19 April 2010

Beer Diary #19 - Mogger's, Terre Haute, IN

Frequent trips to St. Louis mean that I've passed through Terre Haute more times than I care to count. That's not meant as a slight to Terre Haute, more so the three and a half hour drive it takes to reach my hometown in southern Illinois.

I know there are a lot of STL transplants in Indy - the cars with leftover Missouri plates, the southern Illinois high school license plate frames, the SLU, SIUE, or WASH U stickers, the St. Louis dealership badges on the back of your cars - and I want to say "I feel your pain." We share the hell that is western Indiana and Central/Southern Illinois interstate 70. We are brothers and sisters. I'm the brother that seemingly drives twice as fast as you do, so get the hell out of the way.

Brother and sisters, a recent discovery is bound to help alleviate your torture. Just under three miles from Interstate 70 Exit 7 (Terre Haute) lies M. Mogger's Restaurant and Pub (908 Poplar Street, Terre Haute, IN‎ - (812) 234-9202‎, smoking allowed), an oasis for those of us who have the Indy/STL path burned into our brains.

M. Mogger's lies in an area of Terre Haute that once contained the gigantic Terre Haute Brewing Co. complex. As the website says:
Matthias Mogger, the restaurant's namesake, was a German immigrant and one of the pioneers of early brewing.. His brewery, M. Mogger's Brewery, was housed in the building from 1848-1868. The Bleemel Building became part of the Terre Haute Brewing Company in 1989. By 1893, it was the 7th largest brewery in the country. The brewery closed for good in 1958.
Lucky for us, the tradition of beer lives on. Mogger's features 9 taps, with a variety of local Indiana beer and nationwide selections sure to suit your palate. In addition, the restaraunt/bar stocks over 125 bottles, with a selection that shames anywhere in Indianapolis short of maybe Shallos, MacNiven's, or the Beer Sellar.

Rumor has it that Mogger's is also looking back into the business of brewing their own. The building has an on-again off-again history with brewing equipment, and it appears that new equipment is on the agenda for the near future.

In the meantime, I settle in for an early Friday pint or two (I'm just a passenger this time) before revisiting the road back home.

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale (from tap, $6.50) - I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of Stone. It's not that I actively dislike the beer, more that I always seem to find something I like a little more. With Sublimely Self-Righteous, that may change.

Sublimely Self-Righteous is Stone's newest available beer in Indiana, a former special release that now has become a part of their regular lineup. An 8.7% ABV American Strong Ale, the thing that I found most noticeable was how mild and agreeable the beer was. I'll admit that without the aid of a bottle I had no idea the beer packed that much of a wallop.

The beer is a deep black color, leading me to believe it was a stout-like nose I could expect. But instead I got a full nose of hops - not so much the big west coast nose I'd expect for a California brewery - more so a mild and agreeable mix. The beer reminded me most of a milder agreeable IPA, and quickly became my favorite of the extensive Stone lineup.

Foret Saison (bottle, $12.00) - This beer was a revisit, as I had it as a warm-up at the Nogne O beer dinner. A conversation with the folks from Cavalier Distributing leads me to believe that this beer uses the same recipe that Brasserie Dupont uses with Saison Dupont, the only difference being that this variety used all organic ingredients.

Foret is a murky granny smith apple colored beer, with a nose that echoes its color. Apple also comes through strongly in the front and finish, with an agreeable peppery bite that really agreed with me. Foret would make for an excellent food pairing beer, but even alone its a highly agreeable version of the saison style.

My palate pleased, we settled up and set sail for Illinois. This wouldn't be our only stop at Mogger's for the weekend - we revisited Sunday on the way back to Indy.


  1. I went to Moggers about a decade ago and they were talking about brewing their own then. Nice review. If we ever get the statewide smoking ban I'll stop in when I pass through TH on the way to my hometown.

  2. My understanding is that they have brewed their own on and off - perhaps using some of the equipment that was purchased by Brugge when they bought their Terre Haute brewery - but I know they're pricing equipment now.

    We'll see what happens - getting a brewery off the ground isn't as easy as it looks.

  3. Thanks fro an awesome review Mike! Glad you guys enjoyed yourselves so much. It was a pleasure having you in.

    On a side note, how would the Knights like to come down and do a beer tasting for us sometime? You guys can pick the menu and all that jazz, I'll buy your dinner in return?

  4. Not against the idea, we'll talk about it at Dark Lord Day?