Monday, June 30, 2008

NABC holiday hours, Victory beers on tap and Thomas cherry cider.

First, the holiday closing news.

NABC, Rich O’s and Sportstime will be closed this coming weekend (Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5). Since we’re always closed on Sunday, it’ll be a three-day break, with the annual employee picnic slated for Saturday.

Our last business day this week is Thursday, July 3. Get what you need by then, or do without …

Note that currently all three of the Victory Brewing beers cleared for sale in Indiana are pouring at the Public House: Hop Devil, Prima Pils and Golden Monkey.

Know also that for a short time (two kegs) we’ll be the only establishment outside of Madison, Indiana to be serving the Thomas Family Winery’s excellent Cherry Cider on draft. It’s the same as Gale’s Hard Cider, with cherries added; balanced between tart and sweet, and highly poundable during hot weather.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bank Street Brewhouse in the Scene.

The Louisville Courier-Journal included a mention of the Bank Street Brewhouse project in Saturday's Scene publication. The author is Steve Coomes, with whom I had a delightful conversation last week.


A new New Albanian taproom in October

Roger Baylor has a terrific problem on his hands. As one of three owners of The New Albanian Brewing Co. Pub & Pizzeria (formerly known as Rich O's and Sportstime Pizza), he's faced with business so good that his location at 3312 Plaza Drive in New Albany, Ind., is bursting at the seams.

"We literally have no room left to grow, so we knew we had to do something about it," Baylor said.

That something will come in the form of the New Albanian Brewing Co. Bank Street Brewhouse (415 Bank St.), a brewing and distribution center fronted by a taproom set to open in October in the city's reawakening downtown. (The building was built in 1919 and formerly housed a Rainbow Bread bakery.)
The taproom will seat 50 inside and 30 outside in a beer garden. Long-term plans call for a rooftop beer garden seating 150.

The increased brewing capacity will launch keg sales to select bars and restaurants in Louisville, Indianapolis and Bloomington, Ind. Brews sold at the taproom will reflect that being produced for keg sales, but Baylor said "new one-off beers" also will be brewed and served there.

Unlike Rich O's, which has a broad, pizza-centered menu, the Brewhouse will serve a limited menu that's simpler to execute and reflective of the fare sold at the Belgian cafes Baylor enjoyed on visits to Europe.

"(Rich O's) got to be so famous doing others' beers that it wasn't always easy to showcase our own beers, which we want to do now," he said. "That's also part of why we want to do less food. We want our beer to be the main focus, like it is in a Belgian cafe."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Louisville Restaurants Forum discussion on good beer and Marxist theory?

I took some hits in a recent thread on the Louisville Restaurants Forum.

The original topic was a perennial on the board: Whither chain restaurants?

Robert S,, who is the incessant, resident trollish advocate of chain-think, opened with a glowing report on the financial condition of Texas Roadhouse during tough economic times. I responded, and in the customary fashion of such discussions, matters proceeded to mutate beyond peanut shells and franchise dining, into a consideration of the merits and demerits of my public interface ... in the context of Marxist theory.

Which, of course, indicates that the same people differing with me because of “personal” attacks on Robert began positioning precisely the same “personal” grenades and lobbing them in my direction … but that’s fine by me. I’m a public figure, and that’s the way it is.

Those participating in the debate are known, named humans, too, and we’re all on a level playing field in a place where anonymity isn’t permitted. Robin Garr runs a classy joint.


Steve H

We only selectively eat at chain restaurants. But we will not feel guilty when we do. Many in this forum praise our local Mexican food mini chains. I find them wanting in many aspects, but there are a couple that know how to make a GOOD frozen margarita, which I dearly love. (I'm hoi poloi, so sue me; or ban me from the forum).

So, what's the difference between Texas Roadhouse, and these Mexican Mini chains? If Ernesto's starts opening locations in other cities and states will we have to hate them too? Do folks here hate Texas Roadhouse because they are more successful? Can someone enlighten me as to the rules here?

Now, from my perspective, if Robert is a troll, Roger is a much bigger troll. I love brewpubs. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! My wife doesn't like going, so it is a rare treat for me. Roger's place should be my Mecca. But there is an elephant in the room that gives pause: Roger's disgusting elitist attitude. This is usually expressed about certain kinds of beer the obviously stupid people who drink them.

Here's an evil genius that has somehow managed to create a synthesis between Marxist analysis and beer gastronomy. Enjoy a Bud Lite? Then you are a victim of false consciousness, obviously brainwashed by the evil capitalist corporate elite. Give me a boulder-sized break. If there is any one here that deserves mocking, it is indeed Mr. Roger Baylor.

So, if I managed to gather up a friend to go to the pub who likes Bud Lite. And only drinks Bud Lite. Has tried other beer, but still, only likes Bud Lite. And he is even smart and shows no signs of "False Beer Consciousness", why should I bring him to Roger's place knowing that he is fundamentally unwelcome? And worse, to be condescended to?

This is the hospitality industry. Right?


John H

We had lunch at NABC yesterday. The pizza was great as well as the brew. What we found interesting was that our server told us that most the guys that work there tend to drink Miller Highlife?

Yes, this was just one guy that told us that, but why ... when you got all that good beer around you?



Elitist? Absolutely. No apologies for telling it like it is, or for taking my life's work seriously.

Not stupid. Ignorant. There's a difference.

Not unwelcome ... entirely welcome to learn something about the way things are.

Other than those three misconceptions, I accept the criticism. When Robert learns to articulate in this fashion, I'll take him seriously, too.

(As for the High Life employees) Point taken. It's like children rebelling against their parents for the sake of rebelling, and not because there's an actual point to it. But, even if they're hesitant to admit it, they work hard and know enough about the beers to convey the needed information when asked.

Along these lines, it's always struck me as ironic that smoking bans are about workplace safety, and probably 90% of our employees smoke. Verily, conundrums make the rocking world go round. Hope you enjoyed the lunch!


B Smith

I think part of this is a lesson in how people want to be talked to and dealt with as a potential customer.

I moved here as the bar manager for Fox and Hound. At first, I was going to remove the BBC tap because of the BBC Brewery down the street. It was going to be a simple business decision not to remind people that if they liked BBC, they could leave my establishment and drive 2 miles to get a wider variety. My Mo Moorman rep sent in Phil from BBC, who passionately explained what they were all about and introduced me to Hell for Certain. His honest passion towards the cause prompted me to keep it and start selling a ton of Hell for Certain. I can get behind another man's conviction when I'm treated as an equal.

If someone wants to preach at me or talk down to me, I'll just go to liquor barn or whole foods to get my Schneider Aventinus, Bell's Two-Hearted, Unibroue (most varieties), etc... It's probably safer to drink at home and watch a televangelist.

Roger-I hope you choose to refine your approach to endear more people to the cause. It is a worthy one.


Steve H

It is possible to be elite without being an elitist.

As I noted with one example, there are people that have tried many different beers, but still prefer Bud Lite. That removes ignorant from the list. Unfortunately, given your preferred Marxist/Beer Gastronomy taxonomy, the only classification remaining is stupid.

They are only welcome if they can cheerfully tolerate being considered stupid for enjoying mass market beer.You are free to promote and carry on your business anyway you wish, even though it limits my opportunity to ever visit your establishment. This is your choice, and it's obviously working out for you. Congratulations on the new operation. Seriously.

It amuses me that Robert is considered the troll and you're supposedly the considered and balanced poster. Hilarious!



The time I spend teaching beer to those willing to be educated about beer is fairly extensive. However, because this isn't the public schools, I try as hard as I can to weed out those who don't wish to be educated, because it's a waste of my time. When they're ready -- if they're ready -- then so am I.

Does my own establishment benefit from it? Of course, but so does everyone else selling good beer, and the more places that sell good beer, the longer the list of places I can go an enjoy a busman's holiday. It's regrettable that a lover of good beer can't patronize certain establishments because they won't carry one of several thousand brands of beer available on the market.

But don't humans survive on the planet because of adaptability? Why reward non-adaptability? The broader my range of tastes, the more habitats I can visit and enjoy. Besides, as I've noted before in this space, it's very simple. We sell four kegs of Spaten Premium Lager each and every week, year round. If a Bud Light drinker cannot drink Spaten, he or she really has no business drinking beer. Spaten is a worthier substitute than most, and I'm fairly confident that roughly 95 out of 100 Bud Light drinkers in a BLIND taste test wouldn't know the difference.

Considering all that, why should I be unduly bothered by the 5% who can't adjust, when I can please the 95% who can and do?

And, while I'm at it, if anyone can explain what Marxist-anything has to do with my espousal of niche market capitalism, please enlighten me. Takers? Anyone?

The Red Room exists to annoy stuffed shirts, not because I'm a Communist. I travelled quite a lot in Eastern Europe when it was Communist, and the goal was to make everything alike. My goal is to have differences. Seems to me that chain-think is far more socialistic than what I practice, seeing as the gift cards for chains will be sold in other chains, and soon we'll all dine & shop in the same six places owned by the same corporate entity. Just like in Bulgaria, circa 1987.

Finally, note that I, like (Chef Dave) Clancy, have defended Robert's continued presence here, and on more than one occasion. I don't think he should be banned. At the same time, when he insists on posting trollish blather, I'm more than happy to answer. Turn the other cheek isn't something that I do very often.


Steve H (on the “synthesis between Marxist analysis and beer gastronomy”)

I'll be happy to explain. It is beyond your comprehension that anyone would like Bud Lite. (It is also beyond mine, but hey, different stokes).

Since you can't comprehend anyone liking Bud Lite, you have to rationalize the reason why they like it. The way you do is to claim that they are victim of mass market homogenization and marketing. In other words, they don't really like it, but they think they do because they have been capitalistically repressed with False Consciousness.

This is a type of Marxist thought, because the mass-market beer drinking proles, only support capitalism (Bud Lite), because of their False Consciousness, oppressively imposed by the capitalistic overclasses. If it wasn't for this, they would abandon capitalism and see the beauty and light that is communism (craft beer).

The problem with the whole concept, is that people are perfectly able to think and make judgments on their own. In fact, it is perfectly reasonable for someone to consider the facts, and decide that they really like capitalism (Bud Lite) better than communism (craft beer).

There is no reason to say they are unenlightened, ignorant, stupid, or suffer some kind of mass-media induced false consciousness to explain why that is. One could just give due respect to their decision that they see capitalism (Bud Lite) as their better, informed choice over communism (craft beer).Folks of good conscience can disagree about beer. There should be room in your worldview for that fact, without assuming that they are ignorant or brainwashed by mass-marketed culture.


John M

Roger's original topic did have at least something to do with the local restaurant scene. Several of the others that followed did not. Robert is insulted fairly regularly, with the term troll most commonly used. I'm not sure if he is trying to cause arguments or not, but personal insults should never be acceptable. Yet they are, and these insults matter. Like Steve H, I'm the type of person that should be a prime customer for Roger's business. I choose not to go there for the same reasons that he articulated (far better than I could.

It's worth noting that Roger's alternative to Bud Light, Spaten, is owned by the company that is trying to buy Anheuser-Busch. If they succeed and Spaten & BL are sister brands, then what do you serve the simpletons?

Another comment that express my thoughts comes from Anna C:

"I haven't posted much at all since I joined the proper forum, and it's this kind of back and forth that really turns me off from posting on this forum. This thread is a perfect example. Any chef/owner who posts on something like this makes me think about where to use my dining dollars."

Here's an example of how this worked with me. On Sunday, my buddy & I left Churchill Downs and wanted to go get something to eat. We drove up Third street and turned onto Oak. We had a brief conversation about going to Carly Rae's and I didn't want to. Why? I don't like the philosophy & attitude of their new chef (Clancy).

I never patronized his place in New Albany for the same reason. Business owners & their employees have every right to post their opinions on this site. They can also treat people however they want to within the rules of the forum. They should know that their personal viewpoints can have a direct bearing on their business and it may not always be good.


Roger (summary not posted on line)

With respect to “false consciousness” and its application to Marxist theory, the article cited by Steve H notes clearly that Karl Marx himself did not use the term, although subsequent Marxists did. Those using the term in a Marxist sense would necessarily apply it to economic circumstances and the “prevailing mode of production,” i.e., capitalism.

There are reasons why it’s a considerable stretch to apply “false consciousness” and Marxist theory in general to a discussion of beer choices.

I’m accepting free choice in the economic sense as a given. No one, least of all the Publican, is debating the veracity of an open society filled to the brim with choices.

No one, least of all the Publican, is suggesting that a “‘correct’ perception on the falsely conscious” be imposed by force, only that wider educational opportunities invariably improve the economic, social and cultural context for all citizens. If I were to suggest force, it would be in the form of something that denies Bud Light to all, not just to those walking through the doors of my own establishment where, as we’ve seen, alternative choices are available.

Rather, I prefer to see Bud Light whither away.

That’s the Marxist part, Steve.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thanks to Matt, a fine Flossmoor Station Pullman Brown Ale.

On Monday, I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Van Wyk and family. They were in route from Illinois, where Matt brews beer at Chicagoland's award-winning Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery, to Roanoke, Virginia ... and like all the rest of us, looking to hit as many good beer places as possible along the way.

Flossmoor Station web site
Flossmoor Station blog

Totally delightful folks, and I'd wish there had been more time to spend with them. Matt gave me two 22-ounce "bombers", one of the "Brewer's Whim" IPA and the other Pullman Brown Ale. Both were great with a homemade ploughman's plate last night, but special praise (by my standards) goes to the brown ale, which is brewed with molasses. To know me is to know I'm not a great fan of brown ales ... yet I could spend some time drinking this one.

There's much to savor in the Pullman -- maybe some chocolate, maybe some hazelnut, and probably more hops than you'd imagine to balance the dessert character. I was drinking this one fast with an unexpectedly delightful hydroponic sliced tomato grown in Laconia, Indiana of all places ... and some Kalamata olives with just a touch of sharp cheddar ... yummers.

The cheese made me think of Madison, Wisconsin and the forthcoming Great Taste of the Midwest ... and Matt Van Wyk says we'll see him and Flossmoor again at the fest. Marvelous. I'll bring the squeaky cheese curds ...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

NABC in the local newspaper.

New Albany Tribune reporter Daniel Suddeath did a nice job with this article in yesterday's newspaper.

NABC to open downtown New Albany Brewhouse by fall

I think John's comments about cans may have been in jest, because it makes more sense to me to have bombers, but in fact we really haven't decided yet about small-scale bottling and canning options. The big thing's the draft.

I'll try to have a more detailed update within the next few days. At the moment, it's mostly about bucks and where to find them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

NABC at the 2008 Indy Brew-Ha-Ha for Phoenix Theater.

Today I'm turning it over to my associate, John, for a report on the past Saturday's Brew-Ha-Ha in Indianapolis. Wish I could have gone this year ...


By John Campbell

Jared, Tony, and I loaded up the Sweet Chrysler rental ride last Saturday and headed north for the annual Indy Brew-Ha-Ha. The Brew-Ha-Ha is an incredible block party and craft beer festival in the heart of Indy's Mass(achusetts) Avenue Arts District. It is also an annual fundraiser for the Phoenix Theater and a great excuse for us to hang out with our friends and fellow beer enthusiasts in Indianapolis.

We left early so we could stop for lunch at Oaken Barrel in Greenwood. As usual, the food was good, the beer was good, and the atmosphere was just what we needed to relax before the show. I had a Hommel Bier, something I'd never seen brewed there before. It was a refreshing change of pace from the standard American microbrew fare. Tony had the Snake Pit Porter and still swears our 15B is better than any other Porter in the world. Jared had the Superfly IPA, 100+ IBUs = happiness in a glass.

We arrived on time (really, we did), set up our brand new easy-up tent, tapped the kegs, hung some banners, and commenced drinking.

I grabbed my camera and headed out to annoy as many people as possible. It didn't take long. I was taking a few photos of our "A New World Is Possible" banner - one of Tony's many artistic endeavors - when I was stopped by a few of the festival volunteers (shown below at left) asking why I was taking pictures of the police cars and what my "These Machines Kill Fascists" shirt meant.

"Are you a political activist or something?" they asked in a most bothered way. After I explained that I was with the New Albanian Brewery and what the shirt means to us, they smiled, laughed, and we had a beer.

The gates opened, the crowd flooded in, and the rain began. We were happy to have a tent. Luckily, the shower was brief and kind of invigorating. The sun came out and the rest of the day was beautiful. The people at the festival were just the kind of crowd we like: educated, unbiased, craft beer supporters that truly appreciate what we do. Often is the case at festivals that we spend much of the day saying, "I'm sorry, we don't have any light beer. The booth over there has a great wheat beer. You'll love it. Next!"

Less than 10 minutes after I was detained for questionable camera activity, a wonderful lady (below) stopped her husband and said "Oh, look," pointing at our t-shirts for sale. It's like the Woody Guthrie thing." Ding! Ding! Ding! We had a winner! She truly earned the first free t-shirt of the day. It turned out that her husband (also shown below) plays in an acoustic band and would love to play at our brewery. "We'll play as left as you'll let us," he said. We'll be seeing them again.

Many of our friends were there: John Hill, owner of Broad Ripple Brew Pub (Indiana's first and oldest operating microbrewery), Jeff Eaton and his Barley Island gang, Veronica from Bell's Brewery, Mat Gerdenich (below) with his motley crew of Cavalier Distributing guys, Aaron from Stone Brewery, Christian from Two Brothers, and many, many others.

We took a pin of Flat Tyre that Jesse (our other brewer) and Jared had been aging in an oak J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale Calvados Cask for three months (below). I think they wanted to age it a little longer but, as Jared put it, "What the hell." We knew it would go fast, so we decided to wait until 4:30 to knock the bung out. As predicted: gone in 19 minutes. I had about 2 ounces and it was perfect. It had taken on enough of the barrel to show the apple brandy tartness and a hint of oak. Keep tabs on our upcoming festivals, and don't miss out; you never know what Jared has hiding in the cellar. We'll always try to bring something special.

Phoenix, our Kentucky Kommon, was the first keg to blow, followed by 15-B, Hoptimus and Elector. Fortunately, Jared brought an extra keg of Hoptimus so we ended the day on the right note.

All in all, the Indy Brew-Ha-Ha was a tremendous success. We can't wait to do it again next year. And, above all, we want to thank our ever-growing army of New Albanian loyalists. We do this for you!

Sweet Chrysler, comin' for to carry me home.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Room with a Brew: Ogle Center's Bier Prost 2008 this Friday at Caesar's, and here's the deal.

The complete story of Bier Prost 2008 comes to you below in the form of the official press release from the Ogle Center.

As with the previous two Ogle/Bier prost events at Caesar's, I've had a hand in organizing the beer selections. The new twist this year is that we've grouped the world beers around the world food stations, which is to say that instead of going to the Mexico table and finding Mexican food prepared by the Caesar's cooking staff alongside all Mexican beers, you'll find the Mexican food and beers from various locales that I think might accompany the food.

There'll be six such groupings: America, Asia, England, Germany, Mexico and Desserts at large. There'll also be a sampling-only "local micro" table with NABC and BBC beers.

There's a catch from my end: I can't attend owing to my 30th high school class reunion, which I'll be hosting Friday night at the pub. The event still sounds like fun, and I recommend it.

NEW ALBANY, IN, (June 11, 2008) - Cheers! It's time for Bier Prost 2008 at the Ogle Center.

The Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center at Indiana University Southeast is toasting summer with Bier Prost 2008. For the price of admission, the event offers.

*Showcase of 50 beers and accompanying food from around the world

*Bier Prost guests can taste-test beer from their own limited edition tasting mug

*Dance the night away to local artists - The Wulfe Pack

*Enjoy a Live Auction by T&S Auction Services - bid on items ranging from a full can of Billy Beer to Bruce Fox art pieces to a priceless pendant necklace which was mined from Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Bier Prost 2008 will be held from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, June 27, at Caesars Colosseum. Tickets are $50 per person, $175 for a group of four, or $350 for a group of eight. All funds raised from Bier Prost 2008 will go to support the Ogle Center. Contributions allow the Center to continue arts programming for thousands of guests each year, including the more than 12,000 children who take part in the Chase Children's Series and other performances.

Attire is drinking casual so khakis and sneakers are acceptable and encouraged.

For more information on the event or ticket sales, call Michaleen Ogden at (812) 941-2526 or e-mail her at mmogden(at)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hoping I can live up to this advance billing.

From Becca at Bluegrass Brewing Company (East, Shelbyville Road) comes notice of where I'll be on Sunday afternoon. It's a very generous introduction, and I'm happy to have lived long enough that most people have forgotten my wild younger years.

Stop by if you're in the neighborhood. I'll have growlers of selected NABC beers

This Sunday we will be welcoming the wonderfully talented Roger Baylor of New Albanian Brewing Company to provide us with delicious brews from across the bridge for our June tasting. The meeting will start at 2 pm this Sunday. Don't miss out on this one--Roger is an incredibly interesting man and this meeting will be absolutely delightful!

Cheers, Becca

Friday, June 20, 2008

Upgrade now complete: “Everyday” guest imported draft selection at the Public House taken up a notch.

Corey poses by the newly completed front draft box makeover at the Public House. All the beers listed below are on tap, and all of them, or sister brands, are intended to be on tap all of the time from now on. This brings the total number of spouts at the Public House to 38, including the handpull, which isn't always operational. Current totals: 16 permanent guests, 10 New Albanian drafts, 10 rotating guests, 1 root beer and the unoccupied hand pull.

Aventinus Weizen Doppelbock

Chimay Tripel

Delirium Tremens

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Saison Dupont

Schlenkerla Marzen

St. Bernardus ABT 12

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Coming soon: Louisville Vanguard Cinema ... and good beer there, too.

When you look in the dictionary under “adaptive reuse”, there should be a picture of Louisville’s Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center, now comprised of 360,000 square feet of arts-related space located in what used to be the early 20th-century complex of the Fischer Meat Packing Company, including studios, galleries, retail shops and rehearsal spaces. Mellwood Arts is a sprawling warren of testament to the power of creativity, and long may it surprise and prosper.

The latest addition to Mellwood Arts is on the drawing board: Louisville Vanguard Cinema.

The Louisville Vanguard Cinema, the only local dine-in, drink-in, dual-screen independent cinema is counting on the public to make the dream a reality. Cities across the country from Austin, Chicago, and Portland to Asheville NC and Springfield MO have their own cinema drafthouses showing quality artistic films – why not Louisville? Don’t we deserve to join their ranks?

The web site provides this encouraging quote from German writer, playwright and director Bertolt Brecht:

"A theater without beer is just a museum."

Back in 1989, I spent evenings during the month of August drinking tasty Wernesgruner Pilsner not too far away from Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble theater, and so I feel qualified to add that in this day and time, a theater with swill alone is just another place to pay homage to the nefarious megabrewing multinationals.

Luckily, we're told more:

The food will be innovative - often reflecting the themes of the current film offerings. The food, spirit, beer, and wine choices will feature local and regional production.

Now that's soundtrack music to my ears. "Local and regional production" firmly implies craft beer, and you know I’m for that.

In fairness, I was treated to a bit of insider's information about this project in the run-up to the unveiling, and by all accounts it's a keeper, indeed. Let’s hope they find the backing needed, and I'll just say that I’m looking forward to food and beer that match and enhance the overall cinematic theme, and may well have to begin watching more movies.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Victory drafts coming to NABC/Rich O's.

It took a while since my first and only visit to Downingtown, Pennsylvania in 2002, but Victory Hop Devil finally is on tap at the Public House. It will be followed by Prima Pils and Golden Monkey once there are openings, and all three may be pouring at the same time this weekend if things work out.

Victory's beers are coming into Indiana courtesy of World Class Beverages in Indianapolis, and we can only hope the spigot remains open (see Anderson Valley lately? In Kentucky, but apparently not yet back in Indiana).

Bizarrely, the last time I had Hop Devil on draft was at the 1516 Brewery in Vienna ... that's Austria, folks, and therein lies a now famous tale: "Mr. Phillips, I presume?" (Part 2 of 2).

Victory Brewing's website

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame: More about sports concessionaires, blatant extortion and non-competition.

A month or so ago, I reported on my experience at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati:

Sports concessionaires, blatant extortion, non-competition … but a good beer, anyway.

I edited the preceding into a "Mug Shots" column for LEO: Mug Shots: A fair price? (May 14, 2008).

The follow-up appeared this week: Mug Shots - Your beer is The Man (June 11, 2008).

In it, my parentage is questioned by an angry Anheuser-Busch representative. He should consider reading the book about the Busch family before impugning my origins, but no matter; he'll soon be taking orders in Flemish and taking his fries with mayo.

On Sunday, we're headed back to the Queen City to see the Red Sox play the homestanding Reds in interleague play. There should be time to visit the Hofbrauhaus in Newport before settling into the right field seats and cradling a few $7.75 IPAs ... assuming they're still there.

Happy Hudy time, anyone?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lost River Market & Deli in Paoli, Indiana.

We took a field trip today to West Baden Springs and French Lick, which are adjoining "jazz age" resort and spa towns in south central Indiana. There'll be more about these places in another posting.

In route, Highway 150 passes through the town of Paoli, where I recalled my World Class Beverages rep Tisha telling me there was a good bottled beer selection at a food cooperative and market. Indeed there is, and a more unlikely spot in a place like Paoli is hard to imagine. Here are some photos of the Lost River Market & Deli. It's a block off the main square, reasonably priced for a healthy lunch, chock full of good and fresh foodstuffs to take away, and offers mix 'n' match six-packs for $9.99.

Excellent. Visit their website for more information, and especially for Louisville metro area readers, be sure to stop by whenever you're taking the back way to Bloomington.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A trip to Red Pepper Chinese Cuisine, and much needed help for Pabst.

Hard as it may seem to believe considering Pabst Blue Ribbon's dumbed-down and vapid essence, apocryphal evidence continues to suggest that the beer that once made Milwaukee infamous has become a key status indicator in an emeging China. As one blogger notes, this may have much to do with "signs of a new cultural dominance approved of by the Chinese to assimilate to global standards."

Perhaps, but global standards of what? Considering that virtually all Asian beer is insipid and timid golden lager, I'd hazard a guess that it has everything to do with fantasy-borne symbolism and nothing to do with any widely held knowledge about beer among the Chinese. That's because to know about beer is to know Pabst's place in the pantheon of brewing, which comes far to the rear of the queue.

These matters began invading my cranium earlier today, when Mrs. Curmudgeon and I made our inaugural visit to Red Pepper Chinese Cuisine at 2901 Brownsboro Road in Louisville. For natives, it's located in the same building where Shariat's used to do business.

Order from the authentic Chinese menu (the red one), and I'm confident you'll agree that Red Pepper is a cut above the local Americanized versions of Chinese cuisine, with a good dining room ambience and a full bar. All this comes for a few dollars more than carry-out from Great Wall or Hing Wang, but it's worth it to experience dishes that seldom invade the palates of frightened metro denizens.

Red Pepper has cold beer on tap, and the most noticeable tap handle is ... yes, Pabst Blue Ribbon. I almost had one to accompany my fabulous Bean Paste Bitter Gourd entree, but couldn't quite bring myself to do it even if to do so would be authentic. Oddly, as our server warned me that my dish was very bitter and often objectionable to American tastes, I kept wondering if the bitterness from the gourd might actually assist the Pabst in going where the watery lager has seldom gone before.

Maybe next time I'll find out.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Schlafly Export IPA day this Thursday: $4.00 Imperial pints all day.

Schlafly's Export IPA was released on June 6, and our keg is resting in Cellar 3. It will be tapped on Thursday, June 12, and our local Schlafly rep Scott will be on hand to give away merchandise and hoist a few with the lads at the bar.

Here's the brewery description:

This full-bodied traditional English-style ale is brewed with a high gravity and extra hops, which originally helped to preserve the beer on long voyages from England to India. 8% ABV.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Close enough to Broadway: Newark readers learn of NABC's existence.

Readers will recall that in May, NABC’s brewers traveled to Washington, DC, to participate in the first SAVOR beer and food gala.

SAVOR in DC this weekend, and NABC will be there.

It turns out that Jesse Williams scored a column inch or two of coverage. Read all the way to the bottom of the article, which is quite good.

Beer heads: Brewmakers gather to promote suds with sustenance, (Wednesday, May 28, 2008) … by John Holl, The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey.

Friday, June 06, 2008

3rd Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale is tomorrow (June 7).

From Todd Antz:

The 3rd Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale is only one more day away. Friday is your last chance to get your tickets at the $25.00 discounted price. This goes up to $30.00 on Saturday.

Check out the list of beers that will be available at the festival: 2008 Fest of Ale Beer List

Also, check out the recent publicity for the event:

This brewfest is for both the beer snob and the curious sud-seeker

Fest of Ale from

The LEO Bar Belle

For more information on the event, check out our web page Keg Liquors Fest of Ale

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The history of NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse building revealed.

My first foray into the history of the future NABC Bank Street Brewhouse building at 415 Bank Street in New Albany yields the following information. In short, the current building on Bank Street came about as an annex/extension of a bakery business located just behind it on Pearl. All years below are approximate. The bakery company that absorbed Grocers in 1959 is variously referred to as "Rainbo" and "Rainbow."

Model Baking Co. is incorporated and baking begins shortly thereafter at 414 Pearl Street, directly across the alley from 415 Bank Street.

Model's "Super Bakery" is slated for 414 Pearl Street. Source materials aren't clear whether this involved renovation or new construction.

Model Baking Co. becomes Grocers Baking Co., "The Home of Honey Crust Bread."

Grocers Baking Co. acquires house at 413/415 Bank Street, tears it down and builds current building soon to be used by NABC to brew beer. The building becomes the bakery's service area and garage for route trucks.

Remaining houses on each side of the bakery's Bank Street garage disappear and become parking lots. The south parking lot originally was used by Cora Jacobs Realty and Union Bank, and now is owned by attorney Rick Fox. The north parking lot was for the bakery/garage. Interestingly, the building brought down to provide the future NABC parking lot housed the New Albany chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union for more than thirty years, and perhaps longer (hardbound street directories went back to 1922, and I ran out of time to go to microfiche).

During the same time span (20's - 40's), the house that now belongs to Ricke & Associates boarded students from a local Bible college.

Grocers Baking ceases to exist and becomes Rainbo. How this was transacted isn't clear.

Longtime bakery manager Hobart W. Fox, who worked for both Model and Grocers, dies at his home on Gary Drive ... the same street where founding NABC brewer Michael Borchers now lives.

Rainbo ceases baking in the old Model/Grocers site on Pearl Street.

The Floyd County Museum gets an Indiana Arts Commission grant to paint a "supergraphic" on a downtown New Albany building. The south wall of the former bakery garage is chosen, and Larry Dalhover, a New Albany artist and dance instructor, wins a competition sponsored by the museum. Dalhover's design is painted in one day by a St. Marks UCC youth group.*

For the sake of "modernization," Rainbow installs vinyl siding and a faux façade on the Bank Street side of what they have started referring to as a "thrift" store, otherwise known to many as "the day old bread store."

A Tribune photo shows a newly created vacant lot at 414 Pearl Street and exults: "Downtown keeps improving … The old Rainbow Bakery building on Pearl Street has now been demolished … others will be torn down back to the city parking lot."

Rainbo closes the thrift store, and the building goes up for sale.

NABC brings the brewing revolution to downtown New Albany.


* Information from the February, 1975 edition of Louisville magazine, (pg. 75; "They Were Wall-Eyed!") The unknown author provides grist for the debate over how to identify a resident of New Albany with this line (italics added): "The next morning New Albanians heading downtown to work and shop did a genuine double take." Has anyone found an earlier reference to New Albanian?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Blue Grass & Brown Whiskey": Southern Foodways Alliance coming to Louisville in July.

In January, I learned about the Southern Foodways alliance:

The Southern Foodways Alliance documents and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the American South. We set a common table where black and white, rich and poor -- all who gather-- may consider our history and our future in a spirit of reconciliation.

It's true that I often have an adverse relationship with certain social and political aspects of my Southern heritage ... but food and drink is a different matter entirely, and that's the whole point of the Alliance.

The specific reason all this came up was an interview I did with Amy Evans, an oral historian:

Southern Foodways Alliance oral history project includes the Publican's testimony about the late Max Allen.

The SFA is coming to Louisville for its annual field trip, and even though beer isn't a part of the program, it looks awfully interesting.

Lousiville: Blue Grass & Brown Whiskey ... Eighth Annual Southern Foodways Alliance Field Trip

Join the Southern Foodways Alliance as we travel to Louisville, Kentucky, home of the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” and the arguable birthplace of the old fashioned.

We’ll play dainty, an only-in-Louisville game, in the streets of the city’s Schnitzelburg neighborhood. We’ll gather in the Rathskeller, beneath a tooled leather ceiling, to toast the work of Minnie Fox and the African American cooks she honored in the Blue Grass Cookbook.

We’ll taste Benedictine spread and Henry Bain sauce. We’ll sip brown whiskey from the state’s best distillers and red wine from grapes raised by a onetime tobacco farmer. We will dine on fried catfish at the All Wool and a Yard Wide Democratic Club. And farm-fresh fare at Lilly’s. We’ll sample bourbon-marinated smoked fish. And bourbonbarrel-aged sorghum.

The region’s best scholars will show us the way, providing context and amplification. Smart talking and great eating (and drinking), that’s what we promise.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Jamming with the regulatory people.

Earlier this evening, New Albany's Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance for the Bank Street Brewhouse. We asked to build an addition onto the existing building atop a concrete slab in the rear. The addition will house grain storage.

This afternoon, John and I motored downtown and met an Indiana ATC officer, who confirmed that we're a comfortable 250+ feet away from the nearest church and verbally approved everything we're hoping to do with the taproom section of the building.

So ... we keep moving.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Saison Dupont now on tap full-time at the Public House.

Here’s another update to the ongoing story of our draft upgrade at the Public House. It's looking like the upgrade may be completed by the end of June.

As you may recall, the “everyday” guest imported draft selection is being overhauled by adding a few spouts to the front keg box behind the bar. The changes are being made possible by the recent and welcome trend that has space-saving cylindrical 1/6 barrel kegs with American Sankey fittings coming straight to us from Belgium, enabling more kegs to be stored within the parameters of our keg box.

With last week's addition of Saison Dupont, five of the seven projected everyday pours are now on line:

Saison Dupont (and a future rotation among its sister Dupont brands)
St. Bernardus ABT 12
Chimay Tripel
Delirium Tremens
Monk’s Café Flemish Sour, Rodenbach Classic, and Rodenbach Grand Cru

Because Rodenbach is out of circulation awaiting a projected changeover to new American distribution, one keg of either the Classic or the Grand Cru will appear once each month, and as close to the beginning of the month as possible. We're aiming for Wednesday, June 4, as the next Rodenbach Grand Cru appearance, but remember that it depends on how fast the incumbent Monk’s Café Flemish Sour depletes.

Finally, the long anticipated special Delirium Tremens draft tower is stateside in Chicago, and Wetten representative Pete Larsen will be delivering it to us some time during the last two weeks of June. Once installed, there'll be seven taps; DT will shift to the new tower, and the two remaining spouts will be pouring Schlenkerla Marzen and Aventinus Weizen Doppelbock.

The impetus in all this is two-fold. Our major priority for the foreseeable future is implementing Operation Progressive Pint and creating another (production) brewery and taproom in downtown New Albany. Nothing will change at the current location, but I’d like to see the pub and pizzeria operating at peak efficiency, which to me means further enhancing the guest draft selection, both imported and craft-brewed, and positioning our house-brewed beers to contrast and complement these.

See also:

St. Bernardus ABT 12 now on tap full-time at the Public House.

Update: Upgrading the “everyday” guest imported draft selection at the Public House.