31 October 2008

Random Beer Roundup - Creepy Halloween + Slayer Edition

I know what you're thinking - you're thinking we've been awfully quiet this week. That's because Rodney and Chris are too busy pinching each others' butts to finish anything. And because no one seems to know how to hold on to their notes. Next week will be content-tastic. Probably.

It's Halloween, a time of the year when thoughts turn to closing your eyes, looking deep in your soul, stepping outside of yourself, and letting your mind go. I've heard that they also say it's also the time of year when frozen eyes stare deep in your mind as you die. Jeepers.

Elizadeath and Matt (a werewolf) at the Old Town Ale House (8657 E. 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, (317) 841-0800) with a scream from the grave:
Hi there...this week's current draft lineup...

Founder's Pale
Upland Wheat
Oaken Barrel Razz Wheat
Warbird T-6 Red Ale
Oaken Barrel Apple Buzz
Bell's Lager
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA
Wyder Pear Cider
Two Brother's French Country Ale
BBC Jefferson Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout
Left Hand Milk Stout
Stone Smoked Porter
Brugge Tripel de "Ripple
3 Floyd's Robert the Bruce
Stone Ruination IPA
Goose Island Matilda
She Devil Pale Ale

Norrebro Skaarsgaard Porter and Chimay Grand Reserve have joined the bottle list.

Happy Halloween...we're tapping a keg of Founder's Breakfast Stout on Friday!

Matt & Elizabeth
Minion of Satan Andrew at Brass Monkey Brewing Co. (115 East Sycamore Street, Kokomo, IN, (765) 457-4659) is cooking up something in his cauldron:
We just tapped our next beer in our One & Done line. 9th Wonder is a hoppy American porter made with columbus and centennial hops. It's coming in at 6.1%

Todd of the dead at Keg Liquors (617 East Lewis and Clark Parkway, Clarksville, IN) gives us a heads up (and chops heads off) with this update from Indiana's southern edge:
Several new things down in the Southern part of the state. Keg Liquors moved into their new building at the beginning of October. We went from a 2700 square foot building to a brand new 5000 square foot building. We now have a 28 door cooler for beer and wine, including 10 doors just for craft and good imports.

New beers this week include: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Founder's Backwoods Bastard, Boulder Killer Penguin, 2008 vintage, Great Divide Hades, Great Divide Fresh Hop Ale, Breckenridge Christmas, and what seems for the first time, and almost unlimited amount of Founders Breakfast Stout. No allocation on it for the first time.

Mike Sprinkle Holy Water at Crown Liquors has an update (and a crucifix and wooden stake):
Founders Breakfast Stout is re-supplied, case stacks in our 6 main beer stores by the end of the week! Also by the end of the week Dogfish Head Theobroma, brewed with Aztec Cocoa powder and nibs w/ honey, chiles and a few other choice ingredients. Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock, more Founders Harvest. Great Divide has a couple new ones that are coming today, but forget the names. Broodoo hopefully next week. Keep your eyes peeled for my next RateBeer/Beeradvocate tasting coming in the next couple weeks.


Great Divide Fresh Hop 22oz (1st time to Indy, very limited)
Great Divide Hades (Belgian Golden Ale) new everyday sku
Great Divide Hibernation
Boulder Killer Penguin
De Dolle Oerbier Reserva '07
Triple K '03 Mags
Chouffe Mags
N'Ice Chouffe
Beer Geek Breakfast
Norrebro North Bridge Extreme
Norrebro Little Korkny Barley Wine (only case in the state!)
40th Anniversary Thomas Hardy's
Scaldis Noel nippers and 750ml Premium
Dupont Avec le Bon Voeux

Cheers and thanks!
John at the Black Sparrow Pub (223 Main St.
Lafayette, IN. 47901, and a name spooky enough to not need embellishment) with an update:
The Black Sparrow Pub will be having a Halloween Party this Friday. Beer special will be 22oz Rogue Dead Guy bottles for $5.75 (can't beat that price!). We will also have a rep from World Class Beverages (Rogue's distributor in our area) giving away Rogue gear all night. Costumes are mandatory.

No cover.

Also, new fall/winter beer bottle list was rolled out last week. (Click here to download that list.)


Draft selections right now:
Delirium Nocturnum
Founders Dry-Hopped Pale Ale
Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard
Victory Prima Pilsner
Left Hand Octoberfest
Oaken Barrel Superfly IPA
2 Brothers Oh Brother! Triple
Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout
Coming Soon (this weekend or next week, whenever lines free up):
Left Hand Sawtooth
Ommegang Hennepin
Founders Red's Rye
Thirsty Dog Leg Humper Porter
Founders Breakfast Stout
A bunch of other really exciting drafts that we have allocated coming throughout the fall/winter.

John Olakowski
The Black Sparrow
Hey it's another John! This one from Big Red Liquours in Bloomington! They're attacking! Shoot!
Big Red liquors has a number of New items this week:

Boulder Single Track
Breckenridge Christmas
Great Divide Hibernation
Boulder Never Summer
Ridgeway Santa's Butt
Breckenridge Agave Wheat
Kinmount Willie
Old Jock
Black Douglas
Merlins Ale
Hebrew Jewbelation
Thomas Hardy Ale
Boulder Obovoid Empirical Stout 9 (1 cs only) Allocated item
Great Divide Fresh Hop (1 cs only) Allocated item
Boulder Killer Penguin ( 1cs only) Allocated item
Great Divide Hades Belgian style. ( 1 cs only) Allocated item
Meantime Porter
Koningshoeven Quadrupel
Boulder Never Summer

Expect to see Next week:

Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence
Founder's Backwoods Bastard
Founders Breakfast Stout (round two)

Also starting next week:

The Big Belgian Beer Sale is Back!!!
All Belgian beers are on sale.
Buy 6 and get 10% off.
All multi pack items count as one unit of the 6. (4pk, 6pk, 12pk are at a discounted price compared to the singles)
Stock up for the holidays or refill your cellar.
This just in from Killer Kirk at Mr. G's Liqours (Noblesville):
New this week:

Mad Anthony Auburn Lager
Mad Anthony Gabby Blonde
Mad Anthony IPA
Mad Anthony Ol Woody Pale Ale
Mad Anthony Old Fort Porter
Warbird Mustang Gold
Warbird Thunderbolt Wheat
Warbird Irish Shanty
Warbird Warhawk Pale
Warbird T-6 Red Ale
Founders Backwoods Bastard
Great Divide Hades
Great Divide Hibernation
Boulder Never Summer Ale
Achouffe N'ice Chouffe
Dubission Scaldis Noel
Dupont Les Bons Voeux
Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale

And just got another shipment of Founders Breakfast Stout!

Mr G's
Gabriel (like the angel, except EVIL!) from The Goose (Indy) has some words of beercouragement:
The Cellar at Goose the Market has picked up the following brews:

Founder's Backwoods Bastard
Barley Island Beastie Barrel Stout
Bell's Special Double Cream Stout
Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale
Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre
Rogue Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale
St. Peter's IPA
Victory Hop Wallop
Three Floyds Broodoo Harvest Ale
Harviestoun Old Engine Oil
Broughton Black Douglas
Boulder Beer Looking Glass Never Summer
Great Divide Hibernation Ale
Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti
We were also able to get a bit more Founder's Breakfast Stout!
This press release came to our email box from someone WE DON'T EVEN KNOW. Spooky:
Morton’s The Steakhouse Hosts Chimay Beer Tasting on November 11

Portion of Proceeds to Benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation®

Morton’s The Steakhouse in Indianapolis is offering a divinely delicious Chimay beer tasting event on Tuesday, November 11 at 6:00p.m. Chimay is the world-renowned Belgian ale created and brewed by Cistercian Trappist monks for more than a century at the Abbey of Scourmont in Chimay, a small town in southern Belgium. Morton’s guests will sample three different authentic Chimay ales accompanied by Morton’s Petite Filet Mignon sandwiches, Tuna Tartare Canapés, Sliced Smoked Salmon and Morton’s Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake. The ticket price of $45 per person includes tax and gratuity and Morton’s will donate $5 from every ticket to the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. Guests will also receive a special gift – a Chimay glass goblet – as they quench their thirst for a great cause. Morton’s will offer expert tips on savoring the legendary ales, which are brewed in the monastic tradition at the Abbey and made with all-natural ingredients and water from the Abbey springs.

Please call 317-229-4700 for tickets or information. Morton’s The Steakhouse is located at 41 E. Washington in downtown Indianapolis. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. and Sunday from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.

The Chimay selections at Morton’s tasting event will include:

* Chimay Première – First introduced and brewed by the Trappist monks at Chimay in 1862, this original-recipe ale has a warm dark red color and a soft fruity taste with a slightly bitter touch.
* Chimay Grand Réserve – This dark brown ale has relatively dry taste with a caramel touch and a complex aroma.
* Chimay Cinq Cents –This golden blonde ale offers a subtle balance between softness and fresh bitterness, with a fruity aroma.

The monks of the Abbey of Scourmont at Chimay have been brewing their legendary ale since 1862. Chimay is always brewed on site at the Abbey, which guarantees its authenticity and quality. The production and distribution of Chimay Trappist beers is performed by S.A. Bières de Chimay. Chimay is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its introduction to the United States.

Morton’s is donating a portion of the event proceeds as part of its national “30 Wishes for 30 Years” campaign to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The first Morton’s steakhouse opened in Chicago in 1978 and Morton’s is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a fine dining leader. Through a series of special events, Morton’s has raised more than $150,000 so far to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation and its mission of granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Here's the latest from Ron Smith. He owns a black cat:
1) Last Call for November Beer MBA Classes (November 8th, 15, 22nd). They will run from 3:30 - 6:30 pm. If you are interested, please let me know ASAP and/or go to the website and sign up (www.BeerMBA.com). So far, we have created some happy and very satisfied alumni. As people are saying, “If you like beer, even a little, then definitely make time for this course – You won’t regret it!”. I’m getting some great testimonials from attendees on these classes, and I hope to get some posted to the website soon, but overall everyone is finding them to be a lot of fun, very educational and a great value. A lot of people have been waiting for a Saturday series, so sign up ASAP before it sells out. See more info on the classes below or visit www.BeerMBA.com.

2) This Saturday, Nov 1st is National Teach-A-Friend-to-Brew Day, so to celebrate, that’s exactly what I’m going to do! Starting at 9:00 am, at my home near 116th and Michigan Rd. on Indy’s NW corner, I will start from scratch and brew a 10 gallon batch of beer. Also, there are now 3 others signed up to brew, so there will be a variety of systems being used and styles being brewed. If you have any interest in brewing, or brew already, but want to learn more, etc., this will be a great opportunity for you. There is no cost to attend, but consider bringing some beer and snacks to share. I will supply some beer to sample as well. Brew days are long, so we probably won’t finish up until around 4:00 or so. Plan to stay for the whole day if you can (and if you really want to see the whole process), or just stop in when you can. Either way, let me know if you are interested. Also, if you plan to attend, please remember to drink responsibly and/or arrange for a designated driver. This will be a fun day. Let me know.

3) Several people have asked about Gift Certificates for the Beer MBA classes. These are available and are a great idea! Consider purchasing them for the November series and giving them as an early Christmas gift. I don’t know exactly when the next series of classes will be, but they will be after the first of the year (probably Jan or Feb), so if you prefer that perfect gift for Christmas Day, this is it. I will supply you with an attractive Gift Certificate “Scroll” placed inside a capped empty beer bottle that must be opened with a bottle opener to get to (you just pay the shipping or pick it up at no additional charge from my NW Indy office). For an added effect, use this bottle to replace one of the bottles in a 6-pack of great beer and give the whole package. That way, the recipient gets something right then, as well as later (I can even help with recommendations on the beer if you wish). Let me know about this as soon as you can, since I probably won’t sell more certificates than what would fill one class.

* * * * *

Bonus reading: Here's a NY Times article about Six Points Brewery in Brooklyn.

30 October 2008

KOTBR #58 | Bacon in a glass @ Old Town Ale House

For KOTBR #58, we headed to Fishers to check out the Indianapolis area's latest entry into the gastropub race, the Old Town Ale House. We'd been eager to visit the Ale House ever since we got word of the pub and its wide selection of craft beers. We were joined by Randy, Mikey, Bill, Ty, and Kevin from the Good Beer Show, who were fresh off recording a podcast at Ram's Fishers location (Mike and Gina sat in on that show, which you can catch here).

By our count, the Ale House has 18 taps and around 40 craft bottles on their menu (their current tap list is here). Those of you who are craft beer newbies might indulge in one of the Ale House's themed beer flights. Each flight offers five sample beers of a similar style at the very reasonable price of $8.00. Several of us ordered flights before we hit the feature beer. The most decadent flight appeared to be the one that Chris ordered, which is called "A Shot in the Dark." As you might suspect, this flight consisted of five stouts.

The Ale House's food menu features some intriguing selections as well. For example, Kelly had the mac and cheese, which was made with penne bathed in four different cheeses and was served in a unique way: inside of a sourdough bread bowl. Add a few beers and you have a full-fledged Atkins diet nightmare. For pork lovers, the Ale House offers bacon in a pint glass. Yep, that's right--a half-pound of applewood-smoked bacon served in a pint glass. And when the glass is empty, it apparently serves as a nice receptacle for Stone Smoked Porter according to some of the other Knights. I wouldn't know, however, because just like Jules Winnfield, "I just don't dig on swine."

For our feature beer, we chose a crème de la crème selection from Garrett Oliver's beer stable: Brooklyn Brewery's Black Chocolate Stout. This Russian Imperial Stout clocks in at 10.6% ABV and is one of Brooklyn's winter seasonal offerings.

Here's what we thought of the Black Chocolate Stout:

I've had this beer a few times here and there, and it's never been a favorite - too much dark chocolate, too much roasty malt, too overpowering and unbalanced. This time around my complaint would be that it was too punchy - my notes read, "This is like a vodka spiked beer. BOOOOZY." Any beer that reminds me of vodka spiked anything (we used to go with Gatorade) should bring up bad memories of the summer after high school. But somehow the creamy mouthfeel and dark chocolate put up enough fight to make this beer a winner. As it warmed, I started picking up strange flavors - grape, maybe? Odd. But good. 4.00 Mugs

Nose - Boozy, chocolaty, malty with a roasted toffee finish. Almost like a mocha from Starbucks, less burnt smelling

Look - Very dark, light doesn't escape, nice lacing on top of the glass from the minimal head.

Taste - Coffee, chocolate with fruit (raspberry) sweetness on the finish. Bourbon barrel aged taste on the back of the tongue. There is a nice alcohol finish, but it's not overpowering.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and syrupy - almost doesn't feel carbonated.

3.90 mugs.

Jim. Wow, this beer is much boozier than I remembered (I had one last year). A lot of alcohol burn. Unlike some of the other Knights, I really don't get much chocolate out of this. In fact, I get more vanilla, licorice, and bourbon highlights. A bit too powerful for my taste on the first few sips, but becomes more pleasing at it warms, which brings out a buttery character. A nice sipping beer, but I don't think I could handle more than one of these per sitting. 4.10 mugs

Everyone else's scores:

Gina: 3.85 mugs
Chris: 4.10 mugs
Rod: 4.20 mugs
Matt: 3.92 mugs
Kelly: 3.90 mugs

This is one of the few roundtables were we came to a pretty broad consensus on the quality of the beer, as you can see by the consistency of the ratings. Average rating: 3.99 mugs.

26 October 2008

KOTBR #57 - GABF - The Take-Home Game

A trip to Colorado isn't complete without a trip to the liquor stores of Colorado. Our recent trip to Great American Beer Festival and the breweries around Denver has led to a kitchen overflowing with craft beer; Not a problem, but an opportunity.

Believe it or not, calling together the Knights for a Saturday sampling of all sorts of unavailable-in-Indiana beer doesn't guarantee a crowd. But four of us are truly dedicated, so we met at my current home (a van on the banks of the White River on Indy's southside) for a revisit of the GABF experience.

Deschutes The Dissident 2008 Reserve Flanders Style Brown Ale

Mike: With the tart sour nose on this beer, my first instinct was to think "get ready to pucker". But the "brown" elements of this beer keep it from going off the super-tart deep end. Creamy and chewy, this is a beer that works the back third of the tongue. 4.25 Mugs

Chris: Sour lemon nose, sour patch kids hit, but only center of tongue. Sour apple, sour lemon - not normally the biggest fan of sour, but this is GOOD. 4.33 mugs

Matt: Much thanks to Mike and Gina for letting me try this brew.
Appearance: Dissident pours a mahogany brown color with tons of tiny carbonation bubbles, and a small thin head.
Smell: Cherries and blackberries and other orchard fruit with plenty of wild scents coming from the brett, but not quite "horsebarn" in smell
Taste: Tart cherries and blackberries come out very strong with a certain grape quality lingering in the background. I get more apples in the flavor profile as the beer warms a bit. This is delicious.

I loved this beer and was imagining how to pair this beer with food. I would love to get ahold of more of this beer. This is my highest rating ever as a KOTBR, and I stand by it! 4.7 Mugs

Gina: Tart and appple. GOOD GOOD GOOD. 4.5 Mugs

Deschutes The Dissident Total Score: 4.44 Mugs

Lagunitas Brewing Co. We're Only In It For the Money 40th Anniversary Zappa beer

Mike: Trying to figure out the name of this beer was almost more rewarding that drinking it. A Belgian Tripel with a burnt sugar candied fruit nose, the first drink wasn't rewarding enough to warrant a return to the glass. It wasn't that the beer was particularly bad, it just wasn't good. I couldn't get that burnt sugar taste out of my mouth/head. 2.43 Mugs

Chris: Buttery, butterscotch up front, cotton candy, bubblegum, burned sugar. 3.2 Mugs

Matt: Appearance: Pours and Amber orange with decent staying power
Smell: Overpowering of bubblegum and Candy sugar sweetness
Taste: The sweetness carries over in the taste with more orchard fruit like apples and grapes, but the syrupy sugar sweetness is quite overpowering in this offering.

I love a good tripel, but this doesn't cross the threshold into my favorite tripel territory. 2.5 Mugs (+.1%)

Gina: I got more hints of pine than candy or fruit from this. 3 Mugs

Lagunitas We're Only In It For The Money Total Score: 2.78 Mugs

Ska Brewing Decadent Imperial IPA

Mike: A wax sealed bottle that once opened gave an earthy sort of dirty taste. Oddly enough, this beer seemed almost freezer burnt. Although the bottle says "Imperial IPA", we didn't get an IPA elements. Weird. And a letdown. 1.75 Mugs.

Chris: Apricot, piney (subtle) smell, tastes fruitier than any DIPA I've had. Sweet, almost too sweet, hops not present enough for DIPA. 2.33 Mugs

Matt: Appearance: Pours a deep and very clear golden hue with a minimal head
Smell: There wasn't really much in the way of hop aroma for an imperial IPA, but I do get some slight apricot and apples with only a touch of caramel malt
Taste: I was looking for a hop explosion that never came on this beer, and this doesn't represent what a IIPA should taste like. I get apricot and hot fussel alcohol in the flavor profile, some fruity esters and only a small touch of piney hop bite on the back end.

I don't know if this was a bad bottle, but there wasn't anything really to speak of in the hop department, and the hot fussel alcohol didn't jive with me or my palate. 2.8 Mugs

Gina: Something about this reminded me of pizza. Maybe like basil or rosemary? It didn't pack quite the punch I would expect from an IIPA. 2.6 Mugs

Ska Decadent Imperial IPA Total Score: 2.37 Mugs

Russian River Blind Pig

Mike: I broke all sorts of Russian River laws getting this one home - I took it from a cooler and put it in a box in a warm car. The bottle specifically notes that heat and light are the enemies of hops - though I've had plenty of beers that have survived worse. A peppery and hoppy nose, a golden body, bitter, peppery, soapy. Considering Russian River's reputation, I expected more. 3.2 Mugs

Chris: Very piney smell, pine hops taste with a nice touch of citrus. I love the hops, but is this balanced? Hoppity hops...seriously, only for hopheads. 3.6 Mugs

Matt: Appearance: Nice clear golden hue with a rather fluffy white head
Smell: Lots of ripe citrus fruit and pink grapefruit rind with a good shot of pine stickiness. Daddy likey!
Taste: Citrus fruit are again center stage with ripe tangerines, oranges, and lemon zest. There is a slight "soapy" quality to this beer as well that isn't really doing it for me at the moment.

If the "soapy" quality I was tasting could be taken away this would be one of my favorite IPAs to drink. The nose was very nice and the flavor profile started out really nice, but really lost points once I picked up those other flavors. 3.3 Mugs

Gina: I mostly get the aforementioned soap and pine flavors, which usually would be a negative. This time, however, they work well together and I quite like it. 3.22 Mugs.

Russian River Blind Pig Total Score: 3.33 Mugs

24 October 2008

Random Beer Roundup - I'm Happy and I'm Singing and a 1, 2, 3, 4 Edition

I'm sure you've been waiting all week for what sort of witty thing I can come up with to introduce this week's roundup. I don't have anything. And so..

First off, yay! - Congrats to our buddy Mike at StlHops.com, who has sold all the available tickets for his blog's first anniversary party. $15 got you beer and snacks, with the proceeds benefiting Stray Rescue of St. Louis. There's a good idea! Say! We have anniversary parties.. and we regularly steal ideas..

This is nice - Check out beernews.org's beer release calendar for a general idea of when you might start to see new and seasonal beers. Then check Hoosier Beer Geek's random beer roundup to see where you can see those beers on shelves.

In stores, bars, restaurants and brewpubs this week:

From John at Big Red Liquors (Bloomington):
New this week:

Founders Harvest Ale
Founders Curmudgeon
Two bros heavy Handed
Corsendonk Apple White

After the beer fest we usually get a bunch of requests for beers that we did not have access to until the Fest. Stone Levitation was poured for the first time in Indiana. We will get it when it comes in.

I have requests for about 50 new beers so stay tuned. You will see a number of New micros and Belgian beers in the next few weeks.
From Scott at Schlafly:
I just wanted to let you know that a couple of accounts in Indy got their hands on kegs of our Hop Harvest. Hop Harvest in a 6% APA that is Dry-Hopped with wet Simcoe hops that have been flown in overnight from Yakima Valley. The beer is brewed at our Tap Room in downtown Saint Louis, and very limited amounts make their way into the market. In fact, this year only 5 kegs left the brewery, and three of those made it to Indiana.

Rich O's (New Albany, IN) has a keg for their annual Lupulin Land festival (They also have a keg of India Brown Ale for those who know and love that beer).

In Indianapolis, J. Gumbo's has it on right now. Mike tapped it last Friday, so he should have a bit left. He bartends Monday nights. Stop by, say Hi, and have a pint.

Lastly, if you can't make it to J Gumbo's, Pikk's Tavern (Hans from HotShotz' new place of employment, so you know the beer list is top notch) will be putting a keg on in the next few weeks.

So, there are a few chances to try it for those who are interested. Cheers all, and thank you, as always, for your support of Schlafly Beer.
Mike at J. Gumbo's confirms:
J.Gumbo's has scored the only keg of Schlafly Hop Harvest wet hop in Central Indiana. It is hopped with Simcoes and is amazing. We are out of the Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest.
Updates from John at Half Moon (4051 S Lafountain St, Kokomo):
Here's what's happening at Half Moon. The Oktoberfestbier is selling fast. It will probably be gone by this weekend. That will make room for an American IPA created by my Asst. Brewer Bryan Culbertson. He named it Bry-PA after himself. He's quite proud of this one, and it's definitely a delectable treat for all of the hopheads! Goes on tap Thurs., October 30th. O.G.=1070 ABV=7.7% IBU=85 Then, the following Thurs., November 6th, the Oatmeal Stout hits the taps. One of my personal favorites. O.G.=1066 ABV=6.6% IBU=30

Regular Lineup:

Cannon Shot Cream Ale - O.G.=1048 ABV=5.4% IBU=16
Wildcat Wheat - O.G.=1040 ABV=4.5% IBU=13
Stop Light City Red - O.G.=1054 ABV=5.7% IBU=25
Hazelnut Brown - O.G.=1056 ABV=5.7% IBU=25
Elwood's IPA - O.G.=1062 ABV=6.7% IBU=60
Cole Porter - O.G.=1066 ABV=7.0% IBU=30

John Templet
Head Brewer
Half Moon Restaurant & Brewery
This just in from Martin at Chumley's:
Here are some of the cool beers currently on tap:

Founders Harvest Ale while supplies last

Coming soon:
Victory Hopwallop
He'brew Jewbelation 12 Anniversary Ale
Two Brothers Heavy Handed
Great Divide Hibernation Ale

We're having a Bells party Thursday Oct 30th 7-10pm - Cool giveaways and costume contest, and beer flights of Double Cream Stout, Java Stout, Expedition Stout, Hell Hath No Fury Ale

Also we're having an Election Night special Goose Island party with Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Thursday Nov 6, 7-10pm
Sierra Party with cool prizes and mirror giveaway
Sierra Nevada Chico Estates
Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

New Bottles:
Founders Old Curmeggon
and Heavy Seas Winter Storm
Our man on the scene Chris with some updates:
1. My brother took a tour of Michigan & Northern Indiana breweries last weekend: Bell's, Founders, Dark Horse, The Livery and Three Floyds. Lucky bastard. As previously reported, Founders isn't mass producing Devil Dancer this year because they think it's an irresponsible use of hops. However, they brewed one new keg for their restaurant and it went on tap the week before he was there. It went on tap 10/10, was gone by 10/15 and my brother was in on the 18th. BOO!

2. Bell's will be making Hopslam this year. Coming out in January. Yeah for irresponsibility!

3. I saw the new Barley Island Beastie Barrel Stout 4-pack at Alabama Liquor yesterday. 4x12oz for $10.50-ish. It'll probably be $11 or 12 at most places. (confirmed: Kahn's says $11.99 on their website)

22 October 2008

Get your falsies away from me

Back in July, Indy.com ran a piece on "falsies"--pint glasses that look like they hold sixteen ounces but actually hold only fourteen due to thicker bottoms. As the Indy.com piece noted, some bars use falsies for their beer orders yet charge beer drinkers for a full sixteen-ounce pint. Today's edition of "All Things Considered" on NPR had a segment related to this topic. Listen and enjoy.

For more on the Honest Pint Project, which is mentioned in the segment, go here, here, and here.

21 October 2008


When a brewery discontinues a product that you're in love with, the best you can do is hoard whatever is left on your local liquor store's shelves and cellar it, hoping that the drink you're in love with ages well.

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the time for Zima fans to hoard and cellar is now:
MillerCoors LLC announced Monday that it will discontinue the clear malt beverage Zima, introduced by Coors Brewing Co. in 1992, because of "challenging malternative segment sales and declining consumer interest."
I hear that the pineapple citrus ages best.

* * * * *

Who knew that Zima has three varieties now? I almost feel like I should go try them all before it's too late.

18 October 2008

Looking for a Job in Beer?

From the mailbag:

Hey gang, I'm the wine director for Vine and Table Gourmet Market, and we are currently seeking a beer coordinator. I was wondering if you could post the opening on you blog? Or at least mention it. Love your site! Keep up the good work!

Position Title: (1)Beer Specialist

Are you passionate about your beer and your customer service? Then we invite you to join the most prestigious beverage team in Indiana, Vine & Table Gourmet Market! With over 4000 wines, a "cave" housing over 500 of the world's greatest beers and one of the most impressive single malt scotch selections in the Midwest, Vine and Table is on the cutting edge of the beverage retail industry. We pride ourselves on having one of the most talented and knowledgeable teams in the nation, and are currently looking to add to the roster!

Current Openings:

Beer Coordinator -

This position will oversee the beer operations of the store, and will report to the Spirits Director. You will be responsible for our famous "beer cave", and making sure we stay ahead of the curve on our beer selection and presentation. You will host tastings, give input on purchasing, and be the ambassador for one of the most impressive collections in the state.

This is an hourly full time position with growth potential for the right candidate.

Duties include (but not limited to):

* Customer Checkout
* Shelf stocking and tagging
* Customer education
* Hosting/staffing company events
* Special orders
* Purchasing input

Job Requirements:

* Must be at least 21 years of age
* Must be able to lift and carry 40lbs or more consistently
* Must be able to stand for long periods
* Excellent knowledge of beer styles and production methods
* Alcoholic beverage sales permit
* Must be able to work Weekends/Evenings/Holidays
* Proficiency with MS Word/Excel/Outlook and email use
Louis Calli
Wine Director
Vine & Table Gourmet Market
313 E. Carmel Drive, Carmel IN 46032
P: 317-817-9473
F: 317-818-0288
Kahn's Catering - Online Ordering

Our family of companies dedicated to
fine foods, distinctive libations and superior service.

17 October 2008

Random Beer Roundup - Abraham Lincoln Collector's Edition

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in beer drinking, and this is your random beer roundup.


Hey look! We're famous! - We've made The Slashfood Ate (8) with our homey (their words, not mine) approach to GABF. Peachy keen, pals!

From Kirk at Mr. G's Liquor:
New this week
Founders Harvest Ale
Founders Old Curmudgen
From KOTBR Jason's random reading (or the Indy Monthly Newsletter):
Tuesday, Oct. 21 - Fletcher Boyd is the guest chef for A Taste of Germany Wine and Beer Tasting at Patrick's Kitchen and Drinks. The evening features German food, four German wines from Carroll Company, and four classic beer styles from World Class Beverage. 6:30 p.m. $30 in advance. $40 at the door. Call 733-8755 for ticket information. 47 Boone Village, Zionsville.
From Elizabeth and Matt at the Old Town Ale House (8657 E. 116th Street Fishers, IN (317) 841-0800):
We've changed a few draft lines...Founder's Pale has been replaced with Founder's Harvest Ale & Guinness has lost it's spot to Brooklyn Brewery's Black Chocolate Stout. Don't forget that all of our pints are available for only $2.75 on Tuesdays & Wednesdays! Founder's Old Curmudgeon has joined the bottle list.
From Mike at J. Gumbo's comes the following Sunday football special:
Indy vs. Green Bay
October 19th, 4 PM
$3 Beer Brats
$3 U-Call-It Pints
This bit of random financial advice forwarded on by Ted at Brugge:
Investment advice from a fund manager.

If you had purchased $1,000 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago, you would have $49 left.

With Fannie Mae, you would have $2.50 left of the original $1,000.

With AIG, you would have less than $15 left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of the beer,then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214 cash.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.
Mat at Cavalier dropped a line to remind us that many GABF medal winning beers are readily available in Indiana:
Steelhead Extra Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company won gold at the Great American Beer Festival. Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout won a bronze medal in the Imperial Stout category. Both Steelhead and Yeti should be readily available at stores in Indiana with a better beer selection. While people are at it they should try all the other quality brews available form Mad River and Great Divide.
Will do.

Lastly, Ron Smith dropped an email about his latest round of Beer MBA classes. A quick summary:
1) Next Beer MBA Classes moved to Saturdays in November (8th, 15th, 22nd). Sign up Now!

2) Open Brew Day at my house on November 1st. Let me know if you are interested!

3) Gift Certificates Available and Future Beer MBA Class Dates.
For more info about Beer MBA, check out Ron's website.

15 October 2008

Big Red Beerfest Beer Listing

John at Big Red Liquors (Bloomington) just dropped the list of beers at the Big Red Beerfest (Thursday 10/16/08 and Friday 10/17/08 at the Bloomington Convention Center).

Here we go (nevermind the random table numbering):
Table 1
World Class Beverage
1. Three Floyds Gumballhead
2. Three Floyds Alpha King
3. Three Floyds Pride and Joy
4. Three Floyds Munsterfest
5. Wabash Valley Harvest Amber
6. Wabash Valley Cannonball Porter
7. Wabash Valley Hazy Wheat Ale
8. Wabash Valley Gangster Pale Ale

Table 2
Barley Island Brewing Co.
1. Flat Top Wheat Ale
2. Dirty Helen Brown Ale
3. Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout
4. Barfly IPA
5. Beastie Barrel Stout

Table 3
Oaken Barrel Brewing
1. Indiana Amber
2. Razz Wheat
3. Superfly IPA
4. Alabaster Wit
5. Oaktoberfest-Oktoberfest
6. Gnaw Bone Pale Ale
7. Snake Pit

Table 4
1. Wheat
2. Pilsner
3. Bad Elmers Porter
4. Dragonfly IPA

Table 5
Bloomington Brewing Co.
1. Java Porter
2. Big Stone Stout
3. Quarryman Pale Ale
4. Ruby Bloom Amber

Table 6
Mad Anthony Brewing Co.
1. Gabby Blonde Lager
2. Auburn Lager
3. Ol’ Woody Pale Ale
4. Good Karma IPA
5. Old Fort Porter
6. Ruby Raspberry Wheat
7. Harry Baals Irish Stout
8. Oktoberfest

Table 7
Warbird Brewing Co.
1. T-6 Red Ale
2. Mustang Gold Ale
3. Warhawk Pale Ale
4. Shanty Irish Ale
5. Thunderbolt Wheat

Table 8
Stone Brewing Co.
1. IPA
2. Pale
3. Smoke Porter
4. Arrogant Bastard
5. Oaked Arrogant Bastard
6. Ruination IPA
7. Levitation Ale

Table 9
Schmaltz Brewing Co.
1. He’Brew Genesis Ale
2. He’Brew Messiah Bold
3. He’Brew Origin
Pomegranate Ale
4. He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s IPA
5. Coney Island Lager
6. Coney Island Albino Python
7. Coney Island Sword Swallower

Table 43
Magic Hat Brewing Co.
1. #9 Not Quite Pale Ale

Table 44
World Class Beverage
1. Chimay Grand Reserve
2. Wyder’s Apple Cider
3. Wyder’s Pear Cider
4. Brother Thelonius
5. Red Seal Pale Ale
6. Old Rasputin Stout
7. Brugge Black
8. Brugge White
9. Brugge Tripel

Table 45
World Class Beverage
1. Victory Prima Pils
2. Victory Hope Devil
3. Victory Golden Monkey
4. Harpoon IPA
5. Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen
6. Harpoon Raspberry UFO
7. Abita Turbodog
8. Belhaven Scottish Ale

Table 46
World Class Beverage
1. BBC American Pale
2. BBC Nut Brown
3. BBC Bourbon Barrel Stout
4. Rogue Dead Guy Ale
5. Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale
6. Rogue Hazelnut Brown

Table 47
World Class Beverage
1. Avery IPA
2. Avery White Rascal
3. Avery Ellie’s Brown
4. Flying Dog Gonzo Porter
5. Flying Dog In Heat Wheat
6. Flying Dog Pale Ale
7. Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber
8. Flying Dog Kerberos Tripel

Table 48
The Berghoff Brewery
1. Octoberfest
2. Lager
3. Dark
4. Red Ale
5. Pale Ale
6. Hefe Weizen

Table 49
Boston Beer Company
1. Sam Adams Boston Lager
2. Sam Adams Light
3. Sam Adams Winter Lager
4. Sam Adams Cherry Wheat
5. Sam Adams Irish Red
6. Sam Adams Cream Stout
7. Sam Adams Boston Ale
8. Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner

Table 34
Left Hand Brewing Co.
1. Sawtooth Ale
2. Milk Stout
3. Juju Ginger
4. Deep Cover Brown
5. Black Jack Porter
6. Haystack Wheat
7. Polestar Pilsner
8. Imperial Stout

Table 35
Cavalier Distributing
1. Butte Creek Organic Pale Ale
2. Bison Brewery Organic Chocolate Stout
3. Clipper City Organic Raspberry Wheat
4. Mad River Steelhead Porter
5. Two Brothers Domaine Dufage
6. Breckenridge 471 ESB
7. Founders Rubaues
8. Pizza Beer

Table 36
Cavalier Distributing
1. Rebel Czech Lager
2. Hofbrau
3. Mexicali Beer
4. Shipyard Pumpkin
5. Lakefront Pumpkin
6. Sprecher Oktoberfest
7. Weihenstepharer Festbier
8. Original Sin Cider

Table 37
Brooklyn Brewery
1. Lager
2. Brown Ale
3. IPA
4. Local 1
5. Black Chocolate Stout
6. Winter Ale

Table 38
Spoetzl Brewery
1. Shiner Bock
2. Shiner Hefeweizen
3. Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

Table 39
Bell’s Brewery
1. Bell’s Oberon
2. Bell’s Third Coast
3. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
4. Bell’s Lager of the Lakes
5. Bell’s Best Brown Ale
6. Bell’s Double Cream Stout
7. Hell Hath No Fury

Table 40
1. Wychwood Hobgoblin
2. St. Peters Stout
3. Monty Python Holy Grail Ale
4. Xingu Black Beer
5. Wychwood Scarecrow
6. Wychwood Wychcraft

Table 41
Spaten Franziskaner
1. Spaten Lager
2. Spaten Optimator
3. Spaten Oktoberfest
4. Franziskaner Hefeweiss

Table 42
Dogfish Head Brewery
1. 60 Min
2. 120 Min
3. Chicory Stout
4. Punkin
5. Indiana Brown
6. Fort
7. Red & White
8. Black & Blue

Table 10
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
1. Pale Ale
2. Harvest Ale
3. Porter
4. Wheat
5. Stout

Table 11
Miller Coors
1. Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat
2. Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss
3. Leinenkugel’s Fireside Nut Brown

Table 12
Miller Coors
1. Foster’s
2. Foster’s Bitter
3. Peroni
4. Pilsner Urquell
5. Grolsch
6. Killian’s Irish Red
7. Molson Canadian

Table 13
Miller Coors
1. Harvest Moon
2. Pale Moon
3. Blue Moon Belgian White

Table 14
1. Dos Equis Special Lager
2. Dos Equis Amber
3. Sol
4. Tecate
5. Heineken
6. Heineken Light
7. Amstel Light
8. Newcastle Brown Ale

Table 15
Star Brand Imports
1. Paulaner Hefe-weizen
2. Paulaner Oktoberfest
3. Paulaner Salvator
4. Paulaner Lager
5. Hacker-Pschorr Dark Weiss
6. Moretti Lager
7. Murphy’s Stout
8. Affligem Noel

Table 16
Redhook Brewery
1. IPA
2. ESB
3. Widmer Hefe

Table 17
1. Budweiser
2. Bud Light
3. Bud Select
4. Budweiser American Ale
5. Bud Light Lime
6. Bud Light Chelada

Table 18
1. Michelob
2. Michelob Dunkelweiss
3. Michelob Amberbock
4. Jack’s Pumpkin Spice
5. Shock Top

Table 19
1. Bacardi Mojito
2. Landshark Lager
3. Tequiza
4. Micehlob Cactus Lime
5. Wild Blue

Table 20
Bitburger USA
1. Bitburger
2. Kostritzer

Table 21
Goose Island Beer Co.
1. Honker’s Ale
2. IPA
3. Mild Winter
4. Harvest Ale
5. 312
6. Matilda

Table 22
Green Mountain Beverage
1. Woodchuck Amber
2. Woodchuck Granny Smith
3. Woodchuck Dark & Dry
4. Woodchuck Pear
5. Strongbow Cider

Table 23
Crown Imports
1. Corona Extra
2. Corona Light
3. Modelo Especial
4. Negra Modelo
5. Pacifico
6. St. Pauli Lager
7. St. Pauli Dark
8. Tsingtao

Table 24
1. Moosehead Lager
2. Moosehead Light

Table 25
Mike’s Hard Lemonade
1. Hard Lemonade
2. Light Hard Lemonade
3. Cranberry Lemonade
4. Cranberry Light Lemonade
5. Pomegranate Lemonade
6. Hard Lime
7. Hard Berry

Table 26
High Falls Brewing Co
1. Dundee Honey Brown
2. Dundee Pale Ale
3. Dundee Oktoberfest
4. Dundee IPA
5. Dundee Porter
6. Dundee Pale Bock
7. Dundee Wheat

Table 27
Duvel USA/Brewery Ommegang
1. Duvel
2. Ommegang Hennepin
3. Ommegang Abbey Ale
4. Ommegang Three Philosophers
5. Ommegang Rare Vos
6. Maredsous 8
7. Houblon Chouffe

Table 28
Schlafly Beer
1. Schlafly Pale Ale
2. Schlafly Bourbon Imperial Stout
3. Schlafly Number 15 Dark
4. Schlafly Biere de Garde
5. Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine
6. Schlafly Oktoberfest
7. Schlafly Pumpkin Ale
8. Schlafly Saison

Table 29
Merchant du Vin
1. Lindemens Framboise
2. Sam Smith IPA
3. Sam Smith Organic Cider
4. Sam Smith Organic Lager
5. Ayinger Brau-Weiss
6. Ayinger Gluten Free Amber
7. Green’s Gluten Free Amber
8. Zatec Czech Brite Lager

Table 30
Diageo Guinness
1. Red Stripe
2. Smithwick’s Irish Ale
3. Guinness Draught (keg)
4. Guinness Extra Stout
5. Harp
6. Smirnoff Ice Light
7. Smirnoff Strawberry Acai

Table 31
1. Bass
2. Beck’s
3. Beck’s Premier Light
4. Leffe Blonde
5. Stella Artois
6. Hoegaarden
7. Boddingtons

Table 32
Pabst Brewing Co.
1. PBR
2. PBR Light
3. Old Style
4. Old Style Light
5. Colt 45

Table 33
Binding Braueri USA
1. Radeberger Pilsner
2. Tucher Bajuvator
3. Tucher Dunkle
4. Tucher Hefeweizen
5. Tucher Kristall
Using advanced math, I have concluded that that's a lot of variety. Obviously, this will be a good time, and the proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington. Check it out!

14 October 2008

KOTBR #56 - Pumpkin Beer Challenge (or Pumpkingate)

I hope that part of the appeal of this blog is the photography. Unfortunately this roundtable is one in which the the world conspired against us and caused all sorts of problems. First, my camera refused to recognize its lens. Chris stepped in to take photos, but then lost his camera. And Rodney refused to do anything to help. Lastly, Chris never submitted his reviews. Why these problems? Could it have been the spooky Halloween seasonal beer?

As a result of our lost photos and review - which we hope to someday release in a post-hbg special collectors edition box set1 - we're stuck with stock pumpkin and homemade halloween-ish images this time around. I hope you'll bear with us.

* * * * *

Last year around this time the Knights headed out to Rock Bottom in Indianapolis and reviewed their Pumpkin Ale, leading the since-added Knights to believe that we're all anti-pumpkin. To prove that wasn't the case, we decided to line up all the pumpkin beers we could get our hands on for our Pumpkin beer showdown.

Suddenly all the folks (besides Gina and myself) who met for that previous roundtable starting bowing out of this one, thus confirming that they're pumpkin haters. Nevertheless, Rod, Jess, Chris, Gina and myself met at the Weaver household to shake this thing out.

Because we were dealing with eleven beers, we broke them into groups of three (with one group of two) and had a lucky volunteer2 serve them to us blind. We each took notes, picked a favorite from each group, and advanced that beer to the next round.

The names have been added only in hindsight - here is a compilation of our notes.

Group 1 - A vs B vs C

A) Blue Moon Harvest Moon:
M: Beery-beer nose, watery but agreeable, slight pumpkin finish
G: Lager flavor mostly with just a hint of pumpkin spice, nutmeg. Not offensive.
J: Watery beer mixed with old canned pumpkin
R: Beery nose (grain, malt, water) with canned pumpkin and cinnamon. Tastes like an amber ale with slight cinnamon and apples with a hoppy tingle at the finish.

B) Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale:
M: Cinnamon/Nutmeg nose, taste that echoes the nose, tastes like Big Red gum
G: Spicy, sweet, CINNAMON flavor kind of overpowering
J: Nutmeg nose, very spicy with notes of clove, ginger and sugar
R: Heavy nutmeg and allspice in the nose. Tastes like pumpkin pie - cloves, cinnamon, brown sugar.

C) Wolaver's Will Stevens' Pumpkin Ale:
M: A big spicy nose, strong orange elements figure into the flavor, unbalanced
G: Spicy, slightly medicinal. Something off in the flavor.
J: Overpoweringly orange and medicinal - almost like orange cough syrup. Might possibly be contaminated?
R: Nose of butternut squash, caramelized acorn squash and cinnamond. Tastes like sour Belgian yeast, orange and grapefruit. I think this is infected or something.

We voted Beer B (Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale) through to the next round.

Group 2 - D vs E vs F

D) Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale:
M: A cinnamon/apple nose, watery with a hint of cinnamon in the finish
G: Some spice, but lacking in flavor.
J: Tasty pumpkin spice nose (can a nose taste?), the flavor makes me think of pumpkin dip (pumpkin mixed with cinnamon) and is very balanced
R: Allspice, clove cinnamon and sugar in the nose. Tastes like balanced pumpkin pie - canned pumpkin, saigon cinnamon and a spicy finish. Although it didn't win this group (thanks to the other voters), this was probably my favorite pumpkin beer of the night.

E) Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale:
M: Nice balanced cinnamon, spicy warm front, elements of banana
G: Good aroma, light, but easy-drinking pumpkin flavor.
J: Banana nose with hint of cinnamon and a boatload of cloves, quite tasty and quaffable
R: Baked banana, cream and canned pumpkin nose. Tastes like coconut, walnuts, canned pumpkin and cloves

F) Southern Tier Pumking:
M: Nose of chocolate chip cookies, hints of coconut, this is a pumpkin beer?
G: Oats and buttered popcorn jelly bellies, WTF?
J: Pumpkin cookies with a hint of chocolate in the nose, almost like tropical take on pumpkin pie flavor
R: Tropical nose?! - pineapple, coconut, butterscotch, banana. Tastes like macadamia nuts, coconut, bitterness of a walnut shell. This did not taste like a pumpkin beer but it was delicious! Is tropical a beer style?

We all liked Beer F (Southern Tier Pumpking), but it didn't really seem to fit the pumpkin category. Since this is the "Pumpkin Beer Challenge", we chose Beer E (Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale) to move to the next round.

Group 3: G vs H

G) Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale:
M: Bitter egg nog-like finish, slight cinnamon notes in nose
G: Nice aroma, Pumpkin spice and coriander, banana. Spiciness lingers on the tongue. Alcohol quite present.
J: Cinnamon nose, plenty of allspice, heavy alcohol taste with pumpkin spices
R: Canned pumpkin, cinnamon and malt in the nose. Tastes like brown sugar, allspice, clove, star anise, pumpkin, cinnamon and has an alcohol warmth in the background.

H) Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale:
M: Tiny hint of spice in nose, a bit malty, finish reminds me of scope mouthwash... bitter
G: Citrus aroma with a light balanced flavor.
J: Weak nose, fizzy, not much taste of anything let alone pumpkin, eww (insert frowny face here)
R: Nose of fresh pumpkin, butter, coriander and candi sugar. Tastes like pumpkin and floral hops. Kind of like a pumpkin IPA or ESB.

Since we only had 11 beers to chose from, this group only featured two. We voted Beer G (Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale) through to the next round.

I) Schlafly Pumpkin Ale:
M: cinnamon apple nose, balanced and way tasty
G: Spicy and sweet.
J: Smells like pumpkin soap/lotion smells, spiced with a balanced pie flavor - very sweet!
R: Heavy clove, cinnamon, brown sugar and buttery nose. Tastes like caramelized sugar, toasted almonds, cinnamon and caramel malt. Kind of like the crunchy cinnamon stuff that is on the Cinnamon Crunch bagels at Panera.

J) Saranac Pumpkin Ale:

M: Malty cookie nose, something in here reminds me of ketchup. Or maybe meatloaf.
G: The flavor reminds me of corn and vomit?
J: Tasty pie nose, kinda eh flavor - not really wild about it
R: Smells like burned electronics? That can't be right. Maybe slight caramel. Tastes like cream, almonds, hazelnuts and french vanilla. Definitely doesn't taste like the nose.

K) Post Road Pumpkin Ale (by Brooklyn Brewery)3:
M: Nice... a bit bitter
G: Not much to talk about.
J: Spiced nose, burnt pie crust taste - uggh.
R: Nose of peach, cinnamon and caramel. Malt and caramel flavors. Slightly sour with a malty sweetness.

We unanimously voted Beer I (Schlafly Pumpkin Ale) through to the next round.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale vs Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale advances to the final

Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale vs Schlafly Pumpkin Ale
Schafly Pumpkin Ale Advances to the final

Final Round
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale vs Schlafly Pumpkin Ale

Your Pumpkin Beer Challenge Grand Champion: Schlafly Pumpkin Ale

* * * * *

Follow up: I bought the Schlafly beer we sampled in this roundtable in St. Louis, but wondered if the beer was also available in Indiana. So I contacted Schlafly.

Unfortunately, or not unfortunately, how ever you choose to look at it, Schlafly Pumpkin sort of exploded in Indiana this year. As a result, I am not sure who still has any Pumpkin available. I believe Vine & Table has some, I know Parti Pak has about a dozen cases, I am fairly certain that the Hop Shop still has some. Outside of Indy, Westside and University Liquors in Evansville have it. And, The Keg in Clarksville has some. Again, I can't guarantee that any of these accounts still have it, but they have all had it at one time. Happy hunting, and thanks, as always for your support of Schlafly Beer. Cheers, all.

Scott Shreffler
Schlafly Beer

* * * * *

1This is where I've convinced everyone we'll make our millions.

2Thanks, Claire.

3Does anyone know why this isn't a Brooklyn Brewery branded beer? We sorta wondered.

GABF Trip 08 - The Recap

I know I said I was finished, but a few (well, 10) things I'd like to note:

1) We had a lot of beer last week, and when you have a lot of beer, most of it all blurs together.
2) There is more beer than you could possibly want at GABF. There is also more horrible beer at GABF than you might expect. We spent one day drinking anything that sounded interesting. That seemed like a good idea at the time...
3) We missed a lot of great beer at GABF. But that's just how things work - they don't announce winners until the early Saturday session, and running around trying to try all those winners would be pretty futile.
4) Despite not winning the sour category, I still like Brugge's Diamond Kings as much as any other sour I tried. I didn't try the category winners, though..
Lambic or Sour Ale
GOLD: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Media, DE - Lambic de Hill
SILVER: Upstream Brewing Co., NE - Upstream Gueuze-Lambic
BRONZE: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Newark, DE - Cassis de Hill
5) We were definitely right about Hays, Kansas' Liquid Bread - they took home two medals:
Oatmeal Stout
GOLD: Gella's Diner and Lb. Brewing Co. - Oatmeal Stout
BRONZE: Gella's Diner and Lb. Brewing Co. - American Wheat
6) Best brewery tour? Easily New Belgium. Then again, they kept giving us really great beer. Best brewpub? Easily Oskar Blues. Our server was awesome, and the place does comfortable dumpy chic perfectly. I mean that as a compliment.
7) Best beer I had at GABF? After having a bit of everything everywhere, we finally made our way to the constantly long Lost Abbey line after they ran out of most of their beer. What was left on the table? The 2006 Angel's Share. Thick, syrupy, sweet, and tasty. Highly recommended.
8) Can someone send me some New Glarus Belgian Red? Or Raspberry Tart? Those are pretty nice, too.
9) A funny moment: Gina and I was watching a beer pairing session hosted by Sam Adams' Jim Koch. Jim is comparing beer to wine, and says "I always look at it this way: With wine, you spit. Beer swallows." I don't think we'll be hearing that in any Sam Adams commercials.
10) Was it worth going? Yes. It really is a great time. The crowds are large but bearable. The beer is abundant and all over the map. Would I go again next year? No - devoting a whole week (or even three straight days) to drinking isn't something I'd recommend making a yearly tradition. But ask me again in a month...

13 October 2008

Bell's Batch 9000 Release Date

Don't get too excited, I don't have any official information about Bell's next 1000 batch celebration beer. I've just decided to simultaneously wear my beer geek hat and my regular geek hat while attempting to determine when Bell's Batch 9000 might come out.

As you may know, every bottle of Bell's beer contains a batch number on the bottom of the back label. If you take that batch number and head over to Bell's webpage, you can enter that number (top-left corner) and figure out exactly when that beer was bottled. Using this system, we can make a pretty good guess as to when Batch 9000 will come out. Here are some bottling dates we can get out of the system right now:
Batch 8000 -- July 26, 2007
Batch 8750 -- September 17, 2008 (Porter)
Batch 8769 -- September 30, 2008 (Two Hearted Ale, most recent batch in the system)
The number of days between batch 8000 and 8750 is three-quarters of the way to batch 9000, so if we assume that they will continue bottling at the same rate we can make a guess for Batch 9000. There were 419 days between batches 8000 and 8750, so there will be about 559 days between batches 8000 and 9000. 559 days from July 26, 2007 is February 4th, 2009, the approximate bottling date for Batch 9000.

Now that we've got a birthday for Batch 9000 what special recipe do you think/hope Larry Bell will use for this batch?

11 October 2008

GABF winners from Indiana

Just a quick update about some medals from GABF:

2 Indiana breweries swept the Wood and Barrel Aged Ale category. Out of 25 entries, Ram took Gold and Silver for Old Jack and Buffalo Bock respectively and Barley Island took the Bronze for the Beastie Barrel Stout.

Also, Three Floyds won bronze for their Munsterfest in the German-Style Märzen category.

You can see a list of all the winners here.

See you all back in Indiana!

10 October 2008

The Main Event - GABF Trip 08

So we've arrived in Denver for Great American Beer Festival, and while you might expect that there's a lot to say, really, there isn't. GABF is everything you'd expect it to be: A giant hall, every brewery you can think of (though Founders and Schlafly aren't here..), lines for the better known rarities (Russian River, Lost Abbey, and New Glarus always had long lines), people jumping out of the way of Gina's wheelchair (an unending point of entertainment), and us ending up way drunker than we really needed to be (thanks in no part to Ted Miller and the Brugge folks).

Could I tell you what I drank yesterday? New Glarus Cherry and Raspberry Tart both stand out, as do the multiple pours of Brugge's Diamond Kings 08. Let's see if I can come up with a list of what else...

  • Alaskan Smoked Porter

  • Budweiser American Ale

  • Augusta (St. Louis) Tripel

  • Avery Ale to the Chief

  • Avery 15th Anniversary

  • Barley Island Beastie Barrel Stout

  • Bluegrass Brewing Kick in the Baltic Porter

  • Brugge Diamond Kings 08

  • Brugge Googoboom Helles

  • Brugge Black

  • Clipper City Marzhon

  • Clipper City Winter Storm

  • Deschutes Abyss

  • Deschutes Black Butte XX

  • Duck-Rabbit Brown

  • Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout

  • Flossmoor Station Organic Woody

  • Flossmoor Collaborative

  • Goose Island Matilda

  • Goose Island Juliet

  • Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imp Stout

  • Great Divide Coffee Oak Aged Yeti

  • Left Hand Terra-Rye'zd

  • Maui Brewing CoCoNut PorTer

  • New Belgium Eric's Ale

  • New Glarus Belgian Red

  • New Glarus Raspberry Tart

  • Pizza Port Carlsbad Ruby Black

  • Pizza Port Carlsbad Cow Stout

  • Rogue Double Dead Guy

  • Rogue Old Crustacean

  • Shmaltz Hebrew 12

  • Coney Island Sword Swallower

  • Coney Island Albino Python

  • Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Ale

  • Sierra Nevada Chico IPA

  • Ska Buster Nut Brown Ale

  • Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.08

  • Stone 12th Anniversary

  • Three Floyds Moloko Milk Stout

  • Track Town Oak Aged Imperial Red

  • Track Town Triple Jump

  • Turoni's Pumpkin Ale

  • We also had a few Chili beers, but I can't remember whose they were. One of them tasted pretty much exactly like the nachos you'd buy at a baseball game. Interesting.

    A few surprises, I guess - BBC didn't have any of their regular (great) stuff - no Bourbon Barrel Stout, none of their awesome brown. Liquid Bread is here, but they also had no brown. Three Floyds hasn't brought out anything too wacky.

    But there's plenty to drink, obviously. Is it worth the trip? Yes. The whole trip has been amazing.

    This concludes our coverage - I'm going to really enjoy the next couple days.

    Random Beer Roundup


    Patrick at new Zionsville restaurant Patrick's Kitchen and Drinks (47 Boone Village, Zionsville, IN) wrote us about their beer list:
    we opened a restaurant in Zionsville and we are fortunate enough to be able to sell the Bloomington Brewing Company beers. They do not want or need distribution north of Monroe County....so I really appreciate the privilege. We use a glycol chiller and a nitrogen mixer in order to serve a quality beverage. We are just a tiny place with 5 taps and we try to have different beers for instance right now we have Blonde Behemoth Barley wine, Gaffel Kolsch, BBC Nitro Stout, BBC Pale, Bell's Amber, and have a 1/6 of Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA waiting in the wings for the Behemoth to empty out.

    Patrick's Kitchen and Drinks
    47 Boone Vlg
    Zionsville, IN 46077

    Along with a reminder about the Crawfish Boil on Saturday at 8pm, Mike at J. Gumbo's (15 E. Maryland Street, Indianapolis) sent us this beer update:
    The 3 Floyds Munsterfest is gone. J.Gumbo's scored a 1/6 barrel of Hebrew Freaktoberfest.

    John at The Legend Irvington Cafe(5614 E. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN) sent us his beer list:
    On Tap:
    Three Floyds Robert the Bruce Scottish Style Ale
    Paulaner Octoberfest
    Brugge Belgian Black
    Bluegrass Brewing Company Bourbon Barrel Stout

    In Bottles:
    Sam Adams
    Sam Adams Light
    Heineken Light
    Rolling Rock Extra Pale
    Murphy’s Irish Red
    Guinness Extra Stout
    Anchor Steam Beer
    Grolsch 16 ounce flip top
    Barley Island Black Majic Java Stout
    Lost Coast Indica India Pale Ale
    Tomos Watkins Old Style Bitter
    Bass Pale Ale
    Young’s Luxury Double Chocolate Stout
    North Coast Brewing Brother Thelonius Brown Ale
    Val Dieu Abbey Blonde
    Val Dieu Abbey Brown
    Val Dieu Abbey Triple
    Chimay Trappist White
    Bell’s Oberon
    Butte Creek Brewing Organic Pale Ale
    Lakefront Brewing Eastside Dark Ale
    Warbird T-6 Red Ale
    Mad Anthony Ol’ Woody Pale
    Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout

    Scotty's Brewhouse sent us a link to their new beer menu for all of their locations. Check it out for the location nearest you.

    Liquor Stores:

    Kirk at Mr. G's (2209 E. Connor, Noblesville) with this update:

    New this week

    Victory Festbier
    Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin Ale

    Gabriel at Goose The Market (2503 N. Delaware, Indianapolis) gave us the low down:

    The Cellar at Goose the Market has a gaggle of new beers in stock including the following:
    He'Brew Jewbilation 12th Anniversary
    Founders Harvest Ale (fresh hopped)
    Founders Old Curmudgeon
    Two Brothers Heavy Handed Fresh Hopped Ale
    North Coast Brother Thelonious
    Brooklyn Local One
    Avery Collaboration Not Litigation
    Victory Golden Monkey
    Bells Expedition Stout
    Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers
    Clipper City Winter Storm
    Gaffel Kolsch
    Coopers Sparkling Ale
    Celis White
    Thirsty Dog Hoppus Maximus
    Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard
    Browning's Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
    Left Hand Twin Sisters DIPA

    We've also got a few bottles of the following beers left in stock...hurry:
    Three Floyds Moloko Milk Stout
    Three Floyds Rabbid Rabbit
    Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.08

    Mike at Crown Liquors (12480 N. Meridian Street, Carmel, IN) sprinkled us with some beer arrival goodness:

    New things in on Friday or already here:

    Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA- Wet Hops(fresh) IPA
    Sierra Nevada '08 Harvest IPA-Wet Hops(fresh)
    Founders Old Crumudgeon- Old Ale(first time since '06)
    Founders Harvest Ale-Wet Hop(fresh)
    Upland Lambics-Blueberry, Blackberry, Cherry, Strawberry, Peach and Raspberry

    Cheers and thanks! Mike


    Ale Yeah!
    What: A microbrew festival benefiting Giving Sum
    When: Sat., Oct.11, 2-5 p.m.
    Where: Rathskeller Biergarten, 401 E. Michigan St.
    Cost: Tickets are $25 or $30 at the door and can be purchased at: www.givingsum.org, the Rathskeller or any 21st Amendment location.

    Interested in having your events, taps, or new beer inventory listed on Hoosier Beer Geek? It won't cost you anything. Drop us a line at hoosierbeergeek@gmail.com.

    09 October 2008

    Fort Collins Gems - GABF Trip 08

    We were going to reserve a spot for a tour at New Belgium, then go check out a couple shops, but as it turns out, there was beer to drink.

    We arrived at the beautiful New Belgium facilities and took a seat at the near empty bar. We were greeted by the bartender and asked if we wanted tickets for the tour and if we wanted to sample some of their beer. Yes and yes.

    Not only is the tour free, but so are the samples. You can pick 4 beers that you would like to try from their selection of about 10 and you have to answer a question that the bartender comes up with to get them. We had to pick new Olympic events, mine was roller derby (duh!) and Mike's was the 100 meter crutch run - an homage to my hobbly-ness.

    Our samples included:
    • Fat Tire
    • Old Cherry - an ale brewed with cherry juice
    • Ben's Saison - the product of an employee contest called Loose Lips. A mix of three New Belgium brews are combined together and the employees have an opportunity to guess which beers and what percentage are in the combination. The winner gets to work with the Brewmaster to brew a beer of their choice.
    • Giddy Up - an Espresso Ale.
    • Mighty Arrow - A pale ale
    We were enjoying the samples and the company of some locals when the bartender casually mentioned that there were some special brews we could try if we wanted. Um, yes please. Mike chose La Folie - a highly regarded sour ale and I selected Eric's Ale - another well-received beer aged on oak with peach juice. Both of these were truly amazing and worth the attention they received.

    Right before the tour started, the bar was pretty full, and it seemed like a pretty good mix of local folks and visitors from all over. Here are some photos from the tour, which is pretty cool. You should go.

    Obviously all those free samples at New Belgium just aren't enough beer. So after lunch at Good Times (not so much) Burgers and Frozen Custard, and a couple bike shop visits we headed to slightly smaller yet friendly confines: Fort Collins Brewery.

    We reached the tasting room with just an hour left in their day, and each ordered their eight sample flight. The standouts from the samples were their Z Lager and Billy the Kidd Schwarzbier - both of which featured heavily smoked malt character that would have made any smoke beer fan happy.

    After rushing through our flights (as the driver, I left plenty on the table) we bought a few bombers and a t-shirt and were given a free pint glass and some stickers (just a few things they had lying around as giveaways to the GABF crowd).

    We then headed down the road in hopes of visiting Odell Brewing (New Belgium, Fort Collins, and Odell are less than roughly a mile apart), but they closed at six pm. So if you're ever in town, plan accordingly.

    As for us? We're ready to move to Fort Collins. Bikes and beer everywhere? Sounds good to me.

    Next up: A day off from drinking? We'll see what happens when we visit Boulder on the way to Denver.

    On the Left Hand - GABF Trip 08

    After a wonderful visit to Oskar Blues, we headed over to Longmont and the Left Hand Brewing Company tasting room. Upon entering, we were met with an overwhelming and quite lovely orange aroma. We didn't think too much about it and both ordered a Milk Stout. This is a beer that we've enjoyed since we first started drinking better beer so it seemed like a natural choice.

    We sat down at a table near the bar and enjoyed the creamy brew. As the bar cleared a bit, we moved over to it and noticed there were a few folks at the other end with a load of oranges. We asked the bartender what they were doing and learned that they were zesting oranges for use in this year's Snowbound Ale. I asked if we could help and were quickly put to work. We also found out that as long as you are helping zest oranges, your beer was free. Mike zested two oranges before he gouged his knuckle and decided that he's better off just drinking.

    Before heading out, I ordered the cask version of their Black Jack Porter, an English Style beer that is full-bodied and malty. I finished it up along with the remaining oranges in my bag and picked up a few souvenirs before heading to the hotel. We need to rest up for our next beer adventure, New Belgium and Fort Collins Breweries.

    08 October 2008

    Head for the Mountains of Oskar Blues - GABF Trip 08

    We spent the early half of Monday driving through Rocky Mountain National Park in search of "The Mountains of Busch™", and found plenty of mountain views worthy of any ad campaign. But when we came out the other side of the park, instead of corporate beer monoliths, we found comfortable and unassuming Oskar Blues in Lyons, Co.

    The beer is no longer brewed at the Lyons Grill and Brew, and in the case of the Ten Fidy Stout we were craving, it sounds like it may be a while before it's brewed again. Despite the initial disappointment of not finding what we were really after, our server's friendly and welcoming attitude quickly made up for it. We ordered an Old Chub Scottish Style Ale (reviewed KOTBR #45) and a Leroy (Brown) and settled in for a couple hours of local atmosphere, great food, and a beer surprise.

    The unassuming nature of the place is what makes it so great. Despite rave reviews of their beers in media as big as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, this could be your local. In fact, it is a local for some Lyons residents, and despite the availability of amazing homegrown beer, Oskar Blues has Budweiser on tap to keep some of the regulars happy.

    But we hadn't driven all that way for Bud. We noticed shortly after we arrived that a tap was being changed out - they had put on a beer they've titled "Whiskey D*ck" (our server noted "I work for seventh graders. And it's pretty great") - their Dale's Pale Ale aged in whiskey barrels. This was a special brew for the GABF crowd, and I suspect it won't be long before rave reviews start pouring in on sites like Beer Advocate.

    Our palates appeased, we settled our tab and then walked over to the merch counter where Gina spent a bunch more money grabbing a shirt and cans of everything available. If we can sit on them long enough (and canned beer should last quite a while) they'll be perfect for an drinking at IMS next season. I suspect they won't last that long, though.

    Next up: A stop in Longmont at Left Hand on our way to Fort Collins.

    07 October 2008

    Gluten-free beer

    Last week, we received this e-mail from HBG reader Karen:

    I have a gluten intolerance problem and now need gluten-free beer. Gluten is found in barley and wheat which most beer is made from. Have you done a piece on this as I need to know where to find some? I live in Fishers.

    We haven't done a piece on gluten-free beer . . . until now, thanks to Karen's question.

    The condition that Karen was talking about is called celiac disease. Celiacs (as people with this condition are called) have digestive systems that cannot tolerate the protein gluten, which, as Karen explained, is found in grains from which beer is typically made. Celiacs who consume foods and beverages with gluten can encounter very serious health problems. So, we've done some exploring to help out those folks like Karen who want to enjoy beer but can't partake because they're celiacs. Fortunately, several breweries brew beers that don't contain gluten. Here are the gluten-free brands you can find in Central Indiana:

    Redbridge. This is Anheuser-Busch's gluten-free beer. Like A-B's flagship brand, Budweiser, Redbridge is an American lager. It's brewed with sorghum instead of barley.

    Green's. Green's, which is brewed in Belgium, offers three different ales: an amber called Discovery, a dubbel called Endeavour, and a tripel named Quest. These beers are brewed with a blend of four grains: millet, rice, buckwheat (no, not that Buckwheat), and sorghum.

    Bard's Tale. This brewery was started by a couple of celiacs who are, in their words, "ardent beer-lovers." Bard's Tale is brewed in the American lager style and is made with sorghum.

    New Grist. This beer, which is billed as a "session ale," is brewed by Milwaukee brewery Lakefront. It's brewed with sorghum and rice extract.

    Toleration Ale. Brewed by Hambleton Ales in the UK, this beer is described as "a tawny ale with aromas of Cascade, Liberty and Challenger hops. Specially prepared dark sugars provide a full bodied initial sweetness giving way to pronounced fruit and hop character with a strong citrus finish." It's not clear what grains are used to brew this beer, but it is indeed gluten-free.

    The first four brands listed above are available at Whole Foods. In addition, Redbridge can be found at the Castleton Trader Joe's. Other central Indiana stores that carry gluten-free brands are Parti Pak, Kahn's, the Hop Shop, and Sahara Mart.

    In the interest of disclosure, we've not tried any of these beers, so we can't vouch for any of them. But, I can say that a gluten-free roundtable might be in the offing in the near future.

    In the meantime, if you have tried any of these beers, leave a comment or drop us a line at hoosierbeergeek@gmail.com to let us know what you think. Special thanks go to Mat Gerdenich of Cavalier Distributing and Bob Mack of World Class Beverages, who assisted us in putting together our gluten-free beer list.