Brewers Cup Winning Homebrew Recipes

Following the completion of this year’s Brewers Cup competition, I thought it would be fun to solicit recipes from some of the winning homebrewers. Reviewing information like this is a great way to gain ideas that inform your own brewing and help you create a unique version of your own award-winning brew. And if you’re not interested in these styles, it’s still pretty cool to see what your fellow colleagues are up to in the brewhouse. But I think you will be interested – we’ve collected everything from session beers to heavy hitters, and a range of styles from relatively popular to obscure and historical. If you have a question for one of the brewers, please leave it in the comments and I will try to draw their attention to your query. And with that, away we go……in order by style category………


“Why So Bitter” by Tim Palmer

BJCP Style Category 8A: Standard/Ordinary Bitter

for 5.5 gallons

7.5 lbs. Maris Otter
7 ounces Crystal 120
0.9 ounces East Kent Golding 5.8% Alpha (60 minutes)
0.5 ounces East Kent Golding 5.8% Alpha (30 minutes)
0.5 ounces East Kent Golding 5.8% Alpha (5 minutes)
1 tsp Irish Moss (15 minutes)
0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient (10 minutes)
1 gram gypsum (add to mash)
1 mL Phosphoric Acid (add to mash)
1 gram gypsum (add to boil kettle)
1 gram CaC12 (add to boil kettle)
Wyeast 1968: London ESB Ale)
Original Gravity: 1.037
IBU: 30
SRM: 9
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Brewing water was comprised of 6 gallons RO water and 6 gallons filtered tap water. Mash in with 10.93 quarts of 164.4 degree water and hold mash at 152 degrees for 1 hour. Fly sparge with 5.96 gallons of 168 degree water. Ferment at 67 degrees for 14 days.

“The Scottish Loveknot” by Nathan Compton

BJCP Style Category 9E: Strong Scotch Ale

for 5.5 gallons

9.5 lbs. Golden Promise malt
4.5 lbs. Maris Otter
1.5 lbs. Munich Light (~9 Lovibond)
6 ounces Crystal 40
4 ounces Chocolate malt
2 ounces Roasted barley
1 ounce Peated malt (optional)
1.5 ounces Fuggle 4.2% Alpha (60 minutes)
0.5 ounces Fuggle 4.2% Alpha (20 minutes)
0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient (15 minutes)
1 pack Wyeast 1056, 1 pack Wyeast 1728 (1.5 liter starter)
Original Gravity: 1.084
Final Gravity: 1.020
ABV: 8.5%
IBU: 28
SRM: 18
Boil Time: 2 hours

Mash grains at 156 degrees for 1 hour. Collect the first gallon of mash runnings in a small stock pot. While collecting the remaining wort from the mash in your brew kettle, separately boil the first runnings for 30 minutes or until thick and mildly syrupy. Add boiled first runnings back to the brew kettle before beginning the 2 hour full boil. Ferment at 62 degrees for approximately 3 weeks. Transfer to secondary and bulk age for 6-8 weeks, or longer if your carboy space will allow. This beer will benefit from 1-2 years of aging……or longer if you have more patience than I do.

Note: I’ve found that a small peated malt addition adds subtle complexity to this beer. Some will tell you the addition of any smoked malt in a Scottish is inauthentic and therefore “wrong.” So decide for yourself - it’s your beer, make it how you like it! For post-brewing fun, look up the title of this beer if you enjoy adult-oriented cinema.

“Knuckles’ Brown” by Dave and Nate Bordenkecher

BJCP Style Category 10C: American Brown Ale

for 5.0 gallons

9 lbs. 2 Row Pale Malt
1 lb., 4 ounces Victory Malt
8 ounces Crystal 40
5 ounces Crystal 120
4 ounces Chocolate Malt
0.66 ounces Cluster 7% Alpha (60 minutes)
1.0 ounces Mount Hood 6% Alpha (20 minutes)
0.33 ounces Cluster 7% Alpha (15 minutes)
1.0 ounces Mount Hood 6% Alpha (5 minutes)
1.0 ounces Mount Hood 6% Alpha (1 minute)
Wyeast 1272: American Ale II (1 liter starter)
Original Gravity: 1.059
IBU: 35
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Mash in with 15.54 quarts of 162.6 degree water and hold mash at 152 degrees for 1 hour. Batch sparge with 3.44 gallons of 168 degree water. Ferment at 68 degrees.

“Dybbuk” by Jeremy Dunn

BJCP Style Category 18D: Belgian Golden Strong Ale

for 6.0 gallons

11 lbs. Belgian Pilsner Malt
1 pound Munich Light
1 pound White Wheat Malt
4 ounces Acid Malt
2 ounces Caramunich Malt
1 pound Cane (Beet) Sugar
2.0 ounces Sterling 4.5% Alpha (60 minutes)
1.0 ounces Willamette 5.1% Alpha (added at flameout)
Wyeast 3787: Trappist High Gravity
1 pound Golden Candi Syrup (added to fermenter after 2 weeks of primary fermentation)
Original Gravity: 1.072
IBU: 23.8
SRM: 5.2
Boil Time: 90 minutes

This recipe uses a multi-stage step mash. Add 18.72 quarts of 118.7 degree water to hit 112 degree mash temp. Hold at 112 degrees for 20 minute Acid Rest. Heat mash to 136 degrees over 15 minutes. Hold at 136 degrees for 25 minute Protein Rest. Heat mash to 145 degrees over 15 minutes. Hold at 145 degrees for 30 minute Amylase/Maltose Rest. Heat mash to 153 degrees over 10 minutes. Hold at 153 degrees for 15 minute Saccharification rest. Heat to 168 degrees for Mash Out. Ferment at 66 degrees for the first week, allow temp to rise to 72 after a week. Add the Golden Candi Syrup after 2 weeks in primary.

“GTO” by Kyle Vester

BJCP Style Category 21A: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer

Specific Style: Cucumber Kolsch

for 11.0 gallons

17 lbs. Pilsen Malt
1.5 ounces Hallertauer 4.8% Alpha (60 minutes)
1.5 ounces Hallertauer 4.8% Alpha (45 minutes)
White Labs WLP029: German Ale/Kolsch Yeast
1 pound Cucumber per gallon in secondary**
Boil Time: 90 minutes

Mash at 148 degrees with 6 gallons of water. Fly sparge with 10 gallons of water at 170 degrees. Ferment at 62 degrees. If desired, lager for a month or so.

**Notes on the cucumber addition: I used English Cucumber (seedless) and cut the ends off, chopped them up and threw them in. I didn't bother peeling them, however next time I make it I will. I didn't do any freezing or pasteurization of the cucumber. Left in the secondary for 1 week, then transferred to the keg to age.

“Mumms the Word” by Hugh Gardner

BJCP Style Category 23: Specialty Beer

Specific Style: Mumm (historical style)

batch size not specified, but likely 5 gallons

4 lbs. Light Liquid Malt Extract
3 lbs. Wheat Dry Malt Extract
1.5 lbs. Flaked Oats
12 ounces Briess 50/60 L Crystal
4 ounces Chocolate malt
4 ounces Rye malt
4 ounces Black Patent
0.5 ounces Northern Brewer (60 minutes)
1 pound honey
German Wheat Yeast
Herbs and Spices
1 ounce licorice root
2 tbsp juniper berries
0.5 ounce chamomile
0.25 ounce marjoram
0.25 ounce elecampane root
0.5 ounce rose hips
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Add all spices with 30 minutes left in the boil. Add the honey with 10 minutes left in the boil. Chill wort and add German Wheat yeast.

“Goat Holler Amber” by Steve Kent

Brewers Cup Category 99: Indiana Specialty Beer

Specific Style: Kentucky Common

for 5.5 gallons

8.5 lbs. Rahr 2 Row Malt
3 pounds Flaked Corn
1 pound, 2 ounces Muntons Crystal 60
9 ounces Muntons Pale Chocolate
2.45 AAU of Willamette (60 minutes)
4.1 AAU of Palisade (60 minutes)
2.9 AAU of Willamette (20 minutes)
4.9 AAU of Palisade (20 minutes)
Wyeast 2112: California Lager (2 liter starter)
Original Gravity: 1.053
Final Gravity: 1.011

To make the sour mash, take 35% of the grains (approximately 4 lbs, 10 oz) and mash the grains directly in your kettle for an hour at 152 degrees at 1 qt/lb. Cool the mash down to 130 degrees and carefully transfer the mash to a cooler large enough to accommodate it (2 gallons should work). Be careful not to introduce any oxygen at this point because it can spoil the mash.

Style Notes: Kentucky Common is an antiquated style popular in the Louisville area in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since the style originated in bourbon country, it employed a sour mash and a healthy proportion of corn. The resulting beer is crisp, refreshing and mildly tart. The sour mash takes two days. While you are doing it, make a two quart yeast starter to ensure a high enough cell count for pitching. This is an all-grain recipe using thebrew in a bag method. Estimated efficiency is 60%.


Hope you’ve enjoyed checking out these recipes! Thanks to Dave and Nate, Hugh, Jeremy, Kyle, Steve, and Tim for sharing their expertise with everyone. Happy brewing!

Dribs and Drams – State Fair edition

IndianaStateFair2014The Indiana State Fair starts Friday and runs through August 17th. Beer and wine will be available for the first time since the post-WWII crowd got unruly in 1946 at the first post-war fair. In the statehouse, bill number 1 in 1947 was to dry the Fair.

So what goes? The industry has some friends and with the help of Fair officials there WILL be beer and wine although it’s not going to be easy on the fairgoer – or very available. Here’s the rules:

Where? in the Grand Hall (across from the Coliseum).
When? 1-9pm with last call at 8pm.
Only Indiana Beer and Wine.
A booth in the xxxxxxxxx building will hold all the alcohol. No roaming the grounds.
Everyone heading for that booth will be carded and get a wrist band.
Three drink maximum (of 3 sets of samples). Basically 36 ounces of beer or 15 ounces of wine.
Price: $5 per 12-oz glass (or 5-oz wine) or 3 samples,
What beers will be available? 3 different breweries per day. Here’s a schedule.

Tom Wallbank unearthed this picture from the 1946 Indiana State Fair. The Fair went dry in 1947.

StateFairGoesDry StateFairGoesDry2
The Billboard Mar 22, 1947

OliverCider1Hoosier ciders lovers rejoice: Oliver Winery has brought out BeanBlossom Hard Cider. From “gently pressed Midwestern apples”. That’s good, we’d hate to think apples were abused. Hey, there’s also a peach blend in the lineup. 25oz bottles. 9%ABV.

Mother Jones says Bud and Miller Are Trying to Hijack Craft Beer—and It’s Totally Backfiring but they are using the number of breweries as a basis for success.

Andrew Luck thinks Indiana beer is just fine. Especially Sun King and Flat 12. articleSixty monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA is making “certified” Trappist Beers. They hope it goes well so they can pay the health bills of their average 70-year old brothers. article

Dribs and Drabs

The convenience stores (Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association) are going to try again to get cold (mass market) beer on their shelves. So they brought a suit. A Federal Judge ruled that Indiana has legitimacy in the the state law allowing only warm beer “to go” except in liquor stores, breweries and pubs.
The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers (the liquor stores’ lobby organization) wants to keep the current way of doing things. They point out there is no age restriction at grocery and convenience stores.
The AG’s office defended the law in the Federal Court and says the fight should be done in the legislature, not in the courts. The IPMCSA is filing an appeal and has also filed a [state] suit in a Superior Court.
The brewer’s trade association (BIG) hasn’t much to say but I claim cold sales in convenience stores would eliminate some sales since cold beer buyers would have availability of BudMillerCoors and wouldn’t have to stop by a liquor store for the evening’s libation. On the other hand, a bit of Indiana Craft Beer would sneak onto the gas station shelves.

Watson’s BBQ sauce.

Kickstarter beer keg/tap by Steve Young. Wanted $250,000 pledged 648,535. Gotta wonder about those type of numbers.

Is Seaweed Beer The Next Big Thing? (think Kelpie Seaweed Ale with real seaweed).





Indiana Microbrewers Festival Review

Arguably the biggest event on the annual Indiana beer festival calendar, the 19th annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival was one to remember. Well, at least we found a few staff members who claim to remember. Here are some pictures, observations, and beer picks from the big day.

davesmall From Dave…..

Saturday July 19th, the Optimists Park and the Indianapolis Art Center once again welcomed the Brewers of Indiana Guild, Indiana Microbrewers Festival. With well over 75 breweries represented, the vast majority from our Hoosier state, there was no shortage of great beers.

After some 5 hours of sampling and getting to know the friendly faces pouring those samples, there were far too many to list. There were a handful of standouts that remain in my befuddled post-festival memory though… and in no particular order, some of my personal favorites from this years event:

Flat12 – The Good Wood. I liked the concept here. A standard, approachable base beer style separated into small batches and aged on different types of wood. We tried the beer aged on Maple side by side with the same beer aged on Ash. Picking out the differing flavors/aromas imparted by the wood was a lot of fun.

Stone – Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers. I know, Stone isn’t exactly local, and this beer may not be one of those special one-off-you-can-ONLY-get-it-at-the-festival beers for the elite crowd. But it WAS really quite good. All of the components were there, but not muddled and not the palate wrecker you might expect from a beer with peppers and smoke.

Rhinegeist – Zen. Look for a little more about Rhinegeist and their great beers in future IndianaBeer blog posts. Having made the journey to Cincinnati a couple of times this summer, we’ve become quick fans. And of all the great beers in the Rhinegeist roster, Zen is my favorite. If I could purchase it here in Indy I may well hang up my mash paddle and meager homebrewing habit. This is the beer I dream about when it’s June and I’m working in the yard or manning the grill. Zen is a hop forward, refreshing 4.8% session beer. I highly recommend the trip out to OH if you weren’t able to sample this beer at the festival.

Taxman – We were fortunate to try both the wit and the saison from Bargersville’s latest brewery venture. Both were very solid beers. Slightly tart, refreshing on a warm day. Worth stopping by the next time you find yourself South of the capital city.

Zwanzigz – We counted ourselves fortunate indeed to get a sample of the Rye-Ice Bock, Aged in a Rye Barrel. Rumor has it there may be a small amount of this beer available in the tap room in beautiful Columbus, IN. If you’re anywhere nearby, drop what you’re doing and go there. Now. Order this beer and count yourself in the number of fortunate sons who got to experience it before it’s gone. Complex isn’t really a big enough word, and a simple description from a simple blog writer won’t do it either. You need to try it for yourself to really get it. 

All told, this year’s festival was a wonderful event. Maybe a bit on the crowded side once General Admission ticket holders were on the grounds.

But with the explosive growth of the industry, one can hardly complain about sharing beer passion with several thousand like-minded folks. We had great weather, great food, excellent beer, and made memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks to the Brewers of Indiana Guild for hosting such a great festival.

And now, let the planning for Winterfest commence!


gregsmall From Greg…..

About half-way through the Microbrewers Festival at Opti-Park in Broad Ripple I saw the B.I.G. Director Lee Smith and new Communications Director Tristan Schmid to tell them I was not sure if it was the weather or maybe my attitude but this seemed like the best festival in a long time. The weather was perfect, and while there were plenty of people, lines seemed to flow quickly and most people looked happy! My personal goal is to find unusual beers or new breweries but also to talk the brewers and owners since this is like a “Brewery Reunion.” This was a great day for all of that.

Zwanzigz Brewer Mike Rybinski had told me a week earlier he would have a special beer at this festival; but then he ALWAYS has a special beer at a festival. His Barrel Aged Scotch Ale had all of the delicious caramel and malt of the style with added vanilla and oak from the barrel where it aged for over one year! The German style Gose, rare style, has a truly interesting saltiness with sour. I would not go for the Cucumber Lime Kolsch served with a cucumber slice (just me) but hundreds were handed out.

Figure 8 brewer Mike Lahti created quite a stir serving local Valparaiso ice cream with his own Root Beer – or did you get yours with the Rye Pale? Mike’s Camp 4 nut brown ale with chocolate, caramel, and cask conditioned (no exaggeration) coffee was a really complex offering at the firkin tent!

Black Acre continued (as did Flat 12) the concept of a theme. While I always appreciate their beer, this time I was particularly struck with their pirates costumes. The guys were almost all dressed as female pirates! Turns out a bra can be a good glass holder – or so they told us! I almost forgot about the tasty RyePA seeing the bellies sticking out of their outfits! Thankfully there was one real pirate girl, at least her outfit made it appear so.

Flat 12 went with a baseball theme. I somehow missed the “Shelled” Rye stout aged in Canadian whiskey barrels aged on cocoa nibs and peanut butter (really!) but enjoyed the George Brett B, APA with Brett and hopped with Bravo, Magnum, Chinook, and Citra. Brewer Sean was on hand to talk us through the beer while Head Brewer Rob Caputo told us he just spent a lot of time working on their new Jeffersonville, IN, facility.

I finally got a Vacation, Kolsch that is, from Daredevil. I’ve been looking for that one all summer and it did not disappoint. This version is a delicious light ale, appropriately effervescent, with just a touch of a hop finish, far less than any other ale that is pale.

Bare Hands Brewery of Mishawaka was a focal point for me, partly because I got the Mango Habenero 574, with a huge taste of mangoes but a nice spice from sliced, raw habanero peppers right in the cask. They doubled up this year with a Double Thai PA that had all we’ve come to expect of this beer in seasoning but the extra hops. Yet, what made this tent so special was Bare Hands owner Chris Gerard has recovered enough from his terrible accident to be there serving beer. The brewers of Indiana really pitched in to hold events which helped contribute to paying Chris’ hospital bills.

Scarlet Lane brewery is one of our newest with their tap room actually opening the day after Microbrewers Festival. Three medals at the Brewers Cup 2014 shows they are getting early credibility for owner Elise Lane and Head Brewer Chris Knott. Their Paeonia uses the Indiana State flower, peony, in a delicious saison that won silver this year. Their Dorian stout, a base for award winning coffee stout, is one of their regular beers and exhibited a great roast character.

Sun King offered special tappings with one of my favorite, Lonesome Dove, bourbon barrel aged triple that delivers plenty of the flavors from the barrel supported by some sweetness and nearly bubble gum character of the Belgian style.

Upland’s Head Brewer Caleb poured Light Synth for us! Light synth is a collaboration of 50% New Belgian Brewery’s Felix (an oak aged sour ale) with 40% Upland Sour Reserve oak aged plus 10% oak aged cherry lambic with cherries added. The complexity of this beer is amazing.

Big Dawg of Richmond offered their Freya’s Chosen Viking Ale a Norse beer with heather tips, juniper berries and honey using grains soaked in birch wood. Unusual may not be a strong enough word.

Bloomington Brewing had the Ol’ Floyd’s Belgian Dark Strong aged in bourbon barrels alongside a randle infused Quarrymen pale ale. Of course they had their silver award winning Ten Speed Hoppy Wheat and their Gold from last year Rooftop IPA.

I tip my hat to Carson’s brewery of Evansville to my first beer of the festival, their delicious Brown Cow English brown ale. Brewer John Mills walked away with 3 awards this year at Brewer’s Cup.

Tin Man of Evansville had the Pink Peppercorn IPA that took a silver this year at Brewers Cup. The spice is truly amazing.

The grounds are very nice and provide a pleasant atmosphere to walk around, yet this festival is so large and spread out with clusters of brewers making it easy to get sidetracked with talk or from the crowd. I missed a few beers that I truly intended to try.

nathansmall From Nathan…..

“Quality over quantity”……it’s a familiar refrain in the world of craft beer drinkers. Sure, it may be just a bit disingenuous to dismiss the quantity aspect when a massive crowd descends on Broad Ripple to binge on 4 or 5 hours of beer drinking. But it actually seems to apply to the experience at this year’s Microbrewers Festival. First the good: I can’t think of another Microbrewers Festival where the overall quality of the beer I sampled measured up to this year. Now the bad: Who the hell had any beer left in the six o’clock hour this year? Not many it seemed, so the few that did attracted a sizable crowd. The most disappointing aspect is several of the breweries on my “must try” list for this year ran out of beer before I could get there. Ah well…can’t really say I didn’t get my money’s worth in the first few hours anyway.

To the committee who planned the Port-a-Johns this year…..bravo!!! It’s amazing how beer festivals across the country chronically underestimate the need for bathroom space when thousands of people are there for the primary purpose of drinking beer. Listen up festival organizers….this ain’t rocket science….people are going to need toilets. And if you need an example of how to do it right – look no further than Indiana’s own Microbrewers Festival. Rather than being centered in a huge cluster with even larger lines, the facilities were well spaced and plentiful throughout the festival grounds. Lines ranged from minimal to virtually nonexistent. What a rare pleasure to attend a festival that didn’t require a half-hour wait for the privilege of peeing in a plastic box.

These festivals have grown to the point where a comprehensive review of the breweries is impossible. So we always try to target places that are outside the Indy area and find the up-and-coming Hoosier brewers that we just can’t visit everyday. These folks end up receiving well-deserved accolades in posts like this, but they also become destinations for future beer trips. It’s the large festivals like this which have introduced us to the likes of Bare Hands, Iechyd Da, and Zwanzigz. Word clearly gets around and the lines for these breweries have grown longer with each passing festival.

Well, add a new one to the list this year as Culver/Mishawaka’s Evil Czech Brewery was the day’s winner in my book. They hit the coveted festival combo of offering a diverse, unique lineup (Belgians, Specialty IPAs, Peppers, Coffee, etc.) with solid technical execution. I sampled four of the beers at their table and all were excellent. Their line was minimal when we passed through the area – that will change in the future and you need to check them out if you haven’t recently. I suppose it probably didn’t hurt that Poppi had a lady boner for the server’s vintage dress. But I digress…..on to the beer picks:

Pick of the Day: Evil Czech White Reaper (Belgian White IPA with honey and lemongrass)

Honorable Mentions
Bare Hands Brewery - Pineapple 574 DIPA
Figure 8 Brewing - Black Corridor Imperial Stout (served with a scoop of ice cream)
Iechyd Da - Fearless King (Smoked Rye Porter)
Shoreline Brewery – Barrel Aged Big Bella Scotch Ale
Three Floyds – Evil Power Imperial Pilsner
Zwanzigz – Gose Beer (wheat beer with coriander and salt)

If you did not get enough sampling or you did not go, consider the 45 minute drive south of Indy to GnawBrew in beautiful Brown County this weekend, starting Saturday, 2:00 PM. Featuring 20 breweries + wineries, music, art, and a free primitive camping spot, this is an ideal and more intimate way to get to know local, Indiana breweries. The venue is Valley Branch Retreat (Map here) From newer brewers Tow Yard, Taxman, & Quaff On to established Powerhouse, New Albanian, Zwanzigz, and Fountain Square, you have a great chance of sampling. CLICK HERE for Tickets

MicroBrewers Festival - Strategies to make the most of a beer event!

It's that time again! Tomorrow is the third and biggest major Indiana Beer Fest associated with the Brewers of Indiana Guild. The 19th Microbrewers Festival starts at 3:00 for general admission and is likely sold out by the time you read this but check here or Big Red Liquors locations. We don't pretend to believe 'we know best' how to visit a festival. Yet, we want to at least encourage attendees to think about a strategy!

Here are some questions to think about before you go!

Where will I park? That is a very important question with 6000 people descending upon a park where there is no direct parking lot in the cute little area known as Broad Ripple. There is a parking garage at 62nd & College Av. within a few blocks. Go to an online map and at least get an idea where you might park.

What can I bring in? The B.I.G. answers that and a few other questions here with other FAQS

Where do I start? It seems so many people enter and just go get in some line. We suggest you decide what types of breweries you MOST want to sample from! Here are some thoughts:

- Do you want to try those you are less likely to ever drive to? If so, look for the breweries that are farthest away. If you live in Central Indiana, maybe you start with 3 Floyds of Munster, Bare Hands of Granger, Evil Czech of Mishawaka, Carsons of Evansville, Tin Man of Evansville, Iechyd Da of Elkhart, or Big Dawg of Richmond.

- Do you want to find the most unusual beers? That might be Bare Hands ThaiPA, Figure 8's CAMP coffee carmel, Flat12's surprises, Burn 'Em Smoked Pork Porter, Books&Brews Soba buckwheat, and BEER LIST HERE

- Do you want to try new breweries? Start with Mashcraft of Greenwood, Scarlet Lane of McCordsville, Chilly Waters of Indy, Taxman of Bargersville, Tow Yard of Indy, and on to Daredevil.

- Do you want to visit the biggest so you don't miss what your friends talk about? Sun King, Upland, 3Floyds then Flat12, Triton, etc.

- Do you want to visit award winners? See our recent list of gold medalists for Brewers Cup READ HERE and start with Upland and on to Bier Brewery!

- Do you want to revisit the "Tried & True," Some of Indiana's oldest breweries? The Broad Ripple Brew Pub, Barley Island, Oaken Barrel, The Bloomington Brewing Co., Mad Anthony, New Albanian, Lafayette Brewing.

Maybe you have your OWN thought such as shortest lines, beer other people talk about at the event, the ability to get exercise by walking back and forth.... just think about how you will approach this.

Remember, you have a small tasting glass and even a 2 ounce pour means 6 samples equals one legal bottle of beer. The body can handle one bottle per hour for most of us (some a lot more, some less) so 20-30 beers to try is very possible, just which ones? With 80 breweries you can't even get one from each place! (Hey, that was NOT a challenge.)

And our own Nathan Compton had a great blog with some other thoughts (Potty break, anyone?) for the Winterfest so rather than repeat it all, just check out Nathan's thoughts HERE.

Go, enjoy, experience, look us up! The weather should really cooperate this year!

Indiana Brewers' Cup Awards

In its 16th year, the Indiana Brewers’ Cup is one of the nation’s largest beer competitions featuring home brewers and professional brewers. Nearly 1,300 entries were expertly judged by approximately 120 trained judges with help from dozens of volunteer 'stewards.' The Indiana State Fair, in partnership with the Brewers of Indiana Guild, hosts event. Sponsors include:
- Broad Ripple Brewpub: “Brewer of the Day” to the Best of Show Home Brewer
- Blichmann Enginering: A Boilermaker pot to the Indiana Home Brewer of the Year
- Great Fermentations: A $50 gift certificate to second place home brewers
- Brewers Art Supply: A $25 gift certificate to third place home brewers
- Sun King Brewery: The space, time and energy required to cellar beers prior to the event
- Sugar Creek Hops

Entries were received from as far away as California in 2014 while the local Indiana Competition is still intense.

News This Year: Breweries open a relatively short time took home medals. The landscape is changing as Indiana nears 100 breweries and brewers from out of state continue to enter this competition. Two newer breweries in Evansville, IN, walked out with a host of awards! Tin Man Brewing opened in late 2012 and has been fine tuning their operation and their beers. They took a total of 4 medals winning gold for their stout and a spiced beer. Carson's Brewing was on a pilot batch back in Spring 2013 and has had their full commercial brewery opened for less than a year. Former Home Brewer John Mills made the switch to Pro Brewer for Carson's and left with 3 medals!

Perhaps the quickest brewery to win an award is Scarlet Lane, distributing only since May, with their tasting room to open July 20 in McCordsville. The power of female owner Lane who learned beer in Oregon and Head Brewer Chris Knott, formerly of the RAM came through with 3 awards.

Upland swept the last few minutes
of the Award Ceremony with Pro Best-Of-Show, Brewery of the Year, and Grand Champion awards (UPLAND TEAM SHOWN AT RIGHT)

Following is our unofficial list of Gold Medal First Place Winners (as noted from announcements at the Saturday reception). Forgive Spelling and attribution of cities based on our notes.


Light Lager: Mad Anthony Brewing, Ft. Wayne, IN
Pilsner: Sun King Brewing, Indianapolis, IN
European Amber: Mad Anthony Brewing, Ft. Wayne
Dark Lager: RAM Brewery, Indianapolis, IN
Bock: Latitude 42 Brewing, Portage, MI
Light Hybrid: Salt Creek Brewery, Bedford, IN
Amber Hybrid: Oaken Barrel Brewing, Greenwood, IN
Scottish & Irish: Indiana City Brewing, Indianapolis, IN
American Ale: Rhinegeist Brewing, Cincinnati, OH
English Brown: Bier Brewery, Indianapolis, IN
Porter: Latitude 42 Brewing, Portage, MI
Stout: Tin Man Brewing, Evansville, IN
IPA: Scarlet Lane Brewing, Indianapolis, IN
German Wheat/Rye: Christian Moerlein Brewing, Cincinnati, OH
Belgian/French Ale: Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN
Sour: Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN
Belgian Strong Ale: Bier Brewery, Indianapolis, IN
Strong Ale: Bier Brewery, Indianapolis, IN
Fruit beer: Destihl Brewery, Bloomington, IL
Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer: Tin Man Brewing, Evansville, IN
Smoke Beer: Indiana City Brewing, Indianapolis, IN
Specialty: Hailstorm Brewing, Tinley Park, IL
Indiana Specialty (Corn): Crown Brewing, Crown Point, IN

Shown are pro-brewers Elyse Lane (owner) and Chris Knot (Head Brewer) from one of Indiana's newest Breweries, who are planning to just open their tasting room on July 20. They received 3 medals including gold. They've only distributed since May 2014.

PRO BREWER BEST OF SHOW: VinoSynthRed (collaboration with Indiana's Oliver Winery), Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN

PRO BREWER OF THE YEAR: Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN

Grand Champion Pro Brewery: Upland Brewing, Bloomington, IN

HomeBrew Club Foam Blowers of Indiana made a strong showing again with multiple medals taking both major Club awards! Interestingly the Home Brew Best-Of-Show and Home Brewer of the Year went to Louisville based brewer, Evan Brill.


Light Lager: Chris Ingerman, Muncie, IN
Pils: Brian Eichhorn, Chicago, IL
European Amber Lager: Evan Brill, Louisville, KY
Dark Lager: Brian & Dean Steuerwald, Indianapolis, IN
Bock: Brian & Dean Steurewald, Indianapolis, IN
Light Hybrid: Jonathan Robinson & Peter Argiris, IL
American Hybrid: Paul Till, Ft. Wayne, IN
English Pale: Tim Palmer, Indianapolis, IN
Scottish & Irish: Russell Bankert
American Ale: Josh, Kent, Eric Bertsch
English Brown: John Gladden, Alameda, CA
Porter: Kevin Paul, Royal Oaks, MI
Stout: Andrew Johnson, Noblesville, IN
IPA: Ryan Mills, Indianapolis,IN
German Wheat/Rye: Bryce Hooper, LaPorte, IN
Belgian/French Ale: Edward Kilroy, Carmel, IN
Sour: Tom Wallbank, Zionsville, IN
Belgian Strong: Jeremy Dunn, Evansville, IN
Strong Ale: Jim Jimerson, Indianapolis, IN
Fruit beer: Brian Spaulding & Kurt Conwell, Ft. Wayne, IN
Spice/Herb/Veg beer: Bill Staashelm, Indianapolis
Smoke/wood aged: Scott Pointon, Crest Hill, IL
Specialty: Hugh Gardner, W. Lafayette, IN
Indiana Specialty (Corn): Steve Kent

SHOWN (right) TOP PIC: Judges busy scoring during the day, including Master Judge Sandy
BOTTOM PIC: Foam Blowers
members sitting waiting for the news!
Thanks to Nathan Compton and Bob Ostrander for contributing to this blog.

Home Brewer Best of Show: Evan Brill, Louisville, KY
Brewer's Cup Homebrewer of the Year: Evan Brill, Louisville, KY

Home Brew Club of the Year (most total points): Foam Blowers of Indiana

Bill Friday Home Brew Club Award (most points/total entries of the club) Foam Blowers of Indiana

Bill Friday was a home brewer from West Lafayette, IN, who traveled not only Indiana but to beer events far and wide spreading the connections between people and beer. This writer recalls Bill best for his many buttons he made and sold to make money for the local THC club. Yet, most memorable for me was a visit to Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee right after Bill passed on. Owner and Brewer Russ Klisch asked if I had known Bill. We almost spent more time talking about how much Bill had done for brewing than about Lakefront's beer! Bill had been to Lakefront a few times and since Bill and Russ were both tall guys Bill jokingly started the Tall Brewers Society with Russ as Charter Member. Bill would be too humble to have an award named after him which is likely why it is so fitting.

Remember the rest of the week!

Tuesday July 15 is Indiana Girl's Pint Out's gathering at Mass Ave Pub, 745 Mass Ave, Indy, 6-9 PM with the unveiling of the top three beer cocktails recipes from the GPO contest with samples and available to purchase the drink! The Winning beer-tail will be featured at Mass Ave Pub for the rest of July!

Saturday July 19 is the largest beer festival held in Indiana as nearly 6000 converge on Broad Ripple's Optimist Park for the 19th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival with over 350 craft beers from 80+ brewers, mostly Indiana. Tickets are likely still available at Big Red Liquors and online HERE. The main event is 3-7PM and sold out last year. A portion of ticket sales benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

And a shout out to bartenders and servers: HopCat Broad Ripple plans to open August 16, and is now hiring
for all positions with interviews until Aug. 1 (M-F 9-6). Those interested inquire at

BIG week of Indiana Beer Days in Indianapolis! July 11-19

Today starts the first of more than one week of BIG days for Indiana. BIG can mean Brewers of Indiana Guild as they are heavily involved in many of the truly big events.

Brewer's Cup Competition: The premier beer competition in the Midwest is The Brewer's Cup, which has nearly 1300 entrees from both Professional brewers and home brewers. Approximately 120 trained beer judges will assemble at the Indiana State Fair Grounds for the weekend starting tonight (July 11) for the first round of judging. Judging continues all day Saturday. The big announcement of winners comes Saturday night at the closed reception for brewers and judges (6-8PM). We will have the unofficial (meaning we wrote them down from the announcements) list of top winners on this blog by Monday. This year two new awards have been added. The Bill Friday Homebrew Club award for the club with the best winning percentage and the Grand Champion Brewer award for the pro brewer that earns the most points in the competition.

Saturday July 12 is the 19 mile Tour De Biere starting at 67th and Cornell at 10:00 AM down the Monon Trail and beyond to Fountain Square brewery, Flat12 Bierworks, Triton's Tap, and for those who want to head north back beyond Broad Ripple, Union Brewing in Carmel. map here

Sunday July 13 is the Broad Ripple Brew Pub's 2014 Hoods and Hops antique, classic, and custom car show with $5 entry fee for cars but free for browsers. Noon to 5:00PM.

Tuesday July 15 is Indiana Girl's Pint Out's gathering at Mass Ave Pub, 745 Mass Ave, Indy, 6-9 PM with the unveiling of the top three beer cocktails recipes from the GPO contest with samples and available to purchase the drink! The Winning beer-tail will be featured at Mass Ave Pub for the rest of July!

Saturday July 19 is the largest beer festival held in Indiana as nearly 6000 converge on Broad Ripple's Optimist Park for the 19th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival with over 350 craft beers from 80+ brewers, mostly Indiana. Tickets are likely still available at Big Red Liquors and online HERE. The main event is 3-7PM and sold out last year. A portion of ticket sales benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

And a shout out to bartenders and servers: HopCat Broad Ripple plans to open August 16, and is now hiring
for all positions with interviews until Aug. 1 (M-F 9-6). Those interested inquire at

We hope to see you out at one or more events!

Cheers! GregKitz