Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where to find good beer during Harvest Homecoming.

Speaking personally, it has been a cherished goal to live long enough that I might be able to enjoy a craft beer downtown during New Albany’s annual Harvest Homecoming celebration, and by doing so, to strike a small blow against the hegemony of the swill merchants.

In 2005, the old House of Bread put two kegs of NABC beer on tap during Harvest Homecoming, and last year, its successor, Bistro New Albany expanded the NABC selection while adding craft beers from Upland (a Bloomington, Indiana microbrewery) and others from America and around the world.

BNA will do it again this year, and there’ll be NABC and Upland beers on tap once again. Unlike last year, BNA will conduct food and drink business during booth days both outside on the patio and inside in the dining room, which means that one need not be restricted to elephant ears and rolled oysters (the latter remaining a favorite of mine) from the street side vendors.

Another marvelous option is added for 2007: Connor’s Place, run by former BNA partner Dave Himmel, and located on Main Street adjacent to the Parthenon. CP will feature NABC drafts during Harvest Homecoming: Community Dark, Elector, Flat Tyre, Hoptimus (limited quantities) and Mt. Lee (also limited quantities).

Flat Tyre will be available in cask-conditioned form from the hand pump, which has been borrowed from NABC for the occasion, giving Connor’s the distinction of being the first New Albany establishment during the modern era to offer hand-pumped “real” ale. When the cask version is depleted, there’ll be a regular keg as back-up. Connor’s Place will also have Oktoberfest beers from Upland, Browning’s (Louisville micro) and Spaten (Germany).

I believe that Elector will be on tap at Speakeasy Jazz, NABC’s remaining downtown account.

Yes, swill reigns supreme at Harvest Homecoming, and it probably always will. However, all we ever wanted was a choice. Now more than ever, we have it. If you like good beer and you’re downtown the next three days, visit one of these fine establishments and buy one. In NABC isn’t your taste, my feelings aren’t hurt; have another microbrew or an import instead, and let them know that you appreciate having options. Rest assured that if it were up to Anheuser-Busch, you wouldn’t have any.

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