- Wed - Mad Anthony Snowplowed Winter Ale release.
- Thurs - Holiday Insanity Beer Tasting. Keg Liquors , Clarksville. 5-8pm
- Thurs - City-Wide Liquors Beer Tasting. Downtown South Bend. 5-7pm
- Thurs - Wee Muckle, GABF Gold Scotch Ale on tap at Sun King
- Thurs - Glazed Ham Porter tapping. Flat 12 Bierwerks . The first of the 12 Biers of Christmas.
- Fri - Snow Mizer Christmas Ale tapping. Oaken Barrel . Greenwood. 6pm.
- Fri/Sat - Eric Strader Pottery open house and some beer. 5-9pm Fri, 9am-4pm Sat. Goshen
- Sat -Highland Beer Festival. Mid City Mall. Louisville. 5-9pm. $5 + $1/sample.
- Sun - Blood Drive. Pint for pint. Triton Brewing, Lawrence. 1-5pm. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
RAM's S'no Angel weizenbock is a big beer (7%) with spice notes from the yeast. This year's wheat malt goes in the direction of roasty chocolate tones (brewer Andrew informs us no chocolate malt was used) compared to last years beer that had more deep fruit tones.
Brewer Liz's Winter Wheat at College Park Rock Bottom is an unfiltered wheat with interesting spice notes leaving a great balance of wheat beer with spice. Brewer Jerry's version at RB downtown boasts slightly greater hints of the coriander and cinnamon spice. Both are interesting holiday beers.
Actually all three brewers have a fair amount of brewing latitude. At the RAM Andrew can brew nearly anything as a specialty beer. On Thursday he had an IPA brewed with Anaheim chile peppers - a somewhat moderately heated chile but there was plenty of spice in this Anaheim IPA. He also had his Farmhouse ale saisson on tap. All three of the specialties are worth a trip.
While there is an incorrect perception that Rock Bottom Brewers lost brewing latitude after the merger into CraftWorks Restaurant and Brewery Group, actually RB only mandates four house recipes. Perhaps a bit "ordinary" those four still were derived from previously award winning versions. However, most RB locations have 10-15 beers on tap which mean there are 6-11 varieties by your local RB brewer, normally one of which is that brewer's own interpretation of a seasonal like Winter Wheat. CraftWorks is a merger of Gordon Biersch and Rock Bottom formed by Centerbridge Capitol when they acquired each chain. Gordon Biersch was actually bought first (1999) by the owners of Big River Brewing in Chattanooga which changed their company name to Gordon Biersch (somewhat of a David buying Goliath). Big River is now a small appendage of Craftworks which is run jointly by former Rock Bottom and Gordon Biersch CEOs.
We can be thankful for all of the good beer from all of our local brewers -- chain or independent!
I didn't actually plan on going to Thr3e Wise Men for dinner. I was sitting at my computer following tweets and saw that they were open 4-9 on Thanksgiving and from there a decision about satisfying a sweet tooth and dinner plans were decided.
Rolling up to the Broadripple brewery a little after 7, the streets quiet and the only lights on seemed to be coming only from the brewery and the McDonald's across the street. Usually this place is packed, but besides the few customers up at the bar checking out the game, the rest of the restaurant was blissfully empty and quiet.
The last time I had visited Thr3e Wise Men was back in the summer, so ordered a 3-3oz sampler to try out their new Hoggy Style brew along with revisiting two other house beers, Two Lucy's Blackberry Wheat and Centennial Martyr Double IPA.
|1, 2, 3 beers for me!|
Maybe it's my fault. As a rookie coming off the bench, maybe I didn't prepare myself or establish the right expectations for the day. I was so excited to have access to this "exclusive" shindig that I failed to read any information about it posted just the day before. I have waited a week and half to even attempt to describe the day's activities because I needed to calm myself down. I wanted to approach it from the most objective perspective I could muster, but in the end I still hate, HATE, what I went through.
My wonderful sister-in-law Genny was kind enough to drop my brother Adrian and I off because I knew that parking was going to be ridiculous. That warning was well publicized by Three Floyd's from the outset, plus I read about previous Dark Lord Days. We arrived at 1:07pm, which was seven minutes after the premises was accessible to ticket holders and the line snaked down the street, around the corner, around a cul-de-sac, and back down the other side of the street. Now, I stood in line to get into a ballgame before with ticket in hand, so I was fine with that, but the line wasn't moving!
The picture above shows how much further we had to wait having already waited in the line for approximately one hour. Many of my taste buds were crying as I watched those around us drinking fine brews and feeling the saliva in my mouth ascending to levels reserved probably for dogs looking at a bacon treat. I had two bottles of CBS in my bag that I was looking to trade so the will power not to crack one of those open was battling my desire to drink a beer. I was hungry too. I skipped lunch because there were fine chefs inside and I love good brewpub food.
It took two and a half hours to get into a facility where we had tickets to attend the event inside. Egregious. When I get to the gate I present my ticket and my driver's license and the woman gave me two options, "To the right is the line to buy the bottled beers, to the left is the tent where they are serving the guest beers along with Three Floyd's beer." We went to the right.
Fortunately, my friend Dale met us near the front of the line. I let him cut the line. I didn't care at this point. I was tired, thirsty, hungry, and decidedly peeved about the whole situation. Not to mention the group behind us let about six people cut the line. Dale was our beer gopher. As my brother and I stood waiting to buy beer, Dale went to grab a couple of Alpha Kings. Yes, you read that right. Of all the selection of beers they were offering we decided to get the flagship formula. Why? Because it was the easiest brew to get. When Dale returned he handed us our Solo cups and graciously said, "First round is on me." I chuckled a little assuming that the beer had to come with the price of admission. Nope. $5. Damn, I'm at a beer garden at a lame state fair, right?
The picture above is the line to buy bottled beer along the side of the brewery's warehouse. Another hour and a half. Thankfully I was able to try "Baller Stout," the XV anniversary brew which is a combination of Dark Lord, Surly Darkness, Struise Black Albert, and Mikeller Beer Geek Brunch, before I decided if I wanted to buy it. Who am I kidding, I was going to buy it regardless. It was very tasty. Velvety smooth, but really hits you with coffee on the front end and cayenne notes on the back end. When I actually drink a bottle I could offer you a better opinion, but since I felt like a jilted lover drinking it, probably a good idea to leave the bias aside.
It took us another hour and a half standing in line before we bought our beer. I walked away with four bottles of Baller Stout, a bottle of Biggs' Stache (limited barrel aged brew), and a bottle of Alpha Klaus just because I wanted it. My time in line also yielded a bottle of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout which cost me a bottle of CBS. With beer securely in my bag, in was time to forage for sustenance.
At 5 o'clock, with five hours still ahead of the celebration, the food was gone. The celebrated chefs, nowhere to be found. The two food trucks that they brought in to supplement? One was closed and waiting for all the guests to enter the brewery (yes, still a line outside) and the other had a long, winding line since it was the only food on site. The bands that were lined up for entertainment? Inside the warehouse.
I left. I could not fathom spending another second of my time there. On a scale of one to worst episode ever you can imagine where I rated this event. Am I on a soapbox? You bet I am! $25 per ticket gets you into a party where you have to spend $5 on beer, an equal if not more amount on food that wasn't even there, and $30 per bottle of anniversary beer. I've never been to Dark Lord Day, but I'm guessing that I'm never going to go either. Having tried that beer (and it is by far the best beer I've had to date) I have no need to go back.
Alternatively, now that I'm a seasoned veteran, I can always approach the festivities from a different perspective. However, my favorite craft beer establishment threw a one year anniversary celebration for its patrons and provided Zombie Dust free of charge (along with another craft beer selection) and the food was free as well. In fifteen years, maybe Three Floyd's is slowly morphing into an entity whose mystique far outweighs its service. The product is outstanding, don't get me wrong, but if the precedent of Dark Lord is the new trend in craft beer (i.e. CBS, Darkness, etc.) then I may just pass and stick with the Alpha Kings.
Today’s tapping of Triton’s Gingerbread Brown was a great reason to finally make a visit and see what they have to offer. My mistake for waiting this long – Triton has a very impressive lineup of beers and is a great addition to the local craft beer scene. The tapping room is family-friendly and was busy with people looking to start off their holiday weekend right. We were lucky enough to snare a table and sample the following beers:
Fieldhouse Wheat – Light, refreshing American Wheat with a prominent citrus hop flavor from Amarillo hops. We’re not talking Gumballhead-level hoppy but fairly assertive for the style. Maybe it wouldn’t be considered traditional, but I’m a big fan of hoppy American Wheats.
Four Barrel Brown – Smooth and drinkable American Brown – good session beer.
Magnificent Amber – My personal favorite and worthy of the name. Toasty caramel malts blend in harmony with a well-balanced citrus hop character. Took home a growler of this one.
Deadeye Stout – Roasty malt flavor supported by a creamy mouthfeel with hints of coffee and black licorice.
Railsplitter IPA – Very well balanced showcase of classic citrus hop flavor (pineapple, grapefruit, etc.) with a dry finish and lingering bitterness. Really enjoyed this beer – a close second to the Amber.
Gingerbread Brown – Coffee notes up front followed by holiday spices and slight alcohol warming. Make sure to try this one while you can.
The taproom will be open from 11am – 10pm Friday and Saturday and 11am – 5pm on Sunday. Make good use of your long holiday weekend and pay them a visit. Do you really need to spend more time at the mall anyway?
Cheers - Nathan
- Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun - Upland takover of the taps at Yogi's Grill & Bar, Bloomington. 11am-1am.
- Wed - Numoere Black tapping at Flat 12 Bierwerks, Indy. Noon-6pm
- Wed - Gingerbread Brown Ale tapping at Triton Brewing, Lawrence.
- Fri - Saturnalia starts at New Albanian's Public House. Runs through December.
- Fri - Flat 12 Nunmoere Black Taps at The Fickle Peach Muncie. 5pm
- Sat - Bulldog Brewing Grand Opening? Whiting.
- Sat - BCCA Three Rivers chapter 37th annual(!) Turkey Trot brewery collectibles show. KofC Hall, Reed Rd. Fort Wayne. 9am-1pm. Free admission.
- Sat - Kick-off event for Keg Liquors' new store in New Albany. 2-6pm.
- Mon - Office Hours. New Albanian's Public House. 6:30pm.
Rodney tells us about Rock Bottom's quarterly Beer Dinner.
Rocky's Sub Pub in Jeffersonville has a Craft Beer Menu app for Androids. Having a launch party next Tuesday.
The new app will feature their bottle and draft beer lists, brewing information, definitions of styles, ABVs and IBUs. It will even allow guests to design their own beer flight using various featured and local craft beer options. Guests will also be able to automatically post to facebook and tweet about the beers they are enjoying. The app features a “Beer 101” section dedicated to educational information and craft beer basics.
“We are very excited to bring such a new, cutting edge experience to our guests with our new beer app. For the past 3 years we have embraced craft beer and we feel this will help to educate our guests and enhance their overall experience,” Wes Johnson, owner of Rocky’s Sub Pub, said. “It truly is the beer menu we have been waiting for, one that is fun, interactive and full of unique beer information.”
The launch party on Tuesday, November 29th will begin at 5pm at Rocky’s Sub Pub on the river in Jeffersonville. Several limited release beers will be on tap during the party, as well as some industry classics. Craft brewery reps will be onsite to discuss their beers and the unveiling of this new Rocky’s Beer App.
With the start of Saturnalia, Friday, New Albanian will loose the dogs of Naughty Claus. with Orange Peel, Sweet Ginger Root, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and we don't want to know what else.
This time it's my liver. It isn't working as well as it should be. It's no fun beer blogging when you can't drink beer so I'll be, for all practical purposes, leaving at the end of the year.
We held the first-ever business meeting last night at the Black Swan and worked out some knots.
- Cindy Modesitt, Greg Kitzmiller, Kathleen Slauzis, Jason Wilkerson, and Nathan Compton will be carrying on.
- We want to do more interviews with brewers and proprietors.
- Kathleen will be putting up the now-obligatory Facebook and Twitter companions.
- We are very pleased with our owners, World Class Beverages, and actually want to work closer with them to pass on their news.
From Dave Colt at Sun King:
Dec. 1 expect to see Wee Muckle - GABF Gold -- Scotch Ale on tap
Dec. 8 expect the Million Dollar Brewsky -- based on a historic recipe for a Vienna Lager
Dec. 15 expect Sink the Clipper, (formerly Winter Storm...) an Imperial ESB, YUM
at Rock Bottom College Park
Dec. 7 Liz taps Naughty Scott, GABF Silver Scotch Ale
That liquor license auction last Friday got the state $3.8 million for 300 permits statewide. United Package Liquors paid $450,000 for a permit in Brownsburg. "Hundreds more bidders were interested in permits to open bars, eateries and package stores in Bloomington, Valparaiso, Jeffersonville and other places with growing populations." article
Andy visits Sun King.
- Three Floyds - first in Fruit Beers with KinderBeer
- Sun King - third in Darks with Pappy Van Muckle
- Upland - first in Wild/Brett with Gilgamesh which was the runner-up Best of Show to Goose Island Wrigleyville's Honey B.
Reply: Sorry, having a glass of wine at the Olive Garden isn't going to adversely affect alcohol abuse. But not allowing new establishments to have permits will affect their ability to succeed, or even exist eliminating jobs that go with them. Lighten up.
- Twenty Tap has a nice long bar side with the taps curving around a wall along with a restaurant style side filled with booths and tables
- They offer beer in pints, half pints, and have flights of 3 sampler sizes for those not knowing what to order, the half pints or the sampler flight would be a good start
- From what I overheard, the staff knows the beer styles and can help give you descriptions if you are unsure what a certain style will taste like. They also offered a table next to us a small taste before pouring them a pint.
Readers, if you are in the area , stop in for a pint.
Tuesday, Nov. 22, Bloomington Brewers Tap Take-Over (BBC, Upland, Cutters) at Yogi's Bar and Grill, 519 E Tenth, Bloomington
Saturday, Nov. 26, "Leftover Turkey Trail Run & Novemberfest" at Eagle Creek Park, Indy, sponsored by Upland Brewery.
Trail Runs start: approx. 3PM
Bar opens: 3:30PM
Ends: 7 PM
Bands, open bar, food, $20-$30 in advance (by Nov. 21) depending on run+party or Party
to sign up
Andy tells us about last weekend's The Beer Is Good at Fiddler's Hearth.
We're also told Bier's Harvest Pale with hops from Mike Sprinkle's test farm in Michigan went well (of course). Rita broke the story last week that Mike is planning to leave the GM job at Crown Liquors to raise hops full time.
Michigan's homebrew law got changed last week. It allows "homebrewers to serve homebrew at meetings and events held at Michigan breweries, bars and restaurants. Until now, whenever a Michigan homebrew club met at a licensed establishment (microbrewery, brewpub or other establishment with a license to sell alcoholic beverages) for a club meeting, a homebrewing demonstration or a competition, they put their host’s license at risk."
The Brewers of Indiana Guild has announced that their Winterfest will be January 28 from 4-8pm (VIP tickets available for a big more $ that allows entrance at 3pm.
Rogue? Sure. Bacon Maple Ale? Sure. Pink bottle? You got me there.From The Maple Daily: "It generally tastes like a dirty, ashy smoked beer without any of the subtlety of the finer Bamberger rauchbiers. The maple syrup notes pop up now and again, but the smoke flavor, along with fatty hits of unwanted bacon, dominate."
Men's Health magazine lists best new canned beers. Indy has two.
Munich, Covington, Dubai, and the latest city to get a Hofbrauhaus is, ta da, Berlin. Seats 2500. article
Results of referendums in Georgia will allow Sunday retail sales in 110 of the 127 cities and counties that held votes on the issue. In some cities, such as Atlanta, residents were overwhelmingly in favor of Sunday sales, with more than 80 percent of voters approving. article
Girls Pint Out has hints for visiting a tasting room. article
Here's one to watch out for "The world’s first alcohol free whisky flavored drink ‘ArKay’, . . . is designed for the socialite to the construction worker. The exceptional taste of whisky without the alcohol making a perfect beverage that anyone can consume. The design of ArKay was to allow anyone with medical conditions or with religious beliefs to drink without guilt. ArKay tastes and looks exactly like traditional whisky. It is suitable for drinking straight up, on the rocks, or with soda or your favorite mixers." link
Belmont Beverage on Illinois Road will be having a FREE beer tasting on Saturday, November 12th, from 4p.m.-7p.m. There will be four (4) tables of beers being poured by the folowing distributors: Aalco, Cavalier, Five Star, and World Class. Espresso Gallery, Aboite Grill and Cheeseman Store will be providing various drinks and food for sampling/purchasing. (Must be 21 yrs. of age or over with valid photo ID)
- Tues - Tapping of Winter Wheat. Rock Bottom, Downtown Indy. 6pm
- Tues - Founders taps at Chatham Tap, Fishers. All day.
- Wed -Tapping of Blitzen Black IPA. Rock Bottom, 86th St. Indy. 6pm
- Wed - Upland takeover at Charleston Pizza Co.
- Wed - Fountain Square Brewing night at Sinking Ship. Indy. 7pm+
- Thurs - Flat 12 Bierwerks beer dinner at Claddagh, 96th St. Indy. 6:30-10pm
- Fri - Monthly Friday Night Club meeting. Great Fermentations, Indy. 5:30pm
- Sat - MONK Chili Bowl. Big Car Gallery. Indy. $10. 5-8pm
- Sun - New Albanian QuakerFoot release. Irish Rover, New Albany.
- Mon - Office Hours. New Albanian's Public House. 6:30pm.
This past Saturday marked the American Homebrewers Association’s annual Learn to Homebrew Day (formerly known as Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day). The event offers prospective homebrewers a chance to see how the process works and established brewers can learn some new tips and techniques. It also doubles as a great excuse to blow off responsibilities on a sunny fall day, share some good beer, and meet some new friends.
I attended a local event hosted by Ron Smith. We had a good crowd of attendees including current homebrewers and students from Ron’s Beer MBA and IUPUI classes. A variety of brewing techniques were demonstrated including a Blonde Ale by Brian Steuerwald that used a base of malt extract, a Robust Porter by Tom Wallbank that used a no-sparge all-grain technique, and an American Pale Ale by Ron using a conventional all-grain process. Attendees also had the chance to learn about brewing software and tour the famous Smith beer cellar.
Interested in embarking on a fun and highly addictive hobby? A basic beginner equipment kit starts as low as $80 and ingredients for most 5 gallon batches range from $25-$45. The American Homebrewers Association has some information to help you get started. Check out your local homebrew club and attend a meeting (you can find a listing on our Links page). If you live in central Indiana, Great Fermentations offers periodic brewing classes as well. The homebrewing hobby is a great creative outlet and is a hell of a lot cooler than playing golf!
To those who started reading my Great Search for Pumpkin Beer, I have continued on my search, but frankly.. right now I'm a little pumpkin'd out. My first two Schlafly Pumpkin Ale and Shipyard Pumpkinhead met face to face and since they I've had plenty others step up to the plate.
Below is a list of the yummy pumpkin ales I've had the pleasure of tasting:
Yogi's Bloomington will tap 3-Floyd's Arctic Panzer Wolf on Monday, Nov. 7.
Rock Bottom Downtown Indianapolis will feature a tasting of Winter Wheat beer at 6 PM on Tuesday, Nov.
Washington Post headline:Beer: The secret behind the cult of Three Floyds - article
Hoosiers Doing Something blog has an good reference article: Indiana: Crossroads of Beer (thanks guys)
Crown, Cork and Seal, the people who make bottle caps, may go bankrupt over, what? The answer is asbestos. It's complicated. article
Goose Island's beer this year will be King Henry barleywine.
WashDC has illegalized sales of single beers in come wards (neighborhoods). Enter the 2-pack of unintended but absolutely predictable consequences.
Anheuser-Busch said in October it plans to invest more than $1 billion from 2011 to 2014 in its U.S. facilities to modernize brewing operations and reduce emissions.
The latest collaboration: Mitchell's Ice Cream and Great Lakes Brewing have teamed up for... wait for it... Christmas Ale Ginger Snap ice cream. article
Miller news ... "taste flow" cans for Miller Lite, which will debut next summer and feature a second opening on the can top designed to increase airflow and reduce "glug." The optional new hole can be opened with a key or other object. article (without and reference to "church key").
Headline: Man believes he is in heaven after finding a free beer truck. Yeah, the usual after-festival mixup. article
Washington DC opens a stock-market bar. The more pints you buy of any particular brew, the farther its cost will drop. This seems a bit opposite of the laws of supply and demand. And what happens when 99% of the beer is brewed by 1% of the brewers. Oh, it is. Anyway, here's the article.
And we finish with a picture that has nothing whatsoever to do with beer.
- Tues: Beneficence Pale Ale tapping. Thr3e Wise Men, Indy. 6-7pm.
- Wed: Three Floyds Beer Social. Bottom Lounge, Chicago. Plus aged Popskull. 7pm+.
- Thurs: Flat 12 beer dinner. Claddagh, Indy. 6:30-10pm. $25. resv at 317-569-3663
- Fri: True Brew with Rita Kohn. Fulton County Public Library, Rochester. 5:30-8:30pm
- Sat: The Beer is Good at Fiddler's Hearth Craft Brew party. 11am-midnight.
- Sat: Hoosier Beer Geeks 5th Tailgate for Nothing Gravyfest. Sun King. 11am++