31 August 2008

Drowning in One Ounce Pours of Ultra-rare Beer


It starts like this: a post on the RateBeer Calendar and Beer Advocate
forums:
Hello everyone! I thought I would go ahead and start a thread since I am leaving for my honeymoon and I just submitted this tasting for approval. Lots of great brews in the lineup already, BA Speedway, Black Albert, Cuvee De Castleton and much more. Cheers! Mike
Last night Gina, Chris, Claire and myself were lucky enough to join around 30+ other folks downtown for the latest Beer Advocate/Rate Beer tasting, hosted by Crown Liquors' Mike Sprinkle. This was the first BA/RB meeting for all of us, and to say the experience was a great one would be an understatement.


The beer lineup (50 Beers for those keeping count):
  • Boulevard Smokestack Series Saison
  • Lost Abbey Inferno
  • Russian River Damnation
  • Drie Fonteinen Doesjel
  • Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Cuvee De Castleton
  • Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale
  • New Belgium La Folie Wood Aged Beer*
  • Mikkeller It's Alive!
  • Firestone Pale Ale
  • Russian River Blind Pig
  • Russian River Piny the Elder
  • Marin Brewing Co White Knuckle Double IPA
  • Boulevard Smokestack Series Double Wide IPA
  • Ballast Point Dorado Double IPA
  • Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree*
  • Alesmith Yulesmith Holiday Ale (Summer)
  • Southern Tier Unearthly
  • New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red*
  • Unibroue Quelque Chose
  • Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence
  • New Glarus Raspberry Tart*
  • Founders Blushing Monk
  • Brother Adam's Bragget Honey Ale
  • Boulevard Smokestack Series Long Strange Tripel
  • Microbrasserie Charlevoix Lupulus Dominus Vobiscum (2007)
  • Springfield Brewing Company Muller Barrel Reserved 10th Anniversary
  • Boulevard Smokestack Series Sixth Glass
  • George Gale & Company Gales Prize Old Ale (1999)
  • George Gale $ Company Gales Prize Old Ale (1997)
  • Dark Horse 3 Guys Off The Scale Barleywine (2005)*
  • Alesmith Wee Heavy
  • Alesmith Barrel Aged Wee Heavy (2006)*
  • Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme
  • Alesmith Old Numbskull
  • Alesmith Barrel Aged Old Numbskull (2006, #128 of 208)
  • Alesmith Decadence English Old Ale (2005)
  • Alesmith Barrel Aged Decadence English Old Ale (2005, #215 of 280)
  • Brouwerij De Molen Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (#327)
  • De Struise Black Albert Belgian Royal Stout (RIS)
  • Three Floyds DarkLord (2007)
  • Alesmith Speedway Stout
  • Alesmith Barrel Aged Speedway Stout (2006, #193 of 235)
  • Southern Tier Creme Broulee Imperial Milk Stout
  • Coast Brewing Co. Blackbeerd Imperial Stout
  • Bare Tree Weiss Wine (2005)*
  • Weyerbacher Heresy
  • St. Bernardus Prior 8
  • Duck Rabbit Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout*
  • Bar Harbor Cadillac Mtn. Stout
  • Eugene City Brewery 100 Meter Ale

At 30ish people and bomber-sized bottles (for the most part), that meant a roughly one ounce pour each. That worked out pretty well, I thought, though a crowd any larger would probably mean not enough beer to go around. I wouldn't be surprised if veterans of these events already thought the crowd was too large - I'd be interested to hear what those of you who attended and are reading thought. And while we're at it, what were your favorites? Any surprises? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Lastly, I'd like to thank Mike Sprinkle for doing a fantastic job of guiding us through, our event hosts, and everyone else who attended for their great company. What an event!



* * * * *

*Beers marked with an asterisk stood out as my personal favorites

29 August 2008

Random Beer Roundup - Beer in Indianapolis and Elsewhere Edition

When I google the words "Indianapolis" and "Beer" this site comes in 20th, right after "Jessica Simpson's New Gig: Selling Beer - Entertainment News Story ..."

I'd like to resolve that so look forward to the continued use of the words Indianapolis and Beer in these posts.

From Kirk at Mr. G's Liquors, Noblesville (Noblesville is not Indianapolis, but it does have beer):

New to our shelves:
  • Froach Heather Ale
  • Brugge Black
  • Brugge Triple de Ripple
  • Samuel Smith Organic Cider
  • Lakefront New Grist Gluten free

  • Seasonals:
  • Becks Oktoberfest
  • Spaten Oktoberfest

  • From John at Big Red Liquors (no Indianapolis locations, but a fine beer selection):

    Note: Big Red Beerfest is Thursday and Friday October 16th and 17th 6-9pm at the Bloomington Convention Center.

    New Next week:
  • Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere fresh hop
  • Samuel Smith organic Cider
  • Three Floyds Gorch Fock Helles

  • Returning Seasonals:
  • Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale
  • Ayinger Oktoberfest

  • Coming very soon (These items are being added to our system in the next week or so):
  • Mikkeller All Others Pale
  • Mikkeller Big Worse Barly Wine
  • Mikkeller Black Stout
  • Mikkeller Draft Beer
  • Mikkeller Jackie Brown
  • Mikkeller Stateside IPA
  • Rogue Chipotle
  • Brooklyner Schneider Hopfen Weisse 2008
  • Brugge Black
  • Brugge White
  • Brugge Tripel de Ripple
  • Hebrew Coney Albino Python
  • Hebrew Coney Sword Swallower
  • Left Hand Rye Bock
  • Czech Rebel
  • Sea Dog Motley Crew Sampler
  • Budweiser American Ale
  • Michelob Dunkel Weiss
  • Michelob Pale Ale
  • Brooklyn Oktoberfest
  • Atwater Vanilla Java Porter
  • Rogue Double dead guy


  • From Mike at Crown Liquors comes the following info (See their amazing beer selection! In Indianapolis!):

    Hi Michael, Got a few things "new this month at Crown". Also, I am the local host for Ratebeers monthly tasting. Our next one will be Aug 30th at J. Gumbo's downtown and there will be some VERY special beers at this tasting, most you will not find anywhere in the states. To name a few Alesmith Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout, Black Albert and Cuvee De Castleton, lots more will be showing up because everyone brings a beer or two. It starts at 6:30.

    New at Crown:
  • Mikkeller Its Alive
  • Mikkeller Monk's Brew
  • 't Hofbrouwerkjke Bosprotter
  • 't Hofbrouwerkjke Hofblues
  • HaandBryggeriet Dark Force
  • HaandBryggeriet Norwegian Wood
  • HaandBryggeriet Norse Porter
  • Norrebro Bryghus Skargaards Porter
  • Norrebro Odense Ale
  • Nogne O Imp. Stout
  • Nogne Saison
  • Stone Vertical Epic 080808
  • De Molen Rasputin (524 bottles made in the world, I got all 36 that came into the state)
  • Rogue Dbl. Dead Guy

  • If you're in the Kokomo area or thinking of taking a trip (the beer - although not brewed in Indianapolis - is well worth the visit) have a few things to look forward to from Half Moon Brewery. According to head brewer John Templet:

    Here are the beers I have on tap always:

  • Pre-Prohibition Pilsner – A light golden lager made with the finest pilsen
    malt. This American Style Pilsner is crisp, clean and refreshing. This
    is a great introduction to hand crafted beer. ABV=4.1% O.G.=1036 IBU=13
  • Wildcat Wheat – An unfiltered Light American Wheat beer. It has a light,
    sweet taste with a hint of fruitiness. Another good intro beer! ABV=4.5%
    O.G.=1040 IBU=13
  • Stoplight City Red – An Irish-Style Red Ale with a medium body and a dry
    finish. This beer is reddish in color and has a candy-like caramel
    sweetness. A deliciously easy beer to drink! ABV=5.7% O.G.=1054
    IBU=25
  • Old Ben Brown – This American-Style Brown Ale has a deep reddish-brown
    color and roasted malt and caramel-like flavors with a well balanced hop
    finish. Another easy beer to drink that’s a little bit more bold.
    ABV=6.3% O.G.=1060 IBU=30
  • Elwood’s IPA – For the hopheads! This is an amber colored India Pale Ale.
    It starts with a citrus-like aroma from generous helpings of fresh hops.
    A very dry but fruity and flavorful beer that will leave you wanting
    another! ABV=6.7% O.G.=1062 IBU=60
  • Cole Porter – A pleasantly roasty and smooth beer that is black in color.
    If you’re into bold flavors, you’ll love it’s velvety goodness! A secret
    ingredient gives this beer it’s special edge. ABV=7.0% O.G.=1066
    IBU=30

  • These are my seasonals right now:
  • Cannon Shot Cream Ale- This all malt Cream Ale with low hop levels is the
    perfect golden beer. It has an incredibly smooth and creamy mouth feel
    that finishes crisp, clean and refreshing. For all of you "regular beer
    flavor" fans, this is the ultimate brew! ABV=5.4% O.G.=1048 IBU=16
  • Thursday, Aug. 28th Realease Date: Hazelnut Brown Ale- Sure to be your new favorite, this brown ale has a distinct, luscious hazelnut flavor that you will definitely want to savor. Think of it as a hug in a mug. ABV = 5.7% OG = 1056 IBU = 25

  • Other Brews in the works:
  • Scottish Ale - Mid to early Sept. release
  • Octoberfest - Late Sept. release


  • Other Stuff:

    Our own Matt R asks "When is Founder's Breakfast Stout (which is a beer) coming to Indianapolis?"

    The answer, from Cavalier Distributing's Mat Gerdenich: "The oficial release is Sept 1. we should have ours later this week and start moving it next week. We are getting 140 cases to start with. More cases and kegs to follow."

    Hopefully one of those kegs will magically appear in my garage.

    Because I know all of Indianapolis (and elsewhere) is dying to know about Budweiser's new beer - Here's a link to a YouTube video highlighting the differences in Budweiser Lager and Budweiser American Ale. I'm sure we'll be weighing in shortly.

    Beer for kids? FINALLY!1 Can we get that in Indianapolis? - "..in April he introduced a brew from another Belgian tradition: bières de table.

    'When I lived there in the late ’70s and early ’80s,' he said of his time in Belgium, 'everybody drank it for lunch, from grandmothers to kids.'"

    That from The New York Times and a nice article about session beers - craft beer on the lighter side of the alcohol scale.

    * * * * *
    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.

    * * * * *

    1 sarcasm

    27 August 2008

    Six Pack Interview with Ben Russell of Crown Liquors

    As a South sider I am very happy bringing out this edition of the six pack interview with Ben Russell. I've been shopping at his store, Crown Liquors on the corner of 31 and Shelby, for many years, and in the last six months the stores selection for craft beer has exploded and is only getting better since Ben took over at that location. Ben is a fantastic guy to work with as well as you are meandering around the beer selection.

    1. Who are you, and where do you work?

    My name is Ben Russell, and I work for Crown Liquors on US 31 South (7621 US 31 South Indianapolis 46227 to be exact.)

    2. What got you into the beer business?

    It was kind of a fluke really. I was a full time student (for the second time in my life) and I seriously injured my ankle playing softball. I didn’t have health insurance, and being the poor college student I was, I ended up on crutches for about three months. With the price of school, and medical costs, I really, really needed a full-time job. I’ve always had a passion for beer, and a friend of mine referred me to the famous Mr. Sprinkle. Mike hired me and the rest is history (Thanks Mike).

    3. What are your short term and long term goals at your new location?

    Well, the short term goal is rather simple. I just want to get to know the crowd, and see how my fellow beer geeks operate on the south side. I spent a long time in Fishers, and built quite a few friendships with my regular beer enthusiasts, and I’m hoping to do the same here on the south side.

    Long term goals are going to be a little more difficult, but definitely the most rewarding. I just added three, 8 ft. sections of shelving dedicated to the wonderful world of craft beer. I want to bring in all the hard to find, allocated, tasty treats along with the classics of the craft beer genre. Plus let me not forget or neglect the wonders from across the pond. Goal number two is to try and change your average domestic beer drinker, into an American Micro lover. With the recent sale of Budweiser, it seems to me it could only be considered patriotic to at least help out the little guys, and taste some really good beers at the same time.

    4. What are your favorite beers that you bring into your store? Favorite beer you wish you could get in your store?

    This is a really tough question. But if I have to be specific I might as well list by major styles. Pale Ale…. Mikkeller's All Others Pale, light on alcohol, heavy in flavor, IPA….. Dreadnaught, nuff said, Porter…… Olfabrikken’s porter, get it while you can, distribution is really slowing down, Stout…… Stone Russian Imperial(currently out of stock boo!) a broad Belgian selection….. Rochefort 10, Saison DuPont Farmhouse, Cantillon Organic Gueze to name a few, I could go on and on.

    Beers one could wish for……Russian River Pliny the Younger, Black Albert, hey, hey, hey, Alesmith Speedway Stout, Lost Abbey Angel’s Share, Cuvee de Castleton, once again the list could go on, and on. There are so many it would be impossible to name them all.

    5. What are some of the trends you are starting to see in craft beer buyers?

    The only trends I’m seeing, is just an overall growth of interest in the craft itself. The rare and seasonal beers are becoming harder to come by, which of course is good and bad. Bad because with certain beers, I only receive certain amounts (Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Darklord etc.), and sometimes not everyone gets a chance for a taste. Then again, with the increasing demand, hopefully it will allow a greater production, and help keep the small guys competing with their inexpensively priced domestic competition.

    6. What beers would you like to see come to your store or Indiana in general?

    I would love to see Fat Tire, and Yuengling brought into Indiana. By far these are the two most requested beers that I get asked about. Plus there perfect bridge-gapping beers for the person who is unaware of how good craft beer can be. For me personally, I would love to see Pizza Port brewing, or the Lost Abbey, Russian River, Alesmith (to name a few again), come into Indiana. I’ve only been privy to a few from each brewery, but I’d really like to check out their entire lines.

    Bonus: Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Once again, I’m still in my infancy when it comes to craft beer. I welcome everyone (21 and over) to come see me, and rap about tasty beverages. I’m at the store six days a week, and have tastings every Friday night. I’m always wanting to learn more about beer……and always wanting to try new things, good or bad, so I’m looking forward to meeting some south-siders, and A special thanks for these guys at hoosierbeergeek.com (I’ve met Matt, and Jason… cool guys) for helping beer geeks across the state find spots for the true beer lovers. Cheers and I hope you’ll come see me.

    A big thanks to Ben for answering our questions, and if you are on the South side or a South sider, stop in and see Ben to pick up some of your favorite craft beer singles, bombers, six-packs, and more.

    26 August 2008

    Guest Post | Roger Baylor of NABC and The Potable Curmudgeon: "Murketing" Makes the Pabst Seem Fonder

    The Potable Curmudgeon, a blog written by New Albanian Brewing Company headman Roger A. Baylor, is a frequent read for the Knights of the Beer Roundtable. We became smitten with Roger's beers in 2007 at the Phoenix Theatre Brew-Ha-Ha and the Indiana Microbrewers Festival. We particularly love NABC's signature hop bomb, Hoptimus Imperial IPA, and the NABC Thunderfoot Cherry Imperial Stout.

    With Roger's permission, we bring you his blog posting on the ascendance of Pabst Blue Ribbon as the hipster beer of choice. Our thanks go to Roger for allowing us to rehash the subject at HBG.

    *****

    After making various gibes in the general direction of a weirdly rejuvenated Pabst Blue Ribbon, generally along the lines of my finding it constantly amazing that a beer so unspeakably bland and formless could inspire an inexplicable cult following among young people who should know better, I’m feeling highly vindicated by the information provided in a recent book review.

    The article is entitled “Branded” and was written by Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times Book Review (July 27, 2008). The book being reviewed is Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, by Rob Walker. You can bet that I'll be reading it.

    According to the reviewer Manjoo, the author’s objective is to “lift the cloud of self-delusion that obscures our buying habits” and to “argue that our susceptibility to marketing arises from our ignorance of its pervasiveness.” In this extended excerpt, how these aims apply to bad beer is clearly detailed:

    Consider Pabst Blue Ribbon. Beginning in the 1970s, the cheap beer that had long been synonymous with the blue-collar heartland began a steep decline, with sales by 2001 dipping to fewer than a million barrels a year, 90 percent below the beer’s peak. But in 2002, Pabst noticed a sudden sales spike, driven by an unlikely demographic: countercultural types — bike messengers, skaters and their tattooed kin — in hipster redoubts like Portland, Ore., had taken to swilling the stuff. When asked why, they would praise Pabst for its non-image, for the fact that it seemed to care little about selling.

    Traditionally, a company that spots a sudden market opportunity responds by gearing ads toward the new customers. But Neal Stewart, Pabst’s marketing whiz, had studied “No Logo,” Naomi Klein’s anti-corporate manifesto, and he understood that overt commercial messages would turn off an audience suspicious of capitalism. Thus the company shunned celebrity endorsements — Kid Rock had been interested — and devoted its budget instead to marketing, sponsoring a series of unlikely gatherings across the country. Like “some kind of small-scale National Endowment for the Arts for young American outsider culture,” Pabst paid the bills at bike messenger contests, skateboarder movie screenings, and art and indie publishing get-togethers. At each of these events, it kept its logo obscure, its corporate goal to “always look and act the underdog,” to be seen as a beer of “social protest,” a “fellow dissenter” against mainstream mores.

    Pabst’s campaign was designed to push beer without appearing to push it. To the extent that it conveyed any branding message at all, it was, Hey, we don’t care if you drink the stuff. To people sick of beer companies that did look as if they cared — don’t Super Bowl ads smack of desperation? — Pabst’s attitude seemed refreshing and inspired deep passion in its fans. Many customers did more than just buy the beer. Walker speaks to one who tattooed a foot-square Pabst logo on his back. Pabst’s low-fi marketing is “not insulting you,” the fellow tells Walker.

    Note that Walker has coined the word “murketing” to describe the deceptive corporate stealth that is deployed in these situations. In the absence of hard knowledge, murketing muddies the consumer’s conceptual waters and causes folks otherwise feigning marketing-weary savvy to embrace brands that play hard to get and seem somehow hip. The result is predictable.

    In reality, Pabst Blue Ribbon’s anti-capitalist ethos is, as Walker puts it, “a sham.” The company long ago closed its Milwaukee brewery and now outsources its operations to Miller. Its entire corporate staff is devoted to marketing and sales, not brewing. “You really couldn’t do much worse in picking a symbol of resistance to phony branding,” Walker writes. But P.B.R.’s fans don’t care. In the new era of murketing, image is everything.

    Learn More About Beer In One Sitting Than We've Learned In Two Years

    Ron Smith is a lot like us. He loves beer. And he likes to share his love. But unlike us, when he starts talking about beer, he really knows what he's talking about. Check out Ron's beer resume:

    - National Ranked BJCP Beer Judge
    - Certified Beer Server
    - National Award Winning Homebrewer
    - Beer and Brewing Educator
    - All-around Good Guy (I added that one)

    That's why we're happy to pass on the word that Ron is teaching a few classes - the Beer MBA (Master of Beer Appreciation) in the upcoming weeks in the tasting room at the Payless Liquors near I-69 and 96th Street (on Indy's NE corner).

    More from Ron:
    As many of you that know me already know, I’m what they call a Beer Geek. Everyone needs a hobby and mine is making, sampling, judging and appreciating great beer. I have been leading a technical brewing and beer styles education course once per year for the last several years for people wanting to take the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) exam to become ranked beer judges, but many non-brewers have asked me about doing some type of fun, less technical beer education class for people like them. So… That’s what I did. I developed a Master of Beer Appreciation (MBA) course that consists of 3 classes. You can learn more about the details of this course and learn how to sign up at www.BeerMBA.com.

    This is truly a unique series of classes. They are designed to be fun and entertaining, but also very educational. You can take a single class (class 1 is a pre-requisite for the other 2), but I think you will find it most rewarding to take all three (plus, you receive a completed MBA certificate if you take all 3 classes and who doesn’t want that to hang on their wall J). You will learn about the origins, history, and uniqueness of all the major beer styles of the world (more than 75 of them), and get to sample most of them as well (we will sample over 50 of them). Classes are 3-hours long to spread out the samples and cover all the material (it may seem long, but time flies when you are having fun… and you will be having fun). In addition, I will present several off-flavor / flavor demos to help you identify some of the most common problems and flavors found in beer. I have discovered that people can appreciate more of the world’s beer styles than they ever imagined simply by learning about them and tasting them in the right environment.

    Wine drinkers will also find these classes fascinating as they come to learn more about “vintage” beers, strong Belgian beers, wild-fermented beers, and more. Many of these unique fermented beverages rival wine in their overall flavor and complexity (and even cost).

    These classes are more for the general public with an interest in the world’s great beers, but even knowledgeable brewers and beer connoisseurs will find them worthwhile. So, regardless of your knowledge level, please feel free to join us.

    Classes are held in the tasting room at the Payless Liquors near I-69 and 96th Street on the NE corner of Indianapolis and they cost only $40 per class if you pay for all 3 classes at one time (or at least commit to all 3 classes – you can put your credit card on file, then pay for each class as it is attended – this helps spread out the cost for some people). This is a great value, as this is more of a labor of love for me, rather than a true money-making endeavor. The class size is limited, and there will be hundreds of dollars worth of beer sampled (plus some possible food samples paired with certain beers) and I cover the cost of cups, bread, handouts, etc. The course is designed for people to feel like they not only got a great education and had a lot of fun, but also received a great value. Also, even though I will spread out the beer samples to avoid overindulgence, designated drivers are always encouraged. Since the education is what is being paid for, designated drivers may not participate in the class in any way, but there is an area where they can comfortably sit and wait (or arrange to be dropped off and picked up).

    The class dates and planned styles for each class are listed below.

    Class Dates:
    --- Thursday, Sept 11, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
    --- Thursday, Sept 18, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
    --- Thursday, Sept 25, 6:30 – 9:30 pm

    --- OR ---

    --- Saturday, Oct 11, 3:30 – 6:30 pm
    --- Saturday, Oct 18, 3:30 – 6:30 pm
    --- Saturday, Oct 25, 3:30 – 6:30 pm

    Class 1 Beer Styles (Q17)
    - Czech Pilsner
    - American Pale Ale
    - American India Pale Ale (IPA)
    - American Wheat
    - German Hefeweizen / Weiss
    - Belgian / French Saison Ale
    - Belgian Tripel Strong Ale
    - Flanders Red Belgian Sour Ale
    - English Ale / Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
    - Scottish Export 80 Ale
    - English Northern Brown Ale
    - Munich Dunkel Lager
    - American Robust Porter
    - Irish Dry Stout
    - German Doppelbock
    - English Strong Barleywine
    - Smoke-Flavored Beer

    Class 2 Beer Styles (Q18)

    - English Ale / Ordinary Bitter
    - German Sour / Berliner Weisse
    - German Dunkelweizen
    - German Oktoberfest
    - American Steam Beer
    - American Amber / Red Ale
    - European Dortmunder Export
    - English India Pale Ale (IPA)
    - German Schwarzbier
    - London Brown Porter
    - Sweet / Milk / Cream Stout
    - Foreign Extra Strong Stout
    - European Helles / Pale Bock
    - Belgian Blond Strong Ale
    - Belgian Dark Strong Ale
    - Scottish Strong / Wee Heavy
    - American Strong Barleywine
    - German Smoked Rauchbier

    Class 3 Beer Styles (Q17)

    - Munich Helles Lager
    - Belgian White / Witbier
    - European / Vienna Amber
    - German Kolsch
    - English Ale / Best Bitter
    - German Dusseldorf Altbier
    - American Brown Ale
    - American Strong Stout
    - American Imperial IPA
    - Belgian Farmhouse Sour Ale / Gueuze
    - Belgian Sour / Fruit Lambic
    - Belgian Dubbel Strong Ale
    - German Weizenbock
    - Russian / Baltic Strong Porter
    - English Old Ale / Strong Ale
    - German Eisbock (ice bier)
    - Wood / Bourbon Barrel-Aged
    Phew! That's a lot to cover!

    For those of you interested, the sign-up page is here.

    25 August 2008

    Brugge Beer in bottles

    In case you hadn't noticed by our previous post, it's official. World Class Beverage's Beer Search indicates that you can pick it up at the following stores around Indy:
    Goose the Market
    Alabama Liquor
    John's Spirits
    Kahn's Fine Wines
    Stony's Still Liquor
    Parti Pak
    United Package Liquors (86th St.)
    Whole Foods
    Elite Beverages
    Payless Liquor (Carmel)
    Toddy II (Brownsburg)
    Superior Discount Beverage (Greenwood)
    Crown Liquor (Fishers)
    In addition you can find bottles of Brugge Black and White at St. Elmo's Steakhouse!

    22 August 2008

    Random Beer Roundup - Every Friday Edition

    Liquor/Better Beer Stores:

    The cellar at Goose the Market is featuring the following new arrivals and seasonal beers:
    Brugge Black, White and Tripel de Ripple have arrived in the sexy new 750 mL bottles.
    A few bombers of the following are available, but going fast:
    Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.08
    Stone XII Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
    Three Floyds XI Anniversary Fantabulous Resplendence
    Two Brothers Oh Brother! Tripel
    Shmaltz Brewing Coney Island Albino Python White Lager and He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA.
    Saison DuPont Belgian Farmhouse Ale in 375 mL singles and 4 packs of 330 mL bottles.
    Founder's Rubaeus Ale in 4 packs.
    These are all available for a limited time in addition to our regularly rotating craft beer selection.
    * * * * *

    Bars/Breweries/Brewpubs/Restaurants:


    Mike DeWeese of J. Gumbo's let us know that they are currently featuring a "live crawfish boil every Saturday night. It starts at 8pm until the crawfish are gone. Reservations aren't required but recommended. They are $17 for a single portion with all the fixins and $25 to pig out (all you care to eat). There is a 3 five ounce beer flight of Abita drafts included."

    Also, "current freaky beers we have on tap other than the usual awesome selection are:"
    Two Brothers Domaine Dupage
    Brugge Tripel
    Victory Hopdevil
    Magic Hat No. 9
    Founders Red's Rye
    Chris notes that Shallos Antique Restaurant has Stone 12th Anniversary on tap. Matt R. also saw St. Bernardus 12 on tap there.

    Matt R. took down the beer list at Chumley's in Broad Ripple:
    Two Brothers Oh Brother! Tripel---while supplies last
    Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
    Magic Hat #9
    Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA
    Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale
    Founders Reds Rye
    Bell's Consecrator Dopplebock, Two Hearted, Oberon
    Three Floyds Alpha King
    Upland Preservation Pilsner & Wheat
    Goose Island Matilda
    Stone Arrogant Bastard
    Victory Prima Pils
    The following beers are coming soon to Chumley's:
    Ommengang Rare Vos
    Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA
    Sierra Nevada Double DeBOCKel Beer
    Left Hand Oktoberfest
    Victory Hop Wallop
    Brugge Tripel de Ripple
    Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
    * * * * *

    Random Beer News/Events:

    Founders will be hosting their 2008 Breakfast Stout Breakfast on Saturday, Semptember 20th from 10am to 1pm. Tickets are $25 and go on sale August 27th at 11am. Only 200 tickets will be sold. For more information see Founders website.

    There's a new brewery in town. Well, actually in The Region. Let's give a hearty welcome to Crown Brewing! Manager Mike Goodfellow and Brewer Jim Cibak have several years of experience working at Three Floyds Brewery in Munster and decided to branch out on their own. Their initial beer lineup includes Special Force Ale, Weizenheimer and Bodacious Brown Ale.

    Hoosier Beer Geek and Big Car Gallery will be teaming up for the next B+ART on Friday, September 19th. As always, festivities will kick off at 8pm at Big Car in Fountain Square and the theme for next month will be Oktoberfest Beers.

    * * * * *

    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.

    * * * * *

    Rock Bottom Summer Brewer's Dinner 08

    This season's brewer's dinner was a little bit short notice, so we almost missed it! The crowd was quite a bit smaller than usual, probably for the same reason. Good food, good beer and good conversation were all still present so we had a great time as usual. A Greek-influenced menu lead the theme of this brewer's dinner and Jerry paired mostly lighter, summer-style beers with the courses.

    Cold Tomato Soup with Parmesan Ice Cream served with 80 Schilling Scottish Ale
    A classic dish with a twist, our homemade tomato soup served chilled, accompanied by a creamy original Parmesan ice cream.

    Greek Salad served with Happy Pils
    We toss fresh tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, olives and feta cheese together with oregano in a mouth-watering Greek dressing

    Stuffed Lamb with Feta Cheese and Garlic served with Helles Bock
    The finest cut of Lamb chops, seasoned and marinated, stuffed with feta cheese and spices, served with our own zesty garlic sauce.

    Baklava served with Oatmeal Stout
    An authentic Greek dish, prepared the Rock Bottom way! A rich delight made with ingredients such as honey and walnuts for the perfect treat.


    The ice cream had more of a ricotta texture and less Ben and Jerry's.

    This beer may be familiar to some of you who attended the Microbrewer's Festival. I also learned that my previous assumption about the schilling value being a tax on alcohol percentage. The schilling value of a Scottish ale is actually representative of the tax on the malt. A higher schilling beer would be a maltier beer (and through brewing science, also a somewhat higher ABV beer). The aroma on this beer opened up very malty (duh) with a slight ash quality. I hope you appreciate me writing that a beer had an ash-like nose, Mike. The flavor of this beer opened up far more than the last time I had tried it. Sweet flavors of caramel malt and apricot mixed with spicy allspice notes. The finish was incredibly crisp with a slight touch of hops rounding out the initial sweetness. When paired with the tomato soup, the tangy tomato, cream and Parmesan all amplified the hop presence and created a significant bitterness. The sweet basil in the soup melded with the malt to create an almost pizza beer-like experience. Better than pizza beer, I promise!


    I think Rock Bottom's chefs are in love with stringy carrots


    The Happy Pils was the last beer to be tapped at Rock Bottom and was brewed as an Imperial Pilsner. The imperial aspect definitely came through in the flavor profile, as it tasted very much of Pilsner Urquell x2. Lemon and grapefruit bitter notes were produced by the hops and provided a nice contrast to the hay-like sweetness and coriander spice. Another beer that finished very clean. The salad was very light for a Greek salad and the light spritzing of dressing was a welcome balance that is rarely found with salads. The crisp, watery lettuce was a nice compliment to the lighter beer. The lemony hops cut the oil in the dressing nicely while blending with the vinegar. The kalmata olive brine and salty cheese were especially friendly with the hop bitterness of the pilsner.


    That green onion is getting out of control

    The Helles Bock was a very light and malty summer German lager. Orange and cream were the major flavor notes while a candi sugar sweetness filled out the body. Again, a slight bitterness was present in the sweet finish. At first I was a bit dismayed, as one of my lamb chops had a somewhat large piece of fat on it. I have a weird aversion to eating large amounts of fat on meat, but I figured what the heck, might as well try to pair it. I am glad I did! The creaminess of the Helles Bock complimented the creaminess of the fat very well while the hops cut through the oily fat flavors that I am typically averse to. The herbed feta almost had a gorgonzola flavor to it and the citrus flavors in the beer worked well with this. Overall the Helles Bock played a back seat to the lamb flavors here, complimenting where it could and never overpowering.

    I'm beginning to think the Rock Bottom way is really huge

    Oatmeal Stout started out the final course of the night. This was an extremely creamy Oatmeal Stout that could have been dessert on its own. Strong bitter chocolate notes mingled with coffee and cream flavors. Oats and roasted malt filled out the rest of the flavor profile. This beer could be described as the sweetness of a milk stout with the robust flavors of an oatmeal stout. The baklava was both much larger than most pieces of baklava I've had and far more stuffed with walnut filling. The extremely sweet honey mixed well with the sweetness of the stout and helped bring out stronger bitter flavors. The walnut mixture helped solidify the presence of oats in the beer.

    Jerry also still has some of his Woodford Reserve 10-month Barrel Aged IBA on tap which we had a few of Tuesday night. It's not on the chalk board, so ask for the IBA. Overall the hop character dissipated quite a bit in the barrel, so it comes across as more of a porter. Tons of bourbon character in this one with a good malty background without the typical stout characteristics. They still had it available last night and it's definitely worth a try if they still have it on. This is his first beer in a barrel aged series. We'll try to keep you posted on when each one is released.

    Maybe we'll see some of you at the next Brewer's Dinner? Don't forget that Liz up at the College Park Rock Bottom has brewer's dinners too in case you don't want to make the drive downtown.

    20 August 2008

    Introducing Zing!

    In just a few short weeks, downtown Indianapolis' newest independent restaurant, Zing, will be opening. The two-floor restaurant is housed in a classic old building at the corner of West St. and Indiana Ave. that was most recently home to a restaurant called Payton's Place. In the process of a complete rehabilitation of the building, a wrap around outdoor seating deck was added to the second floor.

    Photobucket
    Other photos of the exterior work are available here.

    Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take a look at the inside of the not-quite-finished restaurant and have a chat with the owners about their beer menu. They were good enough to allow me to snap a couple pictures at the same time.

    Photobucket
    The second level bar.

    The beer selection at Zing will be eight beers on draft and an assortment of 25 bottles. That's not going to blow away the menus at the biggest beer bars around town, but that's a solid number. Taps are located on both the upper and lower levels of the restaurant and they plan to have the following beers on draft at their opening:
    Bell's Oberon
    Oaken Barrel Amber
    Guinness
    Blue Moon
    Stella
    Sam Adams
    Bass
    Bud Light
    A very respectable selection. Would we like to see more beers from microbreweries? Sure, but this is a very good middle-of-the-road assortment that hits on many different beer styles and avoids having a tap stand completely full of macro light lagers. And if enough people show up and start asking for more craft beers, I'm sure they'd be willing to adjust their menu!

    Photobucket
    Another seating space on the south end of the second floor.

    As for bottled beer, they're planning to have 25 bottled beers on hand. A sampling of the beers to be available includes:
    Bell's Two Hearted Ale
    Barley Island Barfly
    Affligem Blond
    Goose Island Honkers Ale
    Brooklyn Lager
    Delirium Tremens
    To find out about the rest of their selection, you'll just have to stop in after they've opened.

    Photobucket
    The outdoor seating area, looking southeast along Indiana Ave.

    Zing will have seating for 150 inside and an additional 120 outside when weather permits. Alternatives to beer include a wide array of 50 wines as well as a martini menu, all of which will be collected with the beer options in a separate drinks menu. As for the food menu, word is that it will feature small-plate dining with "American, French, Mexican, Portuguese and Italian cuisine." Plates will be about $7-11. The owners are shooting for a Grand Opening around Labor Day weekend, so stop on by and welcome Zing to town!

    (More photos of the inside of Zing are available here.)

    Beer Diary #10 - Jim | What would Batman drink?

    8 August 2008, 8:00 p.m.
    Location: Indianapolis, Northeast Side

    At the home of my good friend and occasional homebrewer Matt (not to be confused with the illustrious Matt R. and Matt E. of the KOTBR), having a pre-Dark Knight get-together. This is a nice breather for Matt, who hasn't been to the movies in ages because he's the papa of a toddler and an infant. He, like me, is a Batman fanatic, and his wife is kind enough to grant him temporary comic-book-geek leave so he and I can go see the new film. This is my second viewing (I told you I was a fanatic...).

    Before we head out for the flick, we decide to have a warm-up. I've been itching to open my 750 ml bottle of Rodenbach Classic, so I have brought it along to share with Matt. This Flanders Red Ale pours with a nice copper/red color with a fizzy head that shows a flash of presence before disappearing. The nose is slightly vinous and musty. The oak-aged part of the blend in this beer definitely comes through in the nose as well, but it is not as prevalent as the full-on oak nose of its sister beer, Rodenbach Grand Cru. The mouthfeel is very crisp, leading to a tart, cranberry-like flavor that also melds elements of red wine and a bit of apple. Not as mind-blowing as the Grand Cru, but an excellent beer nonetheless.

    So what would the Dark Knight himself drink? Probably New Holland's Night Tripper. And the Joker. Well, that's easy - Rogue Dead Guy. C'mon, laugh. You know that was funny. Why so serious?

    16 August 2008, 9:00 p.m.
    Location: Home


    Having a mellow Saturday night at home watching the Olympics. I have to admit that I'm a hypocrite when it comes to the Games. While I roll my eyes at the notion of truly "amateur" athletes and suspect (like many others) that some of these athletes are doped up and getting away with it, I still can't tear myself away. So much for Gen X-style cynicism...

    I scan the fridge and look at the bottles of beer that continue to pile up, neglected, not consumed. I've been saving a Coney Island Lager for a roundtable, but I decide that I can't let this poor beer languish any longer, so out it comes. This is the flagship beer of Shmaltz's new Coney Island line of beers, all of which are lagers. Pours with a ruddy amber color and a nice, foamy white head. Nose is somewhat bready and slightly sweet, but not powerful at all. And even though this lager is brewed with six hop varieties, it tastes pretty much like what you'd expect from a higher end lager--malty, slightly sweet, a little yeasty, but not a lot of bitterness from the hops. A good offering, but I prefer Brooklyn Lager over this.

    18 August 2008, 6:00 p.m.
    Location: Rock Bottom Brewery, Downtown

    Having dinner with the Redhead and Mom, who's in town for a short visit. The Hoosier Ma Stout is my default beer at Rock Bottom. Brewmaster Jerry has the Oatmeal Stout on as the current stout, so I order one. This beer arrives at the table with the classic black-brown color and thick, tan head. The nose is wonderful, full of coffee, chocolate, and toffee notes. The flavor is a deluge of malt and chocolate, with a somewhat sweet finish. I adore the mouthfeel of this beer; it's one of the creamiest stouts I've had in a long time. If we were reviewing this one, I'd easily give it at least a 4 mug rating if not more. After leaving the restaurant, I wish I'd taken home a growler.

    19 August 2008

    KOTBR #53 - Anniversary Party Leftovers

    As you've probably noticed by now, we've added four new knights to the Roundtable. Never before has Hoosier Beer Geek taken on such a large influx of talent. We hope this group of individuals can allow us to continue writing reviews in our old willy-nilly style, but perhaps also give us an anchor in traditional beer review writing.

    Last week we met at the home of Chris (CorrND) to try out the bottles of beer left over from our recent anniversary party.



    In what is sure to be the geekiest KOTBR review ever, here is a review of Allagash Four, done Dungeons & Dragons style in honor of Gen Con Indy 2008.

    First, some details about our reviewer--

    Character Name: Sir James Beerslayer
    Place of Origin: The Region
    Character Class: Knight of the Beer Roundtable
    Level: 5
    Race: Human
    Alignment: Neutral Good (Chaotic Good after a few Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPAs)
    Religion: Chosen Person
    Patron Deity: YHWH
    Abilities (scores in parentheses denote abilities when under the influence of alcohol):
    - Strength: 13 (17)
    - Intelligence: 16 (12)
    - Wisdom: 18 (10)
    - Dexterity: 15 (10)
    - Constitution: 14 (18)
    - Charisma: 15 (17)
    Languages: English (native tongue), German, Flemish, French (the latter three for ordering beer abroad)
    Weapons of Proficiency: Beer stein, tulip glass, pint glass, sampler glass
    Hit Points: 40 (50 when under the influence)
    Armor Class: 2 (7 after three or four He'brew Messiah Bolds)

    Second, the three-year-old treasure found--

    Allagash Four: This cloudy, reddish-brown elixir comes from the New World (Portland, Maine, to be precise), but was created in the style of beers conjured up by Flemish beer mages. Named "Four" because 'tis brewed with four of each of the following ingredients: hops, malts, sugars (date sugar, molasses, light candi, dark candi), and Belgian yeasts. The nose wafting from this fine ale is very fruity, evoking thoughts of must, pears, apples, figs, and plums. Upon first dropping on the tongue, this beer creates a great warmth, much like the heat which springeth forth from the hearth of a blacksmith. Sugars dance in the mouth as well, along with a faint bourbon-like finish. A magical liquid, increasing the strength of the imbiber (+10 damage bonus for all attacks). A 3.85 mug beer.

    Mike: 3.53 Gina: 3.50 Chris: 3.80 Rod: 3.70 Jess: 3.00
    Total Avg: 3.56 Mugs



    Ok I'm still new at this so I'm not going to attempt to produce quality Gen Con fan fiction like Jim. Maybe next year...

    Garrett Oliver and Hans-Peter Drexler have been playing a bit of cross-continental tag in the past year. They collaborated to brew a weizenbock, a beer to combine Garrett Oliver's love of the Schneider Brewery's weisse biers and Hans-Peter Drexler's fascination with the Brooklyn Brewery's hoppy beers (IPA, etc). The first round was brewed at the Schneider Brewery as Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse and began finding its way around last summer. This summer we saw the release of the second round of this beer, appropriately named Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse, which was brewed at the Brooklyn Brewery using a slightly different arrangement of hops. The edition we reviewed was the Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse.

    The beer poured with a rapid, champagne-like carbonation and a characteristic cloudy dark yellow-orange color. The initial aroma was filled with banana and orange. After drawing in the beer a bit longer, a delicate balance of coriander, cloves and cinnamon emerged. The nose was very well balanced and did not overtake with any one particular element. Though you may already be anticipating the standard wheat beer flavors to jump out, this beer manages to take you by surprise. Sure, lemon zest and wheat flavors are apparent, but a much more complex arrangement awaits. A combination of bitter apple peel, grapefruit, pine hop flavors and a minty tingle on the sides of the tongue round out the initial lemon and wheat flavors. The banana from the nose remains hidden. The strength of this beer, at 7.8% ABV, is quite sneaky and doesn't really start to become noticable until the mouth begins to warm after a few drinks. The finish is very dry and leaves you awaiting the next sip. Overall, this beer is incredibly drinkable and refreshing, perhaps a bit too drinkable at 7.8%. I would rank this a 3.75 mug beer.

    Jim: 3.75 Mike: 2.50 Gina: 3.50 Chris: 3.4 Jess: 3.00
    Total Avg: 3.31 Mugs



    (Hopefully) In the past you may have been amused and amazed at my unusual frame of reference when reviewing beer. But now that we've got four new knights, my choice of words is once again questioned. ENOUGH I SAY! If a beer tastes like cardboard (look, I grew up poor, and cardboard made a regular visit to the dinner table) then that's what I'm going with.

    So... Avery Thirteen Weizen Dopplebock? No cardboard there. A big zingin' nose (noticeable alcohol) with hints of nail polish (which, by the way, makes a great appetizer with a cardboard casserole) leads to a full chewy mouthfeel and a beer with elements of fig, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and raisin. I gave this beer 3.70 mugs.

    And look forward to next week's review, when I'll compare the flavors of American Pale Ales with several varieties of earthworm.

    Jim: 4.25 Gina: 3.00 Chris: 3.50 Jess: 3.75 Rodney: 3.87
    Total Avg: 3.67 Mugs



    Who mixes beer and wine? I do. Last night saw a pint of Weihenstephaner in one hand and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in the other. Well, not really. I'm not THAT crazy, but they were on the table at the same time! Weiheny with salad and Cab with steak. Mmmm, mmmm.

    Dogfish Head IS crazy, though. They really like to experiment with odd beer recipes and decided to put wine IN their beer. For their Red & White concoction, they added Pinot Noir juice to a Wit fermentation and then aged a portion of the beer in Pinot Noir barrels.

    Are they coo-coo?

    Some at our tasting table thought so, but my mouth decided it was pretty goddamn tasty. It started out with a smell dominated by raspberry with a little bit of chocolate. The first sip was musty, with a funky raspberry flavor. Then Jim said, "root beer candy," and the flavor started to click for me. It's got a nice tart mouthfeel that ends slightly sweet, not dry. As it warmed, it became decidedly fruitier, and with a second taste later on in the night -- even warmer -- the raspberry flavor gave way and the 'winey' Pinot Noir taste finally started to show through. An excellent experiment by Dogfish Head, but not one I'm going to seek out frequently. 3.70 Mugs.

    Jim: 3.00 Mike: 3.60 Gina: 2.30 Jess: 2.00 Rod: 2.75
    Total Avg: 2.89 Mugs



    This Grand Cru from the Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu and poured a dark burgundy-brown color and featured all the things you might associate with a Belgian Ale. Its nose was both sweet and spicy and the slick taste of dark fruit and caramel mixed with a bready yeast for an enjoyable, but very warming drink. This is one to be shared with many friends and I was glad to share this with some of mine. 3.2 Mugs.

    Jim: 3.00 Mike: 3.00 Chris: 3.10 Rodney: 3.11 Jess: 2.50
    Total Avg: 2.98 Mugs



    Mikkeller To: From:

    This "Holiday Ale, brewed with spices" comes in a nice 750ml bottle with the label conveniently looking like a Christmas gift tag with a line for who it's for and who it came from. It pours into a glass dark, thick, and appears almost muddy brown. It looks much like motor oil with a very light, pillowy head with just a hint of cocoa color. I was quite surprised to see something this dark as a holiday ale. The nose is quite boozy with hints of gingerbread, dark chocolate, malt and just a hint of pine as it warmed up. The mouthfeel was quite full bodied and leads the drinker to think that if it's laid down for a bit longer it might become almost creamy.

    Once I got past the aroma and the mouthfeel I was given a wonderful roasted chocolate flavor with just a hint of smokiness. It is overwhelmingly roasted malt in the beginning but as it warms more flavors of dark fruits, cherries, anise and pine notes rise to the top. The taste is just as intense as the nose and gives you lots of layers to delve into while savoring the flavor. It's a fairly standard ABV for a Holiday Ale at 8% but the boozy notes could lend itself to being cellared for a year or two. Unfortunately, since there are a lot of flavors mingling in this beer, something is bound to be muted once laid down for a year. I gave it a solid 4.5 mug rating after being won over by the smoked, spiced chocolate flavors which I tend to favor.

    Jim: 2.95 Mike: 3.6 Gina: 2.1 Chris: 3.2 Rodney: 4.1
    Total Avg: 3.40 Mugs

    * * * * *

    All Scores:

    Allagash Four: 3.56 Mugs
    Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse: 3.31 Mugs
    Avery Thirteen Weizen Doppelbock: 3.67 Mugs
    Dogfish Head Red/White: 2.89 Mugs
    Brasserie De L'Abbey DU Val-Dieu: 2.98 Mugs
    Mikkeller To From: 3.40 Mugs

    15 August 2008

    Random Beer Roundup - "This is the New" Edition

    A little while back I was out looking for ideas to steal from other web sites1 and came across the Friday Round-Up at StlHops.com. Mike (STL Mike, not myself) does a nice job of covering everything new and exciting beer-wise in St. Louis - so why couldn't we do the same for Indiana? So we asked if we could steal his idea. He gave his blessing. And then we sent out a lot of emails.

    On with the show.

    Liquor/Better Beer Stores:


    Rob at Big Red Liquors wanted to let us know about an beer benefit event they're putting on:


    Big Red Beer Festival
    October 16th & 17th, 6-9PM
    Bloomington Convention Center
    Sample over 300 different beers
    All proceeds benefit the Bloomington Boy's & Girl's Club
    Advance Tickets: $25.00 on Thursday/$30.00 on Friday
    Day of Event Tickets: $30.00 on Thursday/$40.00 on Friday

    Kirk at Mr. G's Liquors in Noblesville provides us with his list:


    New seasonals:
  • Shiner 99 Helles
  • Sam Adams Oktoberfest
  • Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale
  • Leinenkugel Oktoberfest


  • New to our shelves:
  • Wyders Apple Cider
  • Victory Hop Devil
  • Heavy Seas Loose Cannon
  • Left Hand Milk Stout
  • Dundee Craft Pack
  • Clipper City Sampler
  • Boulder Sampler
  • Stone Vertical Epic


  • * * * * *

    Bars/Breweries/Brewpubs/Restaurants:

    Jack at Turoni's in Evansville drops a line to let us know what they've got going:

    "We always have 6 beers available. Four are year round - Honey Blonde Ale, Thunderbolt Red Ale, Vinny's Lager & Blued-Eyed Moose I.P.A. One tap is Blacklight Lager in the spring & summer and Ol' 23 Stout in fall & winter. Our current seasonal is Wit's Up, but it should be gone by the end of the week. The Hefeweisen will replace it."

    Jerry at Rock Bottom Downtown give us his list:

  • Circle City Light Lager-Munich Helles, silver medal Indiana Brewers Cup 2008
  • Seasonal Wheat-Spiced American (sweet & Curacau orange peel & coriander)
  • Sugar Creek Pale- dry hopped American Pale
  • Raccoon Red Ale-ESB, silver medal IBC 2008
  • Brickway Brown-Brown porter
  • Hoosier Ma Stout- Oatmeal
  • Happy Pils- good sized, well hopped Czech Pils
  • Cezanne-Saison
  • Woodford Reserve barrel aged IBA- aged 10 mos. - "May only make it through this weekend!"
  • Cask conditioned Vanilla Porter


  • "The first six are our normal lineup with the wheat and stout changing styles by the batch."

    * * * * *

    Now on to the less relevant news!


    Beer Goggles not as effective as BeerGoogle when looking for potential mates
    - This just in from the Sydney Morning Herald - beer goggles aren't a myth.

    "Both drunk men and drunk women rated the faces as being more attractive than did those who were sober, according to New Scientist magazine. Surprisingly, the effect was not limited to the opposite sex, as drunk volunteers also rated people from their own sex as more attractive."

    Wait... what the hell is Abita Select? - From Nola.com comes an article (and the photo which inspired my question) about Abita's new-to-bottles AndyGator.

    What's AndyGator? "A unique high gravity brew made with 2-row pale malt, German lager yeast, and Liberty hops." Ok. And here's the answer to "what's Abita select?" I wonder if they'll get Danica, Dale Jr, and Jay-Z to do an ad...

    * * * * *

    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.

    * * * * *

    1This is how the internet works.

    13 August 2008

    Because the beer never stops flowing at Hoosier Beer Geek

    Our next B+ART at BIG CAR Gallery is coming up this Friday, August 15th at 8pm. An international selection of brews will be offered for sampling in honor of the ongoing 29th modern Olympics. You will see beers representing the nations of Canada, England, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Greece, and India.

    We will discuss the beers and their countries of origin. It will be followed by a viewing of John Cage's film "Variations VII". And as if that weren't enough, Judith G. Levy's art show "How We Remember: Images Found and Made" will be all around the gallery. And it's all free!

    "B+ART" is short for Beer and Art, and is an event meant to highlight creative crafts and bring together art people (to introduce them to craft beer) and beer people (to introduce them to art). It is surprising the number of parallels that there are between the audiences. B+ART is presented by Hoosier Beer Geek, World Class Beverages, and BIG CAR artists collaborative.

    The BIG CAR Gallery is located in the Indianapolis neighborhood of Fountain Square at the Murphy Art Center, 1043 Virginia Avenue, Suite 215.

    12 August 2008

    Chris' Five Ws (and One H) or: How Rock Bottom Cooked Up a Summer Brewer's Dinner

    Who: Rock Bottom Brewery

    What: Summer Brewer's Dinner

    When: Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 6:30pm

    Where: Downtown Location (10 W. Washington St.)

    Why: Four courses with four beers for just $35! Check out this Greek-themed menu:
    Cold Tomato Soup with Parmesan Ice Cream
    A classic dish with a twist, our homemade tomato soup served chilled, accompanied by a creamy original Parmesan ice cream.
    ~ 80 Schilling Scottish Ale ~

    Greek Salad
    We toss fresh tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, olives and feta cheese together with oregano in a mouth-watering Greek dressing.
    ~ Happy Pils ~

    Stuffed Lamb with Feta Cheese and Garlic
    The finest cut of Lamb chops, seasoned and marinated, stuffed with feta cheese and spices, served with our own zesty garlic sauce.
    ~ Helles Bock ~

    Baklava
    An authentic Greek dish, prepared the Rock Bottom way! A rich delight made with ingredients such as honey and walnuts for the perfect treat.
    ~ Oatmeal Stout ~
    How: Call (317) 681-8180 for reservations.

    10 August 2008

    KOTBR #52 - What we learned at the Second Anniversary Roundtable

    In a sort of reprise of last year's recap of our one-year anniversary party, here's what we learned at Thursday evening's proceedings at Brugge, commemorating our two years of beer blogging:

    - Actually, I'll start with that something we already knew--Ted Miller and Charlie Midgley are consummate gentlemen and true assets to the Indiana brewing and beer-consuming community. We couldn't have asked for better hosts than Ted, Charlie, and the Brugge staff, who kept our glasses full all night. Thank you a million times over!
    - Once again, beer and tomato juice make a . . . well, a weird, exotic combination. But the party wouldn't have been the same had we not started the night with Chelada de Brugge.
    - Chris of the Indianapolis Beer Meetup Group and the few Meetup Group folks I was able to chat with definitely share, and perhaps even surpass, our love for craft beer. If you like to drink high quality stuff with people possessing keen beer instincts, then the Meetup Group seems like the great group to be with. Sorry I didn't get to spend more time with you guys and gals. That will have to change the next time we get together to throw down some pints.
    - When Charlie says he wants to pour you a half-glass, he always means a full glass.
    - Diamond Kings of Heaven '08 was indeed heavenly. Ted, Charlie said you think this is one of your best efforts. I'd have to agree (and I think a few of my fellow Knights would agree).
    - I still am not sold on bacon beer. My apologies to the Smoke Beer Riff-Raff.
    - According to my taste buds, Schlafly's Grand Cru is perhaps the best beer they've ever produced. Thanks to our friends at the St. Louis's top brewery for providing us with a several growlers fresh from their tap room.
    - Craft beer appreciation is no longer largely the province of dudes. Every time we meet new good beer freaks, we see more and more ladies. I, for one, am thankful for that.
    - Gina made a great choice in not eating that post-party La Bamba burrito, right Gina?

    Thanks once again to everyone who came out to celebrate two years of going crazy for beer with us. We enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones. And if you couldn't come this time, well, there's always next year. Or better yet, there's always the next public roundtable or BART tasting. Stay tuned to Hoosier Beer Geek for more details.

    09 August 2008

    KOTBR #52 - The Hoosier Beer Geek Second Anniversary Recap

    In the literally hundreds of emails exchanged in the weeks leading up to our second anniversary roundtable, it quickly became apparent that the folks at Brugge were committing their usual first class treatment to our event. Ted and Charlie were open to any and all suggestions, but when it came down to it, they had better ideas than any of us did - and by letting them handle it we were able to eliminate the debate about what to drink.


    Ted Miller's Best Effort Yet? Brugge Cheleda

    There was a 100+ email chain about beer selection - a strong lobby by Mike for Founders Rubaeus, a near coup by our new knights for smoked beer, and then, finally, Ted told us what he had acquired on his own.


    Trapist Ale winner

    We went with that: Brugge's White, Black, Tripel De Ripple, Fleur de Cinq, and "a thimbleful of Diamond Kings '08", New Albanian's Mt. Lee steam beer, Two Brothers' Domaine DuPage French Country Ale, and a batch of New Holland's Barrel Aged Dragon's Milk that Ted's own mother made a trip to New Holland to acquire.


    Brugge White winner

    And there was more - a special Brugge Fleur de Cinq Cheleda - a tribute to an ongoing joke about the beers we select to review. Ted's version - take some Fleur de Cinq (a beer which I believe started as a pilsner for the Wabash line of beers), add tomato, pepper, and god knows what else... and suddenly you've got a peppery tomato sour beer. For the new Knights, it served as a nice initiation beer. For the rest of us, it served as a warning of the evil that Ted is truly capable of.


    Brugge Black winner

    Not everyone liked it. I kinda did.

    Then we started giving things away. The Knights had put together a little stash of things for our guests: a trappist Rochefort 8, a bottle of Pannepot (our second highest rated beer), a bottle of Terrapin Hop Shortage Ale, and one of our last bottles of Three Floyd's Dark Lord 08*.


    Another White winner

    Charlie and Ted rolled out the rarest of the rare for a giveway - six packs of Brugge bottled White, Black, and Tripel De Ripple. We split the first six pack up in order to award more prizes, and then gave away a whole six pack to one lucky guest.


    A happy Brugge Black winner

    If you were lucky enough to receive a bottle of Brugge's stuff, take note - those bottles are NOT the same bottle that will someday be available to the public. So what you're holding is extremely rare. And when Brugge Beer takes off (someday) nationally, you might just have something worth quite a bit to beer collectors.


    A Brugge Tripel winner

    In addition to those goodies, Mike DeWeese contributed gift certificates for J. Gumbo's, Mike Sprinkle from Crown Liquors contributed some sort beer certificate (Sorry, Mike, I sort of missed that in the chaos)..


    Brugge Variety Pack winner. Lucky Bastard.

    As for our crowd - it's always hard to say who we were able to draw out. We had contacted the folks at the Indianapolis Beer Meetup group, and a posse followed. Knight Mike has spent the week harrassing the folks on the Beer Advocate messageboards. And we sent out 240 MySpace invites (which is a giant pain in the ass).


    J Gumbo's Gift Certificate Winner

    In the end, we ended up with +/- 75 people, I'd guess. We just want to say thanks to everyone that showed up. It's fun to see the sort of educated and beer loving crowd we've helped create.


    Pannepot Winner

    As the night progressed, there was more beer! Free beer! The folks at Schlafly made a special effort to deliver two growlers of their India Brown Ale and their latest soon-to-be-bottled Grand Cru (thanks guys!), a growler by Omar at Alcatraz made an appearance. We had a selection of homebrew from our newest Knights - featuring the state fair award winning Jess's Chili Beer and Chris' DIG-B Tripel.


    Three Floyd's Dark Lord Winner

    We had a bottle of smoked beer if you were in the mood for bacon. And Bob from World Class brought along a few bottles that we forgot about until the end of the night. They are now in our possesion for a future Roundtable review.


    A shot of one of the Schlafly (PRONOUNCED SHLAF-LEE) Growlers we poured FREE BEER from. Thanks, Schlafly Folks.

    If you're like me, you're wondering which beer we actually chose to review... well, we sort of forgot to review a beer. I think Jason or Jim brought it up at some point, but taking notes is a hassle when you're having a good time...


    A hearty and happy crowd spilled out onto the deck.

    So we'll just give a five mug rating to the whole experience. Thanks to everyone who came out, contributed, commented, complimented or complained, served and suffered. You've made us very happy.

    Jason, Jim, Kelly, Mike, Matt, Gina, Rodney, Jess, Chris, and Matt
    The Hoosier Beer Geek Knights of the Beer Roundtable

    * * * * *

    *Mike says he was quite drunk by the time we gave away the Dark Lord, so he hopes he didn't come across as too belligerent about the rareness of that beer.

    08 August 2008

    Legalize it

    It's that time of year again. The political ads come out and we hear every candidate blow every possible piece of news out of proportion for their own gains. It's a wonderful time of year when all of the hot issues come out in full force and you're sure to know where all of your coworkers stand. Indiana liquor laws are no exception!

    There's a petition up to relax our alcohol related blue laws. If you're not familiar with what a blue law is, it's a law created to help impose a moral standard. There are a number of these in Indiana but one in particular applies to alcohol; Sunday alcohol sales. This petition is to legalize the sale of carry-out alcohol on Sundays and allow grocery, drug and convenience stores to sell cold alcohol.

    Check it out.

    06 August 2008

    Couple of quickies about the Anniversary Party

    If you are coming to Brugge to hang with us on Thursday, a couple of things to note...

    7 ounce specials: There are a bunch of microbrewers' festival glasses left, so Brugge is going to do reduced price 7 oz. pours so that everybody can get some of everything and not end up like Maples at the end of the night. Plus you get to keep the glass, so you can have your own mini-beer festival at home. You can still get the regular sized beers at regular price as well.

    Food: if you want food (outside of the L'Enorme frites...good for sharing!) while hanging with us, we are suggesting that you either arrive early, call ahead, or put yourself on the list for a table in the dining room. We've got eight beers or more that the wait staff will have to carry around, serve, and track on tabs. It will make things easier on them, which makes the folks at Brugge happy, and we like to keep them happy. Because they keep us happy.

    History in the making: we've got stuff to give away, including something that will be history making...

    What is it? You'll have to come to Brugge at 8pm on Thursday to find out!

    Random Beer Roundup - First Date Edition

    A tip of the Magic Hat - Magic Hat will soon have distribution in Indiana. How soon? Word is kegs of #9 are currently en route. If you're not familiar with #9, it would probably be best described as an apricot pale ale. Should be a nice addition to your current choices for summer beers.

    This epic just got vertical-er - Stone's Vertical Epic 08-08-08 should be showing up in New Albany and Bloomington Wednesday, Indy on Thursday and Friday and the rest of the state next week. Feel free to save it until 12-12-12 or not. Also if you homebrew you'll notice that link I posted has recipes for all of the Vertical Epics. Good luck trying to replicate their work! If you're curious what they've brewed up this time:
    "The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish!"
    Free beer again? - Rock Bottom is tapping their Happy Pils both Downtown and at College Park on Thursday at 6PM. What better way to pre-drink our party than with some free beer at Rock Bottom? At least that's my plan. Jerry will be brewing up an Imperial Pilsner similar to last year's and I have no idea what Liz will be doing because I live downtown. Typical tapping party details, free beer and appetizer bar from 6-6:30.

    More like Mass Ave Beer Shop - Apparently Mass Ave Wine Shop is going to be growing a deli. Wait, that's not beer related? Maybe I forgot to mention that you can buy beer and wine in the store and consume it in the deli. Oh, and they have a decent beer selection. See, now it's beer related.

    As if we need to say it again - Someone said something about Brugge hosting our 2nd anniversary party this Thursday from 8 until Ted kicks us all out because one of you thought it would be funny to make your own beer crepe. I hear they're putting on special guest taps just for us. Actually it's more for you guys because we can't drink all this beer ourselves.

    ...

    or can we?

    Ask a Beer Geek - A Lesson on Kegs

    From the mailbag:
    Dear Beer Geeks: Please help. Do you know of any local brew pubs / restaurants / liquor stores who sell 5 gallon "sixth" kegs? (Besides The Ram)

    Might also consider a quarter barrel pony keg.

    Thank you.
    Mike L.
    It depends on what you're looking for, but the answer is yes. To our readers who might not be aware, the typical keg you have seen is actually a half barrel. Pony kegs, the shrunken cousin of the keg, are quarter barrels. Sixth barrels are the taller, more narrow kegs you see at a lot of beer festivals. If these are designed for beer, they should have the same tap connection as a regular keg. In rare cases, and especially in home brewing, Cornelius Kegs (i.e. soda kegs and corney kegs) can be used to store beer and these have a different tap connection.

    Brugge is currently distributing sixth barrels and half barrels through liquor stores. I'm not sure if you can purchase one at the brewpub but my guess is no. Rock Bottom definitely has both half barrels and sixth barrels available. I was under the impression the Ram would only fill a keg you bring in, but I haven't tried so I don't know. That brings me to your second option. If you purchase a sixth barrel or half barrel you can take it to many brewpubs and have it filled without placing a deposit on the container. Sixth barrels are available from many homebrew stores, such as Great Fermentations.

    If you're just looking for any sixth barrel full of beer and it doesn't have to be from a local brewery, most well stocked liquor stores with a nice beer selection should be able to help you out. Parti Pak and Kahn's are two examples of fine establishments which will sell sixth, quarter and half barrels of beer.

    Always remember that you should expect to pay a deposit, possibly a very large deposit, on the keg. As long as you bring it back, it will be refunded to you. If you plan on purchasing kegs a lot, I would recommend investing in a party pump (the manual, hand pump tap) or a kegorator. Party pumps will run you about $50 but sometimes they are a necessity since not all liquor stores or microbreweries have them available to rent. Kegorators open up a whole other can of worms that will be left for a post some other day.

    Does anyone know if Oaken Barrel, Broad Ripple Brewpub, Alcatraz or any other Indiana Microbreweries sell beer in containers larger than growlers? Do you have a favorite liquor store to purchase kegs of craft beer at?

    Reader Submission | My First Beer by Alex Lewis

    Yesterday we posted a "My First Beer" story written by HBG reader Kirk Winters, in hopes of starting a little My First Beer momentum. So far, so good - Today we've got a story from reader Alex Lewis, who found true love with a Dead Guy. Care to share your first beer story? We'd love to share it. Hit us up at hoosierbeergeek @ gmail.com. Thanks again, Alex.

    I grew up in a very conservative home where alcohol was not consumed. My parents never condemned those who did enjoy it, but said that it simply wasn't for them. This family background helped to keep me from breaking laws that restrict consumption before 21; however I subverted those rules once I was 18 and headed down to St. John's Island with a friends family. They did enjoy alcohol and consumed it frequently. They provided my first beer to me. It was a Corona Light with a lime stuck in it. I loved the lime taste, but the actual beer tasted what my pee smelled like. I wanted to like it so bad, but never truly enjoyed it.

    After high school graduation, I traveled to England for some abroad schooling. I was given opportunity to enjoy some of England's finest brews in bars where the taps never ran dry. I was drawn to Guinness immediately and usually drank that. I tried Carling and a few other British Macros but was never guided into some of the more complex fair that those bars had to offer. The most important thing was that my time in England brought an appreciation of beer.

    Upon returning from England (at age 20), I began work at a restaurant that truly appreciated fine dining. This shown through in the food as well as the beer, wine, and sake choices. I was first introduced to the concept of craft beer at this restaurant (named Cerulean). World Class Beverages used to come in and do beer trainings with the serving staff so that we could better pair customer's desires with a fantastic beer. It was at one of these tastings that I had a Bell's Oberon. I had never experienced such a complex beer in my life. The wheat taste followed by the citrus was delicious (especially on that 90 summer day). Although I really enjoyed this beer, I attribute my LOVE of beer to the brew that I had the following day. Rogue Dead Guy. The complexity of this beer had me hook, line, and sinker. This is the beer that I truly consider my first. It was the beer that built a desire to dive into the crazy world of craft brews.

    05 August 2008

    I Will Dare | The Beer and Music Connection

    Over the last several days, the Knights of the Beer Roundtable have been trading a lot of e-mails about music (if you're coming to the Second Anniversary party at Brugge Brasserie on Thursday evening, you'll find out why). This e-mail exchange, Chris's most recent post about drinking beer at the Radiohead show, and Mike's name-checking of the Pixies threw me into some thinking this evening about my mutual loves of beer and music (which I tossed together briefly in our Mikkeller review).

    As I mentioned in that post, I was a DJ in college (circa 1985-1990), doing most of my spinning at parties. Because I was busy manning the DJ booth at these parties--I had two turntables, a cassette deck and, eventually, a CD player, so I was always cuing something up--I didn't drink a lot of beer. At most, I'd drink two beers, which didn't give me much of a buzz. Instead, I got my kicks from telling crestfallen song requesters (usually sorority girls) that I'd lost my copy of Modern English's "I Melt With You" (I hadn't lost it; I was just really sick of the song after playing it 500 times) and from scaring the crap out of partygoers by suddenly spinning the Dead Milkmen's "Bitchin' Camero" or Dead Kennedys' "Let's Lynch the Landlord." These latter two songs were quintessential dance floor clearers, which were very handy when it was 3:30 a.m. and I wanted to get rid of the handful of beer-goggled dudes and chicks who were making one last attempt to take someone back to the dorm for a little drunken fun. At that time of the morning, I simply wanted to head home and get some sleep.

    My lack of serious beer consumption was probably for the best since the most common beer offerings at these parties were Busch and Little Kings, which even in the mid to late '80s were not ranked among the American beer elite. This might explain why I never blacked out or puked from drinking until age 24, at my bachelor party before my first marriage. Yup--I just wasn't one of those college binge drinkers.

    Sometimes, however, the music I played made me want to drink more that my standard one or two beers--y'know, it stoked my thirst. During party prep, when I was trying to cue up as many songs as possible before the party began, I would usually throw on an album, which was normally something that wasn't very dance friendly. A lot of this pre-party music was the standard '80s college radio/alternative stuff--R.E.M., Husker Du, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Cure, Cocteau Twins, New Order, the Smiths, the Clash, and Bad Brains to name a few. But none of these bands were pure beer-drinking fuel like one I haven't mentioned: the Replacements. Indeed, as soon as the 'Mats' classic Let It Be went on the turntable and the first few chords of "I Will Dare" jangled out of the speakers, I'd be primed to start pounding any macro swill, even Michelob Dark. Perhaps I was influenced by the aura that surrounded Minneapolis's favorite sons; they were notorious for their sloppy, drunken shows and were known to get so trashed that they left the A&R types who came to scout them scratching their heads over the hype surrounding the band. It's sort of funny--my impulse to drink due to the 'Mats' music always reminded me of a Three Stooges episode, the one in which Curly goes into a fighting frenzy whenever he hears "Pop Goes the Weasel." Yes, that was me--the '80s version of Curly Howard.

    So, readers, as you ready yourselves for Thursday night, do you have any interesting beer/music connections to tell us about? Drop us a comment.