Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Final Anstich keg tappings begin on Thursday, as Sandkerwa NA wraps for 2010.

It's the final week for afternoon Anstich tappings. They'll be at 5:00 p.m. each day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Average depletion time lengthened a bit last week, primarily owing to a slow Friday evening, but you can take nothing for granted. There is an outside chance we'll be getting a few more Anstich kegs in early October. Stay tuned.

*Thursday, September 30*
Hoping for Huppendorfer Vollbier
Brauerei, Brennerei und Gasthaus Grasser, Huppendorf
Located in countryside east of Bamberg and slightly south of Schesslitz, the latter known to a few of us owing to biking and motorcoach adventures. "Brennerei" means distillery, in case you were wondering, and the family has a guesthouse as well.

*Friday, October 1*
Hoping for Günther-Bräu Lagerbier (or Pilsener)
Privatbrauerei Günther, Burgkunstadt
Another small, family-owned brewery and pub, this one in Burgkunstadt, northeast of Bamberg and just a few miles outside of Kulmbach, in Upper Franconia. Founded in 1840.

*Saturday, October 2*
Weissenohe Monk’s Fest
Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe, Weissenohe
The ninth selection, ending this edition of "Sandkerwa NA with Anstich," is a classic Franconian Märzen lager: Amber, malty and balanced. These also have come to be known as Oktoberfest lagers. Weissenohe Monk's Fest is brewed at a monastery maintained by the family of Urban Winkler, who also sources the Anstich kegs for Shelton Brothers. The church still holds services, alhtough monks no longer live there, and the family runs the brewery. I want to go visit.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Office Hours preview for Oct. 4 & 11.

Here's an advance look at the next two installments of Office Hours with the Publican, which runs on Monday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Prost room of the NABC Public House.

Monday, October 4
With the Publican committed elsewhere, guest hosts are Ben and Eric, who will tasting whichever beers they damn well please. I don't even want to know.

Monday, October 11
We pick up where we left off on September 27, with remaining untasted lagers from the Public House beer list: Eisbocks, Rauchbier, and a few strays. After the samplings on the 11th, we'll have finished our lager survey and can compose that portion of the new bottled list.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Office Hours goes Bock tonight.

Heads up: Office Hours tonight will feature Bocks, including Doppelbock, Eisbock and a Helles if we still have any in stock. The weather has turned good for these rich, malty beers from the German lager tradition. We seem to be making progress with a tasting format loosely centered on BJCP style definitions, and aimed at answering the question: Which beers need to be on a solid, representative beer list?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Strassenfest today!

Last night's cask conditioned kickoff for the inaugural Louisville Craft Beer Week was a success. The parking lot at BBC on Shelbyville Road was filled tents, tables, food vendors and the main attraction: Naturally carbonated firkins and pins.

Day Two of LCBW is all about German beer culture as viewed through the lens of craft beer, with Strassenfest at New Albany's Riverfront Amphitheater beginning at 3:00 p.m. It's shaping up to be a beautiful day, so stop in for a beer and a brat. We'll be serving beer and food (from Steinert's) until last call at 10:30 p.m. The event is designed to be for all ages, and there'll be music, art, storytelling and fun for the kids, as is the custom at similar gatherings in Central Europe.

It could be the start of a fine new pre-Harvest Homecoming tradition in New Albany. Hope to see readers there, some time this afternoon and evening.

LCBW's Strassenfest on Day Two, at New Albany's Riverfront Amphitheater on Sept. 25.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Update of NABC's whereabouts on October 2nd: At Volksfest, not at NuLu, and the Curmudgeon parade watching.

Some weeks back, I mentioned that NABC would be teaming up with 732 Social to vend beer during next week's NuLu festival on Market Street in downtown Louisville. It's October 2, the same day as, and right around the block from, the Louisville Craft Beer Week's final marquee event, BBC's Volksfest.

However, by mutual agreement, we've decided to call off the NABC/Social pairing. The less I say about this, the better.

What it means in practical terms is this: The NuLu committee can rest happily; NABC remains an enthusiastic part of the Volksfest; and even though NABC previously decided to refrain from participating in this year's Harvest Homecoming parade in New Albany precisely because of the gig with Social that we've now decided to postpone (rest assured, we'll be doing something with them eventually), I'm freed to stage yet another parade party at the homestead.

Stay tuned for details.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

LEO's "best of" this and that.

In this week's LEO are the results of the newspaper's annual "best of" poll, as voted by readers. As usual, there were many obvious instances of ballot stuffing, which might be disturbing if any of it really matters, which it does not.

Still, for the record: NABC appeared as second best beer list (behind the entirely deserving Sergio's) and second best brewery (BBC). Bank Street Brewhouse was selected as third best Southern Indiana restaurant; La Rosita's was first, and Rocky's second: The issue of the readers, by the readers, for the readers.

I usually put more stock in what the LEO's writers have to say, just because I'm like that: Writers' Choice 2010: LEO weighs in on the best of Louisville.

Thanks to Sara Havens and Phillip Bailey for their mentions on NABC and the city of New Albany.

Best former LEO beer writer? Is it any contest?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chef Lehman's Craft Beer for Brunch at NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse, this Sunday (Sept.26).

Louisville Craft Beer Week is a long march, not a short sprint. After getting all cask-conditioned at BBC St. Matthews on the 24th, then doing the chicken dance at Strassenfest the following day, you'll be ready for a serene, quiet brunch with 35 of your best friends and recovering revelers: LCBW's Craft Beer for Brunch at NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse.

Sunday, September 26
LCBW's Craft Beer for Brunch
NABC Bank Street Brewhouse
415 Bank Street, New Albany, IN
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., and on ...

The third day of LCBW's epic run is devoted to proper recovery from the rigors of cask-conditioned beers and Strassenfest: LCBW's Craft Beer for Brunch.

Join Chef Josh Lehman and his Bank Street Brewhouse staff for this multiple course brunch paired with American craft brews, both NABC and guests.

Bank Street Brewhouse will open at 11:00 a.m., and the bruunch begins at 12 Noon. Also at noon, a special cask of NABC's Coffee Oatmeal Stout Winter ReplicAle (Brewers of Indiana Winterfest, 2010) will be tapped. Oktoberfest kegs remaining from Strassenfest will be tapped if possible.

Here's the menu:

Eggs Benedict - English Muffin, La Quercia Prosciutto, Poached Quail Egg, Orange Hollandaise (Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca)

Shrimp Ceviche - Heirloom Tomatoes, Tomatillos , Cucumber (NABC Black Grass Saison)

Duck Confit Crepes - Creme Fraiche, Granola, Bob Capshew’s Black Cherry Vinegar (Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale)

Chorizo Hash - Yukon Gold Potatoes,Mutzu Apples, Pickled Red onion (Three Floyds Alpha King)

Intermezzo - Thomas Family Gales Cider

Beer Braised Breakfast Sausage - House Made Pork Sausage, Rye Spaetzle, Cherry Mostarda (Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Bier)

Capriole Farms Cheese Plate - Julianna, Mont St. Francis (NABC Warrior, NABC Summit)

Coffee & Doughnuts - House Made Doughnuts (NABC Oak Aged Cask Coffee Porter)

Price is $45.00 per person, reservations only, and beers are subject to change. Call Bank Street Brewhouse at 812-725-9585, or e-mail Joe Phillips.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cask beer, German-style beer, beer pairings with brunch ... and that's just the first three days of LCBW.

We're only days away from the Friday kick-off of Louisville Craft Beer Week, and while I may have more to say about the overall plan in tomorrow's Wednesday Weekly, permit me to place a spotlight on marquee events during the opening weekend.

Louisville Craft Beer Week's first event is the Cask Beer Festival taking place at Bluegrass Brewing Company's St. Matthews location on Friday night, September 24. It's all about cask-conditioned beers in the British sense, and it will run outside in the parking lot. There should be somewhere around 30 firkins pouring. Admission to the festival is $30.00 and includes a souvenir LCBW tasting glass and all of the cask beer you care to drink.

The scene shifts to New Albany on Saturday, September 25, for Strassenfest at New Albany's Riverfront Amphitheater. Broadly speaking, Strassenfest is intended as a family-friendly homage to the German ethos, in beer, food and entertainment. Admission is free, with cash beer bar featuring Oktoberfests and German-derived beers from many loal and regional brewers.

On Sunday, Bank Street Brewhouse keeps the ball in NA, as we stage Craft Beer for Brunch at BSB. Chef Josh Lehman has designed a brunch menu with craft beer pairings; the Sunday Bloody Mary Sunday bar will be creational; there'll be growlers of NABC available for carry-out; and pending permission from the regulatory authorities, leftover Oktoberfest kegs will be tapped on the patio.

The whole Louisville Craft Beer Week story is at the website.

Monday, September 20, 2010

BJCP listing of Lager, minus Bock, at tonight's Office Hours with the Publican.

The format of Office Hours this fall was described in a previous post: Office Hours with the Publican returns on Monday, September 13, with a special "guest bottle" theme.

For tonight's session, we begin in earnest, with BJCP style guidelines as a broad overview, plus our own pre-existing guest bottle list, and a half-dozen beers for sampling. We'll be tackling and tasting the first four BJCP lager categories (and their sub-categories): Light Lager, Pilsner, European Amber Lager and Dark Lager. In case you're wondering, Bock is being reserved for its own night of exploration.

Given limitations in inventory, and the sheer size required of any comprehensive list attempted in this day and age, what stays and what goes? Which styles are necessary to educate? How do we decide?

We'll start at 6:30 p.m. in Prost.

The coming week's Anstich keg tappings are here, as Sandkerwa NA continues.

Following are this week's Anstich tappings. They'll be at 5:00 p.m. each day. Average depletion time last week was

*Thursday, September 23*
Löwenbräu-Buttenheim Kellerbier (a.k.a. Ungespundetes Lagerbier)
To describe this type of beer as an unfiltered golden lager is inadequate. Buttenheim, a small town south of Bamberg with (as I recall) a fair number of farming implements, has a better known second brewer, St. Georgenbräu. Which Kellerbier is better? Who knows?

*Friday, September 24*
Beck Bräu Lager (type unknown; cross your fingers for Kellerbier)
Familienbrauerei Beck
Beck's "family brewery" is located in Trabelsdorf, a small town within easy bicycling distance of Bamberg (to the west). The restaurant promises the gamut of Franconia fare from "beer to deer," and the brewery boasts a cavern-like lagering cellar.

*Saturday, September 25*
Hoping for: Rossdorfer Urbrau (unfiltered lager)
Near the forest known as the Franconian Switzerland (now a national park) is the village of Rossdorf am Forst and the Brauerei-Gasthaus Sauer. Bamberg lies to the north, and Buttenheim to the south. We previously served Rossdorfer Urbrau in December 2009.

The final three Anstich kegs for 2010 are queued and ready for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30, Oct. 1 & 2. Beginning on the 30th: Huppendorfer (Brauerei Gasser) Lager, followed by Günther-Bräu Lagerbier, then Weissenohe Monk’s Fest.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Louisville Craft Beer Week begins on Sept. 24. Here is an overview of the celebration.

Sept. 24 – Oct. 2, 2010
Educate … Inspire … Imbibe

We’re happy to announce the first annual Louisville Craft Beer Week. For nine consecutive hop- and malt-packed days, from Friday, September 24 through Saturday, (October 2), Louisville Craft Beer Week is everywhere, with themed craft beer festivals, craft beer tastings, craft beer dinners, craft beer samplings, and even a motorized craft beer pub crawl.

Louisville Craft Beer Week is all of us: Breweries and wholesalers, package retailers and pubs, bars and restaurants, homebrewers and serial growler fillers.

Most importantly, Louisville Craft Beer Week is you: Craft beer lovers living, working and playing right here in our region. Your patronage and enthusiasm makes it happen for all of us, and we thank you.

Louisville Craft Beer Week is modeled on similar celebrations in places like Philadelphia and Cleveland, but whatever the locale, the intent remains the same: Showcasing the incredible variety, dynamism and expanding market presence of craft brewing in America.

When you’re out and about during Louisville Craft Beer Week, always drink responsibly and whatever you do, don’t drive drunk.

Louisville Craft Beer Week’s Sponsors

Louisville Craft Beer Week has three primary sponsors. When you patronize them, don’t forget to thank them for supporting craft beer:

*BoomBozz Taphouse

*Liquor Barn


For primary sponsor tastings schedules, visit

Louisville Craft Beer Week’s Marquee Events

Day 1 on Friday, September 24: Cask Fest at BBC St. Matthews

Day 2 on Saturday, September 25: Strassenfest in New Albany

Day 3 on Sunday, September 26: Beer for Brunch at Bank Street Brewhouse

Day 4 on Monday, September 27: L & N Wine Bar & Bistro's Beer Dinner

Day 5 on Tuesday, September 28: LCBW & Cafe Lou Lou Beer Dinner with Bell's Brewery

Day 6 on Wednesday, September 29: Goose Island Beer Dinner at 610 Magnolia

Day 7 on Thursday, September 30: Indiana vs. Kentucky Draft Day at Rocky's Sub Pub

Day 9 on Saturday, October 2: 3rd Annual BBC Volksfest (BBC Main & Clay)

For full descriptions of these events, go to

Craft Beer All Over Town

There are numerous other craft beer samplings, pairings and events taking place during Louisville Craft Beer Week, both at our primary sponsors, and destinations like these:

Bluegrass Brewing Company (St. Matthews)
Flanagan's Old Ale HouseFrankfort Ave Beer Depot (Frankfort Avenue location)
Hideaway Saloon
Left Field Lounge
Louisville Beer Store
O’Shea’s Irish Pub
Patrick O’Shea’s Public House
Sergio’s World Beers
Westport Whiskey & Wine

View the full list:

Louisville Craft Beer Week On Line

Louisville Craft Beer Week’s main web site:

We’re also on Facebook:, or simply search “Louisville Craft Beer Week”

Questions? E-mail, or ask at the Facebook site. We will respond as soon as possible. Of course, establishments hosting the various events can provide information, too.

The LCBW Beer Brain Trust thanks you!

Doug Wissing at Prost on Saturday, September 18.

Posted by Picasa

Enter the baking contest at the LCBW/New Albany Strassenfest on Saturday, September 25.

Thanks to Sandra Terrell for organizing the contest, and stay tuned for further information about Strassenfest next Saturday. Questions? Ask me, and I'll get them into the proper mailbox.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Anstich update: Records shattered during the opening week of Sandkerwa NA.

The results are in, and Anstich is out -- very quickly, each of the past three days, whenever a gravity-feed Franconian keg was tapped.

On Thursday, Ahornberger Landbrauerei Strößner-Bräu's Ahornberger Landbier from Konradsreuth proved to be a Dunkel, and it was delicious and short-lived: 51 minutes from the first half-liter to the last.

Friday's Zehendner Mönchsambacher Unfiltered Lager, a genuine Keller, lasted a couple of minutes longer, and then came the deluge: Zum Grunen Baum Landbier (Brauerei-Gasthof Zum Grunen Baum (Bayer) in Rauhenebrach-Theinheim), which I would describe as Vollbier, made it only 26 minutes, a new record, on Saturday.

All I can say to you is thanks.

Trust me: Next year, we'll order twice as much and be better prepared for the hysteria. Until then, show up at the Public House next week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 5:00 p.m., or risk going without. I'll announce the lineup in a couple of days.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Strassenfest on September 25 at the Amphitheater -- here's the beer list (so far).

Here's the beer list for next Saturday's inaugural Strassenfest at the Riverfront Amphitheater in New Albany. It's a joint venture of sorts between NA and Louisville Craft Beer Week, and intended as a family-friendly homage to similar fests in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Strassenfest is Saturday, Sept. 25, with beer sales starting at 3:00 p.m. There'll be German-themed food from Steinert's, entertainment, and activities (including a baking contest). I'm in charge of the beer. Imagine that.

Confirmed Draft Beer List

All of the following are Oktoberfest style beers, except for NABC, which will be pouring Keller Pils and Abzug, both golden lager variants.

Bell’s, Kalamazoo MI
BBC, Louisville KY
Browning’s, Louisville KY
Cumberland Brewery, Louisville KY
Goose Island, Chicago IL
NABC, New Albany IN
Schlafly, St. Louis MO
Sun King, Indianapolis IM
Upland, Bloomington IN

There may be others, as well as a few surprises, depending on the success of foraging. Stay tuned, and mark your calendars.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday Weekly: Craft beer finally wins at Louisville Slugger Field in 2010.

Look close near the bottom of the photo, and you'll see the BBC table tent. It doesn't leap out at the passer-by, but grassroots movements for change have to start somewhere, right?

The Louisville Bats have concluded the 2010 campaign, and several of the team's prominent faces are playoff-bound with the parent Cincinnati Reds. We can now look back at the craft beer year that was at Louisville Slugger Field, and in spite of occasional missteps, surely it must be counted a success.

Browning’s Brewery had beer on tap from the start of the season, and shortly thereafter, the stadium concessionaires Centerplate installed two new draft lines at the Section 115 portable stand.

NABC Beak’s Best and Kentucky Ale were the first two craft beers to pour alongside Browning’s. Later, Centerplate’s second order cycle from River City Distributing (whose management was pivotal in the process) brought BBC American Pale Ale and Cumberland Red, and these remained on tap the rest of the season.

Am I disappointed that Beak’s didn’t make the cut? Not really. I’m a realist, and I come equipped with considerable baggage in this context. I've been out in front of this fight for more than a decade, and when one is prone to calling a spade a spade, you cannot complain about the inevitable backlash.

Rather, losing a battle is one thing, and winning a war something else. It was a great feeling this year knowing that I could go to the ballpark and drink beer that’s authentically local – not “craft beer” from Anheuser-Busch, which is as much of a contradiction in terms as “military intelligence,” but the genuine article. I drank quite a lot of the available choices, and spent much more money that I would have if they hadn't been there. That's the bottom line, and as craft beer's share of the sales pie increases overall nationally, concessionaires stand to benefit from progressive strategies.

Whatever our feelings about their past performance, both Centerplate and the management of the Louisville Bats deserve our thanks. Could more have been done to promote craft beer? Probably, but it will come in time. It is very important for readers not to drop the topic until next year, but to let them know now that you enjoyed and patronized the craft beer option this season, and would like to see it expanded next year.

There is a Facebook page devoted to craft beer at Louisville Slugger Field, and while it probably will be moribund during the off season, check back every now and then. I'll be posting the occasional blip of information, and you should do the same, especially links to articles about the selection and practices at other venues you've visited. When spring training starts in 2011, we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Anstich kegs are here, so Sandkerwa NA begins Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

Assuming the creek doesn't rise and the delivery from Indianapolis is made on time, a new batch of 20-liter Anstich gravity-feed kegs from Franconia will be safely stored away by Wednesday, and one of them will kick off Sandkerwa NA on Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

There are 40 half-liter pours in each Anstich keg, and again this year, we're charging only $5.00 (plus sales tax) even though a conventional mark-up would place the price nearer to $8.00. That's because they're meant to be tapped and consumed immediately, and if the freshness and quality of last year's crop are repeated, we're all in for a treat.

A total of nine Anstich kegs should be coming on Wednesday, meaning that we’ll tap one at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week, and then repeat the same schedule each of the next two weeks.

For Sandkerwa NA in 2010, we've not attempted to flood the taps as in the past. Rather, in addition to the specially priced Anstich selections, three CO2 kegs of Bavarian lager will start pouring on Thursday alongside our usual draft staples of Pilsner Urquell, Spaten Lager and Schlenkerla Marzen:

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen
Weissenohe Monk’s Fest
Weissenohe Altfränkisches Klosterbier

*Thursday, September 16*
Ahornberger Landbier (?)
Ahornberger Landbrauerei Strößner-Bräu in Konradsreuth
Brauerei Strössner was founded in 1739 in Konradsreuth, a town northeast of Kulmbach, near Hof and the old border with East Germany. It is a family-owned brewery making approximately 80,000 hectoliters yearly, many of which are seasonal variations on the theme of Landbier – “country beer,” (not a style unto itself). I believe this one will be Ahornberger Hopfig, classified as a Pils, but it isn't certain. We previously poured the brewery’s Marzen in Anstich form (12/09).

*Friday, September 17*
Zehendner Mönchsambacher Unfiltered Lager
Brauerei Zehendner in Mönchsambach
Description to come later.

*Saturday, September 18*
Zum Grunen Baum Landbier
Brauerei-Gasthof Zum Grunen Baum (Bayer) in Rauhenebrach-Theinheim
Description to come later.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Douglas Wissing and "Indiana, One Pint at a Time" at NABC Pizzeria & Public House this Saturday, September 18 at 4:00 p.m.

We'll be in the Prost room with Doug, copies of his book, and our last gallons of past summer's ReplicAle, which was based on a dark lager formula he uncovered from the New Harmonists of old.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Iron Chef at the Farmers Market, Part 2.

How could the panel of judges take so long before digging in? I was salivating at the beer station.

Josh's and Matt's tower of a watermelon/heirloom appetizer. What plating!

Mike from River City Winery, working alone.

In the end, the winners were equally divided among the participants. River City was best appetizer, Bank Street Brewhouse best entree, Steinert's best dessert, and Sternwheeler best overall.

And the secret ingredient: Chef Walker's (sic) hot wing sauce.

Iron Chef at the Farmers Market, Part 1.

At the Farmers Market on Saturday, September 11, there was an Iron Chef competition, with four downtown New Albany eateries taking part.

Ric and Steinert's Grill & Pub.

The crew from Sternwheeler.

I was supplying refreshments.

Matt and Chef Josh upholding the honor of Bank Street Brewhouse.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wednesday Weekly: Trials, travails, supply, demand and Three Floyds.

(Late again this week. I try)

By any subjective measure, Three Floyds Brewing Company ranks among the top craft brewers in the nation. The beers, the vision, the graphics, the tattoos – the attitude – all speak of core values like virility and non-compromise.

Since I haven’t glanced lately at the fruits of their bookkeeper’s labor, I can’t speak to objective measures like profit and loss, but to judge from trending topics in the craft beer world, Three Floyds isn’t making enough beer to suit its various markets.

World Class Beverage’s Bob Mack wrote about it, and wrote about it, and I’ve gleaned my perspective on this topic partly from what they have to say because they're thoughtful and coherent. I have not immersed myself in the flailings and regurgitations of the beer ratings boards, for fear that the opinion I encounter might be that of a shadowy someone disgruntled because he could not “collect” an Oat Goop rating, rather than actually care about beer in the sense of liquid wonderment.

To Bob’s nicely reasoned piece, I appended my Top Five Reasons Why Three Floyds’ “Challenges” are Overstated. These are expanded slightly here.

1. The “problem” of having more demand than supply is a “problem” every brewer would love to have. You want to work full bore, you want to grow, you want to make a few bucks in the process, and you can’t do any of that if no one wants your product. I’m a reluctant capitalist, but there actually parts of the puzzle that I grasp.

2. I may not always have seen it in this way, given that for so long, my business dealt strictly in retailing beer from other breweries, but now that we brew our own, seek a place for it in the marketplace, and contemplate a burden of debt incurred to do so, I’d love to be gauging Three Floyds’ options. By the way, see #1.

3. This observation pertains more to the beer pelt collectors than those imbued with a sense of beer’s universal spirituality, but speaking of holy, have the disgruntled and oppressed not heard of Westvleteren? Once upon a time, the electronic intelligentsia selected Westvleteren 12 as the best beer in the world, and kicked back to await containers to unload at selected ports nationwide. The monks yawned in response, and continued brewing as they pleased. I’m an atheist, but thank God for that. Reread #1 sixteen times as penance, my son.

4. Consequently, you can’t always get what you want, and in fact, I’m not entirely certain you should, or that there’s any “right” to immediate gratification. For more years than I can count on two hands, I’ve been making the case that comfort zones in beer appreciation are to be rigorously avoided. The point is to make the search for your perfect pint (note to weights and measures: Can I use the word “pint” in print?) to last a lifetime, precisely because … altogether now … you’re not supposed to find it, and even if you did, you’d move on to the next one. Can’t get any Three Floyds today? I suggest trying something different. Will you jilt Three Floyds forever because you couldn’t get Alpha King this week? If so, you weren’t a fan in the first place. Grow up and see #1, above.

5. See # 1!

I can’t emphasize strongly enough that while Three Floyds certainly does face a challenge, the challenge it faces is infinitely preferable to having 5,000 barrels of capacity and 2,000 of sales. Nothing about the craft brewing business constitutes a license to print money, but people in a snit because they can’t get enough of your beer is a damned fine place to begin. Like all of us, Three Floyds makes a plan and implements it the best way possible. Get used to it.

In 2009, I was visiting Copenhagen, and purchased several bottles of Three Floyds from the Olbutikken shop for our communal tasting. I’m fairly confident that in a quarter-century of European travel, it was the first time I’d enjoyed such an opportunity to beam with pride and promote the wares brewed in my own home state, back home. It made me into something approximating patriotic, and not at all embittered because the brands I chose are allocated in Indiana, or otherwise are rare and periodically impossible to obtain.

Perspective … perhaps the one item more elusive than Dark Lord.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

"It Came from the Cellar" -- A homebrewing competition for Louisville Craft Beer Week.

(Submitted, and fully endorsed by the Curmudgeon)

My Old Kentucky Homebrew, in connection with Louisville Craft Beer Week, will be holding a Homebrew Competition at the end of the month.

This is a very last minute kind of thing, so we're calling it the 'It Came From the Cellar' Homebrew Competition ... see what you might have lying around or give a beer a second chance for greatness.

There will be Five Categories:

Light Lager
Dark Lager
Light Ale
Dark Ale
Specialty Beer

Only one entry per person consisting of (2) 12 oz bottles, (1) 22 oz Bottle or (1) Growler.


Entries can be turned into My Old Kentucky Homebrew or The BBC Taproom between Sep 24th and Oct 1st by 5:00 pm. Judging will be in the evening on Oct 1st at the Taproom with awards given out during Volksfest at the BBC Taproom on Oct 2nd.

If you have any questions please contact Paul Young at My Old Kentucky Homebrew: (502) 589-3434


Paul Young
My Old Kentucky Homebrew
1437 Story Ave
Louisville, KY 40204
(502) 589-3434

Continuing beer education: "Here's to Beer" non-credit IUS course returns in October.

My last "Here's to Beer" course was profiled in the IUS Horizon earlier this year: Non-credit course educates students on history of beer.

Another enrollment period is underway.

Yes, you must be 21, and with that detail out of the way, next up is October, with class dates on the 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th, all Wednesdays, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and at our original location, the NABC Pizzeria & Public House at 3312 Plaza Drive (just off Grant Line Road) in New Albany. For $65, you get four class sessions, beer samples, and a mode of presentation that hasn't yet devolved to power point. It's oral history, sometimes incisive, other times rambling. Live with it.

Get on board by going to the Indiana University Southeast web site.

Course veterans: We decided to postpone the advanced level until spring, because the fall's booked solid with events for me to contend with. Here's to Beer 200 probably will run in February or March. Stay tuned.

Office Hours with the Publican returns on Monday, September 13, with a special "guest bottle" theme.

It's time for the return of Office Hours with the Publican, with a special twist for the fall season. The first session will be Monday, September 13.

Last spring, we were all over the board with these Monday evening samplings, and there was nothing wrong with that, except I'm at a point where the "Chinese Democracy" of a renewed guest bottled beer list project simply has to get finished, or else.

Therefore, autumn sessions of Office Hours will double as skull sessions for the NABC guest beer list team: Myself, Ben and Eric (or, Eric and Ben).

This changes nothing insofar as the format is concerned, although there'll be a bit more structure to the progression; we'll be taking style sets or sub-sets, tasting and considering examples of them in the narrower context of our guest bottled beer list, soliciting the input of participants, and hopefully making worthwhile decisions.

And, if we get bored, we'll raid the vintage cellar just like last spring.

Once again, cost will be $5 per person (occasionally more if merited). The time is Monday, 6:30 p.m. in Prost, for about an hour.

Monday, September 13 is the first re-convening. We'll decide what to sample before then, and I'll throw it out on the blog. Let's have fun, and learn something about beer.

Sandkerwa/Anstich guesstimate is Thursday, September 16 at the Public House & Pizzeria.

A few weeks back, I mentioned that when the Anstich kegs arrive, Sandkerwa NA can begin.

We're closer to setting the date. The Labor Day holiday interrupted the shipping schedule, but I'm now told that the gravity-pour Anstich kegs (and a few other CO2 kegs from Franconia) will be at the Pizzeria & Public House in time to begin pouring on Thursday, September 16.

The format will be the same as last year: One on Thursday, two on Friday, one on Saturday; afternoon tapping (we're about to transition pub hours again ... please check back for exact times); half-liter pours; best price I can offer and not lose money.

Once I see what came in, I can tell you what they are. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Mark your calendars now for an amazing opening weekend of Louisville Craft Beer Week.

I've updated the first three beer-packed days of Louisville Craft Beer Week. The links below are to the blog site. You can access the full calendar of marquee events at LCBW's Facebook site. Remember that in addition to these main events, numerous tastings and gatherings will be taking place throughout the metro area, so ask your pub or package store what's happening.

Day One, 9/24/10: 1st Annual LCBW Cask Festival at BBC St. Matthews

Day Two, 9/25/10: LCBW Strassenfest at the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater

Day Three, 9/26/10: LCBW Craft Beer for Brunch at NABC Bank Street Brewhouse

There'll be more to come, so stay tuned.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Varietal, bottle-conditioned scrumpies from Thomas Family Winery.

The Thomas Family Winery in Madison, Indiana, is offering a series of classic scrumpies. Here is Steve's description.

We’ve released a long-awaited series of varietal, bottle-conditioned ciders. These are classic scrumpies, with incredible focus on varietal apple flavor. These cider cultivars are distinct and easily appreciated! Gale’s Hard Cider Chieftan’s Blend Varietal Series comes in 22 oz bottles, hand-crafted, barrel-fermented, aged 5 years.

King David - Light yeast, tart apple flavors with a spicy, floral palate, lively astringence

Golden Russet - Pear skin, ripe fruit, orange/lemon flavors, strong tannins and good acidity

Hudson’s Golden Gem - Light yeast, pear & tree aromas, spicy talc, butterscotch

Goldrush - Lemony, yeasty, minerals and sweet perfume, tart & edgy

Winter Banana - Fruity, bark & flower, ripe bananas, rich earthy tannins

$7.99 each, or $34.99 per set!

Friday, September 03, 2010