31 October 2011

I'm not from here: Beer from Outside Indiana

You might question the relevance of writing about beer from outside Indiana on "A Beer Blog for Indiana, from Indianapolis". Nevertheless, we pick up a lot of beer from other states on our travels here and there, and we know that many of our readers do the same. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for if you find yourself in a liquor store outside of Indiana's state lines. The following beers were acquired in St. Louis, Missouri.

If I were to name the brewer who had the firmest grip on my wallet, it would be Danish tryllekunstner Mikkel Bjergsø, whose beers often hit the sweet spot between interesting flavor, attention grabbing (though not particularly impressive) bottle art, and affordability (in that they're expensive but never seem outrageously so).

While is sometimes seems to me that Gina buys unusual beer indiscriminately*; I have to be prodded or convinced. Even though his record is not perfect, Mikkeller has me convinced.

We've drank Mikkeller Black Hole before. It seems like we've drank it quite a bit of it here and there*. As a result, two new varieties of the beer practically jumped off the liquor store shelves and into my cart.

Mikkeller Black Hole: Bourbon Barrel Aged - A "that's gonna be rich" nose jumps out of the glass, with a strong vanilla extract scent taking center stage. The weird thing about this beer is that it moved right past my palate to on first sip, slipsliding through my tastebuds and breaking like a wave on the back of the tongue. The beer is unbelievably smooth - I had to almost swirl it around my mouth to pull the bigger flavors out.

When paired with milano cookies, the dark chocolate elements of the cookie draw the alcohol flavor out. Big and smooth don't often go together, but this beer is exactly that. Tasty in a weird way. Definitely different than the regular version of Black Hole.

Mikkeller Black Hole: Cognac Barrel Aged- This one was definitely different. A bigger nose with sandlewood/cedar elements, and hints of dark fruit. The beer had the same smoothness as its Bourbon aged brother, but bit a little earlier, with notes of cocoa powder and baking chocolate also coming though. A richer, bigger, but not markedly different beer, which might Be surprising considering the difference in liquors.

In any case, another winner from Mikkeller.

*Gina would say that both of these statements are untrue.


  1. Maples would be proud to see that the Hops for Pops tasting glass keeps making an appearance.

  2. On the topic of not from here, can you guys give us any insider knowledge of why some great beers/breweries are not being distributed to IN anymore? The one that the most people will notice is Dogfish head and I know that was the bbreweries decision, but some others have been quietly slipping away. (MI's Jolly Pumpkin hurts me the most) And here I thought that IN was undergoing a craft beer surge. What gives?

  3. Martin,

    Many places simply can't keep up with distribution in the case of Avery.

    A great case is Oskar Blues will be up 91% next year and they are not expanding their footprint. Things are booming in the beer business right now and places need to be loyal to their home markets.

    Jolly Pumpkin is a more delicate subject. They were distributed through shelton bros and then cavalier here in Indiana. Beer from Jolly Pumpkin was shipped somewhere before being sent to Indiana. For whatever reasons Cavalier and Shelton Bros ended their relationship but word on the street is that a new distribution company has picked them up and you can now find shelton bros beer in Southern Indiana and hopefully soon Indianapolis

  4. Cheers to Shelton Brothers making a return to Indy!

  5. I've got a line out to that new distributor, hopefully we'll have a little more news soon.