade with plenty of filtered light and great breezes. Tickets are available at most Big Red Liquors locations (esp. Bloomington – call ahead) and online HERE
Further Fest details here

Then get ready to PARTY at many local venues AND save your wristband for a special deal on Sunday!

Sun King tap takeover and after party at The Tap Beer Bar on the square with Timmie RIS, Batch 666: Sympathy for the Devil (Belgian-Style Black Ale loaded with chocolate, roasted walnut, and banana flavors), Batch 777: Touched by an Angel ( Belgian-Style Tripel), Big Iron Barleywine, Moonlight Serenade toasted oatmeal stout, and Fistful of Hops.

while many BBC and New Albanian beers should remain on tap from Friday, there is no official party at Nick's on Saturday

Upland Beer Fest after party at The Bishop Bar

Max’s bar on the square will have a kill the keg party with BBC Rooftop IPA and Kirkwood Cream Ale where the person to get the last pint gets a Max’s gift card.

AND….
The premier craft beer bars in Bloomington will feature Indiana Craft Beer all week at The Tap Beer Bar and Yogi’s Grill & Bar. As well Scotty’s Brewhouse will feature their own Thr3e Wise Men Indiana beer

Local restaurants
Finch’s Brasserie will feature Indiana beer including Three Floyd’s Dreadnaught, War Mullet, Fountain Square Count Nibula Chocolate Stout, Evil Czech Gypsy American Wheat, Tin Man Rosenweiss German krystallweizen with rose
The Trojan Horse will feature beers from BBC, Quaff On!, Cutters, and Upland

April 13:
Fest Wrist Band Day at Lennie’s Restaurant and Brew Pub 10% off Sunday Brunch at Lennies - Beer Fest attendees get 10% off their meal with their Beer Fest wristbands.

Cheers & hope to see you at an event!

GregKitz

Bourbon Barrel Aged ReplicAle Tasting

The explosive growth of craft breweries in Central Indiana has been closely followed by the emerging craft trend of experimenting with barrel aged beers. New programs have been initiated by many established breweries, while new breweries often begin barrel aging from the moment they open for business. Aging in empty bourbon barrels has become a particularly popular activity, as the bourbon and oak characters can pair nicely with some of the big, aggressive styles that American craft brewers favor to begin with.

A recent tapping event at Tomlinson Tap Room offered a unique opportunity to sit and evaluate a number of local examples side by side. Granted, you may be able to find a number of these beers together at a large festival, but you might run a little short on the “sit and evaluate” aspect. Breweries participating in the special tapping included Barley Island, Black Acre, Bloomington Brewing, Flat 12, and Sun King. All base beers were ReplicAles from 2013’s Winterfest, aged for an unspecified period of time in bourbon barrels. Despite the ReplicAle label, where brewers are supposed to interpret the same basic recipe, there were some significant differences in underlying beer style here. Most were labeled with the pretty nondescript “Strong Ale” classification, while two others were appropriately classified as an Old Ale and a Winter Warmer. Here are my thoughts on each beer:

Flat 12 Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale  IBU: ???  ABV: 11.5%

Very strong bourbon aroma with supporting oak character and muted malt in the aroma. The flavor is more balanced with a well-aged caramel malt backbone showing hints of a slightly oxidized sherry character. The 11.5% alcohol content is very evident in the warming character, which has a smooth quality from aging. Overall, there is still too much bourbon flavor and aroma for my tastes. But this one is definitely a grower and I liked it more with each progressing sip. Of course, that could also be the 11.5% working its magic on my brain.

Bloomington Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Strong Ale  IBU: 12  ABV: 8.5%

The aroma here is much more subdued after tackling the massive Flat 12 Old Ale. The barrel character initially seemed to be overshadowed by the malt, but the aroma seemed more balanced when I came back to it later. The barrel contribution is more noticeable in the flavor, balanced with the toasty malt character and some chocolate notes. The finish comes across drier than expected with a slightly tart aftertaste. There are some good characteristics here, but overall it struggles to stand out when progressing through this lineup.

Black Acre Bourbon Barrel Aged Strong Ale  IBU: 51  ABV: 7.8%

The aroma and flavor of the barrel is very subdued in this beer. The real star of the show here is the massive hop character and supporting bitterness, which are still quite impressive in spite of extended aging. There is good dose of caramel and slightly oxidized malt character that support the hop profile a bit more than the barrel flavor. I like this beer a lot and imagine it had quite an intense hop profile when it was younger. If someone paid a premium price for this as a barrel aged beer, they might be disappointed by the lack of assertive barrel character to be found here. But if we’re just talking about which beer I enjoyed the most, this one ranks pretty high on my list.

Barley Island Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer  IBU: 50  ABV: 8%

Nice balanced aroma with the barrel character adding complexity to a backbone of caramel, chocolate, and roasty malts. The flavor matches very closely to the aroma with some oak tannins also coming through. The finish is very smooth with a slight warming as it goes down and some bourbon character lingering in the aftertaste. The reported 50 IBUs don’t contribute a high perception of bitterness. This is what I look for in a barrel aged beer. It’s a great Winter Warmer with a barrel character that complements, rather than overwhelms, the base beer.

Sun King Bourbon Barrel Aged Strong Ale  IBU: 50  ABV: 8.2%

Strong barrel character in the aroma with a unique toffee malt character. The toffee malt is more balanced with bourbon and oak in the flavor, with a firm bitterness and oak tannins lingering in the aftertaste. There is also a bit of tartness in the finish of this beer. Good beer – the toffee malt character is enjoyable and really stands out, but it’s also a bit one-dimensional in comparison to some of the other beers in this lineup.

After several runs through the lineup, I settled on the following ranking order:

5th: Bloomington
4th: Flat 12
3rd: Sun King
2nd: Black Acre
1st: Barley Island

Barley Island was the pretty clear winner in my book. I thought the greater emphasis on chocolate and roasted malts in this beer paired very well with the bourbon and oak. It also had the best overall balance of the five beers in this flight. Second place was a much closer call. While Sun King’s beer was probably a superior example of a “barrel aged” beer, I found Black Acre’s just a bit more enjoyable despite the lacking barrel character. Flat 12’s submission definitely grew on me and would arguably be the best choice for someone who enjoys a very prominent bourbon character, but the balance was just tilted a little too far in that direction for me. And while there was nothing I particularly disliked about the Bloomington beer, there was little I could pinpoint to make it stand out in this flight.

Did anyone else make it out to try this flight? Agree or disagree with where I slotted them?

Cheers, Nathan

Dribs and Drabs

Turoni’s Pizza & Brewery gets a shout out and a history by Evansville’s Roberto Cammpos.

Tin Man of Evansville is making Klingon Warnog Roguen Dunkel. Licensed. A Rye with clove. “Make it so”.

The FDA looks to be planning to forbid breweries from giving their spent grain to cattle farmers. article1 article2.

Dark beer will remove carcinogens from grilled burgers. article1 article2

20-year old girl in VA accosted by un-uniformed ABC agents because she bought bottled water. 911 calls, guns, arrests, jail, withdrawn charges, medical costs, lawsuit. Well, you know the drill. article

Three New Breweries in Indy; One Week: Books & Brews, Tow Yard, Outliers

Books and Brews - a bookstore and brew pub located North between Castleton and Fishers is a nice little up
and coming place for any book lovers and explorers of beer. A used bookstore in the front, it offers a
small quaint feel when you come in. All the bookshelves and rest of the furniture are handmade, along
with the beer brewed on site. If you are looking for a place to gather, read, play games, listen to music
or participate in trivia on the north side, this is a great little place to go.

Kathleen stopped in on a Saturday night of their grand opening to try out their beer. Kathleen and a friend each got a half pint. Hers was the English Ale which, as traditional English ales go, was a
little cold, flat like but goes down smoothly. The friend had the breakfast ale. It had a little bit of a
roasted chocolate mouth feel, also smooth to drink. Overall they were okay ales.
We look forward to seeing how with time, these beers could get a little more flavorful or trying some of the other ales that are
available.

The brewery part of Books and Brews is a small run of tables with a bar on the side. They offer a good
run of activities throughout the week along with food for customers as well. Overall the concept of a
bookstore brewery, the fact that this all began as a kickstarter project, and the handmade – hardwork
seen throughout is a good reason to visit, and try out one of Indianapolis’ newest breweries. Books & Brews is at 9402 Uptown Drive Suite 1400, Indianapolis, IN and is open M-TH 11AM-9PM, FRI 11AM-10PM, SAT 10AM-10PM, SUN 12-6PM

Tow Yard Brewing brings an Indiana brewer home to share his 'beer as food' attitude from the Pacific Northwest. Bradley Zimmerman grew up in Central Indiana getting both his college and high school education yet got his beer schooling in the hotbed of Seattle. Zimmerman worked first at Elysian Brewing in Seattle, a brewery started by Dick Cantwell from Big Time Brewing. Bradley then moved to Big Time Brewing, one of the original craft breweries in the U.S., getting great experience with a great list such as the regular Pale, Amber, Porter and IPA as well as a huge range of specialty beers. GregKitz was able to swing by there and also caught up with Bradley.

Bradley told us he particularly liked hanging out at Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, one of the top Seattle beer bars with 64 craft and Euro draft lines + 300 bottles. There he fine-tuned his appreciation for Belgian beers, barleywines and Imperial Stouts while always loving a solid IPA.

This brewer says we should expect not only a golden ale with Maris Otter base malt and an IPA but eventually a saison, a stout and some other Belgian beers to follow his taste. The brew system will be fired up this next week and they will get some experience with it before expanding beyond primarily guest beers on tap. There is a
pilot batch of the golden ale and an IPA on tap now, though expect those to change when they come from the brewery system. Currently available to sample is Goldie Hops golden ale displaying the wheat and the Maris Otter plus Emerald Circle IPA also with Maris Otter base malt but with 5 hops. The final version will be dry hopped and should exhibit big hop character. They have a 30BBL Mashtun. Tow Yard also blends 60/40 Goldie Hops ale with grapefruit soda to make a "Shandler" (get it Shand/Radler) as a refreshing low alcohol beverage.

Tow Yard's brew pub is 2 1/2 blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium and five blocks from the Circle on Madison Avenue South, one block south of South Street in downtown Indy. The gorgeous remodel of the old Chateau Thomas Indy winery gives great views of the Circle City as well as plenty of view of the brewing operation.
The space is partly separated into restaurant seating and a mini-bar, a bar area, and The Larder deli/restaurant with more seating, a deli case, and locally made sodas. For food expect signature sandwiches like The Pig (pork shoulder, uncured ham, Swiss and more) and Holy Schnitzel (pan-fried schnitzel with cheddar, onions & more) as well as specialty burgers, small plates and soup. Owner Jim Siegel takes a back seat as Mike DeWeese, well known in the beer world of Indy, is the Director of Distribution.

Tow Yard is currently open Mon - Thurs: 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM, food til 9; Fri - Sat: 11:00 AM - 1:00 AM food til 10,
Sun: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM. There is alley or street parking on Henry St. between Madison & Penn. or on Scioto Street (more of an alley) off of South Street.

Outliers Brewing is in Phase 1 of operation with growler fills from the large brewery that is associated with Brugge, Indy. This new downtown location replaced their Terre Haute brewery. Outliers is 1 block both East and South of Mass Ave or approx. 7 blocks from the Circle at 534 E. North Street. As a point of reference you could walk about 1/2 block West from the Outliers' door to Mass Ave and walk a block South along Mass Ave to arrive at the Athenaeum Rathskeller.

Currently Outliers has 5 of their beers on tap for growler fills or a pint on Friday 4-7PM and Sunday 12-3PM. The Whitcomb Rye is NOT a RYE-PA, but 40% Rye malt giving it the wonderful spice of rye and very low bitterness in a light golden ale, making this a very tasty and very different beer and easy to drink at 4.5%.
County Brown (is this an Indiana take on Ireland?) also is sessionable at only 4% with surprising chocolate notes and a nut-like flavor (no nuts were used or harmed) in a medium body but flavorful offering that delights from an English malt bill with some roasted malt using golden and fuggles hops.
Blau Machen Pils (literally, to "make blue" but refers to skipping work on Monday in German) has solid grain notes and an expected slightly bitter finish from European malt and American hops, clean and light at 5.5% alcohol.
Buffalo Jacket IPA is very balanced with smoothness from malt at the start and floral finish from Cascade at 6%.
Triple de Ripple, brewed here for Brugge as their signature beer is also available.

This brewery with beer out the "garage door" on North street is Phase One as construction will begin soon on the kitchen and restaurant on the North or 'back side' of the building (Phase Two)! Owner Ted Miller (of Brugge fame) shared with us that Outliers allows them to expand to American craft beers in addition to the Belgian style under the Brugge name as well as expand the relationship between beer and food in this downtown location. Ted hopes the restaurant will be open yet this summer! So if you think frites and mussels think Brugge, Broad Ripple. When you think American craft think Outliers. Ted is an entrepreneur who is always thinking so expect more in the future. While Ted enjoys a good strong beer or IPA he said later in the evening he has really been enjoying the Whitcomb Rye. So did Greg!

Written by Kathleen and GregKitz

Beers leading to Bloomington Craft Beer week and more.... Indiana Beer News March. 27

Spring is an extraordinary time to be a craft beer lover and as we focus on the upcoming Bloomington Craft Beer Week we become aware of so many events and tappings. While we normally leave the "tapping here" announcements to Facebook and Twitter, take today as an example of special items!

FIVE Barrel Aged beers from FIVE Indiana Breweries, tonight at Tomlinson Tap at City Market web site here, Indianapolis. Sun King, Flat12, Bloomington Brewing, Barley Island and Black Acre each provided a BBL aged replicale strong ale were just tapped. This ties to the Bloomington Craft Beer Week because information and tickets for the April 12 Beer Fest will be available tonight at TomTap!

Also in Bloomington, today Bloomington Brewing taps Biere de Mars, an offshoot of the biere de garde style medium body, boldly malted beer with spice notes available in their Tap Room.
And let's not forget that Triton Brewing at Ft. Harrison put on Pink Ribbon saison for tonight's Girl's Pint Out Event Facebook details HERE with the Mentoring Women's Network.

All of this leads us to preview the Bloomington Craft Beer Week from April 4-11 preceding the Bloomington Craft Beer Festival on April 12 Details here where special events will unfold nearly daily starting on Friday April 4. Bloomington based Upland brewing announced new Haystack Lightning American Wheat, the 2nd in their new Side Trail Series tapping at all Upland locations (Indy area + B'ton) on April 4. This new wheat is filtered for clarity and delivers mote hop (including Amarillo whole leaf hops) and a more grain flavor as an American style.

On Saturday, April 5, Bloomington Brewing release their first ever beer in bottles! Rooftop IPA, a gold medal winner at the Brewer's Cup '13, will be available at Big Red Liquors Bloomington main store. Flat12 arrives at famous Nick's English Hut in Bloomington that Saturday with Half Cycle IPA, Walkabout Pale, Van Pogue Porter, and their Hinchtown Hamerdown Pilsner plus 'give-aways.'

Other examples of events that week include

- Flat12 tapping and info at Yogi's Bar and Grill April 6 (3:30PM+)
- BCBW Beer Dinner at The Farm Restaurant's Root Cellar on April 8 (6pm)
- Tap Takeovers such as Cutters and BBC at The Tap Beer Bar on the square in B'town April 9 (6pm+)
- Tap Takeover of New Albanian and BBC at Nick's on April 11 (7PM)
- Special keg of Quaf On Brewing at The Alley Bar April 11 (4PM+)

and obviously more.... we will keep you posted.

And of course, this leads up to the Main Event of the Bloomington Craft Beer Fest on Saturday, April 12 DETAILS HERE


Let's say you already had the urge to go to one of the Midwest's premier fireworks extravaganzas in Louisville called Thunder Over Louisville on April 12 (or let's say you are SO adventurous that you will attend BCBF in Bloomington & still drive down to Lou'vall for the Thunder event! Well, there is Craft Beer at Thunder - and in Indiana! Buckhead Mountain Grill and Rocky’s Sub Pub will host their 7th Annual Craft Beer Festival for Thunder, which will showcase local craft beer favorites like Bluegrass Brewing Company, Falls City, Kentucky Ale, Daredevil Brewing, Sun King, Upland and national top breweries such as New Belgium, Stone Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, Bell’s, Founders and many more! The craft beer event includes a buffet, great view, and a ticket for a sample from each brewery present (as well as sodas and wine available). More information CLICK HERE or call 812-2842919.

And... twitter land was abuzz this week with late news that the FDA is considering controlling animal feed which could regulate or even eliminate the use of brewery spent grains now given free to many farmers.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing regulations for domestic and foreign facilities that are required to register under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) to establish requirements for current good manufacturing practice in manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding of animal food. FDA also is proposing regulations to require that certain facilities establish and implement hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls for food for animals. If you are a regulatory lawyer you can read more HERE OR read one take on it HERE Yet, my experience is that by the time all of the comments get in by March 31, the regulation will change significantly.