29 January 2010

Scenes from a Festival Buildup - Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest 2010

Random Beer Roundup - The Week of Winterfest Edition

If you've been following the past few weeks, you'll see that we've been getting ready for Winterfest on Saturday. We're super-excited to try beer from Tyranena, 75th Street, and Rust Belt and we hope that they will become regular fixtures in the Indiana market. I am also anticipating this event's Replicale (a coffee-oatmeal beer) quite a bit (big surprise if you know me, I know!).

I hope you have your tickets already (no online tickets are left, but there may still be some at any of the locations listed here. We hope you'll say hello if you are there.

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, January 30th at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis: 2010 Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest

Wednesday, February 3rd at George's Neighborhood Grill in Indianapolis: Upland Beer Dinner (details below)

Tuesday, February 9th at Upland Tasting Room - Girls Pint Out Event featuring Upland beer

Friday, February 26th at New Albanian Public House in New Albany: Gravity Head begins!

Saturday, March 6th: KOTBR100 Bus Trip to New Albany - Tickets are available NOW!

March, Dates TBA - Craft Beer Breakfast

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

What's Brewing

From Jerry at Rock Bottom Brewery - Downtown Indianapolis:
On tap now is “The Hammer”, a Baltic Porter weighing in at 8.7%abv, and Hop Bomb is back and better than ever! Can’t wait for Winterfest!!

From Greg at Lafayette Brewing Co. in Lafayette:
The crew at Lafayette Brewing is eagerly anticipating this weekend's Winterfest. Look for our booth OUTSIDE on the patio along with the cask-conditioned beers and The Malt Shoppe station by WCB. We'll be serving a trio of cask-conditioned beers along with one super-secret draft offering: Double Dry Hopped Tippecanoe Common Ale; Killer Beans Oatmeal Stout; Dry Hopped Big Boris Barleywine and Pucker Brown, a Belgian-style sour brown ale. Don't worry, we'll also be bringing along a fire pit for those who can't handle the chill. But hey, it's a winter beer festival after all!

On tap this weekend at LBC: Ouiatenon Wit; Prophet's Rock Pale Ale; East Side Bitter; Pipers' Pride Scottish Ale; Tippecanoe Common Ale; Eighty-Five; Black Angus Oatmeal Stout; Snow Daze IPA; Weeping Hog IPA and the last bit of our Big Boris Barleywine. We'll also be featuring a cask of Double Dry Hopped Tippecanoe Common Ale for Firkin Thursday on 1/28.

From Cari and Charles at Upland Brewing Co. in Indianapolis/Bloomington:

Wednesday, February 3
George's Neighborhood Grill
6935 Lake Plaza Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46220-4073
(317) 577-1600

Stuffed Mushrooms, paired with Preservation Pilsner
Mixed Greens, paired with Wheat Ale
Chicken and Beef Kabobs, paired with Dragonfly India Pale Ale
Baby Back Ribs, paired with Rad Red Amber Ale
Tiramisu, paired with Bad Elmer's Porter

Helios Pale Ale will be on draft.

Cost is $39. If you are interested in either event, please contact the host restaurants to order your tickets.

From Andrew at Oaken Barrel Brewing Co. in Greenwood:
Two new beers the same week! Big Hitter Barleywine, our Pro-Am collaboration with Meca brewers Keith Baute and John Showalter was tapped Monday. In addition, our ever-popular Nitro Stout will be on tap on Friday, 1/29. Don't miss!

Be sure to stop by our table at the Winterfest on Saturday. We will have our award-winning Oatmeal Stout as well as a Java Porter that is gaining rave reviews. See you there...

From Tamre at Girls Pint Out:
Our first event will be at the Upland Tasting Room. The event is a tasting and learning session for women interested in craft beer lead by women who know craft beer.

When: February 9th 7-8pm
Where: Upland Tasting Room 4842 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN
Cost: $10 covers the cost of the beer flight and snacks

Visit our blog http://girlspintout.wordpress.com/ and twitter @girlspintout for more details and upcoming events!

28 January 2010

45 Seats, 2 Locations, 1 Brewery, 1 Bus: KOTBR #100 with New Albanian Brewing Company

We're kind of excited about this one.

To celebrate Hoosier Beer Geek's 100th Beer Roundtable, we are inviting 45 craft beer fans who will pay $40 to join the Knights of the Beer Roundtable as we take a bus trip from Indianapolis to New Albany to eat food and drink beer. We leave from the Sun King Brewery at 135 N. College, Indianapolis at noon on Saturday, March 6, 2010.

We will travel first to New Albanian Brewing Co.'s Bank Street Brewhouse where we will receive a tour and be treated to a lunch of frites and one of the following lunch choices prepared by Chef Josh and his team:
-Croque Madame: Black Forest Ham, Proscuitto, Emmentaler Cheese and Mornay Sauce on Blue Dog Bakery Bread, Topped with a Sunny Side Egg

-15b Porter Beef Stew w/ Whipped Potatoes and Roasted Vegetables

-Steak Frites: Flat-Iron Steak, Truffle Fries, Mesclun, Lemon, Capers

-Lentils En Croute Slow Cooked French Lentils, Winter Vegetables, Puff Pastry, Creme Fraiche

-Chorizo Hash: Fiedler Farms Chorizo, Russet Potatoes, Pickled Red Onion, Creme Frache, Fried Egg

-Asian Style Chicken Wings: Twelve Spicy Wings Served With Bosc Pear and Creme Fraiche

-Certified Angus Burger: 10 Ounce Burger with White Cheddar, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Pomme Frites
After Bank Street, we will travel to New Albanian's Public House & Pizzeria (10th worldwide on Ratebeer.com's Best Beer Bars 2010) on Grant Line Road (formerly Rich O's). At the Public House, we will enjoy the famous Gravity Head festivities: Gravity Head Listings 2009

The bus will return to Indianapolis by midnight. This is going to be pretty informal, so we'll play it by ear.


The $40 ticket includes:
-transportation on a chartered coach bus
-refreshments on the bus
-lunch plus tip at Bank Street Brewhouse

You will be required to select a lunch when purchasing your ticket. One selection per ticket. We'll also request an email address for event updates. And of course, no one under the age of 21 will be admitted.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday, January 29th) at 8 AM. We hope you'll join us.

Here's a link to tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.

27 January 2010

Where to Drink - Great Beer, Bars, and Brewpubs in Indianapolis (Broad Ripple)

In Part 2 of our series, "Where to Drink - Great Beer, Bars, and Brewpubs in Indianapolis" (Part 1 here), we take a look at Broad Ripple Village. In 1990, it was in this Indianapolis neighborhood that John Hill started the Indiana craft beer revolution when he opened the Broad Ripple Brewpub. Twenty years later, Broad Ripple has become one of Indiana's best craft beer destinations.

Here's where you might want to visit should you find yourself in the Village in search of a proper pint and/or growler--

Barley Island Restaurant & Brewhouse
701 Broad Ripple Ave.
(317) 257-5600

HBG Visits:
Scenes from a Tapping: New Albanian Hoptimus at Barley Island Broad Ripple
Scenes from a Tapping: Barley Island Grand Opening and 10th Anniversary Celebrations
KOTBR #90: Medal Winners
Good Times at Barley Island Broad Ripple

Broad Ripple Brewpub
842 E. 65th St.
(317) ALE-BREW (253-2739)

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #94 | 2001: A Stout Odyssey
The 2009 Knights of the Beer Roundtable Beer of the Year - Broad Ripple Brewpub's Monon Porter
KOTBR #64 - Forgotten Landmarks
Indiana Beer Week Bar Hop - Day One - Operation Chaos
KOTBR #11 - Broad Ripple Brewpub's Wee Alec Heavy

Brugge Brasserie
1011 E. Westfield Blvd.
(317) 255-0978

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #104: Brugge Spider
Beer Diary #18 - Lose Ends Edition
KOTBR #90: Medal Winners
Beer Diary #15 - Mike - Vacations
The First Annual Hoosier Beer Geek Craft Beer Breakfast
Beer Diary #10 - Mike
KOTBR #51: The Hoosier Beer Geek Second Anniversary Party
Indiana Beer Week Bar Hop - Day One - Operation Chaos
KOTBR #48 - Dude, Where's Chris's Car?
Six Pack Interview with Brugge's Charlie Midgley
The Complete Works (so far) of Ted Miller (abridged)
Sint Sylvester Vooranvond - An HBG Commemorative Ale - The Day After
KOTBR #34 - Two at Brugge Brasserie - Thunder Monkey and Impérial
Beer Diary - Mike
The Hoosier Beer Geek 6 Pack - Ted Miller, Brewer/Owner of Brugge Brasserie and Brugge Beer
Beer Diary - Jim | South Florida Edition
KOTBR #14 - Brugge Quadripple
KOTBR #5 - Brugge's The Black

Chumley's Beer House
838 Broad Ripple Ave.
(317) 466-1555

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #55 - Beer and Progress with the Urbanophile

Corner Wine Bar
6331 Guilford Ave.
(317) 255-5159

HBG Visits:
Beer Diary #8 - Jim | Then and Now

Locals Only Art & Music Pub
2449 E. 56th St.
(317) 255-4013

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #38 - I Love Scotch. Scotchy Scotch Scotch. Here It Goes Down, Down Into My Belly...
KOTBR #12 - Locals Only...With a Special Guest Star

Northside Social
6525 N. College Ave.
(317) 253-0111

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #112 - Flashback at the Northside Social 

Upland Tasting Room
4842 N. College Ave.
(317) 602-3931

HBG Visits:
Upland Tasting Room Now Open!
Upland Coming Soon to Indianapolis

2010 State of the Six Pack

My fellow Hoosier Beer Geeks, we have seen a lot of changes over the past year and there are a lot of exciting things to come. But you don’t have to take our word for it. I mean, we are just a bunch of know-nothing hacks. That’s why we sent a Six Pack of Questions to Indiana’s brewers, distributors, and others in the craft beer industry. And we have collected these answers and packaged them together into our second annual State of the Six Pack address.

The Craft Beer Scene In Indiana
Unfortunately, Indiana lost a brewery with the closing of Warbird in Ft. Wayne. But we’ve gained six breweries: Brickworks in Hobart; People’s in Lafayette; Sun King in Indianapolis; Wilbur in Martinsville; Big Woods in Nashville; and Lil’ Charlies in Batesville. Not to mention that breweries have expanded (i.e. New Albanian, Barley Island) and there are more places than before selling craft beer in Indiana. We find it encouraging that not only is the industry growing, but is spreading out as small towns are getting breweries again.

“We estimate the [craft beer] market share has grown in Indiana by .3 percent this year to a 1.3% share…the national average is 4.2%, so we have a long way to go. Most of that Indiana growth has come from the introduction of New Belgium. . . . [T]hat’s a lot of exposure for the [craft beer industry] and it is still a good segment to be in. I think that the reflection of craft brewers opening up in smaller communities is both because of passion as well as the economy. When the economy is tough and unemployment is high, people start to think of ways to create work in case they are unemployed.”
–Jim Schembre, World Class Beverages, Indianapolis

“These drinkers are 'enlightened' as to what the core values of craft beer offer: more variety, better and more flavorful beers, and solid traditional and experimental brewing techniques. The percentage of craft beer drinkers in Indiana is simply increasing, but still has a long way to go. As for the newest hometown/next door breweries, these are revealing the sense of pride and feasibility in having a local beer produced less than 50 miles away. Local, more flavor, exciting varieties: these are all appealing attributes of Hoosier beers for the steadfast and newest generation of Hoosier craft beer drinkers.”
-Caleb Staton, Head Brewer, Upland Brewing Co., Bloomington

“Once [consumers] are exposed to craft beer they realize that beer can taste so much better. I think it's just a matter of more exposure for these breweries to get more and more Hoosiers hooked. As far as the little towns, I think that if you already have a restaurant that works then it's not too difficult to brew fresh beer to serve to the public. The brewery in Nashville uses a very simple and small set up to produce good beer.”
-Skip DuVall, Assistant Brewer, Alcatraz Brewing Company, Indianapolis

“Consumers are recognizing and seeking out locally brewed, quality products. The question is: Can these breweries remain viable in these small markets?”
-Greg Emig, President/Brewer, Lafayette Brewing Co., Lafayette

“The beer drinking mentality of Hoosiers changes slowly, but there’s some traction. . . . Increasingly, folks like the idea of local products and services. Sustainability starts at home, as with NABC partnering with fledgling hops growers in the Knobs, and serving locally-made wines at the Bank Street Brewhouse. Anything is possible at this level.”
-Roger A. Baylor, Carnival Barker and Sometimes Owner, New Albanian Brewing Co., New Albany.

“[L]oving craft beer and believing one can make a living brewing it are two very different matters. The fact that both are growing is very positive.”
-Charles Stanley, Marketing Operations Manager, Upland Brewing Co.

The Craft Beer Scene In America
Beer sales in the United States are down. But the craft beer segment continued to grow (5% by volume and 9% by dollars according to the Brewers Association). The craft beer industry continues to grow despite a poor economy. Imagine how much the industry could have grown if the economy had improved.

“The consumer’s tastes are definitely changing and they are either going up to craft or down to economy beers. The import category is especially getting hurt. I think consumers cannot resonate well with the imports and the craft side has taken their drinkers.”
–Jim Schembre, World Class Beverages, Indianapolis

“These numbers definitely show that more Americans are drinking craft beer. The 9% dollars vs. 5% volume was due to beer price increases in 2009 due to brewers' reaction to malt and hops pricing increase.”
-Caleb Staton, Head Brewer, Upland Brewing Co., Bloomington

“This surge in craft beer sales is just proof that people want a better beer and you even see this from the big breweries who are attempting to brew better beers. Liquor stores are carrying more and more selections than they ever have as well.”
-Skip DuVall, Assistant Brewer, Alcatraz Brewing Company, Indianapolis

“If our beer tastes weren’t changing in some way, it’s hard to imagine the trending up during lean times.”
-Roger A. Baylor, Carnival Barker and Sometimes Owner, New Albanian Brewing Co., New Albany.

“America's beer tastes are definitely changing. The growth in micros has been primarily in at-home consumption.”
-Mike DeWeese, Partner, brewery to be named later

“Some people who would otherwise buy imported beer may be making an effort to support their local economies or the US economy in general (this mentality may also be hurting major "domestic" brands, none which are fully American-owned anymore).”
-Charles Stanley, Marketing Operations Manager, Upland Brewing Co.

Sunday Sales
The sale of carryout beverages in Indiana on Sundays is like a boomerang: it just keeps coming back. Many Hoosiers apparently still hold Puritan fears of alcohol. But one aspect looks promising. Senate Bill 75 would allow the carryout of beer from microbreweries on Sundays. This would allow microbreweries to be on the same level as Indiana’s farm wineries, who have been allowed to sell their wine for carryout on Sundays. SB 75 passed the Senate 41 votes to 9. As long as no one tries to apply amendments to the bill, it looks promising that this bill could pass the House too.

“This will be perceived as being more important for some brewers than others. Obviously, those brewers located in towns with major college campuses would likely benefit the most; however, all brewers will benefit from being able to sell their craft beers on Sunday. Being able to attract and sell to the tourist market on Sunday will go a long way in helping expand awareness of Indiana craft beer.”
-Greg Emig, President/Brewer, Lafayette Brewing Co., Lafayette

“Those of us in border territories know instinctively how important it is for craft breweries to have Sunday carryout sales – but not for the reason you might think. Yes, Indiana loses revenue to surrounding states on Sunday. More importantly, craft breweries are exactly like small wineries in the sense that we are tourist attractions, and the closer to neighboring states we are, the more visitors we’re likely to see on days like Sunday. Craft brewing will survive either way, but if the legislature is interested in providing a level playing field for artisanal producers, and serious about encouraging tourism and bringing money from elsewhere into this state, it will take the measure seriously.”
-Roger A. Baylor, Carnival Barker and Sometimes Owner, New Albanian Brewing Co., New Albany.

“Indiana breweries will probably see some increase in profit if they are allowed to sell packaged beer on Sundays, but it is difficult to gauge how much. Much of that will determine how much of the consumer population becomes aware of change in legislation. Breweries should also consider that their relationships with retailers may suffer if they work hard to advertise this opportunity to consumers. If Indiana retailers are allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays, stores near the state borders will stop losing business to our neighboring states on Sundays. This can benefit Indiana breweries whose distributors' territories correspond with the state's borders. If consumers are shopping at stores where Indiana beer is not available, Indiana breweries obviously suffer. If they shop at stores that sell Indiana beer, Indiana breweries clearly benefit.”
-Charles Stanley, Marketing Operations Manager, Upland Brewing Co.

“If you can buy wine on Sundays at the winery then you should be able to buy beer at the brewery. Also, the taps should be open like normal on election day as well!”
-Mat Gerdenich, Cavalier Distributing, Indianapolis

Excise Taxes
A couple of Congressional bills might make a positive impact on the craft beer industries. Thanks to the House Small Brewers Caucus, HR 836 and HR 4278 would reduce the excise tax paid by small breweries. It is questionable if this would have a noticeable impact on consumers and the prices paid for beer at retailers. But it would certainly have an impact on the breweries and anything that will help our favorite breweries with continued success is a good thing.

“More important to us is keeping the excise tax at an non-prohibitive level to doing business. We are, as smaller brewers, nowhere as efficient and a lower margin business than the larger breweries. One positive side effect of reducing the excise tax, with the additional benefit of stabilizing malt and hops pricing, is the potential for small breweries to keep pricing the same (or possibly even lowering!) in the future years. We will never be a $13 a 30-pack type shelf item, but keeping a constant price is good for core line craft beers.”
-Caleb Staton, Head Brewer, Upland Brewing Co., Bloomington

“I think it would be great for craft brewers because they are fighting hard enough to get their beers on shelves at a reasonable price. If they pay less then hopefully we all will pay less.”
-Skip DuVall, Assistant Brewer, Alcatraz Brewing Company, Indianapolis

“It would certainly lend a much-needed boost to a heavily-taxed industry. In addition to federal and state excise taxes, Indiana brewers currently face dramatic increases in property taxes, as well. Unfortunately, I don't think it will have a great impact on bringing down prices at the consumer level as most of the savings would be absorbed between the brewers, distributors and retailers.”
-Greg Emig, President/Brewer, Lafayette Brewing Co., Lafayette

“Money spent at locally-owned businesses stays in the community. Excise tax decreases would help the bottom line of a locally-owned craft brewer, and by extension, keep more money in the community of origin. Sounds like something I can get behind.”
-Roger A. Baylor, Carnival Barker and Sometimes Owner, New Albanian Brewing Co., New Albany.

“Any drop in taxes is good for business. The little guys benefit the most since we pay more in raw materials costs.”
-Mike DeWeese, Partner, brewery to be named later

“It would help to the bottom line of breweries for sure.”
-Mat Gerdenich, Cavalier Distributing, Indianapolis

Brewing Trends
Bigger and bigger hopped beers continue to be popular. We’re seeing more and more beers aged in barrels. And sour styles continue to grow. Extreme beers are always fun and are a great way for breweries to make a name for themselves. But we’re also seeing more sessionable, to-style beers coming out as well. This is good for all craft beer fans, not to mention a good gateway to bring macro-drinkers into the fold.

“As consumers become more educated to the taste profiles of good beer, you will see growth in some of those segments [like sours]. . . . [W]e also think that the consumer will better understand the traditional styles like lagers and session ales.”
–Jim Schembre, World Class Beverages, Indianapolis

“Other than maintaining a consistent, quality sessionable core lineup of beers, there's going to be a bunch of new brews out there. Seasonals are another big growing faction of the craft beer segment, whether they be Octoberfests, Bocks, pumpkin beers, etc. Bourbon barrel beers are a nice Midwestern trend as well, with breweries able to source true Kentucky Bourbon barrels with more ease than East/West coast locations. I see experimentation and style blurring also as a continuing future trend. Black IPAs are a newer trendy blur style that will be popping up more in 2010. Sours are everywhere now as well; this is evident by the growing number of entries into the Wild and Sour categories at the GABF over the past two years. Oh, and of course, Imperial-style everything! Good article in the recent New Brewer concerning spiced beers, maybe a small resurgence of them will be seen as well. Makes me wonder, maybe Upland Bumblebee Saison was too ahead of its time and a potential fad trailblazer that we gave up on? Maybe we'll bring it back like Kangaroos.”
-Caleb Staton, Head Brewer, Upland Brewing Co., Bloomington

“Hops are where it's at in my opinion. One trend that we have talked about at The Alcatraz is making our beers even more clear and smooth. It's almost a friendly competition amongst the downtown brewers to make clear, smooth and fresh beers as possible.”
-Skip DuVall, Assistant Brewer, Alcatraz Brewing Company, Indianapolis

“I also believe we're going to continue to see spice- and herb-infused brews as well as certified organic beers. [We’ll hopefully see more] estate beers. Sierra Nevada opened the door this year with the release of their Chico Estate Ale. The practice of harvesting, malting and kilning brewery-grown ingredients is sure to catch on. Let's also hope for a bit more recognition for quality session beers.
-Greg Emig, President/Brewer, Lafayette Brewing Co., Lafayette

“The great thing is that it’s not an either-or equation. The exuberant creativity of craft beer can hold its militant core market through crazed experimentation even as we reach for the center of the American beer market as a whole through session beers. It’s something that we’re trying to do at NABC, and we can see the results already.”
-Roger A. Baylor, Carnival Barker and Sometimes Owner, New Albanian Brewing Co., New Albany.

“The sky's the limit when it comes to US brewers. Different spices are the next big thing as well as Belgian styles. Barrel aging will become commonplace within 2 years.”
-Mike DeWeese, Partner, brewery to be named later

“Though big beers aren't going away anytime soon (and with good reason--many are quite delicious) I expect we will start seeing fewer beers brewed with the attitude "just because we can." Now that brewers have spent time experimenting and really pushing the envelope, many will take the lessons they've learned and focus more on creating better beer, rather than just big beer.”
-Charles Stanley, Marketing Operations Manager, Upland Brewing Co.

“Indiana still seems to be big on IBUs and ABVs!”
-Mat Gerdenich, Cavalier Distributing, Indianapolis

Coming in 2010
Hoosier Beer Geek will continue to be the quirky, eccentric site for craft beer nonsense. But you’ll see us organizing more beer events in and around Indianapolis and around the state. You’ll see more drinking guides that will appeal to long time Hoosiers, new residents, and visitors. And we’ll likely drink a ridiculous amount of beer.

“The big concern for the year 2010 for the wholesaler is the continued development of more and more brewers; there are now over 1,500 craft beers in America and the craft brewers are wondering if the category has so many brands that the brewers will lose their identity. Something like the wine industry: you know that you like Zinfandels but name one? So some of the major craft brewers are pressing the ideal to slow down the development of other brands. Brewers like Magic Hat even suggest that as wholesalers we do not need to even carry anything but the top four, as they currently represent over 70% of the grand total. So the big thing for 2010 for wholesalers will be access to market and who gets it. Remember there is only a small shelf at retail and how many brands and packages can you even put on it. So the list of brewers that want to come in the state and the number that can actually get to market are two different things. We as wholesalers and you as consumers, because of this aggressive growth of new brewers, must be concerned about quality and we are seeing people get in the craft side and have no beer skills at all. That is a problem.”
–Jim Schembre, World Class Beverages, Indianapolis

“2010 for Upland means 22 oz. bottles of Ard Ri Imperial Red, Double Dragonfly IIPA, Badder Elmer's Baltic Porter, Teddy Bear Kisses Imperial Stout, and Winter Warmer, more bourbon-barrel-aged beers, a bigger launch of lambics, a dark wild launch, two releases of Komodo Dragonfly Black IPA, Banshee Scotch Ale, possibly a collaboration brew, possibly bottled Preservation Pilsner in returnable cartons and the continued supply of our excellent core line up. Those are things we are pretty sure will happen, but some mystery brews will surely pop up somewhere in the meantime (I have a real hankering to brew a beer called Pirate vs. Ninja involving darkness and rum barrels; that is probably something to be brutally wary of). We also look forward to Shoreline picking up our old bottling line and buying some six packs of their tasty brews next year. We look forward to more Indiana breweries and the continued success of our Hoosier brew community. As to the larger craft brewing industry, we look forward to another year of growth as a beer segment, and the beers that have yet to be brewed.”
-Caleb Staton, Head Brewer, Upland Brewing Co., Bloomington

“I think that we need to continue doing what we are doing to expose people to better beer. Tappings, brewfests and great groups like the Geeks are helping tremendously. As a matter of fact I am starting a blog that the three Indy downtown breweries (The Ram, The Rock and The Alcatraz) have come up with to keep people more informed as to what we are doing.”
-Skip DuVall, Assistant Brewer, Alcatraz Brewing Company, Indianapolis

“Our focus for the new year is to expand our bottle sales both locally and in the Indianapolis market and to increase the number of in-house beer-centered events, i.e. brewers dinners; hop variety experiences; and offering more cask-conditioned selections. Things to be wary of in the craft beer industry: Too much focus on extreme beers and the resulting extreme beer prices.”
-Greg Emig, President/Brewer, Lafayette Brewing Co., Lafayette

“Individually, NABC hopes to have a greater draft presence statewide, and to make up our minds about whether to can or bottle. Increased numbers of draft handles will lead to a faster resolution of the packaging issue for us. As for the craft business in general, I see further growth, because I see most of us working hard at the grassroots, local level, which is where sustainability begins.”
-Roger A. Baylor, Carnival Barker and Sometimes Owner, New Albanian Brewing Co., New Albany.

“A rise in gas prices could be an issue again. I think we will see more craft beer in cans as well!”
-Mat Gerdenich, Cavalier Distributing, Indianapolis

26 January 2010

The Hoosier Beer Geek Six Pack: Stacey McGinnis, Front Operations Manager, Tyranena Brewing Company

In helping put together the brewery list for Saturday's Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest, we reached out to a number of Indiana sister state breweries. Because of past experience, we thought it might also make sense to look to Missouri and Wisconsin and see if we could find any interest from breweries there.

We were quite happy when the folks at Tyranena responded. We reviewed Tyranena's The Devil Made Me Do It! Imperial Porter back in March of 2009, giving it a very solid 4.3 mug score - so we know that the brewery is very capable.

We look forward to seeing Tyranena's beer in bars and liquor stores in Indiana, and we thank Stacey for taking the time to contribute to our Six Pack series.

1) Who are you and where do you work?

My name is Stacey McGinnis, aka the "Devourer of Men's Souls", and I’m the Front Operations Manager for Tyranena Brewing Company in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. I’m a Scorpio, my favorite color is currently Lucite's 54D-5 'Silent Night' (and incidentally that is also the same color blue of my living room walls), I’m a big fan of ellipses (…) and I prefer sans serif fonts to serif (especially Times New Roman… ick). :-)

Before we get too far… let me answer a few other frequently asked questions.

How do you pronounce Tyranena?
Tie•rah•nee•nah… just like it looks. Or, if it’s easier to remember, like two women’s first names: “Tyra” Banks, “Nina” Simone.

And what does it mean? Tyranena is the indigenous name for Rock Lake, the body of water for which Lake Mills takes its name. (Yes, our founding fathers were incredibly creative… the lake had a rocky shore – hence Rock Lake – and there were two mills on that lake – presto, Lake Mills.) Our brewery is located just a stone’s throw from the oldest known civilization in Wisconsin at Aztalan. Tyranena is believed to be a name passed down from that ancient culture to the Native Americans that inhabited this area prior to the settlers arriving in the early 1800’s.

So where is Lake Mills? Lake Mills is located between Madison and Milwaukee on I-94; about 25 minutes from the east side of Wisconsin’s capitol city and 45 minutes west of its largest metropolitan area.

What does a Front Operations Manager do? When I accepted my position at Tyranena, I was the only full-time employee other than Rob Larson, our founder and brewer. It took a while for Rob to come up with my title; I think it was nearly a year before I had business cards! Basically, it boils down to a bit of a joke… There are glass doors that divide our lobby, Tasting Room and offices from the brewhaus, bottling line and warehouse. Rob says I’m in charge of everything going on in “front” of those glass doors… but basically I have my hands in everything except for brewing beer. I also try, with limited success, to stay off the bottling line, though occasionally I have to fill in or help out with special packaging.

I’ve been with the brewery in various capacities for 7 years now. My servitude entails working closely with Rob (a full-time job in and of itself) as well as with our many events, staff, customers, vendors, beer geeks, distributors and the general public at-large.

And since Jessie will be pouring with me at Winterfest, it’s only fair for me to out her here as well... Jessie Nimm, Tyranena’s Beer Ambassador (aka salesperson), has been slaving for the brewery for about 3-1/2 years. Her responsibilities include working with our network of distributors on pricing, promotional programs, and brand placement at the retail level. With a very strong sales and relationship-building background, Jessie has helped the brewery grow significantly. Oh and she’s a Capricorn, her favorite color is blue and her favorite style of beer is either an IPA or Porter.

2) How did you get into craft beer? Were you a craft beer drinker before you took a job working for the brewery?

Actually, I was not only NOT a craft beer drinker 7 years ago when I began working at the brewery… I wasn’t even a BEER drinker. I was THAT GIRL… you know the one that says, with a wrinkled-up nose, “I don’t drink beer.” Funny how things turn out! Fact is I simply didn’t like what I knew as “beer” back then. I’d grown up thinking beer consisted of just light-bodied lagers; I had no idea of the myriad of flavors that just a few simple ingredients could create.

So with that in mind, it’s fairly ironic that I started bartending part-time at Tyranena, which has a tasting room that serves nothing but beer, in January of 2003. My first day walking into the Tasting Room for training was the first time I’d ever set foot in this or any other brewery! But it was nearly love at first sight. And as such I started working every Wednesday and nearly every other day I could get behind that bar… So when it came time for Rob to hire a full-time helper, well, it was me. I’m sure that this is something Rob regrets at least five days a week but he just can’t seem to get rid of me now!

Truth be told, Tyranena has a certain something about it… I felt it right away. There’s a warm kind of comfort (regardless of Rob’s personality) when you walk through our doors that you just don’t get at every “bar”. Not to mention that we are incredibly lucky to have a great group of regulars and fans, amazing customers and a great staff to boot! If ever you get a chance to swing through Lake Mills, I highly recommend it stopping by the brewery!

3) Right now you're distributing in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois - what is it about Indiana that got the brewery's interest as a possible candidate for expansion? And are you looking anywhere else? If you are looking somewhere else, is it an Indiana vs wherever else situation?

Hmm… Honestly, Indiana seemed like a natural progression… We moved into Chicago last spring; it seems only fitting to creep on over toward the Hoosier state next! But really there are a lot of pieces to the decision-making puzzle. First, there should be some interest… both from consumers and from potential distributors. And, of course, we have to become amateur-experts on each state’s liquor law when we decide to make the leap across another state line. As it turns out, Indiana has reasonably uncomplicated regulations and also does not require exorbitant annual permits or fees from a brewery to distribute there. So that’s a huge plus for IN!

But our decision will mainly be based on finding the right fit with a distributor in the Indiana market. Most states have laws making it a real headache to transfer brands from one distributor to another. In all honesty, WE don’t want to cause that kind of upheaval in changing brands anyway. It’s better for all parties concerned that we make the right choice from the onset. We’re a small brewery. We don’t have a huge salesforce or fleet; we have a decrepit van, a burgundy toaster (aka a Honda Element) and one salesperson that currently flits between highways and airports in three states. We rely heavily on our distributors to be an extension of our business, to BE our eyes, ears, arms and legs in a market. So it’s very important that we find a connection with a distributor. We simply have to be on the same page on a variety of levels. So we do a lot of research before making any promises. And that’s where we are right now… researching. Hopefully, it’ll all work out!

As far as opening distribution in other states, we have also been contemplating heading into Missouri, however, it’s not really an either-or kind of situation. When the time is right, we will take Tyranena where we feel it will be sold, consumed, marketed and appreciated appropriately!

4) You have what appears to be a very nice facility - did the brewery start there? What's the history of Tyranena Brewing? Who's behind the founding of the brewery?

Yup. She’s a beaut! The brewery is exactly where it has always been… same city, same location since established in 1999. Tyranena was built from the ground up to be a brewery while many of our colleagues in Wisconsin have had to retrofit their breweries into existing buildings. Not that that necessarily impedes their ability to make great beer, but it can make things more difficult to grow. We are situated on over 7-acres… plenty of room to make beer, throw a Frisbee and walk the dogs. In regards to our equipment, our brewhaus and bottling line originally came from Ambleside Brewing in Minnesota; the equipment was only about a year-old when Rob purchased and moved it to Lake Mills to start Tyranena. I guess it’s not quite as modern as it used to be… but it does the trick!

As I briefly mentioned before, Rob is our founder and brewer… he is the man behind the brewery. Tyranena is his brainchild. But you can’t forget the women, dogs and new guy that work diligently for the man behind Tyranena Brewing Company… We’re pretty proud of our team. (More of a slightly dysfunctional family than a team… but…) We have just four full-time employees, including Rob. Six if you count the dogs… We all do our part to make the brewery what it is today, for better or worse!

Why did Rob start the brewery, you might ask? One day back in ’97 or ’98, Rob found himself with a love of drinking good beer, passion for his homebrewing kit and, miraculously, unemployed with a chunk of capital. What to do, what to do? So in addition to earning his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the UW Madison, he went on to pursue a brewer’s certificate from the Siebel Institute in Chicago and to study abroad at Brewlab in Sunderland, England. And soon after, Tyranena was born!

5) What is it about Tyranena's beers that sets them apart from other beer?

What’s special about Tyranena? Other than we produce high quality beers that are thought-provoking, creative and unique in a variety of flavors to suit diverse palates… Wait. You need more? J

Well, we believe our beers have fantastic flavor profiles, but each year-round and seasonal beer brewed at Tyranena also has a unique name specific to the history and folklore of the surrounding area or refers to something quintessentially “Wisconsin”. These legendary labels have become a trademark of our establishment and are part of the distinctive charm of our beers.

And then there’s our Brewers Gone Wild! Series… full of beers that are big, bold and ballsy. They are incredible; each with amazing flavor, body and charisma. We’ve had a lot of people ask where the names for THESE beers come from… certainly not from folklore. The names come from somewhere deep in Rob’s brain. (Scary, I know.)

Our Brewers Gone Wild! Series beers are big and geared towards aficionados. They have crazy, in-your-face flavors to match their bold and sometimes daring names. Obviously, the names also grab your attention but, in case you are wondering, they are not meant to be offensive… The first printer we worked with on these labels didn’t agree. The company actually ended up declining our business because of the names of the beers! (They really frowned upon printing “HopWhore” even though the Federal government had no problem approving the label.) We know the names are definitely out there and more extreme than anything else we've ever done. But... that's exactly the point. So are the beers.

6) Which Tyranena beer is your favorite? And does the brewery generally roll out the whole lineup (6 regular, 4 seasonal, and the Brewers Gone Wild series) when moving into a state? And what sort of timeline are you looking at?

I really enjoy our porters, especially the imperial barrel-aged ones! (I’m also looking forward to the release of our new Spring seasonal, Down ‘n Dirty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.) Who’s Your Daddy?, which was our very first Brewers Gone Wild! release, was pure magic. I have just one lonely bottle in the back of my refrigerator that I am saving for a special occasion… like when I get married… or upon the birth of my first child. That’s how great this beer is.

We hope that a new distributor will take on our full lineup, including our year-round flavors, new seasonal lineup (there are now 6 flavors) and the Brewers Gone Wild beers. But that decision is ultimately made by the distributor. I imagine that they take into consideration the demand and interest for the brands when ordering so… speak up Hoosier Beer Geeks! Be sure to let your favorite liquor store and watering hole know what flavors YOU want to see in your market. It makes a difference!

And lastly, in regards to a timeline for our brands hitting Indiana taps and shelves… well, all I can say is we hope sometime soon? (With a question mark, of course.) The appropriate “time” decision will ultimately be arrived at by the brewery and whoever our distributor turns out to be… assuming, of course, all parties come to terms. Then it will be a matter of when we can schedule releases, transit, marketing, product availability, license approval and a whole slew of other things.

21 January 2010

Random Beer Roundup - The Week Before Winterfest Edition

Go Colts!

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

Monday, January 25th - Winterfest Volunteer Packet Pickup at the Upland Tasting Room in Broad Ripple

Tuesday, January 26th at Barley Island Broad Ripple - Girls Pint Out Meet and Greet

Thursday, January 28th - Winterfest Volunteer Packet Pickup at the Sun King Tasting Room

Thursday, January 28th from 5 - 8pm at Keg Liquors in Clarksville: Scott from Schlafly joins us for our January Beer Tasting.

Thursday, January 28th at Chef Mike's Charcoal Grill in Indianapolis: Upland Beer Dinner (details below)

Saturday, January 30th at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis: 2010 Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest

Wednesday, February 3rd at George's Neighborhood Grill in Indianapolis: Upland Beer Dinner (details below)

Tuesday, February 9th at Upland Tasting Room - Girls Pint Out Event featuring Upland beer

Friday, February 26th at Rich O's Public House in New Albany: Gravity Head begins!

Saturday, March 6th: KOTBR100 - Stay tuned for details.

March, Dates TBA - Craft Beer Breakfast

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

What's Brewing

From Cari and Charles at Upland Brewing Co. in Indianapolis/Bloomington:

Komodo Dragonfly Black IPA is hitting our shelves and taps this week. Look for it all over town, including the Upland Tasting Room while it lasts. Also Winter Warmer 22 oz. bottles are available, so keep your eyes out for them. This is the first of a few beers we will be offering in 22 oz. bottles this year.

We've got a couple of beer dinners coming up too:

Thursday, January 28
Chef Mike's Charcoal Grill
7102 Woodland Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46260
(317) 295-9490

Baked Brie with apples, paired with Upland Wheat
Duck Breast Salad, paired with Helios Pale Ale
London Broil, paired with Rad Red Amber Ale
Dessert, paired with Bad Elmer's Porter

Komodo Dragonfly Black IPA will be available on draft.

Cost is $35 through Jan. 27; $40 day of the event

Wednesday, February 3
George's Neighborhood Grill
6935 Lake Plaza Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46220-4073
(317) 577-1600

Stuffed Mushrooms, paired with Preservation Pilsner
Mixed Greens, paired with Wheat Ale
Chicken and Beef Kabobs, paired with Dragonfly India Pale Ale
Baby Back Ribs, paired with Rad Red Amber Ale
Tiramisu, paired with Bad Elmer's Porter

Helios Pale Ale will be on draft.

Cost is $39

If you are interested in either event, please contact the host restaurants to order your tickets.


Our newest seasonal, Komodo Dragonfly Black IPA is available in the Bloomington Tap Room, Indy Tasting Room, and in bars and liquor stores throughout Indiana. We'll soon have Lightwave Belgian Pale and Banshee Scotch Ale on draught in Bloomington and Indy as well.

Upland lambics are returning! A small number of barrels have reached full maturity and will be released in March, through the Bloomington Tap Room only. We'll begin taking reservations sometime in February. If you want to be the first to know when reservations begin, email charles@uplandbeer.com to be added to the Upland newsletter list. The number of bottles is very limited.

Upland Badder Elmer's Baltic Porter and Teddy Bear Kisses Imperial Stout both received Gold Medals at the World Beer Championships! Both are currently available only in our Bloomington and Indy locations, but look for Teddy Bear Kisses in 22oz bombers later this year...
From Mike at Granite City Brewing Co. in Carmel:
Granite City is tapping its McK's Scottish Ale 1/25 at the Mug Club Party.

At the Bar

From Lauren at Scotty's Brewhouse in various locations:
Scottys Brewhouse North Indianapolis (96th St) now offers Bell's HopSlam Ale! Come in and try one of the most sought after beers!
Carry Out

From Corrie at Goose the Market in Indianapolis:
Mad River Serious Madness: This black ale is the cure for cabin fever...not because it makes you feel like you're getting out but because it'll make you happy to stay in. Dark aromas of coffee and caramel in the nose and bitter hops and chocolate in the sip keep it rich but not cloying (or maddening).
Victory Baltic Thunder: With just a little fruit behind the dark toffee flavors of this porter, thunder should be in your forecast (yeah, I just wrote that).< Schlenkerla Urbock: a German brew that's cellar aged and oak cask tapped with just a bit of smokey tang for this dark gray winter.

From Todd at Keg Liquors in Clarksville:
Anchor Brewing - Old Foghorn Barleywine (California)
Two Brother's - Northwind Imperial Stout (Illinois)
Barley Island - Beastie Barrel Stout (Indiana)
Barley Island - Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout (Indiana)
Tucher - Bajuvator (Germany)
Bison - Organic Belgian Ale (California)
Cantillon - Kriek (Belgium)
Drie Fonteinen - Oude Geuze (Belgium)
Three Floyds - Lord Admiral Nelson (Indiana)
Wells - Bombardier (England)

Join us on January 28th from 5 - 8pm as Scott from Schlafly Brewing joins us for our January Beer Tasting. We've got a good lineup of their bigger beers. Here is what we will be tasting:

Schlafly - Coffee Stout
Schlafly - Dry Hopped APA
Schlafly - Biere de Garde
Schlafly - Grand Cru
Schlafly - Tripel
Schlafly - Quadrupel
Schlafly - Reserve Barleywine
Schlafly - Barreled Aged Imperial Stout


From Tamre at Girls Pint Out:
Our first event will be at the Upland Tasting Room. The event is a tasting and learning session for women interested in craft beer lead by women who know craft beer.

When: February 9th 7-8pm
Where: Upland Tasting Room 4842 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN
Cost: $10 covers the cost of the beer flight and snacks

Visit our blog http://girlspintout.wordpress.com/ and twitter @girlspintout for more details and upcoming events!

Winterfest #7 Update

The Brewers of Indiana Guild's Winterfest 2010 tickets are on sale now online. Ticket sales are also available at breweries across the state, including: Broad Ripple Brewpub, Brugge Brasserie, Barley Island (both locations), Upland (both locations), Rock Bottom (both locations), Ram (downtown), Alcatraz, Sun King, Oaken Barrel, Lafayette, Brickworks, Three Floyds, Back Road, Crown Brewing, Mishawaka, Half Moon, Mad Anthony (Ft. Wayne), Great Crescent, New Albanian, Turoni's Main Street, Power House, and Big Woods. They are also available at selected Crown Liquor stores. Winterfest will be held in the Ag/Hort building of the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Saturday, January 30th, 2010 from 3pm to 7pm. Tickets are $30.

As we receive information from the breweries as to what they are bringing, we will let you know. Our first Winterfest update provided the beer lists for Upland, Great Crescent, Mad Anthony, and Brugge. Our second Winterfest update included Bee Creek Brewery (UPDATED - Will not be attending), Lafayette Brewing Company, Two Brothers, Rust Belt, Bell's Brewing Co. (UPDATED), and Atwater Block. Our third Winterfest update included Crown Brewing, Big Woods Brewing, Power House Brewing, and Rock Bottom Brewery North. Our fourth Winterfest update included Back Road Brewery, Mishawaka Brewing, Broad Ripple Brewpub, Sun King Brewing, Schlafly Beer, Goose Island Brewing Co. (UPDATED), North Coast Brewing Co., Left Hand Brewing Co. Our fifth Winterfest update included Oaken Barrel, Rock Bottom Downtown (UPDATED), Turoni's Main Street, New Albanian, Three Floyds, Ram Restaurant and Brewery, Barley Island, Tyranena, Schmaltz, Bluegrass Brewing Company - Shelbyville Road, and New Belgium. Our sixth Winterfest update included a beer list for World Class Beverages' Malt Shoppe. This is our seventh update to the beer list...

Wilbur Brewing
Martinsville, Indiana
On draft in their booth:
Country Mellow

People's Brewing
Lafayette, Indiana
On draft in their booth:
Pilgrim Porter
First Edition IPA
Mr. Brown

Brickworks Brewing
Hobart, Indiana
On draft in their booth:
Wind Chill Factor
Potawatomi Porter

In the beer garden:
Assimilation (replicale)

Alcatraz Brewing
Indianapolis, Indiana
On draft in their booth:
Sledgehammer Strong Pale
Rock Bock
Belgian Pale

Bluegrass Brewing Company - Main Street
Louisville, Kentucky
On draft in their booth:
American Pale Ale
Nut Brown Ale
Bourbon Barrel Stout
Barbarian Honey Ale

In the outdoor beer garden:
Scotch Ale

Founders Brewing
Grand Rapids, Michigan
On draft in their booth:
Double Trouble
Others TBA

Only nine more days!

20 January 2010

Where to Drink - Great Beer, Bars, and Brewpubs in Indianapolis (Downtown, Mass Ave, and Fountain Square)

Over the course of the last few years we've been fortunate enough to visit many of the finer craft beer serving establishments in the city, but we've never taken the time to write a comprehensive guide to all those establishments. Despite Indianapolis' still-growing beer culture, coming up with a master list is quite a daunting task.

Our goal was to come up with a drinking guide for Indiana visitors and residents alike. Though this list is not all encompassing, we feel that it's a good start for anyone looking for better beer in Indianapolis.

Downtown Indianapolis

Ram Restaurant and Brewery - Indianapolis
140 S Illinois St, Indianapolis
(317) 955-9900‎

HBG Visits:
Indiana Beer Week Bar Hop - Day Four - A Very Footy Pub Crawl

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery - Indianapolis
10 W Washington St, Indianapolis
(317) 681-8180

HBG Visits:
Rock Bottom Brewer's Dinner - Fall '09
Rock Bottom Brewer's Dinner - Summer '09
Rock Bottom Brewer's Dinner - Winter '09
Rock Bottom Brewer's Dinner - Summer '08
KOTBR #59 | A Likely Story
Beer Diary #10 - Jim | What would Batman drink?
Indiana Beer Week Bar Hop - Day Four - A Very Footy Pub Crawl
Guest Post: Rodney Weaver - Rock Bottom Spring Brewer's Dinner 08
Beer Diary #2 - Jason
KOTBR #33 | Rock Bottom Pumpkin Ale
Beer Diary - Jim
Chasing the American Dream | Rock Bottom Brewery's American Dream Ale

Scotty's Brewhouse
1 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis
(317) 571-0808‎

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #77 - The Socratic Beer Method
Coming Soon: Scotty's Brewhouse Downtown

Sun King Brewing Company
135 N. College Ave, Indianapolis
(317) 602-3701‎

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #111 - Polka, Wieners, and Beer
HBG4: Thank You
KOTBR #102: The Island of Misfit Beers
The Hoosier Beer Geek 2009 End of Year Readers Survey: RESULTS! (Part 3) - The Rise of Sun King
HBG3: The Hoosier Beer Geek Third Anniversary Roundtable at Sun King Brewing Company
The Sun King Rises Over Indy, Part 2
The Sun King Rises Over Indy

Massachusetts Avenue Area:

The Ball & Biscuit
331 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis 
(317) 636-0539

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #109 - The Mass Ave Craft Beer Pride Parade 
KOTBR #108 - A Great Divide at the Ball & Biscuit

Chatham Tap
719 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis
(317) 917-8425

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #93 | Jingle Bells
So what's on the telly? Football, you say? - Updated
Beer Diary #3 - Jason
KOTBR #31 in Review | Wychwood Hobgoblin Ale @ the Chatham Tap

Dorman Street Saloon
901 Dorman St, Indianapolis
(317) 237-9008‎

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #67 - Reader Submitted Locations - Ralph's Great Divide and Dorman Street Saloon

339 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis
(317) 632-7268

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #91 - A Second Helping of BCS
KOTBR #54 - MacNiven's Broken Promise
KOTBR #3 - Three Floyd's Robert The Bruce

Mass Avenue Pub
745 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis
(317) 974-0745

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #109 - The Mass Ave Craft Beer Pride Parade

The Rathskeller
401 East Michigan St, Indianapolis
(317) 636-0396

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #81 - The All-Request Line
KOTBR #28: Roll Out The Barrels
KOTBR #2: Spaten Optimator

Fountain Square:

The Brass Ring Lounge
1245 Shelby St, Indianapolis
(317) 635-7464‎

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #76 - Do This In Memory of Jim

1105 Shelby Street
(317) 685-1959

HBG Visits
KOTBR #99 - Stone Arrogant Bastard at Imbibe

Red Lion Grog House
1043 Virginia Ave. #6, Indianapolis
(317) 822-4764

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #105 - The Zoo That Is Fountain Square

White Rabbit Cabaret
1116 Prospect Street, Indianapolis
(317) 686-9550

HBG Visits:
KOTBR #105 - The Zoo That Is Fountain Square

19 January 2010

KOTBR #94 | 2001: A Stout Odyssey

As you probably know, we're great admirers of the Broad Ripple Brewpub's award-winning beer auteur, Kevin Matalucci. Therefore, as a tribute to Kevin and all that the BRBP has to offer, we present to you Kevin's latest cinematic masterpiece: "2001: A Stout Odyssey."

The house lights dim, the opening credits roll, and we come to the opening chapter of the film...

Chapter 1: The Dawn of Craft Beer Man

Over images of an African desert, a caption reads, "The Dawn of Craft Beer Man." Near a primitive watering hole in the desert, a group of apes Bud Light drinkers are foraging for food. One of them is attacked and killed by a leopard. They are driven from the watering hole by another tribe of swill drinkers. Defeated, they sleep overnight in a small exposed rock crater. Waking at sunrise, they find that a barrel of deep, dark-black stout from the Broad Ripple Brewpub has appeared in front of their shelter. They approach it shrieking and jumping, amazed at its chocolate-syrup-like nose. They take a drink, first noticing the light, watery front, but also the way the oaky/woody flavors and the chocolate-milk-like flavors meld. Soon after that, one of the apes Bud Light drinkers realizes that beer as tasty as this is not only art, but also a tool and a weapon. After drinking this beer, the tribe of Bud Light drinkers has now evolved in some way and are seen eating meat in a subsequent scene. The next morning, they wrest control of the watering hole from the other tribe of swill drinkers, killing the other tribe's barkeep in the process. Triumphant, the ape leader leader of the former Bud Light drinkers throws a Bud Light tap handle into the air, which switches via match cut from a close-up of the tap handle to a long shot of an orbital satellite millions of years in the future. 3.76 Mugs.

Chapter 2: 2ASO

An IndyGo space plane flies Dr. Heywood R. Floyd to Space Station 842 in an elaborate rendezvous and docking sequence, which include iconic and stylish representations of life on a space station (including a view of the station's pub, which is appointed with gleaming white furniture, fixtures, and tap handles). After clearing voice print identification, Dr. Floyd makes a videophone call to his daughter to wish her a happy birthday and to remind her to remind her mother (Floyd's wife, Susie) to send him a pin of his favorite beer, Broad Ripple Brewpub's Monon Porter. Later, strolling down the main corridor of Space Station 842, he joins a group of brewers, telling them that he is on his way to Hopcicle Base, a U.S. base on the moon. One of the brewers, Dr. Theodore Miller, queries him about what has been going on there, but Floyd declines to answer any more questions when they press him about the rumor that an epidemic has broken out at the U.S. base.

Floyd travels to Hopcicle Base in a moon shuttle. There he heads a debriefing session, apologizing for the epidemic cover story. Floyd’s actual mission is to investigate an artifact dug up on the moon, initially detected by its heavy, port-wine-like odor and named "2ASO" ("2001: A Stout Odyssey"). Geological evidence shows that the artifact was deliberately buried near the crater Tycho four million years ago. Floyd rides in a moonbus to the site. In a large pit dug around it, the artifact is an intact barrel of beer identical to the one encountered by the apes former Bud Light drinkers. The visitors examine and taste the beer, finding it to have a purple-black color and pleasing flavors of molasses, dark fruit, and coffee. They then pose for a photo in front of the barrel. As they do, the sun rises over the top of the barrel, which emits an overpowering odor of dark chocolate. 3.95 Mugs.

Chapter 3: Jupiter Beer Mission

A title caption reads "Jupiter Beer Mission: Eighteen Months Later." On board the spaceship Fermentation One, bound for Jupiter, are two mission pilots, astronauts Dr. David "Dave" Bowman and Dr. Francis "Frank" Poole, and three scientists in cryogenic hibernation. Also along for the trip is the ship’s computer, HAL 9000, which Dave and Frank address as "Hal." Hal runs most of the ship’s operations.

The following is an excerpt from Dave's mission log, which is documented in the film:

We've been on the mission for 18 months now. Freeze-dried space beer is not very good. I've been trying to explain to Hal why humans enjoy beer so much but he doesn't seem to understand why maltose water would be enjoyable. Yesterday Hal sent me out in an IndyGo spacepod to replace the AE-35 unit but when I reached the unit it was in perfect operational condition. While I returned the new unit to storage I happened upon a large wooden barrel full of liquid. When we opened it we were greeted by aromas of fortified wine, dark chocolate, coffee, and raisins. Could this be real beer? Real Earth stout aged in a real Earth barrel? Hal insisted this was a human error and that the barrel was garbage.

I spent all day today trying to explain to Hal why this beer was important. I tried to explain the port and brandy complexity, what malted milk feels like in my mouth, and how the beer's flavor reminded me not of cherries, but of cherry cordial. He seemed to understand that this beer would have coffee and chocolate flavors, but the notion of plums in beer were beyond his definitions. Frank pulled me aside into a spacepod and told me that he didn't trust Hal with the barrel, that Hal couldn't understand how wonderful it was, and that if Hal destroyed the barrel he would have to be deactivated permanently. I definitely agreed; this beer is too important.
3.90 Mugs.

Unbeknownst to Dave and Frank, Hal was reading their lips through the window of the spacepod...


As the film resumes, we see Frank as he attempts to conceal the barrel of beer in an IndyGo spacepod outside of Fermentation One. The pod, which is controlled by Hal, turns and accelerates towards Frank, severing his oxygen hose and setting him adrift into space.

As a result, Dave goes out in another spacepod to recover Frank's body. While Dave is gone, Hal terminates the life functions of the crew members who are in hibernation. When Dave returns to the ship, he asks Hal to open the pod bay doors to let him inside. Hal refuses to do so, stating that Dave’s plan to disconnect him jeopardizes the mission, saying, "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that." Consequently, Dave enters the ship manually through the emergency air lock. Dave makes his way to Hal's logic memory center to disconnect Hal. Hal tries to reassure Dave that everything will be all right and that there's plenty of the luscious beer from the barrel to go around, but Dave ignores him.

As Dave disconnects one memory module after another from Hal’s circuitry, Hal continues to protest. Eventually he ends up repeating, “My beer is going.” Hal regresses to his earliest memories, singing the song "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall," which is the song his instructor taught him on his first operational day. When Dave finally disconnects Hal, a monitor displays a prerecorded message from Dr. Heywood Floyd:

Good day, gentlemen. This is a prerecorded briefing made prior to your departure and which for security reasons of the highest importance has been known on board during the mission only by your HAL 9000 computer. Now that you are in Jupiter's space, and the entire crew is revived, it can be told to you. Eighteen months ago, the first evidence of intelligent life off the Earth was discovered. It was buried 40 feet below the lunar surface, near the crater Tycho. The origin and purpose of this artifact--a four-million-old barrel of beer--is still a total mystery to us. The only clue available to us is a single, very powerful odor of chocolate and dark fruit that the barrel emitted toward Jupiter. That is why we have sent you there--to discover the true purpose of this barrel of heavenly ale.

Chapter 4: Jupiter and Beyond the Beer Infinite

Dave leaves Fermentation One in an IndyGo spacepod and encounters another barrel of stout in orbit around Jupiter. Approaching it, Dave finds himself suddenly traveling through a tunnel of colored light, racing at great speed across vast distances, viewing strange astronomical phenomena along the way, including rubies dancing around the edges of a pint of chocolate and toffee stout and concluding with landscapes containing altered colors.

He eventually finds himself in a bedroom in Broad Ripple containing stylized English decor and smelling of cherries, grapes, and oatmeal. He repeatedly sees older versions of himself, with the film's points of view each time switching to the older Dave, all while tasting port flavors, oak, and chocolate. Finally an elderly and dying David Bowman is lying on the bed. At its foot a barrel of stout appears. It transforms him into a god-like being enclosed in a transparent firkin of light. The final shot shows the “Beer-Child” floating in space next to the Earth in a pod of chocolaty goodness. 4.30 Mugs.

Broad Ripple Brewpub's 2001 - A Stout Odyssey
Mike: 3.76 Mugs | Jim: 3.95 Mugs | Gina: 4.40 Mugs | Jess: 4.30 Mugs | Rod: 3.90 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 4.06 Mugs

P.S.: Thanks, Wikipedia.