Friday, July 30, 2010

NABC in Douglas Wissing's “Indiana: One Pint at a Time” book.

Indiana craft brewers must be brewing something right, because numerous books are being written about beer in the Hoosier State.

First up: Rita Kohn and "True Brew" in New Albany on August 7th. You buy it, she signs it, and we'll all enjoy a Progressive Pint.

But there's more to come.

New Albany brewery praised in Indiana brewery book; Author of ‘One Pint at a Time’ coming to New Albany Sept. 18, by Daniel Suddeath (Tribune).

NEW ALBANY — The latest book published by the Indiana Historical Society Press features the New Albanian Brewing Co.

“Indiana: One Pint at a Time” was written by Douglas Wissing, of Bloomington, and focuses on craft breweries throughout the state, while also paying homage to the roots of Indiana brewing, which date back to 1816. Located at 415 Bank Street, NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse and its Public House and Pizzeria at 3312 Plaza Drive receive some ink from Wissing.
I contributed an awkward quote to this story, using the word "cared" sloppily. My intent was to contrast what's I've perceived as Doug's more comprehensive historical approach with Rita's "as it is now oral history" overview. Apologies if my words mislead; inelegance typically ensues when one is harried and hurried. I expect both books to be great, and I'm looking forward to a third, by John Holl, slated for publication next spring.

As noted in the Tribune article title, Doug's coming to the NABC Pizzeria & Public House on Saturday, September 18, for a discussion and book signing. Further information will be forthcoming. You can purchase the books then, or see Destinations Booksellers in New Albany, our co-sponsor for the signing.

Rita Kohn and "True Brew" in NA on August 7th. Buy it, she signs it, and we'll all enjoy a Progressive Pint.

"True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana" is a wonderful account written by a fascinating lady (and prolific writer). Rita's testimony was central as "Sunday growler" legislation progressed. Not a politician dared contradict her, and it was inspiring. Here's Rita, photographed by me earlier this summer during a brewers guild meeting at the Broad Ripple Brewing Company. The proud author poses with an advance copy of her book.

Rita will be in town on the 7th to autograph, discuss and help sell copies of her book. The appearance is courtesy of Destinations Booksellers, with whom NABC is promoting it. We decided to do it at Bank Street Brewhouse for a very simple reason: What good is a book about beer, without beer? Trust me when I say that even if you don't like beer, you'll want to come and meet Rita.

Rita's book has inspired me to try my hand at an extended volume, perhaps collected essays. How's this for a title: "Everything You Know About Beer Is Wrong."

Or, "Lite Never Makes Right."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rosen on "Top Chefs" in Velocity.

Here's a good piece by Marty Rosen in Velocity about Louisville's ranking chefs, but let me tell you something: I'm admittedly biased, but I'll take our man Josh Lehman -- surely the top chef on this side of the river. You can enjoy his work only at Bank Street Brewhouse in downtown New Albany.

New Albanians, you have a great chef right here.
Talking with Top Chefs: Why is Louisville such a vibrant restaurant scene? The city's well-known kitchen magicians dish up their reasons.

Those of us who live and dine in Louisville believe that we live in one of the best dining cities in America. That's not to say that Louisville's scene is comparable in scale or scope with internationally renowned culinary centers like New York and Chicago, but that in terms of overall excellence and variety, Louisville's scene holds its own against any comparably sized — and many much larger — cities.

At NAC: "The Windsor reformats, and the Publican prattles."

At my civic affairs "non-beer" blog, NA Confidential, there is news of downtown New Albany restaurant arrivals and changes, as well as a state of the NABC union digression: The Windsor reformats, and the Publican prattles.

... Failure junkies take delight in closings, but their focus is errant. The right question isn't, "do we need any more restaurants and bars downtown?" It's this: "Will the restaurants and bars opening downtown have what it takes to survive?" ...

... Those readers who genuinely are close to NABC's principals already know that this year has been the most difficult in the company's history, bar none. It's been brutal.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Weekly: A spate of respectful bristling, non-contractually speaking.

Three weeks ago, I carefully collated and groomed a growing collection of bilious secretions that had been accumulating, and launched a rant into the world.

There were four responses, and since three of them came from Chinese spammers trying to sell me adulterated Viagra, freeze-dried dim sum and/or a sheet metal factory in Harbin owned by the Army of the People’s Republic (not People’s Brewing in northern Indiana, which makes excellent beer), it was the fourth and final comment that drew my attention. Follow the link and scroll down to read it.

Wednesday Weekly: "Contract," my ass.

The fourth response was written in the King’s English, and came from my good friend Jim Schembre, whose World Class Beverages wholesale business brings loads of craft beer into Indiana. Jim has taken his craft beer business model to other locales throughout America, and although I’m not privy to exact numbers, it’s safe to say that he’s one of the prime movers and shakers for the distribution of craft beer – not just here in Indiana, but in the whole United States.

Hoosiers influencing the country?

That’s a great thing and I’m for it if you’re Jim Schembre or Larry Bird. Not if you’re Dan Quayle or Mitch Daniels, but I digress.

Observe that Indiana’s largest beer wholesaler is Monarch Beverage. Oceans of Miller and Coors products pass through Monarch’s warehouse in Indianapolis, which is only slightly less roomy than Lucas Oil Stadium.

As an aside, permit me to note that Monarch only tangentially was the topic of my rant three weeks ago. It could have been any wholesaler, anywhere, in Monarch’s position of broad market dominance, and consequently useful for me to cite as an example of what sort of attitudes can stand in the way of a local craft brewer in certain situations.

Anyway, Monarch’s website notes that World Class Beverages has grown 500% since its founding in 2001, and this surely testifies to Jim’s hard work and vision. If you’re new to this, it may also cause some confusion. I’ll let Monarch speak for itself:

“The newest division, World Class Beverages, represents independent and microbreweries … ”

That World Class Beverages is a division of Monarch explains many things, among them Jim’s understandable instinct to leap to its defense in his comment. I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn to posit that Monarch’s larger corporate vision and willingness to underwrite Jim’s prescience played a significant part in animating his laudable success with World Class Beverages.

If I’m misreading any of this, please correct me. It’s fitting that Jim should seek to straighten the record in this fashion. I concede his employment and payroll statistics, even if quoting Monarch’s entire payroll does not make it entirely “craft” in orientation … as we’re soon to see.

Yes, I will concede Monarch’s length and breadth throughout the state of Indiana, but in a spirit of contrarian, small business stubbornness, not mere semantics, I persist in holding that while this makes Monarch a suitably powerful statewide entity, it does not magically render it into a “local” entity in any sensible meaning of the word “local.”

Thinking back to the example I gave of a spokesperson explaining beer choices made by a concessionaire, first as the result of a contract, which we all know can’t legally exist, then by citing Monarch’s status as a local company (try again), then by “it’s how we’ve always done it – see the calendar over yonder; it’s 2010, folks – and contrasting these various uninformed excuses for not knowing about local craft beer options (how much trouble is it to spend ten minutes on the Internet, anyway?) with the knowledge that Monarch possesses a specialty craft division and thinks enough of it to brag on the same information superhighway about it, then …

Then … if Monarch knows and thinks enough about craft beer’s growth and profit potential to start a whole new division and invest in it for a decade, shouldn’t the company’s own Monarch sales people down here in Yokelburg be touting situational local craft placement – their own company’s division’s stock in trade – as a possibility for civic concessions arrangements?

Wouldn’t doing so actually help Monarch as a whole?

Wouldn’t Monarch want to balance the portfolio and expand the perimeter by informing a customer of all the possibilities?

Isn’t that sort of fair and balanced offering of information precisely the sort of education that Jim rightly touts as essential to changing the game?

But in his response to my rant, Jim strangely waves away eighty years of mass market chicanery (wink wink, nudge nudge … you’re free to BELIEVE it’s a contract even if it isn’t) by holding that it is neither Monarch’s responsibility to offer, nor the local concessionaire’s to ask, because obviously, the event’s sheep-like attendees, faced with a grand total of two choices (Light and Lighter) are not standing up, raising hell, and demanding locally brewed craft beer.

Okay, granted, I suppose not everyone is as outspoken as me. And yet verily, I hear a dozen complaints a week from people who lament the absence of local choice in these situations, and yes, they should be voting with their wallets by keeping those wallets in their pockets and not spending on swill, but damn it, Jim, it’s a two way street, isn’t it?

When wearing its Monarch tag, your own company apparently is not doing you any favors when it comes to selling the broader portfolio that includes World Class. The reps enter the orders for swill, check their cell phones, harvest their paychecks, and move on to the next dull karaoke bar.

Now, I’m famously contemptuous of the lack of discernment in just plain folks, and it gets me in trouble all the time. I never learn. And yet, working to subvert choice and to pre-empt market access is not something plain folks can do much about, even with their earnest complaints and clearly stated preferences. It is not trying let me down easy with mumbo-jumbo because no one wants my company's beer and they're too nice to say so. It is monopolistic, good old boy bullshit, and it's what the craft beer movement is devoted to exposing for what it is: Wrong.


Know that Jim and I have indeed spoken about this matter on many occasions. We fully agree that consumers need to brighten up, that brewers, wholesalers and retailers must ceaselessly educate and inform. All the parts must work together for us to begin aggressively entering the majority percentile and growing the segment at a faster rate. It’s all crystal clear. None of this is to be construed as any more than an extension of a chat that has continued through the years.

But, Jim, hear what I’m saying to ya: How can it be as much the consumer’s burden to bear, as you suggest, when entities like Monarch itself, specialty division or not, still have so much to gain by preserving the status quo of swill?

And, if Monarch understands that the status quo someday will change and has invested (in my view, properly) in alternatives, why do its own people so often fight against diversity to preserve the status quo and to perpetuate ignorance?

You simply have to know that this is the way it works, and to say that the consumer must of his own accord fight gallantly through the thicket of beer business as usual to the exclusion of the beer business's own responsibility to educate – even Monarch's, for chrissakes – is a bit disingenuous, perhaps not to the extent that three pints of Elector compel me to state it here and now, but disingenuous nonetheless.

Isn’t it true that consumers can’t choose what’s kept invisible? Isn't it over-simplistic to assert that they only need ask for it, and the beer business as usual will give it to them?

Come to think of it, neither Monarch nor World Class carries a locally brewed craft beer strictly in the Southern Indiana context, so neither actually could offer such an option in my "local" sense of the usage. But that’s another story for another time, and one that I’m expecting Jim to scald me (justifiably) for when we meet next week.

Make no mistake: I admire Jim’s chutzpah and passion, and I know the feeling’s mutual. As they say, it’s all good between us. On this issue, we have an honest disagreement, and I look forward to discussing it in more depth with him when craft beer is on hand.


No, please, not the Jolly Pumpkins! Bottled beer sale at the Public House, August 2 - 4 and 9 - 11.

Ben and Eric have been combing the secret storage areas and password-only access points deep within the bowels of the Public House, and they've uncovered a staggering amount of bottled inventory that, for whatever reason, simply is left over, orphaned, or otherwise prime for moving.

Many of the cases have not been opened. Most of the beers should be entirely drinkable, although I'd be a fool to suggest that every last bottle is fresh; there quite well may be a few duds, but as Ben states in the promotional poster, there are discounts on most of them.

Following is a list of bottles that will go up for sale. How many of each? I have absolutely no idea. I hope the guys think to set aside some boxes, because this one's going to be big. I may have to drop by and reserve a few lots for the resumption of Office Hours with the Publican, coming to a Prost near you on September 6.

Beer List for the Beer Sale

Aldaris Porter
Alvinne Cuvee Freddy 2009
Alvinne Bolleville Calvados Barrel
Alvinne Melchior Calvados Barrel
Avery 17th
Avery Ale to the Chief

BFM Bon Chien Grand Cru Vin Jaune (different vintages)
Barley Island Single White Friar
Birra del Borgo Duchessic 09
Birrifico Nora
Boulder Flashback
Boulevard Smokestack Double Wide IPA
Breckenridge 471 ESB
Breckenridge Imperial Porter
Brew Dog/Stone Bashah
Brooklyn Local #1
Buffalo Stout

Clipper City Below Decks Barley Wine
Clipper City Big Dipa
Clipper City Letter of Marque 2010
Clipper City Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale

Dark Horse Plead The Fifth
De Dolle Special Export Stout
De Molen Pek And Veren (Stout)
Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel
Dogfish Head Burton Baton
Dubuisson Scaldis Refermentee

Eel River Triple Exultation
Eel River Raven's Eye Stout
Estrella Damm Inedit

Founders Backwood Bastard
Fuller's London Pride

Geants Goliath
Gouden Carolus Noel
Great Divide 15th Anniversary
Great Divide 16th Anniversary
Great divide Chocolate Yeti
Great Divide Colette
Great Divide Double Wit
Great Divide Espresso Oaked Age Yeti

Hair of the Dog Adam
Hair of the Dog Fred
Harpoon Leviathon Saison Royale

Jamaica Stout
Jolly Pumpkin Absurd Ale
Jolly Pumpkin IO
Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial Brown Ale

Left Hand Good Juju
Left Hand Widdershins Oak Barley Wine

Mad River Double Dread
Mad River Steelhead Double IPA
Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel (Nogne Colab)
Mikkeller Big Worse Barley wine
Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Stout
Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper

New Holland Dragons Milk
Nogne Imperial Stout
Nogne Porter
Nogne-O Andhrimnir Barley Wine
Nogne-O Winter Ale
Nogne-O/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Special Holiday Ale
Nogne-O/Mikkeller Tyttabaer

Olfabrikken Jule Ale
Olfabrikken Kloster Jule
Olfabrikken Porter
Olfabrikken Winter Porter
Ommegang Abbey
Ommegang Tripel

Pietra Corsican Chestnut Ale

Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager
Rogue Morimota Black Obi Soba Ale
Rogue Single Malt

Sierra Nevada Fritz & Ken
Sierra Nevada Helles Bock
Southern Star Bombshell Blonde
Southern Tier Cherry Saison
Southern Tier Jah Va IMP Coffee Stout
Southern Tier Hoppe
St. Bernardus 12
St. Bernardus Prior 8
Stegmaier Brewhouse Bock
Stevens Point 2012 Black Ale
Stone 13th
Stone Double Bastard 09
Stone Russian Imperial Stout
Stone Sublimely Self righteous Ale

The Bruery Mischief
The Bruery Rogbrod
The Bruery Saison De Lente
Thornbridge Halcyon
Thornbridge St. Petersburg
Three Floyd's Alpha King
Three Floyd's Blackheart
Three Floyds Gorch Fock
Three Floyds Oatgoop
Three Floyd's Robert the Bruce
Two Brothers Bare Tree 2008
Two Brothers Dog Days of Summer
Tyranena Bitter Women IPA

Upland Triple

Van Steenberge Witches Brew
Victory Baltic Thunder
Victory Storm King Imperial Stout

Zywiec Porter (circa vintage 2008)

Jared Williamson's report on the advent of C3 Dry Hopped American Mild.

Jared Williamson's report already appeared in the weekly NABC newsletter, but in case you missed it, here is all you need to know about C3, at least until it's ready to drink.


The C-series resumed this past Tuesday (week of July 12) as brewers from Schlafly and New Albanian joined the host O’Fallon staff for the C-3 brewday. The rotating collaboration has now reached one full cycle with no signs of slowing down.

It was a classic C-series brewday and at one point there were 8 professional brewers representing 6 different breweries.

C3 continues the extreme and interesting themes that have been and are being explored with the C-series. C3 is extreme in its restraint, in our collective ability to resist the abundant urges to add more and explore more ideas in a single beer. By dialing in our collective vision, we have struck out in a new direction with C3.

Based on the classic English Mild, C3 features Maris Otter, Munich, Brown and Carafa malts.

After much debate the collective again went with the theme of restraint, and a single hop was the choice: Citra. Never used before by New Albanian, Schlafly or O’Fallon, Citra on early inspection reminds this brewer of the spice and pine of Chinook with the musty citrus of Columbus.

C3 features Citra as a mash, whirlpool, and dry hop. But no boil additions were used to keep with the mild flavor profile. C3 will be a session beer, with a solid malt profile, light bitterness and wonderful hop aromatics and flavors.

C3 Dry-Hopped American Mild

Malts: Crisp Marris Otter, Crisp Munich, Briess Brown, Weyermanns Carafa
Hop: Citra
Yeast: Dry English
Expected ABV: 4%
IBU: 22

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Got Zuur if you want it.

It’s wild how often sour comes up in conversation among my friends, or perhaps it’s sour how often wild … well, you get the idea. Hops get the most buzz overall in my world, but it seems that quite a few sour enthusiasts have gathered in these environs over the years. And to think, not once have I encouraged them ...

If you're just tuning in, RateBeer provides a helpful basic definition: “Sour ale is a broad spectrum of wild ales, from the fruity Flemish sours such as Rodenbach nd Liefmans, to the experimental wild ales recently gaining popularity in the United States.”

The preceding, along with ales from Jolly Pumpkin and even NABC (ours is called Phoenix Kentucky Komon, and should be getting brewed right about now) are good places to start. I drank another good example last week while in Boston: Ommegang's Zuur, billed as a collaborative effort between it and Belgium's Liefman's, the latter undergoing somewhat of a revival back in Oud Bruin Land.

Sifting through the testimony provided in two Internet locales (below), I hope I'm on firm ground in concluding that Zuur is more of a custom blend than a collaboration in the usual sense of massed brewers. Ommegang makes the point that the ales blended by Liefmans to make Zuur (but according to Ommegang's specs) have not been aged in wood, but in stainless steel. That translates into less wild, still sour. The example I enjoyed on draft was not overpowering, but sour, hinting at the cherries in the blend, and definitely in the brown mold, as opposed to red.

Zuur is good stuff. We've bought some bottles for sale at the Public House, where they'll be selling for $17.50 each (25.4 ounces). Supplies are limited, so if you're interested, come on down and relish the sour tickling.

Sources: Brew Like a Monk and Ommegang Zuur Sour Ale debuts this summer.

Video coverage of Brew Ha-Ha earlier this summer.

Here's one that very nearly slipped past my (generally) drunken eyes. It's a link to an entertaining and informative ten-minute video shot during this year's Brew Ha-Ha in Indianapolis, and includes an appearance by Richard Atnip, who currently has been helping NABC with local sales around New Albany.

Ryan McCracken sent the video, and I'm assuming he shot it; if anyone knows differently, give me a yell.


The Brew Ha-Ha 2010 benefiting the Phoenix Theatre was a little too much fun – kind of a miracle I even got a video made after sampling the finest beers Indiana has to offer. This video is a collection of local participating breweries and their fine wares.

Video link

August 9 is the 1st Annual Louisville Craft Beer Week Golf Scramble fundraiser.

Editor's note: I believe most of the information below, detailing the 1st Annual Louisville Craft Beer Week Golf Scramble fundraiser, to be accurate. Information is courtesy of Clay Carpenter and the organizing committee.

When: August 9th, 2010 (Monday), 8:00-8:45 AM check in. 9:00 AM start

Where: Glen Oaks Country Club, 10601 Worthington Ln, Prospect, KY

$70.00 per person, $280.00 per team

$5.00 Mulligans - limit 4 per person

$75.00 hole sponsors - 1st come, 1st serve

Please Make Checks Out To:

Louisville Craft Beer Week Organization

Format: 4 person / best ball scramble, men tee off from white tees. Women tee off from red tees. This is a COUNTRY CLUB, so please, NO JEANS. Collared/Golf shirts ONLY with appropriate shorts or pants.

Prizes: COOL BEER SCHWAG for 1st place team, last place team, longest drive and closest to the hole!!!

Food and Beverage: ALL food, beer, water and soft drinks are

INCLUDED with $70.00 fee. Tickets will be given.
Please Send All Registration Information: names of all 4 in team, team name (optional), Hole Sponsors - please send hi-resolution company graphic/logo to:

Any Questions, Please Call Clay Carpenter @ 502-572-8140

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kentucky State Fair homebrew competition judging will be Sunday, August 15th.

The following was forwarded by FOSSILS via Chuck Harp. Note that there is no spreadsheet attachment; of course, you may contact Chuck directly if you're interested in judging and stewarding. I regret that in recent years, the judging has conflicted with the usual day for returning home from the Great Taste of the Midwest. One of these days, I'll make it back to the fairgrounds.


The Kentucky State Fair homebrew competition will be held on Sunday, August 15th. We are looking for lots of judges and stewards to help out with our competition. The judging will be held in the south wing conference center of the Kentucky Exposition center in Louisville, Ky. If you are not familiar with this location, please see the KY state fair website for details.

Our schedule for the day is as follows:

10:15 am Start judge check-in (coffee, juice and donuts are planned)

10:45 am Calibration Beer

11:00 am Start judging first round

1:00 pm Finish first round

After each judge is finished with his/her flight, there will be a box lunch provided. Our hope is that by allowing each judge to eat as soon as they are done, we can quickly start on the second round of judging.

1:30 pm Start second round (or earlier)

3:30 pm Finish second round

3:45 pm Best Of Show

Due to the large number of entrants to this competition who are also judges, stewards and organizers, we have decided to also try to have an awards ceremony immediately following the judging. It is scheduled as follows:

4:30 pm Start Awards Ceremony

5:30 pm End Awards Ceremony

We are hoping you will be able to participate, and I would also like to pre-assign judges prior to the event so things can go smoothly

Please e-mail back if you are going to be able to judge or steward this year, and also please fill out and return the simple attached spreadsheet. There is an example tab to show how to fill the form out, and a tab called JudgeList which should take about 30 seconds to complete. The purpose of the form is to let us know if you entered any beers in this years competition (and your likes/dislikes for judging styles). All we need is the class number of the beer or beers you entered, prefer to judge, and prefer not to judge (if you have a preference).

Thanks for your help, and may the next beer you drink ... be the best beer you have ever tasted!

Chuck Harp

Back to the rockpile.

I was on holiday last week, and that's why there were no postings and no Wednesday column.

While away, I received information that just might enable an entertaining follow-up to a previous effort: Wednesday Weekly: "Contract," my ass. You can read it in the form of a comment at the original article. On the writing front, there may be a new "Mug Shots" at a different media location. Stay tuned; I hope to discuss details later in the week, and I'll let you know when I do.

Boston was a blast, and both Cambridge Brewing Company and Cape Ann Brewing Company proved to be tasty excursions. There's no craft beer in Fenway Park, unless Guinness and Sam Adams count. I have to admit the latter's Irish Red to be welcomed during a struggle with clams and pasta in the "devil" style in the North End.

Chianti? Whatever. Even the Harpoon IPA at the airport was fresh and enjoyable.

At The Independent in Somerville, Ommegang Biere de Mars and a selection of local oysters on the half shell went together very well, too. A touch of Brett gently teasing the brine. It makes me want to return.

It'll be a busy few days as the catch-up begins in earnest. I have meetings with the Louisville Craft Beer Week organizers tonight and River City Distributing on Friday, with the usual company confabs in between. There'll be more to say on those later in the week. NABC's Ancient Rage, a smoked Baltic Porter, debuts next Tuesday (August 3) on an otherwise forgettable exercise in birth chronology. The Great Taste? Less than three weeks out.

First, I'll be firing up the F-150. On the last bicycle ride before vacation, my rear tire punctured, picking up a large hunk of glass. I dropped it off to get a new tire, and now will reclaim the conveyance, which is necessary to begin shaving off the pounds accrued from Brazilian salad, lobster and Hop Devil.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Good beer and the KFC Yum! Center: Impossibility?

Local journalist Rick Redding is free-lancing these days. Yesterday he offered a list of things that are impossible in Louisville, which lately has dubbed itself Possibility City.

"It’s impossible for all the bars opening downtown because of the new arena to get enough business to stay in business."

It so happens that my next assignment for Food & Dining magazine, due sooner than I’d like to think, is to survey the emergence of good beer in the vicinity of the unfortunately named KFC Yum! Center (yes, complete with exclamation, and attendant nausea).

Consequently, budding research assistants please take note: I need a bit of help in compiling a list of both existing and coming establishments. At the top of this list, at least in terms of good beer, are Patrick O’Shea’s, the new BBC across Main Street from the new arena, and the Kentucky Ale branded sports bar inside it. Of course, Browning’s isn’t far away.

I’ll use Food & Dining’s handy location maps to get started, but don’t hesitate to let me know what might be easily missed, especially in terms of the new entrants. Remember that this is about good beer, not so much food.

Finally, think about Rick’s “impossibility.” Do you agree, or disagree?

Thanks in advance.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A column update.

I'm a month into the notion of staying disciplined (right) by continuing to write Wednesday columns, posting them here at the blog instead of the former arrangement with LEO.

Below are links to the first quartet of columns. There'll be no column on Wednesday, July 21, as I'll be on holiday. With luck, holidazing will inspire wisdom on the 28th.

I've had fruitful preliminary discussions with a local media entity toward reviving the beer column. Neither "Mug Shots" nor "Wednesday Weekly" is to my liking, so if anyone has thoughts on what a future column might be called, let me know. That's your assignment before the 28th, okay?

Wednesday Weekly: Someone's gotta keep non-advertisers in line, right?

Wednesday Weekly: "Contract," my ass.

Wednesday Weekly: The Jackson I miss the most.

Wednesday Weekly: To the “craft” of the matter.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cavalier says: "Look what just came back from New Albanian for the Friday Night event at Chef JJ's."

Make It Local: Craft Beer and Food at Chef JJ's Back Yard in Indianapolis, on Friday, July 16.

Wednesday Weekly: Someone's gotta keep non-advertisers in line, right?

Yes, there are a few things about craft beer that you can learn by picking up an issue of this week’s Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO).

Most importantly, writer Jonathan Meador does what LEO always has done best in a genuinely balanced but cutting examination of the Alcohol Beverage Control’s recent citing of bars in Germantown for alleged zoning law violations.

Are the bars there being targeted? The ABC says “no,” and the crux of the matter is the existence (or not) of non-conforming clauses when the bars in question changed ownership. Since several of these establishments (Nachbar, Swan Dive) are noted for offering craft beer, it’s an article of more than passing interest for enthusiasts.

The bulk of the craft beer references in this week’s LEO come courtesy of paid advertising, and I’m sure there are salutary effects on the bottom line.

There’s a nifty full-page ad for Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, which won a silver medal at the 2010 World Beer Cup. Congratulations to Alltech. The new Falls City has a 1/8 page insert, too, and it’s tasteful. You can see the NABC logo in an ad for the Black Keys show at Iroquois on August 11, and Old Chicago name drops New Albanian in its half-page ad, along with BBC and Browning’s, although not Cumberland.

Ask them, not me.

Schlafly’s own half-pager urges readers to “raise some Helles.” Come to think of it, I might just do that, because Browning’s also brews a superb Helles, and it’s been on tap at the portable concession stand (Section 115) during Louisville Bats games for much of the season. Accordingly, looking through LEO, I see there’s advertising from the Bats, apparently putting in a belated bid for the craft beer market with a bright quarter-page paean to “$2 craft beer,” which … which … what’s that loud noise … could you hold just a minute while I see what’s causing Dr. Goebbel’s to thrash so violently in his grave?

Okay, now I understand. Those particular “craft” beers touted by the Bats in LEO are the same ones that Anheuser-Busch itself describes as “craft” beer, which in terms of objective reality is tantamount to my observing what a brilliant lavender color my Schlafly Helles beer has today.

Which is to say: It is utter propaganda, lacking any quality capable of being linked to truth, and as the originator of 20th-century mass-market propaganda, Joe has reason to be highly annoyed that Anheuser-Busch treats his legacy so shabbily.

Wait -- there’s even more! Specifically, a full-page LEO Weekly blurb for itself, which skillfully lampoons Sarah Palin-speak as a prelude to more Goebbels grave spinning:

Also too the mainstream media does suck also ... at LEO Weekly, in-depth analysis isn’t limited to the hoppiness of locally brewed beers. We also analyze the bitterness of locally brewed politics. The way we see it, there are thousands of papers to scrutinize the Obamas and Palins of the world, but someone’s got to keep Katie King in line, too. We volunteer.

Actually, apart from Meador’s Germantown expose, today’s LEO contains no analysis whatever of the hoppiness of local beers, and that’s because Mr. Mug Shot (yours truly) was given his walking papers for wondering why LEO seeks to keep politicians like Katie King in line, but not breweries like Anheuser-Busch, and even though it appears that LEO will not publicly explain my absence, the juxtaposition of A-B “craft” beer in one ad and King’s name in another serves to compel me to at least publish a letter to the LEO editor sent by my friend and research assistant, Paul Mick.

Three weeks later, and to no one’s surprise, it remains unpublished. Appreciate the gesture, Paul. Did you mail it to Possibility City, or LEO’s local corporate office in Nashville, Tennessee?

“For the past 7 years, I've lauded LEO as a bastion of uncompromising journalism and discerning taste to countless new students at U of L. I'd tell them to consult your paper if they ever had any questions about local events, politics, or dining and I'd warn them to steer clear of the pitiful simulacrum that is Velocity. I would even take tour groups past your stands so they could pick up a copy and see all that Louisville has to offer as a city.

“However, your recent decision to terminate Roger Baylor's Mug Shots column in order to placate macrobreweries has wounded me deeply. For all of the grief you (often rightly) give Mayor Abramson for his dealings with Cordish, you certainly seem eager to hop InBed with InBev and sell out your columnists for thirty pieces of silver.“

In the recent 20th anniversary issue of LEO, BIlly Reed commented, "Since day one, there have been no sacred cows at LEO." Apparently that doesn't apply to big business advertisers, to whom you are more than willing to kowtow. Roger, an icon of the Louisville craft beer revolution, has always been dedicated to telling the public the truth in an undistilled and undiluted form. If honesty on the rocks is a bit hard for you all to swallow, then I suggest you crack open a Bud Light with Lime, cease pretending to be truth purists, and openly embrace the company that has clearly bought your opinion.”

Paul Mick, The HIghlands

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Indiana Beer Week tasting at Keg Liquors this Thursday, July 15.

(From Todd Antz at Keg Liquors)

Indiana Beer Week Tasting this Thursday from 5 - 8 PM

Here is all the information about this week's tasting:

Join us on July 15th from 5 - 8 PM as we celebrate Indiana Beer Week with a beer tasting of microbrews from across the state. Here is the lineup:

# Barley Island Dirty Helen
# Barley Island Flat Top Wheat
# Mishawaka Seven Mules Kickass Ale
# Mishawaka Four Horsemen
# Oaken Barrel Razzwheat
# Oaken Barrel Indiana Amber
# Upland Double Dragonfly IPA
# Upland Bad Elmer's Porter
# We'll also have two different brews donated by our friends at the New Albanian Brewing Company as well.

This tasting is free and open to the public (21 and older) so invite your friends!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Recap: "Excellent Beer Gardening Adventure" at Hidden Hill on July 10.

Saturday’s beer gardening adventure was excellent, indeed. Bob (“Hidden” Hill) and Rog (that’s me) both were pleased, with more than 200 people in attendance for a first-time event running against the Forecastle music fest in Louisville. Folks were nice, their questions and comments were good, and there was nothing unfavorable about it.

Chef Josh sold out of food, and the Non-Tiki Lounge – tended by David Pierce -- under the trees was a big hit. There are many things to like about the Hidden Hill nursery as a venue, including the reigning serendipity of the sculpture and green layouts. It appeals to me that while Hidden Hill is perhaps six miles form downtown Louisville as the crow flies, there’s a sense of isolation. You could be 500 miles away.

A bonus for me was that my station dispensing Elector samples by the Pasture Door was next to Jeff “Persimmon Forge” Reinhardt’s mobile blacksmith shop, and coal smoke always makes me thirsty, as well as nostalgic for the Eastern Europe of youthful travels. Blacksmithing is a small but flourishing subculture, and it was fascinating to learn a bit more about the artisan side.

We’ll do another Hidden Hill gig some time next year. Thanks to everyone who worked and attended.


The brochure for Saturday's epochal "Excellent Beer Gardening Adventure" at the Hidden Hill Nursery.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Wednesday Weekly: "Contract," my ass.

I'm late with this.


Here’s a helpful suggestion for those of you tending bar, or working in an establishment that sells beer – especially draft beer.

Don’t say the “C” word. I’ve heard it twice in recent weeks, and it makes me want to find a mouthpiece and go to court.

For the uninitiated, and in its full, most distasteful usage, the “C” word is “Contract.”

Whether or not the three-tier distribution system for alcoholic beverages survives in its present form is a matter for politicians, lawyers and judges to decide. Until it changes, it is plainly illegal for an entity – your bar, a sporting venue, a concert hall – to sign a “contract” with a beer wholesaler. I’m speaking here in the sense of a contract to sell only that wholesaler’s beers, and no others.

Pay-to-play is not something enshrined with dual signatures and posted on the Internet. Yes, there may well be understandings, nods, glances, winks, back-scratching, oral sex, or any number of other unofficial, non-contractual agreements that blatantly violate the spirit of the law but leave no paper trail for people like me to make copies and post on Smoking Gun.

However, there cannot be such contracts, and because of this, if you say aloud something on the order of, “We can’t do business with you because we have a contract with SABMillerMolsonCoorsABInbev,” it is a faux pas that conceivably might lead to heightened interest from state regulatory authorities. None of us wants that, even me. As angry as it makes me, I’m too concerned with good karma to turn you in. Unlike the majority of monopolistic corporate behemoths, I have ethical standards, although you’re going to get a soapbox lecture, right here, right now.

The reason why your boss, owner or manager wants you to think there is a contract precluding a swapping of taps or further action in the direction of diversity is that it removes the painful necessity of thinking about product options. It sidesteps the annoying imperative of actually acting on changing consumer needs in a beer marketplace infinitely more diverse than the narrow lighter-shade-of-gold preferred by the business-as-usual, good old boy crowd of movers, shakers and bribe-takers.

Furthermore, at least in Southern Indiana, please don’t say you have “no choice” except to buy beer from a wholesaler like Monarch, because your employer cites the imperative of buying locally and insists that he or she is doing so because Monarch is local.

Emphatically, and even though I don’t have a dog in this race ... Monarch is not “locally” owned, unless you’re living in Indianapolis (or Andorra, as far as I know).

In fact, not only is Monarch not “locally” owned insofar as residents of the Falls Cities are concerned, it hardly has anything to do with local anything. Monarch is one of the largest, if not absolutely the largest, mass market beer wholesalers in the Midwest. True, a decade ago it bought out two former Jeffersonville businesses that actually were owned locally, Clark County Beverage and Nachand Beverage. By doing so, it removed local businesses. It did not become one.

Sorry kids, but buying beer from Ted Throckmorton or the late Ed Schueler back in 1991 no longer qualifies the monolith that purchased them as “local” apart from exercises in nostalgia and selective memory – and let me add that Ed was one of the finest persons I’ve known at any level of the beer business, period. From the perspective of “local,” those two were local. Monarch is not.

Make no mistake: When I ask the question, “Would you consider a locally brewed craft beer to sell at your establishment,” it is your undisputed right to say “no,” just as it is my responsibility to try to explain the reasons why you should do so, and without my appealing to “buy local” as a mantra intended to obscure the issue.

But: It is purely nonsensical to use excuses like “contracts,” “locally” owned wholesalers more than a hundred miles away, or “we have no choice.” You have numerous choices, few of which even remotely compromise the day-in, day-out hegemony of the beer world’s biggest selling names.

Rather, having NABC on tap alongside Lite and the Silver Bullet achieves providential goal of making your customers happy by recognizing that not all of them are satisfied with the status quo and will pay for an honest beer with flavor, brewed locally.

What the hell is wrong with that, other than it scares the monopolists?

The brochure for Saturday's epochal "Excellent Beer Gardening Adventure" at the Hidden Hill Nursery.

Click to view enlargements.

Here's what NABC plans to take to the Great Taste of the Midwest.

Following is what I've submitted on behalf of NABC to the Great Taste of the Midwest for inclusion in this year's program. The festival takes place on August 14 in Madison, Wisconsin, and is a must-visit at some point in your beer drinking career. This year, we're being placed close by The Livery, Schlafly and O'Fallon so as to enable a "collaboration corner" and feature cooperative projects brewed during the past year.


NABC Beer Descriptions, for the Great Taste of the Midwest 2010 official program

(Includes both descriptions and details about NABC collaboration beer placements. *Recipe notes provided for collaborations brewed at NABC)


At the NABC station, C02 pour:

Elector, Elsa von Horizon, Hoptimus, Thunderfoot

Cask-conditioned NABC (pin at the NABC station; tapping time TBA):

2008 Port-aged Bonfire of the Valkyries

Cask-conditioned NABC (firkins at the real ale tent):

Beak’s Best and Community Dark

Collaboration(s) casks, to be tapped at Collaboration Corner, not the real ale tent:

*NABC/The Livery Oaked Le Douche Mentale & Scotch pin conditioned Le Douche Mentale

Malts: Castle Pale, Castle Biscuit, Simpsons Medium Crystal

Hops: Wet Fuggles, Nugget, Fuggle, Cascade

ABV: 8.5%

IBU: 75

*NABC/O’Fallon/Schlafly C2 Smoked Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Malts: Castle Pale, Weyermann Rauchmalz, Castle Biscuit, Briess Smoked, Castle Aromatic, Castle Special B Mash hops: Mt. Hood, Crystal Kettle hops: Magnum, Celeia Yeast: Belgian Chouffe O.G. 1.097 or 24.3 Plato ABV: 10.4% IBU: 35 Color: 14.8

Collaboration Notes:
The Livery also debuts its 5th anniversary beer, Imperial Dark IPA (NABC’s Jared Williamson helped brew it) at its station, and O' Fallon debuts C3, the third collaboration series beer with O’Fallon’s, NABC and Schlafly, at its station.

Main NABC beer descriptions

Beak’s Best

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

American bitter & soul liniment
NABC’s session-strength American Bitter is named in honor of globetrotting historian and educator Don "Beak" Barry, and in 2003 it was the winner of the "Louisville Magazine Best Of" award for Louisville area microbrews. Like its namesake, Beak’s is fond of traveling (albeit in kegs), lending itself to refreshing contemplation.

Bonfire of the Valkyries

Malts: Weyermanns Rauchmalz, Simpsons Black, Castle Aromatic, Castle Special B

Hops: Czech Zatec (Saaz)

Yeast: Common Lager

OG: 1083

ABV: 8.5%

IBU: 5.1

Color: 46.2 SRM

Burning away the hours 'til Ragnarok
Although it’s probably somewhere in the German brewing playbook, we couldn’t find the rule prohibiting the higher-gravity crossing of Black Lager with Smoked Lager, so we brew Bonfire each year in autumn and let it age until release just before Christmas. For the Great Taste, Bonfire has been aged in JW Lees ’08 Port pin.


Community Dark

Malts: Special Pale, Dark Crystal and Chocolate malts

Hops: Double hopped with EK Golding

Yeast: House London

OG: 1.046 or 11.5 degree Plato

ABV: 3.7%

IBU: 12.5

Color: 25 degree Lovibond SRM

Inside is what counts
Inspired by traditional English Mild, the style that fueled the workers who made the Industrial Revolution, Community Dark is revolutionary in its own way: Dark-colored but light-bodied, and a session ale suitable for New Albany’s emerging downtown renaissance.



Malts: Special Pale and Simpsons Medium Crystal

Hops: Triple hopped with Chinook pellets, finished through hop-back with whole cone Cascades

Yeast: House London

OG: 1.074 or 18.5 degree Plato

ABV: 7.5%

IBU: 62

Color: 11.9 degree Lovibond SRM

Makes democracy pointless
Excessive hopping rendered moot the original modest plan to brew a traditional winter warmer, but the resulting hybrid was delicious and redefines the Imperial Red style category. The first batch of Elector was brewed on Election Day, 2002, a mere two years after the nation’s electors (most recently) made democracy pointless, and we persist in thinking that an Elector in hand is worth two Bushes in retirement, any election day, any old time at all.


Elsa Von Horizon

Malts: German Pilsner, German Munich

Hops: Hallertauer Mittelfruh, Tettnang

Yeast: Common Lager

OG: 1.100

ABV: 10%

IBU: 80

Color: 5.4 SRM

Bekämpfen sie und ich beiße sie
It is deceptively simple. A Pilsner rich in noble continental hops is brewed to the strength of Maibock and beyond, and then even more noble hops are added to the recipe for balance and bite. Not even the Germans try it, and we consider this shyness as implicit encouragement to innovate. Elsa is a proud member of NABC’s Brewers’ Best Friend Series, along with Malcolm and Jasmine. They’re assertive, loyal specialties named for our brewers’ canine chums.



Malts: Special Pale

Adjunct: Pure, free-range sucrose

Hops: 4 additions of high alpha Nugget, 1 late addition of Cascade, finished through hop-back with whole cone Cascades

Yeast: House London

OG: 1.097 or 24.25 degree Plato

ABV: 10.7%

IBU: 100

Color: 6.9 degree Lovibond SRM

Made of sterner stuff
“Vicariously” is for rank amateurs and subpar international lagers, because Hoptimus lives vivaciously through itself, and is best consumed in the prime of youth, when its bold hop character is at its snarkiest and most blatantly unrepentant. Hoptimus has been named “the beer most likely to be preferred by the most interesting man in the world, if he really were the most interesting man in the world, but he isn’t” by Publicans Monthly magazine.



Malts: Special Pale, Simpson's Roasted Barley, Simpson's Dark Crystal, Flaked Oats

Adjunct: Pure free-range sucrose

Hops: Quad-hopped with Northern Brewer and Willamette

Special treatment: Dried tart cherries fall into the hopback, and medium-toast American oak chips and dried Bing cherries go into each keg for aging. One year later: In your glass.

Yeast: House London

OG: 1.106 or 25.2 degree Plato

ABV: 12%

IBU: 84

Color: 72.7 degree Lovibond SRM

Ultimate urban renewal
There can be no doubt that Thunderfoot actively renounces the art of the gentle tweak, the mild revision, and the imperceptible hint. Rather, Thunderfoot advocates palatal renewal the old-fashioned way – complete, irresistible and certain. 20 months old; brewed January, 2009.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

NABC & Jack's to stage benefit for Jason Gore on Sunday, July 25.

Tony's poster says it all. Jason is a longtime member of the extended NABC family, and his own family is looking at the high price of treatment. The silent auction and afternoon food and drink takes place at the NABC Pizzeria & Pub, before the action shifts to our friends at Jack's just down the street. I have a few legalities to sort through, but the plan at this moment is to make some rare vintage beers available for the auction.

I'll post further information as it comes through the NABC pipeline.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Chef Josh's Hidden Hill picnic menu and NABC beers on site.

This event continues to evolve. Yesterday, I posted this:

Saturday, July 10: Bob's and Rog's Excellent Beer Gardening Adventure, at Hidden Hill Nursery in Utica.

Subsequently, Chef Josh Lehman provided these contents of his picnic basket, priced a la carte, and told me there could be a few more items added to the menu.

Cold Asian Noodles with Peanut Sauce
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange
Watermelon Gazpacho
Fingerling Potato Salad with Bacon and Creme Fraiche

Samples and full pours (cash bar) of these NABC favorites will be there, too, along with a few growler surprises (think: Hoptimus):

Beak's Best
Community Dark
Mt. Lee

We're working on the text of the pairings. Thanks to the volunteers who'll be helping man the sampling stations on the grounds.

On Bastille Day, July 14, a 5-course French-inspired Biere de Garde dinner at Bank Street Brewhouse.

On Wednesday, July 14, the Bank Street Brewhouse will honor France’s national holiday, Bastille Day, with an exclusive five-course, fixed-price French menu prepared by Chef Josh Lehman and his intrepid kitchen staff.

As before, this year’s Bastille Day meal comes complete with flavors of French-brewed Bieres de Garde, as well as American craft versions of Northern France’s famous specialty style of malty, food-friendly ale.

In 2010, we’re adapting a changed Bastille Day format of a single-seating beer dinner, and pairing the beers with the food in an order yet to be determined as of this writing. The Publican will provide comments on the beers. Note that mussels and frites will be available on the 14th for those seeking a lighter bill of fare.

Advance reservations for Bastille Day are highly recommended, and can be made by calling 812-725-9585 or e-mailing The price is $65 each, service non compris (not including service).


Passed hors d'oeuvres

Salad Lyonnaise -- Frisse Lettuce, Shallots, Lardons of Bacon, Poached Local Egg, Lemon Vinaigrette

Capriole Goat Cheese Soufflé -- Lemon , Thyme, Mornay Sauce

Bouillabaisse -- Lobster, Clams, Mussels, Fingerling Potatoes, Saffron Broth, Rouille

3-D Valley Farms Beef -- Gratin Potato, Roasted Shallots, Wild Mushrooms, Dijon Mustard Veal Stock Reduction

Chocolate Mousse -- Local Fruit, Pistachios, Basil


Brasserie St. Germaine Page-24 Blanche (France; bottle)
Theillier La Bavaisienne Blonde (France; bottle)
Lost Abbey Avant Garde (USA; bottle)
Schlafly Biere de Garde (USA; 2009 bottle)
La Choulette 'Les Sans Culottes' (France; bottle)
NABC’s USA vs. Algeria – Maghreb Biere de Garde (USA; draft)

These Bieres de Garde will be paired with the courses in small portions. NABC’s draft Maghreb will be available throughout the evening for full pours, and additional bottles (varying quantities) of the preceding will be available for purchase at market prices, along with small quantities of other fine Bieres de Garde: Jenlain Ambrée French Farmhouse Ale, Jenlain Blonde Bière de Garde, Thiriez Blonde and Thiriez Extra. Naturally, NABC's lineup of house beers will also be on tap like always.

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. We at NABC are proud to revive and perpetuate the Bastille Day tradition in downtown New Albany.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Make It Local: Craft Beer and Food at Chef JJ's Back Yard in Indianapolis, on Friday, July 16.

For the past two years, the main event of the Brewers of Indiana Guild fest in Broad Ripple (this year on Saturday, July 17) has been preceded by a Friday night meal, one founded on the principle of pairing local beer with local food -- a natural for a state with plenty of both.

This year, Sun King and Brugge Brasserie are teaming with Hoosier Beer Geeks to stage the Friday feast at Chef JJ's Back Yard in Broad Ripple, and NABC jumped at the chance to provide beer. We're sending Oaktimus to be paired with the salad course, and chef Tyler Herald (a self-described hophead) reports that he may try to incorporate it in the dressing.

The previous two Friday events were tremendous fun for participants, although not lucrative for the guild, which is why this year's prelude is being repositioned as a cooperative effort between the like-minded. I cannot attend, but I can recommend that if you're in Indy the night before, you need to check this out.

Event link

Saturday, July 10: Bob's and Rog's Excellent Beer Gardening Adventure, at Hidden Hill Nursery in Utica.

This will be a loosely organized, mellow day: Coming July 10: Bob's and Roger's Excellent "Nursery Beer" Adventure.

Volunteers needed for Bob's and Rog's Excellent Beer Gardening Adventure at Hidden Hill, this Saturday.

I know that it is Forecastle weekend coming up, but: If any of my friends reading here (a) possesses an Indiana alcohol server's permit and (b) would be able to help NABC at Bob's and Rog's Excellent Beer Gardening Adventure at the Hidden Hill nursery between 3 and 7 on Saturday, please let me know, ASAP. We're doing a beer sampling/beer garden along with Bob Hill at his place, and need a few helpers, terms negotiable. Thanks in advance.

Monday, July 05, 2010

NABC weekend update.

Friday night (2 July) was the Louisville Independent Business Association's Louisville Brewfest at the Mellwood Arts Center, considered the kick-off for Independents Week. NABC poured along with BBC (both), Browning’s, Cumberland and Kentucky Ale. The arrangement was that LIBA bought the kegs from the breweries via River City Distributing, and charged for beer tickets redeemable for samples and full pours.

We floated all eight kegs – four each Community and Beak’s Best. I was there helping for a bit, but Josh Hill and Tony Beard did it all night, and Richard Atnip helped, too. Good work, guys, and thanks.

On Friday and Saturday (the 2nd and the 3rd) NABC was available at New Albany’s Riverfront Amphitheater, as purchased and resold by Studio’s Grill & Pub. Our first weekend with them was June 25 and 26, and Studio’s sold a 1/6 each of Beak’s and Tafel.

This past weekend, one each was gone by 8 p.m. on Saturday, and another back-up of Tafel was tapped to finish the night. The obvious conclusion is that sales were up. What we're doing with Studio's is relinquishing master catering rights in exchange for selling the beer to them as wholesaler. Everyone benefits, and there is exposure for the brands. We're hopeful that this system will continue, and NABC will be on tap for forthcoming events.

Sunday, July 4, was Growler Independence Day at Bank Street Brewhouse. NABC's three owners, Steve Powell and Josh Hill worked, and my tally of growlers sold was in the vicinity of 85-90, plus some pints, Bloody Marys, burnt weenie sandwiches and Scotch eggs. That’s close to three kegs of growlers. Good traffic, great crowd (one that was good natured about newly institututed mandatory ID carding) and a fun day all the way around.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Local independence in and around New Albany on Independence Day weekend.

At least the weather looks to be marginally more tolerable as we embark upon another frantic national holiday kind of weekend, hereabouts.

Bank Street Brewhouse will open an hour early today (at 10:00 a.m.) if you have wriggled out of work and wish to view Netherlands vs. Brazil in the Wold Cup. NAC's Bluegill is pulling for the Dutch. Note that neither Heineken nor Brahma will be available for consumption -- real beer or no beer, just the way daddy likes it.

In New Albany later tonight, holiday weekend festivities at the Riverfront Amphitheater get underway at 7:30 p.m. with Persuasion, part of the concert series. As was the case last weekend, craft beer drinkers should be aware that NABC and Studio's are collaborating to bring Progressive Pints to the amphitheater for this weekend's performance, including the Riverfront Independence Festival tomorrow starting at 3:00 p.m. with Flathead Screws, Wulfe Brothers, 100% Poly and pre-4th fireworks.

Louisville Independent Business Association's Louisville Brewfest tonight at the Mellwood Arts Center (4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) kicks off Independents Week. There'll be local breweries, local food, local music, and also a weekly newspaper owned by a company in Nashville. I'll be helping to man the NABC booth from 4 until around 7, so say hello if you're coming that way.

On Saturday morning, New Albany's Farmers Market is in full session, with produce starting to appear. Also, the friends of the NA-FC Public Library are holding their twice monthly sale in the usual place across the street from the main building. Tomorrow the friends celebrate Franz Kafka's birthday with 50% off classics. But, further up Spring Street, Destinations Booksellers is holding its own sale on new books: 50% off all in-stock merchandise. Randy's recent lessons in business elocution from Councilman Cappuccino must really be paying dividends for the entire city!

Finally, July 4 (Sunday) is Growler Independence Day, the very first day for craft beer carry-out sales from Indiana breweries. Bank Street Brewhouse will be open for special holiday hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for Progressive Pints, carry-out growlers (two regular-strength growlers for $17.76), the metro area's original Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar, and both Scotch Eggs and our famous Burnt Weenie Sandwiches. Tell 'em Zappa sent you, and listen for the newly unearthed, rare recording of Three Dog Night's "Coffey Told Me Not to Come."

And: When stopping in for growlers, be sure to bring your identification: The do-gooders extracted their pound of flesh by inserting a new law that requires you to show ID each time you buy carry-out alcoholic beverages, irrespective of age. It makes them feel good, even when it does not attack the fundamental problem of underaged drinking.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Papazian: "What does “craft beer” mean to you?"

I'm taking a few minutes off from my long-running joust with Charlie Papazian to recommend that you go to his page and vote in his poll: "Cast your ballot: What does “craft beer” mean to you?"

Charlie gives some good definitions, and overall, it's a topic worth considering.