8th Upcup Competition at Upland has a Blonde for a Winner

Last Saturday Upland Brewing Co. played host to the 8th Annual UpCup at their Profile Parkway production facility in Bloomington. This is a homebrew competition where entrants submit two bottles of beer and indicate which BJCP style category they would like to be judged against.

Judging started at 10am and a flight of 9 or so beers were assessed. After scoring and a bit of lively discussion, the judges would then select a beer to proceed to final round of beers. After a break in the action a second flight was judged in the early afternoon with the same procedures as the morning flight. After the results were collated, a final flight known as best in show was judged to determine the top entries.

The event also served as an American Homebrewers Association (AHA) rally with the festivities starting at 3pm. Current AHA members were invited to attend and were provided opportunities to take a VIP tour of the brewery and enter into a prize raffle.
Multiple vendors of brewing supplies were also present. The local homebrew club, The Bloomington Hop Jockeys, were on hand to pour experimental homebrew batches that all used Upland’s Wheat Ale wort. It was evident from the outcomes that the homebrewers really embraced the chance to be creative with the latter part of the brewing process.

The UpCup announcement came later in the afternoon with the results as follows:
• 1st place: Chris Hoover – 47 ft. Blonde – Blonde Ale
• 2nd place: Jason Behenna – Extravehicular Activity – Dry Stout
• 3rd place: Tony Valenza – American Warrior, American Pale Ale

Chris’s beer will be brewed on Upland’s commercial system and entered in the 2015 Pro-Am competition at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. It will also be featured on tap at all Upland locations later this year.

I sampled a range of great beer during the day and it only reaffirmed in my mind what a flourishing homebrew community we have here in Indiana. I can also attest from personal experience how much joining a local homebrew club has helped improve my homebrew game. If you are an experienced brewer looking to hone your techniques or a beginner with more question than answers the AHA has an online directory to find a homebrew club near you. It’s one of the best ways you can prepare for competition next year.

-- By Ross Hughes, indianabeer.com blogger, homebrewer, aspiring Cicerone and all-around beer nerd. Ross enjoys a variety of beer styles and is always looking to train his palette with another tasty ale.

Paying a visit to the good Taxman - Death and Taxes Day 2015

Just 40 miles north of my residence in Bloomington is Taxman Brewing. Located in Bargersville, they’ve been on my radar for sometime— paying them a visit has been high on the to-do list but I had yet to make it happen. After seeing the event announcement go out on Twitter, I decided that one way to right the wrong would be to attend the inaugural Death and Taxes day.

I arrived shortly after the midday gate opening, and started out the day with a Let’s Get Weird by Upland. A part of their Side Trail series, it’s a blend of Belgian golden ale and oatmeal milk stout aged on blackcurrants. From its description I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I was greeted by was an ale with chocolate notes heavily influenced by the milk stout but nicely followed by a dash of tartness from the fruit.

After that one warm up beer, it was time to get down to business. The event ticket included two samples of the Death and Taxes beer, and after priming my palette, I was ready to try it for myself. Death and Taxes is an 11% Imperial Stout fermented with Belgian yeast. There was also a barrel variant aged in bourbon whiskey barrels for 10 weeks available. I was able to pick out a few Belgians esters in the aroma from the base beer. The barrel version however, has that huge hit of bourbon on the nose, which is to be expected but it does temper some of the other nuances in the aroma. In terms of flavor, the base beer has some roast, dark fruits notes but it had a really enjoyable bittersweet chocolate finish. The finish was similar in the barrel version but the flavors were of course more influenced with bourbon and vanilla notes contributed by the barrel aging.

A pit stop in the restaurant for lunch, accompanied by a Frozen Assets (Taxman’s Cocoa Belgian Milk Stout), provided me an opportunity to check out the indoor space they have for their brewpub.

In the afternoon I focused on some breweries that, due to their smaller distribution area, I’ve had minimal opportunities to sample. First up, based in Carmel, Danny Boy Beer Works and their American pale ale Training Day. Plenty of those west coast, grapefruit, citrus hops present but kept nicely in balance by some malt so it’s not too bitter, making it something you could enjoy a few of in a session. The next sample was Indiana City’s Shadow Boxer. One of their year-round brews, it’s an oatmeal stout with wonderful coffee, chocolate notes and the smooth creamy mouthfeel. Definitely a beer I look forward to having a full serving of at my next opportunity.

Before heading out I checked out some of the other tents but most importantly picked up my one allocated bottle. Based upon my earlier tastings, I opted for the bourbon variant and I’m looking to cellaring this to see how time evolves the barrel notes.

This was my first trip to Taxman but it wont be the last— I’ve already convinced my wife that this needs to be our next date night locale and I look forward to taking in more of brewpub atmosphere.
Check out GregKitz's review of Taxman food and beer HERE

BY: Ross Hughes, blogger for indianabeer.com and a homebrewer, aspiring Cicerone and all-around beer nerd.

Dribs, Drams, and Sauerbraten

Munich-Beer-Dinner4The very busy Ron Smith of Indy has four opportunities for the true beer geek:

1) June 6, July 11, Aug 8: MBA (Master of Beer Appreciation) classes in Indy

2) July 17-26: A beer trip to Germany (and optionally Pilzen and Prague). Munich, Aying, Kloster Andechs, Neuschwanstein, Bamberg, Hallertau

To make you drool for the last 2 seats on the trip, here’s a 10-year old look at Munich’s beer scene. And Bamberg’s.

3) IUPUI course TCEM 328 “Introduction to Microbrewing).

4) October & November: BJCP Study Group. To get ready to take the Beer Judge Certification Program test and get invites to taste beers all over the midwest.

FlixBrewhouseLogoRita’s Beer Buzz says the FLIX Brewhouse in Carmel will open April 30. Their standard will include Lupulus IPA, 10 Day Scottish Ale, Flix Golden Ale, Satellite Red Ale (hoppy Belgian) and Umbra Chocolate Stout. Oh, and movies.

Cedar Creek Winery and Brew Co. in Martinsville plans a grand opening on May 23.

Beer gardens are opening for the summer.

Geoff Lesar says Smokestack Brew tavern in Mishawaka’s 100 Center (the old Kamm & Schellinger brewery) has beer and karaoke.

Eric Strader tells us Bells is brewing a pumpkin/peach ale to justify Bud’s Superbowl commercial. blog

From Florida comes a press release: Sarasota-Based JDub’s Brewing Company Announces Distribution in INDIANA. Via Cavalier. Limited amount. Up Top IPA, Poolside Ale (Kolsch). But then they ingenuously say “This is a confidential communication. If you are not the intended recipient, you must: (1) Notify the sender of the error; (2) Destroy this communication entirely, including deletion of all associated attachment files from all individual and network storage devices; and (3) Refrain from copying or disseminating this communication by any means.” Oops. Here and I’ve violated their terms. Sorry. Don’t read this.

5987498764Headline: What Does 170-Year-Old Champagne Taste Like?

Headline: Pappy Van Winkle theft may be tied to syndicate. Nine indicted for stealing 65 cases of Family Reserve. Yep, “Pappygate”.

Headline: Teabags turn crap beer into craft beer Their first is Cascade, orange peel and coriander. A kickstarter scheme.

Or another way: Phillips Hop Drop liqueur adds more hops to your beerweb site

Headline: Carling rises as Coors looks to shake beer industry up – In the UK.

It isn’t beer but how often can you watch a really big celebrity singing a Monty Python song? This time it’s Stephen Hawking and the Galaxy Song. A wonderful 3 minutes.

Bloomington Craft Beer Fest 2015: great beer, great day; list of Spring Summer Fests included

Neither weather, beer, nor people could have been better for the Bloomington Craft Beer Fest 2015. Sunny, nearly 70 degree weather made this historic venue one of the best places in Indiana to meet brewers, sample craft beer, and generally enjoy the day. The beer samples were too numerous to count! However, one brewery, Function Brewing of Bloomington had TWENTY SEVEN different beers on tap with the most popular being a sour cherry milk stout followed by a ginger lemon golden ale.

Here are some of the ones our crew was able to try:

Ross says: This year I decided to volunteer at the festival and worked as a part of the brewer services team. I met a lot of great people, and because the festival was so busy my time to sample was limited. Whether you volunteer or attend, it’s a worthwhile experience and I would highly recommend it. Because I was tight on time, I made sure to visit the cask tent. Unsurprisingly, there were some tasty and creative offerings. Here’s my rundown of a few I really enjoyed:

Black Acre’s Mandarina Pale Ale with Fresh Blood Orange Zest and Citra. Right off the bat I was hit by a wave of juicy, citrus aromas. It tasted much like it smelled (and that’s a good thing.) The lower bitterness made this a real easy drinking beer and complimented the warmer afternoon weather perfectly.

Bloomington Brewing’s 10-Speed infused with Blueberries. Whether it’s bottled or on draft, BBC’s seasonal release is one of my favorites, and I could not pass on an opportunity try it from a cask. The fruit character paired nicely with the Mosaic hops to create a flavorful and refreshing wheat ale. The gentle carbonation typical of cask ales worked perfectly with this beer and I really enjoyed its smooth mouthfeel.

Upland’s Vinyl Tap Rye Pale Ale, Dry Hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo. This beer is not available year-round so I always try to seek it out. I was pretty excited my first opportunity to drink it this year was from a cask. A nicely balanced pale ale with some subtle spiciness from the rye and the dry hopping really upped the ante on those citrusy notes in the aroma.

Gary Cooper, our guest blogger, says: I’ve been drinking craft beers for the past 6 years when I discovered all beers were not created equal. I have been all-grain home brewing for the past 3 years and a favorite gift I received, is a set of Spiegelau beer glasses from my wife. Here are a few of beers I really enjoyed at the 5th annual Bloomington beer fest.

Bier Brewery, Indianapolis, Kolsch-A very good, refreshing beer that was not too bitter; had a nice dryness.

Brugge Brasserie, Indianapolis, Tripel de Ripple This is my go-to for Indiana “Tripels.” This spicy beer had a great mouth feel and a fruity-sweet taste, without being boozy.

Function Brewing, Bloomington, Cayenne Pepper Stout This stout had all the flavor of Cayenne peppers without the heat.

Noble Order Brewing company, Richmond, Blood Orange Mead This was really flavorful, the orange came through nicely, and it had just the right amount of sweetness.

Taxman Brewing Co., Bargersville, Belgian Cherry Dubbel Nice and malty, had a hint of cherry with a clean finish.

Three Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, Berliner Weisse Very true to style and not hopped out. I went back for seconds.

Wabash Brewing, Indianapolis, Bacon Face Brown-I'm not usually a brown fan, but this is on my list of top Indiana browns. It is an easy drinker with a hint of honey.

Zwanzigz Brewing, Columbus, Imperial Stout-This stout was packed with lots of roasty flavors that nailed it at not being too sweet or too bitter.

Greg Kitz adds: I love this festival as it is a beautiful, well-organized venue. We could only wish there was a way to sample from all 55 breweries on site; yet my notes tend to trail off as I talk and sample. Here are just a few highlights.

Basket Case Brewing, Jasper, the Oaked Revolution is their English Pale Ale aged with oak chips; I got vanilla from the oak with interesting American & English hop notes. This stands out as this is a restaurant with a small nano-brewery still producing interesting, fun beer.

Bloomington Brewing, had not only the Hoppy 10-speed with mosaic hops but running through a randall that had too many ingredients to note; all I can say is this created a very pleasant explosion in the mouth of hops and fruit.

Black Acre, Indianapolis, IPA w mandarin oranges was one that several beer lovers we know recommended and it did not disappoint. We know Black Acre produces solid, popular beer and the balance in this beer was really nice.

Chapman's, Ft. Wayne, Kolsch style - this crisp clean ale with a very slight bite at the end would be one I would go back for.

Function, Bloomington, must mention the sour cherry milk stout as a delicious combination of the lactic sourness, the roastiness of the stout, and overlay of cherry.

Grand Junction, Westfield, is another newer brewery (1 year) that offered a very clean hefeweizen with nice lemon flavor

Two Deep, Indianapolis, served their popular Maibock -- just right for the weather

Salt Creek, Bedford/Bloomington had the Out-of-Order Double IPA that reminded me of "Sierra pale on steroids" delivering a lot of traditional American hop flavor

Taxman, Bargersville, poured a beer that went down smoothly but was 10% plus, a heavy beer (originally their TaxHoliday) with charred jalapenos, habaneros & red chile peppers.

Wabash Brewing, Indianapolis, I repeat the Bacon Face Brown not only because it is a very good brown but the beer is named in memory of a favorite bulldog who had the name "Bacon Face." You just gotta love that story and the beer.

Zwanzigz, Columbus, I always look for Mike and this year in addition to regular offerings including ghost chili pepper stout, there were 2 most unusual beers. A bacon beer was a golden ales base with 5 pounds of bacon steeped in the keg (just like dry hopped, but with bacon); Mike also took his Russian Imperial Stout base and before our eyes added drops of pepper infusion from the Carolyna Reaper pepper currently rated as the world's hottest pepper. With just the right amount I got a nice flavor and a nice but tolerable burn on top of that wonderful RIS base.

Of course, there were many more that would deserve mention if we could just get to all breweries. There are many opportunities to try more beers at some upcoming festivals.

A short list of some upcoming SPRING/SUMMER Indiana Beer Festivals are:

May 9: Indiana Michigan Craft Beer Mayfest, Granger, IN INFO CLICK HERE

May 16: Crown Beer Fest, Crown Point, IN INFO CLICK HERE

May 16: Midwest Sour + Wild + Funk Fest, Indianapolis, IN INFO CLICK HERE

May 30: Fest of Ale by Keg Liquors, Clarksville, IN (Charity for Louisville/Southern In Crusade for Children) INFO CLICK HERE

May 30: American On Tap, Indianapolis, CLICK HERE FOR INFO

July 18: Indiana Microbrews Festival - The BIG Grand-daddy of Indiana Beer Fests!, Military Park (new venue), Indianapolis, CLICK HERE FOR INFO

July 25: GNAWBrew, Gnaw Bone, near Nashville, IN, CLICK HERE FOR INFO

August 1: Brew Haven, New Haven, IN, CLICK HERE FOR INFO

August 8: Pints in the Park, Highland, IN, CLICK HERE FOR INFO

Contributing to this piece were: Gary Cooper, Ross Hughes, and Greg Kitzmiller

Dribs and Drams

OmarOmar Castrellon is at the Lost Forty Brewery in Little Rock. He got lots of wins at the Arkansas Beer Tournament last week included Best Craft Brew for Bare Bones Pilsner. Also Two times for Love Honey Bock,  article Congratulations. “this is a brewery to watch, not just in Arkansas but beyond.” Good on ya.

Indiana On Tap articles:

Redemption Alewerks - Beer Specials And New Hours!

Noble Order Brewing Co. Ale Now Available In Cans

Favorites From Bloomington Craft Beer Festival

Evansville Brewers Continue To Surprise With Small Batch Beer

Here’s a Chicago Beer map. You can also find an Indy map there.

Headline: Kentucky Investigators Say There’s New Evidence In Case Of Stolen Bourbon Barrels article

nb_benjerrybottleBen & Jerrys & New Belgium Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. And not even THAT kind of brownies. article

Headline: Beauty-Enhancing Beer. And not using goggles. video

15 Things You Should Know About Saké

The Most Iconic Bar in Every State (and DC). Of course the Slippery Noodle is Indiana’s and Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop in New Orleans, proving these aren’t necessarily beer bars.

Another notice of impending nutritional squares on beer: EU moves closer to counting calories in alcoholic drinks article

An archaeological dig has discovered that Canada's parliament buildings were built on top of a dump full of wine bottles, beer bottles, champagne bottles, tumblers and glasses. That sounds about right if you include the opium and the Worcestershire Sauce. article

Headline: Spotted Cow beer sold illegally at bar in Maple Grove, Minn. Nope, you can supposedly only buy it in Wisc. article

Portland, OR is doing something weird, giving? waste water to homebrewers. You figure it out. article Want the adulterated story? OK. This headline is Brewing company makes beer out of human urine but we promised not to say anything nice about Bud Light. article

And just a song seen along the way. Stephen Hawking Sings Monty Python

Lastly, today’s pictures.

Sign1 TapTools

Brugge Turns Ten

Brugge Brasserie, the Broad Ripple restaurant and brew pub with Belgian style beers, Frites, and Mussels, turns ten years old with a 'birthday' party on Wednesday, April 22. The celebration includes $10 mussels, one of the signature food items at Brugge, and ten special beers. Back in 2005 there were very few brewery/restaurants open in Indianapolis. Ted Miller had a concept. Bring the essence of Belgium, at least the beer, to Broad Ripple in Indianapolis. Ted had been living in Taiwan, wanted to bring Belgian Beer to the Indianapolis area and was talking with potential partners about food for a new beer bar and brewery. After eliminating most typical bar foods it came to them to try Belgian style food as well. They were unsure if the Indy community would embrace mussels. Boy has Indianapolis shown a desire for frites, moules (mussels in French) and more. Fast forward ten years to Wednesday and celebrate with the $10 mussels and special beers.

Among the beers will be Tres Mauvaise Chaton - the very bad kitty, a lactic gose-style beer, aged in a cognac barrel delivering 10% alcohol. In fact three of the special beers on tap will be variants of Bad Kitty and Very Bad Kitty: Super Kitty Fantastico - barrel aged sour, Super Kitty Fantastico Kriek, the same with cherries, and the Tres Mauvaise (loosely Bad Kitten in French). The "Kitty" beers are an interesting story. Originally brewing a Belgian White, something created a sourness in the beer. Ted shared with us that he rather liked the flavor and sampled this odd 'mistake' beer among beer judges. The experts suggested the flavor of a style called Leipziger Gose (pronounced Go... Suh, like stop/go and uh with the S). The Gose is a rather rare beer brewed with salted water, lactic for sourness, and coriander as well as hops. Ted recreated the beer using a similar base to the white and added the right other ingredients and technique. The Bad Kitty was born! The Very Bad Kitty is an Imperial version with more alcohol. We are greatly anticipating the Three new varieties coming this week!

Ed & Ted's Bourbon Barrel Stout is another beer with a story. This tradition started with Brugge Black going into a barrel originally purchased for bottlings of bourbon at Indy's own Sahm's restaurants. As things change the parties at Sahm's changed but this time Ted worked with Ed and Ed of Sahm's to use a 1792 brand (owned by award winning Buffalo Trace Distilling/Sazerac) barrel to fill with a stout. Ted's concept is that beer should taste like beer and then the bourbon, and he shares that this batch is right on the edge between a light bourbon flavor and pleasing those who want a shot in their beer. Yum!

Also available will be Mysterio - white wine barrel aged sour; Madeline La Framboise - Flanders style brown with raspberry, Brugge Black Belgian style ale, Brugge Pooka boysenberry sour, Brugge White or Belgian style wit, and the top-selling Tripel de Ripple! That makes 10 beers for the 10th anniversary.

Brugge has slowly transformed through growing years and the need to produce beer in larger quantities. Not all of the beer can be or is brewed on site allowing for local experimentation on the in-house smaller system and the consistency of a larger facility literally down College Avenue but downtown on North Street where a future restaurant will join the family, now under construction during our visit this week.

Festivities, with tent and a lot of outdoor seating, will start at 5PM, Wednesday, April 22 at the Brugge Brasserie, 1011 East Westfield Blvd. in Broad Ripple Village of Indianapolis.

Dribs and Drams

CCEj1bpWAAA3-BgHeadline: Indiana, Michigan breweries settle trademark dispute over a beer. FFF & White Flame Brewing of MI settle the Black Flame name over a beer and a lunch. article

Headline: Craft beer booms leads to hops farm growth in MI article

Upland will be pouring beer at SAVOR in Washington DC. June 5&6. This is a big deal event with very few tickets and is sold out.

Eric Strader talks bout recent Michiana releases. blog.

Headline: Red Stripe delivers 48 bottles of beer for Obama on Air Force One article Hmmm. Thought the White House has a homebrewery.  (He also visited the Bob Marley Museum).

Headline: Police and fire crew sent to home after man overcome by fumes in home-brewing mishap article from Plymouth, England and really about a home distillery.

Headline: Don't Ban Powdered Alcohol article

Here’s the interview about that billboard at right.

Bloomington Craft Beer Fest.... The Quick Review

Bloomington Craft Beer Fest is Tomorrow, Saturday, April 11.

We've been building up to it by visiting just a few of the breweries! We are often asked, "what was your favorite beer...." The usual answer is, "the one in my hand now." However, at some risk let's run down a few special beers.

Hop Strike is the collaboration beer from 5 breweries with 8 hops. Get some if you like hops. The complexity is so rich without putting your tongue to sleep.

Mayan Chocolate Stout by Function has a nice burn, nice subtle vanilla, and a deep roast underneath. Delicious.

Wired White by Tin Man is brewed with bergamot... the ingredient in Earl Grey varieties of tea. It is a white IPA that delivers a real difference.

10-Speed Hoppy Wheat by Bloomington Brewing delivers mosaic hops very nicely.

Big Woods Common Necessity is a solid coffee flavor cream stout from a brewery that has changed much over the years.

Okay... that is enough.. but there were more and all were memorable!

Here is our INSIDER VIEWClick Here

Here was our story about Bloomington Craft Beer Week with all of the information on the Fest Itself!Click Here

HERE is information about any remaining tickets, hours, etc.

Some brewers will have their sample offerings posted - with over 50 breweries we suggest you check the Facebook, Web site, or Twitter of your favorite.

Look around. Some of us will be volunteering. Some will be chatting with brewers.


Dribs and Drams

We’ll print the press release here:

Bloomington Brewing Co., Function Brewing, Quaff On! Bloomington, Salt Creek Tap Room, Scotty's Brewhouse, and Upland  Brewing Co, have partnered to create an enduring program that rewards beer drinkers who patronize all 6 breweries/taprooms.
“Bloomington is an incredible destination for craft beer,” said Function Brewing co-owner Arlyn Llewellyn. “The owners and employees of all of the local breweries are friendly and really respect each other as colleagues. We are all very excited to partner on this and help spread the word. Come to Bloomington and taste all of the amazing beer diversity.”
Starting April 4th and continuing indefinitely, customers can pick up a Bloomington Ale Trail pamphlet at any of the 7 locations and can receive pamphlet stamps upon purchase a pint of beer at each location.
The locations are:
East Side:

  • Bloomington Brewing Company
  • Function Brewing
  • Quaff On! Bloomington
  • Scotty's Brewhouse
  • Upland Brewing - 11th Street Brewpub
West Side:
  • Salt Creek Brewery Taproom
  • Upland Brewing – Profile Parkway Production Brewery
One all 6 stamps are earned (participants can choose between the two Upland spots for their Upland stamp), the beer drinker receives a collectible prize on the spot (currently a signature glass) and is entered into a drawing for a Behind-the-Scenes VIP Tour at the brewery of his or her choice.
Over the course of time, the collectible prize will change.
Additional information at bloomingtonaletrail.com

16835417677_38ec1b9873_oFrom Labatt – patent applied for. Combined beer dispensing cooler and lawn chair. Just the latest in strangeties including Remote control cooler, Goalie mask beer dispenser, Bottle deaerating device, Bottle decapping machine, and Genetically stable allopolyploid somatic fusion product ..., wait, stable? fusion? whoa. It’s starting to sound like a bad John Candy film. But then were there any good John Candy films?

Five Essential Chicago Beers: 5 Lizard, Cane & Ebel, Daisy Cutter, Matilda, Zombie Dust. Wait, what?

Business Insider lists The 40 best college bars in America. Including Kilroy’s and Harry’s Chocolate Shop.

Seattle’s Peddler Breweing Co.’s Tangerine Wheat was renamed to Tangerine Hefeweizen at Lost Coast’s instance.

"The name tangerine wheat to us describes exactly what the beer is. It's a wheat, brewed with tangerine," countered Dave Keller, co-owner of Peddler Brewing. "We never even thought that could possibly be trademarked."

24-SalvatorKellerBeerBelgian Blondes for Spring. They missed some other spring beers:

Weisse beers and Radlers (beer and lemonade – sort of a German Arnold Palmer – OK, that’s more a summer after-hike beer).

Paulander Nockherberger - Unfiltered keller beer served only at this pub. Very fresh, almost green. Springtime light unfiltered helles. Just a touch of cloudy. Has a nice alcoholic kick.

Stonehenge Sign of Spring – Drinkable but greenish. 4.6%. Real ale available in London.

Bloomington Craft Beer Fest! perspective of an organizer

This is going to be a good one.

In only five years Bloomington Craft Beer Fest (BCBF) has become one of the marquee events in South Central Indiana. In it's third year, 2013, BCBF was named Bloomington's Best Festival by VisitBloomington.com. The fest had its first sell out crowd in 2014. Those of us who were involved in organizing BCBF couldn't be more proud of the party we threw for 3,200 of our friends.

Every year we adjust to our guest's feedback. In the past few years we've improved the checkin process, doubled the number of port-a-potties, and worked on maximizing the flow within the fest site. This year will be no different and we are all very excited about all of the ways we will be improving the BCBF experience.

First up, we have partnered with the Monroe County Community Kitchen to manage parking at the site. This means we'll have a dedicated team of volunteers making sure that those who choose to drive to the fest have a much smoother time finding a parking spot. There will be $5 parking charge this year, but we think it'll be worth having a more streamlined experience. It goes without saying that we encourage guests to take advantage of our $10 Designated Driver tickets and to be responsible in their pre and post fest transportation choices.

We are also expanding the check-in space and waiting area. Those who have attended BCBF in the past have seen our check-in process evolve to include multiple steps and a waiting area that maximized fest time. This year we have allocated more space to check-ins which should keep people flowing into The Woolery Mill as soon as the gates open.

My personal favorite change this year is all about location, location, location. Our 50+ guest breweries will be more spread out over the site this year than they have in the past. We are taking advantage of more of the space available on site. We will have at least three distinct areas where guests will find some of their favorite brews. We will have more food vendors as well, which we expect will keep things moving.

At last we get to the dirty business. Along with the new layout, guests will have more options for where they recycle their "used beer" (I'm talking about port-a-potties). Not much to say about this other than you've all been heard.

While this event now sells out, check here for availability of tickets http://www.bloomingtonbeerfest.com/

Not only is this the fifth annual BCBF, 2015 marks the third annual Bloomington Craft Beer Week. BCBW includes all of your favorite established and up-and-coming Bloomington breweries as well as highlights from breweries around the state. BCBW runs through 4/11 and is featuring multiple venues who are participating for the first time. Be sure to ask about BCBW specials while you dine out this week! Read our story and find the schedule HERE

Also don't forget to check out the Bloomington Ale Trail (http://www.bloomingtonaletrail.com/) which kicked off on Saturday 4/4. Once you start you have six months to collect stamps from the six participating breweries and get entered into a drawing for a behind the scenes tour.

By Terry Durkin: Terry has been co-chair of the Bloomington Craft Beer Fest, ambassador during Bloomington Craft Beer Week, and general beer lover!

Dribs and Drams

BeerAdvocate is split on whether to visit 18th Street Brewery or Three Floyds. thread

The Brewers of Indiana Guild has formed a committee to look into the RFRA. Title 7.1 says:

  • A training course can’t discriminate in employment of servers.
  • It does not allow a beer, wine or liquor retailer to discriminate among persons on the basis of race, sex, age, or religion when selecting persons to have access to the retailer's facilities and services. (Nor to pay a “club fee”).

Indiana On Tap tells us Tow Yard Brewing will have Goldie Hops and Horse Power Double Pale Ale in cans for the NCAA parties.

On April 23rd, Upland Brewing will open an online lottery for the release of three of its sour ales: Peach, Persimmon, and Pawpaw. Bottles will be limited to 2 Peach, 1 Persimmon and 1 Pawpaw per winner. The lottery will open at noon EDT on Thursday, April 23rd and close at noon EDT on Thursday April 30th. Pick up on May 13-27 at Bloomington or Indy.

Eric Strader says The first Goshen Brewing Co. brews are in the fermenters

A look at microbrewery laws being considered nationwide. Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

More on nutritional information on beer labels.

AlessiSplugenBeerGlass The Alessi Splugen Beer Glass just looks upside-down. At $32 it better look less like a nuclear cooling tower. But then a Corona in the background . . .

Those curious Brits have found out people look sexier after one beer. But that’s a 20oz beer. articleEverything you always wanted to know about Japanese Whisky. For instance they started distilling it just as Prohibition hit the U.S.

Taste Test: The Best (And Absolute Worst) Gluten-Free Beers

The Washington Post says “Our booze is too cheap and it’s literally killing us” They’re bitching about how low alcohol taxes have become. Go figure. Oh, here’s the figures: Illinois raised it’s wine & liquor tax by 100% and the beer tax by 25% (about 1/2 cent per drink). And the results? They say 26% alcohol-related automotive fatalities. Right.

It’s Easter. Brew today’s beer with Peeps. article

Headline: Foreign brewers battle for Ethiopia's beer drinkers. article Evidently children are no longer starving there like my mom told me.

OpEd. How We’re Killing Craft Beer Classics: The Death of Stone Ruination.

Ancient Egyptian Beer-Making Vessels Discovered in Tel Aviv. 4,000 year old pottery fragments. article to scroll down to.

True beer lovers drink low-alcohol beers (according to a New Zealander). We have pictures to disprove that.


HobbitBeer HobbitBeer2

Bloomington Craft Beer Week starts NOW

Bloomington Craft Beer Week has begun! We were already able to drink a Hop Strike India Pale Lager collaboration beer which delivers tropical and deep fruit flavors and a nice clean finish. Hop Strike is a collaboration by Bloomington Brewing Co., Function Brewing, Quaff On Brewing, The Tap Beer Co., & Upland Brewing. Eight different hops were used along with lager yeast and, perhaps for fun, some hops were added using a drone! This beer is on tap at cooperating breweries while it lasts. #BCBW is on!

Events start today, Saturday April 4, including a release party of 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat on tap & in a firkin at Bloomington Brewing's Lennie's pub, at 4:00 with prizes at 5:00. There is a bicycle tune-up station outside starting a 3:00. 10-Speed has Mosaic hops for that citrus, pineapple flavor.

Earn a free glass and chance to win a VIP brewery event on the Bloomington Ale Trail. Visit all six of these locations (over time) and get your passport stamped for drinking a pint at each: BBC (Lennie's), Function, Quaff On B'ton, Salt Creek @the Depot, Scotty's B'ton, & Upland.

All events lead up to The Bloomington Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, April 11, 1:00pm (early bird) or 2:00pm (Gen'l) to 6pm. A FEW TIX MAY BE STILL AVAILABLE HERE

Here are some other events (always check with the location for confirmation or changes):
Sunday, April 5: 7 IN Beers on tap at The Trojan Horse including BBC, Sun King, Upland

Monday, April 6: Bears Place: Sun King Tap Takeover; Quaff On B'ton Meet the Brewer moved to Thursday at 5pm; Brewers 5-Course Beer Dinner $40 at The Tap Beer Bar & Beer Co. 7PM Details HERE; IN Beers featured at Malibu Grill featuring BBC, Tow Yard, Upland

Tuesday, April 7: C3 Restaurant (1505 S Piazza Drive) Switchyard Brewing (opening 2015) tasting event 5-7PM;
Bears Place Upland tap takeover

Wednesday, April 8: The Tap Beer Bar, Taxman Brewing Mini-tap-takeover; Finch's Taxman Takeover; Function Girl's Pint Out beer & Chocolate pairing

Thursday, April 9: Function Mayan Chocolate Stout tapping; Nick's English Hut Upland Tap Takeover 7pm; Bear's Place Triton Tap Takeover; Big Red Liquors Bloomington Brewing Co. tasting event; NO Coast Reserve Raw Bar Food & Beer Pairing dinner $75, with 18th Street Brewing (Gary, IN) details HERE ; Quaff On Meet the Brewer at 5:00PM

Friday, April 10: Bear's Place Quaff On Tap Takeover; Function Jalapeno Infused American IPA tapping; The Tap Beer Bar Upland mini-tap takeover; Nick's English Hut Bloomington Brewing Co. tap-takeover; Upland will tap Vinyl Tap Rye Pale Ale at all Upland locations

Saturday, April 11: BCB Fest! Woolery Mill -- always a wonderful event with 65 degree sunny weather, great beer, good times forecast
+ Quaff On B'ton party in their parking lot
+ The Tap Beer Bar Sun King Tap takeover


Saturday, April 11 is also a day for a 5pm tailgate in the IUPUI parking lot Indianapolis with food, music and Flat 12 beer supporting the Indy 11 pro soccer team.

Upland Brewing opens its lottery for three sour beers (peach, persimmon, Pawpaw) on April 23 at EVENTBRITE HERE

Upland also announced it will launch collaborations with Yazoo Brewing of Nashville, TN, and Great Raft Brewing of Shreveport, LA with details in the future.

5 Indiana Beers for Warm Weather Drinking

Last week was the first official week of spring. With the warmer weather on the horizon, many beer drinkers’ preferences will shift with the change in seasons.

Here are some fantastic Indiana beers to compliment the warmer weather. Since Indiana has so many tasty beers to choose from, I had to narrow down the contenders. I limited my choices to beers available in bottles or cans, beers with low ABV, and beers packed full of flavor. It’s by no means an exhaustive list but hopefully a starting point for the next time you are at your local beer purveyor.

Champagne Velvet, Upland Brewing Co.

CV- Upland’s take on a classic American Pilsner- provides the smooth, clean and crisp flavors you’d expect from a light lager. This beer finishes nice and dry and keeps you coming back for more- a great choice for those dog days of summer.

As a bonus CV is also available in 16oz cans if prefer a travel friendly format.

Ruby Bloom, Bloomington Brewing Co.

One of the more of the malt forward, sweeter options on this list, Ruby Bloom is an amber ale ideal for anyone who is a little hop-shy. Caramel malts help give this beer its signature color, as well as smooth drinkability.

Indians Lager, Sun King Brewing

Sun King’s seasonal offering is well suited for the ballpark- as the name suggests. The clean and crisp characteristics you’d expect from a lager but with a touch of sweetness in the finish. A really versatile food-pairing beer, Indians Lager will go well with a variety of summer food- and my favorite in particular-grilled meats.

Yum Yum, 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

3 Floyds has built a solid portfolio of hoppy, higher alcohol Double IPAs— and Yum Yum stays within that hoppy wheelhouse. It possesses those quintessential citrusy characteristics found in many American IPAs but in a low-alcohol package. This beer allows you to get your hop fix whilst being able to enjoying multiple in the same sitting.

Damascene, Tin Man Brewing Co.

The realm of sour ales is often perceived as the domain of beer nerds and collectors. Damascene is approachable, refreshing and most importantly- delicious. The apricot fruitiness provides a nice balance to the sour tart character that defines this style. This is a great gateway beer into the world of sour ales.

There are so many great Indiana beers available for spring and summer drinking. I’d love to hear what your go-to-beers are. Share what you like to drink and where to find it in the comments below.

Spring also signals time for the Bloomington Craft Beer Fest! A chance to try beers like these and many more in an open but covered venue just off Highway 37 and perfect for Spring weather! Tickets are go fast but details can be found here

By Ross Hughes;
Ross Hughes is a home brewer, a Cicerone certified beer server, aspiring Certified Cicerone and all-around beer nerd. An English expat based in Bloomington, IN, his passion for American craft beer started after his desire to find a local pub took him to Upland Brewpub and Bloomington Brewing Co. Whether he’s drinking cask ales reminiscent of his native country, or trying the latest experimental hopped IPA, Ross enjoys a variety of beer styles and is always looking to train his palette with another tasty ale.