Upcoming Beer Events (Fort Wayne) - October 31

Friday, November 2:

Cap n' Cork located in Covington Plaza will be having a FREE beer tasting from 5p.m.-7p.m.  They will have the Monk's Cafe Sour Beer and beers from Flat 12, Victory, Boulevard, Abita, and various other breweries to sample.  Come out and sample some beers and find some new beers to enjoy this Fall!!   (Must be 21 years of age or older with valid Government-issued ID) http://capncork.com/

Monday, November 5:

JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House in downtown will have their last local food dinner for 2012.  This one is being called "Hail to Kale" and it starts at 6:30p.m.  There will be six (6) courses of food paired with Bell's beers.  A Bell's representative will be at this event to share a firkin of Bell's Two Hearted beer.  The menu is available on JK's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JK-ODonnells-Irish-Ale-House/83904179658 along with information price and reservation information.

Group Tasting and Reviews – Fresh Hop Ales


The fall season in craft beer brings us a trio of specialty styles with Oktoberfests, Pumpkin ales, and a growing number of so-called “fresh hop” ales with that year’s harvest making a quick trek from the field directly to the brew kettle. Rather than following the traditional process of drying, processing, and packaging; these hops are often added whole upon arrival while they are still in their “wet” form. Sierra Nevada, the legendary brewery from California that can take credit for launching many a craft beer trend, also claims to have started the fresh hop craze with their first harvest ale in 1996. An increasing number of breweries are now producing these beers, and Indiana homebrewers have had success planting hops at home and creating their own unique examples (my Cascades are pictured at the right).

To prepare you for the growing number of these beers hitting Indiana retail shelves, a blind tasting was assembled to try some of the more prominent examples in our market and give you a peek at the liquid behind the label. Beers were procured from Founders, Sierra Nevada, Three Floyds, Two Brothers, and Upland and served in a random order to the tasting panel by our lovely hostess Poppi Rocketts. Joining me on the panel were Andrew Korty, Jason Cook, and Tim Palmer. Here is each beer sampled, along with the brewery’s description and the panel’s tasting comments.


Beer #1: Upland Harvest Ale - Upland’s Harvest Ale is an American Pale Ale by design, but an even more vibrant rendition by loading up our hopback with freshly harvested Citra hops. Expect huge wafts of tropical fruit notes, balanced by a moderate bitterness and light toasted malt character. A showcase for one of our four favorite ingredients and a delight for all the hopheads out there.


Andrew: Hop aroma of grapefruit, pineapple, mango, shallot. Low caramel and grainy maltiness. Orange-gold body with brass highlights. White, lasting head. Substantial graininess in flavor. Caramel is pronounced also. Hop flavors soon surpass this malt backbone with vegetal flavors and notes of citrus, dried flowers, and resin. While finish is not bone-dry, bitterness is strong and lingers long and strong on the palate through the aftertaste. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth.
Jason: Decent hop aroma. Initial hit of hop character that fades quickly into strong bitterness with a very heavy finish.
Nathan: Assertive hop character up front with a dominant pineapple character complemented by other citrus fruits and a bit of pine. The hop character fades at the finish and is replaced by an assertive, lingering bitterness. Has a distinct green plant character, which can be expected from the wet hops, and leaves behind a resinous, mouth-coating sensation. The malt character is subdued and allows the hops to shine through. A tasty beer that could use a bit less bitterness and more complex hop flavor when compared to the other examples.
Tim: Had a very faint citrusy and resin hop aroma which was a little surprising considering this is a wet hopped beer and I was expecting more hop aroma. This beer had a light golden color with a large off white head that persisted. The piney and resin hop character was more pronounced in the flavor as compared to the aroma. The bitterness was moderate and lingered into the back of the throat, but there was a hop slickness that coated the tongue.

Beer #2: Three Floyds Broo Doo - This beer is brewed during the hop harvest with a portion of unkilned or “wet” hops fresh off the vine. Apricot in color, Broo Doo’s nose has dominant orange, pine sap and floral notes, balanced by a glazed nut and toffee malt body. This celebration of the hop harvest has intense tropical fruit, citrus and spicy accents that showcase the complexity of the hops we all love. 7% ABV 80 IBU

Andrew: Vegetal notes up front at low levels accompanied by resinous, citrusy notes. Orange-gold body is slightly hazy. Thick, white, lasting head leaves a heavy lace. Hints of sulfury peach character. Vegetal character carries over into flavor. Hop notes of orange and grapefruit. Grassy notes in finish. Malt backbone is only there for support; nothing prominent, just hints of bread and caramel. Dry, elegant, and easy to drink. High carbonation enhances dryness and produces a slight carbonic bite.
Jason: Very fresh hop aroma. Taste of citrus on the back of my tongue. Good bitterness but not overpowering. Seems fairly clean and doesn’t linger.
Nathan: Slightly darker in color with a nice orange hue. Prominent notes of pineapple, peach, and tropical fruit dominate the flavor. The malt character is again subdued and allows the hops to be featured. This beer is highly carbonated which contributes to the impression of a dry, crisp finish. There is a slight amount of vegetal/green plant character from the wet hops but not quite a noticeable as in sample 1. Very flavorful but easy-drinking beer that makes you want to go back for more.
Tim: Very strong citrusy (grapefruit)/piney hop aroma right up front and in your face with hints of caramel and toffee. This was a very clear, light amber colored beer with a persistent off white head. This was heavily carbonated with a crisp mouth feel. Bitterness was very strong and hop flavor was powerful with some grassy notes from the wet hops. Beer finished dry which contributed to wanting to drink more.

Beer #3: Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA - Heavy Handed IPA is brewed to celebrate the harvesting of the hops every year. Within moments of harvest we add freshly picked "Wet Hops" to this IPA. Since the hops have not been dried before use, they add a wonderful character found in no other beer. A hop lovers dream. 6.7% ABV 65 IBU

Two Brothers Brewing Company Heavy Handed IPA

Andrew: Malt is subdued with hints of bread and grain. Hints of toasted bread, caramel, and toffee in flavor. Clear, light amber body with thin, white head. Hops are more straightforward but subdued and reminiscent of dried flowers although not entirely devoid of citrus. Pear-like esters round out the flavor profile. Considering the malt, hop, and ester profile, this beer seems more like an English pale ale. Moderate carbonation, medium body. No alcohol warmth. Darker in color than all other samples except number 5.
Jason: Nearly undetectable aroma. Color is closer to an Amber. Stronger, sweet malt character than I would have expected for the style but it isn’t unwelcome. Finishes pretty clean with nice bitterness.
Nathan: Bready malt character with some caramel notes and a slight mineral quality to the water. Hop character is far more subdued than the first two samples, but is fairly well-balanced with a soft, floral, slightly citrus character. Seems to lean more towards an ESB style than an IPA hop showcase, although the bitterness could support a more aggressive hop flavor. It isn’t quite the style I expected, but still a very enjoyable beer.
Tim: Was surprised as there was very little hop aroma present when I first sniffed this beer. There was some toasty and bready notes, but little hop aroma. Beer was brown in color and had an off white head that laced the glass. The flavor heavily favored the malt, but there was some firm bitterness with some citrus and piney flavor, but the malt was taking the lead here. As beer warmed, fruity esters started to appear more and this beer reminded me or had more of an English Bitter character.

DSCN0689    DSCN0692

Beer #4: Founders Harvest Ale - This liquid dream pours a hazy golden straw color with a white, two-finger head. Your first sip rewards you with a super juicy hop presence bursting with fresh citrus, then finishes to introduce toasted malt undertones. 6.5% ABV 70 IBU 

Andrew: Powerful and complex hop aroma with hints of orange, peach, papaya, spruce, black pepper, grass, and a hint of garlic. Hop character carries over into flavor. Brilliant pale gold in color—lighter than the other samples. Bread-like, caramely malt character is present throughout in a supporting role although it does contribute sweetness to an almost unwelcome level. Seems big and a bit boozy. Bitterness is aggressive and lingers long into aftertaste. Moderate carbonation, medium body.
Jason: Citrus hops are very prevalent in nose. Very light and clear in color. Nice bitterness with strong hop character and flavor throughout.
Nathan: Very light colored but seems to have a solid malt backbone. Very aggressive hop character that showcases grapefruit and other citrus and lingers long into the finish. The bitterness is well-balanced and the beer leaves you with the type of mouth-coating sensation observed in sample 1. A bit of a grassy character from the hops. The finish is a little sweet for my taste and the beer just generally feels a bit heavy. Overall a great beer, but seems like it would be hard to drink a lot of in one sitting.
Tim: Right up front, this beer was going for hop presence. You get hit a strong citrus, mango, peach aroma, which overpowered any malt character that was trying to break through. This was very clear golden colored beer with a very persistent white head. Harvest Ale had plenty of carbonation that helps with the crispness of the beer. The hops packed plenty of bitterness and had a nice citrusy and woodsy note. There was low toasted malt character that broke through and finished this beer nicely.

Beer #5: Sierra Nevada Nothern Hemisphere Harvest - The cornerstone of our Harvest series is the beer that started the modern-day fresh hop ale phenomenon in America, our original Harvest Ale. Created in 1996, Harvest Ale features Cascade and Centennial hops from the Yakima Valley in Eastern Washington. These hops are harvested and shipped as “wet” un-dried hops—the same day they are picked—to our brewery in Chico where our brewers eagerly wait to get them into the brew kettle while their oils and resins are still at their peak. 6.7% ABV 60-65 IBU

IndianaBeer note: Sierra Nevada also produces a beer called Southern Hemisphere Harvest in the spring that features fresh hops from New Zealand.

Andrew: Subdued aroma with some hints of sulfur. Hint of umami / soy sauce. Perfume notes emerge with warmth. Brilliant amber-copper in color—darker than other samples. Tall, thick, lasting head. Flavor is more malt focused with biscuity, nutty, toasty notes. Esters of pear and other white fruit. Hop flavor is present but not complex, with elements of wood, spruce needles, and dried flowers. Powerful bitterness lingers long into aftertaste. High carbonation, medium body.
Jason: Mild hop aroma present. More amber in color and style. Stronger malt presence with nice bitterness. More balanced, the hop character is not featured but still present.
Nathan: Reddish color with the type of caramel and toasted malt character you would expect to find in an American Red or Amber. The hop character is subtle and leans more toward a piney character than the other samples. There is a moderate level of bitterness with a dry, crisp finish. A well-balanced and easy drinking beer, but I expected a little more of a showcase for the hops. This beer would taste pretty much the same without going to the trouble of using wet hops.
Tim: This beer starts out with a very balanced slight toasted caramel malt and low citrusy hop aroma. Beer has beautiful amber color with a creamy off white head that lingered in the glass. This was very highly carbonated with crisp pleasant mouth feel. Had a strong bitterness and citrus flavor, but enough malt character to balance this beer out.


After tasting and discussing each individual beer, we lined up a sample of each to determine a 1-5 ranking of each person’s preference. After tallying up the scores, our collective preferences averaged out to (drum roll please):

Fifth Place: Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest
Fourth Place: Upland Harvest Ale
Third Place: Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA
Second Place: Founders Harvest Ale
First Place: Three Floyds Broo Doo

All of these examples were solid beers that exhibited a bit more diversity than we initially expected. The Three Floyds and Founders samples were the best examples of the hop showcase you typically expect from these beers and made at least the top three on each of our individual lists. Does that mean these are the beers we recommend? That might depend on what you prioritize when choosing a beer as these were also the most expensive beers we sampled (not to mention quite possibly the more difficult examples to find). In our shopping, Three Floyds Broo Doo ran $9.99 for a 22-ounce bomber and Founders Harvest Ale was nearly $7 for the two 12-ounce bottles we were able to score from the local liquor store rationing.

On the other hand, an argument could be made that Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA at $11.99/six-pack and Upland Harvest Ale at $10.99/six-pack represented better overall values. Our results would not make a strong recommendation for Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest as it was neither highly-rated or the cheapest at $6 for a 24-ounce bottle. But Sierra Nevada could very well be the best option for those who enjoy hoppy West Coast Red Ales like North Coast Red Seal (and it was Poppi’s favorite of the group, which is the vote that really matters).

Cheers, Nathan


Dribs and Drabs

The Riley Ridge homebrew store in Lanesville (west of New Albany) is closed. We're told they hope to open soon in New Albany itself.

It's about time to make that Pumpkin Keg.

Upland's Helio Pale Ale got a 90 score in the latest All About Beer magazine. Also, Caleb's Sour Reserve Blend #2 was reviewed by Roger Protz ("sour and tart fruit aroma, with hints of herbs, freshly-mown grass, smoke and oak. Creamy malt coats the tongue and a gentle hint of hops peeps through the sourness . . . Challenging but rewarding") and Garrett Oliver ("Some rosy floral accents, apricots and a little balsamic vinegar. There are plenty of sours out there these days, and many are cartoons. This is a painting. And, oddly, it'll work wonders with barbecue.")

It's also time to plan the Stone Vertical Epic Party. Stone's been putting out this beer annually since 2.2.02 with each a different style. The last of the series, 12.12.12 is planned to hit the stores then. A 11-flight vertical will be very interesting - especially if you have all 11 - or even just a few. 1.1.01, 7.7.07, and 8.8.08 aren't to be found by themselves. Full sets have sold for $2,500 Other Ebay selling prices are:
02.02.02 - $455                   03.03.03 - $53 average
04.04.04 - $54 average         05.05.05 - $55
06.06.06 - $45                     09.09.09 - $10
10.10.10 - $17

Stone is having a tasting party in Escondido, CA for $150.
I have three 3.3.03 and three 8.8.08 if anyone needs them for their own party.

In 2009 Tennessee's laws allowed distilling in only three counties. They changed it then to add 41 more counties. But in Hamilton County where Chattanooga is stills are still stilted and coppers will cop your coppers. In other words it is risky to make whiskey. So what are the folks at Chattanooga Whiskey to do? They contracted from the Indiana Distillery. Article in the Times Free Press. Did they have to headline it Indiana Whiskey Gives Us a Hangover?

The results of the ATC auction of liquor permits is online. 279 permits were sold by the state for a total of 3,800,000.United Package Liquors spent $450,000 for a store license in Brownsburg. Friendly Package Liquors in Yorktown will get a competitor who paid $275,000. Most of the action was done by Liquor Licenses R Us and Dolgencorp (Dollar General).
Liquor Licenses R Us. Hmmm. A reseller. But its illegal to sell licenses for more than the auction value. Here's a story about another reseller.
BeerAmerica.TV is great for those who like beer and watch videos.

The Cheltenham Motor Club in Gloucester won best southwest private club in this year's CAMRA competition. I've spent a half-dozen enjoyable evenings in their friendly embrace. Good guys. Sometimes race cars, more often drink real ale in fine condition. Congratulations. (Noted here in hopes a member googles this entry and swells with pride.)

Whaaat? A/B is making Becks in the U.S., exporting it to Germany. Article

Brewmeister Armageddon. 65%. That's PERCENT. 130 proof. Beer. Buyable. $60 + shipping from England.
Whiteclay, Nebraska sells more beer per capita than any other town. Anywhere. Four million cans. Population: 11. The nearby Winnebago tribe is Siouxing. Not a happy story.

Recent Tappings (Crown Point, Fort Wayne and New Haven - October 26

Crown Brewing in Crown Point, IN has tapped their Bourbon Barrel Aged Industrial Porter http://www.crownbrewing.com/.

Dash-In located in downtown Fort Wayne has tapped Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout.  More information about this beer and Dash-In can be found at https://www.facebook.com/DashInfortwayne.

Trion Tavern in New Haven, IN has tapped these beers since October 19th: 

   Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale by Lexington Brewing Co.
   471 by Breckenridge Brewery
   Sorachi Ace by Brooklyn Brewery

Check out Trion's website to see what else they have on their list of 58 taps http://www.triontavern.com/.

Club Soda Bell's Event (Fort Wayne) - October 26

Thursday, November 8 @ 5:30p.m.:

Club Soda will be having a Bell's beer event featuring their Jazz Series beers that consist of three (3) Bell's beers that usually are not released outside of Bell's brewpub.  Jason, from Bell's, will be in attendance and there is the possibility of yet another Bell's beer to be featured at this event that is a highly sought after beer and it too is not readily available.  There will also be music provided by "The West Central Quartet".  The beers are:

Le Batteur Ale -             Style:  Biere de Garde
                                       ABV:  6.0%

This beer has a distinctive yeast aromatic character mixed with light bready notes. Noticeably dry, the finish is crisp with a mild, refreshing acidity. The French term for a drummer, Le Batteur takes its name from a component of a classic jazz trio.

Le Contrebassiste Ale - Style:  Biere de Garde
                                       ABV:  7%

This beer blends roasted & lightly smoked malts and is fermented with a special French ale yeast which lends its own distinctive aromatic notes. The beer's namesake, the Double Bass, is reflected in the deep, rich flavors that resonate in this unique offering.

Le Pianiste Ale -            Style:  Biere de Garde
                                       ABV   6.5%

This beer starts as a malt forward beer, combining biscuity, breadcrust notes with a light caramel flavor.  Noticeably dry, the finish is crisp with a lively, refreshing acidity.

The above information about each of the beers was found on Bell's website (http://bellsbeer.com/).

The cost of each beer is $5.00 per pint.  To make a reservation for this event, call Club Soda at (260) 426-3442 and their website is:  (http://www.clubsodafortwayne.com/).

Beers, Cheers, and Sneers – October 25


It’s almost that time of year again! Not Halloween. Not Free Speech Week (thought I wouldn’t discourage celebrating that). November 3rd is the annual American Homebrewers Association Learn to Homebrew Day! Have you been curious to learn more about how the fermented beverage we all enjoy is made? Looking to learn some tips and tricks from fellow brewers? Or just want to hang out and drink beer with a bunch of good people who are just as geeky hip and cool as you? Then consider making plans to join a local event. You can find the current listing of events here and there will likely be more added, but the current listing for Indiana includes:

Elkhart: Quality Wine and Ale Supply Learn to Homebrew Day
Contact Name: Krissy (574) 295-9975
108 S Elkhart Ave
10am – 4:30pm
Evansville: OVHA Learn to Brew Day
Contact Name: Jeff Smith
4001 East Morgan Ave
9am - ?
Lafayette: THC Learn to Homebrew Day
Contact Name: Lloyd Chatham
1516 Underwood St.
noon - 5pm

It looks there might also be an event at Tuxedo Park Brewers in Indianapolis. Check them out online or call (317) 408-6970 for more details.

Fresh off the GABF gold medal for Sour Reserve, Upland brewer Caleb Staton gave a lengthy interview to Embrace The Funk that divulges a lot of details behind the processes and philosophy of their sour beer program. Click the link to learn more about throwing decoction mash in a mosh pit, raspberry graffiti on the ceiling, and a little upcoming experimentation on their core lineup. As a bonus, make sure you get to the last question for some advice on homebrewing sour beers (hint: you have to be dedicated to not touch it).

Following up on their recent “CANlaboration” with Sun King called The Deuce, Oskar Blues is looking at doing a new collaboration with Two Brothers Brewing in Illinois. Oh, and they’re also in talks with some brewery named Three Floyds. Just talks at this point, but I thought that might pique some interest.

A British research team working in Antarctica (the coldest place on Earth after Duluth, Minnesota) will be able to celebrate Christmas with a special brew this year. Developed at the Platform Tavern’s Dancing Man Brewery, the secret recipe India Pale Ale uses special hops imported from America and is placed in plastic bottles with all the air squeezed out. This apparently allows the liquid to expand when frozen without losing vital gases and retain its flavor while being delivered in temperatures down to minus 90 degrees Celsius. That’s pretty neat and all, but do the mountains still turn blue?dj_jazzy_jeff

The Coors Blue Moon Brewing Company brewmaster recently revealed some new insights in their campaign to look like a small brewery just pushing the envelope. Their Vintage Ale Collection will have new branding and include a wheat ale described as “sparkling chardonnay with a hint of beer.” But I found the Graffiti Collection quite a bit more amusing. Not necessarily the product, as a Double IPA with Juniper berries might actually be worth a try. But the cutting-edge graffiti design on the label looks like it belongs in a DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince video.

A medical marijuana shop in Tacoma, WA finds itself in a bit of trouble after selling “Cannabis Enriched Honey Beer” to a minor. The informant successfully obtained three bottles of the pot-beer which led to officials visiting the Hashford Compassion club to seize the remaining inventory of beer. So let me get this straight. You’re a minor who just scored a stash of marijuana-infused beer and you turn it over to the cops? What is wrong with kids these days?

Cheers, Nathan

Triton @ Buffalo Wild Wings

  Just found out about a Triton tasting tomorrow, October 25th, from 7 to 9pm at the Buffalo Wild Wings on Creasy Lane in Lafayette.  They will be featuring their Railsplitter IPA and a few other selections that I am not privy to at this time.

  If that time is not convenient for your sampling needs then head over to the West Lafayette location at the Brown St. Levee for a repeat performance from 9 to 11pm.  Or, if you're ambitious enough, by all means, hit 'em both.

Jason C.
“Let no man thirst for lack of Real Ale.”

Fort Wayne & New Haven Beer Events - October 24

Friday, October 26:

Belmont Beverage (Illinois Road location) will be having a FREE Halloween beer tasting event from 6p.m.-8p.m.  (Must be 21 years of age or older with Government-issued ID) (http://www.belmontbev.com/)

Friday, October 26:

Cap n' Cork (New Haven) will be having a FREE beer tasting event from 5p.m.-7p.m.  Stop in and sample some Octoberfest beers along with some ciders.  (Must be 21 years of age or older with Government-issued ID)  (http://capncork.com/)

Indiana Beer News, Oct. 22

the Oaken Barrel brew with a cult following, Apple Buzz, is released TODAY, Monday, oct. 22, at 11:00 AM. Kwang has received calls begging for an early release but rules are(appropriately) rules. Hey, while this is a bigger brew (7%) it is not huge in alcohol and some people must get their annual fix. Limit is two pints per person.

Meanwhile Kathleen alerted you to the Pumpkin beer at Fountain Square. We met up with brewer Dan and more from FS last week for a special tasting of their Stout and Porter. The buzz at Fountain Square was all about the nicely spiced pumpkin beer which tapped late last week and should be on through this week.

And it's Pumpkin time at RAM where brewer Andrew tapped the pumpkin last week and it is flowing this week.

Yogi's Bloomington has a tapping of various Flat12 beers Tuesday, Oct. 23, and we hope to see Flat12 Flat Jack pumpkin among them.

This Just in From Dash-In!! - October 19

Dash-In has Southern Tier Pumking beer on tap once again and tomorrow, October 20th, they will tap Three Floyds Zombie Dust at 4p.m.  Get you some!!  (https://www.facebook.com/DashInfortwayne)
(http://www.stbcbeer.com/) (http://www.3floyds.com/)

Drink All of the Beer!

By forces out of my control, my beer intake has been decreased. I've been fine with this, it has helped my diet for sure, until now. 

Today has been the day where after all week seeing all the wonderful,delicious beers being tapped by local breweries that I want to just throw my hands up in the air and drink all of the beer! 

So readers.. I feel like I need to share with you all these beers coming out so you can go and try them and try them soon. If  I know anything about local breweries and special beers, is they are here and then gone quickly. 

In no random order of awesomeness:

Flat12BierwerksOak-aged Chipotle Cinnamon 12 Penny Scottish Ale
Fountain Square Brewing Co.  - Cinnamon Girl an ale that is spiced nicely with pumpkin, cinnamon and a touch of vanilla.
Lafayette Brewing Thin Mint Black Angus Oatmeal Stout. ( Girl Scout cookie anyone?) 
People's Brewing CoAmerican Chocolate Stout with citrus hop balance ( makes me thinking oranges dipped in dark chocolate) 
Black Acre Brewing Co - Black Beard (their Beard Tax Russian Imperial Stout infused with blackberries) 
Sun KingMontezuma's Revenge - Roasted hot peppers of various kinds, blended with Sun King's Sunlight Cream Ale
Triton BrewingNutty Professor Peanut Butter Brown

And these are just a few.. a small little sample of what is available to you right here in central Indiana. 

So when that 5 o'clock time hits -- go quickly, drive safely and try some great fall beers. Let me know if they are as good as they sound.  Although I may end up caving and popping into one at least one of these breweries for a small taste. :)

- Cheers to the weekend, 

Beers, Cheers, and Sneers – October 18

Congrats again to Bier, Mad Anthony, RAM, Sun King, Three Floyds, and Upland for bringing home medals from the Great American Beer Festival competition. Upland is celebrating their gold medal by releasing a limited number of the winning Sour Reserve Blend #2 at both the Bloomington Brew Pub and Indy Tasting Room this Saturday when they open for business (11am in Bloomington and noon in Indy). Each bottle is $25 with a limit of one per person. There are about 48 bottles available in Bloomington and about 36 in Indy so get there early!upland_sour_reserve

Other GABF winners worth noting (i.e. there is a chance you’ll find them in Indiana): Boulevard Brewing Reverb Imperial Pilsner and ZON, The Bruery Papier and Sans Pagaie, Goose Island IPA, Left Hand Sawtooth Ale, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy (seriously), Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Sam Adams Double Bock, Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Ale and Imperial Stout, and Two Brothers Domaine DuPage (highly recommended) and Ebel’s Weiss. Then there is the triple crown that represents the American-style lager category: PBR, Miller Lite, and Keystone Light. The big win prompted a little trash talk from Pabst which was met with this response from New Albanian.

Happy anniversary to a couple of prominent Indiana breweries. Shoreline Brewery is celebrating their 7th anniversary with live music Friday and Saturday night, an Oktoberfest menu, and $2 pints all weekend! Triton Brewing in Indianapolis rings in their first anniversary of brewing on Saturday with live music, food, special brews, and the official dedication of their new Beer Garden.

Further details have emerged on Sun King’s second collaboration with Oskar Blues. The Deuce is a Hopped Up Brown Ale with 100% Galaxy hops weighing in at 69 IBU and 7% ABV. The collaboration again made a point of using a special ingredient from each brewery’s region. The Indiana contribution is Riehle’s Select Gourmet Popcorn, also featured in Sun King’s Popcorn Pilsner, which was used in the mash with Colorado Malting Company’s Belgian Pale Malt. The Deuce will be packaged in Ball Corp. Alumi-Tek re-sealable aluminum pint bottles and should make an appearance in our market soon.

Hardcore fans of sour beers have found a new holiday in Zwanze Day, which offers an opportunity at various global locations to try Cantillon’s recent vintage of specialty Zwanze lambic. This year’s event was delayed until December 1st after Cantillon determined this year’s batch would not be ready and decided to revive the original rhubarb lambic recipe that generated the first Zwanze in 2008. There are no Zwanze Day participating locations in Indiana, but events at West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago and Holy Grale in Louisville offer chances to join the celebration within an easy drive.

While it’s not an Indiana brewery, I qualify as an obnoxiously unabashed enthusiast of Founders Brewing Company. If you’re not familiar with their story, this article gives a great background on how the brewery nearly filed bankruptcy turning out uninspired pale, amber, and wheat ales and dumped their old lineup in favor of a new strategy that pushed the envelope of what consumers had experienced in the craft beer world. The rest of the story is history that is still being written. Founders celebrates their 15th anniversary this year with a 15% ABV “Bolt Cutter” barleywine and an appearance in Food Republic’s top 10 craft beer power rankings.

One perk for reporters covering the presidential debates is access to free food and beer courtesy of Anheuser-Busch. Yes, your favorite Belgian-owned brewery has decided to continue their tradition of sponsoring American political theater since 1996. And should you grow tired of the partisan bickering, you can switch over to the hospitality tent’s own propaganda Twitter Feed and glean such nuggets as “nothing more American than great debates and great beer” and “AB products seem to be clear winners on this debate night”. Those are about as original as the political talking points we can all recite in our sleep by now. So in the spirit of true debate, I’d like to offer this slightly alternative evaluation of such products.beer_fire

For a detour into the absurd this week, a Scottish brewery claims to have produced a “beer” that somehow finished with a whopping 65% ABV through a special freeze fermentation method. Now, this was a little bit fun back when Sam Adams and Dogfish Head were pursuing the title of world’s strongest beer towards the 25% level. Since then, European breweries have pushed the threshold past the 30 and 40 percent barrier leading to this point where you have to wonder when enough is enough. If you feel the need to consume a beer at this level and can’t get your hands on any Aberdeenshire Armageddon, here is one possible alternative. Take your favorite barleywine and rig up about a 50/50 blend with Everclear. Hold your nose, take a drink, and be secure in the knowledge that any onset of blindness is likely just a short-term inconvenience.

Cheers, Nathan

Dash-IN & Deer Park Irish Pub Updates (Fort Wayne) - October 17

Dash-In tapped tonight, per their Facebook page, Weston's Premium English Cider (4.5% abv) - "A contemporary cider with the classic pedigree of a traditional cider maker. Rich amber coloured with a ripe apple aroma and a medium dry taste. Matured in old oak vats to produce a quality cider with a refreshing, crisp apple flavour. Highly carbonated for maximum thirst quenching!"  (http://www.thedash-in.com/) (https://www.facebook.com/DashInfortwayne)

Here is the list of beers for this Saturday, October, 20th, beer tasting event at Deer Park Irish Pub being held from 1p.m.-5p.m.:

Bluemoon Harvest
Leinie Octoberfest
Sam Adams Octoberfest
New Belgium Red Hoptober
Southern Tier Pumking
Woodchuck Fall Cider
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider
Upland Octoberfest
New Holland Ichabod
Shiner Octoberfest
New Castle Warewolf
Bells Best Brown
Bells Two Hearted
Bells Amber
Bells Third Coast
Boulevard 80 Acres
Boulevard 6th Glass
Victory Headwaters
Victory Hop Devil
Rogue Dead Guy
Flat 12 Half Cycle
Flat 12 Porgues Porter
Triton Rail Splitter
Orignial Sin Cider
Left Hand Oktoberfest
Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard
Hinterland Cherry Wheat
Founders Centennial IPA
Lakefront New Grist
Left Hand Milk Stout
Six Point Sweet Action
Finch's Pale Ale
Tyranena Rockys Revenge
(See my blog of September 1st for more information about this event)

Mad Anthony Brewing Company Tapping - October 16

Wednesday, October 17:

Mad Anthony Brewing Company will tap their first keg of "Wet Hopped" beer which is a Double IPA at 5p.m.  The beer was brewed with 30 lbs. of Citra hops which were shipped fresh overnight from the state of Washington according to Mad Anthony's Facebook page.  This definitely sounds like a beer for those beer drinkers who refer to himself/herself as a "hophead"!!  This beer will be available at all three (3) Mad Anthony locations. (http://www.madbrew.com/)

Cheers to Indiana GABF Winners!

The Great American Beer Festival competition awarded gold, sliver, and bronze medals in 84 categories with a record 4,338 competition entries from 666 (could it be…….Satan?) breweries from 48 states, Washington D.C., and Guam. Unfortunately, Guam was shutout. But Indiana was not! Congrats to six Indiana breweries for winning seven total medals! Sun King continued their strong run of GABF showing and Upland furthered their quest towards world dominance in sour ales. All of the winners are listed below………

Bier Brewery (Indianapolis) Silver Medal: Belgian-Style Abbey Ale Sanitarium
Mad Anthony Brewing (Fort Wayne) Gold Medal: Fruit Wheat Beer Ruby Raspberry Wheat
RAM Restaurant and Brewery (Indianapolis) Silver Medal: Field Beer or Pumpkin Beer Anaheim IPA
Sun King Brewing (Indianapolis) Gold Medal: Barley Wine-Style Ale Johan the Barleywine
  Silver Medal: Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer Pappy Van Muckle
Three Floyds Brewing (Munster) Bronze Medal: American-Style Pale Ale Zombie Dust
Upland Brewing (Bloomington) Gold Medal: Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale Sour Reserve

800 Degrees Three Fires (Fort Wayne) - October 12

800 Degrees Three Fires located at 5215 Illinois Rd., Suite 101, has the following beers on tap and they are some very tasty beers at that:

Ommegang Scythe & Sickle, Three Floyds Gumballhead, Tripel Karmeliet, Founders Breakfast Stout, Flat 12 Half Cycle, Victory Hop Wallop, Rouge Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, Victory Baltic Thunder, Boulder Beer Company Mojo Risin Nitro IPA, Tyranena Painted Ladies Pumpkin Spice, Three Floyds Robert the Bruce, Flat 12 Karousel Kolsch, and Peroni Nastro Azzuro

Trion Tavern Update - October 12

Trion Tavern (http://www.triontavern.com/) located in New Haven, IN has recently tapped the following beers:

Luciernaga by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
(Hello My Name Is) Amber by Flat12 Bierwerks
Griffin's Bow by Samuel Adams
Pale Ale by Four Horsemen Brewery
Arrogant Bastard by Stone Brewing Co.
Munsterfest by 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Sin Bin by Triton Brewing Co.
Ro Shampo Imperial Red Ale by Figure 8 Brewing
Another impressive list of beer tappings from Northeast Indiana!!


This Just In!! - October 12

Belmont Beverage Time Corners (http://www.belmontbev.com/) located at 5992 West Jefferson Blvd., in the Time Corners Shopping Center in Fort Wayne, posted on their Facebook page today that they have the following allocated/limited release beers available:

-My Antonia (Dogfish Head/Birra del Borgo) Imperial Pils
-Risgoop (3 Floyds/Mikeller) Rice Beer
-Zes Zes Zes (3 Floyds/Brouwerijdemolen) Saison Ale
-Rye da Tiger (3 Floyds)
-Blackheart (3 Floyds) English Style Ipa
-Calumet Queen (3 Floyds) Kolsh Style Ale
-Biere De L'Amitie (St Feuillien/Green Flash)
-Shock and Awe (Finch's) American Brown Ale
-Fascist Pig (Finch's) Red Rye Ale
-Toasted Summer (Finch's) Seasonal Ale
-Reunion Ale '12 (He'Brew/Shmaltz) Dark Imperial Ale
-Dark and Mild (Two Brothers) Ale Retro Release #3
-Pillar of Salt (Two Brothers) White Rye Retro Release #4
-Old 1713 (Two Brothers) Scotch Ale Retro Release #6
-Take Two (Two Brothers) Hybrid Beer Retro Release #5
-Oh Brother (Two Brothers) Triple Ale Retro Release #11
-Circus Penguin (Two Brothers) Pale Ale w/Organic Beets and Blood Oranges
-Bourbon County Ale (Goose Island)
-Yeti (Great Divide) Belgian Style Imperial Stout
-18th Anniversary (Great Divide) Wood Aged Double Ipa
-Wolfgang (Great Divide) Doppelbock Lager
-Smoke Jumper (Left Handed) Smoked Imperial Porter
-Land Ho! (Heavy Seas/Devils Backbone) Black Pilsner
-Plank 11 (Heavy Seas) Dopplebock Style Lager
Anyone thirsty??

Upcoming Beer Events - Fort Wayne - October 9

Wednesday, October 10:

JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House (http://www.jkodonnells.com/) located at 121 West Wayne Street, will be having a Bell's Tapping Night starting at 6p.m.  The list of available beers will be:

    Bell's The Oracle (Imperial/Double IPA)
    Bell's Octoberfest (Oktoberfest/Marzen)
    Bell's Two Hearted Ale (IPA)
    Bell's Oberon (Wheat Ale)
    Bell's Lager of the Lakes (Premium Lager)

There will also be some giveaways and they will also have some pumpkin beer on tap!  (Must be 21 years of age or older with valid Government-issued ID to purchase alcohol)

Friday, October 12:

Cap n' Cork (http://capncork.com/) located at 5430 Coldwater Road, will be having a FREE beer tasting from 5p.m.-7p.m.  Some of the approximately 14 breweries whose beers will be available for sampling are:

New Holland, Shipyard, Goose Island, Sierra Nevada, People's, Flat 12 and Upland just to name a "few"!!

Come out and sample some pumpkin and ciders beers and perhaps find some new beers to enjoy during this cooler weather.  (Must be 21 years of age or older with valid Government-issued ID)

Brew Bracket - Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer Edition

Unfortunatly our reporters were unable to attend Brew Bracket - Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer edition, but we bring you a recap from Brew Bracket's - Mike Sale:

In a twist on the classic Brew Bracket event, the field was trimmed to eight brewers and participation limited to 150. But the style was wide open under the “Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer” category. Brewers could make any beer they wanted, but were required to age their beer in a bourbon barrel for a period of three months. Barrels were provided by Indiana’s own Harrison Bourbon, proving that great bourbon doesn't need to come from Kentucky. The event was hosted at Tomlinson Tap Room in Downtown Indianapolis on Saturday September 29th, with part of the proceeds benefiting the Greenways Foundation, a charitable trust created around building and improving Indiana’s running and biking trails.

Participating brewers and beers included:
Figure Eight Brewery (Valparaiso, IN): Jumbo Love, a Black Barleywine style Ale aged in a Harrison Bourbon barrel.
Triton Brewery (Indianapolis): Cherry Oatmeal Stout aged in a Harrison Bourbon barrel.
Bier Brewery (Indianapolis): Billy Baroo, a Russian Imperial Stout aged in a Harrison Bourbon barrel.
Flat 12 Bierwerks (Indianapolis): Jailbait Brown, a sour brown ale with milk sugar and tart cherry fermented in a Harrison Bourbon barrel.
RAM Restaurant & Brewery (Indianapolis): Big Horn Maibock aged in a Harrison Bourbon barrel.
Bloomington Brewing (Bloomington, IN): Dry Hopped Bourbon Rye IPA aged in a Harrison Bourbon barrel.
Peoples Brewing (Lafayette, IN): Duncan’s Scottish Ale aged in a Harrison Bourbon barrel.
Barley Island Brewing (Noblesville, IN): Barrel Aged Dirty Helen, an Imperial Brown Ale aged in a Harrison Bourbon barrel.

After several rounds of tasting beers and Harrison bourbon, it was time for the reveal. The final two brewers standing were Andrew Castner’s Big Horn Maibock from RAM, and Jeff Eaton’s Barrel Aged Dirty Helen from Barley Island. After the votes were tallied, RAM was the last brewer standing that would take home the tap trophy.

 Additional supply of both the winner and runner up will be tapped at their home bars later this season. And if you missed this event, stay tuned for a bracket of ambers, to be held at the fairground on December 8th. More information can be found at www.brewbracket.com. Cheers!

Dribs and Drabs - Oct. 7

Maybe only down south they've noticed the new Salt Creek Brewery north of Bedford. It's a sandwich-and-stuff brewpub on old Ind 37. Music a couple of days each week. A back porch that looks like a wonderful outdoor bar. The beer list online has Junk Yard Dog Stout, Black Dog Scotish Pub Ale, The Recipe Belgian Saison, Out Of Order IPA, Needmore Cream Ale, Ole Swampy Nut Brown and Colonel Klink German Brown Alt.

Hobart has a brewery in planning. Devil’s Trumpet Brewing Co. will be in a warehouse about 2 miles east of I-65 on US-30 (Merrillville exit). article

Richmond's New Boswell Brewery opened a tap room last week. A Grand Opening will happen later. You can get a sampler platter or a chocolate & beer pairing platter. Cool. Here are the necessaries:
410 N. 10th St. (at the corner of N. 10th St. and N. D. St. in the Loft building, next to Ghyslain Bistro which supplies the food for the tap room)

Tues-Thurs: 11am-8pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm
Sun: 11am-3pm.

On tap now:
  • Boswell Cream Ale
  • Raspberry Wheat
  • Biere de Garde (Amber Ale)
  • Ezra's Brown Ale
  • Landslide Imperial Wheat IPA (10% ABV)
  • Maelstrom Imperial Stout (10% ABV)

My Hoosier Beer is now available as a Kindle book. $9.99. It's ranked as Amazon's 856,526th best selling Kindle book and the Paperback ($16.05) is ranked 542,046. The electronic version is also available for the Barnes & Nobles' Nook and through Apple via an app for the iPad.

Too bad the guys at Indy Brew Bus weren't in action during the Super Bowl. Let it be known that you can now be chauffer-driven to your (or their) favorite breweries. article

Big pictures:

 And now for the requisite sexist pictures of Oktoberfest.

grab a beer, adopt a pup + local beer in South Central IN (NOT SC LA)

Upland Brewery will host "Hops for Hounds" from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. The band "Kisses for Free" will (gee, it would be nice if they had some Teddy Bear Kisses from Upland available!) play from 5 to 7 p.m. and Upland's Oktoberfest special will be on tap..
Upland has donated the following items to be raffled, with the proceeds benefiting adoption sponsorships: a 1/6 barrel keg of any of year-round beer, two Upland t-shirts and a $25 gift certificate. Adoptable dogs and puppies will be available at the event.

In addition, Upland has the Scottish on tap which is the winner of this year's Upcup competition originally brewed by homebrewer Andrew Korty of Indianapolis. This is a perfect session beer with lots of flavor at only 3% alcohol!

around Bloomington:
Also, Yogi's Grill and Bar has several Upland beers on tap as a mix of their 47 taps.

Not too far away Lennie's and Bloomington Brewing has eleven beers on tap including their Homegrown Dark Strong which has a nice rich deep flavor. It is GREAT to have a local brewpub with FOUR Local Belgian Styles on tap and (the last time I stopped) TWELVE local choices! Go Floyd and Jeff!!

If you want another choice in gastro pub atmoshere with delicious good, try Finch's Brasserie. On our recent visit Finch's had St. Feuillian's Brune, which was my choice but is blown now, among their 8 craft beers on tap. But they do have Founder's breakfast stout, Crown Brown, Six Point Rye, BBC Dunkel Weiss, New Holland Ichabod, Crispin Cider, Omegang Saisson, and an Omegang specialty Blanche.

Columbus, IN
Today we are headed back to Columbus where Zwanzigz has great pizza, a delicious chocoloate beer, Oktoberfest, and more. It is really cool to have a place where the kids can get into the drinks as much as the adults! With FOUR local homemade sodas, a taster + growlers of the sodas, this get the kids choices, too.

And did you know Columbus Bar/PowerHouse brewing completed their 300 gallon system and will be pumping out their local favorites with Jack the Bum out now and their Diesel Stout coming soon!

Big Woods in Nashville might be crowded today with so many who flock to Nashville but the beer they call their porter is delicious. If you put a gun to my head I might classify it as a Scotch ale, but nobody put a gun to my head and I like to drink it no matter what you call it!

cheers! See you out and about! Greg Kitz

Beers, Cheers, and Sneers – October 4

Your first chance to try beer from Planetary Brewing Company comes this Monday at Shallo’s Antique Restaurant & Bar (8811 Hardegan St. in Indianapolis) from 7:30 – 10pm. Admission for the tasting is $25 and features four Planetary brews:

APES#!T (Rye IPA/Roggenbier): 7.5% ABV, 83 IBU, 13 SRM
HOVERCRAFT (Belgian Tripel): 9% ABV, 36 IBU, 4 SRM
PARALLAX (Porter): 6% ABV, 44 IBU, 28 SRM
PULSAR (Pale Ale): 6% ABV, 42 IBU, 10 SRM

Also opening soon is Function Brewing at 108 E Sixth Street in Bloomington. You can get a preview of Function’s beers tonight and Friday at the Big Red Liquors Beerfest in Bloomington. Function will be pouring Black IPA, Blonde Ale, IPA, Milk Stout, Roggenbier………and maybe something special if you know to ask for it!

Our Fort Wayne reporter Cindy Modesitt was featured this week in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette for her beer reviewing prowess. You can find the online article here and get Cindy’s recommendations on where to find the best selection of beer in the Fort Wayne area.5_percent

Craft beer drinkers of America, it’s time to update this logo as we are now the 5.5%! The latest BeerTAB (Trends in Adult Beverage) report shows that the craft beer segment continues to defy an overall volume decline with an 11.2% increase that brings total market share to 5.5%. Other interesting notes: the cider category posted the largest gain at 31.3%, Yuengling surpassed Boston Beer Company as the largest craft brewer, and imported beer is now the largest category for market share.

My personal nightmare dream vacation may become reality now that Disney’s Magic Kingdom will serve beer for the first time in its history. The catch? It will only be available during dinner at Be Our Guest restaurant in the New Fantasyland. So enjoy your beer……while Mickey runs his grubby little paws through your wallet.

If you’re heading out to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver next week, be careful what you order from Wynkoop Brewing. Following the popularity of their joke video for April Fool’s Day, the brewery decided to actually brew a beer with Rocky Mountain Oysters (aka fried bull testicles). According to the description, Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout was made with 25 pounds of the featured ingredient and has a savory umami-like note. Yummy!Vergina-Beer

I’ve become familiar with the Jezebel blog thanks to some of their refreshingly honest commentary on toddler behavior (they’re not always as cute as Johnson and Johnson would like you to believe), but it’s not something I tend to look at in the context of IndianaBeer. That changed after Madeleine Davies was inspired by John Maier’s infamous beard yeast and decided to research if women could make beer with, uh, yeast from other parts of the body. If you’re curious, it turns out that Candida albicans yeast would be completely ineffective in making beer. Fearing expulsion from the Michigan House of Representatives, I won’t print the name of the article but you can find it here.

Cheers, Nathan