13 December 2008

Back home again In Indiana, and what beer should I buy?

From the mailbag:
Hey folks,

I am from Indy, but live in Boston... and am coming home for the holidays. I'm looking to pick up some bottles of 'that which I cannot find out east'... what are the best package stores to find most local (midwest) micro brewings in Indy these days? All I really know if is Kahn's on Keystone. I will be picking up whatever I can find of FFF, and some Brugge bottles...anything else I shouldn't leave without?


For some reason the first things that popped into my head were Barley Island's Beastie Barrel Stout and Barley Island/Mark Schiess' GABF Pro-Am beer, Single White Friar. Both are pretty big beers, so depending on what Joe normally drinks, that may or may not be a good recommendation. As for stores, Kahn's is a pretty good place to start.

I asked the rest of the Bums of the Beer Roundtable, and Matt R. responded:
I would also suggest Party Pak for him.

In terms of beers he cannot get on the east coast might include Founders, Two Brothers, Jolly Pumpkin, BBC (at least Jefferson Reserve) and thirsty dog.
Matt's list is good - my favorites from that list would include almost anything from Founders - though their IPA is just ok - and BBC's brown (a personal favorite) and the Jefferson Reserve.

I don't know Kahn's attitude toward mixed six packs, but Parti-pak allows you to mix whatever you'd like. The Hop Shop up north also does that, but their selection isn't quite as varied as Party Pak. And if Joe's already shopping at Party Pak, a stop in at the southside Crown Liquors (on 31, next to Borders) is a good idea - their prices generally seem to be a little cheaper than Party Pak's. Lastly, if you're on the north side, Mike at the Meridian and Carmel Dr. Crown can take care of you.

I'm sure we're missing something, though - so I'd appreciate it if our readers would weigh in here. What beer should Joe not leave home without?


  1. Bell's if you can't get it out east and Mad Anthony IPA. I really like New Holland Brewing selection too.

    And take home a 6 pack of Oaken Barrel Razz Wheat for the girl you're trying to get into beer. ;)

  2. If you can find any Founders Harvest Ale, grab it.

  3. Thanks for the props, Geeks. As for mixing six-packs, I usually have a problem with limited releases and seasonals to break apart the packs. Otherwise, I'm pretty open to breaking them apart if asked nicely :D I'm thinking of redoing that, though, to be a little more flexible. Wouldn't mind some feed back on that myself.

    WFI, New Holland isn't being distributed down here anymore, so if you find some, buy it.

  4. I saw New Holland six packs and a few bomber bottles at Vine and Table towards the end of last week. I didn't know they weren't distributing to Indiana anymore.

  5. To Cari @ Kahn's:

    PLEEEEEEEASE allow mixed 6-packs. I love your shop (even though it's incredibly inconvenient for me to get there), but I take the majority of my business up the road to the Hop Shop simply because you can mix and match everything in the store. I also love how they have the singles sitting right next to the 6-pack to make it clear that it's OK to mix. I never would have asked at Kahn's just because of how the store is setup, and because I assume the little rack of single bottles right by the information kiosk is the only stuff that can be mixed.

  6. My wife is a very supportive non-drinker and designated driver ;-)

    I'll be on the lookout for these, mixed 6's are always a bonus.

  7. One of my distributors told me New Holland was discontinued in Indiana, or at least this far south. I assume that if you found anything at Vine & Table it's left from that last batch. I actually have a couple of New Holland brews in bombers, too, but I've had them for awhile.

    Thanks for the suggestion Anonymous. Pretty much here's how it stands: unless I redo the entire beer department, I just don't have the capacity to have single bottles of everything available. That little table that was for 'clearance' beers has now been turned into a 'mix-a-six', and has a much better selection of single bottle beers. It has been successful so far so I see no problem with breaking up six-packs more regularly and selling them individually. I'm just figuring out how the best way to do it.

  8. I just had Epiphany, the tripple by Oaken Barrel. It's in bottles and maybe available from the brew house? It's pretty good for the style. And limited.

    Has anyone come up with an application that catalogs breweries and their distribution areas? It would be way cool to be able to click on a brewery and see a map of the USA and an overlay of their are of distribution.

    That's an idea for some IT geek, because I could never execute that. I could, however assist on doing the research if any one wants to try. We could start with Indiana and other local states.

  9. Gina picked up some Epiphany at Crown a week or so ago - we'll be reviewing in in our Christmas roundtable this week (for posting next week).

  10. I'll second Big Tree's Mad Anthony IPA suggestion. Barley Island's Barfly IPA is even better IMO.

    Anything from Founders (especially the Breakfast Stout if you can still find it) or Bells (Expedition Stout, Two Hearted). Also look into Goose Island (Bourbon County Stout).

    If you're going to be driving, stop in Ohio to pick up some beer from Great Lakes Brewing. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is one of my all time favs.

  11. Whole Foods in Nora has Founders Breakfast Stout.

    I second the Barley Island Barfly IPA suggestion. An underrated beer--doesn't get enough love.

  12. I'm able to get pretty much the full line of Founders here in MA, but didn't see the Harvest Ale today when I made a stop at lunch. Scored some Alesmith Yulesmith though, can't wait to try that one.

    Also, I found this nifty feature called 'BeerFinder' on World Class Beverage's site:


    Search for a beer, then scroll to the bottom and enter your zip...pretty slick. I'm not sure how accurate it is, though, obviously it can't account for stock.

  13. Joe, while you're in town stop by my soon to be defunct J.Gumbo's Downtown and try some of these gems on draft for %2.50 a pint. I am also liquidating my vintage cellar if you want to see a list with prices. michael_deweese@hotmail.com