Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bastille Day menu and matching Bieres de Garde at the Bank Street Brewhouse on Tuesday, July 14.

On Tuesday, July 14, NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse (415 Bank Street in downtown New Albany) will honor the French national holiday of Bastille Day with an exclusive, 5-course, fixed-price French menu prepared by Chef Joshua Lehman and his “magnifique” kitchen staff.

A 750ml bottle of Biere de Garde from a list (see below) chosen by NABC owner Roger A. Baylor is included in the price of each meal, which will be served between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Mussels and frites also will be available on the 14th for those seeking a lighter bill of fare.

Price and Reservations

While not required, advance reservations for the Bastille Day meal are recommended, and can be made by calling 812-725-9585 or e-mailing gregg@newalbanian.com.

The price is $60, service compris (including service), but if you reserve and pre-pay for this meal at the Bank Street Brewhouse prior to Bastille Day, you’ll receive a special advance price of $55, also including service.

The Beers.

A selection of Bieres de Garde from the Castelain, Jenlain and La Choulette breweries in Northern France, alongside Schlafly’s craft-brewed American version of this traditional, malty style, will be offered.

Castelain Blond
Jenlain Ambree
Jenlain Blonde
La Choulette Ambree
La Choulette Blonde
Schlafly Biere de Garde

Bieres de Garde pair superbly with food, and Bastille Day diners may select one of the preceding to accompany the meal -- and to share samples with friends. Additional bottles will be available for purchase at market prices. Naturally, NABC's lineup of house beers will also be on tap like always.

The Menu:

First Course:

Second Course (choose 1):
Poached Egg Salad
Country-style pâté

Third Course (choose 1):
Quiche Lorraine

Fourth Course:
Fromages (assorted)

Fifth Course (choose 1):
Chocolate Mousse
Creme Brulee


As a personal note, two previous Bastille Day dinners in conjunction with the late, lamented Bistro New Albany were among my favorite beer dinners ever, any place, any time. I'm proud to revive the tradition in downtown New Albany.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Exterior photos at Bank Street Brewhouse.

Following are three views of the exterior progress made during the past two weeks at the Bank Street Brewhouse. The streetside cutouts along the new sidewalk are for plants and trees. Note the patio roof of translucent smoked panels.

The fourth photo shows Jesse and Dave as Duke Energy performs the long awaited electricity upgrade.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reclaiming the horse racing biz with cheap, bad beer from multinational swill merchants.

Rick at The 'Ville Voice blog pointed to this story:

Cheap Beer — Is it enough to get you back to the track for night racing? [Churchill Downs]

The horse racing business in Kentucky is struggling, and the demographic for racing at places like Churchill Downs is shrinking. The most recent Kentucky General Assembly has spent time considering these issues in the context of competition from Indiana casinos and other vestiges of entertainment in surrounding states.

The track recently unveiled its first-ever night racing, and opening night was far busier than expected. The track apologized and vowed to do a better job by including "cheap beer" and shorter lines, and last night, the big promotional item was dollar Budweiser Selects.

So, to prove the importance of Churchill Downs to the local/state economy, the track's concessionaire features cheap beer from a multi-national brewing company headquartered in Belgium.

That makes sense, doesn't it?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bank Street Brewhouse update: Sidewalk and patio work, and progress on the brewery.

Here's a slight tweaking of the newsletter text that was sent on Thursday.


As Ohio Valley temperatures rise and we creep steadily closer to the commencement of brewing at the Bank Street Brewhouse, there is a palpable sense of anticipation. For me, it’s bordering on hysteria.

That’s because “Phase One” (don’t ask about “Phase Two”) of the Bank Street Brewhouse is roughly 90% complete, and the final 10% is rather sadistically proving the wisdom of the old adage that the devil’s in the details.

Here’s a status report, with gritted teeth.

Work began last Friday on the sidewalk outside the garage doors, facing Bank Street. The remaining concrete was poured today. When finished, the sidewalk will have been extended into the area formerly taken by three curbside parking spaces, yielding enough square footage for us to put streetside tables, chairs and sunbrellas. There's also space for planting grass and trees. As long as it stays sticky, it’s likely to be irrelevant, anyway.

Build-out of the north patio area is ongoing. The roof was finished today, and during the brief thunderstorm, we sat beneath it and counted the leaks. There are a few, but it should be a quick fix. We're assembling the needed furniture and ceiling fans.

To repeat: In some ways completion is moot, considering the current intensity of the weather, but at least there’ll be a place for smokers to sit and enjoy their pints during the smog alerts. We’re energetically planning a weekly cigar night for the north patio, as well as varied evening entertainment in summertime.

Most important of all is the state of the new brewhouse. Infrastructure work is proceeding. The grain room awaits perhaps two more days of finishing work, there are pipes to insulate, and the electricity will be finalized next Monday, June 29. According to David “Director of brewing Operations” Pierce, the schedule will go as follows:

Order malt, hops and yeast NLT 3 July

Walk-in operational NLT 3 July; turn Chef Josh's walk-in back to a kitchen unit with our thanks and blessings.

Brewing to commence 18 - 23 July, starting with a yeast feeder/dumper batch to make sure everything works

Before brewing can start we have days of internal cleaning and external unwrapping. I would like to have some sort of ceremony prior to the first batch with John performing a blessing with to ward of the ghosts of Rainbow Bakery yeast.

Initial Brew Schedule:

Beak's Best 15 bbl.
Elector 15 bbl.
15 B 15 bbl.
Hoptimus 30 bbl.

The first three will be available 14 days +- after brewing, Hoptimus 21+-.

Don’t forget that the Bank Street Brewhouse will be closed on Saturday, July 4. New Albany’s annual holiday music and fireworks show takes place at the refurbished amphitheater on Friday, July 3, and we’ll keep the bar open later for your convenience. Sunday hours on the 5th are as usual. Looking ahead, there’ll be a special cooperative beer dinner with the Glassworks on July 13 (Monday – details forthcoming) and a Bastille Day Celebration the following day (Tuesday, July 14), the latter featuring a fixed price French dinner menu and imported French Bieres de Garde.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

NABC update: Beer events for July and August at the Public House & Pizzeria.

From today's e-newsletter:


At the original Grant Line (Rich O’s and Sportstime) location, business continues as always. Special recognition goes to brewer Jared Williamson, who is working the Grant Line brewing system daily to make enough beer for both locations.

Apologies for not being able to precisely fix dates on a number of forthcoming beer events, but I’ll give you what I have and hope that they fall into place as expected.

In July, roughly by the 6th, we’ll be doing three English “real” ciders on the hand-pull at Grant Line: Yarlington Mill, Scrumpy and Norman (single varietal), all from Gwatkin. They’ll follow one after another until depleted, and once we decide on a serving order, I’ll let you know.

Also in July, Mike Bauman is organizing Brooklyn Brewery and Magic Hat promotional events. These probably will fall on Monday or Tuesday.

For the resumption of Lambic by the Glass, I’m going to say that some time around August 1 – 5 is the window. Again this year, I’ve had trouble sourcing enough product to pour the typical 4-oz samples. However, Shelton Brothers is shipping a few Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen selections, including Cantillon draft. When I’m able to be exact, I will.

Similarly, Sandkerwa is on for late August, circa Friday the 28th. I’m working with Shelton Brothers of a shipment of Franconian craft drafts that could be mind-blowing if it comes together, and these will be featured alongside the usual Schlenkerla smoked lagers.

Stay tuned. As a final calendar notification, don’t forget the Brewers of Indiana Guild festival in Indianapolis on Saturday, July 18. Tickets are on sale at the Public House.

Both NABC locations will be closed on Saturday, July 4.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tale of two meals.

The first two photos are of bouillabaisse and pork shank, just prior to being rather joyously consumed last Friday evening at the Bank Street Brewhouse. I planned on having only one beer with the meal, and waited for the pork to order a Hoptimus. A delightful pairing, indeed, as the pork is fully capable of battling the hop to a standstill.

This last photo was taken on Sunday night at the house. The missus made a low-calorie pasta somewhat along the lines of puttanesca, and we opened a bottle of Aglianico from the Carousel Winery in Bedford, Indiana. In retrospect, a milder red might have been a better pairing even though I enjoyed the richness and alcoholic heft (16% abv) of the wine. Afterward, the remainder of the bottle was apt accompaniment to a good cigar out on the porch.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bats, Centerplate as oblivious as ever, but Browning's ale is on tap inside Louisville Slugger Field.

Yes, there is Browning's beer inside Louisville Slugger Field. Last night, ESB was on the main concourse by the sports card shop.

It's identified as "import"beer, which is highly suspect grammar, and costs $4.75. When I observed to the worker that it isn't an import, she responded that she isn't supposed to know were it comes from. When I asked her if she knew it was made less than one hundred yards away, she expressed cluelessness.

The other worker acknowledged that yes, it's a "microbrew," but could not explain why it's identified as an "import" beer.

It is served in a white Budweiser/Bud Light cup. It tasted damned good in the heat, but I was afraid to be seen drinking it from such a receptacle.

Does the Louisville Bats management mandate persistent shoddiness like this from Centerplate, the supposedly "professional" caterer it provides a monopoly on subpar food and drink offerings? And while I'm at it, why should there be such a monopoly in a publicly-owned facility? All of you slamming your long-necks of vapid swill on the counter might want to think about that as you expedite your money to corporate headquarters in foreign countries.

Judging from the "Rally" mascot that performed profoundly unfunny routines throughout the evening, to the bored sighs of even the children present, I'm thinking the answer is "yes." Years pass, and the Bats just plain don't get it, do they?

Friday, June 19, 2009

More Bank Street construction.

Monday would have been better, but it's not our dime, so sidewalk reconstruction began today at Bank Street Brewhouse. To get to the entry door, walk through the far end of the north patio area to the right of the building (also under construction). We're here, and we're open.

NABC - tonight at the St. Mary's Church Picnic in downtown New Albany.

For the first time ever, NABC has been invited to participate in the St. Mary’s Catholic Church Street Dance Weekend, which takes place three blocks from where I live on the corner of Eighth and Spring in New Albany.

After considerable initial confusion, it now appears that on both nights, there'll be craft beers priced both for sampling and full-pours. I'm glad that the organizers came over time to see the wisdom of making craft beer available on both nights. This only makes sense. I'll be there from 5:00 p.m. until around 7:30 on Friday, and I hope to see a few New Albanians in the process.
Dance the night away in New Albany, by Chris Morris (News and Tribune).

It began as a church picnic. It’s turned out to be a Father’s Day weekend tradition.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church Street Dance Weekend begins at 5 p.m. Friday. The two-day event will conclude Saturday with a street dance from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. that organizers hope will draw around 2,000 people. That is if Mother Nature cooperates ...

... This year the committee has added a few new twists, too.

On Friday, there will be cornhole and Texas hold’em tournaments and an indoor casino area. Traditional German and Irish music will be played, and there will be a beer-tasting booth featuring local brews from the New Albanian, Blue Grass, Cumberland and Browning breweries. There will be food, a cake wheel and other games. All ages are welcome Friday and there is no cover charge.

“Saturday is our biggest draw, but we are really trying to build up Friday night,” said Michelle Braden, who is in charge of the festival committee. “We’re excited about the beer tasting; it seems to really be in vogue these days. It’s good for the local breweries.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sacrificing to help the L & N plan a dual beer/wine dinner.

There were seven of us, each with a background in wine, beer or both. The scene was Louisville’s L & N Wine Bar and Bistro, and the menu prepared by Executive Chef Rick Adams was as follows:

First course
Seared sweetbreads, currant demi, duck fat fingerling potatoes, micro green salad

Second course

Pork belly, grilled watermelon, frisee aged balsamic and olive oil

Third course
Lamb rack, roasted tomato spatzle, fresh fig/veal reduction

Fourth course
Cowgirl creamery Mt. Tam cheese (and blue cheese – didn’t catch the source), walnuts, raisins and dark chocolate

The panel’s thankless job was to taste perhaps a dozen wines or more and what seemed like twice as many beers, pairing one of each wine and beer with the courses, and also ensuring that the wines and beers wouldn’t clash.

We did it.

Since this rigorous testing was the prelude to an actual dinner some time in July, I won’t give away the pairings, except to note that France and Belgium are well represented among the finalists. Once L & N announces the details, they’ll be posted here. The actual dinner will also have two opening glasses of champagne and an effervescent beer, and the first two courses probably will be reversed in order. Until then, just let me say this: It’s going to be killer, and you need to be there.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kentucky Ale, without the big blue basketball.

On Monday, I spent much of the day in LEXINGTON, K-Y, as former basketball announcer (and New Albany native) Joe Dean used to enunciate it, except in my case there was no “string music” to accompany the beers sampled there.

Before Monday, I reckon to have been in or near Lexington three times since 1979. In that year there was a Who concert at co-Rupp-t Arena, and Who remembers anything about being 19 years old? My buddy drove, and I drank.

The other two times came as a result of missing the turn coming back to Louisville from Cincinnati and driving past, though not through, Lexington on the wrong interstate, still headed to Louisville. Once I remember exiting the interstate, pulling over at the entrance to a huge horse farm, and fetching more beer from the cooler in the trunk.

This time, Kentucky Ale’s Jeremy Markle invited me to help judge the brewery’s annual homebrewing competition, the winner of which has his or her recipe brewed at Kentucky Ale and entered into the pro-am category at the Great American Beer Festival. We were accompanied to Wildcat country by Ashley Isaacs of Flanagan’s Ale House, who also agreed to judge the homebrews.

A little after lunchtime, Jeremy pulled into the parking lot and an enjoyable afternoon commenced with an informative brewery tour. They make beer, and now they make whisky, too. Two huge distillery coppers dwarf the 30-barrel brewing system – impressive testimony to the links between beer and whisky.

Kentucky Ale’s official name is Lexington Brewing Company, a version of which can be traced back to the 18th century with a considerable post-Prohibition hiatus. In the 1990’s, a new LBC re-emerged during the first microbrewery boom, and some readers may remember the Limestone line of ales that disappeared around 1999. At this juncture, the brewery was purchased by a Kentucky-based biotechnology company with global reach called Alltech, which “researches, develops and manufactures natural ingredients for use in animal, alcohol and food production.”

It is an unusual story, indeed, but perhaps not as strange as it first appears. Much of Alltech’s work has to do with yeast, and yeast management obviously lies at the heart of brewing and distillation. Most importantly, and for all its heft in the biotech field, Alltech remains a family-owned business, helping to explain this quirky but sensible notion of having a house brewery on-site.

As a brewery owner, it might even make sense to have a small family biotech firm on site.

Alltech dabbles in brewing because company founder Dr. Pearse Lyons wants it to, simple as that. His Irish ancestors brewed and distilled (poteen, anyone), and Kentucky Ale’s on-premise tasting room and special occasions banquet hall bear an unmistakable Anglo-Irish stamp.

Imagine how having your own brewery and hospitality rooms help convince jaded biotech sales representatives to consider Alltech’s product line … and how Alltech’s fiscal immensity helps market Kentucky Ale, as in the case of Alltech’s multi-million dollar investment in sponsoring the World Equestrian games at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2010.

For once, the official beer of something isn’t Budweiser.

Alltech/Lexington Brewing/Kentucky Ale’s product line is comprised of three everyday beers, not counting the annual one-offs brewed for the pro-am entry: Kentucky Light, Kentucky Ale and Kentucky Bourbon-Barrel Ale. The latter is Kentucky Ale aged in bourbon barrels, which are fairly abundant in Central Kentucky. Kentucky Ale itself is a clean, crisp amber, and the Light, which the brewery people assert is brewed to the recipe of a German-style Kolsch, does in fact bear a solid resemblance to the ales in Cologne.

The ales are smooth and competent, with no extreme beers on the horizon, and sales in Lexington are steadily growing, with total output around 5,000 barrels per annum. Most of it consumed locally, as there is no distribution outside Kentucky. Did you know that Lexington’s metropolitan area is pushing toward 500,000 people, and that the area’s biggest challenge is preserving the rural character of its signature horse farms while maintaining growth? I didn’t, or else I’d not mention it here. Lexington and environs deserve further scrutiny, indeed.

The winning homebrew was a surprisingly assertive cream ale, with a couple of good foreign-style stouts deserving recognition. The homebrewers were not bound to style, but had to use Kentucky Ale’s yeast (since a German-style Hefeweizen won a few years ago, wheat ales are now prohibited).

When all was said and done, the three of us proceeded to Pazzo’s, a pizzeria with at least three layers of different barrooms, good pie and around 30 draft beers, most of them craft or imported. It was fun, and I thank my traveling companions for an informative all-around day on the road.

Monday, June 15, 2009

NABC on board with "Last Call Film Festival" at the Rud, starting June 26.

NABC is helping to sponsor the Last Call Film Festival, which starts on Friday, June 26 at The Rudyard Kipling (422 W. Oak, Louisville). Festival organizer Andy Schanie may be doing related activities at the Bank Street Brewhouse in the future.

There'll be beer, and here's the scoop, as gleaned from Facebook.

Voted Best Louisville Film Festival for 3 years, the Last Call Film Festival is all about bringing independent films and good beer together for the masses. Last Call is sponsored by the fine folks at Wild and Woolly Video, The Great Escape, and New Albanian Brewing Company.

This year's lineup includes:

- A documentary on Scott Walker
- A documentary on Cathal Coughlin (of Microdisney and The Fatima Mansions fame)
- A performance by The Octopus Project, an Austin-based band.

For $5 each day, you can see these and many other fantastic films. For the complete schedule,
go here.

For more information on all the films,
go here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New sidewalks for the future Wick's; Bank Street Brewhouse next up for similar upgrading.

The former Speakeasy building on State Street in downtown New Albany is receiving tender loving care in preparation for its new tenant, Wick's Pizza.

The new sidewalks being installed are one half the concrete work approved by the city authorities earlier in May, with the second half coming in front of the Bank Street Brewhouse as soon as the Wick's portion is finished. We're looking forward to it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Updates on Bank Street brewery progress, among other news items.

Everyone wants to know when brewing will begin at the Bank Street Brewhouse. Trust me: I’m among the inquiring minds.

Inside, plumbing, electrical and glycol (chiller) installation has been ongoing. The boiler is supposed to be operational by June 15 or thereabouts. Work is being done in the grain room, and with the mechanics to transport grain to the mash tun.

The only real sticking point thus far is the gas line coming into the building, which must be modified by Vectren to be of use. We think this has been scheduled for the 15th. If so, grain can be ordered shortly thereafter, and brewing will commence. Licensing is in place, so we’re okay on the regulatory front.

The four brands to be brewed initially at Bank Street for outside distribution are Elector, Beak’s Best, Bob’s Old 15-B and Hoptimus. Others like Community Dark will remain available to old familiar customers, and these will be brewed at Grant Line, where Jared also will brew seasonal and specialties.

In other news:

Outside, the north patio (half the former parking lot, where smoking will be permitted) is being constructed. The roof is going up first, followed by the stone walls and then furnishings. The sidewalk on the eastern building front has been approved for replacement by the city, and once poured and finished, it will extend further into the street, permitting non-smoking outdoor tables between the building and the sidewalk. This should begin soon.

Mark Tuesday, July 14 on your calendars. There’ll be a special Bastille Day menu at Bank Street, prepared by Chef Josh Lehman, and a few special French Bieres de Garde that I’m “importing” for the occasion – not that Elector doesn’t pair with cassoulet.

Finally, on the beer front at Grant Line, the summer’s being dedicated to the long-awaited revamp of the bottled guest beer program. As part of the annual culling of some items and adding others, we’ll be changing the way we organize the menu to emphasize style and point the way to the many new and exciting beers now available to us.

Your patronage is appreciated, and don’t forget to direct your questions to me, the Publican: roger@newalbanian.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

LEO Mug Shot: "Summertime beer fests."

In today's LEO Weekly: Mug Shots: Summertime beer fests. I've resolved to publish these here at the blog, but note that I'll be skipping a start on June 24, with the next column coming on July 8. Cheers!


During the halcyon days of my youth, which were far less carefree in practice than when viewed decades later through beer-drenched memory, summertime always meant a profusion of outdoor beer festivals.

So did winter, spring and fall. When you’re 17 years old, look more like 13, live at home with your parents, and require divine intervention just to get served, the open air constantly beckons, especially those patches of isolated farmland belonging to people who don’t know or care that someone older had been recruited to score a few kegs of the cheapest swill possible, borrow the steel tubs otherwise used to water future beefsteak, and await the grapevine-laden onslaught of teenagers who’d learned there was a kegger taking place.

When it rained, we got wet – not the worst conceivable outcome in hot weather if any girls bothered to come, which was seldom. Some times, liquid consolation aside, it all worked out. Id insert Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” right about now, but to be honest, I never liked his music very much after “Katmandu,” which I heard for the first time at – where else? – an outdoor beer festival, with any beer you liked available for sampling so long as it was warm Falls City, and Seger’s tune blaring from the subpar radio of a car stuck in a muddy field littered with spent plastic cups.

Now I’m considerably older, and fake IDs no longer are needed for furtive liquor store visits, but warm-weather outdoor beer festivals remain on the must-do list of seasonal activities even if they bear no resemblance to those midsummer debacles, circa ’77.

Today’s outdoor beer festivals are devoted to craft beer, and they tend to follow a common template. As many different beers and breweries as possible are penciled in for duty. There’ll be brewers and beer sales representatives around to explain the choices offered. Your festival entry fee will cover numerous, if not always unlimited, small samples of these many beers, not full pours.

Food will be vended, usually on an a la carte basis, and musical entertainment provided. The latter tends toward the rock, pop, blues and bluegrass spectrum, although some sweet day I’d love to hear a string quartet performing modern compositions or a rocking Klezmer band.

Outdoor craft beer festivals are designed to expand the category through heightened consciousness and increased business for pubs, package stores and breweries, yet almost all such events support a chosen charity or commensurate good cause with a portion of its proceeds.

There also are special entry prices and terms of engagement for designated drivers, all of which goes to show that beer consciousness without social consciousness is little more than the ingestion of alcohol, as recounted in the opening paragraphs of this essay.

Last weekend, local beer aficionados had two summertime outdoor beer fests to choose from – and several hundred did just that.

On Saturday, Keg Liquors (617 Lewis and Clark Parkway, Clarksville) staged its fourth annual Fest of Ale at a new, nearby location, a field (!) behind St. Anthony’s of Padua Catholic Church. Twenty-three hours later, the inaugural Great Flanagan’s Beer Festival took the urban approach, with a half-block of Morton Avenue closed off adjacent to Flanagan’s Ale House (934 Baxter Ave., Louisville). Fest of Ale raised money for the Crusade for Children, and Pints for Prostates benefitted from the Flanagan’s gathering.

Discerning enthusiasts had great weather and eye-popping choices spanning the range of good beer, including local breweries, regional micros and selected imports. Numerous beer reps and industry people attended, and the knowledge level of tableside discussion was impressive and heartening.

Considering tighter times, was it a good idea to book two beer festivals on consecutive days? At first I doubted it, but based on conversations with the participating breweries, beer reps and wholesalers, I’ve changed my tune. The sponsors are different, and so are the crowds they draw. Most importantly, out-of-town beer reps get two promotional opportunities during one road trip, and that’s an enticement.

How about a discounted ticket for both festivals, with entry to another Saturday night “after party” thrown in for good measure? The after-party might even attract the most interesting man in the world, although in truth, I never once saw him at White Castle after one of our high school keggers.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Thinking about English ale.

I spent the week working on an article for the next Food and Dining magazine, and luckily for me, the assignment was something I'd just experienced in Europe: English ale.

First digression: In the modern era, beer enthusiasts the world over refer to different fermentation methods, and hence different fundamental types of beer, as ale (top fermented) and lager (bottom fermented). As is the case with two people divided by a common language, colloquial English usage in the UK confuses matters, because there, people say "beer" when they mean "ale," although "lager" remains "lager."

Beyond this, England remains a great place to experience "ale," primarily cask-conditioned "real" ale, so long as the visitor understands that not every pub plays the game the same way. It is absolutely essential to have a copy of "Good Beer Guide," the campaign for Real Ale's annual guidebook to the best pubs that serve the best cask ale. Without it, your beer hunting will be an expensive crap shoot.

After sampling at least 20 different cask-conditioned ales, the majority of them one shading or another of Bitter at around the 4% abv mark, I can say that the great triumph of English brewing methodology is producing richness of malt character in a low gravity quaff. It amazes me. Surely hop character is excellent, if restrained by American micro standards, but it's the malt that always impressed me in the best cask pints.

I'll have more to say on this.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Next FOSSILS meeting is June 13.

Submitted. If you're a FOSSIL, you should be there. If you're not a FOSSIL, what's your excuse.



Renowned cook, Steve Crull, has agreed to fry fish for the next FOSSILS meeting on June 13. Steve showed his fish frying skills at previous Otter Creek FOSSILS/LAGERS picnics. We will be meeting at Bob and Maureen Capshew’s house.
In addition there will be a homebrew equipment swap meet so that members can buy, sell or trade equipment. There are a lot of new members that need equipment and we want to get the equipment in the right hands. Please do a little spring cleaning and bring unused equipment such as brew kettles, burners, carboys, wort chillers, soda kegs, beer kegs, anything stainless steel, etc. We also plan to have a silent auction for a brew kettle that the club has acquired.

WHAT TO BRING: Excess homebrew equipment & homebrew (club will furnish food and some commercial beer).

WHERE: 7720 Corydon Ridge Road (Take I-64 west, exit Georgetown, turn left on exit ramp, turn right when road narrows from 4 to 2 lanes onto Corydon Ridge Road, go 2.5 miles. House is on the right.)

WHEN: Swap Meet starts at 4 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

After Fest of Ale on Saturday, a Left Hand meet 'n' greet at the Public House.

If you’re a beer aficionado residing in the Louisville metro area, you probably already know that this coming Saturday, June 6, is the occasion for Fest of Ale, which owner Todd Antz of Clarksville’s Keg Liquors seems willing and able to grow into a true signature event.

In three years, the event has grown from 75 paid attendees to 450 (in 2008), and for this year’s fourth edition, Todd has chosen a new venue: St. Anthony’s of Padua Catholic Church, located at 320 N. Sherwood Avenue in Clarksville.

It should come as no surprise that in previous years, selected beer personages in attendance have fanned out after the Fest of Ale’s conclusion and visited other notable on-premise beer spots in Louisville metro.

With this in mind, NABC Grant Line (Rich O’s and Sportstime) is teaming up with Cavalier Distributing (Indianapolis) and sales rep Mike Walters of Left Hand Brewing Company (Colorado) to stage a post-Fest meet ‘n’ greet in the Prost room at Rich O’s.

Two rare Left Hand specialties will be on tap, and specially priced by the half-pint for the occasion:

Left Hand Oak-Aged Imperial Stout
Left Hand St. Vrain Tripple

Plus, Mike will be bringing the remainder of his Fest of Ale bottle samples, so if you missed them at the event, free evening nips will be available.

We’ll be starting around 8:30 p.m. and continuing until 10:30 p.m.

And, don't forget the weekend's other event: Great Flanagan's Beer Fest is Sunday, June 7. NABC will be there, too.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Beercycling Denmark 2010 is being plotted. Want to take part?

Having returned from my first visit to Copenhagen in a decade, I’m suitably pumped. The Danish contingent of Kim & Kim are doing reconnaissance, and we’re in the initial planning stages of what is hoped to be Beercycling 2010 in Denmark, a ten or so day festival of bicycles and beer.

Why Denmark? We haven’t done it there previously. It’s a bike-friendly country. The past ten years have witnessed a remarkable flowering of Danish beer culture. We know people there. And, the country is filled to the brim with wonderful herring.

Consequently, Kim “Big Kim” Andersen is researching three or four beer- and brewing-related itineraries, including Copenhagen and the countryside. These would be daytrip-style arrangements, using a hub and using rental bikes to sightsee and visit breweries, perhaps with light touring in between, or trains used if necessary. If possible, the sag wagon/support vehicle notion will be incorporated, so those interested in the trip but not in cycling are very much welcomed so long as some one is willing to drive. We’ll all divide the costs.

Considering the climate, we feel that late June or early July would be the best time even though it’s high season. There is sentiment for a Bamberg side trip at the end. Finally, know that this trip will be expensive because Denmark itself is expensive. We’ll do what we can to cut costs, but understand that budget travel isn’t really an option.

If this interests you, please let me know via the usual channels. I will begin building an e-mail list and considering options. Of course, there is no obligation.

Monday, June 01, 2009

4th Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale is Saturday, June 6.

Straight from Todd Antz's word processor, here's the preview for this year's edition of Fest of Ale, which is coming this Saturday. I've copied it from Todd's announcement at the Louisville Restaurants Forum, and I'm sure he'll comment if there's anything to add.


30 Breweries, 3 Craft Beer Distributors, 2 Wine Distributors and over 100 beers and wines to be sampled, as well as food, music, and a charity silent auction to support the WHAS Crusade for Children on June 6th from 3 - 7PM.

Cost: $25 advance, $30 day of the event. Online ticket sales are now available via our website

Due to the growing number of supporters for this event, we have outgrown holding this at the Keg Liquors facility. We have partnered up with St. Anthony's in Clarksville to host the event this year. St. Anthony's is located 5 minutes from the store, at 320 North Sherwood Drive, Clarksville, IN

For more information, check out our website.

Breweries attending include:
Barley Island
New Belgium
Magic Hat
Sam Adams
Bells Brewing
Bluegrass Brewing Company (Clay & Main)
Bluegrass Brewing Company (St. Matthews)
Sierra Nevada
Powerhouse Brewing Company
Cumberland Brews
Warbird Brewing
Upland Brewing Company
New Albanian Brewing Company
Wetten Imports
Brugge Brasserie
Three Floyds
Hoppin Frog
Dark Horse
Dogfish Head
Lost Coast
Huyghe (Delirium)
Gouden Carolus
St. Bernardus

and many more on the way!

Craft Beer Distributors:
World Class Beverages
Cavalier Distributing
Winding Road Beverages

Wine Distributors:
Crossroads Vintners

Food will be available from the St. Anthony's Men's Group.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at 812-283-3988

Program and beer listings