Saturday brought one of the coldest days of winter which made it the perfect day to huddle inside around some BIG beers at Lafayette Brewing Company’s Winter Warmer. Indiana craft breweries and the Tippecanoe Hombrewers’ Circle (THC) served up their finest assortment of barrel aged and other strong beers to 240 appreciative patrons. The event also features raffles, food from the Beer-B-Que Bar, a Keg Grip Challenge, and best of all……free taxi rides home!!!!
The storied history of Winter Warmer dates to January of 1995 as a barleywine and strong ale tasting event for the LBC Brew Crew. The annual tasting event grew in popularity and in 2002 LBC moved it to the second floor, invited other breweries, and opened ticket sales to the general public. Ticket sales have gone from lasting about 5 weeks to selling out in a few hours and allowed LBC to donate over $30,000 to Laura’s Kids and a Purdue scholarship fund. This year’s event drew brewery support from Back Road, Barley Island, Black Swan, Bloomington Brewing, Broad Ripple, Brugge Brasserie, Crown, Figure 8, Half Moon, Mad Anthony, People’s, Sun King, Triton, and Upland.
Some tasting highlights included:
Crown Grand Poobah Imperial Stout – Upfront bitterness with flavors of chocolate, black licorice, dark fruit, and spicy hops. Very bitter but not astringent.
Figure 8 Jumbo Love Barleywine – Complex aroma of malt and grassy hops. The smooth flavor emphasizes nutty and caramel malt character with a late warming from the 10% ABV.
THC Rum Barrel Aged Weizenbock – I was a little apprehensive when this one smelled like dominant rum with just a hint of malt. But the flavor was well balanced with rum, rich bready malts, and the classic banana ester. Nicely done – what will these homebrewers think of next?
People’s Space Cowboy – Double IPA that incorporates Summit and Galaxy hops yielding a nice blend of tangerine, pineapple, and grapefruit flavors backed up by 92 IBU.
Figure 8 Imperial Corridor Chocolate Stout – Chocolate malt and earthy hop aroma. Chocolate flavor with upfront bitterness followed by more chocolate, dark fruit, and alcohol warming.
We’re blessed with great breweries in central Indiana but I’m starting to become envious of those who live closer to Crown and Figure 8. This was a great event put on by Greg Emig and the group at LBC. And kudos to the industrious Girl Scouts with their cookie table outside waiting for revelers to trickle out……brilliant…..and evil.