Date: 31 July 2009
Location: Ye Olde Family Homestead
Compared to my fellow Knights of the Beer Roundtable, I lag behind when it comes to beer consumption. My routine essentially goes like this--I go to the store. I see lots of beer that I like. I buy it. Then, it languishes in the closet and/or the fridge. I'm lucky if I drink one beer per week at home. If I wrote my own beer blog, it would probably be called Hoosier Beer Miser and would have one post per month.
The main reason that I have such a huge beer cache at home is that I like to share what I have with others, and that opportunity doesn't come along as often as I'd like (well, aside from the occasional pitch-in roundtable among the KOTBR). An opportunity to share arose when my cousins came back to Indiana for a visit. They're IU grads, but they now live in Maine. They also love good beer and are homebrewers to boot. However, there are a number of beers that they can't get in New England, so I decided to raid the closet/fridge and bring along some of the good stuff to share. Among the beers we consumed were these:
Three Floyds Brian Boru
The KOTBR featured this beer at the St. Patrick's Day party we hosted in 2008 (you know, the one that no one came to). A few weeks ago, I went to Parti Pak and snagged a bomber of Three Floyds' contribution to the Irish Red Ale style (5.9% ABV). This one had been sitting on the shelf at Parti Pak since its release this past winter, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect out of it. It poured with the reddish brown color you'd expect from the style. The nose evoked brown sugar with a faint metallic hop presence. The flavor was lovely--roasted malt, caramel, and sweet toffee, with a fair amount of hop bite but not as much as you'd expect from a Three Floyds beer. This one met with the cousins' seal of approval.
Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale
The world needs more craft beer in cans, especially if they taste as good as Southern Star's Pine Belt Pale Ale (6.3% ABV). This beer, which comes in tallboy four-packs, is relatively new to Indiana. I picked it up at the Whole Foods store on 86th Street in Nora. Pine Belt Pale Ale is an unfiltered American Pale Ale. It poured with an orange-amber color and was a bit cloudy with a few floaties. The nose was not as floral as one might expect from an APA; a piney hop presence was there, but not in spades. The flavor was quite roasty and malty for an APA, backed with a hint of citrus. There was also a nice sweetness with each sip. The cousins loved this one, too. KOTBR, we need to review this beer. Kudos to Mat Gerdenich and Cavalier Distributing for bringing Pine Belt Pale Ale to Indiana.
Date: 13 August 2009
Location: Shoreline Brewery
Michigan City, Indiana
Back in the Region again with a return trip to Shoreline Brewery (208 Wabash St., Michigan City, Indiana, 219.TRY.HOPS), which was featured in my first beer diary. I needed something to drown my sorrows after the USA lost yet again to Mexico at Azteca Stadium. One day we'll win there and cause the Mexican fans to go into a complete meltdown. Alas, not this time. . . .
A quick note about Shoreline--They have a knowledgeable staff, friendly clientele, and a menu that makes a vegetarian like me very happy. Plus, they have the most unique mugs for their mug club that I have ever seen (Bob O. from Indiana Beer took a snapshot of them a while back--scroll down about 3/4 of the way down the page). Check out Shoreline if you ever make a trip to Indiana's Lake Michigan shore.
Since I drove up to Michigan City from Valparaiso, I didn't want to overdo it with the drinking. Therefore, I opted to sample only two of Shoreline's beers--
Singing Sands Oatmeal Stout
This oatmeal stout was on nitro. It poured with a creamy tan head, had a good chewy mouthfeel, and carried the classic oatmeal stout characteristics in the flavor profile, with cream, chocolate and coffee notes dominating. A really solid offering in the style. I could drink a hell of a lot of these on a cool fall day. Don't know what the ABV is, but I'm guessing it's in the 4.5 to 5.5% range.
3 Sum IIPA
Yeah, I know--gimmicky name. I don't much like it either, but it is funny in a sort of juvenile way to say to the bartender, "Hey, I'll have a 3 Sum." This beer is Shoreline's contribution to the Imperial IPA style and clocks in at 10.5% ABV. The "3 Sum" name comes from the fact that it's brewed with Summit hops and two other hop varieties that slip my mind at the moment (I'm pretty sure that one of them was Nugget). It was served in a 10.5 ounce glass and was too cold upon pouring. Consequently, I let it sit for a while before I tried it. The nose was ruled by pineapple notes; there wasn't much pine there. The mouthfeel was almost viscous, as the beer literally slid across my tongue. As for the taste--If I didn't know any better, I could swear this was Bell's Hopslam, because that is precisely what 3 Sum reminded me of. The flavor was heavy with peach, pineapple, and malt characteristics. An excellent IIPA.