Indiana Beer News – Jan 31

Things we learned at Winterfest:

House Bill 1093 is not dead, despite what Inside Indiana Business said. There’s a hearing on Wednesday at the Committee on Public Policy and the Brewers of Indiana Guild will be out in force to support it. The wine people will also be there of course. Emails sent today and tomorrow may have an effect. Email addresses are where xx is the district number.

Committee Members:

Chair: Bill Davis, Republican, District 33 - Jay, Randolph, Delaware Counties
Vice Chair: Wesley Culver, Republican, District 49 – Elkhart
Sean Eberhart, Republican, District 57 - Shelbyville
Thomas Knollman, Republican, District 55 – Richmond & South
Matthew Lehman, Republican, District 79 – Southeast Allen Co.
L. Jack Lutz, Republican, District 35 – Some of Hendricks and Howard Co.
Mark Messmer, Republican, District 63 - Jasper
Phil GiaQuinta, Democrat, District 80 – Ft. Wayne
Terri Austin, Democrat, District 36 - Tipton
Linda Lawson, Democrat, District 1 - Chicagoland
Scott Pelath, Democrat, District 9 – Michigan City
Vanessa Summers, Democrat, District 99 – Northwest Indianapolis

Bee Creek Brewery is getting another 15bbl bright tank in the next week or two. That pole barn must be about full by now.

WF2011-BrewBracket Ryan Cole and Mike Sale have started BrewBracket and will have an organized tasting, voting on April 17th at the State Fairgrounds. They hope to have 400 people. This event will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis.

Brennan Croder has moved from Olinger to be the Store Manager at Kahn's Keystone location in Indy.

Adam and Jason Burk and Brent Chapman have expanded their Tuxedo Park Brewers to be a full homebrew store. Located at 1139 Shelby St. in the Fountain Square area of Indy, they are concentrating on moving new brewers to all-grain.

FallsCityLogo John Campbell, late of New Albanian has moved to be the brand manager at Falls City Beer in Louisville. Contract brewing right now, they are in dozens of Louisville and Kentuckiana pubs. They are building a tap room and microbrewery to continue their expansion.

Stan is having a homebrew contest at the Heorot on April 16th. More details in February.

Mike Lahti is moving from Upland to Figure 8.

Tom Uban (right) is probably looking forward to teaching rock climbing to Mike.

Winterfest 2011 - Pictures and stuff

3,000 people(official number), including 500 VIP tickets, and decent weather, adequate room, adequate restrooms, 29 Indiana breweries, 18 neighbor-state breweries, 2 distributors, 8 homebrew clubs, and 2 homebrew stores made this the best Indiana Winterfest yet.

Notable beers:

  • Turonis Main Street Brewery 2008 Rudolph’s Revenge Cask Conditioned aged Belgian Dark Strong Ale – Quite alcoholic with some Brettishness then an explosion of winter spices
  • Turonis 2010 Rudolph’s Revenge – Similar with a smaller explosion.
  • New Albanian / Schlafly / O’Fallon C2 collaboration Belgian Strong Ale - A smoky violet floral start. Odd but womething a Belgian brewery would jump on.
  • People's Brewing Theodore Mack Replicale – With a recipe including Cherry Smoked Malt, many people intensified the cherry but Chris kept it aimed at a strong Stout.

Nuvo had a 4-page preview, front cover of Darren Conner at Bier Brewery, and another half page about Thr3e Wise Men. Plus a Catherine Green article and a slideshow posted today. Here’s our pics.



Barley Island thinks of everything including the comfort of their servers’ feet.


The outdoor Malt Shoppe and Cask Conditioned tables were busy all day.

Crown and Lafayette Brewing stayed outside with the hardy folk.

Clay just couldn’t stop tapping firkins.
Or else he’s trying out for Speaker of the House.

Figure 8’s sealed keg holders and insulated lines may be over the top
but it sure saves on ice and looks clean, neat, and professional.

At one point, beyond all odds, the four IndianaBeer reporters
were in the same spot at the same time.

Jason Larrison led the Hoosier Beer Geeks effort to present the Winterfest.

Homebrew clubs from around the state added a lot to the fest.
They all provided beer for drinking and were happy to recruit new members.

Now that’s what we’re talking about. Portapotties in a tent.

Schlafly, ever retro, served from a Stroh’s jockey box.

Beer Culture shown to be alive and well at Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest 2011

Beer appreciation is thrivnig in Indiana as shown with participation in Winterfest, 2011. By one count 26 Indiana Breweries were well represented at Winterfest at the Indiana State Fair Grounds on Saturday, Jan. 29, and nearly 20 out-of-state breweries also brought fabulous beers.
It is a testament to Indiana beer appreciators that this was not 'drink and lose it' event, but there was serious appreciation of some of the nation's finest brews. One police officer on the scene mentioned that the crowds last year and this year were very orderly.

Going with a strategy to primarily try beers you are less familiar with or new special offerings any accurate appraisal of 'best beer there' by one observer is impossible, especially given approximately 250 different beers offered. Yet here is one list of particularly notable beers tried -and our other contributors will be listing some of their own notations.

Beers making a very big impression:
Rudolph's Revengee Belgian Dark Strong Ale AND Barrel Aged Rudolph's Revenge with Brett from Turoni's Main Street Brewery, Evansville
Java Vanilla Stout from RAM Brewery, Indianapolis
Buffalo Mac Bourbon Barrel Aged Scottish Ale, SunKing Brewery, Indianapolis
Thunderfoot Cherry Imperial Stout, New Albanian Brewery, New Albany

Thanks to all of the brewers who offered the ReplicAle Imperial Double Stout based on a recipe from the former Southern Indiana Ice and Beverage Company (known as Ackerman's) of New
Al bany which closed in 1935. Every version offered a great expression of this interesting beer.

Cheers to our newer Indiana brewers who had long lines and very tasty beers, including Bier Brewery and Flat 12. Cheers to John Hill for starting one of the city's first brew pubs and for being at Winterfest to share, enjoy, and encourage. And it was great to see some brewers who have new breweries in progress or just opened who did not yet have beer to offer but were hanging out and enjoying the beers of their colleagues.

Among the out-of-state breweries (thanks to all for bringing great and sometimes hard to find beers) Tyranena of Wisconsin shared Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale which has been on tap in Indiana but is probably less known by most Hoosiers. Bluegrass Brewing Company of Louisville showed their experience with barrel aging in Bourbon Barrel Aged Wee Heavy, a Scottish Ale base, and one worth traveling to Louisville to have on tap when available.

We trust each attendee left with his or her own list of beers they must have again!

Special thanks to Brewers of Indiana Guild and all sponsors including 92.3, Crown Liquors, World Class Beverages, and Nuvo plus many Indiana Brew Clubs and many, many others for their support of great beer.

Indiana Beer News – Jan 28

The Mad Anthony Old State Ale House in Elkhart has closed 25 months after opening. article
This does not affect the other three Mad Anthony locations.

More bad news: State Fair Alcohol Sales Bill Appears Dead

Rate Beer’s 2011 Best Of list is out and it’s owned by Three Floyds

World’s Best Brewery:
#1: Three Floyds

U.S. Best Beers:
#5: Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout
#17: Three Floyds Dreadnaught Imperial IPA
#20: Three Floyds Oak Aged Dark Lord
#26: Three Floyds Vanilla Bean Barrel Aged Dark Lord

World’s Best Beers:
#7: Three Floyds Dark Lord
#22: Three Floyds Dreadnaught
#25: Three Floyds Oak Aged Dark Lord
#35: Three Floyds Vanilla Bean Barrel Aged Dark Lord
#76: Three Floyds Behemoth Barleywine

World’s Best Beers by Style:
English Bitter
#5: Three Floyds Admiral Lord Nelson
IPA #4: Three Floyds Dreadnaught
Stout #5: Three Floyds Dark Lord
Strong Ale #4: Three Floyds Behemoth Barleywine
American Pale Ale #1: Three Floyds Alpha King
American Pale Ale #4: Three Floyds Cenotaph

World’s Best Brewpub:
#36: Three Floyds

World’s Best Beer Bar:
#12: New Albanian Public House

World’s Best Beer Retailer:
#11: Crown Liquors Downtown Indy
#25: Crown Liquors Carmel
#50: Keg Liquors Clarksville

Winterfest gets ink at the IndyStar.

Too many package store permits? The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers thinks so and want grocery and drug store permits to count in the same quota. article

Alltech in Lexington is tripling their production capacity. article



Indiana Beer News – Jan 27

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

StateFairGoesDry StateFairGoesDry2
The Billboard Mar 22, 1947

Big Flats 1901In North Dakota, a bill is up to allow homebrewers to get a license to sell their beer at farmers markets and the like. Cool. short article

Wallgreens gets Big Flats 1901 private label beer from Genesee. As low as $3/6-pack. articleanother article

Meatwater comes in flavors including Beef Jerky, Gulash, Italian Sausage, Bangers ‘n Mash, Pizza, Sauerbraten and, good grief, Liverwurst.

Indiana Beer News – Jan 26

Upland-gueuze-front-rgb-011NABCJaxonFinalNew Albanian has a label for Jaxon Barleywine.

And Upland has a generic label approved for the next round of Caleb’s sour ales (right). According to a press release, a Gueuze is in the offing.


Homebrewer Frank Petrarca gets his 5¢ in about “Craft brewers' beer is no threat to sobriety at fair”.

CraftWorks responds to the rumors about Rock Bottom:

“As far as the post on the “Brewpublic” blog which asserts that Gordon Biersch is forcing Rock Bottom brewers to all make the same beers, that is simply false and frankly bizarre. Management and Brewers from both companies have the utmost admiration and respect for each other and the beers we produce, as well as the people who enjoy them. We acknowledge that we do many things differently, but we embrace those differences and would never take any action to jeopardize the quality, variety or consistency of our beer.

That said any merger is like a marriage, meaning there will be some changes and compromises and we are still trying to figure out what those might be. There has been some discussion of developing a few consistent core brands at Rock Bottom, as we have at Gordon Biersch, but by no means would that entail restricting the “freedom” of the Rock Bottom brewers to create and serve their wide variety of award winning styles, from mainstream to extreme. There also seems to be some misunderstanding of what we do in the brewery at Gordon Biersch. True all GB breweries produce the same five classic German styles, all of which have won GABF and World Beer cup medals, but we also allow our brewers to come up with their own more “out there” interpretations of German biers. Last year we received GABF medals for Rauchbier and Eisbock and we are currently producing Imperial Pilsners and Sticke Alt beers as well.

I implore you to keep on open mind about what “Craft Beer” is and who defines it. We have 68 hard working brewers whose livelihoods and families depend on the wisdom of beer connoisseurs such as yourself not to let be led astray by the self appointed “experts.” Like beer, information is best when it is obtained fresh at its source. So let them chatter all they want, we will continue making some of the best beer you can find on the planet in hopes that you will appreciate imbibing it as much as we appreciate your patronage.


Kelly Wilson
Director of Marketing – Brewery Restaurant Group and Specialty Concepts
CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc.


PeeColaPanamanian whisky in a can. review

Probably better than Pee Cola.

Indiana Beer News – Jan 25

SunKingBlankCans Sun King has received the new “generic” cans that the TTB approved last year. These can have a paper label applied to designate which specialty/seasonal beer is inside. First up: Johan the Barleywine.

New Albanian's Public House has published the menu for NABcieged which starts today and runs till the beer is out, probably sometime in February. This seasonal celebration features 34 NABC beers from Scotch Black Grass to Oaked Ancient Rage kept back for just such and eventuality. See you on the couch.

The Winterfest  is this Saturday and the program is online for inspection. They’ve outdone themselves with a 56-page booklet detailing the breweries and the beers to be served. Here’s an example page. Kudos to the Hoosier Beer Geeks who are running the show for the tons of work that went into this masterpiece.




McGrathsIrishRed Northern Ireland brewery Clanconnel is coming to Indiana according to the Belfast Telegraph (there’s no limit to how far we’ll go to find Indiana beer news). article Their three beers are Weavers Gold, McGrath’s Irish Red, and McGrath’s Irish Black.

Locally Buzzed, a Beer movie featuring Michigan has had a couple of good screenings and is now available on DVD.

New Belgium’s Skinny Dip won’t show up this April. Instead Somersault Ale with Centennial hops will be the spring seasonal for a couple of years.

They say Barley production in Europe was down 13% last year, helping to bring ingredient prices up possibly 10%. article that doesn’t say much more


Indiana Beer News – Jan 22

Upland’s UpCup homebrew competition will culminate in a May 21st AHA rally this year.

Great Crescent Brewing hopes to be canning beer by March.

Three Floyds annual Behemoth Barleywine will be out in bottles next month. It’s on tap at the brewpub now.

1008-IN-MillsJohn Mills of Evansville passes this along about his How Now Brown Cow, a Northern English Brown:

“The 2010 Brewers Cup Best of Show winning beer is scheduled to be brewed Feb 1, 2011. (at Broad Ripple Brewpub).

“Subsequent tapping party is Saturday, March 12.  OVHA has chartered a bus, and will be joined by Dubois County SUDS club members.  I have extended an invitation to join in on the tapping party to Bloomington's Hop Jockey's, and New Albany's FOSSIL's without reply yet.  I'll be at BIG Winterfest to extend invitations to other Homebrew clubs. Of course I'd like to see this as a big homebrewers celebration.  Not just the south will rise in Indy.”

Rock Bottom, 86th St, Indy’s Bourbon Wood Aged Stout went on line yesterday. Served in a snifter. Black with a pretty darn dark brown 1/2” long-lasting head. Bourbon starts in the nose and continues through the early tongue giving way to a light roast and a quite bitter long finish.

TTB now has an online Formulas application. info


Prig Matthew Tully confuses beer and wine with booze in his anti-State Fair editorial in the Star. article “Is the chance that one person will lose his beer and elephant ear lunch on the midway, or a jerk will lose control as he walks through the crowded grounds, worth a little more money?” Plus bonus comments like “I think I'll pass on sharing a spinning ride with the guy who's just downed six Buds.”

And he gets replies like “I can't imagine that seeing someone eating deep fried butter patties is any better for our children than seeing adults enjoying a beer responsibly.” article

Liquor store owners support law requiring all to be carded. article

Another battleground for the Beverage Retailers and the Indiana Retail Council has been found: how many beer permits the ATC grants. article

You can get Rob Caputo’s artwork in the bottle at Flat 12 Bierwerks or see it hanging on the wall at Great Fermentations.

Caputo-Wine  Caputo-Wine

Thr3e Wise Men is now open in Broad Ripple

Thr3e Wise Men

1021 Broad Ripple Ave
Indianapolis, IN, 46220
Phone: 317-255-5151


Mon-Fri: 4pm-midnight
Sat: 11am-midnight
Sun: 11am-10pm


8oz: $3
16ox: $4.50
   ($2.50 on Wednesdays)
   ($3.50 on Thursdays)
Growlers: $8 (+$5 glass)
   ($6 on Tuesdays)
Sampler: Three 6oz samples: $5
5-Gal kegs: $50 to $100

Food is mainly appetizers and pizza.

Also see Thr3e Wise Men – Beer in the Tanks


  • Snow Bunny Blonde – Gutsy little hardbody blonde made with Spalter hops and Abbey Ale yeast. 4% Very good style and execution to entice lite drinkers to switch.
  • Hoggy Style Amber – Darkish color. Again, uses Abbey Ale yeast. Sort of a light brunne with its hint of Belgianness. 5%
  • Nap Town Nut Brown – Northern Brewer hops make this dark but translucent beer into an Imperial Newcastle including just that faint hint of butter. 5%
  • Hubbard & Cravens Porter – Just barely on the brown side of black. A winter quaff with noticeable namesake coffee. 5%
  • Two Lucys Blackberry Wheat – A good choice of fruit with tart that combine to make this decidedly not a wussy fruity wheat. 4.5%. (Wonder where the non-fruited wheat is?)
  • King Soloman’s Imperial Stout – Named after Omar’s dog, not a wise man. Big and drinkable. Honey from Hunter’s Honey Farm in Martinsville. Chocolate from Ghyslain in Union City. 8%
  • Golden Zoe IPA – Apricot color. Bright color. Centennial hops. Bright aroma. 5% and a quite large 82 IBU.
  • Centennial Martyr Double IPA – Honey (Hunter’s again) takes it up to 8% ABV. Amarillo hopped to 92 IBU. The entire beer is somewhat more than the IPA but that’s mainly noticeable in the ABV rather than the bitterness.
  • Cask Conditioned Mild – Light color for a Brit Mild and might be more of a Brown (as many Brit Milds are).





Alcatraz – A fond farewell

Alcatraz is closed. Paper on the windows. According to the Indiana Business Journal, they are changing it to a California Pizza Kitchenarticle  That’s a different company than Tavistock Restaurants who owned Alcatraz. CPK doesn’t do brewpubs. The phone is disconnected and the Indianapolis location has been taken off the Alcatraz web site. Head Brewer Skip Duvall is out of a job (as is everyone else). The vats are still in place but should be removed next week according to an informant.

Alcatraz opened in 1996, one of a chain of restaurants including a few brewpubs based in San Francisco. By about 2007 Indy was the last location brewing.

Panamanian immigrant Omar Castrellón was been the brewer there almost since the opening until August, 2010 when he left to build a new brewery in Indianapolis – Thr3e Wise Men (which just opened yesterday). Omar and the cramped system have won many awards over the years:

Great American Beer Festival
2000 - Gold - Sausalito Summer Ale
2000 - Silver - Weiss Guy Wheat
1999 - Gold - Birdman Brown

World Beer Cup
2000 - Gold - Weiss Guy Wheat

Indianapolis Monthly
1999 - Best Brewpub - Critic's Choice

Indiana State Fair
2007 - Silver - Chibuku
2005 - Silver - Pelican Pale Ale
2005 - Silver - Birdman Brown
2004 - Gold - Birdman Brown
2004 - Gold - Searchlight Golden Ale
2004 - Silver - Weissguy Wheat
2003 - Silver - Penitention Porter
2003 - Silver - Pelican Pale Ale
2002 - Silver - Bitch's Bock
2002 - Silver - Searchlight Golden Ale
2001 - Gold - Karen's Kölsch
2001 - Silver - Pelican Pale Ale
2001 - Silver - Searchlight Golden Ale
2000 - First - Kölsch
2000 - First - Wheat
2000 - Second - American Light Lager



Keely Thomlinson, a part-time Assistant for a while at Alcatraz who followed
Omar to Thr3e Wise Men full time.

Alc4Skip Duvall, a former Assistant for Omar took over head brewer duties just last August.

Indiana Beer News – Jan 17

Julie Forster sent some pictures of their new tankage at Bee Creek Brewery. Four 7-bbl fermenters and a 15bbl brite tank named Spongebob.

 BC-8334 BC-8344 BC-8345

Eric Strader goes to South Bend and says Dogfish Head World Wide Stout Enjoyed at Fiddler's Hearth and then looks at Some New and Not So New Bottles in Michiana from Stone Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company, and Bell's Brewery.

Rodney previews Thr3e Wise Men in an HBG post.

Read all bout the 2011 Hop Shortage.

LT70 The importers tell us Koningshoeven is defunct. The name will revert to LaTrappe which is is known by in the rest of the world. And an Oak Aged Quadrupel will be added.

Left Hand will have TNT Weizen Doppelbock out in February. Made with Lapsang souchong tea.

“MillerCoors LLC plans to launch a lemonade-flavored version of low-calorie beer MGD 64, the latest effort by a big U.S. brewer to rejuvenate slumping sales.” says the Wall Street Journal. Do drinkers want a flavored beer or beer with flavor?

2500 year old barley. Did it make a smoky, sour beer? article

And it starts. Iowa has a proposed bill that will make it illegal for any business with a liquor license to "manufacture for sale, sell, offer or keep for sale, import, distribute, transport, or possess any caffeinated alcoholic beverage." Alcohol = more than .05% ABV. Caffeine = any at all. A charge of having or serving Kahlua, Tia Maria, Black Russians, Coffee Stouts, Rum & Coke, will all cause the bar to immediately lose its license and forfeit its bond. bill

A guy in Milwaukee, of all places, protests beer by bashing cases of cans in a delivery truck. For a half hour. article


Everyone is getting excited about Winterfest! Powerhouse is planning on bringing Dragons Breath Imperial Red Ale, Diesel Oil Stout, Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, and Jack the Bum APA. Also, Jon made a special firkin of Ice 9, a Belgian IPA conditioned with candy canes! It was a big hit last year.

CACA will have their new club shirts and be pouring beer, also. At this time just exactly what is to be announced, so stay tuned!!

See you all soon!

Cavalier Distributing’s new digs

Matt Gerdenich and the crew moved from their “hell hole” to a new warehouse on Indy’s far east side back in November and we apologize for just now making a visit.

The new place is as non-descript as the old one.
No sense in advertising the thousands of gallons of beer inside.

The interior is way bigger, way taller, way brighter, and holds way more beer.
This picking station holds the 300 most popular titles by the case.

Every evening when the route drivers get back from deliveries
they pick and load their trucks for the next day’s run.
Deliveries may be in Evansville or Whiting. It can be a long day.

Plenty of room for incoming pallets.
We could show you another 5 pictures much like this one.

Through the curtain is a 60’x60’ walking used mainly for kegs.
This area can be doubled if needs be.

c05 c06 c07
Lots of kegs.

 c08 c09
Cavalier has picked up Orkney’s products including
Dark Island, Dragonhead, Red MacGregor, and Skull Splitter.

Sprecher has been a staple for Cavalier for years.

And Cavalier handles some of my favorites for drinking or cellaring.

c11 c12 c13

They also handle deliveries to the Greenwood BJ’s;
a situation caused by the Indiana law requiring
all beer coming into the state to go through a distributor.

Matt’s office has lost none of the clutter.