Dribs and Drabs

Rita's Nuvo Column spotlights Twenty Below, Black Acre, QuaffON, Big Lug and more. Last week she wrote about Black Acre, Fountain Square and, of course, more.

LaOtto Brewing is open. LaOtto is north of Fort Wayne.  Video

Indiana Craft Beer Week is April 24-30. Organized by Indiana On Tap. They say it's the first of the kind but they probably didn't know about the BIG Indiana Beer Week of July, 2008.

Martin's Supermarkets in Michiana have increased their beer shelving dramatically. (Thanks, The Beer Is Good)

The Ratebeer ratings of best in each state are out. Winners: the New Albanian Public House, M. Moggers, New Day, Keg Liquors, the Heorot.

The state Senate committee has approved bills to increase the number alcohol permits in Hamilton and Boone County. Sunday sales for artisan distilleries. Growlers of mead and cider. Turns down Sunday sales again.

Beers to hit the state soon include Ballast Point (launch at Boombozz in Carmel March 8, 3pm. - Thanks Eric)

Meijer's is going to bring in Michigan beers. Bell's Founders, Short's, New Holland, Atwater, Arcadia.

Tallgrass Brewing is coming in via Cavalier.

10 Reasons to Brew Your Own Beer.

Whaaaaa? AB InBev is trying to buy SABMiller? Cost $100 million. Heck you can buy a presidential nomination with those bucks. Stock $ goes down.

Chicago's Field Museum has an ancient Peruvian beer on tap starting Mar 3.

Here's Men's Journal's pics of the best 10 new IPA.

Coffee fixes your liver. Well, it keep your liver healthier. Got to give this a try.

The Sandford Park Alehouse in Cheltenham is CAMRA's best pub in England. Runners up are a couple of perennials, The Drovers Rest in Carlisle, Kelham Island in Sheffield along with a micropub, Broadstairs, in Kent.

Marble's Chocolate Marble was named the Champion Winter Beer. It's a "strong mild" from a small small brewery in Norwich. "It embodies everything a great winter beer should be, packed with flavour, complexity and depth, but still incredibly drinkable."

Meanwhile in England, CAMRA found half pints are charging between 41p and 50p more for two half pints than for a full pint. They are not amused.

Tailspin fest, Feb. 20 - a great way to learn Indiana and Kentucky beers in a historic setting

This years Tailspin Ale Fest in Louisville promises to be better than ever on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Eight Indiana breweries (the venue is just 8 miles from the Indiana state line) are serving including Tin Man and Carson's of Evansville, Flat 12 of Indy and Jeffersonville, New Albanian of New Albany, 450 North of Columbus, Upland of Bloomington, Central State of Indy, and 3 Floyds of Munster. Kentucky brewers will come from far and wide including new breweries!

The airplane hanger at Bowman Field provides a great historic setting for brewers from sixteen states! Against the Grain Brewery of Louisville was part of the Brewdogs television series and distributes in several states as well as several countries! ATG will have a barrel aged wheat wine and a rye imperial stout along with others. Sponsor West Sixth Brewing of Lexington will serve several beers including a coconut porter and a tripel. Country Boy of Lexington will offer a Red Ale aged in sherry bbls with blackberries along with other beers. Goodwood of Louisville features a coffee stout on oak. Yet another brewery in a church has opened in Louisville, and 3rd Turn Brewing will offer a porter and a cucumber saison. Rhinegeist Brewery of Cincinnati, with former Indy brewer Jim Matt, will share a bbl aged imperial stout and a Belgian style dark ale. Louisville's Apocalypse Brewing, with strong ties to Indiana, presents a Pro-Am collaboration with LAGERS local New Albany home brew club. Dry Ground Brewing of Paducah, KY is so named because their building, an old Coca-Cola bottling plant was flooded by the Ohio River in 1937. They too will bring a bbl aged imperial stout, a Belgian style rye PA, and a tripel.

With over 200 beers offered from nearly 50 breweries to sample between 3-7PM this Saturday and a chance to help the Dare to Care Food Pantry the event will build on the three successful past years offering up Honky Tonk music plus several food trucks and promised sixty-degree weather this year! For tix, directions and more CLICK HERE Everybody get's a free empty growler from Liquor Barn.

Dribs and Drams

The House Public Policy committee turned down the bill to allow carry-out Sunday sales. Cold beer still will be only in liquor stores and pubs. Everything stays the same. Tap rooms and brew pubs can still sell growlers on Sunday. link

Rita talks about Beer and Donuts, especially in Wabash with Wabash Brewing. Also an interview with Redemption Alewerks' Dan Gohr. New titles on the beershelf. And more.

Roger says the B.I.G. is looking for board members. He also has the lineup for Gravity Head that starts on Feb 26.

The Beer Is Good.com passes on that in north central indiana, Martin's Super Markets have added a lot of craft beer. link

Hammond's Byway Brewing aspires to be world-class. Opens today. more

Banana Flask. $17.63

Wine Enthusiast magazine has a long article about America's Mead Renaissance.

Why You Feel the Burn when You Drink Alcohol.

The 101 Best Beers in America (per the Men's Journal).

Canada's 12 Oldest Bars

The Rise and Fall of the World's Most Unlikely Pub. Yeah, it's near a tourist attraction but the hiking path over a 14,000 ft. pass from Machu Picchu takes four days. And that's the only way to get there unless you're a llama. (Porters are available.)

Going to the pub is good for your wellbeing - CAMRA press release about an Oxford study.

Find Love at your local this Valentine's Day - Another CAMRA pr

Winterfest 2016 the lesser known brewers and beers

Winterfest 2016 by the Brewers of Indiana Guild is a great place to try new beers. Winterfest was held this year on Saturday, January 29, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds from 2:00 (early bird) -6:45. With over 80 Indiana brewers plus many guest beers it took a strategy to decide what beer to try. Simple math says that if there were 84 Indiana breweries pouring at least 5 beers each (Bare Hands offered 40 brews) no one was going to sample over 400 beers!
We started with breweries we don’t know as well, those maybe farther away or newer.

One of the first beers we tasted was Blind Owl Brewery’s Belgian Dark Strong. They used traditional ingredients, La Chouffe yeast, and candy sugar in this one to provide a nice slightly sweet heavy beer. Blind Owl has not been open a year yet and is known for Hoo Brew Honey Brown and None the Wiser IPA, both of which they offered.

Schnitz Brewery’s Wayne Patmore offered us the Schnitz porter, with very nice deep roast flavor – a solid porter. Wayne had been home-brewing for about 15 years and loves to brew all styles. He told us the IPA & Blonde sell best, and we’d clearly support the porter!

Heady Hollow is a north side Indianapolis brewery (116th and Allisonville) with a wheat, APA, IPA, and scotch ale who are now adding small batch beers to their line up. The 60 Horses Scotch Ale is named for the 60 horses William Conner’s Delaware tribe wife kept when she left him to move on with her tribe! If Conner was brewing scotch ale back then we hope it had the solid flavor this one had.

Crooked Ewe Brewery of South Bend brought their Glasgow Butcher Scottish with nice caramel notes. Brewer Andy Walton has been concentrating on 5 styles but is starting to mix it up a bit. Their brewpub has a view of the river.

Cedar Creek (Winery &) Brew Co. has been around less than a year as a brewery and offers a slightly bitter, cocoa flavored porter. Their brewpub and winery is east of Martinsville off of Highway 252.

Big Lug’s Kristofferson is a true to style medium hopped pale from the hands of Steve Ellis, former brewer at The Ram downtown Indy. We also sampled the King’s Jive Brown which was malty with a chocolate hint. Big Lug opened this past year just over the Monon Trail at 86th Street. It is owned by Sahms who have many restaurants in town.

BrewLink, originally a beer and wine supply firm, has a brewery with one of the more unusual beers we tried. Ivory, a partner to their Ebony oatmeal stout, is a ‘white coffee stout.’ This very rich and ‘stout flavored beer’ has coffee, British malt, vanilla, and cocoa nibs but is a pale, golden color. If you closed your eyes this would seem to be a dark beer. And no matter, it is delicious! We’ll have to keep our eye on the new cans in distribution, their taps, and their upcoming taproom in Plainfield.

Devil’s Trumpet of Merrillville , open over a year, gave us their Chocolate Taco imperial oatmeal stout. We went for the name and the beer gave us nice solid chocolate flavor in a deep stout.

Route 2 Brews of Lowell, IN, is only about 30 minutes from Merrillville and is a really new brewery, open just a few months, yet Brewer Chris Fast brews 8 styles and we tasted his Psychotic blonde which was a good beer.

Back Road Brewery is not a new brewery but since we were tasting northern Indiana beer, once we saw the Bacon Spire Red Rye we just had to go for it. What we particularly liked was the modest level of bacon which did not overpower the slight bite of a rye.

Deviate Brewing opened in Fall 2015 and, true to their name, love to take a slight twist on classic beer styles. Their Tiki Mocha Nut Russian Imperial stout with coffee, coconut and vanilla beans gave a wonderful tropical trip in a dark stout at 10%, but stood up next to their The Main Monkey Business Scottish Strong with coffee and banana. Yep, you read that right this was one deviant but delightful pair of beers. The new brewery near 96th and Michigan Road in Indy is one to get to.

There is no reason to pick 'the best' from these. It was a real joy to try beer from a dozen or so breweries we have not been to. But since Deviate, Big Lug, and Blind Owl are on the north side of Indianapolis they are worth a visit to try sooner, rather than later. And Northwest Indiana is just a hotbed of new breweries so... road trip.

We'll post a Part Two about some of the special beers from breweries that have been around awhile.

Dribs & Drams

Here are five events to get you through the February doldrums

Feb 19 Hammond 219 Day (that's the northwest's area code). Hammond Civic Center.  5-10pm. Four breweries will pour $5 pints - 18th Street, 3 Floyds, Byway, Wildrose. Food, music. Free.
"Crowds gather for traditional burning down of health clubs at 2:19 p.m." and encouraging the Gary South Shore Railcats mascot Rusty to threaten to beat up the Colts mascot, just on principle."
Feb 20 Columbus D-Vine Winter Wine & Beer Festival. At the Commons. 1-7pm. $20-$25.
Feb 20 Michigan City Shelf Ice Brewfest. $40-$65. Outside - dress warm. 1pm+
Feb 26 Indianapolis Indy (Pizza) Pies & Pints. At Ivy Tech Culinary School. 7-10pm. $25-$50.
Feb 26 until the beer runs out near the end of March.
New Albany
New Albanian's Gravity Head. NABC Public House. Opening with Stone Brewing offerings.

The Brewers Guild has a new Drink Indiana Beer app.

Rita talks about Beers for Musicals. Sun King and Clowes Hall pairings to, for instance, Guy Meets Girl. Plus Tow Yard and The Tap Brewing are making a collaboration Black Japanese malt liquor. Brew Tours in Hamilton County. And also a Winterfest wrapup.

Yelp's best Irish pubs ranks Nine Irish Brothers as best in Indiana.

A state law introduced will let state parks serve alcohol.

The 18th Street Brewery is moving to 5417 Oakley Ave in Hammond on the 5th. It will be a full brewpub with the brewing equipment from the award winning 5725 Miller Ave micro. Oh, and the old location will continue to be a tap house with noshes. The re-grand opening will bee noon-midnight Saturday, 21+, and cash-only until they straighten up the charge system.

Kroger Wants Alcohol Companies to Pick up the Tab For Its New Booze Organization Plan.

How Flint's Only Brewery is Dealing With the Water Crisis.

Italian Monks are brewing and sending (soon?) their Belgian-style beers here.

This Dutch Machine Lets You Automatically Brew Your Own Beer. $2220. Not in production - looking for financing. Makes 5 litre batches. Controlled by iPhone apps. Good luck.