Saturday marked another milestone for Hoosier Beer Geek as we celebrated our quarter century roundtable in Muncie Indiana as guests of the fine folks at the Good Beer Show. Although Chris had appeared on the show before, it was a new experience for Gina and me. I've been listening to the Good Beer Show a lot lately, so it was definitely interesting to put faces with voices.
On to the beer: We had been asked to bring a few selections along with us, and the folks at The Fickle Peach (Studio B) were great to us in that they didn't mind. We had stopped at The Hop Shop on the way up and picked up some Two Brothers Hop Juice and Stone's Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard. The folks at the Good Beer Show brought Three Floyd's Fantabulous Resplendence (X). As if that wasn't enough, Gina and I brought some of our private home stock - a Brasserie des Rocs Abbaye and a De ProefBrouwerij Lochristi Lozen Boer. Reading the list now, I find it hard to believe that we didn't realize what sort of night we were in for.
For a warm-up beer, I went with a BBC Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout (on tap at The Fickle Peach); If you read me regularly, you're probably wondering why I went with a style I claimed I was tired of just two months ago. The answer? Sometimes you come around. And it was really cold in the car. Combined with a newfound (and hopefully short-lived) fear of all things hoppy, the Jefferson's Reserve seemed to have my name all over it. I found the beer to be a bit milder than other bourbon barrel stouts I've had in the past, and would give it 3.5 mugs if we were officially reviewing it. But we're not.
We were reviewing the Hop Juice, a double India Pale Ale made in Warrenville, Illinois by Two Brother's Brewing Company. If you listen to the Good Beer show you might hear me say that this beer has a buttery, biscuity nose, followed up with a hoppy punch and a full rounded out flavor. It's a smooth beer that I'd give 3.0 mugs.
Next up was Three Floyds Fantabulous Resplendence. I know that Three Floyds is Godhead for many fans of craft beer, but there's something there that's lost on me - I feel like the brewery's focus is on overpowering the pallet, and that subtlety is lost in the effort. Resplendence did nothing to change that opinion; It's a grapefruit/pineapple punch in the face. My initial thought was that this was a 1 mug beer, but then Chris asked me to check that score against Fat Tire. I have, but I'm still going with a 1.0 mug rating. I couldn't finish this beer, nor did I have any desire to.
Last up as far as reviewed beers go was Stone's Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard. Unlike the baseball bat to the face that was Stone's Double Bastard (or the smaller bat to the face that is regular old Arrogant Bastard), Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard is a milder beer. But it's also a one dimensional beer - a straight oak taste that reminded me of mulch and state parks and yardwork. But it wasn't an entirely bad experience - in fact I thought that Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard was worthy of 3.04 mugs.
At that point we were finished with our Good Beer Show appearance, but since we had brought more beer from home, we started into them. Both the Brasserie des Rocs Abbaye and the De ProefBrouwerij Lochristi Lozen Boer were your typical Belgian style beers - big and fruity, with a high ABV. I didn't take enough notes to give a full review, but I would like to note that I preferred the Abbaye, and I'd like to revisit it.
We had a fantastic time with everyone in Muncie - we actually visited the Heorot after our GBS appearance, where we got to see what Indy is missing - a giant beer hall with skulls and swords and an endless amount of taps. I wish I could have partaken a little more in the selection, but I was operating as designated driver.
It was great to see the Good Beer Show haunts, and well as meet everyone. My thanks go out to Jeffery T, Vickie, Randy, Charlie, and our personal Muncie beerhall tour guide, Traci. We had a great time - at least until we got in the car for the drive home.