Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Photo Hunt! Can you spot the differences?

Photo credit to NABC's Richard Atnip; joined by beer tech accomplice Eric Gray, Richard oversaw a wonderful switch today at Tucker's American Favorites. Another Bud bites the dust, so be sure to ask for Elector when visiting our friends at Tucker's.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Feast of Fall Beers this Thursday at Keg Liquors.

From Keg Liquors ... and just think, soon events like this will be taking place in downtown New Albany.

Join us on September 29th from 6 - 9 PM as we hold our 6th Annual Feast of Fall Beers. This is one of our biggest beer tastings of the year, and brings together 3 different craft beer distributors with over 20 different Octoberfest, Pumpkin, and other fall beers.

Buckhead Mountain Grill on the River will also be present with samplings of their house made Beer Cheese & Pretzel Bread, along with Lane's Mini-Beer Brats with a special Sriracha sauce drizzle.

Here is a sampling of many of the beers we will be tasting:
  • Sun King Oktoberfest
  • New Albanian Strassen Brau
  • Against the Grain Smoked Marzen
  • BBC Oktoberfest
  • Spaten Oktoberfest
  • Paulaner Oktoberfest
  • Sam Adams Octoberfest
  • Shipyard Pumpkinhead
  • Hoppin Frog Double Pumpkin Ale
  • Southern Tier Pumking
  • Sierra Nevada Tumbler
  • Weihenstephaner Festbier
  • Leinenkugel Oktoberfest
  • New Belgium Hoptober
  • Hofbrau Oktoberfest
  • Upland Oktoberfest
  • Bells Octoberfest
  • Rivertown Oktoberfest
  • Ayinger Oktoberfest
  • Schlafly Pumpkin Ale
  • Schlafly Oktoberfest
  • Berghoff Oktoberfest
  • Sprecher Oktoberfest
  • and many more!
This event is free and open to the public (21 and older!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday feast at Louisville's Gasthaus.

You have to love a place that kicks off its menu with a newspaper article on the importance of keeping children under control while dining out.

But Louisville's Gasthaus restaurant is much more than that, and has been bringing great German food to metro residents since 1993. In this second consecutive year of being unable to visit Europe, I've made do with memories, beers and meals in various locales, and as for the latter, Gasthaus ranks above both the Glarner Stube (Swiss/German; New Glarus WI) and Jasper, Indiana's Schnitzelbank in terms of authenticity and a purely Pavlovian ability to transport me to the continent, if only briefly.

The important detail missing from my photo of the Gasthaus's colossal Wiener Schnitzel a la Holstein are the anchovy filets. Heavens! The sauerkraut was fully cooked, savory and worthy of entree status itself. You can see the strawberry torte. Aventinue Weizen Doppelbock is the star of a short but effective German bottled beer list.

Gasthaus is a splurge, and fully worth it: Two salads, two entrees, a side, two desserts and two drinks came to $125, including gratuity. Hours are short and reservations (for tables as well as desserts) recommended. The location on Brownsboro Road is easy to find, and adjacent to a well-stocked Party Mart package store.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Office Hours with the Publican returns for a third run, with modified scheduling.

The twin tasks of winding down NABC’s summer/fall event season, while at the same time adapting to a bridgeless lifestyle, have been challenging as well as exhausting. Now, with slight light finally twinkling at tunnel’s end, it’s time to think about a resumption of Office Hours with the Publican.

Office Hours originated with this post in January, 2010: Office Hours with the Publican?

When the second term of Office Hours began in fall of 2010, there was a gradual shift from improvised to better organized, as we slogged through the length and breadth of the Beer Judge Certification Program’s style guidelines in the run-up to the Public House’s bottled beer list revision.

For Season Three, there will be further changes to the format of Office Hours, primarily involving a new “second and fourth Monday” schedule necessitated by my needing to keep first Mondays open for New Albany city council meetings. Office Hours will continue to meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Prost area.

Here’s the schedule for the remainder of 2011.

October 10: New Glarus Brewing Company; assorted beers foraged by yours truly this past August while in Wisconsin.

October 24: Survey of current NABC & guest draft selections. Lupulin Land will be underway, and so there likely will be a hop accent to these proceedings.

November 14 TBA
November 28 TBA
December 12 TBA
December 19 (3rd Monday to avoid Boxing Day) TBA

The NABC brain trust is contemplating the program for these final four dates, and when we reach a conclusion, it will be posted here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thanks to LEO Readers' Choice voters for thinking of NABC.

I’ve never personally encouraged voting in various reader polls, and NABC does not ask its fans to cast dozens of ballots for the sake of the cause. Sometimes we win, sometimes we don’t … and sometimes, as a New Albany underdog, it just feels damned good to be vindicated as a restaurant and brewery by readers of a Louisville-oriented publication.

That’s why I’m thanking the academy and happily contradicting my usual shtick by posting the following results in LEO’s annual Readers’ Choice poll. After all, a quarter-million votes is a large sampling, and far less prone to tipping by tampering. Allow me to offer kudos to all of our employees, and also to the many folks who picked NABC. We didn’t do badly for a brewery that technically is not a Louisville brewery.

Best Beer List
1) New Albanian Brewing Co.
2) Holy Grale
3) Sergio’s World Beers
We're inferring the Pizzeria & Public House's revamped BJCP-centric bottle list and Hoosier-heavy draft roster. Eric Gray and Ben Minton get the credit for these.

Best Restaurant (Southern Indiana)
1) New Albanian Brewing Co.
2) Rocky’s Italian Grill
3) La Rosita
We're inferring Bank Street Brewhouse, while not ignoring our Pizzeria's longtime success.

Best Local Beer
1) New Albanian Brewing Co. Hoptimus
2) Bluegrass Brewing Co. APA
3) Bluegrass Brewing Co. Bourbon Barrel Stout
Note that NABC's David Pierce originally formulated both BBC winners, and has been Hoptimus' personal fitness coach.

Best Local Brewery
1) Bluegrass Brewing Co.
2) New Albanian Brewing Co.
3) Cumberland Brews
It would be fascinating to see how many breweries in locales like Chicago, St. Louis and Leuven, Belgium, received votes as "local."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coming to the Public House hand pull on the 23rd: Schlafly India Brown Ale.

This Friday (September 23) at the Pizzeria & Public House, we're tapping a special guest firkin of Schlafly's India Brown Ale. The nectar should be flowing at 3:00 p.m.

Schlafly includes India Brown among its "At the Breweries" selections, meaning that it isn't as often seen outside home base. Schlafly India Brown is described like this:

India Brown Ale
This unique brew has the color of a brown ale, but the aroma of an American style IPA. Dry-hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo and Ahtanum, this beer will prove just how complex a brown ale can be.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ThunderFoot release and Harvest Homecoming Parade Day festivities on Saturday, October 1.

The day draws nearer: Ultimate Parade Renewal on October 1 when ThunderFoot bombers go on sale at NABC.

Pricing for carry-out sales on October 1st, from either the Pizzeria & Public House or Bank Street Brewhouse, is $15 per bottle and $160 per case.

Also on the 1st is the annual Harvest Homecoming Parade, which begins at Noon at New Albany High School and ends at Bank Street Brewhouse after traveling a mile or so down Spring Street (and past my house).

GM Jessi Cheak and Chef Matt Weirich would like to know if anyone is interested in reserving BSB's front patio tables for the occasion. There is talk of a special multi-course meal with beer pairings for patio seats. E-mail Jessi with your thoughts: jessi(at)

There's still more, because on the 1st, NABC will be selling progressive pints at a first-time, community-oriented pig roast (with burgers and hot dogs) at Dan Coffey's Something Different II Auction House, beginning when the parade ends (approximately 2:00 p.m.) It is located by the levee at 33 E. 3rd Street, just a couple blocks away from BSB, and all are invited.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Preview: Fringe Fest 2011.

NABC's fourth Fringe Fest will take place on Thursday, October 6 through Saturday, October 8 at Bank Street Brewhouse. For the unitiated, this is the same time as New Albany's Harvest Homecoming, which attracts thousands to downtown New Albany. From its inception, our aim with Fringe Fest has been to offer a more thoughtful, craft-beer-fueled alternative to the nearby bedlam. This year, we're tweaking the concept.

Music will be on the side patio, with no main stage outdoors. The current parking lot will be the licensed temporary beer sales area, to be occupied by arts, crafts and vendors. Chefs Matt, Bernie and the kitchen team will prepare their special Fringe Fest menu in the existing kitchen, and beer will be served like always inside BSB and on the patios in addition to the temporary area. The annual batch of Wet Knob Harvest Hop Ale will be ready for pouring, alongside the usual suspects and perhaps a surprise or two.

We hope it will be a reoriented and yet familiar Fringe Fest -- diverse like always, but more intimate, and with NABC's hugely weather-dependent risk lessened. As information arrives, I'll update Fringe fest in future postings. Meanwhile, to tip things off, here are the music bookings.

Thursday, October 6

6:00 p.m.
Misha Feigin

7:15 p.m.
Irish Session w/John Woodard

9:30 p.m.
Ben Traughber


Friday, October 7

6:00 p.m.

7:15 p.m.
Jerry & Simon

8:30 p.m.
St. James Hotel

10:00 p.m.
Roz Tate w/Chris Shireman


Saturday, October 8

6:00 p.m.
Thunder Wrane

7:15 p.m.

8:30 p.m.

10:00 p.m.
Bear’s Choice

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Looking ahead to September 24: Cabin and Wax Fang, with NABC on tap..

Strassenfest today, along with other New Albany events.

Strassenfest is today at New Albany's Riverfront Amphitheater, 1 -10 pm: Beer, food, music, community ... and a quiet bridge without cars.

You CAN get here from there. Parking for Strassenfest is at the foot of Pearl Street, by the levee. From Louisville, take I-65 N to I-265 W to I-64 E. New Albany's Exit 123 into downtown is open. From the ramp, go straight, and then left on Main to Pearl.

Also, both I-65 N and the Clark Memorial (2nd St) Bridge can be taken to State Road 62, which becomes Brown's Station Way and Spring Street into downtown New Albany. From Spring Street, go left on Pearl and you'll see the amphitheater roof on the horizon.

The NABC beer lineup for Strassenfest is Keller Pils and our first-ever Strassen Brau (Oktoberfest style), both brewed with Andechs yeast from Germany; Jenever; Bob's Old 15-B Porter; and Smoked Abzug. Also, a special gravity-pour Anstich keg of Schlenkerla Eiche (oak-smoked lager) from Bamberg, Germany, will be tapped at 1:00 p.m. and poured from the tabletop.

Food is being prepared by NA Exchange and R & P Dogs. Music starts at 1:00 p.m. with Roz Tate and Chris Shireman, followed by German Dance Troup, Miltary Band, Waitin' for Dave and Hugh E. Bir and the Concrete Canyon Cowboys. Vendors will be on site for shopping.

Elsewhere in New Albany, the weekly Saturday morning Farmers Market is up and running at the corner of Bank and Market, and it's also the day for the Midtown Neighborhood Festival & Yard Sale at Ritter Park (13th and Oak).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Long-distance localism: Talk about a talking point!

Courtesy of the ever-informative, comes this observation, as though timed to coincide with the kick-off of Louisville Craft Beer Week and the discussion that preceded it.

Cerevisia Communications Founder, Horst Dornbusch, raises questions about the practice of breweries expanding distribution over thousands of miles versus doing it locally.

"It is obviously a positive sign that craft breweries are gaining strength through higher volumes, but such expansion, when associated with greater distribution areas and longer shipping distances by land and even by sea, may not be the most environmentally responsible way to grow. Considering that foreign breweries of all sizes have been exporting beer to the New World for decades, it seems a natural impulse for the burgeoning American craft brew industry to turn the tables and try to enter the export game as well. But is long-distance beer transport regardless of direction really a good thing?"

Full article via Brewers Association | The Case for Low Mileage Beer

Louisville Craft Beer Week kicks off tonight with the 2nd Annual Craft Beer Cask Festival at BBC.

Louisville Craft Beer Week kicks off tonight at 6:00 p.m. with the Second Annual Craft Beer Cask Festival at Bluegrass Brewing Company's location at 3929 Shelbyville Road in Louisville, Kentucky.

Here's the event description, followed by more photos from last year's inaugural cask fest:

On September 16 from 6-9pm. we will be having our 2nd annual Cask and Microbrew festival featuring 30+ Micro brewed cask and tap beers. Local Breweries New Albanian, Cumberland Brews, and BBC Taproom will be participating as well as many breweries in the surrounding areas, including but not limited to, Upland, Left Hand, Great Lakes, Bells, Schlafly and many more. This is event is the kick off for Louisville Craft Beer Week. Tickets can be purchased at any of the 3 BBC brewpub locations for $30 and they include unlimited beer during the event, and a LCBW commemorative sampling glass. We will have live music during the festival as well. Starting at 9:00 Dirty Church Revival will be playing in the parking lot with a $5.00 cover. The remaining beers from the fest will be on sale to the general public after 9 as well. Folks who attended the fest will still be able to get sample sized beers at no charge until midnight.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Life is hectic.

22-oz bombers of Jaxon, Yakima and Tunnel Vision are going to Cavalier Distributing in Indianapolis, and to River City Distributing in Louisville. Next up: Kentucky at-large. More on that, coming soon.

Louisville Craft Beer Week begins Friday at BBC St. Matthews, and Strassenfest is taking place on New Albany's riverfront on Saturday.

We're making plans for Fringe Fest 2011, amid the usual bedlam of New Albany's Harvest Homecoming.

There is other news to report -- something about a li'l ol' bridge thingy -- but we have too much to do to pay very much attention.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You CAN get here from there!

You CAN get here from there! I know it's a bit more hassle, but downtown New Albany is uncongested and open for business.

Inner city directions from Louisville to NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse:

Take I-65 over the Kennedy Bridge or take 2nd Street in downtown Louisville to cross the Clark Memorial Bridge (2nd St Bridge), then follow Old Indiana 62/Brown's Station Way across Silver Creek into New Albany on Spring St. Continue on Spring St. into the center of the city. Turn right onto Bank Street, and Bank Street Brewhouse is on the left side at 415 Bank.

To return to Louisville, take Elm Street to Vincennes Street, turn right on Vincennes St. Then turn left on Spring Street/Old Indiana 62. Follow Spring Street to Browns Station Way and follow signs to I-65 and the Kennedy Bridge or the Clark Memorial Bridge.

Interstate directions from Louisville to NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse:

Take I-65 N, exit to I-265 W, and then exit to I-64 E. The last exit before the now-closed Sherman Minton Bridge is Exit 123, which is W. 5th Street. Go left on Market, and then left on Bank Street. Bank Street Brewhouse is on the left side at 415 Bank.

To return to Louisville, go right on Elm Street, right on 3rd Street, and right on Spring Street to the I-64 W ramp, and retrace your steps via I-265 and I-65.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Directions: Getting to Bank Street Brewhouse while the Sherman Minton Bridge is closed.

(Including directions for the Pizzeria & Public House)

As you may have heard, the Sherman Minton Bridge (I-64) over the Ohio River is closed indefinitely owing to an as yet undetermined structural repair need. We expect to know more about specifics this weekend. Until then, some directions for those who usually use the Sherman Minton.

Directions to NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse
The long way: I-65 north to I-265 west, and then to I-64 east. Take the New Albany exit just before the closed Sherman Minton bridge, left on Market St., then left on Bank St.

2:30 p.m. Saturday note: I'm told that the section of I-64 between I-265 and the river is closed, precluding use of the downtown NA ramp. No problem. From I-265, take the State Street ramp, follow State Street into the center to Market St. Go left on market and left on Bank Street to Bank Street Brewhouse.

The more direct inner city route is shown above: Take I-65 or the Clark Memorial Bridge over the river, then follow Old Indiana 62/Brown's Station Way across Silver Creek into New Albany on Spring St. Continue on Spring St. into the center of the city, and take a right on Bank St. to Bank Street Brewhouse. When leaving, take Elm St. to return to Spring St. via Vincennes St. (where Spring becomes two-way toward Clarksville).

Directions to NABC's Pizzeria & Public House
From Louisville, getting to NABC's Pizzeria & Public House is the same as before: I-65 north to I-265 west, and then the Grant Line Road exit.

The inner city route is shown above: Take I-65 or the Clark Memorial Bridge over the river, then follow Old Indiana 62/Brown's Station Way across Silver Creek into New Albany on Spring Street. Go right at White Castle onto Vincennes Street. At the intersection of Vincennes and Charlestown Road (Mathes Drugstore and Little Tiger), go straight. The road tees into Grant Line; turn right and follow it all the way north to the Pizzeria & Public House.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lammers: "Southern Indiana wineries offer variety and quality."

Bank Street Brewhouse has been selling Turtle Run Winery's locally crafted wines from inception, and will continue to do so. Some Huber products have been sprinkled in, too, as well as wines and ciders from the Thomas Family Winery in Madison. I'd still like to expand the local wine list, as was ventured briefly in the fall of 2009; my vision and reasoning remain the same, but we just haven't gotten there quite yet. We will.

On the trail of a good vintage: Southern Indiana wineries offer variety and quality, Braden Lammers (News and Tribune)

... The more recognition the wines receive, and as the reputation of the quality of wine that is being made spreads, the expectation is that the Uplands Wine Trail will become a destination for both locals and tourists.

But the initial step, getting people to leave their local wine shop or supermarket to visit the local wineries, may be the most difficult.

“That is the struggle, getting folks out to try local wines,” (Wilbert) Best said.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

More on Strassenfest, coming on Saturday, September 17.

A while back, I offered a preview of this year's second edition of Strassenfest.

Ideas for Strassenfest? It's coming to NA's Riverfront Amphitheater on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Obviously, we're almost there. Early on, the committee took the understandable position that lacking a strong German heritage group in the Falls Cities, one that might take a governing interest, perhaps the best strategy to pursue for Strassenfest was to make it a diverse community festival more than a strict celebration of Germanic heritage. The beer and some of the food will be along the traditional lines. Other aspects will not. We merely hope for a good day and a nice gathering to greet the advent of autumn. Following are a few updates.

NABC will be set up to serve beer from 1:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. I'm guessing the food vendors will be there much of this period.

Our NABC beers will be Keller Pils and the first-ever Oktoberfest (both brewed with Andechs yeast); Jenever; Bob's Old 15-B Porter; and Smoked Abzug. Also, a special Anstich keg of Schlenkerla Eiche (oak-smoked lager) from Bamberg, Germany, will be tapped at 1:00 p.m. and poured from the tabletop.

In addition to the committee's sausage purveyor, who often can be seen vending outside the City County Building, NA Exchange will be on site cooking during the day.

Roz Tate will perform in the beer garden at intervals throughout the period 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. In addition, I'm considering regaling guests with my collection of German pop music: The In-Kraut. The committee will have bands playing on the stage after that.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A few views of Against the Grain's renovations.

Against the Grain draws ever closer. We dropped in on Labor Day prior to the final Louisville Bats game of the AAA season, and found the cast and crew laboring.

The refurbished bar area with satellite counter and famous tower brewery.

Andrew and Sam explain the barrel aging area, with public seating adjoining.

Jerry at work making the reason why we care so much.

Adam maps the reconstituted dining room. Opening is slated for the beginning of October, so stay tuned. For video and a wonderful preview, visit's YouTube page.

Monday, September 05, 2011

My bar-side manner is questioned, and I am entertained.

Regular readers know that I'm a big fan of Robin Garr's longtime Louisville Restaurants Forum. It's a great meeting place, although like at most similar Internet agoras, ideas and threads can morph, mutate and travel in unexpected directions. As a case in point, I offer this: Roger Baylor/ABusch.

The thread began somewhat innocuously on August 11, and finally concluded on August 27. The original link was about the corporate scratching of backs in the run-up to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, and because we were readying to depart for the Great Taste, I was completely unaware of the thread's existence for several days.

I took some hits, had some defenders, and grinned broadly throughout. Of particular interest to me is viewing the recent emergence of a backlash of sorts against the tenets of localism.

Be forewarned: It's a full pint read, so pour a bracing craft brew, and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

NABC at Fire & ice, this Saturday (September 10).

I'll be pouring Tafel and probably Elector this coming Saturday at the Arts Council's second annual bourbon, barbecue and beern event in New Albany.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Thanks to Bob Ostrander for his visit.

Bob was in town on Wednesday to promote his book, and while turnout wasn't what we'd hoped, it was a fun and informative evening. For the sake of the historical record, I am compelled to note my dominance in the pub quiz portion of the program. Just remember: Pelicans have pouches.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Teaser: Ultimate Parade Renewal on October 1 when ThunderFoot bombers go on sale at NABC.

Saturday, October 1 is Harvest Homecoming Parade day in New Albany. It's also the day we've chosen to release ThunderFoot 22-oz bomber bottles for carry-out purchase by the general public. ThunderFoot bombers will be available all day on the 1st (only!) at both NABC locations, and if there's any left over, Southern Indiana commercial accounts get the next stab, then our friends at Cavalier Distributing Inc.