Flat12 Fall Preview

I recently had the good fortune to sit down with Rob Caputo, Director Of Brewery Operations at Flat12 for a sneak peek into some of their plans for the fall season; and while it isn’t my place to reveal all of the upcoming surprises, I can tell you this fall looks to hold a full fermenter of fun for you savvy beer fans. Here’s what can be know for the moment:

Prairie Plat
es – September 7th at Connor Prairie. Flat12 will be offering small batch-cask conditioned beers to be paired with amazing food choices from Chef Neal Brown (of Pizzalogy and the Libertine fame). Some of these beers, I am told, will even feature some ingredients from the gardens on site at Connor Prairie (chamomile, mint porter anyone?). This looks to be a wonderful event held on the grounds of a beautiful venue. Tickets are still available.

Defining Drink Local – September 25th at the brewery on Dorman St, in conjunction with Indiana Girls Pint Out and Indy Beer News, this event is a panel discussion on the topic of defining what it means to drink “local” beer. Special tappings for this event include a beer where all four of the components used to brew beer (for you beer purity law fans) are Hoosier born and raised. For all of you brewers out there (home or pro) this looks like an exciting development for the local community.

Indy Urban Acres Farmraiser – September 27th onsite at Indy Urban Acres Organic Farm. Flat12 is helping to promote this organic farm that not only provides information and workshops on organic farming, but also donates 100% of the produce raised there to hungry families via Gleaners Food Bank. I have it on good authority that beers featured at this event will also focus on including local ingredients as part of the brewing process. Rumor has it the brew liquor (water) used in one of the beers was seasoned with sweet corn from the farm itself. And who doesn’t enjoy a little locally grown sweet corn  late in a Hoosier summer? Always fun, and always innovative, as usual – Flat12 pushes the envelope.

All this and more: Flat12 is currently putting the finishing touches on their new facility down south in Jeffersonville, with build-out happening now. And for anyone who has been to a Halloween celebration in the past, you can always expect Rob and crew to raise the bar. This seasons’ event is no different. Make it a priority for your Halloween season, you’ll be glad you did. And finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the annual Black Friday celebration at  Dorman Street. Much like the annual Halloween celebration, this event is always a lot of fun. This year promises more of the same.

Watch this space for more details on the events as they draw nearer. In the meantime: relax, don't worry, open a bottle of Flat Jack and check out tickets to the September events. There’s sure to be great beer, great food, and lots of great times.

Dribs, Drams, and time to clean the Augean stables

Hi, we’re back. Here’s some good news (as opposed to the mideast, midwest, and Southwest Airlines).

The 18th Street Brewery in Gary plans to double capacity and start canning by the end of the year.

Sun King plans to add a 2nd brewery and tasting room in Fishers. article

Triton is celebrating their 3rd anniversary on Sept 20th. Family party with games and kiddy artists: 2-5pm. Tappings and music start at 6pm.

Quaff On Brewing will have a Beer & Music fest on Sept 19 & 20 at the Bill Monroe Music park in Bean Blossom. info

Robbie Mehling, with friends, made a half-hour video about Indiana brewing as a master’s thesis. See Caleb, Clay, Nick, Ray, Rodrick, Roger, Ryan, Derrick, Me, and an impressive work of visuals. video & article

An article about Kent Martin who oversees TTB’s label chief. The guy who doesn’t like Bad Elf.

Headline: 30 great beers you've probably never heard of. article

Popular Mechanics headline: 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Beer article

And, bad news:

Headline: Corona Extra Beer Recalled Because Glass Particles Don’t Go Down So Smoothly article

Headline: Brewery removes ‘fart-smelling’ beer from sale. Yep, Norwegian. article

Everything’s bigger in Texas. article

Headline: Bavarian bakers threaten strike during Oktoberfest, pretzel shortages loom article

Beer floats. That’s ice cream floats, not like, floats on water. Thankfully this is in Philly, not IN. article

Guinness Blonde American lager. Brewed in the USA. Thump, thump, thump. article

Headline: Beer shortage and heatwave spells misery for Cubans. article

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BigHead BelgianCloud

Dig In 2014

It seems appropriate that after a long period of time of not writing that I come back to write about an event that I first wrote about 4 years ago when I joined the crew with IndianaBeer.com.

Dig IN Indiana is not just beer though. It is all things Indiana. Beer, Wine, Food from local farms, prepared into small portioned meals by Indiana chefs and finally treats from Indiana Artisans. Put on by Indiana folks and entertainment by local entertainment. Seriously the biggest Taste of Indiana anyone could have.  I've grateful to volunteer with this festival for the past four years.

But this is about the beer!

I was already anticipating all the beer I'd get to sample after my volunteer shift.  Especially since my duties for the day was directing all the vendors to their parking and as each brewer came through and we said hello or had a quick catch up chat, my excitement grew.

As the breweries grow in Indiana, the options for beer in Dig IN have grown along with the demand. It was nice to see seasoned vets like Flat 12, Sun King and Brugge there along with some of the new guys like Scarlet Lane and Tin Man Brewing.

My first stop was to Tent C and I visited TaxMan with their saison, Bloomington Brewing Company's hoppy wheat, Thr3e Wiseman and their blonde, but my favorite from Tent C was Indiana City's Yacht Rock. I've had this belgian wheat ale many times but either it was the hot day or the work of Ray and the rest of his crew at Indiana City Beer getting better as time goes by, but it was a nice and smooth beer.

After filling up again on my food ( which was all delicious and I had to use two hands to count how many different kinds of meat was used )  I headed over to Tent B.This time to get my hands on Pooka, which was poured at the Brugge table.  It is no secret that Brugge's sours (Harvey and Pooka) are two of my all time favorite beers.  It once again did not disappoint during Dig In.

I popped over the next table over to say hello to Rob at Flat 12 and was surprised to see that Flat 12 was offering their Flat Jack.  I also love pumpkin ale and I've been seeing a lot of it popping up in liquor stores. I  was surprised it was at Dig In but still delighted to give it a try once more.  It must be me, cause when I posed a question on Facebook about seeing pumpkin ales early, it seemed to be the norm to have it on the shelf in July.

Lastly Tent A was my last stop. (obviously my beer palate wanted to work backwards when it came to tasting). There I ran into good friends from Bier and has some Weizengoot. Tried the ale that Figure 8 had to offer. I wish I could remember their ale but in the midst of tasting I heard someone in the table over ask for TinMan Brewing Co's Apricot Sour and I honestly downed the sample I had in my hand and popped over to TinMan's table.

I'm not a huge fan of apricots but this sour was the exception to my dislike of apricots. It was perfectly balanced, slightly creamy but with an appropriate zing that I love at the end of my sours. It almost made me question my love of Pooka that day.  I have had TinMan Brewing Co's beer before and wasn't really sold, but they have me wanting to come back and give them another shot after that apricot sour.

I didn't get to all the beer at Dig IN unfortunately. (I had a small food challenge of finishing the food passport and after that I had no room for beer) but what I did have was definitely delicious. I also learned a valuable lesson, don't dismiss the newbie breweries, like TinMan. Cause they make sneak up on you with a great out of the box beer.

Thank you Dig In for another year. Now that I'm getting back into the swing of things, it is time to start planning some brewery trips and tracking down some of those new breweries I've let slip through my fingers and give them a try!



Mad Anthony Brewing Company 16th Annual Oktobeerfest - Fort Wayne

Saturday, September 13 - 2p.m.

Yes, it is that time of the year again for Mad Anthony Brewing Company's annual Oktobeerfest at Headwaters Park West in Downtown Fort Wayne.  The festival begins at 2p.m. and here is information that I received about the festival:

Mad Anthony Brewing Company

Join Us for the 16th Annual Oktobeerfest
Fort Wayne, IN, September 13th

It’s time to say “OK… to Oktobeerfest” and make plans now to join over 35 Indiana breweries for the 16th Annual Mad Anthony Brewing Oktobeerfest occurring September 13th at Headwaters Park West.

MABC Oktobeerfest is dedicated to promoting and celebrating locally crafted products: from beer and cider to food and entertainment.  At Mad Anthony Brewing Company, we believe that there are a lot of great things going on in our own backyard and want to use this festival as an opportunity to showcase them.

New to this year’s festival is the Mad Brewers Challenge, hosted in conjunction with Fort Wayne’s very own Brewer’s Art Supply. This Challenge allows one homebrewer the chance of having their beer recipe commercially brewed and served within all MABC brewpubs. The top ten entries will be served at the festival and voted upon by attendees. Join MABC in making a homebrewers dream come true. Full contest details are available online at madbrew.com.

Another new addition to this year’s festival is the Oktobeerfest Food Truck Alley, established to showcase Fort Wayne’s growing food truck culture. This year’s alley will feature local favorites: Bravas, Big John’s Ragin’ Cajun and Affine.

Make plans to attend Oktobeerfest and enjoy all the flavors our amazing state has to offer.

Tickets for Mad Anthony Brewing Company’s 16th Annual Oktobeerfest are available online at brownpapertickets.com.

Looking for some great craft beer fun before the festival? Check out these other great Oktoberfest festivities:  

 • September 10th: Craft Beer Dinner at Old Crown Coffee Roasters  
 • September 12th: Oktobeerfest Golf Outing at Bridgewater West Golf Course, Auburn
 • September 13th: Gears & Beers Pub Pedal starting at a TBD location in Fort Wayne

For more information on Oktobeerfest and all its events visit www.madbrew.com or facebook.com/MadAnthonyBrewing.

Also, here is the link for a list of the breweries whose beers will be available for your sampling pleasure:      


Come out for a great time and some tasty brews!


130 TAPS of Indiana Craft Beer -- in Broad Ripple this weekend! Rotating Taps means more beers to come!

This is the first time 130 taps of Indiana Craft Beer have been in ONE bar at ONE time. That happens this weekend at the new HopCat at 62nd and College starting with the opening on Saturday (8/16) starting at 11:00 AM. This is also the first time THIRTY taps of Sun King beer AND THIRTY taps of Upland beer will be in one place. Expect some rare beers like barrel aged versions. Many of these kegs are 1/6 barrels so may not last too long! Over the next few days expect the HopCat lineup to change as kegs are blown so that by next week we expect some Belgian beers like LaChouffe and Saison Dupont to be on tap.

Hoosier craft beer lovers won't be let down by the continual offerings of Indiana Beer. For now, Corporate Beer Manager Trevor Mapes and Indiana Beer Director Andrew Skirvin tell us the HopCat Standard 30 will consist of the following: Cutters Lost River Blonde, Mad Anthony Auburn Lager, Mad Anthony Raspberry Wheat, Fountain Square Workingman's Pilsner, Sun King Sunlight, Sun King Osiris, Bier Brewery Weizengoot, Evil Czech Gypsy Chamomile Wheat, Upland Wheat, Oaken Barrel Alabaster Wheat, Thr3e Wide Men Two Lucy's Blackberry wheat, Bier PDG pale, Fountain Square Hop for Teacher APA, Daredevil Lift Off IPA, Flat12 Half Cycle IPA, Oaken Barrel Superfly IPA (yep, the only place other than Greenwood you can find this), Quaff On Hare Trigger IPA, Triton Rail Splitter IPA, Upland Helios APA, Triton Sin-Bin Belgian pale, Taxman The Standard Abbey Blonde, New Albanian Black & Bluegrass Belgian spiced ale, Sun King Wee Mac, Upland Bad Elmer's porter, Powerhouse Diesel Oil stout, Flat12 Pogue's Run porter, Thr3e Wise Men Hubbard & Cravens Coffee stout, Bloomington Brewing Ruby Bloom amber, People's Mr. Brown Ale, and Carson's Brown Cow. (if you count more or less than 30, that represents my bad eyes and typing .... that is a LOT of beer!) According to Mapes and Skirvin we can expect some Michigan beer to rotate on given the HopCat stores in Michigan.

Patrons on Saturday will be rewarded with FREE Crack Fries which are a crazy spiced french fry served with fabulous cheese sauce. The first 200 through the door on Saturday will get a one-year (1 order, once per week, 52 weeks) prize. Expect some lines. However, local managers don't know what to expect since this is the small chains first venture outside of Michigan.

Founder and owner Mark Sellers tells us Branding will be an important issue for HopCat since Indy folks have not heard of the brand. We suspect it won't take long for Indy to catch on that so many beers are in such a beautiful, up-scale looking restaurant. Sellers is a cool, laid-back guy who greets customers and cheers on staff with a smile while wearing a T-shirt. Sellers told us he returned to Grand Rapids from Chicago and wanted to open a bar. He says he is the vision, but he lets others manage the operation. His vision gives us a music-themed restaurant that is large, has beautiful mahogany tables, a large two-sided bar near College Avenue and another nice bar at the back of the restaurant. There is ample family seating (yep, kids are welcome) and there is outside seating. The convenient location at the base of the new Broad Ripple parking garage means patrons have convenience and security without having to deal with 62nd Street traffic.

What food we were able to try was terrific. The prices are reasonable. And though just getting set up the beer temperature in our preview was good and servers were hustling to make things right. Lovers of beer on nitro take note, they will eventually settle in to several (maybe 5) served this way, but their set up would allow them to do a special tapping with THIRTY beers on nitro!

Meanwhile practically down the street from Broad Ripple the Indiana State Fair is going strong into its last weekend! Beer at the Fair seems well received. Last Tuesday they offered $2 Indiana pints and it was standing room only. Every person we talked with said they LOVED being able to try Indiana beer (and wine) at the Fair. Many attendees said indeed they tried a beer they never had before! This was a great thing for TwoDeep Brewing of 714 N. Capitol in Indy as they had only been open a couple of weeks when they have the chance to sample beer in the Grand Hall. Owner Scott Meyer (left) tells us several folks have stopped by the brewery after trying the beer at the Indiana State Fair.

Craft Beer & Art: Bringing It All Back Home

  I don’t know if any of you may have noticed this but I’ll let you in on a little secret…craft beer is starting to
get sort of popular. There, I said it. I know, blind-sided you didn’t I? I can give you a minute if you need to recover from this startling revelation. It’s true though, it would seem that more and more people are slowly catching on to this craft beer thing.

  As the world of craft beer continues to evolve, so do the festivals that help to promote and celebrate the craft of brewing. The greater Lafayette community alone boasts a number of events that take place throughout the year.
  •         Lafayette Brewing Company’s Winter Warmer features Indiana breweries showcasing some of their heavy hydrometer offerings
  •         The Friendsof Downtown will be hosting the 3rd annual Beers Across the Wabash festival in less than two weeks (click here for event info & tickets)
  •         People’sBrewing hosts their annual Fall Bash, featuring People’s beer, BBQ, a beer schwag raffle, and plenty of local music
  •         Finally, this spring the Tippecanoe Arts Federation hosted their 3rd successful TAP at TAF event, highlighting the artisanship of craft beer

Expanding on this theme is the latest festival that took place just 30 miles north of Lafayette in the city of Monticello.

The Origin

  We all hail from somewhere. Sean Manahan, brewer at Flat 12 Bierwerks, hails from Monticello, Indiana. Well after the realization that his boyhood dream of being a shark and shortly after deciding that his pre-law path wasn’t his destiny, Sean “quickly became obsessed” with all things craft beer.  “I worked at a liquor store and would spend most of my days at work reading up on beer,” states Sean. “I felt I knew enough to at least be a beertender at some brewery and as luck would have it, People's opened up in my back yard.”

  Thanks to Chris Johnson, Sean started his career at People’s Brewing as a part-time bar back. His role would expand, taking on such tasks as delivery truck driver, draft tech, assistant brewer, and ultimately leading to the head brewer position in 2012. Sean emphasized, “I appreciate everything the People's crew taught me but I knew I wanted to be part of the Indy beer scene.”  At the end of 2013, Sean made the move to his current position at Flat 12.

  Still maintaining strong ties to his home town, Sean began working with staff members of the Monticello
Public Library to organize the Monticello Arts & Biergarten as an addition to the library’s annual art show. Having ties to Monticello as well, I looked forward to making the short trip up to White County to take in this new event. Having spoken with Sean for awhile, he agreed to an email interview to discuss the makings of event. Our correspondence follows.

  What was your inspiration for the Monticello Arts & Biergarten event? What was your overall vision and goal?

  The idea for beer started as an opportunity to give back to Monticello. The idea of providing beer for patrons of the 7th annual Broadway Art Show began in a passing conversation. The donors gala on Friday night offers wine from Whyte Horse Winery in Monticello. The original thought was to provide local Indiana beers in a small biergarten on Saturday.  When the idea made it to me, I knew there was theme enough in the art show to build a small event out of the biergarten.
  The connection between art and beer is obvious.  A painter starts with a blank canvas and creates with various paints.  A brewer starts with a blank canvas of water and with 'hues' of barley, hops, and yeast creates liquid art.  Not only is there art in the bottle but there is also amazing art on those bottles, each piece as unique as the beer inside. So, we decided to serve from packed beer so the label art could be displayed in art show fashion. We also invited the artists of the breweries represented so they could discuss their work and how it represented the beers.

Overall, how successful do you think you were in achieving this goal? Discuss the importance of bringing an event like this to the Monticello community.

  Overall I was very happy with the event, my first go around with event planning. The crowd was fun and engaging and everybody was all smiles. The library has already told me they look forward to building off our experiences of this event for a 2015 event.
  It was a good event for Monticello, a chance to expose the small town to something different. It's definitely a box beer town but slowly I'm seeing craft beer filter in. Without events like this, beer drinkers just aren't exposed to good beer. Most bars have three taps that pour B/M/C (Bud, Miller, Coors), but now places like The Scoreboard have close to 20 different local and regional beers available. It's slow and it's tough but I'm trying to spread the love to my hometown and it's finally taken root.

Finally, you had mentioned taking the Art & Biergarten concept and doing a similar event(s) elsewhere. Could you discuss that a bit.

  I feel the theme of art and ales is sound.  The artists at the event all seemed to enjoy themselves and, in discussions after the event, all voiced they would do it again.  While a Monticello event is more suited to a handful of breweries, I think a similar event held in Indy would support a much larger number of participating breweries with their artists there to show off their work.

The Artists

  In keeping with the spirit of the event, I spoke with the three artists who were able to attend and represent both their art and their respective breweries. As a small way of showing appreciation for contributing their time and talents to the event, I wanted to try to give them a little bit of the spotlight as well. Due to my terrible note taking skills at these festivals, I fired off a few questions in an email that they were all gracious enough to respond to. Please take a few minutes to get to know these artists and their work.

Shane Brown – Sun King Brewing (Indianapolis, IN)

How long you've been partnered with your brewery?
  Since the beginning.  (Owner) Clay Robinson came to me and said he was starting a brewery and he needed a logo months before the opening of Sun King.  

What art work that you do for your brewery?
  I cover a lot of areas of art for the brewery: logo designs, shirt designs, can designs, sprinter truck designs, growlers, biz cards. Pretty much everything you visually see from the brewery I have something to do with.

What inspired the concept or theme of your work for your brewery?
  Clay wanted to do a Mayan theme so I came up with what I call the Sun King Crest. I wanted to give us a look that no other brewery had out there!  I wanted it to look almost like an energy drink and bring a real new age look and concept.  Then I just branded it with a color scheme, black, white, and orange, and then kept using the same elements in all of the art you see now.

Any other art that you do aside from your work with your brewery?
  I love doing chalkboards and logo design. Chalk is my favorite though.  I work with about 15 other businesses on their chalkboards.  I have really gotten a name out for myself for them.

Any links to a site or sites that feature your work?
  I need to set up a site but you can go on my Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/shanebrownart?fref=ts

Joey Potts – 18th Street Brewery (Gary, IN)

How long you've been partnered with your brewery?
  Almost two years now.

What art work that you do for your brewery?
  I handle all artwork that comes directly from the brewery. That includes label art, merchandise, event fliers, photos (unless otherwise noted), etc. As far as labels, the only time the label art is not mine might be when we do a collaboration beer such as the ‘Grapefruit Dead’ collaboration we did with Mikkeller and ‘Devil's Lettuce’ we did with Pipeworks.  

What inspired the concept or theme of your work for your brewery?
  It's different every time. Sometimes it is strictly based on the name of the beer, sometimes its based off of conversations with Drew (owner/head brewer) and Rich (brewer). Our 'concept' is to make fantastic beers with fantastic label art. We don't feel like every one of our beer's should look the same with a change in type or color being the only distinguishing factor. Each beer is unique, its character and the labels help reflect that personality. 

Any other art that you do aside from your work with your brewery?
  Aside from art for the brewery I love to paint.  I'm always active in the arts and I do a lot of group and solo gallery shows, although not as much since I started working with 18th Street!

Any links to a site or sites that feature your work?  Joeypotts.com 

Anthony Beard – New Albanian Brewing (New Albany, IN)

How long you've been partnered with your brewery?
  I've been with the brewery almost 10 years now.

What art work that you do for your brewery?
  I do all of the bottle labels, festival banners, tap handles, signage for the brewery, t-shirt designs, and marketing materials.

What inspired the concept or theme of your work for your brewery?
  I was raised on comics and cartoons, so much of my style for the brewery labels stems from that, I view a lot of the characters in a weird kind of hodge-podge mythology of their own.

Any other art that you do aside from your work with your brewery?
  I don't have a lot of time to do my own stuff, so it's mostly all for the New Albanian.

Any links to a site or sites that feature your work?

  As far a websites, most of my stuff is up on newalbanian.com

The Festival

  If you've made it this far then you should have a pretty decent idea of what this event is all about. While I cannot boast being particularly knowledgeable of art in any form, I admit that I find myself enjoying events such as this considerably more than the much larger festivals. Events like this offer a much more personal experience with the participants and other patrons. The pace is far less frantic and there is no urgency to scramble from booth to booth in an attempt to hit as many breweries as possible.

  A huge thank you goes out to 18th Street Brewing, Flat 12, New Albanian, People’s, Sun King, and Triton for your support of this event. I’ve had a number of beers from some of these breweries yet I still managed to try several new beers. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was happy to see that Sun King was pouring some Grapefruit Jungle which, I must admit, I frequented several times. Also, 18th Street brought along a very limited amount of their Grapefruit Dead, a collaboration brew with Mikkeller!

  Overall, the 1st Annual Monticello Arts & Biergarten was a nice experience for those new to the craft beer scene, more experienced festival goers and everyone in between. Personally, I had the opportunity help steer a friend toward some new beer discoveries, had some great conversations with the artists, brewery representatives, friends & other revelers, enjoyed some great craft beer, and had some good eats at The Scoreboard after-party. Great job Sean and I look forward to next year’s event!

Cheers! - Jason C.

Brewers Cup Winning Homebrew Recipes

Following the completion of this year’s Brewers Cup competition, I thought it would be fun to solicit recipes from some of the winning homebrewers. Reviewing information like this is a great way to gain ideas that inform your own brewing and help you create a unique version of your own award-winning brew. And if you’re not interested in these styles, it’s still pretty cool to see what your fellow colleagues are up to in the brewhouse. But I think you will be interested – we’ve collected everything from session beers to heavy hitters, and a range of styles from relatively popular to obscure and historical. If you have a question for one of the brewers, please leave it in the comments and I will try to draw their attention to your query. And with that, away we go……in order by style category………


“Why So Bitter” by Tim Palmer

BJCP Style Category 8A: Standard/Ordinary Bitter

for 5.5 gallons

7.5 lbs. Maris Otter
7 ounces Crystal 120
0.9 ounces East Kent Golding 5.8% Alpha (60 minutes)
0.5 ounces East Kent Golding 5.8% Alpha (30 minutes)
0.5 ounces East Kent Golding 5.8% Alpha (5 minutes)
1 tsp Irish Moss (15 minutes)
0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient (10 minutes)
1 gram gypsum (add to mash)
1 mL Phosphoric Acid (add to mash)
1 gram gypsum (add to boil kettle)
1 gram CaC12 (add to boil kettle)
Wyeast 1968: London ESB Ale)
Original Gravity: 1.037
IBU: 30
SRM: 9
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Brewing water was comprised of 6 gallons RO water and 6 gallons filtered tap water. Mash in with 10.93 quarts of 164.4 degree water and hold mash at 152 degrees for 1 hour. Fly sparge with 5.96 gallons of 168 degree water. Ferment at 67 degrees for 14 days.

“The Scottish Loveknot” by Nathan Compton

BJCP Style Category 9E: Strong Scotch Ale

for 5.5 gallons

9.5 lbs. Golden Promise malt
4.5 lbs. Maris Otter
1.5 lbs. Munich Light (~9 Lovibond)
6 ounces Crystal 40
4 ounces Chocolate malt
2 ounces Roasted barley
1 ounce Peated malt (optional)
1.5 ounces Fuggle 4.2% Alpha (60 minutes)
0.5 ounces Fuggle 4.2% Alpha (20 minutes)
0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient (15 minutes)
1 pack Wyeast 1056, 1 pack Wyeast 1728 (1.5 liter starter)
Original Gravity: 1.084
Final Gravity: 1.020
ABV: 8.5%
IBU: 28
SRM: 18
Boil Time: 2 hours

Mash grains at 156 degrees for 1 hour. Collect the first gallon of mash runnings in a small stock pot. While collecting the remaining wort from the mash in your brew kettle, separately boil the first runnings for 30 minutes or until thick and mildly syrupy. Add boiled first runnings back to the brew kettle before beginning the 2 hour full boil. Ferment at 62 degrees for approximately 3 weeks. Transfer to secondary and bulk age for 6-8 weeks, or longer if your carboy space will allow. This beer will benefit from 1-2 years of aging……or longer if you have more patience than I do.

Note: I’ve found that a small peated malt addition adds subtle complexity to this beer. Some will tell you the addition of any smoked malt in a Scottish is inauthentic and therefore “wrong.” So decide for yourself - it’s your beer, make it how you like it! For post-brewing fun, look up the title of this beer if you enjoy adult-oriented cinema.

“Knuckles’ Brown” by Dave and Nate Bordenkecher

BJCP Style Category 10C: American Brown Ale

for 5.0 gallons

9 lbs. 2 Row Pale Malt
1 lb., 4 ounces Victory Malt
8 ounces Crystal 40
5 ounces Crystal 120
4 ounces Chocolate Malt
0.66 ounces Cluster 7% Alpha (60 minutes)
1.0 ounces Mount Hood 6% Alpha (20 minutes)
0.33 ounces Cluster 7% Alpha (15 minutes)
1.0 ounces Mount Hood 6% Alpha (5 minutes)
1.0 ounces Mount Hood 6% Alpha (1 minute)
Wyeast 1272: American Ale II (1 liter starter)
Original Gravity: 1.059
IBU: 35
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Mash in with 15.54 quarts of 162.6 degree water and hold mash at 152 degrees for 1 hour. Batch sparge with 3.44 gallons of 168 degree water. Ferment at 68 degrees.

“Dybbuk” by Jeremy Dunn

BJCP Style Category 18D: Belgian Golden Strong Ale

for 6.0 gallons

11 lbs. Belgian Pilsner Malt
1 pound Munich Light
1 pound White Wheat Malt
4 ounces Acid Malt
2 ounces Caramunich Malt
1 pound Cane (Beet) Sugar
2.0 ounces Sterling 4.5% Alpha (60 minutes)
1.0 ounces Willamette 5.1% Alpha (added at flameout)
Wyeast 3787: Trappist High Gravity
1 pound Golden Candi Syrup (added to fermenter after 2 weeks of primary fermentation)
Original Gravity: 1.072
IBU: 23.8
SRM: 5.2
Boil Time: 90 minutes

This recipe uses a multi-stage step mash. Add 18.72 quarts of 118.7 degree water to hit 112 degree mash temp. Hold at 112 degrees for 20 minute Acid Rest. Heat mash to 136 degrees over 15 minutes. Hold at 136 degrees for 25 minute Protein Rest. Heat mash to 145 degrees over 15 minutes. Hold at 145 degrees for 30 minute Amylase/Maltose Rest. Heat mash to 153 degrees over 10 minutes. Hold at 153 degrees for 15 minute Saccharification rest. Heat to 168 degrees for Mash Out. Ferment at 66 degrees for the first week, allow temp to rise to 72 after a week. Add the Golden Candi Syrup after 2 weeks in primary.

“GTO” by Kyle Vester

BJCP Style Category 21A: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer

Specific Style: Cucumber Kolsch

for 11.0 gallons

17 lbs. Pilsen Malt
1.5 ounces Hallertauer 4.8% Alpha (60 minutes)
1.5 ounces Hallertauer 4.8% Alpha (45 minutes)
White Labs WLP029: German Ale/Kolsch Yeast
1 pound Cucumber per gallon in secondary**
Boil Time: 90 minutes

Mash at 148 degrees with 6 gallons of water. Fly sparge with 10 gallons of water at 170 degrees. Ferment at 62 degrees. If desired, lager for a month or so.

**Notes on the cucumber addition: I used English Cucumber (seedless) and cut the ends off, chopped them up and threw them in. I didn't bother peeling them, however next time I make it I will. I didn't do any freezing or pasteurization of the cucumber. Left in the secondary for 1 week, then transferred to the keg to age.

“Mumms the Word” by Hugh Gardner

BJCP Style Category 23: Specialty Beer

Specific Style: Mumm (historical style)

batch size not specified, but likely 5 gallons

4 lbs. Light Liquid Malt Extract
3 lbs. Wheat Dry Malt Extract
1.5 lbs. Flaked Oats
12 ounces Briess 50/60 L Crystal
4 ounces Chocolate malt
4 ounces Rye malt
4 ounces Black Patent
0.5 ounces Northern Brewer (60 minutes)
1 pound honey
German Wheat Yeast
Herbs and Spices
1 ounce licorice root
2 tbsp juniper berries
0.5 ounce chamomile
0.25 ounce marjoram
0.25 ounce elecampane root
0.5 ounce rose hips
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Add all spices with 30 minutes left in the boil. Add the honey with 10 minutes left in the boil. Chill wort and add German Wheat yeast.

“Goat Holler Amber” by Steve Kent

Brewers Cup Category 99: Indiana Specialty Beer

Specific Style: Kentucky Common

for 5.5 gallons

8.5 lbs. Rahr 2 Row Malt
3 pounds Flaked Corn
1 pound, 2 ounces Muntons Crystal 60
9 ounces Muntons Pale Chocolate
2.45 AAU of Willamette (60 minutes)
4.1 AAU of Palisade (60 minutes)
2.9 AAU of Willamette (20 minutes)
4.9 AAU of Palisade (20 minutes)
Wyeast 2112: California Lager (2 liter starter)
Original Gravity: 1.053
Final Gravity: 1.011

To make the sour mash, take 35% of the grains (approximately 4 lbs, 10 oz) and mash the grains directly in your kettle for an hour at 152 degrees at 1 qt/lb. Cool the mash down to 130 degrees and carefully transfer the mash to a cooler large enough to accommodate it (2 gallons should work). Be careful not to introduce any oxygen at this point because it can spoil the mash.

Style Notes: Kentucky Common is an antiquated style popular in the Louisville area in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since the style originated in bourbon country, it employed a sour mash and a healthy proportion of corn. The resulting beer is crisp, refreshing and mildly tart. The sour mash takes two days. While you are doing it, make a two quart yeast starter to ensure a high enough cell count for pitching. This is an all-grain recipe using thebrew in a bag method. Estimated efficiency is 60%.


Hope you’ve enjoyed checking out these recipes! Thanks to Dave and Nate, Hugh, Jeremy, Kyle, Steve, and Tim for sharing their expertise with everyone. Happy brewing!

Dribs and Drams – State Fair edition

IndianaStateFair2014The Indiana State Fair starts Friday and runs through August 17th. Beer and wine will be available for the first time since the post-WWII crowd got unruly in 1946 at the first post-war fair. In the statehouse, bill number 1 in 1947 was to dry the Fair.

So what goes? The industry has some friends and with the help of Fair officials there WILL be beer and wine although it’s not going to be easy on the fairgoer – or very available. Here’s the rules:

Where? in the Grand Hall (across from the Coliseum).
When? 1-9pm with last call at 8pm.
Only Indiana Beer and Wine.
A booth in the xxxxxxxxx building will hold all the alcohol. No roaming the grounds.
Everyone heading for that booth will be carded and get a wrist band.
Three drink maximum (of 3 sets of samples). Basically 36 ounces of beer or 15 ounces of wine.
Price: $5 per 12-oz glass (or 5-oz wine) or 3 samples,
What beers will be available? 3 different breweries per day. Here’s a schedule.


Tom Wallbank unearthed this picture from the 1946 Indiana State Fair. The Fair went dry in 1947.

StateFairGoesDry StateFairGoesDry2
The Billboard Mar 22, 1947

OliverCider1Hoosier ciders lovers rejoice: Oliver Winery has brought out BeanBlossom Hard Cider. From “gently pressed Midwestern apples”. That’s good, we’d hate to think apples were abused. Hey, there’s also a peach blend in the lineup. 25oz bottles. 9%ABV.

Mother Jones says Bud and Miller Are Trying to Hijack Craft Beer—and It’s Totally Backfiring but they are using the number of breweries as a basis for success.

Andrew Luck thinks Indiana beer is just fine. Especially Sun King and Flat 12. articleSixty monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA is making “certified” Trappist Beers. They hope it goes well so they can pay the health bills of their average 70-year old brothers. article

Dribs and Drabs

The convenience stores (Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association) are going to try again to get cold (mass market) beer on their shelves. So they brought a suit. A Federal Judge ruled that Indiana has legitimacy in the the state law allowing only warm beer “to go” except in liquor stores, breweries and pubs.
The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers (the liquor stores’ lobby organization) wants to keep the current way of doing things. They point out there is no age restriction at grocery and convenience stores.
The AG’s office defended the law in the Federal Court and says the fight should be done in the legislature, not in the courts. The IPMCSA is filing an appeal and has also filed a [state] suit in a Superior Court.
The brewer’s trade association (BIG) hasn’t much to say but I claim cold sales in convenience stores would eliminate some sales since cold beer buyers would have availability of BudMillerCoors and wouldn’t have to stop by a liquor store for the evening’s libation. On the other hand, a bit of Indiana Craft Beer would sneak onto the gas station shelves.

Watson’s BBQ sauce.

Kickstarter beer keg/tap by Steve Young. Wanted $250,000 pledged 648,535. Gotta wonder about those type of numbers.

Is Seaweed Beer The Next Big Thing? (think Kelpie Seaweed Ale with real seaweed).





Indiana Microbrewers Festival Review

Arguably the biggest event on the annual Indiana beer festival calendar, the 19th annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival was one to remember. Well, at least we found a few staff members who claim to remember. Here are some pictures, observations, and beer picks from the big day.

davesmall From Dave…..

Saturday July 19th, the Optimists Park and the Indianapolis Art Center once again welcomed the Brewers of Indiana Guild, Indiana Microbrewers Festival. With well over 75 breweries represented, the vast majority from our Hoosier state, there was no shortage of great beers.

After some 5 hours of sampling and getting to know the friendly faces pouring those samples, there were far too many to list. There were a handful of standouts that remain in my befuddled post-festival memory though… and in no particular order, some of my personal favorites from this years event:

Flat12 – The Good Wood. I liked the concept here. A standard, approachable base beer style separated into small batches and aged on different types of wood. We tried the beer aged on Maple side by side with the same beer aged on Ash. Picking out the differing flavors/aromas imparted by the wood was a lot of fun.

Stone – Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers. I know, Stone isn’t exactly local, and this beer may not be one of those special one-off-you-can-ONLY-get-it-at-the-festival beers for the elite crowd. But it WAS really quite good. All of the components were there, but not muddled and not the palate wrecker you might expect from a beer with peppers and smoke.

Rhinegeist – Zen. Look for a little more about Rhinegeist and their great beers in future IndianaBeer blog posts. Having made the journey to Cincinnati a couple of times this summer, we’ve become quick fans. And of all the great beers in the Rhinegeist roster, Zen is my favorite. If I could purchase it here in Indy I may well hang up my mash paddle and meager homebrewing habit. This is the beer I dream about when it’s June and I’m working in the yard or manning the grill. Zen is a hop forward, refreshing 4.8% session beer. I highly recommend the trip out to OH if you weren’t able to sample this beer at the festival.

Taxman – We were fortunate to try both the wit and the saison from Bargersville’s latest brewery venture. Both were very solid beers. Slightly tart, refreshing on a warm day. Worth stopping by the next time you find yourself South of the capital city.

Zwanzigz – We counted ourselves fortunate indeed to get a sample of the Rye-Ice Bock, Aged in a Rye Barrel. Rumor has it there may be a small amount of this beer available in the tap room in beautiful Columbus, IN. If you’re anywhere nearby, drop what you’re doing and go there. Now. Order this beer and count yourself in the number of fortunate sons who got to experience it before it’s gone. Complex isn’t really a big enough word, and a simple description from a simple blog writer won’t do it either. You need to try it for yourself to really get it. 

All told, this year’s festival was a wonderful event. Maybe a bit on the crowded side once General Admission ticket holders were on the grounds.

But with the explosive growth of the industry, one can hardly complain about sharing beer passion with several thousand like-minded folks. We had great weather, great food, excellent beer, and made memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks to the Brewers of Indiana Guild for hosting such a great festival.

And now, let the planning for Winterfest commence!


gregsmall From Greg…..

About half-way through the Microbrewers Festival at Opti-Park in Broad Ripple I saw the B.I.G. Director Lee Smith and new Communications Director Tristan Schmid to tell them I was not sure if it was the weather or maybe my attitude but this seemed like the best festival in a long time. The weather was perfect, and while there were plenty of people, lines seemed to flow quickly and most people looked happy! My personal goal is to find unusual beers or new breweries but also to talk the brewers and owners since this is like a “Brewery Reunion.” This was a great day for all of that.

Zwanzigz Brewer Mike Rybinski had told me a week earlier he would have a special beer at this festival; but then he ALWAYS has a special beer at a festival. His Barrel Aged Scotch Ale had all of the delicious caramel and malt of the style with added vanilla and oak from the barrel where it aged for over one year! The German style Gose, rare style, has a truly interesting saltiness with sour. I would not go for the Cucumber Lime Kolsch served with a cucumber slice (just me) but hundreds were handed out.

Figure 8 brewer Mike Lahti created quite a stir serving local Valparaiso ice cream with his own Root Beer – or did you get yours with the Rye Pale? Mike’s Camp 4 nut brown ale with chocolate, caramel, and cask conditioned (no exaggeration) coffee was a really complex offering at the firkin tent!

Black Acre continued (as did Flat 12) the concept of a theme. While I always appreciate their beer, this time I was particularly struck with their pirates costumes. The guys were almost all dressed as female pirates! Turns out a bra can be a good glass holder – or so they told us! I almost forgot about the tasty RyePA seeing the bellies sticking out of their outfits! Thankfully there was one real pirate girl, at least her outfit made it appear so.

Flat 12 went with a baseball theme. I somehow missed the “Shelled” Rye stout aged in Canadian whiskey barrels aged on cocoa nibs and peanut butter (really!) but enjoyed the George Brett B, APA with Brett and hopped with Bravo, Magnum, Chinook, and Citra. Brewer Sean was on hand to talk us through the beer while Head Brewer Rob Caputo told us he just spent a lot of time working on their new Jeffersonville, IN, facility.

I finally got a Vacation, Kolsch that is, from Daredevil. I’ve been looking for that one all summer and it did not disappoint. This version is a delicious light ale, appropriately effervescent, with just a touch of a hop finish, far less than any other ale that is pale.

Bare Hands Brewery of Mishawaka was a focal point for me, partly because I got the Mango Habenero 574, with a huge taste of mangoes but a nice spice from sliced, raw habanero peppers right in the cask. They doubled up this year with a Double Thai PA that had all we’ve come to expect of this beer in seasoning but the extra hops. Yet, what made this tent so special was Bare Hands owner Chris Gerard has recovered enough from his terrible accident to be there serving beer. The brewers of Indiana really pitched in to hold events which helped contribute to paying Chris’ hospital bills.

Scarlet Lane brewery is one of our newest with their tap room actually opening the day after Microbrewers Festival. Three medals at the Brewers Cup 2014 shows they are getting early credibility for owner Elise Lane and Head Brewer Chris Knott. Their Paeonia uses the Indiana State flower, peony, in a delicious saison that won silver this year. Their Dorian stout, a base for award winning coffee stout, is one of their regular beers and exhibited a great roast character.

Sun King offered special tappings with one of my favorite, Lonesome Dove, bourbon barrel aged triple that delivers plenty of the flavors from the barrel supported by some sweetness and nearly bubble gum character of the Belgian style.

Upland’s Head Brewer Caleb poured Light Synth for us! Light synth is a collaboration of 50% New Belgian Brewery’s Felix (an oak aged sour ale) with 40% Upland Sour Reserve oak aged plus 10% oak aged cherry lambic with cherries added. The complexity of this beer is amazing.

Big Dawg of Richmond offered their Freya’s Chosen Viking Ale a Norse beer with heather tips, juniper berries and honey using grains soaked in birch wood. Unusual may not be a strong enough word.

Bloomington Brewing had the Ol’ Floyd’s Belgian Dark Strong aged in bourbon barrels alongside a randle infused Quarrymen pale ale. Of course they had their silver award winning Ten Speed Hoppy Wheat and their Gold from last year Rooftop IPA.

I tip my hat to Carson’s brewery of Evansville to my first beer of the festival, their delicious Brown Cow English brown ale. Brewer John Mills walked away with 3 awards this year at Brewer’s Cup.

Tin Man of Evansville had the Pink Peppercorn IPA that took a silver this year at Brewers Cup. The spice is truly amazing.

The grounds are very nice and provide a pleasant atmosphere to walk around, yet this festival is so large and spread out with clusters of brewers making it easy to get sidetracked with talk or from the crowd. I missed a few beers that I truly intended to try.

nathansmall From Nathan…..

“Quality over quantity”……it’s a familiar refrain in the world of craft beer drinkers. Sure, it may be just a bit disingenuous to dismiss the quantity aspect when a massive crowd descends on Broad Ripple to binge on 4 or 5 hours of beer drinking. But it actually seems to apply to the experience at this year’s Microbrewers Festival. First the good: I can’t think of another Microbrewers Festival where the overall quality of the beer I sampled measured up to this year. Now the bad: Who the hell had any beer left in the six o’clock hour this year? Not many it seemed, so the few that did attracted a sizable crowd. The most disappointing aspect is several of the breweries on my “must try” list for this year ran out of beer before I could get there. Ah well…can’t really say I didn’t get my money’s worth in the first few hours anyway.

To the committee who planned the Port-a-Johns this year…..bravo!!! It’s amazing how beer festivals across the country chronically underestimate the need for bathroom space when thousands of people are there for the primary purpose of drinking beer. Listen up festival organizers….this ain’t rocket science….people are going to need toilets. And if you need an example of how to do it right – look no further than Indiana’s own Microbrewers Festival. Rather than being centered in a huge cluster with even larger lines, the facilities were well spaced and plentiful throughout the festival grounds. Lines ranged from minimal to virtually nonexistent. What a rare pleasure to attend a festival that didn’t require a half-hour wait for the privilege of peeing in a plastic box.

These festivals have grown to the point where a comprehensive review of the breweries is impossible. So we always try to target places that are outside the Indy area and find the up-and-coming Hoosier brewers that we just can’t visit everyday. These folks end up receiving well-deserved accolades in posts like this, but they also become destinations for future beer trips. It’s the large festivals like this which have introduced us to the likes of Bare Hands, Iechyd Da, and Zwanzigz. Word clearly gets around and the lines for these breweries have grown longer with each passing festival.

Well, add a new one to the list this year as Culver/Mishawaka’s Evil Czech Brewery was the day’s winner in my book. They hit the coveted festival combo of offering a diverse, unique lineup (Belgians, Specialty IPAs, Peppers, Coffee, etc.) with solid technical execution. I sampled four of the beers at their table and all were excellent. Their line was minimal when we passed through the area – that will change in the future and you need to check them out if you haven’t recently. I suppose it probably didn’t hurt that Poppi had a lady boner for the server’s vintage dress. But I digress…..on to the beer picks:

Pick of the Day: Evil Czech White Reaper (Belgian White IPA with honey and lemongrass)

Honorable Mentions
Bare Hands Brewery - Pineapple 574 DIPA
Figure 8 Brewing - Black Corridor Imperial Stout (served with a scoop of ice cream)
Iechyd Da - Fearless King (Smoked Rye Porter)
Shoreline Brewery – Barrel Aged Big Bella Scotch Ale
Three Floyds – Evil Power Imperial Pilsner
Zwanzigz – Gose Beer (wheat beer with coriander and salt)

If you did not get enough sampling or you did not go, consider the 45 minute drive south of Indy to GnawBrew in beautiful Brown County this weekend, starting Saturday, 2:00 PM. Featuring 20 breweries + wineries, music, art, and a free primitive camping spot, this is an ideal and more intimate way to get to know local, Indiana breweries. The venue is Valley Branch Retreat (Map here) From newer brewers Tow Yard, Taxman, & Quaff On to established Powerhouse, New Albanian, Zwanzigz, and Fountain Square, you have a great chance of sampling. CLICK HERE for Tickets