Monday, August 31, 2009

Lambic by the Glass, Version 5: On as scheduled for this Friday, September 4.

Lambic by the Glass, Version 5, is this coming Friday in Prost, at the Public House (Rich O's).

The link is to a Facebook event page I threw together this morning. I'll be at the Public House on Tuesday to finalize the list of Lambics to be sampled, so stay tuned for updates.

Apologies for the late notice, but because supplies finally came in, and the event didn't run last year, I felt it crucial to keep the tradition alive, albeit in truncated form. There'll still be some good sampling, and next year we'll step it back up to former levels.

Maybe a lambic dinner at Bank Street Brewhouse, with Chef Josh doing the Belgian thing?

A pause for perspective.

I'm posting this morning's memo publicly because I want to share recognition of our NABC employees with all the readers of my blog. It's been a difficult and purely fantastic past two weeks, and every one's been going above and beyond the call of duty. No rest for the weary ... but we all knew it going in. Thanks, everyone.


Good morning,

While acknowledging that there always will be plenty of post-event discussions to have and after-the-fact difficulties to examine, because there always are ways to improve, let’s pause a moment for perspective.



In the past two weeks, NABC has been exploding in all directions.

You rocked two downtown New Albany events, Celtic Fest and NA 1 Night Stand.

You brewed, packaged and supplied beer to these events, and to Ribberfest in Madison, and to the Falls of the Ohio gathering, and Brew at the Zoo (and were awarded there), and also to the first four Louisville establishments to pour NABC’s beer.

You ran Grant Line and Bank Street and packed them in both places.

You supplied information to the world and our fans through the web site and newsletter.

You drank Bloody Marys on Sunday.


This week: First Tuesday at Dzine above the River City Winery (NABC pouring beers), Lambic by the Glass (GL, Friday), and the disc golf CVO gatherings on Friday and Saturday (BSB). Hoptimus back by weekend. More beer about to go to Louisville. Ales for Tails and BBC’s hop fest, both on the 26th. Fringe Fest coming into view, albeit it on the horizon, and it will be here before we know it.

It’s always work, but it can be fun, too. Conquering the world is funny that way.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jared reports from Brew at the Zoo.

NABC's Jared Williamson was working Brew at the Zoo yesterday, and he submits this report from the brewery front lines. In many respects, Jared is the conscience of the company, and given his hard work and diligence, I'm delighted that he enjoyed the moment and decided to write about it.


Well, they had the biggest turn-out ever for BATZ this year, and it was packed everywhere. We had a line 30+ deep all day and only had about 1 gallon of Phoenix left at 9pm. We were the last brewery pouring after 8pm.

Malcolm's was wonderful at 7 months, this is a great batch. The 1/6bbl lasted all of 40 minutes.

The Hoptimus 1/6bbl lasted 24 minutes. At one one point the tap was continuously open for 20+ pours in a row with 3 people pouring for the public. I think once the hops get dialed up people are going to start a religion.

What we won was "Best Of Brews 2009", for "Best presentation and spirit among the Breweries". I accepted the award at the band shell around 7pm, which was a framed plaque and a metal monkey sculpture. I proudly held both high in the air as I walked back through the crowd to our area. People were cheering and clapping. Once I got back in the Oasis tent I started singing "ole, ole, ole!" (traditional futbol song for the uninitiated), which the people in our line joined in the singing. I displayed both awards on top of the truck for all to see. Quite the moment.

All in all it was a great day at the zoo. We left an impression on the crowd per usual, and we were the "IT" brewery.

The hype continues and grows.

Kentucky Ale's pro/am "Cream Ale" coming to Louisville.

Remember the trip I took to Lexington to judge the Kentucky Ale pro/am homebrew contest?

Kentucky Ale, without the big blue basketball.

The amateur winner, Cream Ale, has now been brewed by the pros at Kentucky Ale, and it will be on tap in Louisville for pint nights on these upcoming dates:

Tuesday, September 1 at Brendan's Restaurant & Pub
Wednesday, September 2 at O'Shea's Irish Pub
Monday, September 13 at Cumberland Brews

I want to attend one of these and taste the final version of the homebrew we judged in June.

Friday, August 28, 2009

NABC beers on tap in Louisville ... now.

John Campbell, NABC's brand manager, spent the day visiting our first four on-premise accounts. Read John's report at Facebook:

New Albanian Brewing Co. in Louisville

Chef Josh and his staff are the MVPs of Bank Street's first six months.

At the top is the "Scallops Provencal" whipped up on the spot for the missus Wednesday night at Bank Street Brewhouse (she's waiting for Solidarity's return to have a beer), and at bottom is a portion of savory duck -- on polenta, if memory serves.

As I've noted, we really didn't understand how off-the-chart we were being in proposing to pair a kitchen like Josh's (and sous chef Andrew Gunn's) with craft beer. Food this good is supposed to come with a wine list attached, right?

Not necessarily. Beer offers a wider range of pairing possibilities. All that's needed is a paradigm/propaganda shift.

Josh, Andy and the kitchen crew have been the undisputed MVPs of our first six months in business downtown. The beer/food consciousness is slowly seeping in, and now that the regular house beers are being brewed in back, and the roster of seasonals and specialties is being produced at Grant Line, I have this feeling that critical mass is just arond the corner.

Hats off to the kitchen crew!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

NABC's lineup for Brew at the Zoo this Saturday.

The annual Brew at the Zoo takes place this Saturday, August 29, and as always, complete information for attending and buying tickets can be gleaned from the Louisville Zoo’s web page.

NABC will have Rosa L. Stumblebus (our newly refurbished draft truck) on hand for its Louisville debut, and we’ll be offering the requisite 2-ounce samples of these NABC brews:

Beak's Best (American Bitter)
Elector (Imperial Red)
Bob's Old 15-B (Porter)
Elsa Von Horizon (Imperial Pilsner)
Phoenix Kentucky Komon (old Louisville sour ale)

That's a great lineup, but there's more: There’ll also be separate, timed tappings of these two sought-after specialties.

Malcolm’s Old Setters Ale

When will these two faves start pouring? The only way to know is to go, so we'll see you at the Zoo this Saturday.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Beak is Back -- with live music, as Bank Street Brewhouse celebrates NA 1 Night Stand this Saturday, August 29.

The Beak is Back!

On Saturday, August 29, NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse is participating in the inaugural NA 1 Night Stand, a beer walk through New Albany’s revitalizing downtown -- and we're celebrating with Beak's Best and live music.

The Beak is Beak’s Best, NABC’s session-strength American Bitter, which is named in honor of globetrotting historian and educator Don "Beak" Barry. Beak’s Best will be available all day Saturday at the special price of $3.25 for a 20-oz pint.

Like its namesake, Beak’s Best is fond of traveling (albeit in kegs) and will be available in September for distribution in Louisville through River City Distributing, and in Southern Indiana through Cavalier Distributing and NABC.

We call Beak’s Best an “American Bitter” because of the Cascade hops. Otherwise, there is a thoroughly English underpinning, both in terms of malt and yeast. It's one of the original NABC recipes, dating back to 2002.

Our other NABC staples will be on draft, too: Elector, Bob's Old 15-B and Tunnel Vision, among others.

On Saturday during NA 1 Night Stand, there’ll be music on the North Patio:

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Clint Ackerman, solo acoustic covers

8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.: The Outfit, free jazz from Louisville

Remember: There is no finer kitchen on the Sunny Side than Chef Josh Lehman’s, and it will be open until 10:00 p.m. as always, serving the innovative cuisine that has garnered so much acclaim since Bank Street's opening in March, 2009.

Bank Street Brewhouse is helping to redefine downtown New Albany. Come down on August 29 and see how ... and support NA 1 Night Stand.

Bank Street brewed Beak's Best: "American bitter & soul liniment."

As NABC’s core portfolio is brewed at our new Bank Street Brewhouse facility and tapped for public consumption, I’ve been reintroducing each ale and providing background as to its development.

Beak’s Best is NABC’s session-strength Bitter, named in honor of globetrotting historian and educator Don "Beak" Barry. Like its namesake, Beak’s Best is fond of traveling (albeit in kegs) and will be available for distribution in Louisville through River City. Once we’ve acquired more cooperage, Beak’s will come cask-conditioned for everyday drinking at NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse. Of course, it will be on tap at our original location, too.

Beak’s is another of NABC founding brewer Michael Borchers’s original recipes, and was brewed for the first time in October, 2002. In 2003, it was the winner of the "Louisville Magazine Best Of" award for Louisville area microbrews.
Brewer Jesse Williams, Michael’s successor, tweaked the recipe into what was known as St. Radegund for a few years before Beak’s reappeared around 2007/2008 in the buildup toward expansion and distribution.

We’re calling Beak’s an “American Bitter” because of the Cascade hops. Otherwise, there is an English underpinning, both in terms of malt and yeast. Tony's classic "soul liniment" tag completes the scene.

Here are the specs:

Malts: Simpsons Golden Promise, Simpsons Medium Crystal, Castle (Belgian) Aromatic and Special B

Hops: Double hopped with Cascade pellets, finished through hop-back with whole cone Cascades

Yeast: House London

OG: 1.059 or 14.75 degree Plato

ABV: 5.3%

IBU: 35

Color: 10.3 degree Lovibond SRM

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bank Street brewed Elector hits the taps at both NABC locations.

Last Friday (August 21), the first batch of Elector to be brewed at NABC’s new Bank Street Brewhouse went on tap at BSB. Kegs were taken to the Public House and Pizzeria, and two kegs were consumed down by the riverside at the Kentuckiana Celtic Fest on Saturday.

Elector’s roots extend to the beginnings of NABC’s original garage brewery off Grant Line Road. It was the third recipe brewed by NABC’s founding brewer, Michael Borchers, and his assistant, Joey Burns, and was first brewed on Election Day, 2002, coincidentally the date of the mid-term congressional election that followed the disputed presidential race in 2000, in which Al Gore won the popular vote nationwide, but lost the White House owing to Florida’s uncounted hanging chads and the state’s votes in the Electoral College.

Needless to say, as subversive leftists, this political outcome was still somewhat fresh in our minds in 2002 as Michael concocted an initially modest plan to follow Community Dark and Beak’s Best with a traditional English-style seasonal winter warmer. Brew day was uneventful, but as the fermentation proceeded and time rolled past, it became obvious that the new batch of winter warmer was going to have a deeper burgundy color than planned, and also was considerably hoppier than the intended style should ever be.

Nothing wrong with that. The resulting hybrid was delicious, full-bodied and aggressively hopped, and we concluded that while the intent had been winter warmer, the result was something else – Imperial Red, in our reckoning – and we went with the results.

Before the finished flavor of our newly hybridized ale had become apparent, we’d already started the process of hybridizing its name, something that arose out of drunken mischief (imagine that!) Joey suggested Elector. The “-tor” suffix would suggest Doppelbock in the minds of knowledgeable drinkers, and of course we had no intention of producing a beer remotely close to Doppelbock, and since “electors” had been in the news, anyway, owing to the 2000 election, and since these electors had overruled the will of the people and in effect made democracy pointless … well, you can see how it all came together.

It’s almost seven years later, and I feel just as strongly that now as then that an Elector in hand is well worth two Bushes in retirement, any election day, and in fact, any time.

Graphics by the inimitable Tony Beard.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Special brandy-barrel-aged BBC Old English Strong Ale at Brendan's, tomorrow.

From BBC's Phil Dearner comes word that Brendan's Restaurant & Pub and Bluegrass Brewing Company will be tapping a special keg tomorrow night (Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.) Brendan's is located at 3921 Shelbyville Road in Louisville.

Brendan's is having the BBC Brew Crew over to end their month-long promo supporting local breweries. To say thanks for their support, the boys in the back finished off one of our secrete projects: BBC Old English Strong Ale, aged in freshly dumped brandy barrels for one year. This beer is large and complex, and 9.5% - 10.5% ABV. Come by and support your local brewery!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Bloody Mary Bloody Sunday" at Bank Street Brewhouse, noon to 3:00 p.m. today (August 23).

Memo to recuperative-minded, post-Celtic New Albanians: Bloody Mary Sunday at Bank Street Brewhouse -- from Noon to 3 p.m., design your own BM from Hangar One and a veritable salad bar of healthy embellishments.

Not only that, but I have lyrics from my favorite post-WWII, imperial American Broadway musical, South Pacific.

"Bloody Mary"

Bloody Mary is the girl I love.
Bloody Mary is the girl I love.
Bloody Mary is the girl I love.
Now ain't that too damn bad!

Her skin is tender as Dimaggio's glove.
Her skin is tender as Dimaggio's glove.
Her skin is tender as Dimaggio's glove.
Now ain't that too damn bad!

Bloody Mary's chewin' betel nuts.
She is always chewin' betel nuts.
Bloody Mary's chewin' betel nuts.
And she don't use Pepsodent!
Now ain't that too damn bad!


Bloody Mary is the girl I love.
Bloody Mary is the girl I love.
Bloody Mary is the girl I love.
Now ain't that too damn bad!
Now ain't that too damn bad!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

You know where I'll be all day: Celts, music and beer by the river.

NABC will be adding Elector to the list of beers available for purchase. The after party brings circa 11 p.m. at the Bank Street Brewhouse, and though theoretically "private", anyone may come. Tell 'em The Potable Curmudgeon sent you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reintroductions and rescheduling: Lambic by the Glass (4 Sept) and Sandkerwa NA (24 Sept).

Reintroductions and reschedulings are in order.

Since 2004, I’ve tried to set aside one day each year to dispense as many types of bottled Belgian Lambic as can be mustered, priced and poured by the glass, the goal being to make it easier and less expensive for customers to sample the olfactory joys of this style of rare, funky and challenging Belgian ale.

Lambic by the Glass takes place at the Public House, usually no later than July, but for reasons that I’m about to explain, it was not staged last year and will be late in coming this year.Sandkerwa NA is a draft beer showcase that dates to 2007, originating as a late summer excuse to devote a Public House festival to fermented specialties from Germany.

With Oktoberfest remaining a worthy concept, but one that has been done to death, I set my sights on a more esoteric tableau: Namely, the three-hour train ride from Munich to Bamberg, my beloved “Bierstadt” in the epicenter of heavily-breweried Franconia, and Bamberg’s annual August civic celebration that features beers from throughout the region.

This year’s Sandkerwa NA, emulating Bamberg’s street festival, was originally scheduled to begin on August 28, but it will be delayed. The reason for this brings me to the second part of this essay.


As far as I’m concerned, the past year has been a perfect storm of circumstances and ensuing personal annoyance insofar as the timely acquisition of special order kegs is concerned.

I’m thinking here primarily of imports, the sort of items that we’ve always specialized in showcasing at the Public House. American craft beers seem to have taken care of themselves, but our conduit to the importing companies has periodically been strained, making it more difficult for me to schedule traditional events.

In my view, it all started because of an otherwise good development: Virtually every world beer producer of merit has opened a route for export in recent years, bringing an unprecedented number of high-quality beers to American shores.

The trick has been bringing them to New Albany.

As the number of choices has increased, Indiana wholesalers have found it impossible to stock these many items on a daily basis, leading to the institution of wide-ranging special order systems, in effect grafting the varying availability of special order items, some seasonal and many rare, onto a “just when you need it” ordering regime.

Accordingly, gasoline prices suddenly skyrocketed in early 2008, and shipping costs immediately followed suit, naturally causing wholesalers to be very selective about their ordering habits. When shipping rates go up, the truck needs to be filled with full pallets, and until they are, the pallets don’t ship.

“Just when you need it” works wonderfully when it comes to shipping lightweight replacement parts by air freight. It doesn’t work as efficiently when a wholesaler waits for a pallet of expensive kegs and bottles to fill before receiving it. Because of the rarity of the items involved, the importer tends to ship to those who will take them, first-come, first-served. Wait too long, and you risk losing out … and truth be told, I lost a lot of product options in this manner last year.

No finger-pointing; it’s just the way things worked out. There surely were other factors involved, such as tenuous relationships between wholesaler and importer, and also, there was me and my crazy workload. Being stationed in downtown New Albany for more than a year trying to get the Bank Street Brewhouse up and running took me out of the “nagging” loop. Mike’s done great with my beer dossier, but he doesn’t have my connections, and he doesn’t have the clout, at least yet, to pester people in obeying my will.

The upshot: There was no Lambic by the Glass in 2008, and Sandkerwa NA wasn’t stocked as I’d intended. This year, both are going to take place, but at different times than usual. These dates remain tentative, although I’m generally comfortable with them as we await one last shipment.


Lambic by the Glass
Friday, September 4 – one night only
At the Public House, in Prost (rear – the “gallery” area)

In a special twist, perhaps as many as five lambics will be on draft, including a Hanssens “young” Kriek from B. United International, and three Cantillons from Shelton Brothers. These remain on draft until depleted, and on the evening of the 4th, they will be augmented by a representative selection of bottled Lambics from Hanssens, Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen and two we haven’t had before: St. Louis and Girardin. There’ll be cheese and snacks, too, and of course, you can order from the menu.

Sandkerwa NA
Thursday, September 24 until all the kegs are gone
At the Public House, starting in Prost on a Thursday night

Shelton Brothers has brought an incredible, unprecedented shipment of Franconian draft beer into the USA, and selections from it are coming to the Public House, including seldom seen beers from virtually unknown breweries like Fischer (in the town of Greuth), Bayer (Theinheim), Sauer (Rossdorf) and Will (Schederndorf). Most of these are coming in 20-liter kegs designed for gravity pour – a hole in one end and a tap in the other.

As in Sandkerwas past, there’ll also be conventionally dispensed draft beers from Schlenkerla, Mahr’s and Kumbacher.

What I’m hoping to do is line up the gravity-fed kegs and pour several of them at one time beginning on a Thursday night, not a Friday, which might be more conducive to contemplation of these wonders, and with the idea being to drink through as many as possible in one or two days before they go stale.

Thus, Sandkerwa will commence in Prost on Thursday, September 24, perhaps with Bavarian snacks as a bonus if I have time to pull it off. The other kegs of Bavarian beer will continue pouring in their usual places until depleted, as is customary.

This is the new schedule. Wish me luck. See you there.

Bank Street brewed, NABC Bob's Old 15-B hits the taps today.

Later this afternoon (Thursday, August 20), the first batch of Bob’s Old 15-B to be brewed at NABC’s new Bank Street Brewhouse will go on tap at BSB.

By this evening or perhaps tomorrow, it should be pouring at the Public House and Pizzeria, too. As an added bonus, we recently were asked to provide beer for one tap at Madison's Ribberfest celebration this weekend, and you'll find Bob's on tap both by the river in Madison on Friday and Saturday, and at the Kentuckiana Celtic Fest concert in New Albany on Saturday.

The development of this beer goes back to the beginnings of NABC’s original garage brewery off Grant Line Road, and I thought it appropriate for a history lesson as we prepare to enjoy 15-B's new era.

In 2003, it was agreed that NABC would brew a 4-barrel batch of the winning entry in the annual Homebrewed Porter competition sponsored by the Fermenters of Special Southern Indiana Libations Society (FOSSILS).

The first time out, NABC’s founding brewer Michael Borchers rendered David and Beth Howard’s victorious recipe into The Black Hand, which remains one of my favorite of all NABC beer names, and one we might well revive in the future.

The Black Foot, anyone?

After winning the 2004 contest, Bob Capshew’s Robust Porter was brewed in the garage brewhouse, also by Borchers, and it was a hit from the start, so much so that we decided to brew it all the time. The inspiration for the recipe came from a Porter made by longtime Louisville Area Grain and Extract Research Society (LAGERS) member and beer researcher member Conrad Selle, and was named 15-B after the AHA’s Robust Porter style category/subcategory (15 B).

At the time, this numbering decision reflected a compromise after Bob rejected my suggestion that we call his creation Bob Capshew's Craic (pronounced "crack") House Porter, from the Irish Gaelic term that signifies convivial ambience. I thought it was a natural, but sometimes not everyone sees it that way, and the final choice was 15-B.

A year passed, and in 2005 the official numbering scheme for style and sub-style categories changed. When the dust settled, 15-B referred to German Dunkel Weizen (dark wheat), about as far removed from English/American Porter as can be imagined without resorting to wild yeast and aging in a used Sake barrel.

We decided to leave the name unchanged, both as a nod to our own NABC tradition, and to observe the vital dictates of remaining contrarian at all times with respect to style.

Another FOSSILS stalwart, Ed Tash, wrote at the time with a solid rationale for leaving the name alone, but prefacing it with a modifier:

I've been giving some thought to your dilemma, caused by the BJCP changing robust porter from 15 B to 12 B. I suggest you call your Porter "Bob's Old 15 B.”

Here's why. There is book about Jack Daniels whisky published about a year ago that attempts to explain the origin of Jack Daniels Old Number 7. According to the author, the number 7 was the license number of the Jack Daniels distillery. The borders of the county the distillery was located in changed, and the distillery changed counties (without moving), which caused the distillery to be given a new license number. Jack Daniels had established “7” as a brand name and didn't want to start over with a new name, so he put "Old Number 7" on the barrels, bottles, etc.

I have not read the book, but I heard the author interviewed on WFPL-FM 89.3 when the book came out.

Now you know more about Jack Daniels than you ever wanted to know, but bottom line is that I think you should keep 15 B in the name; your customers already know the name and what to expect from the beer.

Besides, only a handful of geeks know that Robust Porter is now 12 B.

Solid reasoning all around, and the issue largely having been decided, I once again approached Bob Capshew with a suggestion: How about “Old Bob’s 15-B
For some reason, he wasn’t happy with this one, either.

Old 15-B it was, and Old 15-B it remains. I try as often as possible to preface it with an explanation of Bob’s Capshew’s identity as an outstanding brewer (and mead and cider maker), so we give pride of place to the originator, even if the crack house idea never flew.

Here are the specs, as brewed in the current time by the NABC brew crew of Jesse Williams, Jared Williamson and David Pierce:

Malts: Special Pale, Simpsons Medium and dark Crystal, Simpsons Chocolate and Black, Castle Aromatic, and Briess CaraPils

Hops: Double hopped with Northern Brewer pellets, finished through hop-back with whole cone East Kent Goldings

Yeast: House London

OG: 1.061 or 15.25 degree Plato

ABV: 5.5%

IBU: 35

Color: 34.2 degree Lovibond SRM

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Mug Shots" today in LEO: "Revisiting the BBQ + craft beer equation."

Read about last Friday's visit to Kentucky BBQ Company. In the article, I failed to mention my pre-BBQ appetizer (kimchee dumplings) and Bell's Two Hearted at Maido, or the post-appetizer, pre-BBQ espresso and dessert at Sweet Surrender. It may be the most dangerous block in Louisville for me now that I know about KBC.

Mug Shots: Revisiting the BBQ + craft beer equation

Earlier this summer, a chance backyard encounter with barbecued ribs and a tub of bottled microbrews left me pondering the pairing possibilities of BBQ and craft beer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rosa L. Stumblebus -- almost ready for action.

The draft truck is coming close to being finished, thanks to Brian and crew and Jesse Williams. NABC's graphics guy Tony Beard is plotting exterior decoration and submits this beginning "photoshopped" prototype.

Snippets from other NABC designs will be added. We hope to be able to use the truck this weekend at the Kentuckiana Celtic Fest: Update: Kentuckiana Celtic Festival in NA, August 22.

There'll be another KCF update soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

NABC brewing schedule for the remainder of 2009 (part two).

As the first batches brewed at NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse near completion (if I remember correctly, we’re trying to have 15-B and Elector ready for serving by August 21), here’s a second look at what we’ll be trying to achieve in terms of brewing schedules and releases.

Most of the following originates with Jared Williamson, who has been brainstorming ways for the original garage brewery to produce seasonals and specialties. I’ve used his words and merely rearranged them. Remember that this is an outline, and subject to alteration.

However, it bears noting that one of the goals remains to establish a brewing schedule that permits a NABC Brewer’s Choice series, allowing each brewer (Jared, Jesse and Dave) to be creative and brew a batch of whatever comes of their inspiration. It happens when it happens, minds are blown, and the new creations are released one at a time.

Other series suggested by Jared:

Single Hop APA’s

Showcasing the different hops used in our main beers, with precisely the same malt bill (preferably, organic malt). Brewed so that two at a time can be released in the form of a comparison: “Nugget vs. Summit,” or “Cascade vs. Golding,” at 6% abv and 60 IBUs each.

“Foot” Themed Stouts

Thunderfoot is the pimp daddy, and so in its wake, a series of various styles of Stout and fusions of those could be brewed, all of them with “foot” in the name. They would be released one at a time throughout the year.

Session Dry Stout = Weefoot.
Coffee Stout = Morningfoot.
Sour Stout = Grumpyfoot (Roger endorses this one).
Belgian Stout = Leopold’s Foot.
Russian Imperial Stout = Tsarfoot.


Here are beers that have been brewed at Grant Line, but have yet to be released because they are still aging:

5th Anniversary (October 2007; 2 x ½ bbl)
Thunderfoot (February 2009; 8 x ½ bbl)
Malcolm’s Old Setters Ale (January 2009; 8 x ½ bbl)
Elsa von Horizon (June 2009; 14 x ½ bbl)

Brewing collaborations in the works:

NABC/Schlafly (St. Louis MO) Smoked APA/ConeSmoker … Tentative in terms of time frame, looking at late September/early October brewdate at the Schlafly Taproom.

NABC/Shoreline (Michigan City IN) … Brewer Sam Strupeck will be in New Albany in September, and we’ve invited him to brew a special batch of something.

NABC/Huber’s Winery (Starlight IN) … barrel aged (their wine, spirit barrels), with the beer(s) hopefully brewed by us and racked by late 2009 or early 2010.

NABC's draft truck almost complete.

Brewer/draft truck project manager Jesse Williams says: "Ready for vinyl. Rolling billboard almost done. Brian Harvey and I are installing lights, grill and other bolt-on pieces today. Taps are of course part of the program, so if everything goes well maybe we can pour a celebratory pint at the end of the day."

Further updates to come. Do we have a name for this one yet? Has "Rosa Luxembourg" been taken already?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

NABC brewing schedule for the remainder of 2009 (part one).

As the first batches brewed at NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse near completion, here’s a look at what we’ll be trying to achieve in terms of brewing schedules and releases.

Much of the following information originates with Jared Williamson, who has been considering to role to be played by the original garage brewery. Of course, this is merely an outline, and is subject to alteration.

Beginning downtown, where David Pierce and Jesse Williams man the Bank Street Brewhouse, the mission is brewing, packaging and distributing the core NABC portfolio of ales, those fermented with the house London yeast:

Beak’s Best
Bob’s Old 15-B
Community Dark

Of the preceding, only Community Dark is not on the “official” list of NABC brands for Louisville distribution through River City. However, it remains available. We’re “waiting and seeing” whether Community Dark becomes a full-fledged distribution brand, and in the meantime, we’ll still sell it to interested Louisville accounts who ask, and deliver it to New Albany accounts that already have it or want it. It’s become one of the downtown favorites, and we don’t want to lose that.

Some other seasonal/rotating brands using the London ale yeast will be brewed at BSB (Thunderfoot among them), but most of these will be brewed at NABC Grant Line as needed by Jared with the London yeast.

All five listed above will be kegged at Bank Street for serving on tap at Bank Street, and transported to Grant Line for serving on tap there. Indeed, there’ll be a regular “internal distribution” shuttle carrying beer back and forth.

Jared runs the original garage brewery at NABC Grant Line, and is charged with brewing seasonal/rotating specialties and one-offs, primarily (but not exclusively) with the other two yeast strains used by NABC: Belgian Saison, and California Common (hybrid for our lagers).

Two brands from each yeast strain will be brewed to fill the existing serving tanks at Grant Line:

Abzug & Mt. Lee (lagers)
Tafel & Tunnel Vision (Belgians)

The provisional seasonal brewing schedule is as follows. In some cases, we’ll be culturing different yeast strains in Che (the yeast propagator downtown):

Summer: Jenever, Strathpeffer, Farmhouse Saison, Sour Red Belgian, Ordinary Bitter, Haggis Laddie (Celtic Red for the Kentuckiana Celtic Fest on August 22)

Fall: Wet Knobs Fresh Hop, ConeSmoker, Belgian IPA, 7th Anniversary Ale, Tripel, more to be determined

Winter: Naughty Claus, Bonfire of the Valkyries, Double Croupier, Smoked Rye Porter, Quadrupel, Hoosier Daddy, more to be determined.

Spring 2010: To be determined.

(part two to come)

A good thing: Steinert's is opening in downtown New Albany.

Every New Albanian has an opinion about Steinert's -- what it used to be, what it became, and whether it was good or bad. I won't kid you and say I went there often in more recent times, but there were periods in the "old days" when I was a regular.

My first experiences at the original location was in 1980 or thereabouts. It was what the Brits would call a "boozer," basic and catering to the shot and beer crowd.

The Steinert family then executed a power move of epic dimensions, closing for extensive remodeling circa 1983, and emerging a few months later with a barroom that looked more like Cheers than anything else ever seen hereabouts previously.

I remember seeing the dazed looks of the older regulars, who soon were supplanted by a new, young and freer spending crowd, which grew older with the reinvented business. Undoubtedly it was a sharp move to reinvent, and contributed to enhanced value when the business ultimately was sold by the family.

Remember this: You never stop reinventing your business, or yourself. If you do, you die. Steinert's is now reinvented for downtown New Albany, as the article below makes clear.

Some will scoff.

I don't.

This is an established local name moving from further outside the center into downtown. This is a very good thing for downtown, whatever the circumstances that brings Steinert's to within spitting distance of the Ohio. I just hope they'd like to sell locally brewed beer on draft ... but there's plenty of time for that.

Welcome to the 'hood, guys.

Steinert’s Bar and Grill reopens in downtown New Albany, by Daniel Suddeath (News and Tribune).

The first six months after Steinert’s Bar and Grill burned beyond repair, co-owner Rick Geoghegan was overwhelmed by the same questions.

When will the bar — which originated in 1877 and eventually located along Charlestown Road in New Albany before the May 2008 fire — reopen and where?

Geoghegan and business partner Jerry Roby won’t have to respond to those inquiries after Tuesday, when Steinert’s will celebrate a new beginning at the former Redman’s Club building, located at the intersection of East Main and Fourth streets.

Update: Kentuckiana Celtic Festival in NA, August 22.

I’m still piecing together information about the Kentuckiana Celtic Fest, which is slated for New Albany’s riverfront amphitheater on Saturday, August 22 from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The music has looked promising from the start, and is summarized in this previous NAC posting: Saturday, August 22: Free concert at the Riverfront Amphitheater kicks off Kentuckiana Celtic Fest.

NABC will put its new three-way catering permit between the white lines and assume responsibility as the sole purveyor of alcohol at the festival. Thus, a Lite-Free Zone is blessedly assured. My guess is that we’ll start serving at 3:00 p.m. and give last call around 10:30 p.m.

Our purpose-brewed Celtic Red” Ale, informally dubbed Haggis Laddie for the occasion, will be on tap along with (perhaps) three other NABC beers – something golden (Abzug?), something hoppy (Elector?) and Strathpeffer, the honey and heather ale that just went back on a seasonal tap. If River City Winery is legal to wholesale to us, we’ll have some of their wines on hand. There may be a bottle or two of Irish whisky, but I haven’t decided whether to go that route.

I’m told that food will be catered by the O’Shea’s/Brendan’s pubs from Louisville, along with Bluegrass Kitchen, a hot dog cart and “probably an ice cream vendor.” That’s probably enough to cover the first year. Let’s hope that New Albany-based establishments get a shot next year.

That’s what I know today. Stay tuned for further details.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stone Double Dry Hopped IPA keg to be tapped at the Public House on Friday, August 14.

At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14, NABC Grant Line beer manager Mike Bauman will be tapping a keg of Stone Double Dry Hopped IPA at the Public House. My quick web research reveals that it's a special release from Stone, with proceeds at the brewery's Escondido CA facility benefiting Peter Reeves. I'd report more, but that's all I know at present.

The beer itself is not a Double IPA, but Stone's usual IPA that has been "double dry hopped." Very few of them made it to Indiana. We were given the choice of this keg, or a Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean keg -- not both. It was a tough call, and our efforts to bribe the sales representative were politely rebuffed. We're hopheads, so ...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The NABC beer weekend to come: August 14 and 15.

This Friday night (August 14), and in conjunction with a Louisville Restaurants Forum off-line gathering, I’m making a long-awaited first visit to the Kentucky BBQ Company on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville for fun times pairing barbecue staples and sides with tuneful, appropriate craft beer (and a few well chosen imports).

Make no mistake, meat lovers: These guys have good craft beers for pairing. Here is the KBBS draft list, as reported on July 24 (some may be different now):

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
St. Bernadus Wit
Breckenridge 471 (Double IPA)
Great Lakes Eliot Ness
Bell's Expedition Stout
Young's Double Chocolate Stout
New Holland Existential
Great Divide 15th Anniversary (oak aged)
Fuller's E.S.B.
Bell's Oberon
BBC Bourbon Barrel Stout
Schlafly APA
Founders Red's Rye
Drifter Pale Ale
Woodchuck Cider
St. Bernardus Abt 12
Houblon Chouffe

The only dog is Woodchuck. Not bad at all, although I may petition to be allowed to bring a sour ale, perhaps Jolly Pumpkin.

This gathering isn’t going to be very scientific, I hope – at least not the first time. Participants will be buying, eating, drinking and theorizing. Perhaps later there will be conclusions, although it would be nice to glean something for next week's LEO column.

If you read this and are thinking about going, you should go to the forum, register (c'mon, you should have done this a long time ago) and join the thread to add your name to the RSVP list: Barbecue and craft beer pairing. KBBC Aug. 14.


The American Cancer Society’s Taste of the Grapevine fundraiser will be held on Saturday, August 15 at Louisville’s prestigious Seelbach Hotel, and NABC will be here, presumably in a rented tuxedo and sneaking beer through the kitchen entrance.

Here's the scoop:

The American Cancer Society invites you to enjoy a memorable evening featuring local eateries, caterers and wine, beer and spirits vendors. Guests are invited to try out specialty dishes, gourmet cuisine, imported and domestic wines, micro brewers and a variety of spirits. Local restaurant owners, chefs, caterers, wine specialists, distillers and brewers will be available to answer any questions about the food and spirits. Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items and purchase the much sought-after "grape bags." For more information or to purchase tickets, please e-mail. Cost is $50 per person in advance, $75 per person on event day.

Could the opening of Sergio's World Beers be just around the corner?

Via Twitter, Sergio's World Beers reports: "Finally."

At the web site, there are these words:

Yes, finally, the new bar has the state beer license! Preview available here. We have estimated time of opening now: 1 week/7 days? Stay tuned for more details.

Story Avenue isn't going to be the same, is it?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Louisville Area Skeptics coming to the Public House on August 22.

I am delighted to announce that NABC's Grant Line location (pub & pizzeria) will be hosting the inaugural gathering of the Louisville Area Skeptics:

The Louisville Area Skeptics meet-up is an opportunity for people from Louisville, KY, and the surrounding areas to share their skeptical worldview. Scientific skeptics value critical thinking skills and promote the scientific method.

Here is more detailed information about the meet-up, which of course will feature pizza and beer in addition to healthy skepticism.

Welcome to the first monthly "Skeptics in the Pub" of the new Louisville Area Skeptics! Our first meetup will feature a presentation by David Ludden, Ph.D., on the topic of "The Psychology of Belief". Dr. Ludden is an associate professor of psychology at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, where he teaches courses in cognitive, physiological and evolutionary psychology. One of his research interests is in the evolutionary basis of religious belief, and he has published on this topic in magazines such Skeptic, Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry.

We'll meet just over the river in New Albany at our friendly neighborhood brew house, Rich O's Public House, in their private Prost! party room. For anyone new to Rich O's, it features excellent food, such as pizza, pasta, calzones and sandwiches, as well as a huge selection of imported and craft beers.

We will spend time getting to know each other and making plans for the future of our new organization, then we'll let the skeptical goodness begin!
Thanks so much for your interest in this group! See you on the 22nd. Please RSVP!

You can RSVP at the Facebook link above.

Unfortunately, I cannot attend this first gathering, as it is the same day as the Kentuckiana Celtic Fest on New Albany’s waterfront, where NABC will be pouring Progressive Pints and listening to Celtic tunes. But thereafter, expect me to be a regular.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"Mug Shots" today in LEO.

Here's my entry for today. Tomorrow it's time to leave for the Great Taste of the Midwest in madison, Wisconsin.

Mug Shots: Sharing the wealth, in LEO Weekly.

That’s right: There’s a leftist tint to Madison. Apart from the wonders of its one-day craft beer fete, the city’s fair-minded, intrinsic liberalism never fails to impress this unrepentant Social Democrat. When one considers the strong likelihood that frothy right-wing politicians like Kentucky’s lame-duck Jim Bunning habitually refer to Wisconsin’s state capital as “The People’s Republic of Madison,” it’s a reminder for people of my persuasion to go there whenever possible, investing early and often in the local beer-making economy, and recalling that in political terms, Kentucky remains lamentably “in the Red.”

"NA 1 Night Stand," a pub crawl, coming to downtown New Albany on August 29.

When first we heard from Jala Miller, she was moving into her new apartment in the building that houses Studio's Grille & Pub in downtown New Albany. Shortly thereafter, we were introduced, and I heard her idea for a downtown pub crawl, something that would being attention to the many new establishments coming to downtown New Albany.

Most important to me is her view of the demographics involved (her words):

To make this event a success – it is important that everyone “looks at the big picture”. The goal of this beer walk is to get the younger generation to want to visit New Albany “as a whole” – to make it a destination similar to that of Bardstown Road. In order for this to happen, the bars participating will need to be excited about it!
Jala has the plan together, and here are preliminary details. I concede that the date coinciding with Brew at the (Louisville) Zoo is inconvenient, but to be truthful, summer weekends tend to be booked from May through October in recent years. NABC will be participating in "NA 1 Night Stand" in a yet-to-be-determined fashion, hopefully with an outdoor party to serve as the trial run for similar events coming in September and October.

Event: The NA 1 Night Stand -- "Check 'em all before you fall"
What: Festival
Start Time: Saturday, August 29 at 3:00 p.m.
End Time: Sunday, August 30 at 12:00 a.m.
Where: Downtown New Albany

Facebook link


"The 'NA 1 Night Stand' is a one day welcome or reintroduction to downtown NA and all of the redevelopment that has been taking place. Join us on August 29th for a 'Beer Walk' different than anything NA has ever seen. Beer Olympics sign in begins at 3:00pm at Steinert's.

"Participating establishments will be featuring drink specials, food specials, and other attractions such as live music throughout the entire event day. Raffle prizes will be awarded throughout the day thanks to many local sponsors!"

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Both NABC locations open for business.

Rain be damned: As of 12:30 p.m., we're up and running. All the employees were not able to make it to Grant Line, but Kate reports that things are okay. There was a bit of water leakage (an ongoing issue) at Bank Street, but nothing major.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Nimbus is running for mayor of Louisville! Progressive Pints all around!

With "mayor for life" Jerry Abramson recently announcing that he will not run for another term, Louisville needs a new kingpin ... and I'm delighted learn that one of our own, former Arizona craft brewer and current Bardstown Road coffee roaster (and Renaissance Man) Nimbus Couzin, is throwing his hat into the ring.

Louisville's Courier-Journal picks up the story: Physics professor Couzin to run for mayor.

Chat has started at the Louisville Restaurants Forum: NIMBUS FOR MAYOR !!!

My home and businesses are in Indiana, but let there be no doubt who we'll be endorsing in this one. I can't wait for the progressive, swill-free fundraisers!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Soon we'll have the space occupied by that big, ugly Budweiser sign at Slugger Field.

Check out NABC's first sports team sponsorship: The Community Darks, who play indoor soccer in Louisville and had already been named before we decided to sponsor them.

(thanks to John Campbell)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" at Bank Street Brewhouse, noon to 3:00 p.m. tomorrow (August 2).

Verily, man does not live by craft beer alone -- even if I've tried for years to prove otherwise.

By virtue of its three-way license, NABC's gastronomical brewpub project is inclusive of spirits, and from the beginning we've elected to eschew the majority of mixed drinks in favor of selected distilled products served neat or on the rocks.

There'll be an exception or two, and Sunday Bloody Sunday is the first. It is the brainchild of John Campbell, whose explanation is below. Once we've done the necessary tasting, SBS will remain a Sunday staple, with an everyday Bloody Mary recipe available during other times.


Sunday Bloody Sunday - A Soft Opening of the New Albanian Bank Street Brewhouse's Bloody Mary Bar

Tomorrow (August 2) from noon to 3:00 p.m. -- hosted by NABC Brand Manager John Campbell.

This was originally set to be an unannounced practice run for the introduction of our "official" Sunday Bloody Mary Bar beginning on Sunday, August 16, but what's a trial session without a fair amount of test subjects? So, here's a last minute invite to pop in for pint (of sorts).

Please join us tomorrow, August 2, for an inaugural run of our premium Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar and construct a cocktail tailored to your personal sense of culinary adventure.

Select the spices and ingredients that you'd like to add, watch as it'sprepared and served over ice in a 20 ounce pint glass rimmed with your choice of Celery Salt or Smoked Sea Salt, and finish it off with a skewer of garnishes chosen from a wide variety of unique olives, pickled and fresh vegetables, and more!

Main ingredients include such items as Whole French Tarragon, Eqyptian Basil Leaves, Fresh Minced Garlic, Horseradish, and a variety of spices from Chef Josh Lehman's kitchen.

Sauces include Tabasco, Worcestershire, Pickapeppa, and Sontava Habanero, for starters.

Garnishes include Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Beans, Thick-sliced Barrel Pickles, Cocktail Onions, Traditional Onions (pickled in vinegar and barley malt extract), Prosciutto and Mozzarella Stuffed Olives, Anchovy Stuffed Olives, Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, Fresh Vegetables, and more.

$7 per pint. Made with Hangar One Vodka. Hangar One is a pot-distilled viognier wine vodka blended with a column still wheat vodka at an independently-owned, American Craft Distillery.