Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NABC still closed on Tuesday. When will we be back?

When Duke Energy gets to us, I guess.

Must not be any good beer fans there (just teasing!)

If you're just tuning in, we've been victimized by the great wind storm from Hurricane Ike. NABC has been without power since Sunday afternoon. Obviously, no juice at work = no food and warm beer, so until the electricity's back, we're on enforced break.

As for me, if there's juice at the airport, I'm off for the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. There's plenty of good beer there.

Stay tuned. Visit NA Confidential for updates. See you in two weeks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's an insurance claim Monday, New Albany.

Let's hope you have some. Electricity, too ...

The power has been out at NABC/Rich O's/Sportstime since early Sunday afternoon, so I'm guessing our chances of opening today are slim. If the juice comes back on soon, we may be back in action serving beer tonight, but food deliveries don't come until tomorrow, and the beer (although unharmed) is currently warm.

I like it that way, though not everyone does.

The beer in the temperature-controlled brewery fermenters is another matter, and we'll have to play that one by ear.

Property damage in New Albany from yesterday's Hurricane Ike aftershocks looks to be extensive, though not expensive in most cases, with many trees and limbs down, and shingles blown off rooftops. A few houses weren't so lucky, and as the Diggin' In the Dirt blog reported on Sunday, several prominent New Albany landmarks took big hits from the gusts. Fortunately, injuries and deaths appear to be few in our region, and for that we're all thankful.

Any thoughts? Post 'em. The thread will remain open the remainder of the day as clean-up proceeds and I make ready for Benelux beercycling (departure Tuesday).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Albany's Windsor Restaurant and Garden adding full service bar with draft craft brews.

The Windsor Restaurant and Garden shares ownership with the Grand Convention Center, and the two establishments are located adjacent to each other on Market Street in downtown New Albany.

In fact, the Windsor occupies the spot on the corner of Market and Bank where the Bistro New Albany held court until October, 2007, and following a slow and steady start-up during the summer of 2008, the Windsor looks to be hitting its stride.

Chef Justin McMillen has been on board for a few months now, and while I haven’t had time to sample the dinner menu (sorry), I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. The patio’s as nice as it ever was, and the interior is about to undergo a major conceptual makeover, which is even more exciting to me because the retrofit is to include a full service bar and the restoration of the former Bistro’s ten-tap draft system.

That's excellent news.

John Campbell and I spent time earlier this week with Isaac Fox, server and bar manager extraordinaire, who did time with the Bistro and later gravitated down the street to Speakeasy before alighting at the Windsor.

Isaac told us that the plan is to have the space known locally as the “place where the music shop was” (it now has relocated a block west) renovated and a bar installed. There’ll be comfy furniture, a couple of flat screen televisions, and with a full 3-way liquor license, the full gamut of beer, wine and cocktails.

Draft beer highlights are to include two NABC beers, rotating taps for Samuel Adams seasonals and Indiana microbrews, Bell’s, Goose Island, Newcastle, Dogfish Head 90 Minute, and a couple of others that have slipped my mind since. The bottle list will begin short and grow.

The whole thing is supposed to hit the ground by Harvest Homecoming on the 9th of October. Look for beer dinners and tastings later this fall and winter. It’s great to have another venue for craft beer downtown!

Friday, September 12, 2008

One perhaps down, a second hopefully to come.

The 'Ville Voice bills itself as a “critical take on Louisville news,” and the blog is a worthy if quirky compendium of all things Louisville. I don’t know the bloggers, although to date, their views on beer largely have been restricted to upholding the sanctity of dollar beer night at Louisville Slugger Field, home of the AAA Bats, and a notorious haven for anti-craft beer stuffed shirts.

But I digress.

This item appeared last week, following an earlier report that Anheuser-Busch advertising signage at the home of the University of Louisville’s football Cardinals had been vandalized, evidently by the management.

No Bud Buy-In: We told you that the Budweiser signage at Papa John’s had been covered up (in a tacky, vinyl way) and today learned from U of L that the brewer, an original “cornerstone” sponsor, chose not to renew its deal with U of L after 10 years. May have to do with A-B’s new ownership, or the school’s steep pricing.

I’m not sure how covering up a Budweiser logo could ever be tacky, although other words spring to mind, including celebratory, laudatory and amusing as hell.

Live by the checkbook, die by the checkbook – tears here are crocodilian and sparse. I seldom root for SAB Miller and Molson Coors, but as A-B sorts through the terms of its impending absorption by InBev, and InBev plans marketing strategy for world domination, I’m guessing that there’ll be the chance for River City to grab a few promo and placement slots from the distracted monolith.

I’ve no interest in Papa John’s, either its pizza or its stadium, but wither Louisville Slugger Field? After all, River City has a burgeoning craft beer portfolio, and the savvy to recognize niche opportunities. Will fresh cash sway the baseball Philistines? Stay tuned.

And, as an unrelated afterthought, how do alcohol sales figure into college football, anyway? Here's a link from U of L's student newspaper that charts the situation.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mark your calendars: NABC's Fringe Fest to provide downtown counterpoint to Harvest Homecoming, Oct. 9-11.

As the New Albanian Brewing Company continues to work toward the opening of its second location at 415 Bank Street in downtown New Albany (open winter ‘08/’09), we’re planning outdoor fun to coincide with the city’s annual Harvest Homecoming celebration: NABC’s Fringe Fest 2008: Harvest Culture on the Skids, showcasing craft beer, food, music, art and film from Thursday, October 9 through Saturday, October 11.

The goal of this first annual Fringe Fest is to create a cultural counterpoint to Harvest Homecoming and provide unique music, interesting exhibits, captivating films, and – most importantly – good beer. Fringe Fest embraces everything creative and original, and welcomes anything outside of the social “norm”.

This year’s line-up includes the Louisville Film Society, the Derby City Roller Girls, and solo performers and bands from Indianapolis, Louisville, and New Albany. Other attractions being planned are a weekend-long art exhibit in the future Bank Street Brewhouse taproom, a beer bus shuttle from Louisville, Beer 101 class with publican Roger A. Baylor, a beer and cheese tasting with Capriole Farms, and a tattoo exhibit.

(John Campbell wrote the preceding; I edited)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oktoberfests now pouring at the Public House.

I’ll miss Oktoberfest in Munich again this year. My last visit was in 2004, and before that, 1989, and if the truth is be told, I’ve learned too much about beer over the years for Munich’s oversized spectacle to impress with the intensity it once did.

At the same time, everyone should try to go at least once if given the opportunity. While there surely are other world cultural fests that overshadow Oktoberfest in sheer weight of pageantry, and I’ve been to one of them (San Fermin in Pamplona), the enduringly cool thing about Oktoberfest is that the immensity of the experience is all about beer culture, Bavarian-style, not bullfights, wine, voodoo or the installation of a new Pope.

There’s nothing like it … and, concurrently, I’ve seen enough of it for a while. Give me Sandkerwa in Bamberg instead, a local festival with far more beer diversity than Oktoberfest, and without the unfortunate necessity of dodging vomit from hordes of foreign tourists.

Back here in New Albany, for much of the remainder of September – while supplies last, so they say – NABC is segueing out of our own modest Sandkerwa draft sampling and into Oktoberfest-as-beer-style season. From the list below, we’ll have one imported and one craft brewed Oktoberfest pouring until they’re gone, which should take us two or three weeks into the month of October.

New Albany’s Harvest Homecoming parade is October 4, and booth days open on the 9th. NABC’s “Fringe Fest: Harvest Culture on the Skids” tent party with beer, food, music and art will be running during booth days in the parking lot of the Bank Street Brewhouse downtown (415 Banks Street; information will be coming soon). A week later, Lupulin Land Harvest Hopcoming kicks off on 17th.

And then it’ll be holiday season again. Anyone know where the year’s gone?

* means that it's on tap now.

BBC Oktoberfest
Bell’s Oktoberfest
Breckenridge Autumn Ale
*Clipper City Balto-Marz Hon
HeBrew Freaktoberfest
Left Hand Oktoberfest

Schlafly Oktoberfest
Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest
Upland Oktoberfest

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen
Paulaner Oktoberfest
Spaten Oktoberfest
*Weihenstephaner Festbier

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

2008 Lupulin Land Harvest Hopcoming preview.

Jared recently returned from a mapping expedition of Cellar #3, and he took an inventory of the contents in preparation for our "Big Three" of annual draft festivals. For the record, here are the starting dates:

Friday, October 17: Lupulin Land Harvest Hopcoming ... 7th edition
Friday, December 12: Saturnalia Winter Solstice MMVIII ... 5th edition
Friday, February 27 (2009): Gravity Head "The Liver Olympics" ... 11th edition

The following Lupulin Land list indicates those kegs already procured unless noted by an asterisk. There'll be a few more on the way. As always, I've invited all Louisville area breweries to participate. Obvously, the emphasis is on American craft brews, but there may be a few surprises.

Allagash Hugh Malone Ale 1/6 barrel
*Alvinne Extra 1/6 barrel
Clipper City Heavy Seas Hop 3 (firkin)
Crooked Tree Double Crooked Tree IPA 1/6 barrel
Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor 2 x 1/6 barrels
*Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Left Hand Chainsaw 1/6 barrel
NABC Oaktimus 2 x ½ barrel
NABC Fifth Anniversary (V) ½ barrel
NABC Oaked Croupier ¼ barrel
New Holland Existential - Ale 1/6 barrel
Rogue “John’s Locker Stock” Glen 2 x ½ barrels
Schlafly India Brown Ale ½ barrel
Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale 2 x ½ barrels
Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop Ale 2 x ½ barrels
Three Floyds Alpha Naught ½ barrel

Monday, September 08, 2008

Publican in the Courier-Journal.

Nice article by Amanda Arnold in the Courier-Journal on Monday. I've been promoted to "community newsmaker."

Man shares knowledge of brewing; Business plans fall expansion.

Two or three times a week, Dave Siltz visits the "living room" area of the New Albanian Brewing Co., popularly known as Rich O's, to enjoy a pint of microbrewed beer in the company of friends.

Just one thing: Who the hell is Dave Siltz?

(I promised him I'd write it that way)

But seriously: Amanda put a lot of diligent work into the article, and interviewed me at length during one session (it may have taken me two pints to get through it), followed by several e-mail follow-ups.

Good work!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Nachbar photo recap and Fringe Fest teaser.

John Campbell has posted plenty of photos from Saturday's Nachbar party at the New Albanian Brewing Company MySpace site.

Look for details soon about the party we're planning for the Bank Street Brewhouse parking lot during New Albany's Harvest Homecoming. The taproom's not going to be open until November at the earliest, but we'll have a tent, beer, music and food at 415 Bank Street on October 9, 10 and 11.

It's being called Fringe Fest ... Harvest Culture on the Skids.

More coming.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Carnegie Center fundraiser tonight, and NABC will be there.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. is the annual "Taste for Art & History" fundraiser at the Carnegie Center for Art & History, located at 201 E. Spring Street in downtown New Albany. The bill of fare includes wines from all over the place, craft beers from NABC and World Class Beverages, gourmet snacks and a wide-ranging silent auction. Interested? The price is $55 for members and $60 for non-members, and you can call (812) 944-7336 or visit www.carnegiecenter.org for information.

Because NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse eventually will be doing business right across the street, I put together a fact sheet for distribution this evening.


Craft brewing returns to downtown New Albany for the first time since 1935 when NABC opens its Bank Street Brewhouse later this year. This second NABC location will be located at 415 Bank Street downtown, adjacent to the Carnegie Center for Art and History. Work to renovate the former Bakery Thrift Store is ongoing.

NABC’s goals:

To be leaders in the craft beer segment and the community, not followers.

To be progressive, not regressive.

To challenge and to educate, not to pander.

The New Albanian Brewing Company is:

Sportstime Pizza (founded 1987)
Rich O’s Public House (founded 1992)
NABC (started brewing in 2002)

The new Bank Street Brewhouse at 415 Bank Street will function as NABC’s larger-capacity production brewery, with a 15-barrel mash and kettle and 30-barrel fermentation capacity, with fabrication by industry leader DME. Primary NABC brands like Elector, Community Dark, Hoptimus, Bob’s Old 15-B, Mt. Lee, Beak’s Best, Kaiser and Thunderfoot will be brewed, conditioned, kegged and canned for regional distribution. It will also be possible for consumers to buy kegs and carry-out growlers.

NABC’s existing brewery on the North Side at 3312 Plaza Drive will remain in operation, with small batches, seasonals and specialties being brewed there. NABC’s existing pizzeria and pub, which has garnered nationwide recognition for excellence, will function as it always has.

Why expand to downtown New Albany?

12% craft beer growth rates nationally in each of the past two years

Local and regional potential for distribution of NABC brands in kegs and cans (both environmentally friendly modes of packaging)
Rapid expansion of the “eat and drink locally” movement

The craft beer demographic mirrors that of the “creative class” and “New Urbanism”, all of which combine for downtown transformation

What else besides brewing at the new operation?

NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse will feature a taproom, with NABC’s beers on tap, and a limited Belgian-style cafĂ© food menu prepared by a professional chef. NABC wearables, glassware and souvenirs will be sold on site.

What does it all mean?

The Bank Street Brewhouse will be phased into operation, with the taproom opening first in the 4th quarter of 2008 (target: November), and the brewery to be installed during the fall and winter (target: January). Beer will be ready for distribution in the 1st quarter of 2009, and the existing NABC brewery will supply the tap room and selected outside accounts until then.

Significantly, the NABC Bank Street Brewhouse represents an expansion of an established, existing business from a suburb back into a reviving downtown, and as such, NABC firmly believes there is a future both for the brewery’s “progressive pints” and for the cause of progressivism itself in city of New Albany… and Floyd County, metro Louisville and the surrounding region.

Unsurprisingly, the craft brewing revolution has prospered by emphasizing beer’s artisanal, localized roots, and in like fashion New Urbanism urges the progressive reuse of cities. For NABC to return brewing to a downtown, urban setting is to complete the circle initiated by New Albany’s beer-loving founders two centuries ago.

Roger A. Baylor, NABC Beer Director

(For my business partners Amy and Kate, our brew staff and all other employees, and both the New Albanian Brewing Co., Inc., and New Albanian Bank Street Brewery, Inc.)

Questions? Call me at 502-468-9710

Thursday, September 04, 2008

NABC at the Nachbar this Saturday, Sept. 6

When we began discussing potential partners for our autumn guerrilla marketing effort, The Nachbar sprang immediately to mind. Check it out on Saturday night.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Excellent beer list at Ray's Monkey House.

During the course of planning the new NABC Bank Street Brewhouse, John Campbell and I have had occasion to enjoy breakfast meetings with Gregg Rochman at various locations in Louisville. We keep getting drawn back to Ray’s Monkey House, located adjacent to Cumberland Brews on Bardstown Road where Twice Told books used to be, and hitherto a coffee roastery without alcoholic beverages.

But times change, and owner Nimbus Couzin, PhD, a onetime regular at the Public House back when he first started teaching at Indiana University Southeast, recently procured a beer and wine license. NABC will be there when we can. Until then, Nimbus’s beer list is roughly as follows. He promises that it will be evolving.

I think it’s a fine small starting list. Do you? By the way, here's a bit about Nimbus in an even earlier life.

Draft: (5 handles):
1. Stone Arrogant Bastard

2. Bell's IPA

3. Browning's Bourbon barrel Imperial Stout (rotating Browning's

4. Coming Soon - Cumberland Ray's Espresso Stout

5. Coming Soon - New Albanian selection when available (rotating)

Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’
Avery Karma
Avery Old Jubilation
Bell's Amber Ale
Bell's Pale Ale
Bell's Porter
Bell's Oberon
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout
Boon Framboise '95 Marriage Parfait (750ml)
Browning’s She-Devil IPA
Browning’s Bourbon Barrel Stout
Dogfish 60 Min. IPA
Franziskaner Heffe Weiss
Franziskaner Hefe Dark (16.9 oz)
Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Great Lakes Holy Moses White Ale
Mackeson XXX Stout
Newcastle Brown Ale
North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout
North Coast Red Seal
Pyramid Apricot
Pyramid Hefe
Rogue Dead Guy
Rogue Mocha Porter
Samuel Smith Organic Ale
Samuel Smith Taddy Porter
Spaten Optimator
Woodchuck Cider (Pear, Granny Smith, Dark and Dry, or Amber)
Young's Double Chocolate Stout (16.9 oz)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

New Albany mayor vetoes controversial smoking ordinance.

I'm back from the scene in front of the City County Building, where Mayor Doug England vetoed the smoking ordinance this morning.

Mayor England seeks three exemptions to the smoking ordinance, which if implemented would "garner (his) support":

(1) bars
(2) private clubs
(3) restaurants with bars that serve and employ only persons who are 21 years of age

Here is the mayor's closing statement:

"In conclusion, I am really trying to heal our divided community via compromise. I have heard snokers and non-smokers alike speak in favor of and against the bill. This is not 'black and white' as the activists on either side of the issue would have you believe. I believe that my proposal strikes such a compromise. It is time for the Common Council and the activists to strike this balance, as well."

Let the games begin. I'm anxious to hear whether the definitions for "bar" being bandied about derive from the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission, the city council or the mayor's office. Speaking as a license holder, I believe the ATC's rules reign supreme.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Local beer, local food, local wine ...

NABC rated a mention in the Sunday edition of the New Albany Tribune: Go Local week urges residents to support local producers.

And that is exactly what the Purdue University Extension agency is trying to create more of with Go Local Indiana week, which starts today. Its aim is to get residents to support local businesses and producers, and the local economy — in addition to recognizing all the great things Indiana has to offer.