19 June 2009

Random Beer Roundup - Falling off the wagon edition

Hey there, Gina here. I am going to be taking over the Roundup soon since Jason has other things to take care of. Don't worry though, he won't be hopping on the wagon.

Speaking of the wagon, one of my favorite podcasts recently talked about the old saying 'falling off the wagon' and its origin. As it turns out, the term's history has more to do with water than protest. Have a listen, it's a great show.

If you have any news, reviews, info, etc. to share for our next Random Beer Roundup, contact us at hoosierbeergeek@gmail.com. Grab a beer and watch the wagon pass by, this is the Random Beer Roundup.

Hoosier Beer Calendar
Events are subject to change

Friday, June 19th and Saturday, June 20th at Crown Brewing in Crown Point:
Summerfest: Live Music, food, bean bag tourney, bounce/jump houses and "some of the best beer money can buy."

Saturday, June 20th at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds: The Circle City Socialites take on the Stateline Derby DIVAS. The after party is at Barley Island.

Sunday, June 21 - Don't buy dad a cake, buy him beer instead for Father's Day.

Monday, June 22nd at Beer Sellar in Indianapolis:
Big Bell's Brewing tapping, a record breaking 30 different Bell's beers on tap at once:

Amber, Bell's IPA , Best Brown Ale, Cherry Ale, Cherry Stout, Double Cream Stout, Debs Red, Expedition, Golden Rye, Harry Magill's, Hell Hath No Fury..., Hopslam, Java Stout, Kalamazoo Stout, Lager, Oarsman, Oatmeal Stout, Oberon, Pale, Poolside,Porter, Raspberry Ale, Rye Stout, Smoked Stout, Third Coast Beer, Third Coast Old Ale, Two Hearted, Wedding Ale, 2006 Eccentric AleBourbon Barrel Double Cream Stout/ Expedition Stout

$15 at the door. Gets you 5 sample tickets, and a Bell's tasting notebook.

A couple of notes. Use your sample tickets wisely, some beers will not be available in a sample pour other than with a sample ticket.

The official start time is 5 pm. but doors are open at 2. Not all beers will be pouring at 2, to try to make all beers available to everyone coming out, some will not begin to flow until 5.

Saturday, June 27th on Mass Ave in Indianapolis:
Indy Brew Ha-Ha - Stop by, say 'Hi', and purchase a Hoosier Beer Geek T-Shirt!

Friday, July 17th at Optimist Park in Indianapolis:
Brewers of Indiana Guild VIP Dinner

Saturday, July 18th at Optimist Park in Indianaplis:
14th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival. You can purchase tickets online here.

Saturday, August 22nd:
The Hoosier Beer Geek 3rd Anniversary Party, Sun King Brewing Co. Stay tuned for more details.

Saturday, September 12th, from 7-10pm at the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend:
Zoo Brew, beer tasting event, tickets on sale August 1, $30 in advance; more info here.

What's Brewing

From Scott at at Upland Brewing in Bloomington:
Upland bottled Nut Hugger Brown for the first time on Tuesday. This will be available soon in both bottles and draught throughout our distribution area.

Also, Rad Red Amber Ale will be hitting the shelves and bars very soon!

At the Bar

From Lauren at Scotty's Brewhouse with multiple locations:
Fat tire draught is now available at Scottys brewhouse north Indy and Scottys brewhouse Bloomington! Come in and enjoy a nice cold Colorado born brew!
From Sam at Buffalo Wild Wings Downtown:
Dogfish 120 Minute on tap starting Thursday June 25. $8 gets 8ish ounces.

Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow on tap Thursday July 2. Price for that is to be determined.

As always, we have 12-14 craft beers on tap including Stone IRS, Founders Double Trouble, and others.
From Patrick at Patrick's Kitchen in Zionsville:
Bluegrass Brewing Nut Brown Ale
From Dustin at Spencers Stadium Tavern:
July 15th The Tavern, Sun King Brewery, Chef JJ Boston, and Goose The Market will be joining forces to blow your minds and palates. CHEF JJ will be grilling on the BIG GREEN EGG food from GOOSE THE MARKET and we will Drinking the first beers from SUN KING BREWERY. Tickets are available now from Chef JJ

Carry Out

From Todd at Keg Liquors in Clarksville:
Here is some new beers from Keg Liquors in Clarksville.

A few new specialty beers are making their way into the store this week. Several of these are very rare, and very limited. Be warned they will go quickly.

- Two Brothers Hop Juice - Hop Juice is one of a series of special limited-run beers in styles that are more extreme or unusual. This one is a real hop blast, dripping with the resiny soul of fresh Northwest hops. Don’t come crying to us if it’s too much for you; this one’s for hopheads only! And get it now, cause when it’s gone, it’s gone. Boo hoo. 22.7 Plato 100.1 IBU
- Stiegl Radler - A European specialty, this is a blend of 50% Stiegl-Beer and 50% Lemon-Soda.

- Dieu du Ciel! Equinoxe du Printemps - This beer was born from the blending of two enduring traditions: Scottish brewing and Québec’s maple syrup production. It is a perfect balance between a maple beverage and beer. The taste of the maple syrup adds to the complexity of the beer, without being overpowering. The first draught fills the mouth with a taste of woody malt which is sustained by a discrete syrupy savour. The lingering aftertaste is one of warm alcohol which coats the mouth with the sweetness of maple toffee. Many maple beers have been brewed in Québec, however the ´ Équinoxe du printemps ª is the first to succeed in producing a beer that truly bears the essence of maple syrup.

- Dieu du Ciel! Rigor Mortis Abt 12 - Strong brown ale inspired by the beer brewed by Belgian Trappist monks. Very little bitterness, this beer has intense malty and sweet flavours, mixed with the taste of chocolate and caramel. It presents complex red fruit and spice flavours due to the type of yeast that is used during the brewing process. This beer is at its best only after it has aged for six months. The Rigor Mortis are complex beers designed and brewed with patience and care in the tradition of the great Belgian Abbey beers.

- Dieu du Ciel! Peche Mortel - If you love really good coffee and really good beer equally, you will be thrilled with Péché Mortel. If coffee isn’t your cup of tea, and caffeine makes you bounce off the ceiling, then just put the bottle down and find something else to drink. This beer is all about coffee. Indeed, you may have seen ‘coffee stouts’ before, but no brewer has ever married coffee and beer so naturally and seamlessly. And this isn’t just any stout, but an imperial stout, which means that it is modeled on the strong, rich, and very complex stouts that were made in England in the 19th and early 20th centuries exclusively for shipment to Russia, where they were a special favorite at the court of the Czars.

- Les Trois Mousquetaires Dopplebock - Hailing from Canada, this Doppelbock, or ‘Double Bock’ is a dark, extra full-bodied lager after the best Bavarian tradition. Such beer was created by monks for the tough fasting period of Lent. They called it ‘liquid bread’. Look for flavor notes of chocolate, candied fruit, and roasted malt.

- Nils Oscar Coffee Stout - Nils Oscar Coffee Stout is made in cooperation with the small coffee roaster Johan & Nyström. Espresso coffee brewed with excellent single estate coffee from Gatsinga Farm in Rwanda is added to each brew after fermentation. In this way, all the flavors from the coffee are extracted and make an excellent complement to the roasted chocolate flavors in the beer.

- Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow - This complex double India Pale Ale has an intense citrus and floral hop aroma balanced by a velvety malt body which has been augmented with lactose milk sugar. With this different take on an IPA we have brewed an ale that is both pleasing to drink and once again, “not normal.” 100 IBU 9.5% a.b.v.

News, Reviews, and Gossip

Mat Gerdenich says "...go to http://twitter.com/ type in "CavalierBeerIN" in the who are you looking for box and hit search to find me!".

An article in the Boston Globe about the Alstrom Brothers:
When it comes to ale, everyone cares what the Alstrom brothers think

Bob O. has more beer news including a post about Upland's 2010 Lambics

Local Jim Pavlik writes an article in the Baltimore Sun about Bob Mack's blog post and gives us a nod. Thanks Jim!


  1. I'm so proud! Fly, RBR, fly!


    Thanks Gina. I didn't have to change a thing.

  2. Scotty's did not mention that they charge $9.50 a bottle for New Belgiums Fat Tire! But soon they will have Skinny Dip and Fat Tire on tap to go along with their specials.

  3. All those beers on and you chose Fat Tire...


    I guess that's a big bottle so maybe that makes a little sense. But that's some mark-up...

  4. It is places like Scotty's that continue to keep the craft beer market at 1% in Indiana. They have great beer, but mark it up to the point where a new taster probably isn't going to pony up that much to try something new. They will just stick with $2 Coors Light draft.

  5. Anonymous,

    Personally I think between 2.50 pint night and $7 pitcher night, Scotty's is doing a very positive service to the craft beer community. Could be 50 taps of nothing but domestics...

  6. pumped for bell's night - hopefully everything works out for me to go!

    went to scotty's for the 1st time last night. the craft beers were priced way out of our price range ($18+ per pitcher?? dayumn), but I look forward to returning on a night when good brews are on special.

  7. I think Scotty's Brewhouse is doing a great job making craft beer accessible to people who wouldn't normally drink something other than BMC. We go on the nights with the specials and it keeps craft beer easily within our budget. I mean really, pitchers of Brugge Tripel de Ripple for $7?!?! How is that cost prohibitive?

    I'm just glad to have a place with that many taps downtown and it isn't all macros!

  8. I agree that some of those prices are a bit high, but I'd like to second (third?) Rod and Jess's statements about Scotty's. I'm very impressed with their craft beer selection on draft, and I'm also impressed that they are cognizant of the seasons in selecting their craft beers. Add the fact that they feature a number of Indiana-brewed craft beers, and they're definitely doing a service for craft beer drinkers in this state. Go on a night when they're offering specials, and you'll keep your pocketbook in good shape.

  9. I do appreciate them carrying some craft beer options.

    Unfortunately the reason they have craft beer specials during the week is to drum up some business on nights when they wouldn't normally get it, not to make it accessible to the masses.

    I also understand you guys have to toe the company line per se with some of the places around here, but $9.50 for a bomber that can be bought anywhere for $3.50 is a little out there. I will be honest I don't frequent Scotty's, because their food prices are what really gets me.

  10. I'm not going to argue that anybody should pay $9.50 for Fat Tire, but purely from a bar markup standpoint, that's not that crazy for a beer that costs $3.50 in the store. What's crazy is that Fat Tire costs $3.50 in a store.

    A $3.50 22oz bomber is roughly the equivalent of a $1.90 12oz bottle. Multiple that by 6 and you'd be paying about $11.50 for a 6 pack of Fat Tire. That's insane for a beer that's more in line with the $8-9 per 6 pack category.

    For a slightly different angle on this discussion, consider something like Sam Adams. That costs about $8 for 6 from a liquor store, or $1.33 for 12 oz. But does anybody get in a tizzy when a bar/restaurant charges $4.25 for a pint of Sam Adams? No, even though that's nearly as much markup as Scotty's charging $9.50 for a bomber of Fat Tire.

    My advice? Avoid buying Fat Tire because it's not that great, not because of the standard markup that Scotty's is charging.

  11. Anonymous said...have to toe the company line per se...

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you think someone pays us to write what we do? Ha! If only...

    Well I had fun in that little dreamland, but in reality everything we do comes out of our own pockets just like it comes out of yours.

  12. I hate to beat a dead horse, and I know it comes off as a little defensive, but I wanted to reiterate what Gina said.

    The idea behind the site has never been about profit - there isn't an paid advertisement anywhere on the site. It kills me that people think we're towing some sort of company line. Fuck that.

    We've generally worked on the principal of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" because we believe in supporting local business, and craft beer, and the advancement of consumer choice. If you want us to say "$9.50 for a Fat Tire is fucked", well it is. There are plenty of places we've been that I wouldn't visit on my own, but there are 9 of us involved in this thing, and we all have a voice. I don't want to rag on anywhere my friends like, and I appreciate that they treat me the same way. We enjoy the company of each other above everything else. We don't ask you to visit the places we do - we just want you to know that they're out there if you're looking.

    Anyway, I've been drinking at a bar I wouldn't normally visit, but they had 30 beers on that I normally can't drink. I'm sure those 30 taps were a ploy to drum up long-term business, but I managed to have a good time anyway.

  13. I know you guys don't get paid for your contributions, which I almost always enjoy. These guys don't pay you cash, but they do provide you with certain opportunities, because of who you are and what you guys do.

    It probably benefits you to skirt around some issues with establishments and breweries that you make friends with. This is an entertaining blog, so journalistic integrity isn't in play here.

    I won't get going on the prices of beer in Indiana and what some IN breweries aren't doing to help remedy the situation. Your analogy of Fat Tire for a $11.50 stacks up pretty favorably to Brugge White, which works out to be somewhere around $21 a six pack. FFF is in the neighborhood of $30-$40 a six pack. It just all compounds to keeping the craft beer industry struggling here. I just got back from VA in March and brought back with me $7 and $8 six packs and a ton of high gravity bombers for $4 and $5.

  14. Good dialogue by all and I see where you guys are coming from, but I guess I just don't agree. Scotty's is providing craft beer, which I appreciate because a lot of places aren't doing that, but what kills me is going to dinner with my wife and dropping $40+ on dinner, 2 drinks for each of us and a tip. I will commend Barley Island, because I stopped in there last weekend and had dinner, 2 drinks and walked out with a bill around $20.

  15. The opportunities they provide us with are the same as the opportunities that they provide you with, and that's accessibility to craft beer in a bar atmosphere. We aren't getting free drinks or anything like that. At least 75% of the time we don't even let the establishment know we're going to be there (Some people we've made friends with tend to recognize us, though).

    Ohio is another great place to pick up cheaper beer. $8 for 6 packs of Southern Tier. $6+ bombers of Weyerbacher. Kentucky is on average $2 less per bomber than we are. That's the fault of state taxes more than anything, so if you want to start somewhere, that's the place to look and it's not just sales taxes.

    When it all boils down to the core values, the only thing that matters is that we buy more craft beer. That's why we pay for almost all of our events. If we're not spending money on it, who are we to say you should. And if we're not spending money on it, World Class and Cavalier aren't going to see increased sales numbers, and if they don't see increased sales numbers we're not going to see Oskar Blues or Southern Tier or Russian River. This is capitalism in action; it's important to spend your money in the right places at the right times because every dollar you spend, where you spend it and what you spend it on, has a voice.

  16. as an aside, I do think that Scotty's food prices are at least $1-2 too high per item. That said, there's a Pita Pit across the street. No one said you can't have cheap food AND cheap beer in the same evening at the same parking space. Rock Bottom, The RAM and Alcatraz all have cheap pint nights as well, make a bar crawl of it. But yeah, Wednesday and Thursday are your hot nights for drink specials at Scotty's.

  17. Rodney-

    I couldn't agree more with what you said. It's my dollar that isn't going to Scotty's and I am choosing to spend that dollar at Barley Island, Crown, Microbrewer's Fest, LBC and hopefully soon at Sun King.

    I don't know the ins and outs of your crew or how it rolls in these establishments, but you guys seem pretty straight forward and honest on beer reviews, so I assumed the same would go for establishments. I did get the one guy to admit Scotty's has some markup issues on some items, eventhough it was part of a possible drunken ramblings.

    I appreciate what you guys do, because I check out the site, so keep it up. I am just not always a "Rah Rah" person, so when I saw something I disagreed with, I felt compelled to start a posting marathon to prove myself right or wrong.

  18. I'd also like to point out that we've got a few cheap drinking guide things in the works, we just haven't finished them yet.

    I'm tired of spending money too.

  19. a little off-topic, but some guys pizza tends to have reasonable pricing on their craft beer pitchers (something like 9.75, oberon usually on tap about now)

    as I knock on wood so as to not jinx that

  20. Thanks, Tom. Haven't been to Some Guys in ages. I'll have to check it out.