01 April 2018

Resurrection! Or Welcome to Zombie HBG

Jason writes:
When Hoosier Beer Geek was founded 12 years ago, it was about comradery around a common interest: good beer. What we found was almost a decade of enjoyable shenanigans. When we stopped writing, it was at a time where practically everybody was transitioning, either at work or with personal life. The beer community was transitioning too. Breweries were popping up like dandelions. So were other beer-themed media outlets. And it was difficult for all of us to keep HBG going.

Well, three years after we called it quits, we decided to get the band back together. We are in places where we want to have fun together again and share the fun with you. We thought it appropriate to announce the resurrection of HBG on Easter Sunday. No, we have not become religious fanatics. Feel free to refer to use as Zombie HBG.

Folks, we are undead!

We decided to kick it off by sharing what we would resurrect from the bygone HBG era. And no, I am not suggesting we give the Dr. Frankenstein treatment to our old buddy Chris (rest in peace; also, did we ever find his car?). But I think Mr. Maples would agree that resurrecting Deano’s Vino would have to be top on our list.

When you look at our archived history, Deano’s was practically our clubhouse. It was a quaint, quirky little joint that had a cast of characters like Dean and Nick, with an occasional soundtrack provided by DJ Brian Jones. It was the site of our first anniversary party. We hosted a New Year’s Eve party. They let us be fools and have fun and figure out who we are. It would be great to get back there.

Mike writes:
The folks behind Hoosier Beer Geek always had great ideas, but maybe our best idea was Tailgate for Nothing, a event series inspired by the idea that we could get away with drinking in public if we just acted like we were tailgating.

TFNs were about sharing beer, but they were also about coming up with culinary concoctions and showing them off in front of a collection of strangers (who eventually became friends).

Who could forget TFN1's cod dog experiment? Take cod, make it a hot dog-like shape, fry it, and... ok, it's just a cod sandwich.

TFN2 was titled DIPA Dischord, and we forced a full panel of folks to work through 15+ double IPAs to find the grand champion. I'm sure Three Floyd's won. None of them were cloudy.

TFN3: Tricks and Treats was dedicated to Halloween and hookers, and may have been the first time we had a freeloader show up (but no hookers, oddly enough).

TFN4... I could do this a while, we did a lot of these.

One of the things that I think we can be proud of is that TFN was a great way to meet the future of beer in Indianapolis. TFN3 was attended by Josh Hambright (Central State) and Andrew Castner (Mashcraft) before either of them owned a brewery. TFN4 was attended by Flix Head Brewer Chris Knott. TFN5 was our introduction to a group of homebrewers calling themselves Balls Brewery; You may now know them as the owners of Deviate Brewing. TFN7's title was Weiner Time. We got our introduction to the folks who own Black Acre at a tailgate. We met Ray from an upstart called Indiana City at tailgate. We met Jon Rangel from La Margarita at a tailgate.

And we had beer. Beer from everywhere, and not in the stuffy 1oz bottle-share kind of way, but in a comfortable here-have-some-food and a conversation kind of way.

We made friends, we drank and ate well, we helped the culture along a tiny bit... and we did it at a free event, without any major headaches.

Why'd we ever stop?

Matt writes:
Take me home, United Road
To the place, I belong
To Old Trafford, to see United
Take me home, United Road

As I get older I become more and more aware of how quickly time passes. It's a damn short movie, How'd we ever get here? The great James McMurtry said that. Looking back I can't believe how long we wrote Hoosier Beer Geek. I can't believe how many friends we all made, and how many of those still persist to this day. I can't believe all of the incredible experiences we had, beers we drank, festivals we participated in, laughs we had, and trips we took. I can't believe how long HBG has been dead. Those memories are tied to specific moments in my head and moments in time. They were mostly happy times and times that still mean a great deal to me. Beer was the linchpin, but it was what was happening between all the pints that really means the most to me now. I spent nearly a decade drinking pretty damn well with many of the people that are hopefully reading this, but I've forgotten the individual beers for the most part and am now left with the moments and the memories. I can thank beer for that.

That takes me to a specific moment in time and where I was after I had recently graduated from college and moved to Indianapolis. Just three months before this I spent a decent amount of time in England. After a trip to Old Trafford (the Theater of Dreams where Manchester United plays) I became hooked on the English Premier League and my allegiance to Manchester United had been solidified.

How are these interconnected? Beer, Manchester United, and good memories? A place at 51st and College Avenue that I think about more than I care to admit. I'm talking about Rob N' Jay's Chippy. I can't remember how I heard of it or why I first went into this shop. I imagine it was a Union Jack that peaked my interest. I can still remember the interior vividly. It wasn't the biggest place, but it was very comfortable and I remember the red and white tables. One of the owners is from Manchester and the decor and memorabilia had a very heavy and distinctive Manchester bend to it. I was pretty happy about that. I had found my first place in Indianapolis that I could claim was "mine" so to speak. Three or four TVs were playing football and I ordered fish and chips with a pint of beer. I hadn't even had a bite yet and I knew I was at a place I was going be coming to again and again. At the time in Indianapolis this was really the only place showing EPL or other European football games on a regular basis. We have multiple places now in Indianapolis, but this was it back in 2004. This place was important to me at a very important time. I couldn't get enough of the people there, the food, the football, and the beer. It was my home away from home, and a piece of Indianapolis that endeared me to the city. I thought for sure I was going to work in Indianapolis for just a year or two before bolting to a bigger city after graduation. Along the way I came to love the city of Indianapolis, the people in it, and the experiences I was having here. The very first place that did that for me was Rob N' Jay's Chippy. It may sound silly to wax poetically about a fish shop (seriously the best fish and chips in the city and wasn't even close at the time), but this was so much more than that. It was a relevant experience and one that I am forever thankful for to the folks behind the operation. I'd give about anything for some Shepherd's pie and a pint of Young's Double Chocolate Stout while watching Manchester United again. I think I just want to experience that feeling and that moment again. It's a damn short movie, How'd we ever get here?

Jim writes:
Back in the day, Indianapolis beer-bar owners loved the letter z. There was Hot Shotz on East 96th Street, a place that literally got *too* hot when it suffered a business-ending fire.

Then there was BadaBoomz. BadaBoomz was built on the ashes of downtown Indianapolis's first BW3, nestled on Maryland St. across from the Wild Beaver Saloon. The food wasn't anything special, nor was the space. The draft lines were sometimes not cleaned promptly. The beer was sometimes a little, uh, aged, and not in a good way. The owner was—er, nevermind.

But if you were looking for one of the widest selections of craft beer in Indianapolis in the mid-to-late Aughts, you went to BadaBoomz. Bell's stellar lineup on tap? Check. A place to regularly get Gumballhead and other 3 Floyds classics when they were hard to find elsewhere? Check. Founders beers galore? Check. Rare European beers, especially Belgians? Check. Unpretentious patrons? Check.

On this Easter Sunday/April Fools Day, a day about resurrections and hi-jinx, the ghost of BadaBoomz looms.

Or would that be "loomz"?

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