30 November 2007

A heads up from The Heorot

Looks like there's a good reason to head to Muncie this December...
If you are a true "Beer Geek" you won't want to miss The Heorot's annual cellar sale!!

Stan has been in the cellar for days selecting a variety of beers for this years sale.

If you know anything about the Heorot cellar you know it would take days to go through all the cases of brew he has down there.

He has worked with World Class to create a special gift pack of 12 beers like Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Bell's Winter White, Alpaha King, World Wide Stout, Delirium Noel just to name a few.

The sale starts on 12/1/07 and runs through 12/31/07. Remember quantities are limited.

Need more info? Call the Heorot at (765) 287-0173

"It's all about the beer"
As we've said before, The Heorot is a Hoosier Beer Geek mecca - and it sounds like you've even got more reason to visit now.

29 November 2007

There are going to be a lot of drunk people on NYE . . .

After talking with Nick at Deano's yesterday, I can tell you the draft line-up for our New Year's Eve Party - and I think a lot of you will be interested.

In Keg #1, we have the HBG special request - Three Floyd's Alpha Klaus.

In Keg #2, we will have something from Larry Bell - either Two-Hearted or Hopslam.

In Keg #3, direct from Belgium, Delirium Tremens.

Deano's will be serving dinner, too, so come eat some grub and get drunk with us. Or go eat elsewhere, then come get drunk with us. Chef Jody is planning to have some late-night sobering-up food out for consumption, too. They're also more than happy to call you a cab.

Stolen Content - Chumley's Beer List, WSJ Article

My daily browsing of Beer Advocate forums turned up this bit of information:
Chumley's new beers


Great Divide hibernation ale ----awesome beer!!!
Oaken Barrel epiphany ale
Anchor christmastime
3 Floyds Pride & Joy
Avery Ellies Brown
Avery Ellies IPA
Avery Karma Ale
Bells Porter
Bells Thirdcoast Beer
Bells Thirdcoast old ale
Boulder Beer Mojo IPA
Boulder Hazed & Infused
Boulder Passtime Ale
Boulder Sundance Amber
Breckenidge Vanilla Porter
Breckenridge Avalanche
Dogfish Head 60 minute
Flying Dog Doggie style
Founders Centennial IPA
Founders Red Rye
Goose Island Maltilda
Goose Island Pere Jacques
Lakefront White
Left Hand Deep Cover
Left Hand Milk Stout
Left Hand Sawtooth Ale
Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss
Leinenkugel's Red
Loose Cannon Hop3Ale
Mackeson XXX Stout
Mad Anthony Auburn Lager
Maudite Red
McEwans Scotch
Orkney's Skullsplitter
Paulaner Salvator
Pyramid Apricot
Pyramid Thunderhead
Red Seal
Rogue Dead Guy
Sea Dog Blueberry
Spaten Optimator
Spaten Pilsner
St. Pauli Girl
Steelhead Extra Stout
Stone Pale Ale
Thirsty Dog Ole Leghumper
Thunderbolt Wheat
Upland Dragon IPA
Upland Pale


Abita Turdbodog
Amstel Light
Bare Knuckle
Bells Amber
Bells Seasonal
Bells Two Hearted
Boulder Mojo IPA
Bud Light
Bud Select
Coors Light
Dos Equis
Framboise Lambic
Goose Island 312
Goose Island Honkers Ale
Hacker Pschorr
Honey Brown
Labatts Blue
Leinenkugel's Honey
Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat
Michelob Amberbock
Michelob Ultra
Miller Lite
Molson Canadian
New Castle
Oaken Barrel Razz-Wheat
Pilsner Urquell
Pyramid Hefe-Weizen
Red Hook ESB
Red Hook Seasonal
Rolling Rock
Sams Adams Lager
Sams Adams Seasonal
Sierra Nevada Pale
Stone Arrogant Bastard
Upland Wheat
Youngs Dbl Choc Stout
The author of the list is also looking for suggestions, so stop in over in the thread at Beer Advocate (which I'm sure requires registration) and help him or her out.

* * * * *

10 AM: Here's an article from the Wall Street Journal about Westvleteren, and the trappist monks who brew it.

28 November 2007

What really got served at Thanksgiving dinner

Last week, I discussed Michael Jackson's suggestion of a Vienna lager as the perfect beer for Thanksgiving dinner. So, a Vienna-style lager is what I expected when we arrived at my in-laws' Waldron, Indiana palace for a down-home Thanksgiving meal (any Thanksgiving dinner that includes noodles and gravy along with the mashed potatoes is way "down-home" in my book). But a bevy of Vienna lager wasn't in my father-in-law's beverage fridge (you know, a beverage fridge--the 20-year-old Frigidaire that's in the garage and contains various and sundry beers and soft drinks). The beer on the shelf was Goose Island Harvest Ale.

As I pulled a Harvest Ale off the shelf and shut the fridge door, I wasn't quite sure what to expect out of this beer because there was absolutely nothing on the bottle to tell me about it. I guess I thought it would contain some sort of spices associated with autumn--a little cinnamon or perhaps some nutmeg--which really didn't get me excited to try this stuff. Spicy beers just don't do it for me.

I was pleased, however, to find that the Harvest Ale is brewed in the Extra Special Bitter (ESB) style, which happens to be my favorite British beer style. ESB lovers know that this style of beer is all about a good hop/malt balance. The Harvest Ale fit that profile perfectly. Brewed with Cascade hops, this copper-colored beer had a wonderful citrus nose and flavor, with a slight hint of rye. Backing this up was a fantastic caramel-like malt flavor. Paired with the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, this beer really shined.

In short, my father-in-law made an outstanding choice with this ale. If you're into ESB's, this seasonal offering won't disappoint you.

It's Firkin Friday at Power House Brewing Co.

I was stumbling around some Indiana brewery sites when I came across this bit of news from Columbus' own Power House Brewing Co:
11/30/07 - Firkin Party

This is a firkin big deal. We will have a firkin of Bell's Two Hearted Ale that we will tap right here Friday night, November 30th.

A Firkin is a small keg used to serve Real Ale. A real ale, an ale that has been naturally carbonated in the keg, or in this case firkin. This is how it used to be done in Europe. These days we package in kegs and "force carbonate" by pressurizing a vessel full of beer with CO2 gas. Real Ales have much more flavor and less carbonation than what we have today. This Firkin should only last one night so don't miss it!

Friday November 30th around 8PM!
Do we have any Columbus readers? Or maybe some readers who'll be in Edinburg to do some holiday outlet mall shopping? In any case, drop off the husband, wife or any other excess baggage at the outlets, and tell him/her you're headed into town to do some firkin. Or bring him/her along, and fulfill your public firkin fantasies.

Let us know how that goes for you. And email any pictures to Hoosier Beer Geek.

27 November 2007

Continuing Education with Beer Magazine

Christmas is rapidly approaching and perhaps you're in the market for something beer related. As an alternative to all that beer, I'm going to spend a little time this week attempting to inform you about some of the beer specific magazines available by subscription or in your local bookstores. Next up is the brand new Beer Magazine - let's take a look.

Magazine: Beer
Byline: Drink Laugh Learn Enjoy
Subscription Information: $19.99 for six issues (bimonthly)
Source Issue: Nov/Dec 07
Cover: A busty bleached-blonde opening a beer bottle with her teeth.
Look: Slightly Juvenile, but professional. Semi-gloss Paper.

Non-beer ads: None.
Mainstream Magazine Equivalent: Beer is the Maxim Magazine of Beer.

The Buzz - Short beer-related news items, including news about Miller Chill
Calendar featuring various tastings and the birthdates of Teri Hatcher, Billy the Kid, Elisha Cuthbert, and "National Noodle Ring Day"
"Ask Beer" section - What's the 33 on Rolling Rock, Why are Hefeweizens so cloudy, What is Gravity as it pertains to beer, What is a Craft Brewer?
"Beer Anatomy" - the story behind Pilsener, with variations and characteristics
"Beer Kitchen" - various Thanksgiving beer based recipes
"Handle with Care" - A guide to beer storage
"Beer Shootout" - Blue Collar Beer - see Hoosier Beer Geek's Retro Beer Challenge, but with different results - #1 Budweiser, #2 Coors, #3 PBR. I don't believe they actually drank these beers.
"7 Ways to Open A Beer" article featuring 7 or so girls in bikinis standing around a pool and opening beer bottles with other bottles, folded paper, teeth, and the power of combined stupidity
"Beer Glass Class" - article about drinking from something other than red plastic cups
"Homebrew 101" - what you need to become a homebrewer
"10 Funniest Beer Commercials" - with YouTube addresses. Whassup?!?!?!?
"How to Get Free Beer" article. Tip #1 - Be Attractive.
"Cab It" - tips on avoiding driving drunk
"Homebrew" - Should You Homebrew?
"Taste Test" - Quarter page beer reviews with photos of bottle and beer in glasses, scores, graphic for temperature range, and availability map for the beers. A good idea, just a little graphic intensive.
"Beer of the Month" this month's beer? Michelob's Cherry and Chocolate celebrate lagers
"Beer Games" - the bikini girls are back, and they're playing beer pong
"Wipe Out" - toilet paper rankings. I'm not making that up.
"Tapped Out" - closing section. Random Facts about the making of Beer Magazine.

Pluses: For the fellas, there's the prominent use of breasts. Maybe that's for some of the ladies, too.
Minuses: Nothing on the website except how to subscribe. Target market may not be old enough to drink yet.

This is the premier issue, so perhaps it's a little early to cast judgment.. but.. This magazine seems to be targeted to guys who express their love of beer by drinking it as fast as possible. Not that there's anything wrong with that. All of the educational intro to beer kind of articles are nice, but it sort of reminds me of taking cooking lessons from Ronald McDonald.

Since they've exhausted quite a few of the "intro to craft beer drinking" lessons in issue #1, I wonder what's in store for issue #2. If I had to guess, I'd say more girls. If you've got a friend or relative that's just getting into craft beer from the BudMillerCoors side, this is a magazine that is sure to keep the articles at layman's level.

Website: www.thebeermag.com

How not to convert the masses

One of the fun things about craft beer is exposing it to the uninitiated. I had amassed quite a selection of beer in the house over the past six months, and seeing as that I was going back to Illinois for the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to pack up my collection and try to convert the cousins, aunts and uncles.

I was fighting an uphill battle to begin with. After explaining that I didn't know how quite a few of the beers I had brought tasted, I heard comments like "why would you pay all that money for beer when you don't even know what it tastes like?" and "what's next, Hoosier Beer Geek?" I'd never heard the words used in a mocking tone - it stings a little.

The idea seemed easy enough - bring beer, share beer, wow family. The mistake I made wasn't in trying to expose a bunch of Miller Light drinkers to beer. The mistake was trying to expose a bunch of Miller Light drinkers to Belgian sours, IPAs, and a few other beers that I hadn't tried before - most of them not really that good.

"Do you actually like this?"

"Well... no."

They did seem to like my BBC Brown and Jefferson's Reserve Stout - but I like them too, and I only had one bottle of each - so those didn't get shared so much.

I'm going to try again at Christmas, though - with Budweiser versus something from Warbird, probably. Or maybe just stuff from a Sam Adams sampler. Better tools.

* * * * *

It's been a little slow around here lately, so I'm going to attempt to get the comments flowing - Got any suggestions for gateway beers to bring the family around? And what have you been drinking lately? Got any recommendations for the rest of us?

I'm famous

Yesterday I posted our Hoosier Beer Geek 6 Pack interview with Mike Sweeney of StlHops.com. Today he's running his side of the interview in a feature called "Interview with Mike Atwood of Hoosier Beer Geek", in which I dicuss the value of Three Floyds, the abundance of great Indiana brewers, and getting laid at Dairy Queen. Click here for the story at StlHops.com.

26 November 2007

The Hoosier Beer Geek 6 Pack - Mike Sweeney of StlHops.com

The Hoosier Beer Geek 6 Pack is a feature where we run six questions by the folks behind the scenes in the beer world to get a little more insight into what they do and like and how they got their start. The Knights of the Beer Roundtable would like to thank our guest, Mike Sweeney of the St. Louis-based beer blog StlHops.com, for answering our questions.

1) Who are you, what's your beer background, and what inspired stlhops?

I'm just a yahoo that is pretty obsessed with beer. About 5 or 6 years ago I learned that my grandfather used to be a homebrewer and I decided at that point I wanted to carry on the tradition. As for the inspiration for STL Hops, I was just thinking one day, "I really wish there was a beer blog/website devoted just to the St. Louis scene." Rather than wait around for it to happen, I started it myself.

2) What do you hope to accomplish with stlhops?

I just hope people really find it useful. I like being able to alert people to new beers in the area or events that allow people to enjoy beer with other enthusiasts. I also hope that some of my passion rubs off on everyone that reads it. I'm not a quiet or reserved guy by any means, but if you get me talking about beer you'll never shut me up.

3) How long have you been writing stlhops? Is your staff just one person?

At this point it's just me, who knows what the future holds though? STL Hops is still in it's infancy, I just started the website back in September. In the mean time it's really surpassed my expectations. I've met a lot of the local brewers, a lot of enthusiasts and have had just a great time.

4) How many readers do you have?

I'm averaging about 50-60 unique readers a day and about 100-150 page views.

5) On your about page, you mention that you don't review beers ("I'm going to keep beer reviews to a minimum because frankly it's your job to go and try the beer") - but having said that, do you ever come across a beer so good that you find yourself wanting to review it anyway?

Judging by my response to Eric's Ale, I'm going to have to say yes. One of my problems with reviews, especially of local beers, is that brewers brew beer because they love it. For the most part, brewing beer isn't going to make you rich. So I have a hard time disparaging something that someone has put a lot of hard work into. I'd rather not write anything nasty as it doesn't accomplish anything.

Also, for the most part there are so very few beers I hate (Corona, I'm looking at you.) I have a few personal categories of beer: the must buys, the occasional buys or the OK, but I'd never buy again.

6) I noticed that you recently pulled of three straight nights of beer events ("the trifecta") - Do you ever find yourself thinking "I've been drinking too much beer?"

Let me tell you, after the first event on Monday night I thought to myself, "I've drank far too much beer." It wasn't the drinking of the beer those three nights that was so tiring, but just all of the activity. I have a normal 9-5, I'm getting a bit too old to go out for 3 nights of drinking. My girlfriend Irene and I are homebodies for the most part, so while it was a lot of fun I was glad to come home from work on Thursday and just enjoy a beer in peace.

Sometimes, those are the best beer experiences of them all.

* * * * *

Hoosier Beer Geek wishes to again thank Mike for taking the time to answer our questions, and for his dedication to good beer.

25 November 2007

Continuing Education with All About Beer Magazine

Christmas is rapidly approaching and perhaps you're in the market for something beer related. As an alternative to all that beer, I'm going to spend a little time this week attempting to inform you about some of the beer specific magazines available by subscription or in your local bookstores. First up is All About Beer - a magazine which makes me realize we've never had an original idea at Hoosier Beer Geek.

Magazine: All About Beer
Byline: Celebrating the World of Beer Culture
Subscription Information: $19.95 for six issues (bimonthly)
Source Issue: Sept. 07
Cover: Dave Alexander of the Brickskeller in Washington DC
Look: Recently redesigned. Clean, Classy, Composed. Semi-gloss paper.
Non-beer ads: None.
Mainstream Magazine Equivalent: All About Beer is the National Geographic Adventurer of beer. Or maybe Harper's, with a lot more pictures.

6 pages of news
A "New on the Shelves" section
"Pull Up A Stool With" brewmaster interviews
A feature on best beer bars (which lead me to the Brickskeller)
A feature on style - the history behind IPAs
Beer Essentials - essential books for beer lovers
Buyers Guide of Beer Lovers - continental ales, with 6 pages of beers in style reviewed with scores, label pictures for a few of them
Beer Talk - 8 "beer celebrities" (authors and experts) offer their opinions on 16 selected beers, label pictures for all the beers reviewed
Two beer editorials
Beyond Beer Column - a small article about cocktails with recipes
Homebrewing Column - eurobeer feature with a recipe for "Angry European Red Lager"
Beer Traveler Section - an article about brewery tours in Europe and America
Stylistically Speaking Section - munich dunkels
New beer book reviews
A calendar
And a closing editorial

Pluses: All About Beer regularly published Michael Jackson's journal, and has been published for 16 years. Quite a few of the magazine articles are available online for free, minus the pretty layout and photography. As I said before, they're doing everything we're doing, on a national level. Maybe there is a career in this?
Minuses: None that I can tell. For the beer dedicated, this is well worthy of a subscription.

Website: www.allaboutbeer.com

21 November 2007

Better beer bar for Irvingtonians and Eastsiders

If you don't know this already, I'm a huge cheerleader for Irvington and the eastside of Indy. Not huge as in fat. Well, okay, I am large, but... dammit, that's not coming out right. Screw it, on to the news...

Indy has a nice and ever growing collection of better beer bars. And the latest is in Irvington. The Legend Cafe, at 5614 E. Washington Street, has expanded and now has a wine and beer bar. While not fully stocked... yet... they do have three taps flowing. On tap as of 11/20:

*Three Floyd's Robert the Bruce
*Bell's Winter White Ale
*Bluegrass Brewing Company's Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Stout

John, who owns and runs the joint, is a better beer fan and refuses to have BudMillerCoors. He has a whole range of Upland bottled beer in the cooler as well as Abita's Pecan Ale.

And the food is really good too.

Look for a HBG Roundtable here soon.

19 November 2007

KOTBR #34 - Two at Brugge Brasserie - Thunder Monkey and Impérial

Cumulative Scores:
Brugge Thunder Monkey: 3.96 Mugs
Brugge Impérial: 3.12 Mugs

I'm in love with Belgian-style beers. This isn't so surprising to anyone who's had a Belgian, which is probably the most luscious type of beer on the planet. This lusciousness isn't limited solely to creme de la creme Belgians like Trappistes Rochefort 10 or Duvel; even the mediocre Belgians have a certain sumptuousness to them. In fact, I've discovered that I love Belgian-style beers so much that crave them more than beers from any other beer style, even more than the hophead's Holy Grail, the India Pale Ale. So when we decided to do an impromptu roundtable on Thursday, I immediately suggested Brugge Brasserie for the event. The other Knights needed no arm-twisting to go there, so go there we did.

Two seasonals were on the beer menu: Thunder Monkey (5.5% ABV) and Impérial (8% ABV). We all warmed up with the Thunder Monkey, which was a fantastic choice. This ale was easy-drinking stuff. It poured with a cloudy reddish-brown color. The nose on this beer was classically Belgian. It evoked plums, vanilla, yeast, and most of all, cloves. Despite these fairly strong nose characteristics, the Thunder Monkey was pleasantly mild and fruity in flavor. The cloves were there, too, but they didn't dominate the beer. A wonderful beer - 4.25 mugs.

The Impérial arrived next at our table with the same visual character and hue as the Thunder Monkey. But the Impérial was a different beast altogether. The nose was powerfully malty and possessed brandy-like notes. The taste was a bit boozy at first; it reminded me of an extra-potent barleywine with its huge fruity and sugary traits. The mouthfeel for this beer was B-I-G; in other words, it was extra-chewy. I must confess that at first sip, I really didn't care for this beer, especially after quaffing the easy-to-drink Thunder Monkey. But when I paired some frites (thanks, Matt and Kelly) and stew with the Impérial, I found that the food muted the power of this beer and made it much more appealing. 3.75 mugs.

I'd be lying if I said I was anything less than enamored by the work the Brugge Beer's Ted Miller, but that doesn't mean that I think he's incapable of misstep. All I can say from personal experience is that Ted hasn't let me down yet.

Our warm up was the Thunder Monkey, a beer that seems to randomly appear on the Brasserie menu. This one is bubbly like a soda, with an opaque and dark mahogany color. A sweet tart nose leads into a beer that tastes of plum and a hint of clove. I also got a quick hint of tartar sauce. Might have been something in the air though. As usual, this one was tight and super drinkable. 3.85 Mugs.

Next up was what Ted calls Impérial. When the waitress brought this beer to our table, we thought she had brought us the Thunder Monkey again - the appearance of both beers was dead-on. This beer had that same old welcome Brugge nose, with a watery front and "some weird thing on the back" (my notes). A brandy-like hard liquor burn was expected, but never appeared. A sugary sweet fruit character made it's way out, with hints of pear making their way to the forefront. After half the glass the booze came out - a hard liquor character without the hard liquor punch is what best describes the overall character of Impérial. 3.85 Mugs for this one as well.

As a relative newcomer to Belgian beers, and a definite newcomer to the Hoosier Beer Geeks I'm somewhat trepidatious about offering my opinions on this roundtable's beers, but here goes...

We started off at the bar, while waiting for a table to open up for the five of us in attendance. I hadn't expected the Brugge to be deserted (as much as I love it, someone else is bound to) but nor did I expect it to be as packed as it was on a Thursday. Anyway, we all started off with the Thunder Monkey. Not as strongly imbued with alcohol as the name might lead one to assume, this beer was a very nice starting point. It had the characteristic complexity of a Belgian, I picked up a lot of cloves, and some raisiny goodness. I give the Thunder Monkey a 3.75 mug rating.

The main event was the Impérial. I wasn't all that blown away. The first thing to jump out at me was when I stuck my nose in the glass and was transported not to Brussels, but to some strange Blade-Runneresque multicultural universe. This beer had the usual thickness and fruitiness of a Belgian, but it smelled to me like the whole affair had been doused in soy sauce, not a smell I'm accustomed to in this context. I was really thrown off by the soy sauce smell I kept getting, and couldn't move beyond it. I also had some trouble getting past the strong alcohol taste to get to the other flavors that I'm sure were there. 2 mugs.

Well, the secret’s out. The days of ducking into Brugge Brasserie on a weeknight and immediately scoring a table are over. We visited on a Thursday night and waited an astoundingly long time to be seated – great news for Brugge, but not so great news for my frites-craving stomach.

At the bar, the five of us warmed up with the Thunder Monkey, a cloudy copper-colored Belgian ale with a yeasty, sweet peppery nose that reminded me a lot of grains of paradise. The taste was somewhat overpowering at first; there’s a TON of spice in this beer! Cloves, raisins, ginger, your Aunt Thelma’s fruitcake… it’s all there. As it warmed, I could taste more of a bready caramel. This is my idea of a great holiday beer – substantial enough to keep your brain occupied while you listen to the aforementioned aunt extol the virtues of a high colonic.* 4 mugs.

After the Thunder Monkey, we moved on to the Impérial, a Belgian-inspired imperial amber. Though this beer looked like the Thunder Monkey upon first pour, that’s where the similarity ended.

My notes for this beer:
“I think I just burned off taste buds”
“hellacious bite”
“do I taste cut grass?”
“(unreadable scribble)”

I’m sure that this would be a fantastic choice if I were a fan of heady, high alcohol note beer. As the Impérial warmed, it reminded me of a barleywine I once tried at the Broad Ripple Brewpub that had not yet been hopped. A sweet, malty punch in the teeth, to be sure, but more than I could really handle. Even the soothing frites did little to balance out the overwhelming alcohol taste I was getting up front. Kudos to Brugge for not being afraid to branch out in new and creative directions, but this one just wasn’t for me. 2 mugs.

*True story.

Thunder Monkey - no notes. 3.95 Mugs.

Brugge Impérial – This had a bit of a smoky nose, but I am not sure if the wonderful food smells were messing with me. I think the Impérial is fruity and sweet and I didn't think the alcohol taste was as prevalent as the other Knights may have mentioned. 4 Mugs.

Beer Diary - Mike

These diary things can get away from you if you let them. Looking back through my notebook, I realize this might be a long post.

Although in my last Beer Diary I noted "This is the first entry for beer diary on google. I'm proud of myself", that's no longer the case. In checking Google I did find a blog called "Biking for Beer", which looks to be pretty interesting, and combines perhaps my two favorite things.

27 October 07 Location: Home

Back Road Brewery's Aviator Dopple Bock - Beer Advocate says that "Double Bocks or Doppelbocks are huge beers with enough malt packed in them to consider them a meal in its self. Generally having a very full-bodied flavor and darker than other bocks with a higher level of alcohol also."

This one pours out of the bottle with a soda-like hiss, a thin white head that settles to nothing - opaque and medicine-like appearance, and a deep amber color. The nose had hints of bourbon and sweet spoiled milk. A punchy, tart taste echoes the nose. As the beer warmed, a sour apple cider taste also appeared. An interesting beer, but I struggled to finish it. Alcohol was the overriding characteristic.

Friendly Gentlemen's Blackout Stout - From a gifted bottle from a Friendly Gentleman - pours and looks like motor oil, with a filmy, thin head. Nose of chocolate and a smooth watery mouthfeel. The last thing I have written is "too cold yet". Then I stopped taking notes.

1 November 07 Location: Badaboomz

Stone 11th Anniversary Ale - Tight hoppy pine nose, deep black color with a chocolate-milk-like head. A hop bite that crawls down the sides of the tongue. Pine and alcohol - tastes like a Christmas tree combined with an orange. Definitely different.

New Albanian Hoptimus - After drinking the Stone, my taste buds may be off - Nose is malted milk sweet. Alcohol heavy taste that crawls right up the nose, clear and golden with lacing. If I remember correctly this was off the hand pull, and seemed to be almost too warm.

11 November 07 Location: Dogfish Head Brewpub, Virginia

Johnny Rawton Pils - Dogfish Head gives you a lot of info on their beer menu; 50 IBU and 5.0% ABV. Transparent golden color, thin white lacing, and bubbly. A sweet tight nose of fruit. The front had a sweet-tart like bite - a little lemony. A citrusy beer, but not particularly hoppy. Woodsy and smooth. Instead of the Sex Pistols inspired name, maybe they should have gone with "Come On Feel the Lemondheads". Then again, I can understand if they'd prefer not to pay tribute to Evan Dando. This would be about a 3.2 mug beer.

Dogfish Black and Tan (90 Minute and Chicory Stout) - 90 Minute nose with a hint of raisin, deep dark red color, light lacing. The waitress noted "The spoon is broken" - instead of separating into different black and tan levels, the beer mixed together completely. Full, smooth raisiny taste, slightly chewy, and a hint of alcohol. 8% Abv.

75 Minute IPA - This is what you get when you combine a 60 and 90 Minute - transparent copper/golden color, tiny bubbly head with notes of citrus, hops, and surprisingly enough, spoilt milk. A tight hoppy bite fades to pine notes. I'm surprised that I don't like this as much as either their 60 or 90 minute IPAs.

10 November 07 Location: Home

Acme California Pale Ale - Transparent golden color, lively + thin white head, thin lacing. A malty nose leads to an earthy taste and watery mouthfeel. Not hoppy - reminds me of fresh cut green beans. A very "fresh" tasting beer, but not particularly good.

16 November 07 Location: Home

Three Floyd's Alpha Klaus Porter - New Year's Beer Homework - Dark oil color, no light getting through this one. Bubbly and alive when poured, with a thick creamy head. The nose has hints of coffee - but something in there also reminds me of those cheap plastic halloween costumes that they sold at Wal-Mart when I was a kid. There's also a little bit of a floral hop thing going on in the nose.

Unlike other Floyd's that I'm familiar with, this beer doesn't have one thing that jumps out - though the further I got into the beer, the more the hops came out. Hoppy, snappy aftertaste - pine... there's something in there that puts a vision of beaches in my head (I know that's crazy). Maybe it's that beach ball/halloween costume thing again?

Hitachino White Nest Japanese Classic Ale - Whatever happened to Jamey and Libbie? - A golden, apple cider look - almost like dirty water, with a ghostly sort of lacing (best way I can describe it). You don't have to put your nose in the glass to pick up the intense nose - apple and pepper really jump out of the glass, with a little echo of grapefruit. The front is all pepper and grapefruit and that's pretty much how the whole beer goes. The bottle says "the original IPA recipe brought to Japan in the 19th century" - but this isn't like any IPA I've ever had before. The bottle also says the beer was aged in Japanese cedar sake barrels - having been to a Japanese sake festival, I can tell you that I don't like it. I don't like this beer all that much either, but it was definitely interesting, and an expansion of the palet. Worthwhile for the experience.

Sad News for Brooklyn Brewery

Our thoughts go out to Brooklyn Brewery founder Steve Hindy, his wife Ellen Foote, and all of the Brooklyn Brewery family today on the news of the accidental death of Steve's and Ellen's son, Sam.

18 November 2007

Pairing beer and turkey

It's Thursday, November 22nd. You've just arrived at your family's house for Thanksgiving dinner. What do you have to look forward to? Perhaps it's Uncle Mort's misguided, Lou Dobbs-style rants about the Mexican invasion of our country. Maybe it's Aunt Hazel's woeful tales of dealing with her colostomy bag. Or, it might be your cousin Larry's mind-numbing description of his day-to-day dealings in the derivatives trading business. Oh, so much to be thankful for...

Amid all the neurotic family chatter, you just want some turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and some fantastic beer to go along with what's on the Thanksgiving table. That brings up the following question--What the hell type of beer should you serve on Thanksgiving anyway? Well, if you are at my family's house, the best choice available is Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It turns out that this isn't such a bad choice after all. According to the late beer expert Michael Jackson, a Vienna-style lager is a nice match with turkey.

These lagers are typically hoppy, crisp, and very drinkable, and Sam Adams happens to be a Vienna-style lager (in addition to being an appropriately American beer for a uniquely American holiday). Other good choices in this style are Great Lakes Brewing Company's Eliot Ness Lager, Brooklyn Brewery's Brooklyn Lager, and the hugely underrated Negra Modelo.

If you're looking for these beers in Indiana, you can find Sam Adams and Negra Modelo just about anywhere that sells beer. Brooklyn Lager is available at liquor stores that stock American microbrews. But, unfortunately, Great Lakes is no longer distributed in Indiana, but a trip into Ohio to the legendary Jungle Jim's will solve that problem (if you're dedicated enough to drive that far for good beer). And if you go with the Negra Modelo, you might not want to sit next to Uncle Mort.

15 November 2007

Dark Lord Day Rumors | Chimay Article at National Geographic Traveler

Updated 4/27/08: For a recap of DarkLord Day 2008, see this post.

Almost all of this information is incorrect. For correction to this post, please visit this post.

For those of you not familiar with Dark Lord Day, it's a once a year beer release event for Three Floyds' Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout. Here's the wiki info:
Dark Lord is the beer that Three Floyds is most famous for because it is widely rated as one of the best beers in the world. The brewery describes it as a "Gargantuan Russian Stout brewed with coffee, molasses, and honey; 13% abv." It is sold only on 'Dark Lord Day' which is usually late spring. This event happens at the brewery in Indiana where each customer is limited to a set number of bottles (six bottles in 2007) and only cash is accepted.
Last year's Dark Lord Day drew a rumored thousands upon millions of happy beer fans, so for this year, Three Floyds has something bigger planned - but there haven't been many details released yet.

Luckily, the internet is a perfect place for rumors, like this one, which I found from this post on BeerMapping.com and GoHammond.com:
We just booked two new, fresh & fun events at the Hammond Civic Center that I think you’ll enjoy!

First, Three Floyds Brewing Company has a one-day festival called DarkLord Day. DarkLord Day is the one day a year Three Floyds Brewing Co. sells/releases DarkLord Russian Imperial Stout. Beer enthusiasts, home brewers, professional brewers and collectors come from all over the country and abroad to buy the limited release of the DL Stout. They’ll have live bands, food and fun! Since they outgrew their current brewing facility due to the event’s growing popularity, we lined them up with the Civic Center! This is a really unique, new event that you’ll be hearing much more about. Our date is set for Saturday, April 19, 2008. Mark your calendars now and plan to attend this mainly adults only event!
The event still hasn't been announced by Three Floyds, but you might want to keep April 19th available on your calendar.

* * * * *

Looking for a nice place to take a holiday? How about Chimay, Belgium? National Geographic Traveler's Intelligent Travel blog - "The blog about authentic & sustainable travel" - has a nice write up about the eco-friendly practices at the Chimay Brewery. Surprisingly, they don't mention how many trees you'll have to plant to offset the carbon created in getting to Belgium.

14 November 2007

"Hoppy" New Year's

We don't have all the details yet, but we just confirmed that Hoosier Beer Geek will be hosting a New Year's Eve Party at Deano's Vino in Fountain Square. We're picking the keg again, a la Anniversary Party, so you know it's going to be good! Go ahead and plan on joining us as we bring in the next Leap/Summer Olympics/Presidential Election Year!

Any suggestions on the beer? Options can be found by typing the word "keg" into World Class Beverages' Indiana Beer finder.

13 November 2007

KOTBR #33 | Rock Bottom Pumpkin Ale

This week I was inducted as a Knight of the Beer Roundtable. I have been a devoted admirer of their exploits for some time now, but after having held my hand above the hops-scented candle for a full minute and getting my glasses & pint glass tattoo (I’m not saying where), I’m one of the gang. For my first tasting (as a non-groupie) we voted in an open ballot to try the Pumpkin Ale at the downtown location of Rock Bottom.

Having only tried a couple of pumpkin ales before, my points for comparison are limited. I often find myself wanting more pumpkin, but as delicate a flavor as pumpkin is, it must be difficult to make it stand out among the spices that most of us identify with pumpkin through having eaten so many tasty pies. This particular pumpkin ale was less flavorful than I would have liked. It made me want to take a bite out of a jack-o-lantern in order to augment the pumpkinosity, but no such seasonal decorations were available. Not surprising a full week after Halloween, what with mold and roving gourdivores (see Kelly’s review, below). Therefore, I give this ale 2.5 mugs.

As the newbie of the group, I have the privilege of arranging and posting the collected reviews of the Hoosier Beer Geeks (average mug rating of 2.464285714). As I am the resident library science student at HBG HQ, I have arranged the reviews alphabetically by the authors’ respective last names in accordance with millions of years of responsible librarianship.

Thanks for bringing me in. Rest assured readers, these ladies and gentlemen are a class act.

From the looks of the outside of this place, I probably wouldn't have stopped in; these sorts of places scream "Restaurant!" more loudly than they scream "Beer!” The basement was a nice surprise, cozy, pool tables, and NO WAIT (I don't like waiting for anything). This would be a good place to bring friends and hang out.

We started off with Rock Bottom’s Brickway Brown, a 2003 Indiana Brewers Cup winner. The nose had a hint of lemon and then chocolate. A thick pillowy head sits atop an opaque black body. It tasted of pretzels and chocolate, with a watery mouthfeel. I found it very drinkable...probably a 3 mug beer.

The Pumpkin Ale was appropriately colored and poured with no head. The cinnamon nose reminded me of a really good mouthwash and the toothpaste I'm currently using. Same features in the taste, and although it reminded me of mouthwash, I kinda liked it. I'm not getting so much pumpkin as cinnamon and clove. Not really a whole lot of taste altogether though. A perfectly good flavored water, not a very good beer. 2 mugs.

The Warm-Up: The good ol' trusty Brickway Brown. I'm a longtime fan of this beer, having chosen it as my first beer on just about every previous visit to Rock Bottom. This standby ale pours with a foamy tan head. It's very dark for a brown ale, almost stout-like in hue. It gives off a nice brown sugar/caramel/molasses nose. The taste is closer to a porter than a traditional brown ale, with coffee and chocolate notes. It also has a bit of a hop bite and a classic brown ale mouthfeel (a bit chewy).

The Feature Beer: The Pumpkin Ale, which is one of Rock Bottom's seasonal beers. This beer pours with a lacy white head and a beautiful clear amber color. The nose, not unexpectedly, conjures up thoughts of a nice plate of pumpkin pie--a bit of cinnamon, clove, and pumpkin in the mix. I must confess, however, that I'm not a fan of this beer style, and Rock Bottom's offering proved no different for me. The flavor was overwhelmingly clovey, almost to the extent of being cloying. I love Rock Bottom's beers, but I couldn't stand this one. It was only the second beer that I could not finish at a roundtable. But my dislike has more to do with the fact that I don't like pumpkin ales. So, I'll go with a 2 mug rating on this one, with the caveat that this rating is primarily due to my own personal taste. If you like pumpkin ales, you might want to give this one a go.

When we carved pumpkins for Halloween this year, some mystery rodent (giant, rabid rats, maybe?) made short work of them. I wish I could say I did the same thing with the pumpkin ale. I love the style, but this one was a bit watery and not exactly as hefty as I would have liked. The spicy, clove nose was fantastic, but didn’t come through in the taste. All in all, this is a solid, drinkable beer that actually made me dream about pumpkin pie on the night of the Roundtable. 2.75 mugs.

When I think of consuming pumpkins, all I think of is consuming pumpkin pie, which I love. Though I suspect that I only think of the pumpkin as a vessel for the nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices. As well as the massive amount of whip cream I put on top. When I think of consuming pumpkin ales, all I think of Ichabod Crane being chased across the bridge by the Headless Horseman and the Jack-o-lantern that he uses as his surrogate head. That's a really long way of saying that I think pumpkin beers are scary. I just don't find the strong taste of pumpkin in my booze as appetizing. So of the pumpkin beers that I have enjoyed, they have either been heavily spiced or light in pumpkin flavor. The downtown Rock Bottom Brewery's seasonal pumpkin ale, thankfully, falls into the latter category. Many of my fellow HBG knights commented on the amount of clove they picked up in this beer. I didn't notice any of that, though it may have had something to do with the massive bite of garlic cheese dip that I had just consumed. What I did notice was a light, woodsy smell. It is hard to describe unless you have ever cut or split trees, but the smell was of green timber. Someone else had said it seemed watery. I would say it is more beer and less pumpkin, which I am thankful for. I give it a 2.5 mug rating, because I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.

My feelings about pumpkin ales are that I like them, but mostly in theory. I always hope for something remarkably similar to pumpkin pie, but I should just know by now that I should stick with the real thing. Rock Bottom's offering of pumpkin ale was no exception. It fell short of the mark, but I wasn't completely disappointed. It was indeed watery, but it gave way to some pumpkin spice and clove; tastes that make me all too ready for the upcoming holiday. 2.5 Mugs.

Speaking of Brugge...

Desire the sweet Belgian style brews of Broad Ripple's Brugge but your stuck downtown? Have no fear, BadaBoomz is here! They have Brugge Black on tap right now. And I believe they are the first bar in Indy outside of Brugge to have it.

Hop Crop / Brugge News

As we've discussed before, the increase in hop prices means an increase in beer prices. It also means that homebrewing just got a whole lot more expensive. How much more expensive? According to this article in the Denver Post:
..Cascade hops, the most popular among craft brewers, (have) jump(ed) from $4.10 per pound to about $12.35 per pound in two months.
On the craftbrew side, the price increase isn't really all that substantial for the consumer.
At Idaho Springs-based Tommyknocker Brewery, which produces 9,000 barrels of beer per year, head brewer Steve Indrehus expects prices to go up.

A six-pack of “Maple Nut Brown Ale,” its flagship beer, is currently $6.99, while a case costs $28. Those prices will likely go up to $7.25 and $29 respectively, said Indrehus.

He said hops are not the only reason; the industry is taking a hit from increases in barley and glass costs.
NPR is also reporting on the story, which you can listen to in convenient audio form by clicking the link on this page.

* * * * *

Our friends over at Brugge Beer have launched a blog of their own under the creative name of "Brugge Beer".
This will be updated regularly, with developments, promotions, and activities in both Terre Haute and Broad Ripple, including the current beer selection, weekly specials menu, and TV sports schedule at Brugge Brasserie.

Your participation is key as we really want to hear your comments about everything we're doing.

Ted and Shannon, along with Micah Weichert, our head brewer in TH will be talking about the good, bad, and ugly about all of Brugge's operations.
Check out the Brugge Beer Blog here.

12 November 2007

KOTBR #32 In Review | Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout at Spencer's Stadium Tavern

You may have noticed a new name in the Knights of the Beer Roundtable list above. Matt, who has been serving as Kelly's groupie for quite some time, has now been officially Knighted after a full ceremony featuring mug clinking, congratulations and hugging, and a virgin sacrifice*. Because we're now an unwieldy seven (as opposed to a svelte six), we're once again we're revamping the way we do our reviews. This may be the last "KOTBR In Review" post ever. Just try to hold back your tears.

The Knights met at Spencer's Stadium Tavern, the potential goldmine located just southwest of Lucas Oil Stadium. After everyone warmed up with an Avery's Ellie's Brown Ale, we moved on to the feature beer - Bell's Special Double Cream Stout.

Gina started us off by call the nose amazing. But also saying "(it) also reminded me of an ashtray." She decided this beer would be a better choice in colder weather before awarding it a tentative 3.25 mug rating.

Jim complimented the Avery warm-up
before moving on to the Bell's.
This beer, which was offered only in bottles, poured with a black coffee color and very little head. The nose on the Special Double Cream Stout has to be the most complex of any beer that we've reviewed (or that I've tried, for that matter). I definitely got the bizarre ashtray smell that Gina detected, but I also could smell molasses, pepper, raisins, coffee, licorice, and a yeasty odor that many Belgian ales give off.

Despite the compliments on the nose, he felt the taste was a little too peppery, and awarded the Special Double Cream Stout a 3.00 mug rating.

Kelly was last to chime in on the Bell's
, and picked up some interesting notes in the nose:
It reminded me of the smell you get when you open a box of Whoppers – and I really don’t like malted milk balls. When I was a kid, my dad used to hide malted milk ‘jellybeans’ in my Easter basket, and laugh at me as I found the “surprises”. Ugh.

She then admitted that she's not really a fan of milk stouts before giving the beer a 2.50 mug rating.

All of the Knights would also like to give a shout out to the Pinkos* from Drinking Liberally, who were also in attendence.


09 November 2007

Beer Run - Washington, DC

There's danger in planning a vacation around beer - but not the sort of danger you might expect.

I had already booked the flight to DC when I read about the Brickskeller in an issue of All About Beer; I would be traveling to DC to see the monuments and history, but the article made it seem as though the Brickskeller was a can't-miss. Over 1000 bottled beers, a dry-hopper, Russian River beers on the menu....

We started the night in the Brickskeller basement, a dark and cramped (yet inviting) space decorated with beer cans from decades before I was alive. We sat at our small table and dove into the beer menu - flipping first to the choices from Russian River, a highly regarded brewery whose offerings don't make it to Indiana. There were at least five Russian River choices on the menu, none of them cheap ($10-$25 bottle), but being that this was a vacation, I decided to spend the money.

But I couldn't because the Brickskeller was out of Russian River. And out of my next choice (which I currently forget). And Gina wasn't having much luck either.

The truth is that a menu so large is just flustering, especially when you've come prepared and can't find what you want. After banging my head against the table trying to make the perfect choice, the waitress finally asked if I'd just like her to chose something. I said "sure".

What I got was an Abita Pecan Harvest Ale - which wasn't as bad as ratebeer.com would have you believe - but it was hardly a beer worthy of selection amongst the largest selection of bottled beers anywhere.

Nevertheless, I soldiered on, and decided to order from tap next. I asked our waitress about their dry-hopped beers - the Brickskeller has a dry hopper on-site and although I'm not exactly a hop-head, I thought I should check out what the process does to a beer. The waitress informed me that beers on tap were not available in the basement, so we quickly finished our pizza, paid our bill, and headed upstairs.

The upstairs beer menu (taps only) was quite a bit smaller than the downstairs menu - instead of hundreds, we chose from eight beers. Except when we tried to order half of them (including the dry-hopped choice), we were informed that they were out. So we drank a Kill Ugly Radio and got out of there.

Now I'm not saying that the Brickskeller is a bad place - in fact the beer selection is still amazing and there's probably no place more dedicated to craft beer - but if you want that same sort of overwhelming beer menu, and choices that are actually in stock, you can do just as well on the southside of Indianapolis at Shallos.

* * * * *

We did have a lot better luck at Dogfish Head's newest brewpub in Falls Church, Virginia. A well lit and spacious restaurant, Dogfish's newest space was located in a strip mall space, though it exists as its own building out in the middle of the parking lot. The aleshous featured great food (and a menu that some local beer houses would be smart to emulate), some year or two year aged beer selections (Worldwide Stout, Pangea...) - but I'm a big fan of Dogfish anyway, so I was probably a little biased. When we told our host that the brewpub was one of our two "can't miss" DC locations, he gave us a couple of Dogfish pint glasses on the house.

Although the cabbie had a horrible time finding the brewpub (and in fact ended up just dropping us off in a random mini-mall), the experience was great. I didn't have anything too exciting off the beer menu, to be honest, but Dogfish does really great work across the board, so the beer I did drink (Johnny Rawton Pils, Dogfish Black and Tan, 75 Minute IPA - a mix of 60 and 90 minute) was completely satisfying, and once again renewed my faith in beer.

If you're even in the DC area, any of the Dogfish locations are worth checking out.

05 November 2007

Recap: 'Vote For Beer' tasting at Big Car

Last Friday's beer tasting at Big Car Gallery's First Friday art opening was an absolute blast. The show, "That Time of the Month", featured art/photography/crafts by the Naptown Roller Girls (if you don't know who they are, go right now to their website and get acquainted!). The girls are amazing athletes, artists, and friends - I can say that since I used to be one of them.

The crowd was strong at 6:00 and the gallery stayed packed through the entire evening. We served up lots of samples of our featured beers: Trois Pistoles from Unibroue and Duvel from Duvel Brewery (the Belgian selections) and Brass Knuckles from Barley Island and Kalamazoo from Bell's (the stout offerings).

It's hard to pick a single beer as the best crowd-pleaser, though I think the top two were the Brass Knuckles Stout and the Trois Pistoles. We had a great time talking to the crowd, and hopefully convinced more than a few people to search out some quality brews. Thanks to the following: Jim Walker and Audrey Barcio of Big Car for their hospitality as always
Matt Clapesattle from World Class Beverages for providing the beer
Deano's Vino for storing the beer before the event
Bud's Supermarket for being our indispensable ice supplier
Naptown Roller Girls for just being so damn awesome

We hope to hold another successful tasting next month! More photos of the night can be found at the Big Car Flickr page.

KOTBR #32 | misty malty-scented memories...

I was particularly glad to return to Spencer’s Stadium Tavern for Roundtable #32. I used to be a Thursday night regular as part of Drinking Liberally, so it was great to return and hang out with Jason and the gang. This was also the second time the Knights have convened at Spencer’s for a review.

Spencer’s hasn’t changed much since its humble beginnings back in 2005 (this location has been a bar in some form since 1933!). It’s stayed the same cozy bar with dark red walls, excellent food and an admirable beer selection. Sure, you can get ‘football’ beer, and Old Style is featured prominently, but head bartender/manager/all around badass Dustin keeps the cooler and taps well-stocked with Beer Geek favorites.

The Knights in attendance (Jim, Gina, Mike and I) warmed up with Ellie’s Brown Ale from Avery Brewing. Like Jim, I usually warm up at Roundtables with something easy to drink, and this beer didn’t disappoint. Something in it (the dark chocolate, perhaps?) reminded me a lot of the Brugge Black Belgian Dark Ale. Chewy and sweet, with a slight hop bite at the end, this was a great precursor to the main event.

We chose a round of Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout for our reviewed beer. We got this round before I was even halfway through the Ellie’s Brown, which turned out to be a good thing since this stout was served way too cold. It took a good twenty minutes before I could really get a nose from the glass, but once I did, I got the usual chocolate-malty notes, with spicy undertones.

(As an aside: It reminded me of the smell you get when you open a box of Whoppers – and I really don’t like malted milk balls. When I was a kid, my dad used to hide malted milk ‘jellybeans’ in my Easter basket, and laugh at me as I found the “surprises”. Ugh.)

The best way I can describe the taste of this beer is... average. Meh. Okay, even. I was expecting more of a chocolaty, roasted taste, but instead I could just taste the nagging, sort-of-sour flavor that really turns me off of most milk stouts. I realize that I’m an outlier, though, and encourage fans of cream and milk stouts to try this one for themselves. 2.5 mugs.

02 November 2007

KOTBR #32 | Bell's Special Double Cream Stout @ Spencer's Stadium Tavern

As you might have noticed, we're a little slow in posting our reviews from last week's roundtable at Spencer's Stadium Tavern. Gina was diligent in getting her review up, but the rest of us have been slackers. Just doing our best to perpetuate the Gen X ethos. Actually, I think I'm probably the only one who's been lazy. Mike is still recovering from some pretty major dental work, and I'm sure that Kelly has been supremely busy with work and putting together her new digs (or should that be "crib"--I never know what new lingo the kids are using these days).

So here I am with my impressions of Spencer's and of the beers we tried. As for Spencer's--I could do without the smoke, but the place is well worth visiting. The menu comes with a number of pub food staples, which Spencer's does quite well. I ordered a basket of waffle fries that were as good as waffle fries can be--crisp, hot, and nicely seasoned. In addition, the beer selection, while small, is first rate. There were three or four microbrews on tap and probably 10 to 15 additional microbrew brands in bottles.

We started with Avery Brewing's Ellie's Brown Ale, a quality offering from the Boulder, Colorado brewery (and sweetly named after the owner's late chocolate Labrador). I like to warm up with an easy drinking beer, and this brown ale was definitely that. A bit hoppier than other browns, Ellie's has a nice blend of caramel, vanilla, and toffee notes. If you're looking for something that is outside the typical brown ale profile, you'd do well to choose this beer.

Our feature beer was Bell's Special Double Cream Stout, which we tried on the recommendation of our very knowledgeable bartender (whose name unfortunately escapes me at the moment--sorry!). This beer, which was offered only in bottles, poured with a black coffee color and very little head. The nose on the Special Double Cream Stout has to be the most complex of any beer that we've reviewed (or that I've tried, for that matter). I definitely got the bizarre ashtray smell that Gina detected, but I also could smell molasses, pepper, raisins, coffee, licorice, and a yeasty odor that many Belgian ales give off. I must admit, however, that I was a little disappointed by the flavor. I let the beer sit and warm in anticipation of a wonderful explosion of taste. However, I got a predominately pepper flavor. I love my pepper, but I can do without it in my beer. Therefore, I'm going to give the Special Double Cream Stout a 3 mug rating. I can appreciate what Bell's is trying to do here and loved the nose on the beer, but the Special Double Cream Stout just ain't my thing.

To close, I'd like to thank Jason and the Drinking Liberally crew for their hospitality (Spencer's is their HQ) and stimulating political conversation.

Props to Deano's - The Kronie is Gone!

I've been going to Deano's pretty regularly for a year now. And of the three beers they have on tap, one has always been Kronenberg 1664 - dubbed "The Kronie", a light lager that I, and most people, think taste like ass. If ass can taste that bad. So we've been bitching non-stop for a year to take it off and put something good on. But Deano has always prevented Nick from doing it because it's one of Deano's favorite beers. What do you expect from someone who also drinks Strongbow??

Anyway, I'm glad to announce and give props to Nick for FINALLY taking the Kronie off and putting a third good beer on tap. As of right now, the line-up consists of Three Floyds' Alpha King, Bell's Amber, and Rogue's Dead Guy Ale. Now we can again say that Deano's is the original home of the Hoosier Beer Geek!

Come out and vote for beer!

The ballot has been set. The candidates for beer this year are:
Barley Island's Brass Knuckles
Bells Kalamazoo Stout
Bell's Double Cream Stout
Unibroue Trois Pistoles

So come out and try a Stout or a Belgian. We'll be at Big Car Gallery, which is located in the Murphy Arts Center in Fountain Square at 1043 Virginia Avenue, Suite 215 , Indianapolis , IN 46203.

The beer tasting is officially scheduled from 7pm to 10pm. We may start a little early. We may run a little late. Who knows. Come out and vote anyway!

01 November 2007

Beer Run - Washington, DC

Saturday morning Gina and I will be flying out to Washington DC, where our current plans seem to revolve around nothing more than drinking. DC has both The Brickskeller - "featuring the world's largest beer list", and a Dogfish Fish pub that hasn't had its grand opening yet (but will while we're there on Tuesday the 6th).

We're probably more excited than we should be. And we're looking for suggestions - if you've been to DC and can recommend anything, please do. And while you're at it, check out the Brickskeller's beer list, and suggest a beer - or ten.