Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two days off.

You know the drill: NABC is closed today and tomorrow, December 31 and January 1.

Back on Friday the 2nd.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Reminder: Pants Down Potluck Port Drinkers Circle, tonight.

Tonight is the occasion of the annual gathering of the Pants Down Potluck Port Drinkers Circle of New Albany, Southern Indiana, Oz and points afar.

Last year's gathering was especially memorable ... wasn't it? Come to think of it, I can't remember. I feel cheated somehow, even deprived ... but so it goes.

As before, we'll be imbibing in the Prost banquet and special events wing of Rich O's Public House/NABC. Specifically, we'll be in the "gallery" to the left of the main seating area. Starting time is 7:00 p.m.

Note that because we're "bringing our own," both in terms of alcohol and nibbles, one goal of the gathering is to be self-sufficient, and to permit the wait staff to garner vast profits from non-port-drinking customers. If you will be dining at the pub prior to the port tasting, please allow sufficient time and go through the usual drill. I will instruct the servers to expect that some people will be keeping their tabs open for drinks later in the evening.

Aside from that, as always, this year's tasting is open to all comers, with no cover or minimum, but with the only firm requirement being that participants bring a bottle of Port and a snack (cheese, salami, olives or other munchables) to the gathering.

Of course, in lieu of a contribution, it remains conceivable that a fine cigar for the hosting Publican might buy your way inside, although remember that Prost is smoke-free, and we'll have to retreat to the bar for the consolations of tobacco.

Coverage from stellar events the last three years can be viewed here:

2007: This year's gathering of the Pants Down Potluck Port Drinkers Circle will be Thursday, December 27.

2006: Pants Down Port Drinkers on December 28: A recap.

2005: Port wine is a holiday tradition.

Regrettably, traditional co-conspirator Tim Eads cannot be with us this evening.

Briefly googling in preparation, we find:

Into Wine: Enjoying Port

The Vintage Port Site (operated by the Symington Family Port Companies)

Prior to my only visit to Portugal in 2000, the Danish gonzo journalist Kim Wiesener, a longtime friend, recommended Richard Mayson's "Port and the Douro" as the finest overview of all things Port. Indeed, it is excellent, and if you're interested in Port, it's a must-have.

There's a newer edition available, and for future reference, I'm sure that Randy Smith at Destinations Booksellers would be able to track it down for those interested. Here's a capsule description:

Mayson recounts the history of this great fortified wine up to the present day, including an assessment of major vintages back to 1896. He examines the physical condition of the region, grape varieties and vineyards with an appraisal of each of the main quintas, providing a directory of individual producers and shippers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Photos from Boxing Day at the Irish Rover.

Excellent breakfast, including black pudding ... and Guinness.

There was music and a festive ambience on the day after Christmas.

Jon illustrates a story as the pints look on.

Tim, Jeff and Graham.

Jeff and the introductory smoked salmon.

Only one of those pints belongs to Graham.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Not "shaping up" for a Boxing Day indulgence.

I'm off to the Irish Rover (Frankfort Avenue, Louisville) for the pub's annual Boxing Day celebration, followed by a few hours at work and then a journey to Charlestown Pizza Company for dinner and beers with the missus and good friends Jerry and Barb. Yesterday we managed to be shoehorned into the Vietnam Kitchen for a fabulous meal of pho with seafood, accompanied by IPA and Brown Ale.

No, the diet isn't going well ...

Friday, December 26 - Boxing Day (from the Rover's web site)

Keep the party going, but get out of the house. Visit the Irish Rover or Irish Rover, Too for a traditional Irish Breakfast and trad music. 10 am - 2 pm. Call for reservations or details.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve recap: A wee bit o' shopping, and multitudinous ale.


Our annual Christmas Eve “shopping” excursion proceeded as always in 2008, although this year there was a request (unusual in recent years) to go somewhere and actually buy something approximating a gift prior to lunch at Bluegrass Brewing Company in St. Matthews.

But first, there was the third yearly pre-shopping toast at my kitchen counter, with the lads and I splitting a 750 ml bottle of De Dolle Stille Nacht Reserva (2000) before debarking. It was brilliant, though starting to show slight signs of deterioration. The final bottle in my stash awaits for 2009.

With nothing to buy and time to kill, I browsed tacky calendars at the Oxmoor Mall before braving the equatorial downpour and locating the front entrance to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, considered here earlier in the year.

I was thrilled neither by the prospect of reneging on my goal of spending all my money at locally-owned businesses, nor drinking a letter-perfect (and entirely uninteresting) house ale brewed somewhere in Nevada, but was spared the ignominy of weakness by noticing the presence on tap of Browning’s She-Devil. Thanking my lucky stars that Brian Reymiller is still brewing at Browning’s even if the restaurants there are history, I savored the hoppy essence and arrive back at the meeting spot with moments to spare.

Next, BBC … and the expected reunion with numerous old friends, brewpub employees and a plate of chicken wings. Brewer Jerry Gnagy was generous with samples of his most recent specialties, and all were quite good, including a Belgian Quad, Belgian Tripel (with wormwood for bittering), a “caliente” pepper ale, and previews of two excellent, funky lambics.

I enjoyed an informative chat with fellow brewpub owner Pat Hagan. Note that Christmas, 2009, will be Becca’s last behind the bar before she finished her nursing studies. I trust she’ll return on Christmas Eves to come and drink with the gang.

After a fruitful (and expensive) stop at Ear-x-tacy for CDs and DVDs, we ended the Louisville portion of the program with a round of pints at Cumberland Brews. My choice was Yerba Mate Pale Ale, and I continue to enjoy the combination of tea and hop flavors.

Back across the Sherman Minton Bridge, we ended the day at Connor’s Place in downtown New Albany. I drank one of NABC’s own, Flat Tyre. Counting the wee sample of BBC Bourbon Barrel Stout (brewed at BBC on Main & Clay, served at the St. Matthews location) I drank earlier in the day, there was something from all Louisville-area breweries circulating through my system.

Mission accomplished ... and see you next year for that last De Dolle.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A holiday Mug Shot: "Smoke 'em on up, Santa."

Here's my biweekly LEO article for Christmas Eve: Mug Shot: Smoke 'em on up, Santa.

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“You’re such a Grinch,” said one of my friends recently, presumably intending it as a form of rebuke.

I responded, “Thank you very much.”

It all goes back to finding out that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. As an incredibly gullible child, the discovery took a while, but when it finally occurred, I disavowed Christmas on the spot. It was only a short step to outright atheism, and both revelations came from being consciously misled by so-called authority figures. Once they’ve lied to you about Santa, anything is possible.

Considering that Santa Claus is a myth, can we really know anything about his personal lifestyle choices?

I ask this question because recently, one of my helpers designed an NABC promotional poster depicting Santa Claus smoking a cigarette. The illustration was borrowed directly from 1950s-era advertising copy. In the end, you probably didn’t see it, because most of the posters were taken down, ostensibly because, “you can’t show Santa Claus smoking!” Someone else asked, “What if children see it?”

Hmm. Would that be the same children who aren’t legally permitted to drink beer in the first place?

Am I to conclude that we can cram as many images of bikini-clad Swedish beauties onto cardboard as possible, with no ill effect whatsoever on children and adults as pertains to the larger issue of female self-image, but we must protect the reputation of a completely fictional character?

But I do celebrate the holiday after a fashion. Christmas Eve is the occasion for the annual “shopping” expedition of Roger and the lads. We’ll make appearances at Bluegrass Brewing Company (St. Matthews) for lunch, followed a bit later by a visit to Cumberland Brews, with a stop at ear X-tacy falling conveniently in between.

If you’re out and about today, look us up. Happy holidaze, folks.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Remember this name: El Lissitzky.

The current Saturnalia draft lineup has been updated.

Meanwhile, remember this image.



Wikipedia provides the background:

Lazar Markovich Lissitzky, better known as El Lissitzky, was a Russian artist, designer, photographer, typographer, polemicist and architect. He was an important figure of the Russian avant garde, helping develop suprematism with his mentor, Kazimir Malevich, and designing numerous exhibition displays and propaganda works for the former Soviet Union. His work greatly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements, and he experimented with production techniques and stylistic devices that would go on to dominate 20th century graphic design.

What does this have to do with beer? Maybe nothing, but there'll be a quiz at a later date.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

One of those tough decisions in life.

On Saturday afternoon at roughly 2:30 p.m., I was thrust into the unenviable position off making a sad, sad call.

Pull the plug, or not?

I pulled the plug.

Our second of two kegs of Schlenkerla Urbock, one of my favorite beers in all the world, was off. Sour. Perhaps drinkable for some, but not for me. The first one was delicious, but something had gone tragically wrong with the second, and there was only one way to make it right.

It was taken off tap and will be returned to the wholesaler.

I cried ... although I know there'll be another time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Smokin' hot ... not smokin' a cigarette.

In response to yesterday's post, "It's a cigarette, people -- and Santa Claus does not exist!," reader Antzman wrote:

"Maybe you should have used a bikini clad Swedish Santa Claus..... no censorship would have occurred at all!"

Funny you should mention that angle, A, because here's what John orginally had in mind.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's a cigarette, people -- and Santa Claus does not exist!

Legend has it that the Curmudgeon is undiplomatic. This notion should be consigned to Trotsky’s historical ash heap, because I’ve waited a full week to write about something that annoyed me tremendously at the time. Now, my heels cooled, I can comment intelligently.

The basics: John Campbell designed a poster to promote NABC’s seasonal tapping party at Flanagan’s Ale House. The poster, which used advertising copy from the 1950’s, showed Santa Claus smoking a cigarette.


John put up bunches of the posters, and then others took most of them down, ostensibly because, “you can’t show Santa Claus smoking a cigarette.”

Among those removing the posters was someone from our wholesaler, who replaced the offending images with a generic event announcement.

Well, thanks at least for that substitution. The problem is that all the imagery is lost.

Another response relayed to me was this: “What if children see it?”

Would that be the children who aren’t legally permitted to drink beer in the first place? Or, are we saying that at some level adults, who by this point should understand Santa as a purely fictional creation, might be offended by the image of a puffing St. Nick?

Are we saying that NABC can display images of as many bikini-clad Swedish beauties as can be crammed onto cardboard, with no effect whatsoever on children and adults as pertains to the larger issue of female self-image? Yet, hasn't this been the mass-market choice of action since the advertising first hatched and began telling lies?

The fact that smoking Santa was also intended as a subtle commentary on Louisville’s smoking ban makes the censorship even more questionable. The poster was carefully calculated in a number of ways. It was designed to make several statements, none of which can be judged by the viewing public if it is tossed in the garbage can.

Listen up, all and sundry.

The Curmudgeon, in both private life and as a businessman, does not take kindly to censorship. It runs counter to everything I’ve advocated throughout my life. Edginess, dissent and creativity (not necessarily in that order) are the fundamental tenets of the craft brew revolution. I’m going to regard this as a one-off miscalculation, and hope that the next time something comes up, we all talk about it first.

It’s better that way.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mike's "Beer Cellar Christmas Shoppe" open again Friday and Saturday (December 19th & 20th).

The second weekend of Saturnalia MMVIII will be underway tomorrow.

Current Saturnalia draft lineup (subject to updating).

Tomorrow's firkin will be Harvey’s Christmas Ale.

As was the case last weekend, NABC’s new Beer Manager, Mike Bauman, has sifted through the vintage beer cellar as well as uncovering some bottled overstocks, glassware, and other items. He’s set up a Beer Cellar Christmas Shoppe in the rear of Prost (entrance from Rich O’s) and will be offering the merchandise at these times:

Friday, December 19 from 3 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 from 3 to 8 p.m.

Note: All the Alaskan Smoked Porter up for grabs this time is gone, Dave.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Current Saturnalia draft lineup (subject to updating).

(Final update, Monday, January 12)

Here's the final Saturnalia lineup. The end is near, and Gravity Head 2009 (The Liver Olympics) is coming soon. Four listed Saturnalia selections that have been delayed for various reasons will be moved to Gravity Head duty.

The * indicates a beer never before poured at the pub.

ON TAP NOW

BELGIUM
Gouden Carolus Noël
La Rulles Cuvée Meilleurs Voeux

GERMANY
Mahr’s Der Weisse Bock

ITALY
*Malthus Birolla (Birrificio di Como)
*Shangrila (Birrificio Troll)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Bluegrass Brewing Company Hell for Certain
Breckenridge Christmas Ale
*Brooklyn Brewery Brewmasters Reserve Grand Cru
Clipper City “Heavy Seas” Winter Storm
Great Divide Hibernation Ale
NABC Bonfire of the Valkyries
NABC Naughty Claus
*Redstone Black Raspberry Nectar Mead
*Shmaltz He’Brew Jewbelation Twelve
*Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale

STILL TO BE TAPPED

BELGIUM
*Duvel Green

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Avery Old Jubilation
Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout

MOVED TO GRAVITY HEAD 2009
De Dolle Stille Nacht
*Krampus (Birrificio del Ducato)
*Verdi Imperial Stout (Birrificio del Ducato)

*Victory Baltic Thunder

VERIFIED AWOL
*Chiostro (Piccolo Birrificio - Italy ... simply disappeared somewhere)
Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve (wasn't a JLS offering after all ... thanks for telling me ... we tapped a keg of Yellow Snow instead, and it is gone)

LINEUP NOTE:
We received Atwater Winter Bock instead of the scheduled Vanilla Java Porter.

SACRIFICED TO THE GODS OF SATURNALIA
Anchor Christmas Ale (“Merry Christmas & Happy New Year”)
*Atwater Winter Bock
*Barley Island Beastie Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout
*Bell’s Christmas Ale
Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury
*Birra di Natale (Birrificio BEBA)
Boulder Never Summer Ale
Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout
Clipper City “Heavy Seas” Peg Leg Imperial Stout (firkin)
*Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Doppelbock
Delirium Noël
Dupont Les Bons Voeux
*Harvey’s Christmas Ale (firkin)
Kasteel Rouge
Left Hand Snowbound Winter Ale
N’Ice Chouffe
*Nora (Birreria Baladin)
Oaken Barrel Epiphany
Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout
Rogue Chocolate Stout
Rogue HazelNut Brown Nectar
Samuel Adams Winter Lager
Scaldis Noël
Schlafly Christmas Ale
Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard
Three Floyds Alpha Klaus Xmas Porter
*Two Brothers Oh Brother Tripel
Upland Winter Warmer
Weihenstephaner Korbinian

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Complete descriptions of American beers for Saturnalia

Complete descriptions of Belgian, German, Italian and British beers for Saturnalia

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Today: Youngstown Cigar Holiday Open House and Beer Tasting.

Youngstown Cigar Holiday Open House and Beer Tasting
Stogies and brews...come get one, two or three!

Saturday, December 13, 2008
Time: 12:00pm - 6:00pm

Youngstown Cigar Shop, which is located just off 10th Street in Jeffersonville (behind Mai's Thai in the Youngstown Shopping Plaza), is hosting its annual Holiday Open House with a free cigar for everyone, a holiday winter craft beer tasting (12) and tasty homemade food. Take Exit 1 off I-65, and one mile down on the left.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Saturnalia is out of the gate, with a Beer Cellar Christmas Shoppe today and tomorrow.

Saturnalia MMVIII is under way.

The Saturnalia MMVIII starting lineup is revealed.

Also of note, NABC’s new Beer Manager, Mike Bauman, has sifted through the vintage beer cellar as well as uncovering some bottled overstocks, glassware, and other items. He’s set up a Beer Cellar Christmas Shoppe in the rear of Prost (entrance from Rich O’s) and will be offering the merchandise at these times:

Friday, December 12 from 3 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, December 13 from 3 to 6:30 p.m.

Shoppe hours on the weekend of Dec. 19 & 20 will be announced next week after we see what's left to sell.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In LEO: "Cheers for seasonal beers."

Here's a brief overview of seasonal specialties being released by Louisville-area craft breweries. It appeared as my Mug Shots article this week in LEO. If you're a local reader, be sure to sample some of the bounty.

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Cheers for seasonal beers

In the continental brewing tradition that informs our beery American ethos, the arrival of cold weather heralds the release of strong ales and lagers. In a touch that predates the use of hops, some are spiced, placing them firmly within the parameters of Christmas food and drink.

Louisville Metro’s five craft breweries offer creative annual festive motifs for the winter season. The most venerable is Ebenezer’s Spiced Ale, brewed since 1993 at Bluegrass Brewing Co.’s original St. Matthews location, and spiced with ginger, sweet orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and honey.

BBC’s Jerry Gnagy has another holiday trick up his apron with Wormwood Tripel, a Belgian abbey style set to tap on Dec. 27. Wormwood (that’s right, the stuff of absinthe) is used as a bittering herb.

Hell for Certain does not describe the BBC brewery at Main and Clay. Rather, it’s a spiced Wallonian style with coriander, sweet orange peel and a “secret spice” known only to Ardennes gnomes, from whom original BBC brewmaster David Pierce once took lessons.

Cumberland Brews is in jolly humor with its Kristmas Keester. Owner Mark Allgeier describes the ale, which adds juniper berries to the mix, as “designed to isolate you from other happy-go-lucky Christmas/cheery holiday-goers.”

A Scottish ale called Kincardin is the current Cumberland winter seasonal, and there may be some roasted pumpkin ale (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and brown sugar) still pouring as a Thanksgiving leftover.

My New Albanian Brewing Co. will unveil Naughty Claus at its Saturnalia Winter Solstice fest on Dec. 12. This year’s version is a British “winter warmer,” with cocoa and mint. Louisville’s only keg of Naughty Claus will be tapped at Flanagan’s Ale House on Dec. 13.

Finally, a shout-out to Browning’s Brewery. The pub and restaurant may be closed, but brewer Brian Reymiller is still making his She-Devil and ESB for local distribution. Look for them, and help keep the dream alive this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Saturnalia MMVIII starting lineup is revealed.

(Updated at 4:00 p.m. after learning that Rogue HazelNut Brown Nectar is not available for delivery this week. It has been replaced by Two Brothers Oh Brother Tripel)

Here's the Saturnalia starting lineup for Friday, December 12, as determined by Mike and the Curmudgeon yesterday afternoon. Actually, there may be an error, since I forgot the paper and put these down from memory. If so, I'll correct later this morning. The * indicates a beer never before poured at the pub.

BELGIUM

Delirium Noël
Noël, from the venerable, family-run Huyghe brewery near Ghent, blends the cleanness of Delirium Tremens (golden) and Delirium Nocturnum (dark) into a unique third way, albeit a shade stronger, prompting the brewery to remind us that it “requires a responsible consumption.” 10% abv.

Dupont Les Bons Voeux
Tawny blond, dry-hopped Saison for the holiday; brewed every year since 1970. The name means, “With the best wishes of the brewery” – Dupont, that is. 9.5% abv.

N’Ice Chouffe
Thyme, vanilla, orange peel and candi sugar are among the spices used to accent a dark and brawny winter seasonal, brewed in the hills of the Ardennes. 10% abv.

GERMANY

Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock
One of the Publican’s all-time Desert Island beers is Schlenkerla Marzen, now on tap all year round, except when Urbock, Marzen’s bigger brother, breezes into town for the holidaze. Taste what happens when beechwood is used in the correct way (as flavor, not bedding in the Clydesdale’s stalls). 6.6% abv.

ITALY

*Birra di Natale (Birrificio BEBA)
The next frontier for creative craft brewing is in Italy, so you’d best get used to the idea. We begin with BEBA’s winter lager, which should serve as a tasty calibration beer. Natale is brewed with pilsner, munich and caramel malts, and hopped with Hallertauer Magnum. 8.5% abv.

*Nora (Birreria Baladin)
Throwback Egyptian recipes always are an excellent change of pace. Unmalted kamut (an ancient form of wheat) is used, and only the bare minimum of hops, which were not used in beer until later, are added solely for their preservative qualities. Ginger and orange peel are employed for balance, and myrrh for bittering. 6.8% abv.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

*Barley Island Beastie Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout
The Noblesville brewery’s Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout (5% abv in customary form) is aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey barrels, bolstering strength. Barley Island’s owners and brew crew will be on site at Rich O’s on Saturday, December 13, to help us drink some Beastie.

Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury
This Belgian Strong Ale first appeared in 2004. According to the brewery, it’s “A brew that gives you either sympathy for the devil or the courage to face him … Goes especially well with your favorite lost my girl/truck/dog/trailer song.” Of course. 7.7% abv.

Boulder Never Summer Ale
American seasonal ale brewed with 2-row barley and British dark caramel malt; Nugget, Willamette and Cascade hops; and a “top secret brewmaster’s spice,” all on behalf of “the drinking town with a skiing problem.” 5.94% abv.

Clipper City “Heavy Seas” Peg Leg Imperial Stout (firkin)
Cross your fingers, cask-conditioned ale lovers. We’ve been sitting on this firkin for about five months, letting a bit of age reshape the thick, evolving black loveliness within. 8% abv.

*Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Doppelbock
Does anyone ever brew a coffee beer that isn’t a porter or a stout? Affirmative. Dark Horse’s –ator tag is priceless. Guesstimating 7.5% abv.

Left Hand Snowbound Winter Ale
Presented as an “antidote to cabin fever,” and brewed with two-row, Munich, crystal and chocolate malts, Magnum and Saaz hops, and a spice array of crushed cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, honey, chopped ginger and cardamom. The website lists it as 7.6% abv.

NABC Bonfire of the Valkyries
An unprecedented Schwarzbier/Rauchbier hybrid (smoked black lager), back for its third seasonal batch. Not excessively smoky; just right. All in all, magic fire mood music for Saturnalia. Circa 6.5% abv.

NABC Naughty Claus
Jesse’s and Jared’s holiday spiced winter warmer features four malts, molasses, dark brown sugar, orange peel, cinnamon sticks and a few Saaz hops out of habit, if nothing else. This year’s version is evolving as I write. 7.5% abv.

Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout
Last year’s portion went quickly as the sweet tooth brigade gathered for the kill. It’s stout infused with Belgian dark chocolate, and clocks in at circa 7% abv.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
It is indeed difficult to imagine another seasonal ale that symbolizes the holidays better than Celebration Ale. Desert island beer for many, recurring seasonal favorite, with generous doses of Chinook (for bittering), Cascades and Centennial hops, dry-hopped with all three, but not neglecting a delicious malt underpinning. 6.8% abv.

Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard
The process is simple. Arrogant Bastard is aged on oak chips, with lend toasty vanilla flavors that are the perfect complement to the ale’s big background malt wallop. We appreciate aggressive hopping, too. Circa 6.8% abv.

*Two Brothers Oh Brother Tripel
An unpreviewed seasonal release from Chicagoland’s Two Brothers, made from pilsner malt, candi sugar, and “non-traditional” hops. 8.5% abv.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Upcoming events at Connor's Place.

Straight from Dave Himmel's command center, here are a few of the upcoming events at Connor’s Place in downtown New Albany, where two of NABC's beers customarily are on tap. The pub is located at 134 East Market in downtown New Albany. If you haven't seen Dave's remodeled new digs, take a look.

Wednesday, December 10
World Class Beverages Holiday Beer Tasting
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday, December 12
Live music: Da Mudcats
8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Friday, December 19
Rib Tip Dinner, featuring Rib Tip Tony
Starts at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 20
Live music: Da Mudcats
8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Friday, December 26
Live music: Louisville Blues
8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Saturnalia MMVIII program available on-line for downloading.

Saturnalia starts at NABC on Friday, December 12, and here’s the link to the .zip file with the .pdf of the official program. I spotted a couple of typos after putting it on-line, but that’s okay.

Download the program

All of it was previewed here in November, but the .pdf can be printed out, and you won't have to wait until opening day to have a glance at it.

55 guest kegs are expected, with roughly 16 of them (including a firkin) pouring on opening night and the remainder appearing afterward, probably well into January. About half are already in stock, with another dozen coming next week. The rest will be trickling in throughout December.

Te starting lineup will be determined early this week, as Mike and I tend to the pricing.

Speaking of Mike, the beer manager will have a ballast-lightening Vintage Shop running during the opening weekend of Saturnalia, December 12 & 13. The shop will be located to the rear of Prost, and will have beers for carry-out purchase as drawn from the beer cellar and overstocks. Vintage beers available for purchase include various Stones, Bigfoots, Thomas Hardy's, Bell's, JW Lee's and a few Alaskan Smoked Porters. There are others; with luck, we'll have a cheat sheet out later this week.

There'll also be glassware and selected other goodies.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The orginal Mishawaka Brew Pub is closing, but beer will continue to flow.

From Bob Ostrander comes sad news, which is rendered doubly compelling for me when one considers that in 2009, NABC's original location on Grant Line Road in New Albany will be coping with the very same factors cited by the Schmidts, with the exception of the smoking ban (for a while, at least). I'm not as strident about the issue as Tom, but for us, the smoking ban (since vetoed) accompanied by the other factors would constitute a tough nut to crack in '09.

We, too, have greater restaurant competition, prospective road construction and the likelihood of higher property taxes for business.

Here's the overview from Bob: "The second oldest brewpub in Indiana, Mishawaka Brew Pub, is closing. But their other tap house, The Pub, and the new brewery in Elkhart will continue business as usual."

Strategic planning is a good thing. Wondering about the urgency of surmounting financing obstacles and getting a second revenue stream started at our Bank Street location? Wonder no more. Based on current realities, we're looking to open the tap room in February and the brewery in April or May ... about the same time that Grant Line Road construction gets under way.

Here's the Mishawaka press release.

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The Brew Pub Ltd. restaurant located at 3703 North Main Street, Mishawaka will be closing at the end of business on December 3, 2008.

The last few years have been a struggle with the increased competition of an unbelievable number of new restaurants, the closing of Main Street for an extended period of time, high property taxes, the smoking ban and the current recession.

We had an extension on the smoking ban and went to no smoking in September, 2007. In the first year after going non smoking, sales decreased over $120,000. Politicians obviously know what is best for us. Just keep raising taxes and meddling in business operations and then complain about governments falling revenues.

Under the current conditions we decided that it was time to pull the plug on the life support.

It should be noted for those who are not familiar with our structure that The Brew Pub Ltd is a corporation separate from The Mishawaka Brewing Company and The Pub (located at 408 W. Cleveland, Mishawaka at the corner of Grape & Cleveland).

The Mishawaka Brewing Company has continued to grow and in 2006 we opened a production brewery in Elkhart, IN. We will be consolidating the two brewing operations at our Elkhart location. Distribution will continue unchanged.

The Brew Pub Ltd restaurant was opened on October 19, 1992 and has been operating for over 16 years. We will miss it dearly as it has been our home away from home.

Economic times are tough, but the beers of The Mishawaka Brewing Company will continue to flow. All brewing, bottling, pigging and kegging will now be done in Elkhart. All of the beer will still be available for carry out at The Pub and at the brewery location in Elkhart including growlers, kegs and Party Pigs.

Tom, Barbara, Rick & Tami Schmidt

Monday, December 01, 2008

Food and clothing drive at NABC, Saturday, December 6.

NABC's inaugural holiday food and clothing drive takes place this Saturday (December 6) from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the Prost special events wing.

We'll be accepting clothing, toys, canned goods, and winter coats, with proceeds to benefit Wayside Christian Mission and other local charities.

There'll also be live music in an "open mic" format -- just bring an instrument, show up and jam with us to raise money, clothing, food, and awareness. Specific invitations have been extended to some of NABC's musical friends, but there are no limitations, and the more playing, the merrier.

A silent auction is being assembled, with items to include breweriana from (among others) the archival NABC collection and World Class Beverages via our ever industrious rep, Tisha Dean. There'll also be gift baskets (one from Huber Winery already is in place) and area gift certificates.

Contact John or Reva for more info.

BBC's Prohibition Repeal Party is Friday, December 5.

Here's a press release from the gang at Bluegrass Brewing Company.

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PROHIBITION REPEAL PARTY IS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5TH

Bluegrass Brewing Company (Shelbyville Road) will celebrate the repeal of Prohibition on Friday, December 5th, with nickel beers. The festivities will include a free soup kitchen, BBC employees dressed in 1920’s apparel, and 1920’s era music to help set the ambiance.

The 18th amendment to the constitution banned all alcohol sales. This “prohibition” lasted for 13 years, from 1920 – 1933. The 21st amendment was enacted on December 5th 1933 and repealed the 18th amendment. The 21st amendment is the only amendment to the constitution that specifically repeals another amendment. BBC will halt alcohol sales for 13 minutes from 5:47 pm until 6:00 pm to simulate the 13 years of alcohol prohibition. From 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm we will celebrate with 1920s prices of nickel beers. The free soup kitchen will consist of bean soup and corn bread and will run from 6:00 pm until the soup runs out.

This annual celebration is one of Bluegrass Brewing Company’s most popular events so come out and join in the festivities. For more information please contact BBC at 899-7070.