25 March 2013
KOTBR #150 | Celebrating a Century and a Half of Roundtables at Black Acre Brewing, Irvington
I am an unapologetic home-team supporter. Through all the faults, and there are many, I love Indiana and Indianapolis and Irvington. So when Black Acre opened, it came as a surprise to no one that I fell in love with my local brewery. Which is why I was excited to have some of the other Knights visit and review two of their beers. Valve (a California Common) and Anniversary Ale (a Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Scotch Ale) are probably on opposite ends of the beer spectrum, but I do not believe anybody would be disappointed. Obviously, I will let me fellow Knights of the Beer Roundtable speak for themselves. However, as the Beer Geek Bard of Irvington, I will leave you with this sonnet:
Great taste! The beer: where does Black Acre make?
They are out east, in the ‘hood of Irvington.
Arise, fair geeks, and drink of them soon,
Whose taps are flowing and provide relief.
That those beers art far more fair is key:
Valve that they made is not monotonous;
But common of California or steam
And none but fools do swear it off.
Call me, maybe? Cuz it I could drink of.
O, that malt is sweet for sure!
It’s hopped yet it is balanced, but not flat.
Drink many courses? Then Valve is it.
To be bold, there is another I speak:
A barrel aged brew falls down from heaven,
Anniversary Ale; cannot beat this prize
Of scotch ale and rye whiskey burn.
The ale tis sweet and will go to your head.
Near ten per hundred parts booze would raise most bars.
Flavors of caramel, in barrels they are leaven.
Wood holding rye provides a slight bite
Though the booze was not noticed on this night.
See, how I hold another in my hand!
O, I ordered more than I had planned,
Lucky I live down the street!
I have journeyed to Black Acre two times - both with the unofficial President of Irvington, Jason. Could there be a better guide to this beautiful, you-feel-at-home-right-away, I-want-to-remodel-my-home-to-look-like-this space? I think not.
I think the aesthetics of Black Arcre are incredible. The multi-wood paneled walls, the coconut pineapple hand lotion in the bathroom (YES!), and that beautiful bar...finally getting the the point. They make damn good beer.
We decided to roundtable two, although we drank many more. But I think it's also worth mentioning, that Black Acre has a fantastic guest draft list. And, if you're a wine fan, Thursdays are half-price bottle nights. BONUS!
Anniversary Ale: described as "a sweet and malty scotch ale aged for months in a rye whiskey barrel." This beer was everything it promised to be and more. The nose was terribly smooth with a nice hint of scotch. It came it at 9.9%, but you would never know it. Danger, danger! It had a great sweet finish, and I wanted more. I ordered one, after drinking half of my neighbors.
Valve California Common: described as an "amber colored lager with an upfront malt sweetness balanced by the earthy bitterness of Northern Brewer hops." Seriously, who doesn't like a solid Common? And this thing was right on. It was clean, mild, and the bitterness was balanced well. At 6.1%, some would definitely question it as a sessionable beer, but I sure found it to be sessionable. Thank you sir, I'll have another.
The first beer I tried was the Common,
but the common was anything but.
It was hoppy and malty, balanced and smooth,
this brewer is NOT in a rut.
It was golden and pure in its color
I sipped and I sipped some more.
But at 5.2, and 41 IBUs
I did not end up on the floor.
Anniversary Ale was up next,
Barrel aged and brewed to perfection.
It danced on my tongue, a joy...a delight!
I'll remember this beer with affection.
Two things to note, when you visit:
The soap in the bathroom's DEVINE.
...and if you sit next to Jason, he'll probably spill
you'll smell like you soaked in beer brine.
Jason says (again)...
Oops. Sorry about that Meg. But admit it, your hubby thought you smelled awesome when you returned home...