Monday, October 31, 2011

This just in: Beer Bloggers Conference 2012 will take place July 13 - 15, 2012 in Indianapolis, IN.

Via e-mail from the organizers

Hello Citizen Beer Bloggers,

We are excited to announce the date and location of the next North American Beer Bloggers Conference. Drumroll please....

Beer Bloggers Conference 2012 will take place July 13 - 15, 2012 in Indianapolis, IN!!

For more information on the conference and the pre-conference excursion in Chicago, please visit our website:

If you live in the Indy/Chicago area and are interested in getting more involved in the conference as a volunteer, advisor, etc., please let me know.

Hope to see you all next summer!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Solidarity in 2011.

Dave and Josh brewed a double batch of NABC Solidarity at Bank Street Brewhouse on Friday and Saturday. There'll be another half-batch to follow. Here's a view of the mash on Friday.

As a Baltic Porter, circa 8% abv, Solidarity lends itself to wood aging. We have a couple of rye whiskey barrels ...

... and a total of seven oak barrels formerly used for wine (comprising three different previous usages). Solidarity will fill these, with special releases coming as they mature.

There will be enough non-wood-aged Solidarity for 150 or so cases of bombers for release to Indiana and Kentucky, and the forthcoming half-batch more will be brewed to cover draft needs, both on premise and distribution.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

All bottled up, coming down.

Friday was the sad but necessary decommissioning day for "All Bottled Up," Leticia Bajuyo's New Albany Bicentennial Art installation in the Bank Street Brewhouse parking lot. Follow the link below for coverage. It's my goal to devise a plan to replace Leticia's memorable piece with something else perhaps more permanent, as I've grown accustomed to standout art in that otherwise unused corner space. Do you have an idea? Local artist Dave Thrasher already has suggested a 20-ft high bomber bottle boasting Tony Beard's label art. Sounds like a plan ... at least until a better one comes along.

October 28: Localism in practice, not theory.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Keg's store in New Albany inches closer.

Pardon me while I say: Whoo-Hoo.

Part-time positions for the New Albany store currently are being filled ... you can apply at The Keg in Clarksville.

We are getting closer to opening our New...
Todd Antz1:07pm Oct 27
We are getting closer to opening our New Albany location for Keg Liquors. I've made a couple of pages here on Facebook, which is a great place to see our new products and upcoming events. Here is the link if you are interested:
Keg Liquors New Albany
Keep your eyes open for a new Keg Liquors location in the heart of downtown New Albany coming fall o...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

La Bocca in New Albany ...

... has a nice new awning covering the sidewalk tables. It's the Italian place on Market Street. I'd really like one of these for the streetside patio tables at Bank Street Brewhouse, but I'm afraid to ask about the price.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Indiana wine at Bank Street Brewhouse: Let's try it again, from the top.

There are times in every person’s life when he or she has an excellent idea and the opportunity to test it out, and yet for whatever reason, the dots just won’t connect. When this happens, it doesn’t necessarily imply that the idea has been discredited, but perhaps only that it has yet to be properly implemented.

I published the following here at Potable Curmudgeon in September, 2009. Obviously, Josh Lehman has now moved on, but beyond inserting Matt Weirich’s name, and noting an ever higher level of acceptance for BSB’s food during the past six or so months, I stick by everything I wrote two years ago as it pertains to wine at Bank Street Brewhouse.

A renewed commitment to Southern Indiana wineries promised at the Bank Street Brewhouse (Sept, 2009)

I expend very little energy thinking about wine. This isn’t because I don’t like wine. It’s because I prefer beer, and having become renowned for preferring beer – in essence, being paid to drink beer – it’s what I drink and think most of the time.

Not all of the time, though, and drinking wine is an enjoyable busman’s holiday for me. Much of the reason why wine is enjoyable for me in limited doses is because I know comparatively little about it. It may be true that I know a bit more than I let on, and yet, overall, my knowledge base is rudimentary. I aim to keep it that way, not out of malice, but rather out of triage. I’ve neither the time nor the liver to become “expert” at a second drinking discipline.

These considerations matter because of a decision we made about the newest of our two businesses, Bank Street Brewhouse. Our goal with Bank Street Brewhouse is to accompany Chef Josh Lehman’s formidable cuisine with the beers we brew at BSB and the original brewhouse three miles away. It is a measure of how admirably Josh has succeeded in the kitchen that customers ask for a wine list, presumably having been trained to think that such high quality of food could not possibly be consumed without wine, as opposed to beer.

This is an errant assumption, and one that we’ll change with time. In the interim, we have not neglected the output of the vineyard. Rather, we have taken the position that if our locally produced beer stands the test of pairing with Josh’s culinary creations, so do local wines being handcrafted throughout Southern Indiana and wineries like Huber, Turtle Run, Thomas Family, Winzerwald, Butler, Best, Oliver and several others.

I can tally these wineries here without cribbing off the Internet, primarily because in the past year and a half, I’ve visited all of them save for Best and a couple others not listed here. At each there were greater and lesser wines, but the point is that at their best, these wineries make excellent products worthy of featuring as part of our effort to emphasize local beers and foodstuffs that come from small, independent or family-run operations.

We’re trying to stay consistent with these principles as it is possible to do so. Why should Southern Indiana wines be treated any differently? My own taste buds tell me that while there surely are classic wines from time-honored wine making areas of the world that are “better” than these, and I use that term rationally yet guardedly, locally made wines are good and getting better. They fit the bill of fare conceptually, and I believe some of them are better than just “good.”

Besides, a grape like Chambourcin is one grown right here. That’s local. That’s the point, isn’t it?

As with the tendency at one time for beer drinkers to prefer imports over American-made craft beers, I suspect there is an element of snobbery in this prejudice, which provides even more reason for me to reject the notion that for the BSB wine list to be suitable, there must be selections from somewhere else. This is bunk. I’m advising staff that we’re making a renewed effort to build a wine list that features Southern Indiana wines, and I believe we shall make it slightly larger than I first envisioned. Yes, BSB is all about NABC beer, but not to the exclusion of other local products worth enjoying and savoring. Come to think of it, shifting this knowledge back to the original location is a very good idea, too.

If I have to visit these Southern Indiana wineries again, and go through all those samplings a second time, I’m willing to make the sacrifice in the name of science, and local commerce. It's exhausting. Someone must do it.

My notion of constructing a wine program exclusively from Indiana wineries has not faltered because of any notable demerits in the concept. Rather, it never has been implemented properly, embraced by our staff, and sold to John Q. Public with the same passion we sell our beers.

Honestly, both our Indiana-only winery program and the accompanying distinctive spirits program have suffered because we haven’t invested enough money and marketing time in them. I take responsibility for this; so many other things kept popping up that required immediate attention that I’ve tended to neglect what always was viewed as a secondary mission. The wines and spirits have been orphaned, so to speak.

I am confident we can set this right. If we are to sell this idea, there must be something to sell (inventory) and a better way of educating about it. There are resources in Indiana winemaking that can help us make good choices. I’m willing to arrange trips to places like Madison to source wine from people like Steve Thomas. We can cross-market with these wineries, and perhaps re-examine the idea of joining the Upland Wine Trail as an associate member. We already have a prime cross-marketing opportunity with River City Winery – we’re a block apart, and we’re the only places nearby where both wine (from them) and beer (from us) can be purchased to go on Sunday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Here's to Beer" begins anew on November 2.

It's last call for the final autumn session of Here's to Beer, beginning next Wednesday at the Public House. Follow the link, pay the good folks at IUS, and come hear me tell stories ... some of which are actually true. Did I mention beer samples?

Here's to Beer

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Budweiser tanking, shareholders yawning.

This analysis was forwarded to me by Ray and Bob, and while it previously has been reported in the beer press, it’s worth observing that while Budweiser may be down to an incredible, seismic dimension, most allegiances surely remain within the AB Inbev stable of beer-flavored sparkling water, with Bud Light (and probably Michelob Ultra) making up the losses. In the main, they're not jumping ship for craft beer, folks.

The evidence also points to where some of the Budweiser and MGD drinkers migrate: Stella Artois, Heineken, Corona and other tastealike imported brands that are no better than the previous beverage choices of the untutored, but cost more. That’s trading “up” in a self-defeating way, but as this update hints, if you’re afraid of flavor, then the interchangeable, malt-based alcohol delivery device of the moment never mattered very much, anyway.


Sales Drop for Major Beer Brands - Some major beer brands controlled by Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are gradually falling out of favor with US consumers, according to recent analysis by financial website 24/7 Wall St. Sales of Anheuser-Busch's flagship Budweiser brand have fallen 30 percent since 2006. Other Anheuser-Busch brands have seen even more dramatic contractions in sales: Michelob, Michelob Light, and Bud Select sales have fallen 72 percent, 64 percent, and 60 percent, respectively. Several MillerCoors brands are also in steep decline as sales of Milwaukee's Best, Old Milwaukee, and Miller Genuine Draft have all fallen more than 50 percent since 2006. The 24/7 Wall St. report cites consumer preference for lower-calorie beers and imported brews as the chief causes of lackluster sales of more traditional US brands.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Doing things the right way. Is it possible?

It's the sort of depressing experience everyone endures on occasion. During the course of a meal at one of our favorite local eateries, I was told NABC Beak's Best was on draft, and ordered one. I was served NABC Tafel. On the ticket, I was charged for NABC Elector.

I'm saving the worst for last: The bartender decided to hang an orange slice on the glass.

Earlier that day, I'd ordered a draft Guinness at another local establishment, and it was brought to me in one of those Sam Adams foo-foo receptacles.

There's no need to embarrass anyone, since in both cases the problem was the same: A brand new, and obviously under-trained, bartender. Simply stated, these experiences point to something that can make or break all of us, namely that if the first line of contact with customers hasn't a clue, neither do any of us.

I've confided to readers that for the past couple of years, the stress and strain of Bank Street's start-up have mightily impacted my schedule of education. I keep looking for the magic bullet, which would enable me to do everything at once: Shill for my own company, but also shill for craft beer in general; educate about NABC beers but also about craft beer in general; and, in short, come up with a presentation that covers all these bases.

Maybe that orange slice finally has showed me the way forward. Maybe the basics of beer education must re-commence, beginning with our own staffers, and then radiating outward from our home base, into the surrounding areas.

I'm working on it. Beer outreach ... not "reaching out," but evangelizing for a purpose. This sounds promising.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My next "Here's to Beer" IUS course begins soon, and there's still time to register.

On Wednesday night, my first "Here's to Beer" section of the fall 2011 semester wraps up with a social gathering at the Against the Grain brewery in Louisville. The second fall section approaches in November (information below). I'd like to commend all the pupils for their attendance and great questions. These courses are about them, but they're also about me, in the sense that teachers invariably learn much from their students. Learning is a dialogue, not a pedagogue.

The second and final fall session begins on Wednesday, November 2, and there's still time to register. Follow the link for more information, and please spread the word. Thanks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yet another fine day in Madison, Indiana.

Meet the BrewMouse.

Foot traffic was steady throughout the day.

Main Street was closed, and the soups, stews and chili were diverse and good.

My helper.

The homebrewing side of the ledger was represented with a Kentucky Common.

Madison's own Mobreki Brewing.

The BrewMouse originator, Rita Kohn.


It was a beautiful day Saturday for the occasion of the Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew in Madison, Indiana. The missus assisted me in dispensing Steamboat Common and Community Dark samples inside a building adjacent to the food tastings out in the street. We poured the first shift, so to speak, and then upon Great Crescent Brewery's arrival (they were NABC's collaborators in the Steamboat Common project), we yielded the floor and made the usual stop at Thomas Family Winery for scrumpy and Scrabble before returning home via the Charlestown Pizza Company.

It also was my first chance to sample the wares of Mobreki Brewing Company, Madison's first brewer of the contemporary era. They're just beginning, so stay tuned. All in all, it was a long and satisfying road trip, and for those metro Louisvillians reading, take note that Madison's only 40 or so miles away.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Won't be back? Don't make promises you can't keep.

Let's just say that if you're the sort to trash my establishment on Yelp, while at the same time confessing that you love Applebee's, Longhorn Steakhouse and Penn Station, there's (a) a good reason why you didn't understand what we're trying to do at BSB, and (b) you're an asshole.

Friday, October 14, 2011

2nd Annual Gonzo Fest in honor of Hunter S. Thompson, Saturday October 15, 2011


2nd Annual Gonzo Fest in honor of Hunter S. Thompson, Saturday October 15, 2011

Blasting off with a Pre-Gonzo art opening with live local music on October 14th!

Announcing the Second Annual Gonzo Festival! Join us as we pay tribute to the life, work, and legacy surrounding one of America's greatest alternative writers, Louisville's own native, Hunter S. Thompson.

The Gonzo Fest will take place on Saturday, October 15 from 2:00pm to 11pm at The Monkey Wrench located at 1025 Barret Avenue, Louisville, KY 40204.

General Admission tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of the event. Limited VIP Rooftop access tickets are available for $30. This is a non-refundable rain or shine event. All discounted advance ticket purchases will receive a $5 discount -- for both General Admission and VIP tickets. Tickets are available at The Monkey Wrench. Must be 21 years old to attend.

This will be a celebration featuring some of the best live local music & national recording artists, poets, authors, visual artists and more. Headlining this year's Gonzo Fest are national recording artists from
Athens, GA recently seen on the David Letterman show, The Whigs. The music lineup also includes The Broken Spurs, Fresh Millions (Austin, TX), Scott Carney from Wax Fang, Cougar Express, Nerves Junior (voted best album of the year), David Wax Museum (Boston, MA), Tyrone Cotton and Lydia Burrell.

Special guests in attendance will be Kentucky's Congressman, John Yarmuth. Lt. Governor candidate Dea Riley, plus Kyle Meredith from
WFPK will emcee the entire Second Annual Gonzo Fest.

Gates will open at 2pm. Music, food and festivities will start at 3pm. Local and regional craft breweries such as the BBC, Kentucky Ale, New Albanian and more will be in attendance. In honor of the event, we'll be featuring Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Ales. "Good people drink good beer"--Hunter S. Thompson. We also want to thank this year's sponsors Four Roses Bourbon and Red Bull, who will be providing
drink specials.

If you can't wait until October 15th to 'get your gonzo on', celebrate with us on Friday night, October 14th at The Monkey Wrench for the Gonzo Art opening! All art will be based upon the life and inspiration of Hunter S. Thompson, and will be on display throughout the weekend. Some of the artists include: Andy Cook, Carol McLeod, Evan Lebowitz, and Alexander King -- all of whom worked together last year on the "Hunter's Louisville" mural painted on the wall of the Monkey Wrench. There will also be live music provided by the local sensations The Murals, Son of the Widow, and DJ Geo.

Please take a look at highlights from last year's event & promotion for this year:

Contact: Dennie Humphrey
The Monkey Wrench
1025 Barret Avenue
Louisville KY 40204
(502) 583-2433
Find us on Facebook: The Monkey Wrench

Thursday, October 13, 2011

On Oct. 28, you can help NABC say goodbye to Leticia Bajuyo’s “Brew History: All Bottled Up.” Here’s how.

It’s time for NABC to bid a fond farewell to Leticia Bajuyo’s “Brew History: All Bottled Up,” the New Albany Public Art Project Bicentennial Series installation commemorating New Albany’s breweries and taverns.

Leticia’s sculpture has serenely and elegantly occupied a corner of Bank Street Brewhouse’s parking lot since its completion in the late spring of 2010, but it was never intended to be permanent, so on the evening of Friday, October 28th, NABC is hosting a community celebration in the BSB parking lot to mark the occasion of its decommissioning.

It’ll be no ordinary wake, because in the process of honoring Leticia and her creation, we’ll be weaving together elements of art, recycling, alternative energy, localism … and plenty of beer.

Leticia and helpers will spend the day on the 28th gradually disassembling, and officially decommissioning, her “Brew History: All Bottled Up.” The beer bottles inside it will be available to those attendees and passers-by interested in souvenirs, and all the remaining materials will be recycled or incorporated in one of Leticia’s future projects.

("Brew History: All Bottled Up" is featured in the new book, Sculpture and Design With Recycled Glass, by Cindy Ann Coldiron, whose book will be available for purchase on the 28th, courtesy of Destinations Booksellers. Go here for more details.)

Beginning at 6:00 p.m., Bank Street Brewhouse’s usual parking area will be cordoned off for the occasion of the evening celebration, with beer, wine, chili and snacks available outdoors, and the usual menu being presented inside. In case of inclement weather, the party moves beneath the existing patio roof.

As an added incentive, we’ll be unveiling NABC’s IX – Ninth Anniversary Ale, a Smoked Chocolate Port-Barrel Aged Stout brewed last winter by former brewmaster Jared Williamson (available at the Pizzeria & Public House, too). The actual NABC anniversary date is October 25, but we’ll wait a couple of days just for the fun of throwing it into the Friday evening mix.

Music by Toledo Bend is being booked by our good friends at The Dandy Lion boutique and shop, located just a block south of Bank Street Brewhouse. The Dandy Lion will be open later than usual on the 28th, so plan on strolling down and paying them a visit.

But there’s more. From 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the 28th, there’ll be an opening reception for "Powering Creativity: Air, Fuel, Heat," a joint exhibit of Ohio Valley Creative Energy and the Carnegie Center for Art & History. It’s happening right across the street from BSB, and the artists and organizers will be joining us to combine their after-party with Leticia’s decommissioning fete. Go here to learn more.

That’s not all! There’s even more on tap for Friday, October 28, because it’s also the occasion of Jeff Milchen’s visit to New Albany.

“New Albany First is proud to welcome Jeff Milchen, co-founder of the American Independent Business Alliance. Jeff is an international leader in helping communities to build vital local economies and in enhancing economic opportunity through supporting local independent businesses. We're thrilled to have him coming to New Albany.

“The event is set for Friday night, October 28th at 7:00 p.m. for a presentation/discussion on the importance of localism and supporting independent businesses. The event will be held on the beautiful second floor of the River City Winery on Pearl Street.”

I’ve invited NA First, Milchen and all the attendees to make the short walk from River City Winery and join the arts celebration at BSB. Know also that NABC will have beer samples on hand for both the Carnegie Center/OVCE opening (where jazzman Jamey Aebersold will be providing music) and the NA First/Milchen presentation.


Leticia Bajuyo, “Brew History: All Bottled Up” and New Albany Public Art Project Bicentennial Series:

The Dandy Lion:

Ohio Valley Creative Energy:

Carnegie Center:

New Albany First:

American Independent Business Alliance:

Destinations Booksellers

Destinations Booksellers: Sculpture and Design With Recycled Glass proceeds going to support New Albany Public Art Project Bicentennial Series.

(Read about the decommissioning fest events at Bank Street Brewhouse on October 28)

Leticia Bajuyo's sculpture "Brew History: All Bottled Up" is featured in the new book, Sculpture and Design With Recycled Glass, by Cindy Ann Coldiron, from Schiffer Publishing, the leading publisher of arts, crafts, and collectible books. This book releases the same day and will be available for purchase at the venues. We're sure Leticia will be happy to discuss her work and to autograph copies on request. The book does sell for $49.99, with $10 of the purchase price going to support the New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series.

This month also happens to be the 7th anniversary of Destinations Booksellers coming to New Albany. Our doors opened on Oct. 18, 2004 and our first official sale in New Albany took place on Nov. 1, 2004. In celebration of New Albany finally getting an independent business alliance, Destinations Booksellers is holding a "New Albany First" sale from Oct. 18 through Nov. 1. And keep your eyes and ears open for details of this year's Holiday Fest Readathon, which in 2011 will benefit the programs of New Albany First.

The Carnegie Center's Ohio Valley Creative Energy exhibit's opening reception on October 28.

(Excerpts from the Carnegie Center's press release. The new exhibit opens on October 28, concurrent with the decommissioning evening at Bank Street Brewhouse: On Oct. 28, you can help NABC say goodbye to Leticia Bajuyo’s “Brew History: All Bottled Up.” Here’s how.)

Carnegie Center Announces New Exhibit, Powering Creativity: Air, Fuel, Heat

October 28-December 30, 2011

Opening Reception Friday October 28, 6-8 pm

The Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana, and Ohio Valley Creative Energy are pleased to present a new exhibit, Powering Creativity: Air, Fuel, Heat, on display October 28 through December 30, 2011, at the Carnegie Center. This exhibition of fire arts, works of art that utilize heat or flame in their creation, highlights the exceptional ceramic, glass and metal artworks being created by artists in our region. Air, fuel and heat are all essential for fire to exist, and fire is the key ingredient in the creation of each of the artworks in this exhibit.

Powering Creativity: Air, Fuel, Heat features works by artists from Southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky, including: Amy Pender, Aron Conaway, Benjamin Hunter, Brian Harper, Casey Hyland, Chris Chappell, Craig Kaviar, Devin French, Elmer Lucille Allen, Jonathan Swanz, Karine Maynard, Kristen Davis, Leah Friedberg, Matthew Maynard, Nicole Jacquard, Raymond Graf and Wayne Ferguson. These accomplished artists were selected for this exhibit because of the diverse ways that they utilize the techniques and properties of ceramics, glass and metal. From realistic imagery and functional objects, to abstract shapes and explorations of texture and form, the artworks in this exhibit provide an introduction to the limitless possibilities of the fire arts for creative expression.

Another goal of this exhibition is to share information about Ohio Valley Creative Energy (OVCE), a local nonprofit that plans to open a Sustainable Arts & Education Center near the Clark-Floyd landfill that will be powered by its excess methane. This renewable energy source will be used to power ceramic, glass, and metal studios and eventually will grow to include a gallery, a greenhouse, and an education center. Ohio Valley Creative Energy began when a local glass blower contacted the Environmental Protection Agency to inquire about a facility already using landfill methane for glass blowing in North Carolina. What resulted was a partnership between OVCE and a local energy provider, Hoosier Energy, to leverage funding to expand its electric generation capacity at the landfill. In return, OVCE was granted free methane for fire art studios and education in perpetuity. For more information, visit

There will be an opening reception for this exhibit on Friday October 28, 2011 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Visitors can enjoy light refreshments, music by the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Quartet, and the opportunity to meet some of the OVCE artists. At 6:00 pm, the Carnegie Center will welcome the Community Arts Program at Hanover College for the public announcement of the 2012 Indiana Arts Commission Regional Arts Partner Grants. During the reception, attendees can also visit the NABC Bank Street Brewhouse to choose a souvenir bottle from Leticia Bajuyo’s Brew History: All Bottled Up as the sculpture, which was part of the New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series, is taken down (visit for more information on Bajuyo’s sculpture). An after party with live music will follow at the Bank Street Brewhouse. The exhibit Powering Creativity: Air, Fuel, Heat and the opening reception (free and open to the public) are generously sponsored by Ohio Valley Creative Energy and the Carnegie Center, Inc.

NABC's IX - Ninth Anniversary Ale release slated for Friday, October 28.

NABC's IX - Ninth Anniversary Ale, a chocolate malt-heavy oatmeal stout with two types of smoked malt, was brewed last winter by former NABC brewmaster Jared Williamson, and then set aside to rest in Port barrels formerly used to age C2 (Smoked Belgian Dark Strong).

The release date is Friday, October 28, at both NABC locations in New Albany: The Pizzeria & Public House at 3312 Plaza Drive, and Bank Street Brewhouse, located downtown at 415 Bank Street. When the doors open, so will the taps.

The actual NABC anniversary date is October 25, but we're delaying release of IX to coincide with the October 28 decommissioning party at Bank Street Brewhouse for Leticia Bajuyo's "Brew History: All Bottled Up," the New Albany Public Art Project Bicentennial Series installation commemorating New Albany's breweries and taverns.

NABC’s IX - Ninth Anniversary Ale

Malts: Rahr 2-row, Weyermann Smoked (Beechwood), Briess Chocolate, Briess Roasted Barley, Simpsons Chocolate, Briess Aromatic, Briess Smoked Malt (Cherry), Castle Special B, Flaked Oats

Hops: Northern Brewer (Mash), Northern Brewer (First Wort), Northern Brewer (@60min)

IBUs: 50.1
ABV: Circa 9%
Yeast: House Ale

Good, and good for you. So good that it has an aura.

Many thanks to Bill for the odiferous French cheese, and to Karen for photographing me in the act of smelling deeply of it. The cheese later disappeared in the company of a bottle of NABC Jaxon. Yummy.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meet Ben Minton.

Seriously, I meant to make this formal announcement two months ago, but I kept forgetting.

So, here goes: Ben Minton is the new Brewer at NABC’s Research & Development Brewery at the Pizzeria & Public House. You can reach him here ... ben(at) ... but first, Ben's testimonial:

"I fell in love with beer soon after I started washing dishes for NABC in the summer of 2004. As I’ve made my way up from the dish-room to the brewery, I’ve learned an amazing amount about the world of craft beer and gained a respect for brewing as an art form. As NABC’s newest brewer, I have been given an amazing opportunity to help shape the future of this company while creating some unique brews for you all to enjoy. Cheers!"

Here's his web site bio:

Ben Minton was once given the key to the city of New Albany by then-Mayor Doug England for reasons he can’t quite recall. He thinks he might even know where it is, probably in a drawer at his parents’ house. He should look for that sometime.

A faithful employee since 2004.
Doer of science.
Maker of beers.

Here's the Steamboat Common formulation.

On Saturday (October 15), I'll be in Madison, Indiana at the Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew, where NABC will unveil "Steamboat Common," brewed collaboratively with our fellow Hoosier brewers at Great Crescent (Aurora) and Main Street (Evansville). For more information and links, check here:

Whole lotta steamboats goin' on, this weekend and next.

Ben Minton provides the Steamboat Common formulation, as originally planned by Jared Williamson and Dan Valas.

89% Rahr 2-Row Malt
6% Crisp Brown Malt
4% Weyermann Rauchmalt
1% Sorghum (6 Lbs added near end of boil)

2 additions of US Goldings, Total: 6.6lbs

O.G. 1.068
F.G. 1.012
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: 33.2

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A sense of humping-camel place.

Local free lance writer (and pub regular) Amanda Arnold has given me permission to publish this essay, which she wrote recently for submission to a magazine. It was not published there, and so now it is published here. Thanks to Amanda for her work; she's been a good friend to us for a very long time.


For some time, I have been what one would call a regular at the New Albanian Brewing Company that is tucked away in a small, no-frills shopping area in Southern Indiana. While the establishment serves half a dozen or more of its own brews, 40 guest taps and 300 bottled selections, that is only just one lure of the place.

The New Albanian Brewing Company is of course a bar, but because of close friendships, great conversations held on comfortable couches and the epiphanies one may have while creating written work, this “bar” is more appropriately defined as a pub. I call it such because based on my perception and of other patrons, this is how my “sense of place” relates to the New Albanian Brewing Company.

“In churchy terms, it’s the fellowship that good beer lubricates. I like that the pub feels like it's ‘mine’ since I've been going up there since 1994. I know so many others have that feeling too,” said pub regular Ronnie Dreistadt.

We create our sense of place through our perception and how we communicate and assign labels to what makes the space into our reality. One aspect that is often communicated within a commercial space is the decor chosen by the proprietor, which the patrons may share the same opinion, or interpret it completely different. If the establishment is lacking in creative detail, the public may not be as interested in visiting.

The walls within the New Albanian Brewing Company are dressed eclectically with music memorabilia and international pieces that depicts beer-inspired art, historic events and some are of a Communist nature displayed in what patrons call the “Red Room.” This is Roger Baylor’s, co-owner, New Albanian Brewing Company, way to encourage conversation.

“Because many of these items were chosen intentionally so as to foster thought and discussion, there is a sense of the pub as a place for thinking as well as drinking – the poor man’s university, as some have said,” said Baylor.

Also on the wall, directly below several diplomas belonging to some regulars is the framed cover of The Economist, September 10, 1994: The Camel-Humping Issue, which has been a topic of discussion about economic issues for Dreistadt, and other regulars since it was displayed on the wall over a decade ago.

“The camel cover struck me as both humorous, and as a good way to make people aware of The Economist’s existence,” said Baylor.

Baylor added that he often hears a reaction, and the reaction is sometimes similar.

“They respond to the camel-humping aspect first, and then often ask, “what’s The Economist?” When I’m around, it’s a question that I’m happy to answer,” said Baylor, who also keeps a stack of past issues available for patrons to read.

With this in mind, one could consider the New Albanian Brewing Company as more of a pub, as it may serve as a pseudo university where patrons learn about fine beer and worldly issues. Therefore, perhaps the next time you are in the Louisville-metro area, you might consider visiting it too.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Whole lotta steamboats goin' on, this weekend and next.

On Friday evening, I took a respite from Harvest Homecoming to pour beer samples in Jeffersonville at the Howard Steamboat Museum's annual fundraiser.

Next weekend, it will be steamboats yet again, this time upriver in Madison as the town hosts a celebration commemorating the bicentennial of the first steamboat journey up the Ohio River and back by Nicholas Roosevelt in 1811. Hanover College’s River Institute is coordinating a series of steamboat bicentennial events.

At the Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew in Madison next Saturday (October 15), NABC will unveil a "Steamboat Common" beer brewed collaboratively with our fellow Hoosier brewers at Great Crescent (Aurora) and Main Street (Evansville). The eating and drinking runs from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with festivities including tasting and judging soup, stew and chili, and live music. The Steamboat Common formulation likely will be the model for NABC's New Albany bicentennial beer, coming in 2013.

Lastly, keep this book in mind: “Full Steam Ahead: Reflections on the Impact of the First Steamboat on the Ohio River 1811-2011” from the Indiana Historical Society Press. It is a book of essays edited by Rita Kohn, the Hoosier state’s First Lady of craft beer appreciation, who to the surprise of no one was the motive force behind NABC's commemorative brewing of Steamboat Common. As always, we'll drink a toast to Rita with the tapping of the very first keg.

Friday, October 07, 2011

If you believe that "Indianapolis is not known as a beer scene," you're not paying attention.

Nothing I’ve read recently has annoyed me quite like a mailing I received today from the Beer Bloggers Conference, which contains an on-line survey ("citizen beer bloggers" only, bitches) to help the organization weigh bids from four cities wishing to host the 2012 North American Beer Bloggers Conference.

The cities are Asheville NC, Austin TX, St. Louis MO and Indianapolis IN. I previously was aware that Bob Mack and World Class Beer had been spearheading the notion of Indianapolis as a potential conference site, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the faint praise heaped upon my state capital.

Indianapolis, Indiana:
This is perhaps our most unusual bid. We all know Indianapolis is not known as a beer scene. However, as a local brewer told us, "Since beer blogging is all about discovery and sharing, Indianapolis is the perfect place for a future conference." Friday dinner would be at the 1-million case warehouse of Monarch Beverages, Saturday would be outdoors at the Indianapolis City Market, and we would have an optional Thursday excursion to 3 Floyds.

- Positives: Strong support from BBC attendee Bob Mack of World Class Beverages, which might allow us to have more involvement from retailers and distributors. Nice central location easy to reach from all areas of the country.

- Negatives: Indianapolis simply does not have the number of local breweries we have had in Portland or Boulder.

Hmm. After reading this, my attention was drawn to this press release from the 40+ member Brewers of Indiana Guild, which also arrived this morning.

Indiana Claims Winningest Entry Rate from 2011 Great American Beer Festival with Spread of Brewers of Indiana Guild Members Taking Home Medals

Indianapolis, IN (October 6, 2011) – Brewers of Indiana Guild (B.I.G.) members Brugge Brasserie, Sun King Brewing Co., and Three Floyds Brewing Co. claimed honors in a competition among more than 3,930 beers vying for medals at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival Competition, the largest national beer competition recognizing the most outstanding beers produced in the United States today.

Indiana had the highest winning percentage of medals compared to entries by state, with a 19.2 percent winning rate. Specifically, Indiana won 10 medals out of 52 total entries.

Guild President Ted Miller says, “We are very pleased with Indiana’s outstanding showing. Very impressive.”

Sun King Brewing Co. was among the top five entrants with a total of eight medals including four gold medals for: Java Mac, Buffalo Slumber, Ring of Dingle and Wee Muckly. Sun King won silvers for: Wee Pogue, BBJ (Bourbon Barrel Jonah) and Popcorn Pilsner.

Sun King Brewing Co. Brewer/Owner Clay Robinson says, "We're overwhelmed and extremely proud. This is the highlight of our brewing careers."

Brugge Brasserie was honored with a Bronze medal for its Grimalkin – Super Kitty Fantastico. And, Three Floyds Brewing Co. received a silver for its Munster Fest. And,while entered under parent company in Colorado, Rock Bottom Brewery at College Park in Indianapolis was honored with a Silver for its Naughty Scot.

The Great American Beer Festival has been held annually since 1982 and is presented by the Brewers Association not-for-profit educational, trade association for craft brewers. Its mission is to make quality beer and brewing knowledge accessible to all.

Do I have a love-hate relationship with my home state of Indiana? You bet I do, primarily because conventions in Indy always are compelled by the Minister of Right-Wing Agitprop to make a mandatory visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Teabagger.

But in spite of the considerable odds against it, and after a late start, we're becoming a truly great beer state -- very quickly. Perhaps the Beer Bloggers Conference might pull itself away from "conventional" non-wisdom and start examining individual trees.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Fringe Fest 2011 at BSB: A Directory.

The goal of NABC's Fringe Fest is create a vibrant cultural counterpoint to Harvest Homecoming and provide unique music, tasty fest food, artistic purveyors, and – most importantly – great craft beer. Fringe Fest embraces everything creative and original, and welcomes anything outside of the social ‘norm’.

It's time for our fourth Fringe Fest, and here's the information for 2011. We begin today at 12 Noon.

NABC Wet Knob Harvest Ale 2011 is released - Brewed with genuine, fresh Floyds Knobs hops from Abstonia Farm, and with a new American Pale Ale formulation by David Pierce. Wet Knob will go on tap at both NABC locations on Thursday. There are only eight kegs total, so this is the time to make a special trip ... because the Knob may not last the Weekend.

Musical lineup and performance times - All performances take place at the Taxpayers' Memorial Patio.

Fringe Fest 2011: Fest food from Matt, Bernie and the crew - It's a special menu for Fringe Fest.

Fringe Fest 2011: Come and visit NABC's arts and crafts vendors - Some of our best friends are setting up shop, so come examine the wares.

Fringe Fest 2011: Come and visit NABC's arts and crafts vendors.

To reduce our exposure to the potential vicissitudes of inclement weather, we modified Fringe Fest for 2011. The current forecast is for absolutely gorgeous autumn skies the next three days -- all the better!

For 2011, all music is being performed on the patio, and the current parking area -- formerly housing the stage -- is being devoted to beers served from Rosa, our draft truck, and shopping from a selected number of vendors. Here is a list of the confirmed vendors provided by Jessi Cheak, Bank Street Brewhouse general manager.

1. Tony and Shannon Nava- Jewelery
2. Katie Ashby- Glass upcycled wind chimes and jewelry
3. Katy & Ben Traughber- photo prints, jewelery, art
4. Holly Meredith- Feather art/jewelry
5. Nick Owens- Graphic Art (featured at the 21c) –
6. Matt Dobson – The Paper (Friday/Saturday only)
7. Leslie Doyle - (Friday/Saturday only)
8. Katie O'Kelley/Adam Canter- Glass Blowing (Demo)
9. Susanne Bell - Liberty Tattoo (Mobile Vendor)

Fringe Fest 2011: Fest food from Matt, Bernie and the crew.

Bank Street Brewhouse's chefs Matt Weirich and Bernie Collier will be preparing a special a la carte Fringe Fest menu for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Note that owing to the craziness of Fringe Fest and Harvest Homecoming, the normal BSB menu is suspended for these three days.

Most of the usual NABC beers will be available, with the addition of the annual release of Wet Knob, an American Pale Ale brewed with "wet" (freshly harvested, unprocessed) hops from Abstonia Farms in Floyds Knobs.

Chili with 3D Valley Beef & Fiedler Farms Pork
Pork Tacos
Duck Fat Fringe Fries
Short Rib Sandwich
Duck Wings & Beans
Corn Soup

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tonight: "Buckhead Mountain Grill and Rocky’s Sub Pub in Jeffersonville Host Annual Breast Cancer Survivor Dinner for 12th Year."

Submitted ... apologies for the late notice. Don't forget Buckhead Mountain Grill and Rocky's Sub Pub for your dining and craft beer needs; I know the traffic snafus resulting from the Sherman Minton bridge closure are affecting all of us in Southern Indiana, so for the best view of Louisville, go to Buckhead and Rocky's.


Buckhead Mountain Grill and Rocky’s Sub Pub in Jeffersonville Host Annual Breast Cancer Survivor Dinner for 12th Year

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN –As a kickoff to the 2011 Susan G. Komen Louisville Race for the Cure and October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Buckhead Mountain Grill and Rocky’s Sub Pub are honored to host the Breast Cancer Survivor Dinner on the waterfront in Jeffersonville for the 12th year. The dinner will be held on Tuesday, October 4th at 5:30pm.

Buckhead and Rocky’s work each year with the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP), part of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, in coordinating and hosting this wonderful dinner for over 800 local Breast Cancer Survivors. The dinner is FREE to all breast cancer survivors in the Louisville Metro/Southern Indiana area. Reservations are required and you can call 502-852-6318 for more information.

“We, as a company, are always excited to host this event. We look forward to it every year,” Kelly Leonardo, Director of Marketing with Buckhead Management said. “So many amazing women attend this event and we are honored to put this on for them.”

Buckhead and Rocky’s will donate the services of the restaurants' food, tent and staff. Each of their employees volunteers their time and all for such a great cause. This year’s dinner will have a Halloween theme and will be emceed by WHAS 11 TV’s Rachel Platt.

"This is such a wonderful opportunity for the breast cancer survivors to come together for this event that Buckhead and Rocky’s so graciously hosts,” Pam Jennings of the Kentucky Cancer Program said. “For some women, they say this is as exciting to them as Christmas! They look forward to it each year and love to feel special by this event."

Contact: Kelly Leonardo
502-794-4781 cell

NABC namedropped at Kentucky Sports Radio.

Thanks to D for the tip, as I do not frequent college sports sites.

My Old Kentucky Brewery, at Kentucky Sports Radio

But for this post, we’re going to go off on a tangent about something I’m a big fan of: beer. Let’s take a look at the different breweries around the great Commonwealth of Kentucky…

I must say that it is flattering to be mentioned in this thoroughly blue space, and while not a dime of advertising revenue was expended to gain placement, retroactive remuneration (nudge, wink) is never entirely out of the question. Apart from the author not knowing about the advent of Against the Grain in place of the late Browning's, it's a worthy survey of options, including some I'm just now learning exist ... see Danville, Kentucky in a forthcoming post.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sun King rocks the GABF.

As you may know by now, our friends at Sun King in Indianapolis kicked major league medal-amassing ass at this year's Great American Beer Festival in Denver. It reminds me of Reggie "Mr. October" Jackson in the World Series back in '77. A state that already had Three Floyds within its boundaries did not need to be introduced to the craft beer world, and yet Sun King just might have launched the salvo that boosts the Hoosier state to new credibility. Right on, guys.

The full GABF scoop comes from Great American Beer Festival 2011 awards wrap up.

Indiana had the most winning rate of medals compared to entries by state, with a 19.2 percent winning rate. Specifically, Indiana won 10 medals out of 52 total entries.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Baylor on Beer: "Far Away (So Close)"

My columns are running at twice a month, on or around the 15th and the 30th. If you have not already visited the website, please do. You'll be impressed at what John and John have achieved in a very short time.

Far Away (So Close)

Far Away (So Close)

Sep 29, 2011

It’s time for Great American Beer Festival’s annual renewal, and while I must confess to having wonderful and enduring memories of my three trips to Denver during the 1990’s for the express purpose of attending the GABF – apart from the airport, not once did I so much as make it outside the city limits – it doesn’t interest me nearly as much now as...