Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NABC Bank Street Brewhouse garage doors installed today.




The concrete being poured on the building's north side is the site of the main entry door. The garage doors will have counters and stools behind them, and the doors will be opened during appropriate weather.

More later. The taproom interior is next.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dogfish Head Off-Kilter Sixers: On tap today.

It's an eventful day at the Public House. Josh, Andy and the gang are cooking and prepping for tonight's "Pub Snacks, Revisited" beer dinner, which is sold out. Jared has facilitated a massive tap swap, and last week's four Italian microbrews are gone for the moment. They'll return when there are openings on the draft board.

Our collection of six Dogfish Head Off-Kilter Sixers now is on tap. On Wednesday afternoon beginning at 5:30 p.m., there'll be a schwag raffle conducted by our own John Campbell.

At 7% abv, Aprihop is the odd Dogfish out and is priced at $3.50 (including tax) for a 10-oz portion.

The other five are big ales, and are priced at $7.25 (including tax) for a 10-oz pour. Follow the "Off-Kilter" link above for full descriptions.

Black and Blue 10% abv
Burton Baton 10.0% abv
Immort Ale 11% abv
Palo Santo Marron (Holy Tree Brown) 12% abv
Red & White 10% abv

A different planet, a new set of stressors, but the same old rock and roll.

The first five months of my year were spent wrestling with demons, and in truth, I’ve been playing catch-up ever since.

The one thing that amazes me about my period of dazed detachment is that a fair amount was still accomplished through the numbing haze. If it is possible for one to be functionally depressed, that was in fact my state -- not that I can remember all of it.

Exactly how did the deaf, dumb and blind boy orchestrate Gravity Head? He got by with a little help from his friends.

Having crawled out from the pit and embarked once again on something approximating a life, my professional experience during the past two months has been as intense as at any single time in the past.

On one hand, these are hard times for our business. Every imaginable cost is up. On the other, recessionary periods are bar none the best time to put the pedal to the metal and leap forward … and this we’re trying to do.

NABC started a while back with an empty shell of a building downtown on Bank Street, and we’ve been building a brewery and taproom there from the ground up – and that’s good, because it can be designed and the new business launched to eliminate the dysfunctions of the past. It’s also bad, because every single item must be factored into the business plan, then acquired, and organized, and arranged.

But there’s tremendous adrenalin in knowing that you have the opportunity to take something you’re already proficient at doing and boost it to another level. It’s isn’t the money. It’s the creativity and the achievement, and while there are times when the obliviousness of the slacker lifestyle seems appealing, that’s what weekend trips to the beach are all about – not that I ever indulge.

Back in 1997, more than a few people couldn’t figure out why the rock group U2 would seek to tour the planet’s stadiums with a mirror ball and gigantic lemon onstage. The answer, of course, is the same as to why dogs lick their balls: Because they can. In the 16 years of my involvement with the pub, much of what I’ve done with the beer program has been exactly that. Why have 30 different bottled lambics, four sour ales on draft at one time, month-long fests with 50 strong beers on tap, or a $60 Scaldis Prestige on the list?

‘Cuz I could (and can) get away with it.

There’ll always be time to scale back to an acoustic set, or be normal and have a manageable operation, so always go full bore while you’re able. I’m looking forward to repeating the process of excess at the Bank Street Brewhouse. Apparently, it’s the only speed I know. I’ll have to ask my therapist about that one.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mark your calendars: Bottled beer list revisions complete at long last.

The task of updating the bottled beer menu at NABC/Rich O's/Sportstime began about the same time as Gravity Head (i.e., February 29), and proceeded through so many false starts, revisions and reboots that it seemed as though I'd passed into another dimension, one that led me not back to the familiar confines of the pub, but onto the set of "Heaven's Gate" -- or an episode of "The Twilight Zone."

Here it is, finally, as updated on July 27, 2008: NABC's bottled beer menu .pdf

It should come as no surprise that the prices therein are higher, in some cases substantially so. The new world record holder is Jadwiga Mead from Poland, which doubled in retail price, primarily because the new wholesale price is almost identical to what we used to charge on premise.

That's right: The wholesale price doubled. Jadwiga is one of the best meads I've ever tasted, but 60-odd dollars is a lot of money.

To be perfectly frank, even an eternal optimist like me is beginning to question whether the beer market will support hikes like these. In devising a new and streamlined system of mark-ups (another rreason why this took so long), our percentage actually has been lowered in roughly 40% of the offerings. At the same time, the portfolios of B. United International and Shelton Brothers, suppliers of the majority of worthwhile imports, probably increased in cost at least 30% across the board.

Whether these increases come from importer or wholesaler is irrelevant. Will consumers still pay? We'll find out.

Another factor that has muddled my thought process is that with the arrival of American 1/6 barrel draft import kegs, the price of draft beer per ounce now occasionally exceeds that of the same beer in the bottle. That's unprecedented, and it skews everything. Would I pay more for ten ounces of Chimay Tripel on draft than for the bottled version, which I personally regard as good or better than the ale in kegs?

Stay tuned. Surreal is just beginning. Thanks to Colleen, Phil and John for their assistance in this effort.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

UPDATE - "Mug Shots": Another compendium of my essays in LEO.

It's time for another "Mug Shots" update.

For those just tuning in, every two weeks the Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO) publishes a 300-word essay about beer written by the Curmudgeon.

Although I had my doubts at first (my topic sentences have tended to run 300 words), it has proven to be great fun and good practice in self-discipline, something for which I'm not universally noted.

Here are the links to recent articles:

Mug Shots – Share the hops
(July 23, 2008)

Mug Shots - Venting the chug
(July 9, 2008)

Mug Shots - Train station brews
(June 25, 2008)

Mug Shots - Your beer is The Man
(June 11, 2008)

Mug Shots: Catch the Buzz
(May 28, 2008)

Mug Shots: A fair price?
(May 14, 2008)

Previously: UPDATE - "Mug Shots": A compendium of my essays in LEO.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Pub Snacks, Revisited" is sold out.

I've received notice from Josh and Andy that the coming Monday's beer dinner is fully subscribed:

"We have reached capacity for this dinner. Right now we have 50 people on the list and we still have people calling. We are still taking names and numbers for a waiting list in case of any cancellations. Thanks so much for letting us do this again."

So, I'm looking for a big crowd and a great gig on the 28th ... and thanks to everyone for your support.

Note that in deference to the bustle of the beer dinner evening, we'll be holding off on Dogfish Head Off-Kilter Sixers week until the following day, Tuesday the 29th.

If you'll be attending Pub Snacks, Revisited ... or if you want to see what you're missing ... here is the menu with pairings. We think there'll be a "parting glass" as well. Isn't there always?

Menu

Soup & Sandwich
Heirloom tomato bisque, cucumber, brioche grilled cheese
~NABC Saison

Mussels
Ginger, tamarind, coconut milk
~NABC Phoenix Kentucky Komon

Peach Pizza
Whole wheat crust, italian sausage, tellagio cheese
~NABC Elector (Imperial Red Ale)

Soft Pretzel
Gruyere, Jalepeno
~NABC Elsa Von Horizon Imperial Pilsner

Corn Dog
Duck sausage, Sweet Corn Mustard
~NABC Old Lightning Rod (Colonial Strong Ale)

Smore
Smoked Marshmallows, Graham Cracker, Spicy Chocolate
~NABC Jasmine the Mastiff (Sweet Stout)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Carobs, Chestnuts, Chinotto & Chamomile: Italian Microbrewed Specialties ... and Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.

(Thanks to John Campbell for help with the following)

Yesterday we tapped four newly available Italian craft beers, which will continue pouring until they're gone. Chocarrubica, Nuovo Mattina, Piccolo Seson and Strada San Felice are each available in 10-ounce pours for $7.00 (see below for descriptions).

This week only, NABC co-owner Amy Baylor is cooking batches of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, which will be available for $7.50 per serving from today through Saturday, July 26. I've also been cooking this dish for years, since Bluegrass Brewing Company had a version of it on the menu, but I confess to knowing nothing about it until now. Here are highlights from Wikipedia's explanation of Pasta Puttanesca; follow this link to read the rest.

The name originated in Naples[2] after the local prostitutes[3], Pasta alla Puttanesca meaning "Pasta the way a whore would make it". The reason why the dish gained such a name is debated ... one possibility is that the name is a reference to the sauce's hot, spicy flavour and pungent smell.

(Another) story about this dish comes from Diane Seed in her book, Top 100 Pasta Sauces (p. 20):

"My introduction to this famous pasta dish occurred when I overheard two elderly priests discussing the pros and cons of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca ("Whore's spaghetti") as they deliberated over the menu in a Neapolitan restaurant. Made of ingredients found in most Italian
larders, this is also known as Spaghetti alla Buona Donna - or 'Good Woman's Spaghetti' - which can be misleading if one is not familiar with the ironic insult figlio d'una buona donna - son of a good woman."

Certainly racier than I expected. Maybe that's why I love the stuff. Traditional ingredients are olive oil, garlic, onion, pepper flakes, anchovies, tomatoes, capers, Kalamata olives, parsley, basil, and Parmesan cheese.

As for the beers ...

Italy is indisputably Europe’s newest craft beer frontier, with dozens of innovative artisanal breweries coming into existence during the last decade. Courtesy of the groundbreaking importer B. United International, the Public House will be featuring four newly available Italian microbrewed specialties, none seen before on draft in metropolitan Louisville, and each with a twist. The following descriptions come from B. United’s web site.

Chocarrubica
Birrificio Grado Plato … Piedmont region
Malts: Pale malt, Vienna malt, dark malts, oat malt {over 30%}
Spices: Venezuelan cocoa beans, carob
Hops: HallertauerAlc/vol: 7%
Chocarrubica is a top-fermenting oatmeal stout creation of deep black color. The adding of Venezuelan cocoa beans, carobs from the island of Sicily, and large amount of oats {over 30%} gives this unusual Italian creation its silky, chocolaty, and roasty character.

Strada San Felice
Birrificio Grado Plato … Piedmont region
Malts: Pale malt, Vienna malt
Spices: Piedmont chestnuts
Hops: Kent Golding, Saaz
Alc/vol: 8%
This 8% alc. amber-colored beer, is actually bottom-fermented. The flavor and aroma of local chestnuts gives Strada San Felice its original and distinctive personality. All the chestnuts are grown in Piemonte, in a very famous area for chestnut trees. They are then dried over a wood-fire. It pairs well with traditional autumn and winter cuisine such as game and stews.

Seson
Piccolo Birrificio … Liguria region
Spices: Juniper, chinotto peel, coriander
Hops: Hallertauer
Style: Saison
Malts: Pale malt, Vienna malt, wheat malt
Seson, rated Italian’s best Saison-style interpretation in 2006, is spiced with, among others, chinotto {a small bitter citrus fruit, which is now under the protection of the Slow Food organization), and matured in Chardonnay wooden barrels.

Appearance: Big yellowish foam, orange-golden color
Aroma: Citrusy, touch of lemon and lime, grainy
Flavor: Pronounced citrusy notes, turning bitter {chinotto influence!} and tart , very well balanced against its malt sweetness
Finish: Blend of citrusy, bitter-tart character lingers forever

Chinotto: small bitter citrus fruit from the chinotte {myrtle-leaved orange tree}. It grows in the regions of Liguria, Tuscany, Sicily and Calabria. It is of bitter and sweet taste and often served as aperitif to open the palate.

Nuovo Mattina
Birrificio del Ducatio … Emilia Romagna region
Style: Italian saison style
Malts: Pale malt, unmalted & malted wheat malt, oats, rye malt
Hops: Hallertauer, Chinook
Spices/fruits/herbs: Coriander, ginger, green pepper, chamomile; licorice
Alc/vol: 5.9 %

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Pub Snacks, Revisited" gets some love from the C-J ... seats still available.

Next Monday (July 28) is "Pub Snacks, Revisited" -- another NABC beer and food pairing (follow this link for booking information). Over the past weekend, we got some coverage by Steve Coomes of the Courier-Journal:

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Rich O's dinner pairing craft brews and classic foods

When LeRelais sous chef Joshua Lehman last did a beer and food pairing dinner, he based the brew choices on the food. When he does it again July 28 (6:45 p.m.) at Rich O's Public House (3312 Plaza Drive, New Albany), the beers -- all crafted by the New Albanian Brewing Co. -- will take precedent.

"We're tweaking our menu to match the beers' flavor," said Lehman, who will cook the $50 per-person, all-inclusive meal with pastry chef Andrew McCabe.

The menu includes gourmet twists to simple foods such as corn dogs, pizza, pretzels and even s'mores. "We're making pretzels from scratch and smoking marshmallows for the s'mores. And I've never even made corn dogs until now."

A sampling of the evening's menu: mussels steamed in coconut milk paired with NABC Phoenix Kentucky Komon; peach pizza with Italian sausage and Tellagio cheese paired with NABC Elector; a soft pretzel with gruyere and jalepeno paired with NABC Elsa Von Horizon Imperial Pilsner; and corn dog with duck sausage and sweet corn mustard paired with NABC Old Lightning Rod.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Drink Indiana"? I believe I did, thank you.

Indiana Beer Week made the Indy Star today, and the article was reprinted in the Louisville Courier-Journal:

Last call for Hoosier beer week

Mark Zelner and his wife, Kit, crowded with 150 others around the bar at the Rock Bottom Brewery. They were awaiting a taste of a rare Indiana brew: brewmaster Liz Laughlin's K├Âlsch beer, which won top prize at last year's State Fair Brewers Cup.

Last night's first-ever, pre-fest beer dinner at Opti Park was a kick, with a dozen rare Indiana microbrews on tap and a feast of dishes prepared with Indiana meats and vegetables. So was the following "reception" of sorts at Chumley's, where wholesalers World Class and Cavalier unveiled one treat after another (Bell's Batch 6000 and a bourbon-barrel aged Porter from Founders among them).

Today's annual Microbrewers festival will take place on a much hotter day than last year's. I might just have to drink some water, since I forgot to hydrate on Friday night.

And kept forgetting ...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Evansville interlude.

I'm reporting live from the beautiful Hotel Volga in downtown Bucharest, Romania, where the mystery meat in gray sauce was featured at the recent Plenum of the Workers' Party 18th Conference ... no, wait; my mistake. Actually I'm at the Executive Inn in Evansville, Indiana, for my family (mom's side) reunion.

It's got me rapping:

One NABC growler down
With Lite beer all around
They say my grandaddy drank Miller
But this Publican ain't no swiller

BUT SERIOUSLY ... I've nothing whatsoever against the city of Evansville, and my regrets are two-fold. First, I'm only here for one night, which means that the only chance to see my relatives precludes visiting Turoni's for excellent pizza and craft beer. Second, in order to make it to Indianapolis tomorrow in time for the beer dinner at Opti Park, I may have to miss the opportunity to savor barbecued mutton at the family's picnic near Henderson Friday afternoon.

Not to mention the brain sandwiches that are an Evansville staple.

There'll be time in the future. For now, my Friday plan is to hit the road after breakfast, head north to Terre Haute, then pick up I-70 into the state capital. I'll have four growlers in the trunk, a bag of homemade (by the Mrs.) trail mix in the front seat, some hoary Elvin Bishop cassette tapes to play while driving my mom's 12-year-old Crown Vic, and a wonderful goal: Great Indiana food, great Indiana-brewed beer, great company and a weekend that proves how damned lucky I am to be in such a great business.

I get paid to drink beer. Who'd have thunk it?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Indiana Beer Week: A half dozen Indiana-brewed guest beers and 10 house beers on tap at the Public House now.

After a grievously slow business period in late June, suddenly we caught fire last week, and on Monday afternoon (yesterday) there were something like eight empty taps staring back at me.

On most weeks, Monday's the main beer ordering day, so the depletions dovetailed quite nicely with efforts to have a half-dozen Indiana beers on tap during Indiana Beer Week. Here is what the foraging yielded:

Alpha King and Pride & Joy (Three Floyds; Munster)
Brugge Brasserie Tripel de Ripple (Brugge; Indianapolis/Terre Haute)
Upland Maibock and Wheat (Upland; Bloomington)
Shoreline Brewery SumCen Double IPA (Shoreline; Michigan City)

And, of course, there are ten New Albanian Brewing Company currently on tap: Bob's Old 15-B, Community Dark, Croupier, Elector, Farmhouse Saison, Flat Tyre, Hoptimus, Mt. Lee, Phoenix, and St. Radegund.

The Indiana Microbrewers Festival is this Saturday, July 19, and don't forget that there'll be a Rick and Jeff Tours motorcoach to it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Draft Hoosier brews for Indiana Beer Week -- just not the ones I was expecting.

Don't forget: Rick and Jeff Tours motorcoach to the Indiana Brewers Festival this coming Saturday.

NABC/Rich O’s themed guest beer weeks are continuing throughout July. Today we were supposed to have unveiled four rare drafts from our brethren to the north, but it would appear that some things just aren't meant to be, so forget all about what I told you earlier.

However, don't forget the occasion. A new event, Indiana Beer Week, had been organized by the Brewers of Indiana Guild to celebrate the period (July 10-19) between the Indiana State Fair homebrew and professional Brewers Cup Competition (July 11 & 12) judging and the annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival (July 19). Accordingly, a brewery "swap" schedule was arranged and The New Albanian Brewing Company planned to put our assigned beers on tap today.

Unfortunately, the unexpected began occurring. First, owing to a miscommunication (my fault), I learned that there wasn't going to be a guest beer from Lafayette Brewing Company. Second, announced beers from Three Floyds and Brugge Brasserie fell through. Nothing could be done about it, so we've improvised, and the fallback plan is this:

We managed to get Shoreline Brewery SumCen Double IPA from Michigan City, so there's one.

We always have Alpha King and Upland Wheat on tap; that makes three.

Brugge sent Tripel instead of Black -- four.

On Monday I'll forage and buy a couple of Indiana microbrews to flesh out the lineup -- Wabash Valley (Terre Haute) and Barley Island (Noblesville) sound like reasonable candidates, and one from each takes us up to a half dozen.

You'll have to come back tomorrow to see what I decided to buy, and then give me until Tuesday to get all of it in order.

Damn. This turned out to be harder than I thought.

InBev to absorb A-B -- and it doesn't matter a single bit.

News from Reuters: InBev agrees to buy Anheuser for $50 billion.

Go ahead. Read this and other stories about the creation of the world’s largest beer maker, and if you find any bits of text that have the remotest thing to do with beer (as opposed to shares of stock), please let me know.

As the hypocrites clamor about the “American icon” Budweiser falling into the hostile hands of a Belgo-Brazilian consortium, I’ll do my best to suppress a yawn as big as distance between Budweiser and anything truly worth drinking, and remind readers that precious few people gave a damn during A-B’s march to the top, when its carnivorous tactics chewed up and spit out countless small, local competitors.

Swill-loving, America-first advocates please take note: Very soon none of the “big three” – Coors, Miller or A-B – will be independent.

The perfect time to switch to locally-brewed beer, don’t you think?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Reformulated Beak's Best to return to NABC draft lineup.

Yesterday I made reference to Beak's Best in a posting about the forthcoming Best Of Louisville bash.

Accordingly, it’s as fine an opportunity as any to revisit Beak’s and see what the future will hold for it.

Many of you already know that Beak's Best – named for my cousin, renowned scholar and traveler Don “Beak” Barry -- was the second ale brewed in 2002 by founding NABC brewer Michael Borchers. Originally Beak’s was intended to be a staple of the everyday draft offerings. For a variety of reasons, it didn’t work out that way, and Jesse Williams eventually refashioned it into what we now call St. Radegund, which in terms of style falls into the Extra Special Bitter (ESB, English style) category.

In recent weeks, with the Bank Street Brewhouse expansion underway, we began discussing the desirability of our having a “poundable” house ale for the taproom in downtown New Albany. At the same time, it was recognized that even if our desired niche in the Louisville metro marketplace would be bigger and bolder beers, we’d need something of a more introductory nature – rather like an English-style Best Bitter, lower in gravity (circa 4.5% abv), with an enticing hop nose, and without the heavier body of many other NABC selections. Community Dark fits the bill in some ways, although it may not be sufficiently well hopped to travel far.

The answer is Beak’s Best, recalibrated as a Best Bitter. It will be sold off-premise in kegs, and at the downtown taproom, we’ll it will be served exclusively in the cask-conditioned, hand-pumped version.

The formulation is being plotted, and artist-in-residence Tony Beard will be working on a fresh graphic design. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

BBC's APA "Best of Louisville", and NABC to be at the awards bash on July 24.

If I’m not mistaken, the last time Louisville Magazine included a best beer of Louisville category in its annual critics’ choice “best of” issue (which includes reader selections) was 2003, when NABC’s Beak’s Best was chosen by editor Bruce Allar.

I know … we don’t brew Beak’s Best any longer, but I’ll come back to that tomorrow. Instead, know that the best beer category returned this year, and Bruce picked the classic BBC American Pale Ale (original brewmaster David Pierce’s Main & Clay version) as Louisville’s best. You’ll get no argument from me, because Dave’s APA remains my preferred session ale.

See: To have and to use five great beers.

Each year, Louisville Magazine partners with the Kentucky-Southeast Indiana Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to hold a Best of Louisville Bash. This year’s is at the Mellwood Arts complex on Thursday, July 24, and I’m happy to note that NABC will be there with samples.

While Mellwood is fresh in your mind, don’t forget the movie, food and beer project that’s on the drawing board for the center:

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

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"Pub Snacks, Revisited" -- another NABC beer and food pairing, coming Monday, July 28.

Can it have been eight months since Josh Lehman and Andrew McCabe wowed us with the Creative Costume beer dinner?

"Creative Costume" beer dinner review: Multiple thumbs up.

They're back, and another innovative food and beer pairing will take place in Prost on Monday, July 28. It's called Pub Snacks, Revisited, and is intended to definitively answer the question of what beer best accompanies smores, anyway?

As an added bonus, the 28th also kicks off Dogfish Head Off-Kilter Sixers week.

Here are the facts:

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Pub Snacks, Revisited

A New Albanian Brewing Company (NABC) beer & food pairing, featuring Sous Chef Joshua Lehman and Pastry Chef Andrew McCabe, both of Le Relais Restaurant.

Rich O’s Public House
3312 Plaza Drive
New Albany, Indiana 47150

At Prost, the special events wing
Monday, July 28th ~ 6:45 p.m.

$50 per person ~ all inclusive, Reservations taken in advance at Rich O’s Public House or by phone:
(502) 939-6734– ask for Andrew
(812) 989-2321 – ask for Josh

Menu

Soup & Sandwich
Heirloom tomato bisque, cucumber, brioche grilled cheese
~NABC Saison

Mussels
Ginger, tamarind, coconut milk
~NABC Phoenix Kentucky Komon

Peach Pizza
Whole wheat crust, italian sausage, tellagio cheese
~NABC Elector (Imperial Red Ale)

Soft Pretzel
Gruyere, Jalepeno
~NABC Elsa Von Horizon Imperial Pilsner

Corn Dog
Duck sausage, Sweet Corn Mustard
~NABC Old Lightning Rod (Colonial Strong Ale)

Smore
Smoked Marshmallows, Graham Cracker, Spicy Chocolate
~NABC Jasmine the Mastiff (Sweet Stout)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tonight at the Public House: Victory Brewing Company Flight Night.

NABC/Rich O’s themed guest beer weeks in July kick off tonight with Victory Flight Night.

We're celebrating the long overdue arrival of Victory Brewing Company beers in Indiana: Hop Devil, Prima Pils and Golden Monkey so far, with more to come in the future (Storm King, where are you? It'll be Gravity Head soon!)

Hop Devil, Prima Pils and Golden Monkey will remain on the guest draft board through the first two weeks of July, and tonight we’ll have Victory Flight Night. It's a ten-ounce (each) sampler of the three Victory drafts for six bucks, with a free 16-oz logo pint glass included. Of course, supplies of the glassware are limited; I think we have 36 of them in all, perhaps a few more. The promotion begins at 5:00 p.m. for the benefit of our post-work regulars.

See you there.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Jesse Williams on national television this morning.

CNN Headline News apparently picked it up from Louisville's WHAS-11. It's a piece on hop prices, and NABC's Jesse Williams comments.

Beer makers raise prices

Good work ... rotten topic!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Rick and Jeff Tours Indiana Brewers Festival

Jeff Gesser has reminded the Curmudgeon that the Rick and Jeff Tours motorcoach excursion to the Indiana Brewers Festival is a go. Note that local craft beer is included for the ride, along with lunch. As noted often in this space, Jeff and Rick have been doing these excursions for years, I've gone on several (most recently in June for a Reds-Red Sox game), and they're always great fun.

Indiana Microbrewers Festival
Saturday, July 19
Chartered bus, tickets to fest (more than 50 brewers on site), program, souvenir sample glass, and hand-crafted beers available on bus both up and back, along with sodas and water. Unlimited samples from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the fest. We will also provide lunch. Cost $85 per person.

Will leave Louisville or New Albany around 11:45. For reservations and complete information contact Rick and Jeff Tours by calling 502-807-7531 or e-mail profgesser(at)insightbb.com

Friday, July 04, 2008

VIP Brewmaster's Dinner in Indianapolis on July 18.

The forthcoming Indiana Beer Week keeps getting better.

On the night before the guild's 13th annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival, a VIP Brewmaster's Dinner will be held, with a 7-course dinner pepared by Chef Greg Hardesty and Indiana microbrews to match. Proceeds to benefit the Red Cross for Indiana Flood Relief.

Here is the scoop.

VIP Brewmaster's Dinner
Friday, July 18
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
OptiPark, 820 East 66th St., Indianapolis
$75 per person
Tickets at Broad Ripple Brewpub and Brugge Brasserie

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Week of July 28, 2008: Dogfish Head Off-Kilter Sixers.

NABC/Rich O’s themed guest beer weeks are coming throughout July.

Week of July 28, 2008

Dogfish Head Off-Kilter Sixers

Starting a few months ago, all our good karma finally paid off thanks to a nice man named John, and selected sixth barrels of rare Dogfish Head specialties began crossing the threshold of Cellar # 3, NABC’s top-secret storage facility. All except one have never before been poured at the Public House. All of the following descriptions are from the brewery’s web site.

Aprihop
Brewed with luscious apricots and finished with whole-leaf hops. A "fruit beer for hop heads," according to Ale Street News. Fruity, citrusy, cedar, thirst-quenching.
7% abv … 55 ibu

Black and Blue
A Belgian-style strong ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries.
10% abv

Burton Baton
A blend of oak-aged English strong ale and our 90 Minute IPA. Citrus notes from Northwestern hops meld with vanilla notes from the oak.
10.0% abv

Immort Ale
Vast in character, luscious & complex. Brewed with peat-smoked barley, this strong ale is brewed with organic juniper berries, vanilla & maple syrup. It's aged on oak and fermented with a blend of English & Belgian yeasts.
11% abv … 40 IBUs

Palo Santo Marron (Holy Tree Brown)
An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means "holy tree" and its wood is used in South American wine-making communities. This beer is a 12% abv, highly roasty, and malty brown ale aged on the Palo Santo wood. It was a huge hit at our Rehoboth Beach brewpub when first released in November of 2006, so it's coming back... into full production! At 10,000 gallons each, these are the largest wooden brewing vessels built in America since before Prohibition.

Red & White
A big, belgian-style Wit brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice. After fermentation a fraction of the batch is aged in Oregon Pinot Noir barrels, and another fraction is aged on oak staves. The beer is blended together before packaging. This has been one of our most popular Limited Edition beers at both our Rehoboth Beach, DE brewpub and at festivals. It successfully marries the refreshing citrusy qualities of a Belgian-style white beer with the robust complexity of a bold red wine.
10% abv

Week of July 21, 2008: Carobs, Chestnuts, Chinotto & Chamomile: Italian Microbrewed Specialties.

NABC/Rich O’s themed guest beer weeks are coming throughout July.

Week of July 21, 2008
Carobs, Chestnuts, Chinotto & Chamomile: Italian Microbrewed Specialties

Italy is indisputably Europe’s newest craft beer frontier, with dozens of innovative artisanal breweries coming into existence during the last decade. Courtesy of the groundbreaking importer B. United International, the Public House will be featuring four newly available Italian microbrewed specialties, none seen before on draft in metropolitan Louisville, and each with a twist. The following descriptions come from B. United’s web site.

Chocarrubica
Birrificio Grado Plato … Piedmont region
Malts: Pale malt, Vienna malt, dark malts, oat malt {over 30%}
Spices: Venezuelan cocoa beans, carob
Hops: HallertauerAlc/vol: 7%
Chocarrubica is a top-fermenting oatmeal stout creation of deep black color. The adding of Venezuelan cocoa beans, carobs from the island of Sicily, and large amount of oats {over 30%} gives this unusual Italian creation its silky, chocolaty, and roasty character.

Strada San Felice
Birrificio Grado Plato … Piedmont region
Malts: Pale malt, Vienna malt
Spices: Piedmont chestnuts
Hops: Kent Golding, Saaz
Alc/vol: 8%
This 8% alc. amber-colored beer, is actually bottom-fermented. The flavor and aroma of local chestnuts gives Strada San Felice its original and distinctive personality. All the chestnuts are grown in Piemonte, in a very famous area for chestnut trees. They are then dried over a wood-fire. It pairs well with traditional autumn and winter cuisine such as game and stews.

Seson
Piccolo Birrificio … Liguria region
Spices: Juniper, chinotto peel, coriander
Hops: Hallertauer
Style: Saison
Malts: Pale malt, Vienna malt, wheat malt
Seson, rated Italian’s best Saison-style interpretation in 2006, is spiced with, among others, chinotto {a small bitter citrus fruit, which is now under the protection of the Slow Food organization), and matured in Chardonnay wooden barrels.

Appearance: Big yellowish foam, orange-golden color
Aroma: Citrusy, touch of lemon and lime, grainy
Flavor: Pronounced citrusy notes, turning bitter {chinotto influence!} and tart , very well balanced against its malt sweetness
Finish: Blend of citrusy, bitter-tart character lingers forever

Chinotto: small bitter citrus fruit from the chinotte {myrtle-leaved orange tree}. It grows in the regions of Liguria, Tuscany, Sicily and Calabria. It is of bitter and sweet taste and often served as aperitif to open the palate.
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Nuovo Mattina
Birrificio del Ducatio … Emilia Romagna region
Style: Italian saison style
Malts: Pale malt, unmalted & malted wheat malt, oats, rye malt
Hops: Hallertauer, Chinook
Spices/fruits/herbs: Coriander, ginger, green pepper, chamomile; licorice
Alc/vol: 5.9 %

Week of July 14, 2008: Draft Hoosier Brews for Indiana Beer Week.

NABC/Rich O’s themed guest beer weeks are coming throughout July.

Week of July 14, 2008
Draft Hoosier Brews for Indiana Beer Week

A new event, Indiana Beer Week, has been organized by the Brewers of Indiana Guild to celebrate the period (July 10-19) between the Indiana State Fair homebrew and professional Brewers Cup Competition (July 11 & 12) judging and the annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival (July 19).

Beginning on July 14, The New Albanian Brewing Company will have a quartet of Hoosier brews on tap to celebrate Indiana Beer Week. The following beers are confirmed, and there may be room for a couple of others, too.

Brugge Brasserie “The Black” (Terre Haute/Indianapolis)

Lafayette Brewing Company Eighty-Five IPA (Lafayette)

Shoreline Brewery SumCen Double IPA (Michigan City)

Three Floyds Alpha Naught (Munster)

Week of July 7, 2008: Victory Brewing Company Drafts (Finally) Invade Indiana.

NABC/Rich O’s themed guest beer weeks are coming throughout July.

Week of July 7, 2008
Victory Brewing Company Drafts (Finally) Invade Indiana

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 will remain on the guest draft board during the first two weeks of July. On Tuesday, July 8, we’ll have Victory Flight Night … a ten-ounce each sampler of the three Victory drafts, with a free 16-oz logo pint glass included (supplies limited). The promotion begins at 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

NABC/Rich O’s themed guest beer weeks are coming in July.

Much time has been spent recently beating the drum about NABC's house beers, but of course we're still serving great beers from America and abroad. Rather than hoard everything for the periodic festivals, I've decided that it might be more fun to throw a few kegs on the board during July (and August, but I haven't gotten there yet) and see what happens.

Here's the overview. The specifics will follow over the next couple of days.

Week of July 7, 2008
Victory Brewing Company Drafts (Finally) Invade Indiana

Hop Devil, Prima Pils and Golden Monkey on tap, and Victory Flight Night on Tuesday, July 8.

Week of July 14, 2008
Draft Hoosier Brews for Indiana Beer Week
A new event, Indiana Beer Week, has been organized by the Brewers of Indiana Guild. NABC will have a quartet of rare Hoosier brews on tap.

Week of July 21, 2008
Carobs, Chestnuts, Chinotto & Chamomile: Italian Microbrewed Specialties
Four newly available Italian microbrewed specialties, none seen before on draft in metropolitan Louisville.

Week of July 28, 2008
Dogfish Head Off-Kilter Sixers

Selected sixth barrels of rare Dogfish Head specialties.

Stay tuned ... details are following.