18 January 2012
KOTBR #138 | Fountain Square Times Two
We make no secret of the fact that we like Fountain Square. Poll all seven of us and most (if not all) of us will tell you that it's our favorite Indianapolis neighborhood.
We love the neighborhood for both sentimental and practical reasons. As for the sentimental reasons, Fountain Square is where the seed of Hoosier Beer Geek was planted and began to grow. Indeed, when we started regularly doing roundtables in 2006, we made the now-defunct Deano's Vino our unofficial base of operations. We also used to hold HBG parties at Deano's, and our first anniversary party was there as well.
As for the practical reasons, Fountain Square is close to where most of us live. Add to this the fact that the neighborhood is finally coming into its own as a cultural destination in the city and we wonder why we would spend our entertainment dollars anywhere else in Indianapolis. We still love places like Broad Ripple and Mass Ave. But Fountain Square is where the city's young cultural heart truly beats.
We'll get out to different parts of the city for future roundtables. But for our most recent roundtable, we found ourselves back in Fountain Square to hit up two new establishments: La Margarita (1043 Virginia Avenue, 317.848.1457) and End of the Line Public House (1105 Shelby Street, 317.687.4857).
In addition to offering hearty Mexican fare and a well-rounded selection of premium tequilas, La Margarita has six craft taps and a good bottle selection. Proprietor Jon Carlos Rangel likes to stock off-the-beaten-path craft beers. For example, about a month ago, we enjoyed some Three Floyds/Dogfish Head Poppaskull on tap. Currently, Belgian quad Urthel Samaranth is on draft.
As for End of the Line, Fountain Square finally has a bar devoted solely to craft beer with the recent addition of this bar. The End of the Line has ten taps, mostly local, along with a diverse menu of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. The menu also has a good selection of vegetarian dishes.
While at La Margarita, we had People's Pilsner from Lafayette's People's Brewing Company.
Mike: The nose on this beer is sweet like sweet corn (minus the flaws implied) or those powdered sugar Christmas cookies. The beer is sweet and clean throughout, finishes clean but not particularly dry. Clean, agreeable, drinkable, all things a pils should be. 4.00 Mugs.
Gina: Brewed for its working-class citizen coal miners and steel workers, the original Dortmunder-style pilsner was made to be full-bodied and thirst-quenching. It needed to be hearty enough to satisfy the strongest of thirsts. The history of the style is quite fascinating if you’re into that sort of thing.
People’s gave a nod to this style with People's Pilsner. Their rendition takes advantage of the hard water in Lafayette. This, along with Caramalt and Santium hops, gives this beer a balance of sweet and bitter. This beer is full-bodied with a slightly dry finish and absolutely loaded with flavor for a 4.5% ABV beer. If I had not just come from dinner, this beer would have been perfect with just about everything at La Margarita. 3.60 Mugs.
Jim: This beer stood out to me because of its spicy finish. Indeed, the beer left my palate with a peppery note. I'm used to a bitter finish on pilsners, but the peppery bitterness in People's Pilsner was quite memorable. A great representation of the style and one that I'll now be seeking out more often. 4.00 Mugs.
After finishing our People's Pilsners, we headed over to End of the Line to have Flat12 Bierwerks' Walkabout Pale Ale. Flat12 just celebrated their one-year anniversary, where they featured some outstanding variations on some of the flagship beers they brew.
Gina: For last year’s ReplicAle, the Brewers of Indiana Guild chose a single hop pale ale. Each brewery chose their hop and brewed their beer based on a recipe created by brewmaster Liz Laughlin of Rock Bottom College Park. Flat12 chose Galaxy as their hop and brewed their beer. It was a smash hit at the festival, and they found themselves replacing their existing Puppet Show Pale Ale for this delightful new brew. It has a tropical fruity aroma that is so nice, it is almost relaxing. Malt shines through in this beer as well, making it a well-balanced brew. 4.00 Mugs.
Jim: I poured beer at the ReplicAle tent at last summer's Indiana Microbrewers Festival, and Gina is correct when she calls Flat12's Walkabout a "smash hit." Above all other ReplicAles, festival attendees were clamoring for this beer. The keg blew quickly, and for good reason. Not only is this beer fairly sessionable at 5.3% ABV, it's brimming with flavor with its mango, passion fruit, and grapefruit attributes. That being said, it doesn't overwhelm your palate, making it a good beer for multiple-pint sittings. I don't know that I'd put Walkabout in the quite the same class as Three Floyds Zombie Dust, but it's pretty close. 4.45 Mugs.
Mike: Grapefruity, biscuity, fuck who needs another goddamn pale ale review. This one is fucking good though. Chewy chewy chewy. I like a little more malt, but I can't fault the beer. 4.00 Mugs.
Mike: 4.00 Mugs | Gina: 3.60 Mugs | Jim: 4.00 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.87 Mugs
Flat12 Bierwerks Walkabout Pale Ale
Mike: 4.00 Mugs | Gina: 4.00 Mugs | Jim: 4.45 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 4.15 Mugs