Beers, Cheers, and Sneers – November 29


Ordinary beer does not compute, so Tin Man Brewing in Evansville is now open for business. Look for their beers at Tin Man's taproom (1430 W. Franklin Street), on draft, and packaged in 16 ounce cans (note: cans will not be on shelves until early 2013). As a robot after my own heart, Tin Man’s brewing process emphasizes sustainability through resource conservation. They are the first U.S. brewery of their size to employ a high-efficiency mash filter system that uses 40% less water and 15-20% less natural gas than conventional systems. Tin Man’s offerings are touted as session beers, despite an IPA that pushes 6% ABV, and include:

Circuit Bohemian Pilsner IBU: 35 ABV: 4.5% Light and crisp Czech pilsner with heavy use of Saaz hops
Rivet Irish Red Ale IBU: 22 ABV: 5.1% More colorful and flavorful version of its English relatives featuring Caramel malts and Willamette hops
Alloy American IPA IBU: 36 ABV: 5.8% Well-balanced with citrus notes from Warrior and Cascade hops
3 Gear Robust Porter IBU: 55 ABV: 5.4% Big dark fruit flavor and hop aroma, but amazingly balanced and easy to drink
Dry Cell Irish Stout (draft only) IBU: 37 ABV: 4.5% Served on nitrogen with dry and roasted flavors and a balancing sweetness


As we approach the end of the year, the requisite “best of” lists for anything and everything will be making their way around various media outlets. The top 25 beers of 2012 from Draft Magazine includes Sun King’s Velvet Fog, which will be released soon in the now familiar Alumi-Tek pint bottles. Other beers that may be available locally include Founders Bolt Cutter Barleywine, Left Hand Milk Stout, Stone 16th Anniversary IPA, and Urban Chestnut Zwickel. Wine Enthusiast’s Top 25 does not include any Indiana products, but does include Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock, Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, Founders Bolt Cutter Barleywine, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Left Hand Polestar Pilsner, Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA, The Bruery Saison Rue, and Weihenstephaner Vitus Weizenbock. So the consensus is you should get your hands on a bottle of Founders Bolt Cutter – good luck, and pick me up a bottle if that somehow works out for you.


Random Beer Review of the Week. These brief reviews should be an occasional addition to this column. While it’s fun to review super rare or out-of-market beers, I’ll try to focus on potentially interesting products that you can actually find in better craft stores around the state. This installment features Sam Adams Double Bock, which I picked up while looking for inspiration for a homebrewed recipe of the Dopplebock style. This beer took the silver medal in German-Style Dopplebock or Eisbock at this year’s Great American Beer Festival. These are fairly big beers, but Double Bock really pushes the envelope at 9.5% ABV. The batch number is 7832 but no freshness date is indicated.DSCN0710

Malty, rich aroma with prominent dark fruit and hints of brown sugar and molasses. The flavor characteristics are very similar to the aroma with some residual sweetness balanced by alcohol in the finish. The carbonation is moderately high but doesn’t quite tame the lingering alcohol in the finish. This is one seriously rich, strong, malty beast of a beer. It’s a good beer, but you don’t find yourself immediately wanting to go back for more. The overall character reminds me of a Strong Scotch ale more than the smooth, drinkable character expected from a Dopplebock. The beer has good flavor and reminds you of a nice after-dinner drink during cold weather months. But it just doesn’t have the drinkability I’ve found in other examples of this style. It would probably round out and be a little more enjoyable with some age.

At $11.99 for a 4-pack, I found Sam Adams Double Bock enjoyable and generally worth the price. But that price point is not a large advantage over some of the finer imports like Weihenstephaner Korbinian or Ayinger Celebrator. I would probably pay the slight premium for a reasonably well-kept example of one of these imports, or save my pennies for the February release of Bell’s Consecrator.



Rogue has created a new beer called White Whale Ale to celebrate the 41st Anniversary of Powell’s Books in Portland. The beer was given a special touch when pages from Moby Dick were added to the brew kettle. So you beer judges think twice before assuming that papery character is the result of oxidation. If you’d like to try this experiment at home, allow me to suggest using <ahem, shameless plug> Hoosier Beer: Tapping Into Indiana Brewing History by Bob Ostrander and Derrick Morris. A copy that was not destroyed in a brewing experiment also makes a great Christmas gift for your favorite Indiana beer lover.

The comic strip Failure was recently canceled by the Boston Phoenix, allegedly due to a strip that insulted Phoenix sponsor Bud Light. The offending strip discusses dystopian society and compares Bud Light to the Victory Gin of Orwell’s 1984. Well, that and diluted horse piss. The Phoenix denies that this was the reason and cites their move to a new format and questioning if Failure was a “fit for the new publication”. I would suggest we all accept the Phoenix’s reasoning and end this futile better beer resistance movement. Ignorance is Strength. Big Brother is Watching You.

Cheers, Nathan

eBay Quits Listing Beer (unless empty)

A while back I gave my 3 Stone Vertical Epic 03-03-03 and three 8-08-08s to a friend to put on eBay. No sooner were they listed than he got an email from eBay:

     You recently listed the following listing:

     330831605668 - Stone Vertical Epic '03
     330831606955 - Stone Vertical Epic '08

     Unfortunately, we had to remove your listing because of the following:
     Due to recent policy violations, we are temporarily suspending selling activity for full bottles of beer and spirits listed in the Collectibles category.
     We appreciate that the majority of sellers follow eBay policies regarding the sale of alcohol, and apologize that you may be unduly affected due to the violations of a few. We expect to allow these items to be listed again after developing and implementing additional, reasonable requirements to support seller compliance with our policies and applicable laws. We will continue to allow listings by pre-approved, licensed wine sellers.
     You may relist if all of the alcoholic contents are emptied.
     eBay does not permit listings for most alcoholic beverages and tobacco products on our U.S. Web site. In addition, non-U.S. members are not allowed to sell alcohol to an eBay member who is located in the United States.
     Please note: violation of this or other eBay policies may result in forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings, limits on account privileges and account suspension.
     We appreciate your understanding.


It seems the TV show 20/20 did a hit piece by having a minor order some high-end vodka from an eBay auction so eBay changed its policy. Arrrgh. The first time I've wanted to sell anything on eBay and wouldn't ya know . . . So now for the advertisement.

Stone Vertical Epic available for your 12-12-12 party:

Qty 3: 03-03-03. A Belgian Strong Ale. 9% ABV. Stored in a dark closet. 98 points on RateBeer, 91 on BeerAdvocate. 03-0-3-03 has sold on eBay for $50 to $100. Yours for $50 each.

Qty 3: 08-08-08. A Strong Belgian Golden Ale. Stored in a dark closet. 8.4% ABV. 98 points on RateBeer, 90 on BeerAdvocate. None have previously been listed on eBay that I could find. Yours for $20 each.

Qty 2: 09-09-09. A Strong Belgian Ale with heavy notes of chocolate and orange. Stored in the back of my garage refrigerator. 8.6% ABV. 98 points on RateBeer, 91 on BeerAdvocate. 09-09-09 has sold on eBay for $10. Yours for $10 each.

Call Bob at 317-856-6092 (after 10am) or

Thanks for the indulgence.

Some people say this is the earliest picture of beer drinkers. Edinburgh Ale in 1844.

Beers, Cheers, and Leftover Turkey – November 23

Apologies for my brief absence from the blog while other aspects of life got in the way. I’ll try to make it up with a bit of news and some extended ponderings near the end. As if the tryptophan wasn’t enough to put you in coma already…….

Congrats to Sun King and Three Floyds for taking home medals from the 2012 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers competition. Sun King took a gold in Classic Styles with Afternoon Delight and silver in Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer with Pappy Fog while Three Floyds took the silver in Fruit Beer with Ronaldo. Best in Show went to Goose Island’s Cherry Rye Bourbon County Stout which was aged in rye whiskey barrels with whole Michigan cherries. If you’re near the Chicago area, Cherry Rye Bourbon County Stout will see a limited release there on Black Friday (initial reports had the retail price at $45 a bottle).saturnalia

New Albanian’s Saturnalia winter solstice celebration kicks off today with the annual hedonistic pleasures found in rare, seasonal, and festive drafts from around the world. Delirium Noel, Boulevard Saison-Brett, Corsendonk Christmas Ale, and exotic selections from Lafayette and Munster are among the highlights of this year’s event. New kegs in the lineup will be tapped periodically through the month of December.

Founders isn’t kidding when they say their barrel-aged beers are cellared in the caves beneath Grand Rapids. Check out some great pictures here of employees mining for KBS and other assorted brewery pictures. Bottles of the 15th anniversary Bolt Cutter should be making their way to your neighborhood liquor store should you be interested in bribing the beer manager to procure a bottle.

Our friend Frank Petrarca paid a visit to Turoni's Pizzeria and Brewery in Evansville and offers the following review:

It appears to be a small-batch brewery and it was too late to get a brewery tour. The building was old, had lots of character and plenty of vintage signage and pictures gracing the walls. I ordered a 5-beer sampler for $5.75.

Vinny’s Lager- A good German-style Lager. Slightly grainy, smooth, no off-flavors.  Darned tasty.
Honey Blonde- Light crisp, but almost too sweet for me. Overall not a bad brew aside from the sweetness.
Thunderbolt Red Ale- Clean, Malty lots of flavor, maybe a little too much crystal malt for my liking but a good brew.
Blue-Eyed Moose IPA- Malty, Amber colored but maybe a little tame on the hop aroma and flavor.
Ol’ 23 Oatmeal Stout- Dark, chocolatey, a little heavy on the roasty side for me, low oats aroma and flavor but still good.

All in all the beers really pretty good. There were no off-flavors, very drinkable and pretty true to style. I ended up with a pint of IPA. My wife Theresa really enjoyed their Pumpkin Ale. Pints are $3.75 all the time!

But the  pizza absolutely blew me away. I grew up in the Chicago area eating thin crust, scorching hot pizza with real Italian sausage and great toppings. If you know me you’ll know I have made literally hundreds of pizzas. Some of you have been to my little pizza shindigs I’ve thrown and you know I enjoy great pizza- it’s one of my passions. Aside from the ones I make on the stone at home I have not had pizza like this since moving away from the Chicago area 31 years ago. Seriously… Good…. Pizza! (Not a description I throw around lightly either)

$5.75 samplers. $3.75 pints. Fast, attentive service even though they were packed. The BEST pizza you’ll find in Indiana.

Bottom line- if you ever find yourself in Evansville, Indiana go to Turoni’s on Main Street. When we return it’ll be our first stop.

Thanks Frank!

Chris Cooley was recently re-signed by the NFL’s Washington Redskins despite a failed contract negotiation that would have netted Cooley a case of beer after each game. Upon learning of Cooley’s predicament, Flying Dog brewery stepped up to offer a Shock and Awe variety pack for the remaining six games. So Flying Dog was able to generate a little publicity with this deal, but don’t expect Roger Goodell to formally endorse sponsorship from Doggie Style Pale Ale, Raging Bitch Belgian IPA, or Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout in the near future. This is wholesome family entertainment they’re messing with here.

A recent report from Time Magazine notes that the bastardization mainstreaming of darker, stronger beers appears to be well underway. AB InBev is rolling out a new family of lagers that up the ante at around 6% ABV including Budweiser Black Crown (actually an amber lager), Michelob Black Bock, and Rolling Rock Black Rock. But my personal favorite is definitely the Busch Black Light Lager option for budget drinkers. Yes, apparently there is pent up demand from college students everywhere for more intense hangovers and added color in their vomit.

In other Goose Island news, founders John Hall and Tony Bowker are stepping down from their roles of CEO and COO of the brewery. Stepping in to the CEO position will be AB InBev executive Andy Goeler, whose claim to fame includes attempting to trick craft beer consumers into buying a beverage so edgy it needs mohawk-sporting fruit to capture its essence. Cheers to Mr. Hall (who recently turned 70) for his success in developing the Goose Island brand and looking to spend more time with his family. I haven’t been one to ridicule GI based solely on the AB InBev acquisition, but this move places the brewery firmly under Anheuser-Busch managing control and it’s hard not to be cynical about the principles that will now drive the company’s future. The good news is that Goose Island leaves behind a fertile craft beer industry that is not under multinational corporate control…….yet.american_idiot

It’s a popular debate in the craft beer world, but tensions between independent craft brewers and the macrobrewers that covet their growing market seem to be increasing. A recent article for CNN Money included the predictable arguments from the big brewers about the benefits of increased consumer choice and the arguments from independents about why you should care who makes the beer you drink. It ultimately comes down to the drinker and the intrinsic values they place in viewing craft beer as a community (albeit a rapidly growing one). Really, some of the same values are in play when you select a local brewery’s six-pack over the latest offering from a national craft brand. I’m one to believe there is a certain valuable culture inherent in supporting independent craft breweries that can’t be replicated in a glass of Blue Moon. Put another way, buying a ticket for a Broadway performance of “American Idiot” is not quite the equivalent of supporting independent punk rock. A former coworker once expressed alarm upon learning I was attending local punk shows and offered to start going along as my wingman, presumably as backup when the leather-studded heathens decided to beat my face to a bloody pulp just for showing up. In reality, there is a real sense of community among strangers at these shows and I’m more afraid of drunken frat boys at Jimmy Buffet. The point being that I prefer to think of craft drinkers as belonging to a culture of particular values that don’t always fit nicely into a defined corporate demographic. But maybe that’s just what I want to believe. And if you get tired of both sides, you can always just say screw it and make your own damn beer!

Cheers, Nathan

This Just In From Dash-In - November 16

From Dash-In's Facebook page, they just tapped the following beers:

Left Hand's Warrior IPA (6.8% abv) - Brewed only once a year with fresh hops hand-picked in Longmont, CO and Warrior hops straight off the vine from Yakima, WA. Warrior is brewed using a unique style called “Wet Hopping,” which requires only hops that are no more than a day from the vine. “Wet Hopping” imparts only a mild aroma, but an exceptionally fresh unfiltered ho
p flavor.

Sixpoint's The Crisp (5.5% abv) - A blend of German and Bohemian Pils love. German hops all the way. Sehr mean "very" in German. AKA - "The Crisp"

Founder's Backwoods Bastard (10.2% abv) - Big and delicious for your ’perty mouth. Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts. A bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark cherries. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
For more information about Dash-In visit their Facebook page at!/DashInfortwayne

ThanksBeering! - November 15

Looking for a great way to jump start the Thanksgiving holiday that includes beer?  If your answer is yes, the Trion Tavern in New Haven, IN will be tapping eight (8) beers and here are the details of their event:

For a detailed description of the beers that will be tapped at this event and for a complete list of their other draft beers, their website is

Acme Bar Beer Dinner (Fort Wayne) - November 13

Sunday, November 18:

The Acme Bar will be hosting a beer dinner from 4p.m.-7p.m.  The cost is $50 per person, seating is limited to 50 attendees and tickets must be pre-purchased as the Acme Bar is normally closed on Sundays.*  The menu is as follows:

Acme Beer Dinner

Chef Rob Lampros’ menu for the evening:


Popcorn Action Station

Choose your own combination of: bacon & duck fat, truffle oil, assorted cheeses & toppings

·      Paired with 3 Floyds Calumet Queen (Kolsch)


Chicken Osso Buco

Chicken “shanks” braised in a rich chicken stock finished with thyme & rosemary

·      Paired with Bell’s Expedition Stout

IPA-brined Porkloin

Dry-hopped herb brined porkloin smoked for 3 hours and finished with sour ale BBQ

·      Paired with Boulevard Tank 7 (Farmhouse Ale)

Oysters Casino

Lightly broiled oysters topped with butter, bacon, herbs, diced red peppers and breadcrumbs.

·      Paired with Victory Prima Pils

Acme Brats

Housemade brats with a 50/50 blend of veal and pork. Served with housemade saurkraut and spicy brown mustard

·      Paired with Rivertown Dunkel


Stout cakes

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Popcorn with chocolate & wort caramel

·      Paired with: Lindemans Framboise (Raspberry Lambic), Tyranena Coffee Imperial Porter and Flat12 Half Cycle (IPA)

*Because the Acme is closed on Sundays, this will be a uniquely private event!

Since 1941, the Acme has been located at 1105 East State Blvd near the the intersection with Crescent Ave. Follow them on Facebook at:

Worst Episode Ever - Revisited

I can't say something nice about Three Floyd's without also panning them an instant later.  About a year ago I made the effort to buy tickets to their 15 year anniversary celebration and was less than pleased about the experience.  However, I did walk away with a very limited Baller Stout, a blend of Three Floyd's Dark Lord, Surly Darkness, De Struise Black Albert, and Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch, the beer to end all beers.  Ok, maybe not.

If you feel like revisiting that day, you can find the exploits in the way back machine of this blog.  The reason I bring it up today is because Three Floyd's is doing a second brewpub release of Baller Stout.  Near the Munster, IN area?  Walk into the brewery and pick one up.

Mutiny and the Mollusk

Mutiny and the Mollusk, the collaboration between Half Acre and Three Floyd's was my pick for International Stout Day.  The reasoning of course, is that it is a rare breed and it happens to be an oyster stout.  Now, my beer acumen is not nearly at the level of say a Nathan Compton or a Bob Ostrander, so I actually had to Google the term oyster stout to see what it was all about.

Don't let the name fool you, there may or may not have been oysters used in the brewing of this beer.  I say this because I am hard pressed to find any information about the ingredients, what the brewers intended for it to taste like, or why they decided it would be a good idea.  Oyster stouts are by design, stouts to be consumed while eating oysters.  You'd think I would have done this research before drinking the beer.  Alas, I had no food as a companion to my ale and had to taste the beer on its own merits.

The beer, as suspected, was very good.  Rich, dark, and dare I say powerful, this stout slams you down with its coffee laden flavor if served chilled.  As the room temperature catches up, the stout mellows and isn't nearly as bitter (bitter as far as a black coffee is concerned).

I have to commend Three Floyd's on this one.  They simply announced the collaboration and released it at the brewpub so that their adoring public could line up to buy a bottle or two.  Nothing particularly flashy and definitely not the hop heavy flavor most of their beers are notorious for, which may be the influence of Half Acre.  I must admit, I've never had a beer from Half Acre, which is a shame because they are so gleefully close to my home.

Mutiny and the Mollusk was released in March.  I don't really know why I let it age for so long, maybe just wasn't in the stout mood at the time.  I do have another bottle, so maybe I'll actually get oysters for that one.

Heorot Pub and Draught House (Muncie, IN) - November 12

The Heorot Pub and Draught House in Muncie, has on tap today Barley Island Barfly, Flat 12 Red Oat-tober, and Fountain Square Rise N' Shine.  Last Friday, they tapped Sun King Osiris and Sun King Stiff Upper Lip.  If you are not familiar with this establishment, it is well worth your while to stop in and check them out for their great selection of draft and bottled beers.  According to their Facebook page, "we offer 66 different types of ales, lagers, and ciders on draft and there are over 350 kinds of bottled beer for the choosing".  Can you say beer, beer and more beer?

Fort Wayne Events - November 12

Monday, November 12:

As a reminder, Dash-In in downtown Fort Wayne is having their Monday night Grand Opening featuring their new dinner menu and their draft beers are priced $1.00 less tonight.  Along with the tapping of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout for this Grand Opening, they will also be tapping Three Floyds Zombie Dust.

Wednesday, November 14:

800 Degrees Three Fires will be having a HOPFEST event to celebrate the changing of the seasons along with the harvest of fresh hops.  The featured beers will be:

Boulevard Harvest Dance
Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA
Upland Harvest Ale

This event will be from 5p.m.-10p.m.  They will also be featuring a few special menu items for the event.

Friday, November 16:

Cap n' Cork, located at 10020 Lima Road, will be having a FREE beer tasting from 5p.m.-7p.m.  They will be featuring beers from a wide variety of breweries for your sampling enjoyment!  Come out and sample these beers and maybe find something new to enjoy during this cooler weather!  (Must be 21 years of age or older with valid Government-issued ID)

Legal Guide to Starting a Brewery in Indiana

IndianaBeer note: Today we’re pleased to bring you a guest article from Sara Aisenberg of Surety Bonds. As we’ve witnessed an increasing number of professional and amateur brewers pursuing the dream of launching their own brewery, Sara brings you some helpful tips on legal items you’ll need to consider.

If you make a great homebrew, you know that crafting beer is a process — from preparing to fermenting to conditioning to packaging and everything else in between. If you’ve decided to turn your hobby into a licensed business, you probably have the brewing part of the equation down. However, you might not know much about the business side of things. To ensure that your brewery gets up and running without any setbacks, follow this legal guide to starting a brewery in Indiana.

Know the law.

Anytime you jump into a venture that involves legalities, it’s important to know every law that applies to your industry. A great place to start is researching Indiana’s brewer permits as stated in Indiana Code 7.1-3-2. It’s also important to understand the federal laws pertaining to the brewing industry. For example, the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission doesn’t require brewery owners to post a surety bond to get licensed at the state level, but a bond is required at the federal level. In most cases, individuals interested in starting a brewery will need to post a brewer’s bond or a brewer’s collateral bond. For clarifications on fulfilling this surety bond requirement, consult the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau website.

Determine which liquor license you need.

The first step in getting an alcoholic beverage license in Indiana is to determine what kind of license you need, which you can do by visiting the license type section of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission website. In most cases, individuals wanting to open an independent brewery will need a brewer or small brewer license. If you plan to sell your beer on site, in restaurants or in stores, you might also need a beer retailer or beer wholesaler license.

Once you’ve determined the type of license you need, you’ll have to find out if that particular type of license is available in your area. If the license you need is available, you can move forward with the licensing process. If the quota for your particular license is filled, you can try to buy the license from a current license holder. In most cases, assistance is available to connect individuals seeking a license with individuals looking to sell their license.

Submit your paperwork.

When you’re ready to begin the application process, contact the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to request the necessary forms. You must submit the following paperwork to be considered for an alcohol license in Indiana:

  • four copies of your floor plans signed and dated by you
  • any necessary articles of incorporation
  • a signed lease or proof of ownership of the premises where the license will be used
  • property tax clearance from your county treasurer
  • a “consent to transfer” form signed by the current license holder, if applicable
  • a renewal application if the license expires in less than four months from the transfer date, if applicable
  • a transfer of location application, if applicable

After you’ve submitted your paperwork, you can expect to wait anywhere from 8-12 weeks before the process is completed. Most counties in Indiana require that applicants seeking an alcoholic beverage permit appear at a local board meeting. A member of the Indiana State Excise Police serves on this board and will visit the site at which you intend to operate the permit at some point during the application and approval process.

Although dealing with legal requirements is a large part of starting a business, doing so is just the beginning of the start-up process. Once your application is complete, it’s time to brainstorm and execute the tasks that will turn your idea into a tangible business and brand, which includes marketing products, setting prices, hiring employees and developing a company culture. Understanding the legal aspects of starting a brewery will give you a solid foundation on which to build.


Sara Aisenberg is the executive writer for the educational outreach program, an effort to helps entrepreneurs of all kinds understand the legal requirements they must fulfill before starting their own businesses. As a newcomer to Columbia, Missouri, Sara is exploring all that the Midwest has to offer — including some local beer! Follow Sara on Twitter @SaraAisenberg.

Badass American Lager?

Beer is still good.  It has been countless days since I put my thoughts about beer into this blog.  My life of beer consumption reached a dramatic stand still.  My wife and I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter and I was fortunate enough to land a new job closer to the homestead.  I haven't made an appearance to any of my favorite breweries or pubs in a long time and I made a promise to my wife that I wouldn't buy any more beer because I had a stockpile in the cellar already.  I haven't even been able to enjoy them!

My reporting on the Northwest Indiana brewery seen will commence shortly, but the spots hit will be a little far between.  I would love to spend every night of the week at a different establishment, but that's just not happening.  In the interim, my creative drive just can't stay under wraps, so I will be back to writing my usually snarky beer reviews spewing of negativity usually reserved for a certain establishment in Munster (whose beer I thoroughly enjoy!).

For this installment, I have to address quite possibly the worst beer I have ever consumed.  Guinness Black Lager takes a close second to Kid Rock's Badass American Lager.

This was the sorriest excuse for beer I've ever had.  Miller 64, Michelob Ultra, and Budweiser Select all had more color and flavor that resembled beer than the fluid poured from these bottles.  I received a six pack as a gift and I was determined to finish it off while watching quite possibly the worst televised programs to date: the 2012 election results telecasts of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and Fox News.

Badass American Lager comes out of the bottle looking like Welch's Sparkling White Grape Juice.  I know that my daughter will not be sampling New Year's Eve champagne this year, but she very well could have a sippy cup of Badass American Lager and probably be no worse off than if it were water.

If the transparent liquid in the glass isn't enough to turn you off, then the faint Asti Spumante taste of it will.  Seriously, I was reminded of my childhood when I was allowed to sip little bits of champagne from my parents' flutes.  I was pretty sure the ensuing morning headache was inevitable.  Fortunately, Badass American Lager packs zero punch in the alcohol department.

For those of us living in Indiana, be thankful that this is not available on the shelves (at least not as far as I can tell).  For our neighbors up in Michigan, my apologies that your state's grand tradition of craft beers has to compete with this latest offering.  I would think the city of Detroit would disown Kid Rock by now for associating itself with whatever this is (I can't even bring myself to call it beer anymore).

My negativity will certainly subside as it is back to my own beer cellar and the wonderful offerings that lie within.  I missed International Stout Day due to a class I'm taking (another challenge when drinking beer), but tonight I am sampling Three Floyd's Mutiny and the Mollusk, an oyster stout brewed in collaboration with Half Acre.  Back to the good stuff!

Fort Wayne Updates - November 7

Friday, November 9:

Cap n' Cork's Coldwater Road location is having a FREE beer tasting from 5p.m.-7p.m.  There will be beers available for sampling from Upland, Southern Tier, Oaken Barrel to name a few.  (Must be 21 years of age or older with valid Government-issued ID)

Monday, November 12:

Dash-In will be staying open until 11p.m. on Monday evenings.  To go along with the change in Monday night hours, they will also be debuting their new night menu.  Also, on Monday at 4p.m. they will be tapping the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout!!!  If that's not enough to get you to go to Dash-In next Monday, they will also be having $1.00 off all draft beers!!

Want New Albanian? But not the drive?... + other tapping news

Yogi's Grill and Bar, Bloomington, will be hosting a Tap Takeover of New Albanian beers tonight(Nov. 6) at 7:00. Think 45 minutes south of I-465 instead of 2 hours. Of Course New Albanian Elector is the theme beer, but also included are Hoptimus, Old 15 B, Beak's Best, Tunnel Vision, Black and Blue Grass, Naughty Girl and Hoosier Daddy. The NABC open its doors 25 years ago in southern Indiana and have been cranking out great products for a quarter of a century.

And... if you ARE near the Ohio River: Zombie dust, Zes, Zes, Zes, Black Heart, Moloko, Gumball Head, Munsterfest on tap and Calumet Queen in the bottle at Rocky's Sub Pub NOW, (Nov. 6) Jeffersonville, IN

In other tapping news: RAM on November 14th taps the fourth leg of their RAMAGEDDON 2012 series, Final Countdown Imperial IPA, released at both Downtown Indy (7:00) and Fishers (6:30) locations. If that wasn't enough, S'no Angel Weizenbock will also be tapped this night in case you need extra enticement.
November 21st - Tomlinson Taproom in the Indianapolis City Market, RAM Brewers will be taking over all 16 taps at Tomlinson in one event including cellared seasonals and rare releases such as Barrel-aged Apocalypto Barleywine and Nitro Vanilla Stout among many others.

Flat12 announces: Moustache Ride Red - Movember tapping and fundraising (11/17, 6pm).

Rock Bottom, College Park, taps Winter Tartan Scottish Ale, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7:00 PM

Brew Bracket 5: AMBERgeddon!

"I don't wanna close my eyes 
I don't wanna fall asleep 
'Cause I'd miss you, Brew Bracket
And I don't wanna miss a thing"

The time has come again for another Brew Bracket!!

Brew Bracket 5: AMBERgeddon!

This competition is better than the rest because YOU get to help decide the winner brew. 

How does it work? 
400 attendees sampling beer from 16 breweries in a March Madness style bracket taste off.  After 4 hours of blind tastings, 4 rounds of voting a winner is announced!

So come one, come all to the Indiana State Fairgrounds on December 8th from 12:30-5pm to participate in this fun, beer swillin' time for only $35 which also helps out a great cause - Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. 

Tickets available at :

This season's participants are some old favorites, previous winners and some new guys:
Triton Brewing Co.
Flat 12 Bierwerks
The RAM Restaurant and Brewery (BBIV: Bourbon Barrel Aged - Winner)
Half Moon Brewery
Bloomington  Brewing Co. 
Barley Island Brewing Co.(BBIII: Wheats - Winner)
Bier Brewery (BBII: Stouts - Winner) 
Three Wisemen Brewing Co. ( a new one to the competition!) 
Rock Bottom  (Rock Bottom Downtown - BBI: IPA - Winner)
Bulldog Brewing Co. 
Fountain Square Brewery
Upland Brewing Co. 
Iechyd Da Brewing Co. (welcome another newbie!)
Powerhouse Brewing Co. 
Oaken Barrel Brewing Co. (Hi - newbie!)
Twisted Crew Brewing Co. 

For some more recaps of the fun of Brew Bracket see our previous blogs:
BBII: Stouts 
BBIII: Wheats
BBIV: Bourbon Barrel Aged

Also - Be on the look out for Kathleen and her new Beer Socks. Going red and white for Christmas!