Thursday, May 31, 2007

NABC's lineup for Fest of Ales at the Keg this Saturday.

By now you should know that on Saturday, June 2, the 2nd Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale will take place at The Keg Liquors in Clarksville. Please visit the store's web site for directions and ephemera: Fest of Ale 2007. Before proceeding to the fest's overview, here are descriptions of the three beers that NABC will be taking to the show. It will be a rare summertime appearance for the customarily allocated Thunderfoot, and your first chance to taste the most recent Kommon brew. I'm interested in reader views on the slightly tweaked Mt. Lee, which currently is on tap at the pub.

OG: 1.094
ABV: Circa 11%
MALTS: English 2-row, dark crystal, roasted barley, flaked oats
HOPS: Northern Brewer, Willamette, Cascade
YEAST: House London
MISC: Dried tart cherries are added to the hopback, and the beer is aged with dried Bing cherries and medium toast oak chips. The result is ultimate palate renewal.

Phoenix Kentucky Kommon
No specs available; the following description by local beer archivist Conrad Selle describes the style:

Dark Cream Common Beer - This beer, using 1-2% black sometimes also 1-2% crystal malt, and or 3-8 grams of brewers caramel per barrel was popular in the Louisville/New Albany area and referred to as Kentucky Common Beer in the Wahl-Henius Handy Book of Brewing, though it was locally known as cream beer or common beer. There is some evidence that partial sour mashes were used to lighten the body. It was usually made with about 75% malt and 25% corn grits or sugar, 11 or 12 degrees B (1.044-1.048). Like cream ale, it was consumed fresh, usually as draft beer. In 1913 it was estimated that 80% of the beer consumed in Louisville was of this type. Many local breweries made this type of beer only. It is a distinct beer style that originated in Louisville.

Mt. Lee
ABV: Circa 5.5%
MALTS: English 2-row, pale, caramalt
HOPS: Simcoe, Cascades
YEAST: San Francisco/California Common (as ale)
MISC: California Common ("Steam"), named for the Hollywood mountainside with the famous sign. First brewed in 2006. It has been lightened in gravity and a.b.v. by roughly 10% for the current first batch of summer, 2007.

Here's the rest of the festival promo, courtesy of the Keg's owner, regular reader and pal Todd Antz:


11 Breweries, 2 Importers, 3 Craft Beer Distributors, over 100 craft and import beers, food and more!

Our Annual Fest of Ale celebrating the goodness that is craft beer on June 2nd from 2 - 6 pm.

We will have 10+ microbrewers on site to sample their wares, as well as food, music, and a charity silent auction to support the rebuilding efforts of Bridgepointe Goodwill services. Brewers and Importers signed up so far are: Upland Brewing Company, New Albanian Brewing, Barley Island Brewing, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Warbird Brewing, Bells Brewing, Browning's, Thirsty Dog Brewing, New Holland Brewing, Spanish Peaks Brewing, Cumberland Brews, Belakus Beer Brokerage, and Eurobrew Importers (Xingu, St. Peters).

Also in attendance will be World Class Beverages, North Vernon Beverage, and Cavalier Distributing. Food will be available from Mark's Feed Store, Bistro New Albany, and Buckhead Mountain Grill.

Price is $25 in advance, and $30 day of the event (available at Rich O's Public House & Sportstime Pizza -- just ask your server).

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Flip side: "Why Are You So Incredibly Drunk?"

As a landlocked fan of longstanding, I subscribe to Oakland Athletics e-mail updates at, the web site of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here's a recent non-baseball article closer to home.

Why Are You So Incredibly Drunk? What is it about public displays of extreme, staggering wastedness? Is it fun?, by Mark Morford (Friday, May 25, 2007).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Warbird: Fortunately, not "wet air" superiority.

I am eternally amused by the disparities between macho culture (musky – very musky) and beer flavor (fine as long as there isn’t any), and merrily refer to these incongruities from time to time.

… the funniest of all are the gargantuan, tattooed, macho, leather-encased motorcycle riders who are the bar-none toughest guys around – but can’t manage to choke down a beer that tastes any stronger than the Silver Bullet and its color-coded coldness gauge.

So you can imagine my trepidation when given four sample bottles of beer from Warbird Brewing in Ft. Wayne, Indiana – each with an American military airplane on the label, and the lot of them described on the brewery's web site by M*A*S*H-style stenciling as the “world’s most drinkable craft beer.”

Nothing against my brewing brethren up north -- please read all the way to the end before accusing me of negativity – but militarism (ours or another's) simply isn’t a marketing strategy designed to attract my loyalty. After all, I’m the card-carrying contrarian who feels that the military air show at Louisville’s annual “Thunder over Louisville” fireworks display is fascistic in nature.

Furthermore, “drinkable” is a notorious code word in craft brewing circles, and generally implies “tasteless” by another name.

It turns out that my low expectations were unmerited. I drank Warbird’s beers, and as they say in sports when a heavy underdog beats the overwhelming favorite, that’s why they bother playing the games.

Only one, Gold Ale, can truly be referred to as “drinkable” to the point of insipid. Why bother apart from the cute airplane? Mass-market beers are less expensive, although in fairness, there was a note or two that suggested Kolsch without the fruitiness native to the style.

But two others, Pale Ale and Red Ale, fit comfortably within stylistic parameters, with a touch of pleasant hop bitterness intruding into the former, and a toasty sweetness characterizing the latter. Clean, with adequate flavor. Good sessions stuff.

The biggest surprise is Warbird’s Wheat, which (Hallelujah!) actually is brewed with Bavarian yeast rather than house ale yeast, and boasts the expected bananas and cloves. Quite tasty, actually. I notice that Bluegrass Brewing (Main and Clay) in Louisville also is brewing a German-style Hefeweizen as a seasonal. Let’s hope these two developments constitute a trend, because there’s nothing more “drinkable” (i.e., tasteless) than microbrewed American-style wheat.

Me? I’m waiting for Warbird’s B-52 seasonal barley wine.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Downtown NA pub crawl Wednesday night.

In honor of the honorable Don Barry, world traveler, scholar and the author’s cousin, who is in town for a brief stay before jetting to New York and Europe for the usual round of summer frolics, those of us forced to remain here are going to do something previously thought impossible: A pub crawl of ... yes ... downtown New Albany, with Don in tow.

That’d be a pub crawl with good beer, and not the area standard of swill. It ain't Bamberg ... but it's better than before.

This largely unplanned event will take place on Wednesday evening (May 30). We will be meeting at the Baylor residence (1117 E. Spring) at 5:30 p.m., and then decamping by foot to the nearby La Rosita for culinary succulence. Stated simply, there is no better Mexican cuisine in the Louisville metropolitan area than that prepared and served by Israel Landin and his family.

After various morsels, we’ll walk down Market Street and examine the Bistro New Albany’s expanded libations list, which now includes top shelf liquors. Founded in April, 2006, the Bistro New Albany offers fine dining in the historic New Albany Inn hotel building at 148 E. Market. It has an excellent, atmospheric patio, and four or five NABC beers always on draft.

Later, we’ll stroll around the corner to the brand new Connor's Place for nightcaps and cigars on the patio. Connor’s Place, with relaxed sports bar ambience and casual dining in a historic building at 207 E. Main Street, is former BNA partner Dave Himmel’s labor of love. It has another knockout outdoor seating area and two NABC beers always on tap.

Afterwards we’ll walk back to the starting point via Main Street and 11th. Readers and friends are invited to join us at one or all of the stops.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

BARD list update brings us to 648 beers on tap since 1992.

I found time today to update the NABC web site’s “Beer Archive Research Division (BARD)”, which is a long-term archival and archaeological project to match recollections with invoices and other evidence, and to assemble a master list of draft beers (and a handful of ciders) served at the Public House and Pizzeria since 1990.

After adding the ones below, which have appeared for the first time since last December, the list currently stands at 648. I fudged a bit with two of the NABC house beers, which have been brewed but haven’t yet been sampled by the public.

But they were briefly on tap for R & D purposes.


Avery Thirteen (Weizen Doppelbock)

BarrelHouse Belgian Style Winter Ale
BarrelHouse Boss Cox Double Dark IPA
Bayrischer Bahnhof "Berliner Style" Weisse
BBC Leah's Etrange
Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout
Brooklyn Brewery “Brewmasters Reserve” Antwerpen
Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale
Brooklyn Brewery East India Pale Ale
Browning’s Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout

Clipper City Holy Sheet
Clipper City Peg Leg Imperial Stout

Ettaler Curator Doppelbock

Flying Dog Double Dog

Great Divide Titan IPA

Hoppin’ Frog Boris the Crusher

Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bier
Jolly Pumpkin La Roja
Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura (Dark Dawn) Stout

Kronenbourg 1664

Left Hand Oaked Imperial Stout
Left Hand Snow Bound Winter Ale

Mojo Risin' Double IPA (Boulder Beer)

NABC Elsa Von Horizon Imperial Pilsner
NABC Jasmine the Mastiff
NABC Malcolm's Old Setters Ale

New Holland Mad Hatter IPA

Ridgeway Criminally Bad Elf
Rogue Monk Madness
Rogue JLS Imperial YSB (Younger's Special Bitter)
Rogue Kell’s Irish Lager
Rogue JLS Dad's Little Helper
Rogue JLS Black Brutal
Rogue JLS Latona 20th Anniversary
Rogue Ten Thousand Brew Ale

Schlafly Reserve Oak-Aged Barley Wine
Shmaltz Genesis 10:10
St. Druon de Sebourg

Upland Ard-Ri Imperial Irish-style Red Ale

Wychwood Hobgoblin

Friday, May 25, 2007

NABC's Jared Williamson performing at Bistro New Albany this weekend.

Our associate brewer, Jared Williamson, will be doing a solo gig at Bistro New Albany tonight and tomorrow (May 25 & 26). He'll be performing at the outdoor patio from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Jared's day job is brewing, but he's been playing music for longer than he's been making beer. Anyone up for catching the tunes on Saturday evening?

In other downtown New Albany news, the soon-to-open Speakeasy jazz club has announced that its first big Saturday show -- the Glenn Miller Orchestra on June 16th -- already is sold out. Pretty good for an establishment that's yet to open, as well as a fair amount of pressure to open.

Famous big band booked for New Albany Speakeasy; Glenn Miller Orchestra playing State Street jazz club’s opening (from the New Albany Tribune).

Don't forget Connor's Place at 207 E. Main. Dave Himmel has embarked upon his dream, and it's a comfy, atmospheric setting for beer and food ... and even more inviting since his dad bought him an outdoor grill for the attractive rear patio.

Tribune visits Connor's Place during last night's grand opening gala.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

2nd Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale is Saturday, June 2.

On Saturday, June 2, the 2nd Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale will take place at The Keg Liquors in Clarksville.

Visit the store's web site for directions and ephemera: Fest of Ale 2007.

Here's the rest of the mouthwatering promo, courtesy of owner, reader and pal Todd Antz:


11 Breweries, 2 Importers, 3 Craft Beer Distributors, over 100 craft and import beers, food and more!

Our Annual Fest of Ale celebrating the goodness that is craft beer on June 2nd from 2 - 6 pm.

We will have 10+ microbrewers on site to sample their wares, as well as food, music, and a charity silent auction to support the rebuilding efforts of Bridgepointe Goodwill services. Brewers and Importers signed up so far are: Upland Brewing Company, New Albanian Brewing, Barley Island Brewing, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Warbird Brewing, Bells Brewing, Browning's, Thirsty Dog Brewing, New Holland Brewing, Spanish Peaks Brewing, Cumberland Brews, Belakus Beer Brokerage, and Eurobrew Importers (Xingu, St. Peters).

Also in attendance will be World Class Beverages, North Vernon Beverage, and Cavalier Distributing. Food will be available from Mark's Feed Store, Bistro New Albany, and Buckhead Mountain Grill.

Price is $25 in advance, and $30 day of the event (available at Rich O's Public House & Sportstime Pizza -- just ask your server).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bistro New Albany's current draft beer selection.

Here’s a downtown New Albany update for local readers.

Bistro New Albany has made a few draft changes. Currently Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Upland Dragonfly IPA and Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel are alongside the usual four NABC ales, Bell’s Oberon, Guinness and a mass-market Belgian lager that I failed to record. Not also the distinctly top-shelf liquor selection that has been evolving since bNA procured a three-way permit a couple months ago.

bNA also has started adding selected bottles, beginning with small Chimay Blue and Dogfish Head ApriHop.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New NABC bottled beer list posted at the web site.

The new bottled beer list for NABC/Rich O's/Sportstime has been posted at the website:

NABC's bottled beer menu .pdf

The end result isn't what I'd hoped. It's nothing more than a rehash of what we've done previously, with most new features deferred, but in the end there was an urgent need to incorporate the stocking and pricing changes before the summer festival and commitment schedule got completely out of control.

By fall, it is my aim to incorporate the long-anticipated changes, i.e., being able to identify style and a.b.v. for the beers, along with a one-sentence description, into the finished list. The logistics of resizing also proved problematic for the short term.

A final improvement will be the introduction of a stand-alone NABC house beer list, so as to give our own beers their due.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ohio River Valley Folk Festival recap: Great weather, and beer and music to match.

The second annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival is history, and the city of Madison could not have asked for a better weekend in terms of weather, even if it was a bit nippy on Friday evening.

As in 2006, the crowd was well-behaved and the music superlative. The festival’s organizers persist in espousing the apparently revolutionary notion that a gathering dedicated to the diverse ethos of folk music should also reflect grassroots choices in food and drink.

Consequently, Budweiser was not available, there was no California box wine in sight, and Taco Bell didn’t have a concession. It was enough to gladden a contrarian’s heart – although the Thomas Family Winery’s delightful hard cider helps on that count.

NABC and Upland Brewing Company vended wares again in 2007, and to judge off the cuff, we both probably sold an increased percentage of beer to match the higher ticket sales for the event. Both Ram/Bighorn and Browning's withdrew, leaving the veterans to hold the field. We enjoyed it. Make plans to attend next year.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Any flavor will do as long as there isn't any.

He looked like an embittered old coot before he came close enough to the table to greet. It would be nice to think that when I’m that age, people might think of me as somewhat lovable.

It was Saturday night at the Ohio River Valley Folk Festival in Madison, Indiana, where organizers have taken the sensible view that a gathering dedicated to the broad-based ethos of folk music should also reflect grassroots choices in food and drink.

Back to the old man …

“Can we get you a beer?”

“Don’t you have any Budweiser?”

“No, we sure don’t, but we have locally … “

He made a face like an animal caught in a steel trap and emitted an angry moan that might have come from someone who just lost a loved one.

“I wish they’d a-told me that before I came in,” he grumbled before offering a handful tickets and asking for “two of something.”

His eyes darted left and right as I poured two highly hopped Electors in the hope that they might rearrange his toupee.

“There any normal beer anywhere here?”

“I can assure you that they’re all quite normal.”

It should be said that we’ve experienced few such complaints during two years manning the folk fest taps alongside our friends from Upland Brewing Company in Bloomington, whose choice of flagship ale (Belgian-style wheat) is sufficiently mild to appease most of the confused customers. The majority of people we’ve met are at the very least willing to discuss choices in a reasonable manner, and some probably go away having learned something – anathema to the masses, but gratifying to me.

But there’s nothing that matches explaining to an oblivious liteweight the notion of local Southern Indiana breweries making beer right here in our own state, and then being asked, “but don’t you have anything American?”

In truth, I enjoy watching them squirm, although the funniest of all are the gargantuan, tattooed, macho, leather-encased motorcycle riders who are the bar-none toughest guys around – but can’t manage to choke down a beer that tastes any stronger than the Silver Bullet and its color-coded coldness gauge.

I’ll have more on the festival tomorrow. Today, I just had to get it off my chest.

Friday, May 18, 2007

SteveFest starting lineup is announced – 2nd annual all-draft (YourNameHere)Fest begins on Friday, June 1.

As winner of this year’s (Your name here)Fest, NABC’s “consumer’s choice” beer festival, Steve Hall has presented the Publican -- that’s me – with the challenge of navigating the treacherous byways and backwaters of distribution and wholesaling to assemble his ideal draft lineup.

Steve Hall is the winner ... and SteveFest 2007 begins on June 1.

Many readers will recall that Steve took the unconventional approach of nominating choices within his favorite style categories.

Steve Hall's winning "SteveFest 2007" essay.

Here is the lineup that I’ve been able to put together. Barring the unexpected, all of them will be on tap on Friday, June 1.

NABC Elector (cask-conditioned)

NABC Bonfire of the Valkyries
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

Wood aged
New Holland Dragon’s Milk
Jolly Pumpkin La Roja

Three Floyds Alpha Klaus Xmas Porter

NABC Hoptimus
Arrogant Bastard
BBC American Pale Ale (APA)

Trappist Ale
La Trappe Quadrupel

American-style Red
St. Rogue Dry Hopped Red

Flanders Red Ale
Rodenbach Classic

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

2nd Annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival in Madison, IN, this weekend.

The coming weekend (Friday & Saturday, May 18 & 19) is the 2nd Annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival, held along the Ohio River in Madison, Indiana. NABC poured beer in 2006, and will be doing so again along with friends from Upland, Browning's and Ram/Bighorn (Indianapolis).

My piece today in Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO) discusses the festival's concept: Mug Shots - Folk Fest celebrates handcrafted brews, and last year I recapped the first edition here at the PC blog: Another good reason to run upriver.

Gotta go now and find a load of plastic 12-oz cups.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jolly Pumpkin drafts to be featured at the Public House.

I am pleased to offer three springtime draft beer surprises for the enjoyment of Public House patrons.

For the first time ever, we have incoming kegs of Jolly Pumpkin ales:

Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bier Firkin (40-liter firkin)
Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura (Dark Dawn) Stout
Jolly Pumpkin La Roja (15.5 gallon keg)

Read about them here.

YourNameHere contest winner Steve Hall gets to select one of the two kegs to pour during SteveFest 2007, which kicks off on Friday, June 1. That’s because he expressed an interest in wood-aged beers – and all of Jolly Pumpkin’s are aged in oak barrels.

The other two will appear on tap between now and June 1, but not this coming weekend, when the Publican will be in Madison, Indiana, pouring NABC bers at the 2nd annual 2nd Annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival.

(Thanks Rick)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Beer-related despair for yet another year at Louisville Slugger Field.

It’s more of the same for beer fans at this year’s Louisville Bats games, which take place at Louisville Slugger Field. The excellence of the venue still sharply contrasts with the low-common-denominator character of concessions choices, with many of the food and drink trends noted at minor league ballparks across the country still absent in Louisville.

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and … mediocre Dutch lager brought to you by one of the world’s largest brewing conglomerates?

If you don't favor the Dutch variety, there's always a mediocre Belgian one, and a mediocre German, and Mexican ... and Kona, a “Hawaiian” beer actually made by Widmer in the Pacific Northwest*. At least one reference credited it to "USA." Hardly a grand slam in the sense of geography, but then again, why confuse the pablum?

IPA from India? Nah, that’s just what the other side of the chalkboard said. Actually, it was Redhook’s IPA.

Just to get a draft Redhook, one must walk all the way from the main stands to the tent in center field, which is rather far away from the demographic most likely to purchase … but when Philistinism is the dominant motif, that’s what you get.

As always has been the case, it all comes down to revenue derived from product placement, and that huge Anheuser-Busch sign in right field functions much the same way that statues of Soviet soldiers did in Occupied Eastern European capitals: They reminded a person who was really in charge.


* Original reference to Redhook in New England has been edited. See comment below.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sweet spot chronicles: Another tip of the cap to Jolly Pumpkin.

There can’t be many people drinking Jolly Pumpkin ales while watching the NBA playoffs. For those who are joining me in doing so, I salute our shared good taste.

My only regrets so far? I picked the Dallas Mavericks to win the Western Conference, and it hasn’t yet proven feasible to match these wonderful beers with appropriate food.

But on the other hand, I actually like peanuts.

For the uninitiated, Jolly Pumpkin is a Michigan microbrewery dedicated to an eclectic, Franco-Belgian range of open-fermented, bottle-conditioned and oak-aged ales. Never mind that the attitude and the imagery are Hawaiian. The joy is in the funkiness derived from rich malty backdrops and pleasingly sour palate tickles.

First up a few nights back was a bottle of Biere de Mars, a March release in the brewery’s seasonal repertoire. I had a far better experience with it than the Chicago Bulls did in Game 2 of the team’s series with the Detroit Pistons.

The precise parameters of bottle conditioning may be scientific, but the end result is art, and when you have a brownish-amber ale like this one perfectly carbonated, with lace down the glass throughout and a crowning collar like a dollop of shaving cream, it makes the drinker reverential. Fortunately, there’s more to this Biere de Mars than mere appearance. The nose is all malt and oak, yielding to a superbly balanced, medium-bodied flavor that has some nuttiness and a balanced sourness.

It was excellent with a hastily assembled platter of spicy hummus, raw veggies and a peppercini, but I craved the vegetarian enchiladas as La Rosita’s, a nearby Mexican standby.

My choice for tonight’s Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors-Utah Jazz series – a convincing win for the underdog Warriors – was Perseguidor, which the brewery describes as a “sour blend” of various batches, aged for a longer period in oak. Tart, oak-tinged and medium-bodied, Perseguidor was as subtly rewarding as the Oakland crowd was exuberantly boisterous. A hint of peppery spice was vaguely reminiscent of Belgian-style Saison, which had me scraping the bottom of the mixed nut can in search of barbecued ribs and corn on the cob.

Here’s the good news: By the middle of May, I should have five bottled Jolly Pumpkin ales in stock at the Public House: Oro de Calabaza and La Roja (these have been on the list for a while), as well as Biere de Mars, Magrugada Obscura, and Maracaibo Especiale. Read about them at the brewery’s web site … and look for another surprise that I’ll be springing on you in a couple of weeks.

(Thanks again Rick)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Connor's Place now open; party Monday night.

Connor’s Place, former Bistro New Albany co-proprietor Dave Himmel’s new establishment, will have a grand opening party and ribbon cutting on Monday evening, May 14 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

As a board member of Develop New Albany, and co-owner of NABC (two beers on tap), I’m very happy to represent my organizations at the ribbon cutting.

With relaxed sports bar ambience and casual dining in a historic building at 207/209 E Main (next to the Parthenon), Connor’s Place is the newest downtown New Albany drinking and dining entry. Dave plans on opening tomorrow (Friday, May 11) and Saturday for lunch and dinner. So far as I know, he’ll be closed Sundays.

There’s another knockout downtown outdoor seating area to go along with the Bistro New Albany patio, and a fine draft lineup: NABC Community Dark and Elector, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Spaten Premium Lager, Franziskaner Hefe, and a sixth choice to be named. There’s also a full bar.

Readers are invited to come down and see us on Monday.

Photo credits: Mike Kopp

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Alpha King and Croupier? I’m not King Solomon, but …

Several readers have asked for answers to two questions that are different, but closely linked.

What happened to the Alpha King?
What happened to the Croupier IPA?

Long ago, before there was an NABC brewery, I committed to carrying Alpha King, the flagship pale ale from Three Floyds, as an everyday draft selection.

Later we added Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and Arrogant Bastard to the everyday list. After that, we started brewing Elector, and then Jesse conceived of Croupier IPA and later Hoptimus. On top of all those IBUs, I continue to purchase kegs of hoppy ales from throughout the United States and to pour them with regularity, most of the time alongside the preceding.

And so it came to pass some months ago that we noticed a marked discrepancy, in that while Croupier IPA remains the top selling beer at off-premise accounts, it sells the least at the pub and pizzeria among the four NABC beers that flow from the serving tanks, as opposed to the seasonals that are kegged.

Meanwhile, NABC’s Mt. Lee (California-style “steam” beer) has been selling quickly … and Alpha King has been getting harder to obtain. Roughly a month ago, there was a week’s worth of Alpha King draft outage at the wholesale level. It was the sixth time since Thanksgiving, 2006, that I was unable to obtain Alpha King when ordered. It isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s because craft beer is selling rapidly, and the market share is expanding. With Alpha King and others, there isn’t enough to go around. We're on allocation when it comes to certain bottled items.

Taken together, all these instances add up to a multi-step decision, which is this: Alpha King and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale now are combined as rotating on one tap. Croupier IPA goes to keg only, and Mt. Lee goes into the serving tank where Croupier IPA was before. Apart from a brief period while the changeover is made, outside accounts still will have Croupier IPA, and hopefully our house hoppy ale will do better at home once it is being dry-hopped in the keg again.

Some of you won’t like it. Sorry, but that’s the deal … until I change my mind again.

Monday, May 07, 2007

NABC's Hoosier Daddy Art Show this weekend (May 10th,11th & 12th).

NABC's Hoosier Daddy Art Show is scheduled for Mother's Day Weekend (May 10th,11th & 12th). This third edition in the Prost wing of the building gets under way on Thursday.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of our employees, who’ve done every bit of the heavy lifting necessary to mount these productions. Just this past Sunday I found myself in conversation with a person who was lamenting the state of the nation’s youth in the current day and age. I've generally never agreed with such pronouncements, and judging from the way our twenty-somethings have handled responsibility when it comes to these art shows, I’m here to tell you that the criticism is misdirected.

Of course there’ll be beer, too.

Here's the preview from guiding light Kevin Dennis.


Hoosier Daddy Art Show
Mother's Day Weekend
May 10th,11th & 12th

Thursday - Movie Night!

Soft opening of the art show with a collection of films to watch.

"Welcome Back," a full length film by a crew in Louisville."
Darfur Diaries," a documentary about the Darfur region of Sudan.
A collection of film shorts by Teddy Goman, i.e. "Good cop/Bad cop."

Friday - ART and Music

Come check out some really talented artists and musicians. Music will be in the main room at Prost starting at 7:30 p.m.

Music Lineup - Ben Traughber ... Daniel Brown ... Jared Williamson and Tommy Potts ... Pokey La Farge

Saturday - A mix of it all

Music, movies, a glass blowing expo, and much, much more! There will be a guest speaker at 4 p.m. talking about the Darfur documentary, and glass blower Daniel Holland. Music starts at 8:30 p.m.

Music Lineup - Stephen Powell ... Andy Kaiser/Scott Shamel and friends ... Ben Traughber

Here is a list of a few of our artists: Lauren Heavrin, Mary Anne Tonini, Josh Gilley, Jeannie Bodney, Whitney Harrell, Tony Beard (NABC’s graphic artist), Glen Brown, Michael Nicolas, Nathan Fessel - and the list goes on and on ...

We have over 20 artists scheduled to be in the show! The art shows here at NABC are getting bigger and better each time. This would not happen with out your help. Thank you for your support! If you are curious about future shows or want to try and arrange a solo show ... please contact Kevin Dennis -

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Daytime beers are keen.

In the fall of 2007, my beercycling trio concluded a Friday spent peddling from the Czech border southward toward the Danube River. Just after lunch, we rode into a town with a railhead where we intended to board a train and sag into Tulln, situated to the south on the river, but first there was a matter of restorative food and beverage – a bowl of goulash, a beer and post-ride analysis.

We readily located tasty victuals at a local family-run restaurant. There was a friendly waitress willing to tolerate our halting attempts at speaking German, world news on the television and a warm, inviting atmosphere for stew and refreshment. As we ate, three schoolchildren stopped by the bar – for gargantuan ice cream sundaes, and no one batted an eye.

In America, a do-gooder would have called 9-11. Fortunately, we were in Europe.

We paid and rolled down the street to a smaller neighborhood tavern to kill a few more minutes before departure. It was called Rick’s, and the barflies were chatting, smoking and conversing. Sports coverage was on the tube. Two mudcaked workingmen were medicating, and while they may have been kicking back at the conclusion of a long day, I got the impression that their drinks may have constituted break time between ditches.

How many times have I witnessed and enjoyed such a tableau in what I consider my natural habitat, the corner watering hole?

When you’re a tourist, it is a blessing to experience complete detachment from the normal routine, and to have a beer when and where you like while observing the normal everyday routines of others. If the act requires another beer or even three, it doesn’t matter if the ensuing nap takes you through the afternoon.

I thought about these matters last week during the course of an afternoon stroll from my home into the downtown business district of New Albany, which slowly is reviving after a long, moribund period. My path took me past the Bistro New Albany at 2:30 p.m., as Chef Dave and Graham were on break, having a smoke, waiting for the eatery’s dinner reopening at five. I had a beer, and realized that not long ago the choice wouldn’t have been available. It felt better than fine to have just one, then resume the walk and pick up where I’d left off at home.

It felt like a real city for once. Now if we can do something about the death of the passenger train …

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Stop by Connor's Place on Saturday and check out NA's newest downtown business.

(Crossposted at NA Confidential)

Exhausted proprietor Dave Himmel tells NAC that his Connor’s Place bar and eatery (207 E. Main Street, New Albany) has cleared all regulatory hurdles and will be open for “soft” business Saturday beginning around 11:00 a.m. Call for details at 812-944-0207.

It is located in the former Maytag Laundry building next to the Parthenon.

Please note that owing to the last minute delays and legalese, only a small selection of Dave’s anticipated food and drink choices will be available during the “soft” Saturday hours. NABC’s Elector and Community Dark are on tap, and will be joined by four as yet undetermined drafts (Franziskaner, et al) next week. For the time being, there’ll be pizza, appetizers beer and Dave’s gregarious personality.

See this previous posting for more details: Another new downtown New Albany beginning: Connor’s Place.

Friday, May 04, 2007

BBC’s David Pierce profiled in the May issue of Louisville Magazine.

The dean of Louisville brewmasters garners much deserved column inches in the May issue of Louisville Magazine – just in time for Derby visitors to learn a thing or two about beer.

Right. We’re talking about people who believe Louisvillians actually drink mint juleps during the fifty weeks of the year when Derby fest isn't running -- an incredibly insulting way of ruining good bourbon. They'd be better off with a pint of Dave's American Pale Ale, a bona fide Louisville classic.

It’s still great press for Dave and BBC. The magazine has upgraded its website, where the April issue is currently archived (but with at least one broken link). Area residents are better off buying a newsstand copy.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

LEO on the "import invasion," and another "Mug Shots" archive addition.

Last week’s Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO) included its annual “Nightlife” insert. Local free lancer Kevin Gibson, who over the years has contributed a number of worthy articles on the local beer scene, wrote this piece:

Nightlife 2007 - Does the import invasion mean farewell to ‘fizzy yellow beer’?

That high-quality, high-priced import you’re drinking? It might actually be more high-priced than high-quality — nevertheless, it carries an important connotation: The public, looking for something different, is drinking more imports and craft brews than ever. Craft beer sales rose nearly 12 percent in 2006, according to the Oregon-based non-profit Brewers Association, and data from a market research study suggests that beer drinkers are “trading up” because they see import and craft beers as an affordable luxury.

Kevin gives due props to Maido Essential Japanese owner Jim Huie and “Beer Dave” Gausepohl of Kentucky’s Bryant Distributing. Of course, the Curmudgeon is quoted, too. He adores the press.

Here’s the roundup on my recently published “Mug Shots” articles in LEO:

Mug Shots: 5 spots to get your brew on.
(May 2, 2007)

Mug Shots: Simple times called for Phoenix Kommon.
(April 18, 2007)

Mug Shots: Good beer isn’t hard to find.
(April 4, 2007)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Beer, wine and music festival news from French Lick.

If you’re reading this from afar, there’ll be something vaguely giggly about French Lick, Indiana. Sports fans will remember the small town as the home of the “Hick from French Lick”, hall-of-fame hoopster Larry Bird.

In olden times, circa America's puritanical Prohibition era, French Lick was a renowned regional center for, err, passive resistance to the homegrown Ayatollahs. The grand buildings of the resort slowly deteriorated, but recently the state approved a gaming license, and a massive renovation project ensued. The result is the French Lick Resort Casino, and the pretext for this digression:

Upland Brewing Company and French Lick Resort Casino have paired up to present the first annual “Great Licks Craft Beer, Wine & Music Festival” from noon – 11pm on Friday & Saturday, May 11-12, 2007.

You’ll find complete details at the French Lick Casino & Resort web site.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Derby and election day operating hours at the Public House.

Two advance notes for local readers:

(1) Rich O's Public House won't open until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, which is the first Saturday in May, which in turn is a Louisville area holy day known as Kentucky Derby. So many employees have called out festive that we have no one to work the afternoon shift. Sportstime Pizza will be open from 11:00 a.m. as usual

(2) Next Tuesday, May 8, steel yourself for the annual nastiness of election day (municipal elections in New Albany), which means that the taps don't open until the polls close at 6:00 p.m. As is our long custom in recognition of the futility of being a fine beer bar that can't serve during the daytime hours on election day, Rich O's will open at 6:00 p.m. Sportstime will be open from 11:00 a.m. for a long, uninvitingly dry lunch.

Could people vote worse drunk?