It is estimated that over 1,000 participants and approximately 27 Indiana breweries and brewpubs plus about 10 non-Indiana breweries enjoyed staying cool in the shade of the Old Woolery Mill structure, Bloomington, IN, Saturday, June 9. While we hope to get a final entrant count this week, it seems there may have been twice as many people this year compared to a much hotter outside venue last year.
Brewers from Northern Indiana included Three Floyds (Munster), Crown (Crown Point), Bulldog (Whiting), Figure 8 (Valporaiso), Shoreline (Michigan City), Four Horsemen (South Bend), and Mad Anthony (Ft. Wayne) showing what a strong brewing community has sprung up to the North. There were a number of notable beers from the Northern brewers ranging not only from 3 Floyds Zombie Dust intensely hopped pale ale and Jinx Proof Pils a crisp, dry pilsner brewed in collaboration with staff from Washington, D.C.'s Jinx Proof Tattoos. The 3 Floyd's Belgian Style White with corriander and orange at 9% was a stand-out while the Black Heart English IPA was refreshing (a nod to Blackhawk Tattoo in San Francisco).
Eight-month old Bulldog Brewing of Munster,is founded by folks in the steel industry and a firefighter which seems fitting for "the Region" and the name comes from brewer Kevin Clark's nickname. This little brewery already was named 2nd best Microbrewery in the region by the Northwest Indiana Times newspaper, with 3 Floyd's named as first. Their surprising beer was a Maple IPA which was nicely balanced with distinct Maple flavor.
Our old friend Mike Lahti of Figure 8 Brewing (Valpo) is excited about the new building that opens this next week. Lahti was profiling their Scapegoat ESB on nitro which, of course, is so silky.
Both Crown Brewing of Crown Point and Shoreline Brewing of Michigan City could be proud of their GABF winners this year: Crown's Gold for English Mild and Shoreline's 2 bronze for Australasian Pale and for Scottish.
You may recall the FourHorsemen label when it belonged to now-gone Mish. Brewing but knowledgeable former beer distributors now own that brand as the name of their brewery which also has only been brewing since August. Their Irish dry stout at only 4.2% was a very solid session beer and they poured a pale, red, and wheat. Ft Wayne's Mad Anthony served a tasty imperial IPA
Of course Central Indiana was well represented from Peoples and Lafayette on the north to hometown brewers and many, many from the Indianapolis area. All 3 Bloomington breweries in Bloomington are undergoing brewery expansions with both Bloomington Brewing and Upland pouring some sour versions plus regular taps at this event while Cutters talked of an opportunity to grow slightly beyond their current limited distribution with a solid imperial stout as a flagship. HipKilla flowed as a special tapping from Peoples while Lafayette Brewing poured a crisp Dortmunder Star City Lager.
The picture at left shows brewer Jerry Sutherlin of Rock Bottom downtown Indy talking beer with Jeff Eaton, (sorry Jeff, I know that is the back of your head) owner and brewer of Barley Island. That Noblesville brewery was offering up a very tasty Damien Belgian Golden Strong + an Old Ale called Decrepit Old Man (9%).
Of course with well over 100 beers on tap it is not possible (or recommended) that one blogger taste them all! However, other beer notes included:
ZwanzigZ of Columbus had a really interesting chocolate ale. They have 8 beers on tap now at their restaurant.
The most senior brew-pub owner, John Hill, of Broad Ripple Brew Pub was himself pouring an Old Ale from a firkin (Mallard) that comes out only every few years. John claimed he had arrived early the day before to clean all of the hundreds of windows in the venue -- that's a joke because if you look closely you realize there is no glass in most of the windows. By the way KUDOS to Brewers of Indiana Guild for pushing a variance for use of this facility for a brew fest!
Half Moon brewery of Kokomo served their Kokomonster (profiled previously in indianabeer.com) a 9% old ale as well as a smooth vanilla porter. Plainfield, IN, Breweries Three Pints and Black Swan were there - I'd just visited DJ at Black Swan this past week and I return to his tasty Scottish.
Thanks to the large contingent of brewers from the greater Louisville area and Kentucky. Kentucky Bourbon Ale was on tap, Against the Grain offered a session smoked English Ale, and Bluegrass Brewing, now with Louisvillian but former Indiana brewer Eileen Martin proudly serving up the beer featured their solid Bourbon Barrel Stout. New Albanian of New Albany was well represented.
Lets give praise to three of the top craft breweries in the U.S. for sharing their beer! #1 craft Boston Beer Sam Adams served a Red, a Baltic IPA, and a barleywine as well as their current season Sam Adams. The Naked Bow barley wine was new to me and enjoyable.
#3 Craft brewery Bell's was represented as always and for this event #7 U.S. craft brewery New Belgian offered several including Tart Lychee barrel-aged sour beer, sith Lychee Fruit puree and cinnamon.
Bells, New Albanian, and Indy's thr3e Wise men are represented in the pic at right. Omar of Thr3e Wisemen offered me a sample of a dark complex beer so good I forgot to note it's name.
Boulevard beers (Kansas City), Hinterland (Green Bay), Mendocino (Northern Calif.), and Finch's (Chicago Land) were other out-of-state offerings.
Again, THANKS to Brewers of Indiana Guild for making this event happen, for pulling off getting it into the covered space, and for keeping things organized. THANKS to all of the brewers who provided free tastes!
Cheers to All! GregKitz
PS - more to come but 3 indianabeer.com bloggers will meet at Sinking Ship Wednesday, June 13, by 6:00 PM
Posted by GregK on Sunday, June 10, 2012