29 March 2010

Your Final Four Beer Guide to Indianapolis

The 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is about to hit Indianapolis in full force. Fans from Michigan, North Carolina, and West Virginia will all be arriving in our city this week to cheer on their teams as they compete against each other and our true "home team," the Butler Bulldogs, for the title of National Champions. Rather than instill further rivalry and conflict, it is our mission at Hoosier Beer Geek to spread the love of craft beer, especially among those visiting Indiana. We know how hard it can be finding a good beer in an unfamiliar state.

What to drink

Three Floyds
Web: http://www.3floyds.com/
Twitter: @3floyds

The legendary hop kings up at Three Floyds have gained a national reputation for themselves despite only distributing to a handful of states. If you're from North Carolina or West Virginia, there's a strong chance you've never tried their beers. Even if you're from Michigan, the Three Floyds products don't reach you without a quick trip south of the border. For this reason, if you're a fan of hops, Three Floyds is an excellent representation of what Indiana breweries are capable of. Alpha King, Gumballhead, and Robert the Bruce are their easiest to find year-round beers and all great options.

Web: http://www.bellsbeer.com/
Twitter: @bellsbrewery

This one is especially for those coming from West Virginia. Since Bell's is available in Michigan (their home state) and North Carolina, I won't spend too much time on this brewery other than to say that Oberon was just released this week. Oberon is a summer wheat beer that is easily their best seller and has a wide following. If you know someone who normally drinks Blue Moon, give this a shot instead while you're in town. There's no contest.

Web: http://www.uplandbeer.com/
Twitter: @uplandindy

Upland hails from Bloomington, the home of Indiana University, and is one of our largest microbreweries. They currently distribute out-of-state only to a small portions of Wisconsin and Kentucky, so most of the out-of-state fans will find something new with this brewery. Their Wheat is a big summer beer in Indiana, providing more of a lemon-citrus character than Oberon's yeasty orange flavor. Their Infinite Wisdom Tripel was recently released, and while it might not be easy to find, the Tap Room a few miles north of downtown is sure to have it.

New Albanian
Web: http://www.newalbanian.com/
Twitter: @newalbanian

The New Albanian Brewing Company only recently started distributing as far north as Indianapolis, and we're very glad they did. Hoptimus is a powerful Imperial IPA, weighing in at an excess of 10% ABV and 100 IBUs. If you're looking for something a bit more sessionable, the Beak's Best has a nice hop and malt balance and will be great with almost any pub food you can throw at it.

Sun King
Web: http://www.sunkingbrewing.com/
Twitter: @sunkingbrewing

Sun King is kind of like the cool new kid on the playground. They opened up about a year ago and are already available on tap throughout the city. Their tap room is home to $5 growler refills on Fridays and is a local hangout on Friday nights, despite everything for sale being in to-go containers. I can't guarantee that the refill special will be going on during the tournament weekend, but the regular price of $6.50 isn't too shabby. Due to surging popularity, they purchased a canning line far ahead of schedule and should have cans available for sale this Friday in the tap room, right in time for the tournament! Stop in and pick some up for the weekend.

Where to drink

We've covered this one before. Rather than repeat it all, check out these awesome posts. In them we cover a lot of the local bars, breweries, and brewpubs, which were not necessarily listed in the previous section. Just because I didn't draw specific attention to them earlier certainly doesn't mean they're not worth visiting. It's going to be busy this weekend, so a lengthy list of bars will be a good thing to have. Hey, we actually have a lot of beer in Indianapolis.


Broad Ripple - 15 minutes north of Downtown

36 hours in Indianapolis - More than simply bars; a good up-to-date guide of things to do in the city

Your Home Team Bar

Michigan State - Champps
Web: http://www.champps.com/

Sorry, you guys got a little screwed on the bar selection. Champps is basically an upscale Applebees or TGI Fridays. The food is decent but the beer list is going to leave a lot to be desired. You might see Bell's Oberon on tap here due to its popularity. Luckily there is a Rock Bottom right across the street with a ton of TVs in the bar and downstairs and some really great local beers on tap. You might want to stop in if Champps is looking too crowded. Yes, Rock Bottom is also a chain, but one with all local beer recipes and their own brewmaster.

Duke - Buffalo Wild Wings
Web: http://www.buffalowildwings.com/

Buffalo Wild Wings is also a chain, but it's one that at one time was famous for almost half of its 35-40 taps holding craft beer. Unfortunately, the owners have recently decided that doubling up on taps of Budweiser, Miller, and Coors would make more sense, and have cut craft beer down to only 6 or so taps. They do still regularly carry things like Three Floyd's Gumballhead, Bell's Oberon, Upland Wheat, Founders Breakfast Stout and Dogfish Head World Wide Stout. That's right, a beer you can't even legally buy in North Carolina was on tap here a couple of weeks back. While you're in town, you might want to pick up some Dogfish Head beer before you head back. Indulge in the 15%+ ABV freedom.

West Virginia - Scotty's Brewhouse
Web: http://www.scottysbrewhouse.com/
Twitter: @brewhouse

Scotty's is a local Indiana favorite with the recently-graduated-from-college crowd. A family-friendly restaurant that boasts 40 taps, with at least 2/3 of them dedicated to craft and import beers, you'll surely be able to find some local Indiana favorites on. The fried dill chips appetizer and anything with Mofo sauce are the top sellers here on the food menu. You'll be able to order Three Floyds, Upland, People's (out of Purdue-hometown Lafayette), New Albanian, Oaken Barrel, Sun King and many other Indiana beers.

Butler - The RAM
Web: http://www.theram.com/

Congratulations Butler! You scored yourselves a microbrewery! Despite its chain status, all of the seasonal beers on tap here are created locally. Actually all the beers are created locally, but the seasonal ones are from local recipes. Burgers are the star of the food menu in my opinion, with a diverse selection of toppings and incredibly large size. Ask for a sampler if you haven't tried their beers before. Try to sit in the bar, as it will give you the best view of their huge TVs.


This guide certainly does not present every option you have in town. Check out the city and try beers you can't get at home. What better way to celebrate your team making it to the Final Four in Indianapolis than with some great craft beer! If you'd like some help on suggestions of bars to try or beers available, check back with our blog on Friday for a segment we like to call the Random Beer Roundup. We will be running all of the local craft beer events for the weekend, new arrivals at local liquor stores, and other news tidbits from the area. The Random Beer Roundup is a great way to figure out which liquor stores and bars are really dedicated to the craft beer crowd.

One last warning - you cannot purchase beer/wine/liquor on Sunday. Do NOT forget this or you may end up very upset. Plan ahead and buy on the right day. Yes it's stupid, but we all have our dumb liquor laws we have to work with. Also, that only refers to carry-out alcohol; you can still drink at bars/restaurants.

The Drinking Tour of Flanders

Good beer and bicycling go hand in hand. In America, there's nowhere that serves as better evidence than cycling/craft beer capital of Portland, Oregon. Portland not only has the most breweries/brewpubs per capita in the United States, it is also well known as a cycling mecca, and despite 55 days with measurable precipitation a year is ranked first in bicycle commuting among the 30 largest cities in the United States.

If you were to imagine Portland as a country, perhaps your best choice would be Belgium. Bad weather, bicycling and fantastic beer are all part of the Belgian identity. Once a year Belgians gather to celebrate the combination of those elements in the Ronde van Vlaanderen (or Tour of Flanders) spring classic bike race.

The Ronde (along with Ghent-Wevelgem and Parix-Roubaix) is perhaps most famous for its route on the cobbled backroads of southern Belgium. These brutal cobbled sections break men and bicycles alike, leaving only the hardest of hard men at the front in battle for the title of Ronde van Vlaanderen champion. Perhaps it is fitting that this year's Tour of Flanders will be held on Easter (5pm ET, Versus):
"Only those who are in top condition can say that the Ronde is not hard. For everyone else, it's the Way of the Cross." -Andrea Tafi
We are not professional cyclists. We are fans and drinkers. Drinking along with the Tour of Flanders route is our own way of the cross.

Beer 1) The route starts just outside of Brugge, namesake of Indiana's Brugge Brasserie, so perhaps a bottle of Brugge White, Black, or Tripel might make for a fitting introduction.

Beer 2) Route continues through Hooglede, just 17 kilometers from Esen, home of De Dolle Brouwers.

Beer 3) The route passes through Lendelede, just 6 or so kilometers south of Ingelmunster, home of Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck, makers of Kasteel Rouge.

Beer 4) Route passes through the region Wallonne and heads north at Russeignies, about 26 kilometers north of Pipaix, home of Brasserie Dubuisson Frères, makers of the Scaldis lineup of beers.

Beer 5) Route passes through Brakel, just 32 or so kilometers south of Melle, where the Brouwerij Huyghe produces Delirium Tremens and Delirium Nocturnum.

Beer 6) Race finishes at Meerbeke, a 21 kilometer straight shot from Brussels' Sint-Jans-Molenbeek neighborhood, home of Brasserie Belle-Vue (which I could have sworn I've seen in local liquor stores). But since we can't get that here in Indiana, we'll look north (still only 52 kilometers from the finish) to Breendonk and Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat, makers of Duvel.

If you've kept up with the race, hopefully you'll be with me in celebrating a win by Cervelo Test Team. And if you've kept up with the beer, there's a good chance you passed out and didn't make it to the end of the race. No need to worry, Paris-Roubaix (the king of the classics) is only a week away.

Having never been to Belgium, I can't say this is entirely accurate. I definitely appreciate any comments or corrections. In this case I stuck to beers and breweries with beer available in the United States (Indiana in particular).

Hoosier Beer Geek's Springtime Tournament of Beer Champions: Round 2

Hello, and welcome to round 2 of Hoosier Beer Geek's Springtime Tournament of Beer Champions. 10388 votes were cast in round one, leading to a few tightly contested battles.

Some of the tightest fights: Oaken Barrel's Indiana Amber (50.5% of the vote) narrowly beat out New Albanian's Elector (49.5% of the vote), Lafayette's Tippecanoe Common (52.9%) squeaked on by Upland's Helios (47.1%), and Big Woods Hare Trigger IPA (50.9%) left Rock Bottom College Park's Brickway Brown (49.1%) empty handed.

All of the early tournament favorites still remain, but round two is a whole new contest, and we have some exciting match-ups waiting. In a battle of bacon beer barons, Sun King's Sunlight Cream Ale faces off against Brugge's Black. Brugge's White is in for a fight against Barley Island's Dirty Helen Brown. And in a battle of the extreme versus the perfectly balanced, Three Floyd's Dreadnaught takes on Broad Ripple Brewpub's ESB. Vote now, and stay tuned.

Link to the tournament page.

Thanks to Mike at STLHops.com, who doesn't mind me repeatedly stealing his ideas.

28 March 2010

Hoosier Beer Geek's Second Annual Craft Beer Meal That Comes Before Lunch: The Recap

We'd like to thank everyone that had a part in putting together Saturday's Craft Beer Meal That Comes Before Lunch. Our thanks to the folks at Brugge: Chefs Mike and Jason, who handled a 50 orders rush with expert hands, and our wait staff, who made sure that the beer kept coming.

Our thanks go out to the bacon beer brewers: Clay and Dave at Sun King, who baconed up their Dominator Dopplebock, creating BACONATOR, a tasty and interesting experiment, and to Ted at Brugge, who took bacon beer to an even more bacon-influenced level. Our appreciation to all of them for taking a bad experiment and idea to new levels of professional experimentation. We look forward to coming up with an even more ridiculous idea for next time.

Sun King's Baconator fresh from the firkin

Our thanks also go out to Cari and the folks at Upland, who provided us with a sneak peak of those highly sought out Lambics. Believe me when I say that they're worth waiting for.

Brugge's Bier du Lardons was every bit the bacon beer we had hoped for. It even looks like liquid bacon. Or chocolate milk.

Lastly, but certainly not least, our thanks go out to everyone who attended. We hope you had a good time, and we appreciate your continued support and suggestions. We hope that events like these can help us grow our army of Hoosier Beer Geeks.

I'd also like to add an extra thanks to Ted for helping us put the whole thing together, but as I learned Saturday, he doesn't actually work there..

Stay tuned, events like these are what we're about. We look forward to harrasing Ted again soon, as rumor has it that the CBMTCBL could become a biannual event.

26 March 2010

Scenes From Indiana: A Collection of Random Yet Relevant Craft Beer Images

The Hoosier Beer Geek Knights of the Roundtable shop for Dark Lord Day Tickets

A familiar sight for those of us who spent a tense hour or so shopping for Dark Lord Day tickets

Brugge's Biere du Lardons is kegged and ready for the 2nd Annual Hoosier Beer Geek Craft Beer Meal That Comes Before Lunch (HBGCBMTCBL2)

The final proof and initial can design for Sun King's Osiris Pale Ale

The final proof and initial can design for Sun King's Sunlight Cream Ale

More details on those cans and Sun King's next steps coming soon.

Random Beer Roundup - Spend the Morning Drinking Edition

How's it going today? I am looking forward to a little KBS tonight at Shallo's and of course, the spectacularly awesome Craft Beer Meal Before Lunch tomorrow morning at Brugge. We hope you were able to get your tickets because there won't be any at the door. Besides, where else will you get to try 2 bacon beers? Nowhere. Probably.

Sun King is getting their cans delivered TODAY! They are beautifully done and we can't wait to see them around town.

Best of luck to those taking the BJCP exam tomorrow.

If there is something coming up that is not listed, we would love to hear about it. News, reviews, info, etc., to share for our next Random Beer Roundup can be submitted to hoosierbeergeek@gmail.com.

Hoosier Beer Calendar
Events are subject to change

Friday, March 26th at Shallo's - KBS tapping about 5 pm.

Friday, March 26th at Upland's Banquet Hall - Infinite Wisdom Tripel release and weekend events (More information below).

Saturday, March 27th - Hoosier Beer Geek's Craft Beer Meal Before Lunch at Brugge Brasserie. Tickets on sale at Brugge (presale only, no day-of tickets).

Saturday, March 27th at the Ram Brewery, Downtown: Bourbon Barrel Series Tapping (6 Bourbon Barrel aged beers)

Tuesday, March 30th @ 6:30 p.m. at Binkley's Beer Dinner in Broad Ripple: Sun King Beer Dinner

Wednesday, March 31st @ 6:30 p.m. at The Chatham Tap: Sun King Extravaganza

Friday, April 9th at McCormick & Schmick's (110 N. Illinois St., 631-9500): Beer dinner featuring Oaken Barrel Brewing Co. (50 Airport Pkwy., Greenwood, 887-2287). Five courses include beer & cheddar soup, stuffed quail, and braised pork, all paired with Oaken Barrel beers. $40. Call 631-9500 for reservations beginning April 2.

April 24th at Three Floyds Brewery in Munster - Dark Lord Day

Saturday, May 22nd at the Lake County Fairgrounds Industrial Building: Illiana Mayfest (more info below)

More events can be found on the Indiana Beer Calendar

What's Brewing

From Billy at Broad Ripple Brewpub in Indianapolis:
As part of our on going 20th year celebration leading up to our birthday bash on November 14th, we're inviting people to go to our website, Broadripplebrewpub.com, and vote for beers we've had on in the past that they would like to see back again. We'll be tapping the top six vote getters, one a month, starting in May.

From Charles at Upland Brewing Co. in Bloomington:
Help us celebrate the release of our Infinite Wisdom Tripel on Saturday, March 27th. It's going to be an awesome combination of art, music, and hand-crafted, limited release Belgian-style ale. Check out the details at uplandbeer.com. Here's a day-plan for you: Drop in at the brewery between 3 and 5 for a tour, have a sampler flight, grab some dinner at one of Bloomington's awesome restaurants, and then head over to Jake's for the show. Sound good? I think so.
From Dan at The Ram Brewery, locations Downtown and Northside:
Saturday, March 27th from 12:00 to 4:30 at the RAM Downtown:

Woodford Reserve Barrel
Buttface Amber Ale
Total Disorder Porter
Scottish Ale
Irish Stout

Jack Daniels Barrel
Breakfast Stout

Jameson Irish Whiskey Barrel
Irish Red Ale

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrel
Cream Ale

At the Bar

From Patrick at Patrick's Kitchen and Drinks in Zionsville:
Sun King Irish Dry Stout, Sun King Cream Dream II...Electric Boogaloo..., Three Floyds Dreadnaught, Founders Double Trouble, and Stone Ruination..

We had our Indiana Brews Beer Dinner on Monday 3/22, it was sold out and we had beers from the Bloomington Brewing company there as well..they have 15 taps down there these days as well as a new brewer name of Eilleen Martin!
Carry Out
From Corrie at Goose the Market in Indianapolis:
New in the cellar at Goose the Market...

The Minnesotans be fermenting unfiltered apple wine with Belgian Trappist yeast, donchano, eh? Come in for a bottle of Crispin's The Saint Cider, eh.

We could tell you about Upland's latest tripel release, but you already know given your Infinite Wisdom.

We apri-ciate Dogfish Head's latest apri-oachable IPA for the apri-opriate additions of apri-cots. Their latest Aprihop is hoppy, subtly fruity, and apri-pos for toasting spring.
From William at the Crown Liquors store downtown:
New this week at Crown Wine and Spirits- Ohio and Delaware - Downtown Indy

Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA (very limited)
Dark Horse Plead the 5th Imperial Stout (very limited)
Hoppin' Frog Hop Dam Triple IPA (very limited)
Baudelaire Ale Absurd Rye Tripple and iO Saison (from Jolly Pumpkin)
Clipper City Heavy Seas Pale Ale
and the return of Two Brothers Cane & Ebel and Scaldis Triple

Friday's tasting (3pm-7pm) will feature Heavy Seas Siren Noire Chocolate Stout, Ommegang Abbey Dubbel,
and Crispin Honey Crisp Cider!
From Todd at Keg Liquors in Clarksville:
Dark Horse - Scotty Karate Scotch Ale (Michigan)
Dark Horse - Plead the Fifth Stout
Dark Horse - Double Crooked Tree IPA
Rogue - XS Imperial Stout
Back in 7oz bottles! (Oregon)
Val-Dieu - Triple
Jolly Pumpkin - Madrugada Obscura
Hoppin Frog - Hop Master
Hoppin Frog - Hop Dam Triple IPA
Victory - St. Boisterous
Sprecher - Hefe Weiss
Apis - Kurpiowski Royal Mead
St. Bernardus - Wit
Zywiec - Lager
Saku - Originaal
Jamaica - Stout
From Jake at the United Package Liquor store in Broad Ripple:
KBS(very limited quantity)
Three Floyds Behemoth Barley wine
Stone Sublimely self-righteous and Old Guardian
Heavy Seas Siren Noire
Great Divide Yeti and Hercules Bombers

From the Distributors:

From Greg at Cavalier Distribution:
New in this week:

Clipper City Big DIPA Double IPA just arrived and will be hitting stores & bars across the state. Big DIPA is triple hopped (the original triple hop) with 5 pounds of Hops per barrel during the brewing process. It has a solid malt backbone as well resulting in a well-balance double IPA weighing in at 10.6% abv. This is a limited release beer, so get some while it's fresh and available!!
From Krystle at World Class Beverages:
Oberon official release on March 29th! The Beer Sellar is having a release party starting at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate - check out the Facebook link for more info: http://ow.ly/1q2Vq

New beer to hit the market in the upcoming months or just recently out! Check our Beer Spy to find out if they are out yet, or where to get them closest to you.

Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat 12 oz cans
Three Floyds Rabbid Rabbit Brooklyn Dark Matter Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree Dogfish Head Black and Blue
Harpoon Single Hop ESB (next in their 100 barrel series)
Hoppin’ Frog Hop Dam Triple IPA Unibroue Quelque Chose
Trip Opportunities
From Ron Smith:

Guided Beer Vacations to Belgium and Germany!

Now through the end of April (about the next 5 weeks) is the timeframe where I need to get firm commitments from people. You can read about my Belgium Trip here (http://www.beermba.com/belgium-beer-vacations.php) and my Germany Trip here (http://www.beermba.com/germany-beer-vacations.php). There is also some general information here (http://www.beermba.com/beer-vacations.php). These are great trips designed to maximize the enjoyment of beer lovers that want to see these parts of the world without all the stress, planning, etc. While being primarily beer-focused, we also break it up and visit many of the usual tourist sites as well. Thus, even non-beer lovers will really enjoy them, but the true beer lover will be in heaven on these trips.
Save the Date:
Illiana Mayfest on Saturday, May 22nd at the Lake County Fairgrounds Industrial Building
Come out to Crown Point's 1st annual Craft Beer Festival. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. At least thirteen breweries, our local homebrew club and a few distributors will be participating. You get to try all the beers at your leisure during the 4 hour event. See how beer is made, talk to brewmasters and drink delicious beer.

Here is the confirmed list for Illiana Mayfest so far: Two Brothers, Rock Bottom, Crown Brewing, Figure 8, Brickworks, Lafayette, Mishawaka, Half Acre, Brickstone, Flossmoor Station, Shoreline, Backroads and Harrison's. We will also have some homebrew clubs, distributors and food vendors.

Tickets are now available at Crown, Figure 8, Brickworks, Shoreline and Half Acre.
News around the web:

IBJ has an article about a new distribution company, Pelican Brands LLP: http://www.ibj.com/local-beverage-entrepreneur-retrenches-with-new-venture/PARAMS/article/18880

Rita Kohn's upcoming book, True Brew, is available for pre-order from Amazon.com.

25 March 2010

Beer Diary #16 - Jim | Red Penguins Keep Louisville Weird

Date: 19 March 2010
Location: 21c Museum Hotel
Main Street
Louisville, Kentucky

Terroir: The notion that a place injects a unique character into the things that are produced and grown there. Louisville embodies the concept of terroir because Louisville is a unique place, more than unique if that's possible. Its people, its neighborhoods, its culture--all have this incomparable organic character that seems to spring from the very banks of the Ohio River.

Perhaps this is so because Louisville defies preconceptions and expectations. The motto of Louisville's independent business association is "Keep Louisville Weird." If you spend enough time in the city, you'll see that its residents take this motto seriously because Louisville is weird--the best kind of weird. Amble along Bardstown Road or up Frankfort Avenue and drink in the pleasant, earthy weirdness.

One facet of Louisville's uniqueness is downtown's 21c Museum Hotel. According to a 2009 readers' poll in Condé Nast Traveler, the 21c is the #1 hotel in the U.S. and the #6 hotel in the world. It's not surprising to see why the magazine's readers felt this way; the 21c is a one-of-a-kind institution. In addition to its guest rooms, the hotel contains a stunning museum (open 24 hours a day) with a collection of 21st Century art. It also houses a world-class restaurant called Proof on Main. Contemporary art can be seen in every area of the building. A deer's head in a bondage mask adorns the wall in Proof on Main's entry area. And the red penguins are ubiquitous. These 21c mascots stand guard on the hotel's rooftop, at the lobby door, in the hallways, in the guest rooms, in the rooms of the museum, and, in miniature form, on the lapels of the hotel's staff.

Photo by jbcurio

Photo by Daquella Manera

Proof on Main's bar has a specialty: bourbon, that most elite expression of Kentucky's terroir. Hotel guests receive a complementary shot of bourbon from Proof on Main, and there are over 50 bourbons to choose from. Bourbon means bourbon barrels, and bourbon barrels mean bourbon barrel-aged beer. In this case, the beer in question is BBC Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout. This is a beer of which the KOTBR are quite fond. It is currently the number three beer on our list of beers reviewed. It is also on the beer list at Proof on Main among other excellent selections such as Founders Red's Rye and Bell's Winter White. But these other selections are not expressions of Kentucky's terroir. BBC Bourbon Barrel Stout is; it's this beer that I want, and it's what I have.

The experience is as I remember from our roundtable in which we reviewed the beer: baked brown sugar, black coffee, a dash of vanilla, and a bit of bourbon, which is lightly folded into the mix, hanging there in the background, unveiling itself gently.

Date: 20 March 2010
Location: Cumberland Brewery
The Highlands
Louisville, Kentucky

While Kentucky's terroir might find its highest expression in bourbon, Louisville's terroir is well expressed by the Highlands. In terms of Indianapolis analogues, the Highlands are Irvington, Broad Ripple, Mass Ave, and Fountain Square combined into one district. It's a meandering strip of independent shops, restaurants, and bars that hasn't been overrun by complete gentrification.

In the middle of the Highlands sits Cumberland Brews, a small but integral part of Louisville's beer culture. It is my destination while my wife goes in search of tchotchkes at nearby shops. Again, in terms of Indianapolis analogues, Cumberland Brews is the Broad Ripple Brewpub, but with a Deadhead vibe on top of the English country pub atmosphere. In the afternoon light, the pub is dim, but comfortably so. The tap handles are made of art glass. Three small fermentation vessels are perched behind the bar. Inhabiting one vessel is a beer called "Dorkmonster." It's not on tap yet, but its name makes me wish that it were.

The flagship beers are mostly English style ales, a Nitro Porter and a Pale Ale among them. There are also a Cream Ale and an Irish Dry Stout in honor of St. Patrick's Day. I order an imperial pint of the Nitro Porter to begin. Creamy, malty, and chocolaty it is. A suggestion of licorice and molasses as well. A good way to kick off the afternoon.

A glance at the seasonal menu piques my interest. The second beer on the menu is named "Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse." Louisville's terroir is expressed through sourness? Apparently so. Cumberland Brews does not serve this beer the Berliner way, i.e., with syrup. Rather, it comes all by itself. A half-pint of the Berliner Weisse displays faint banana, apple, and musty notes in the nose. It's crisp, fizzy, wheaty, sweet, and sour all at once. Delightful.

The bartender has been at the hand pull frequently, doling out pints and half-pints of a dry-hopped, cask-conditioned porter. As I am finishing off my Berliner Weisse, I am dismayed to see that the cask is empty, or so I believe. An enterprising woman, the bartender grabs the pin from beneath the bar, tilting the tap toward the floor to coax the last two half-pints of porter from the pin. I am fortunate because she offers me one of those two half-pints free of charge. A toast to her. The creamy citrus/chocolate blend of the porter. Magnificent. My dismay returns as I realize that I should have ordered this beer earlier so I could have enjoyed a full pint. Terroir is often expressed kindly, but sometimes not as kindly as one might wish. The pin is forever empty of this particular beer.

The name at the top of the seasonal menu is "Two Brewers One Pint." I chuckle. If you don't understand the genesis of this beer's name, please, do not ask. Terroir is not only expressed in good beer, but through humor too, and that humor is not always classy. I learn from the bartender that this beer, which is a German Brown Ale, is a collaboration beer; BBC is Cumberland's partner in production. Two Brewers One Pint (or in my case, one half-pint): a malty nose with a faint whiff of smoke. Caramel flavors are coupled with a dry bitterness at the front of the tongue and a sweet finish at the back. Very nice.

My wife has finally caught up with me. The shopping treasure that she has unburied: Milli Vanilli earrings.

Only in Louisville is Milli Vanilli an expression of terroir.

23 March 2010

Reminder: 5 Tickets Left for Hoosier Beer Geek's Craft Beer Meal Before Lunch

The event is this Saturday. There are 5 tickets left as of Wednesday at 2:40 PM. Tickets are pre-sale only, which means you can't wait until Saturday to buy them.

Last year we had a breakfast, this year we're having a Meal That Comes Before Lunch (HBGCBMTCBL).

Tickets are now on sale for the craft beer experience that is the HBGCBMTCBL. HBGCBMTCBL will be held on Saturday, March 27th at 10 AM in the Brugge Upstairs Space. You can only acquire these tickets at Brugge Brasserie, and they're $30.

Dining Options:

Steak and Eggs
The Scrambled Egg Crepe Experience

Beer (pours of all included):

Brugge Biere du Lardons*
Sun King Baconator Dopplebock*
Upland Lambic*
Hitachino White
Founder's Breakfast Stout
Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast
HeBrew ReJewvenator
and something from Chimay

*Limited Release or created specifically for this event.

All this for $30


Once again Ted has threatened my life if we can't sell all 50-ish tickets. And when they're gone, THEY'RE GONE.

Your help is appreciated.

* * * * *

This is not a legally binding document, menu may change. But you get the idea.

We asked Brugge and Sun King to make us bacon beers, and they did.

The Upland Lambics were from this year's special release that sold out in about 4 hours or so. We'll be pulling from a mixed case. So that's pretty cool. I think.

Hoosier Beer Geek's Springtime Tournament of Beer Champions

Hello, and welcome to Hoosier Beer Geek's Springtime Tournament of Beer Champions. The selection committee (blame Mike) has picked from a very strong field of Indiana beer champions, and as always, even the selections are up for debate.

In putting together the bracket, a few very strong contenders rose to the top. As a result, they were given high seeds. Many of the other contenders - while perhaps equally worthy - have not been regularly sampled by the selection committee. As a result, anything seeded below the top 8-12 (roughly) was given a random seeding.

In any case, we have no fear that the best beers will make their way through the bracket. Vote now, and stay tuned.

Thanks to Mike at STLHops.com, who doesn't mind me repeatedly stealing his ideas.

19 March 2010

Random Beer Roundup - The Golden Ticket Edition

Golden tickets for Dark Lord Day have come and gone. I hated the wait, but the thrill of the chase once it got started was pretty exciting. I hope you fared well if you were seeking tickets. Either way, we'll still see you at Dark Lord Day in April.

If there is something coming up that is not listed, we would love to hear about it. News, reviews, info, etc., to share for our next Random Beer Roundup can be submitted to hoosierbeergeek@gmail.com.

Hoosier Beer Calendar
Events are subject to change

Saturday, March 20th at the Ram Brewery, Northside: Bourbon Barrel Series Tapping (6 Bourbon Barrel aged beers)

Monday, March 22nd at Patrick's Kitchen and Drinks in Zionsville: "Indiana Brews!" beer tasting (More info below)

Wednesday, March 24th @ 6:30 p.m. at Siam Square in Fountain Square: Sun King Beer Dinner- SOLD OUT

Friday, March 26th at Upland's Banquet Hall - Infinite Wisdom Tripel release and weekend events (More information below).

Saturday, March 27th - Hoosier Beer Geek's Craft Beer Meal Before Lunch at Brugge Brasserie. Tickets on sale at Brugge.

Saturday, March 27th at the Ram Brewery, Downtown: Bourbon Barrel Series Tapping (6 Bourbon Barrel aged beers)

Tuesday, March 30th @ 6:30 p.m. at Binkley's Beer Dinner in Broad Ripple: Sun King Beer Dinner

Wednesday, March 31st @ 6:30 p.m. at The Chatham Tap: Sun King Extravaganza

April 24th at Three Floyds Brewery in Munster - Dark Lord Day

More events can be found on the Indiana Beer Calendar

What's Brewing

From Clayton at Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis:
Siam Square Beer Dinner - SOLD OUT
Wednesday, March 24th @ 6:30 p.m.
4 Courses of delicious Thai Cuisine, each paired with Sun King Beer
$35 per person

Binkley's Beer Dinner
Tuesday, March 30th @ 6:30 p.m.
5 Courses designed by Binkley's Chef, Aaron Cook, each paired with Sun King Beer
$40 per person
317-722-8888 for reservations and/or more details

Sun King Extravaganza at The Chatham Tap
Wednesday, March 31st @ 6:30 p.m.
12 Sun King Beers On Tap at Once
New Beers and Old Favorites from our Private Stash!

From Billy at Broad Ripple Brewpub in Indianapolis:
As part of our on going 20th year celebration leading up to our birthday bash on November 14th, we're inviting people to go to our website, Broadripplebrewpub.com, and vote for beers we've had on in the past that they would like to see back again. We'll be tapping the top six vote getters, one a month, starting in May.

From Charles at Upland Brewing Co. in Bloomington:
Help us celebrate the release of our Infinite Wisdom Tripel on Saturday, March 27th. It's going to be an awesome combination of art, music, and hand-crafted, limited release Belgian-style ale. Check out the details at uplandbeer.com. Here's a day-plan for you: Drop in at the brewery between 3 and 5 for a tour, have a sampler flight, grab some dinner at one of Bloomington's awesome restaurants, and then head over to Jake's for the show. Sound good? I think so.

As for this weekend, we're taking our show on the road for Muncie Gras!

We've got Maibock aging in the cellars. Don't expect to see this one just yet, but this Bavarian-style spring lager is getting closer...

From Dan at The Ram Brewery, locations Downtown and Northside:
Just letting you know RAM in Fishers will be tapping six barrel aged beers on Saturday March 20th from 12:00 to 4:30 including:

Woodford Reserve Barrel
Buttface Amber Ale
Total Disorder Porter
Scottish Ale
Irish Stout

Jack Daniels Barrel
Breakfast Stout

Jameson Irish Whiskey Barrel
Irish Red Ale

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrel
Cream Ale

If you cant make it to Fishers on the 20th they'll be throwing the same party at the Downtown RAM on Saturday March 27th from 12:00 to 4:30.

At the Bar

From Nick at Naptown Restaurant and Wine Bar in Fountain Square:
Right now we have Sunlight Cream Ale, Ring of Dingle-Irish Stout, and the Orange Blossom Special, on Draft from Sun King Brewery!
From Lauren at Scotty's Brewhouse (various locations):
coming soon to Scotty's Brewhouse Bloomington -Clipper City Loose Cannon Double IPA!
coming soon to Scotty's Brewhouse West Lafayette - People's Mr. Brown!
coming soon to Scotty's Lakehouse (Geist) - People's German Pilsner!
now available at Scotty's Brewhouse North Side - People's German Pilsner!
coming soon to Scotty's Brewhouse North Side - Left Hand JuJu Ginger Ale!
From Patrick at Patrick's Kitchen and Drinks in Zionsville:
Monday March 22 at 6:30 PM

Patrick's Kitchen and Drinks in Zionsville invites you to our annual "Indiana Brews!" beer tasting. The buffet dinner includes three appetizers, two entrees, and dessert, with 12 beers to sample, featuring Indiana microbreweries. $35 per person, includes tax and tip, advance reservations required. Don't miss this fun evening of great food and great beers! Call 733-8755 for more info.
Carry Out

From Corrie at Goose the Market in Indianapolis:
FYI, our KBS is already MIA. But ETA on our second case is ASAP...call the Goose to reserve your bottles!

Put your Left Hand in and shake it all about for their two new releases: Good Juju brewed with ginger and 400lb Monkey brewed with apes (no, not really).

Stone deserves their smug moral superiority for an ale as tasty as their Sublimely Self Righteous.

From Big Red Liquors in Bloomington:
Founders KBS - very limited supply
Buffalo Bill Orange Blossom Cream Ale
Bells Sparkling Ale
Hair of the Dog Ruth -
American Pale Ale
Boulevard Golden Bock
Rogue Kels Irish Ale

As always, join us for our free tastings every Thursday from 6-8pm at our downtown Bloomington location.

Follow us on Twitter @ BigBigRed
From Josh at United Package Liquors at County Line and Meridian (southside)
We would like to invite everyone to join us for our "Big, Bad Beer Tasting" Thursday, March 25th from 7:00-9:00. We will be sampling Founders KBS, Nemesis, Double Trouble, Stone Sublimely Self Rightous & a vintage 3 Liter bottle of Arrogant Bastard, Bell's Batch 9000 & others, big beers from Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Left Hand, Rogue, Three Floyds & more. Stop in or RSVP (317) 888-8280

New items in stock

Stone Sublimely Self Rightous
Founders KBS (very limited quantity)
Left Hand 400 pound Monkey IPA
From William at the Crown Liquors store downtown:
New this week at Crown Wine and Spirits- Ohio and Delaware - Downtown Indy

Founders KBS (very limited)
Goose Island Night Stalker
Stone Brewing Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

Friday's tasting (3pm-7pm) will feature beers from Stone and Goose Island!

Also Friday at our Carmel store (126th and Meridian), Matt Clapseattle of World Class Beverage will be pouring Avery's "The Holy Trinity" & 14-16 Anniversary Ales. Join us!
From Todd at Keg Liquors in Clarksville:
Founders - Kentucky Breakfast Stout (Michigan)
Jolly Pumpkin - Baudelaire IO (Michigan)
Jolly Pumpkin - Baudelaire Ale Absurd Rye Tripple (Michigan)
Stone - Sublimely Self Righteous Ale (California)
Scaldis - Blonde Tripel (Belgium)

From the Distributors:

From Greg at Cavalier Distribution:
Another week, another list of incredible new beers available from Cavalier Distributing: Founders KBS is offically out in the market this week in both cases & draft in select locations that support ALL Founders Beers throughout the year! KBS is one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year from any brewery and a treat for everyone. It's meant to be a big Thank You to all of the loyal Founders customer and supporters. Remember, if you don't drink Founders the rest of the year, please leave this beer to the worthy ones who do support the brewery. We only get what we get due to what we sell, so the people that get us all there should be rewarded. Also, DON'T HOARD KBS!!!! Beer should be shared, not hoarded....

Hofbrau Maibock is in stock for the year as well. This traditional German Maibock is always an annual highlight from Hofbrau and has the oldest pedigree of any Munich bock beer. Hofbrau Maibock is rich in flavor with and abv of 7.2%, perfect for the season. We have already sold half of our supply in the first week, so make sure to grab some and celebrate the season!

We received a very, very limited amount of Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura Dark Dawn Stout this week for the entire state of Indiana. This is a special release from JP, a Belgian style stout with immense flavor and depth of character! If you haven't tried the beer, make a point to grab one if you can find it. Just a few cases hit the state, so it'll go fast.

Mendocino Bock has arrived just in time for Spring! This is a well-balanced Bock with a good malt back-bone, medium body and smooth finish. This year's is very limited, so you won't be able to find it everywhere, but grab some when you do.

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale is in Indiana!! Yes, it's finally here to stay in both cases & kegs. We received our first load of Stone SSR this week, so it should be available in several places now going into the weekend. For those of you who loved the 11th Anniversary when it was fresh, well here you go!! SSR has been highly touted and anticipated here in the Hoosier state, and we finally have it. It will be an everyday beer from Stone that you should be able to get year around, but with the initial buying spree on it, you'll want to get some asap while the first wave is in stock. We sold the first 100 cases in less than 24 hours, so it's going fast!!

You will be able to find Stone Cali-Belgie on draft at select locations that support Stone Brewing Co. throughout the year as well. A very limited number of kegs have been released to the state for some of the best Stone customers out there, so look to your local Stone watering hole and ask for some today.


Spring Beer Tasting at Parti Pak Liquors on Stop 11 just east of Madison Rd., South Indy
This Friday afternoon/evening the 19th, 4:30 - 6:30.
Selection of seasonally appropriate beers from Cavalier Distributing.

"Big Bad Beer Tasting" @ United Package Liquors on County Line Rd. & S. Meridian, South Indy
Next Thursday 03/25, 7 - 9 pm.
Founders, Stone and other Cavalier Breweries.
Trip Opportunities
From Ron Smith:

Guided Beer Vacations to Belgium and Germany!

Now through the end of April (about the next 6 weeks) is the timeframe where I need to get firm commitments from people. You can read about my Belgium Trip here (http://www.beermba.com/belgium-beer-vacations.php) and my Germany Trip here (http://www.beermba.com/germany-beer-vacations.php). There is also some general information here (http://www.beermba.com/beer-vacations.php). These are great trips designed to maximize the enjoyment of beer lovers that want to see these parts of the world without all the stress, planning, etc. While being primarily beer-focused, we also break it up and visit many of the usual tourist sites as well. Thus, even non-beer lovers will really enjoy them, but the true beer lover will be in heaven on these trips.

From the Internets:
From Twitter:

partipakliquors KBS is at Parti Pak, along with Friday's tasting we are also doing a beer and wine tasting on Sat 4-7. Bourbon beers will be tasted.

KegLiquors Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree coming next week!

BeerBaron_Indy All the tanks are on their sides and skidded up. 3 truck loads are in Indy 2 more to go. We will be done with the move on Friday!

krystle_wcb just got in @hoppinfrog #HopDam, @bellsbrewery #Oarsman @darkhorse DoubleCrookedTree @harpoon_brewery #Summer - good day!!

PeoplesBrew Tasting room open soon! New website will debut soon too! Cheers! http://bit.ly/coNGpz

3floyds BLOG POST Dark Lord Day Tickets.: Thanks for everyone who purchased golden tickets, that was a wild ride. There wh... http://bit.ly/cV01tf

3floyds Darklord "Golden Tickets" are available at: http://bit.ly/bjMWaW Have a great St. Patrick's day!

PeoplesBrew Mr. Brown is SOLD OUT @ the brewery. Thank you St. Patty's Day patrons for buying growlers today! http://bit.ly/cl9Svu

uplandindy Enjoy a Banshee Scotch Ale while you're celebrating St. Pat's Day. (@ macnivens) http://4sq.com/5UQSGY

KegLiquors Founders KBS, Stone Sublimely Self Righteous, Jolly Pumpkin IO Saison & Ale Absurd, Scaldis Triple now in stock!

3floyds After work we'll put the pot of golden tickets at the end of your rainbow.

3floyds Sweet Cobra added to the #Darklord Day band lineup!

Patrickskitchen save the date! May 22 Boone Village Blacktop Barbecue! More info to come...

UplandBrewCo MaiFest at the B'ton Tap Room scheduled for May 1st! Mark you calendar!

UplandBrewCo Ard Ri is tapped at Upland Tasting Room in Indy!

barleyisland Hey FB fans! Are you following us on twitter yet? @barleyisland http://bit.ly/93Flme

17 March 2010

KOTBR #100: Many Thanks

It all started three and a half years ago, when my good friend Christopher posted this:

“Welcome, fellow beer geeks! I've decided to create this blog to advance the good taste of beer drinkers everywhere! Headquartered in the Circle City, we will strive to educate the masses on what good beer really is! Or, we can just say screw all the "Lite" piss drinkers, and keep the good stuff for ourselves!”

At the time, Hoosier Beer Geek was going to be a personal beer diary. One man’s journey into craft beer. But when I suggested that we could invite other bloggers out to drink craft beer, or as I put it, a gathering of the “Knights of the Beer Roundtable”, we had no idea the path we had laid out for ourselves.

Our first roundtable was at Chris’ house. It was Chris, his wife, and myself. Neither Chris nor myself were beer experts, so we stumbled our way through a review of Dark Horse’s Sapient Trip Ale. His wife Colleen, however, didn’t try very hard.

“It tastes good. It tastes like chicken. Chicken is good.”

She was promptly demoted from Knighthood.

We had put out feelers for others who would be interested in becoming knights. The first to answer the higher calling was an author of a favorite blog of ours, “11 a.m. Air Raid”, still one of the best names for an Indianapolis blog ever. His name was Jim. So Chris, Jim, and myself went to the Rathskeller, where we reviewed Spaten Optimator, which was one of Chris’s favorites.

At roundtable #3, held at MacNiven’s, Chris and Jim decided to add a mug rating to their beer reviews. So Three Floyds’ Robert the Bruce has the distinct honor of being the first beer that Hoosier Beer Geek has rated.

Roundtable #6, I introduce some very creative writing to Hoosier Beer Geek: a very long haiku poem in honor of HopSlam, the beer that turned me into a hop head.

It was around this time that the young website started to receive attention. We made it on Indianapolis Monthly’s list of Indianapolis blogs. One of the weekly papers included us on their list of blogs. We were on a podcast. In short, we were on a roll. A bunch of know-nothings being cited by others for our reviews and knowledge on craft beer in Indiana. We had them fooled.

We added Mike at roundtable #15: Bell’s Oberon. It wasn’t too long after this that Mike created our iconic Hoosier Beer Geek logo. A logo that would later lead to dealings with lawyers and a summons to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Gina was officially installed at roundtable #23: New Belgium Brewery. And then we had our first anniversary party. And were shocked to see who all came out. Nearly fifty people. We had no idea that we had that many readers. We gave Dogfish Head 90 minute a perfect 5 mug rating. We’ve received some grief from others since then, but I have no regrets. But it explains why we don’t normally rate beers during anniversary parties: we’re having such a good time, we’d probably rate everything 5 mugs.

We were having fun. We were enjoying the company. And then in January 2008, we lost our founder Chris. He didn’t die or anything. But life was pulling him in multiple directions and he had to let go of something. At that point, what little bit of “Chris’s personal beer blog” that was left was now gone.

From that point forward, Hoosier Beer Geek was its own thing. A Voltron-like creature made up of many, but acting as one, with the sole purpose of slaying macro-brews and defending craft brewing in Indiana.

Our often imitated but never duplicated Six Pack interviews have been around since July of 2007. The first Random Beer Roundup came around in January of 2008. And we helped the Brewers of Indiana Guild with their first Winterfest.

We’ve had other Knights come and go, including Kelly and Matt #1. But we added four more to our group over the summer of 2008: Chris (formerly New Chris), Matt (formerly Matt #2), Rod (formerly, and currently, the weird bearded guy), and Jess (formerly, and currently, the gal with the weird bearded guy).

So now there are eight. And anymore, I see it less as eight individuals making up one being as it is one being controlling eight lives. Hoosier Beer Geek is like an octopus with hand puppets.

I find it amazing to think that three and a half years later, we’ve had 100 roundtables. 100 opportunities to hang out with friends. 100 opportunities to drink different beers. 100 opportunities to share with everyone else.

It has been an incredibly fun ride that shows no signs of stopping. And I’m looking forward to seeing what will change during the next century of roundtables. I want to thank everybody who has ever read our website, attended our events, or volunteered at a festival. I want to thank everybody who has invited us into their home, into their work, into their bars, into their breweries, to share their beer and their stories. And I want to thank my fellow Knights, active and retired, for their hard work and their friendship. You have no idea how much all of this means to me.

So…what are we drinking at roundtable #101?

A little less than 10 years ago I jumped in a car with a buddy and picked out a southside apartment in Indianapolis, a city I knew absolutely nothing about. A month or so later my girlfriend joined me. And for something like six years after that, we spent weekends either driving back and forth between St. Louis and Indy to hang out with old friends, or in the aisles at Target. That was our social life.

Somewhere in that six year window I started blogging, found Jim's blog, and somehow we struck up some sort of regular online conversation. Eventually he invited me out to join him and a couple other blog people to drink some beer. I was apprehensive, but Jim had turned me onto Brugge Brasserie. He seemed trustworthy enough.

A little bit nervous, I decided to join he and his friends. Surprisingly enough, Jim looked nothing like Rafa Benitez.

A couple weeks later, I introduced myself to a small but growing audience:
Somewhere between the sort of reviews that the other folks write and "Man, I was so trashed last night" lies a sweet spot, where those of us who don't know hops from barley live. I'm going to attempt to write from that place, because I've really got no business writing about beer anyway.
Three years later I was interviewed by the Indianapolis Star about Super Bowl food and beer pairing.

A conversation that always sticks with me is one I had with Aaron Renn (otherwise known at The Urbanophile). Over a pint at BW3's downtown, he talked about the differences between Chicago and Indianapolis.

"You couldn't do what you guys are doing in Chicago," he said. "The culture is already created. You can live in Chicago and enjoy the cultural opportunities that someone else created, and there's nothing wrong with that. But in Indianapolis you can create the culture."

I don't know if we can create the culture, but we can shine a light on it. And maybe it's a naive thing to think you can enrich someone's life just by drinking and writing about beer. But I know that once upon a time I was on the outside looking in, and it sure as hell worked for me.

Thanks for the help along the way.

I wish I could express how much it means to me to be in this group. It wasn't supposed to be that way in the beginning, but the first sip of Oaken Barrel's Snake Pit Porter and conversation about 80's movies with Chris, Jason, and Mike and I was hooked. I couldn't (and still can't) get enough. I've learned so much about beer in the past three years, and I feel that for every new bit of information there are a hundred new things just on the horizon. I can't wait to spend the next hundred roundtables with the Knights learning about all of them.

Thanks to everyone who made these three+ years possible. Thanks to everyone who was kind, offered guidance, support, and the occasional beer, of course. Thanks to everyone who participates in and reads the Roundups on Fridays. Thanks for reading our content and laughing along with us.

Thanks to Colleen, Dani, Annie, Sarah, and Claire for not thinking we are nuts. At least not too often.

Digging up 11 a.m. Air Raid? Wow, I didn’t think we were on an archeological expedition, but thanks for resurrecting one of my many dead blogs. Oh, and five dollars to the first person who can tell me who Rafa Benitez is without consulting Google or Wikipedia.

Okay, I have no way of really telling if you Googled Rafa Benitez. But what I can tell is that these 3 ½ years of membership in the Knights of the Beer Roundtable have been a truly rewarding experience for two reasons. First, I know a lot more about craft beer than I used to. On that summer night in 2006 at the Rathskeller, when I first met up with Chris and Jason, I wasn’t conversant in beer topics like styles, hop varieties, IBUs, original gravity, firkins, hand-pulls, mouthfeel, etc. But I knew that I liked flavorful beer and enjoyed conversation with like-minded people. I was confident that my affinity for those things might lead somewhere interesting, valuable, and fun. And that it did.

Second, I’ve forged some wonderful friendships with all of the past and present KOTBR. These are friendships that I didn’t anticipate, but they are perhaps the biggest and best reward that’s come out of being part of Hoosier Beer Geek. To be sure, Jason likes Grover Washington Jr.’s music a little too much for my taste, and he thinks that The Breakfast Club is a chick flick, but I forgive him for both of those transgressions. And while Rod tends to frighten small children when we’re out at roundtables (just look at him in the background of this picture and you’ll understand why), we still like having him around. Thank you, my fellow Knights, for your treasured camaraderie. You bring this old man much laughter and joy.

So I suppose that one of us should say something about Roundtable 100, eh? Well, let’s just say that our bus trip to New Albany was a fantastic experience. And so, we come to the Oscar part of our program—

We had several benefactors for the bus trip down and back, and we owe them our thanks. First, a thank you goes to Clay Robinson and his comrades at Sun King, who supplied us with beverages to whet our appetites for the beer to come in New Albany. Second, thanks to the fine gentlemen from A Taste of Philly, who supplied us with delicious Philadelphia-style pretzels (lightly salted, in chains of three; in other words, pretzels done up the proper way). Third, thanks to auteur extraordinaire Simon Pegg, who provided us with the entertainment as we watched Shaun of the Dead on the way to New Albany and Hot Fuzz on the way back to Indy. And finally, a thanks to our bus driver Dale, who was a great sport through the whole trip.

For our New Albanian Brewing Company experience proper, we’d like to give a heart-felt thanks to Roger Baylor and the rest of the NABC crew, who treated us like kings and queens, providing us with delectable cuisine and NABC’s fine house brews at the Bank Street Brewhouse and high gravity home runs at the Public House (I suggest that you order the 2007 BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien while it’s still on tap). Roger and Co., your beers never disappoint! We also extend a very special thanks to our server at the Public House, Sarah, who had a heavy burden to carry with 50+ beer geeks to take care of, but she did it with aplomb.

Many, many thanks to my wife, Annie, for allowing and encouraging me to indulge in this little beer hobby of mine. While she may not have a love for craft beer to the extent that I do, she certainly understands my need to explore that world. Babe, I cannot thank you enough.

Thanks to all of you fellow beer geeks who accompanied us on this trip. We hope that you found the trip worthwhile and pleasing to your palates, and we hope that we can do similar events in the future.

Lastly, thanks to our readers, who help keep this HBG boat afloat. Without you, we'd be screaming our love for craft beer into the void.

By the way, in case you were wondering, Rafa Benitez is the current manager of Liverpool FC (but probably not after this current English Premier League season given Liverpool’s current form).

I've been there since almost beginning following Hoosier Beer Geek, and I attended many events before I was asked to in HBG. All I knew was that I loved great beer, and I am very honored to have been asked to be in such a great group of like minded beer people. I really didn't think I would forge such great friendships with the other knights as I have, but once again the power of beer has brought us all together. It has been exciting watching more and more people come to craft beer events, and I am ecstatic over the success of Indiana brewers. The craft beer community has no where to go but up in Indiana, and watching craft beer grow with this group of people is something I very much look forward too.

I just want to say a huge thank you to the craft beer community in Indiana. They have been more than generous to us as a group, and it feels like everyone is on the same page to get more people into great beer.

Thank you to Clay Robinson and Sun King for the beer on our trip to New Albany, a big thank you to Roger Baylor for letting us come to Bank Street (get there if you haven't) and for taking great care of us at the Public House.

Readers of this blog, volunteers, and people who support craft beer in Indiana a huge THANK YOU! I hope to keep meeting more and more people that want more from their beer, and hopefully you will come and share a beer with us when you have the chance before Roundtable 200.

I don't even know why I'm here. My only blogging experience is writing for Jess and I's wedding blog, that just happened to include trips to GABF, articles on brewer's dinners and other miscellaneous beer happenings and news. In retrospect, I'm surprised that my Grandma kept reading it. I'm convinced that by attending the Neal Brown and Ted Miller Craft Beer and Food Symposium I defaulted my way into the group. Outside of being one of the few regular commenters on the blog, I think that was my first experience with the Hoosier Beer Geeks. By the way, you guys were totally anti-social. Luckily Chris and his wife Claire sat at our table and were very friendly. Surprise, Chris is a Hoosier Beer Geek now too! I like to tell myself that we're all slightly less anti-social today. Oh, and do I have to return my 2008 World Class beer calendar I won in the comments since now I'm a part of the group and technically ineligible to win our prizes?

I must say that I'm glad I'm here. I've been fascinated by craft beer ever since I turned 21, and I feel like I learn more every year. From homebrewing to food pairings, I strive to educate myself on every possible aspect of beer and Hoosier Beer Geek gives me the privilege of sharing that education with the rest of the internet. Plus the opportunity to hang out with a lot of brewers. I think the mix of personalities creates an incredibly dynamic group, and our diverse tastes prevent that 90 minute fiasco from every happening again; mostly in part to Jason hating sour beers. We have one of the greatest collection of readers I have ever seen and every time we meet up at events I am reminded of that. Beer really does bring awesome people together.

Now that we've hit 100 roundtables, I look back at the way the blog has evolved over the years and I don't think it's too arrogant to say that we've really created something unique. In a sea of beer blogs, we've struck some kind of weird balance between casual craft drinkers and geeked out beer nerds. It seems that we provide a little bit of something for everyone, whether you like long-winded reviews, weekly updates on the latest beer happenings in Indiana, or simply a nice bad haiku. I'm proud to say I'm a part of the greatest crap blog about beer I've ever read.

I think my experience is similar to Rodney's in that we were writing our wedding blog that somehow started being about homebrewing and all the beer dinners we were going to and then one day we got this e-mail from Mike asking us to be a part of that crap blog we commented on about beer.

Growing up my dad always had a keg of Hudy Delite (we're from Cincinnati) or Miller Lite on tap so it wasn't always about craft beer for me. As my tastes have changed though, I've gone from drinking Brigade Light from a can (and thinking a keg of Honey Brown was the "good stuff") in college to falling in love with Rauchbier at the source in Bamberg (Germany). I'm glad I've had this experience to join up with like minded individuals and try many more beers than what I would have had access to on my own.

Thanks to all the other beer geeks for broadening my horizons; to all of their significant others for putting up with all of our nights out and to all of our readers for putting up with this crap blog over the last couple of years.

My path to writing for Hoosier Beer Geek began at a Deano's Vino party. Hoosier Beer Geek was one of my favorite blogs and I was a frequent early commenter, so when they announced they were having a public party, I had to attend. At one point I finally got the courage to speak to Jason, whose Circle and Squares blog was also a must-stop for me. He asked what my posting name was and if I had my own blog. Sheepishly, I said no, as if that made me less of a geek than the rest. It didn't really matter -- Jason was just being conversational. But a seed had been planted. Why didn't I have a blog? If I started one, what the hell would I write about? I liked beer....I liked following construction projects....and I liked electronics....DIG-B was born.

I wrote about lots of stuff, almost daily for a while, and most posts were pictures of construction projects or about beers on tap at bars that I went to far too often. Somehow, people were actually interested in reading that combination. Eventually, Hoosier Beer Geek decided it was time to pull a Microsoft and kill off all the local beer blog competition by absorbing all the competition. For some reason, they were even interested in a blog that was only one-third-ish about beer. How monopolistic!

Thanks to my fellow Knights for the good times and their friendship. It's a funny thing that such a personal experience as logging thoughts on the web can produce such meaningful relationships with other people. Another strange power of beer.

Finally, thanks to everybody who puts up with our crazy, frequently long-winded posts. In marking this occasion, you'll have to forgive us this particularly long one! But how's about this: if you actually make it to this sentence, let us know in the comments if you have any favorite memories of past HBG events or posts and we'll give away a prize to one lucky commenter.