Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday's Hoptimus tapping at Barley Island's new Broad Ripple taproom.

As many of you already know, John Campbell, Josh Hill and the Publican ventured to Indianapolis for an NABC sales day on Wednesday, December 9, leading up to the unveiling of Hoptimus at Barley Island Broad Ripple at 6:00 p.m.

A long day spent with Mat Gerdenich and the Cavalier crew had me losing my voice (and much of my liver) even before the headline event began, but that's show biz.

After a caffeine-fueled morning tour of the Cavalier warehouse, culminating in Mark Kocher and I transcribing a shipment of Anstich kegs, John and Josh departed with Cavalier's Greg Blackman. Mat and I started our day at Spencer's Stadium Tavern, where we were shown an incredible collection of antique cans, many unopened, in the cellar.

We then lunched at Dick's Bodacious BBQ downtown, and I confirmed that 15-B Porter and pulled pork work very well together.

Next, there was a stop at the new Sun King brewery and taproom (also downtown) to chat with Indy brewing stalwarts Dave Colt and (briefly) Clay Robinson. Look for Sun King to randomly pour at the Public House early in 2010, and for their Imperial Cream Ale to appear at Gravity Head.

After a pause for breath, a drive to Zionsville followed, and I enjoyed a fun conversation with Patrick of Patrick's Kitchen & Drinks, where Elector is on tap. I've not met Patrick, but we go way back, because during a stint as general manager at the Bloomington Brewing Company, he observed the villainy of NABC's ouster by the monopolistic fascists at the Big Red Liquors festival on April 10, 2003.

After that, Mat navigated the icy squalls to Broad Ripple, and we embarked upon a visit to the Corner Wine Bar/Wellington's (Beak's Best soon will be on tap in the cozy confines of the latter), and rejoined the joint sales team at Chumley's Beer House, where many excellent beers currently are on tap, displacing the golden lagers that once were the norm.

Finally, it was a short stumble to Barley Island Broad Ripple, and a shiny Hoptimus pressed into my hand before I had the chance to shed my jacket.

That's efficient service in my book, and you'd forget your hop additions, too, if you'd been through my various opening acts (and pints) that I did.

We appreciate Jeff Eaton and the BIBR team's efforts, and it was wonderful to see Tom, Veronica, Joe, Rita, the Involuntary's, and the entire Indianapolis craft beer community, from which so many braved the elements to absorb hops intravenously.

Straight from the Hoosier Beer Geek crew, who were out in force, photos of the evening can be viewed here.

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