Saturday, April 30, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Of the remaining taps, the four NABC serving tank lines currently are off-line pending a trunk line refit and refurbishment scheduled for the coming Sunday. Jared says that next week, you'll see WeeFoot, Samurai and Abby's Dubbel, with Jenever following close behind.
Also this week and next, there'll be quite a few Indiana-brewed beers pouring at the Pizzeria & Public House, including some from the following breweries.
Bee Creek Brewery, Brazil IN
Barley Island Brewing Company, Noblesville IN
Crown Brewing, Crown Point IN
Flat 12 Bierwerks, Indianapolis IN
Oaken Barrel Brewing Company, Greenwood IN
People’s Brewing Company, Lafayette IN
Sun King Brewing Company, Indianapolis IN
Three Floyds Brewing Company, Munster IN
Upland Brewing Company, Bloomington IN
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
It's An Evening With The Gumbo Family Quartet, and it's tomorrow night at BSB.
As if the music weren't enough to entice, now hear this:
The "last" keg of C2 for the year (some will return during future Gravity Heads) will be on tap to celebrate Jared Williamson's birthday (26th), plus a pin of Extra Ordinary will be served via gravity pour. Talk about opposite sides of the spectrum.
Come and get some -- music and beer. I'll be there once I'm done with class.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The bad news: I need another Monday off on the 2nd of May.
The good news: We'll manage two Office Hours gatherings during the next three weeks, anyway, culminating in a very unique evening on the 9th of May.
Here's the schedule.
April 25: BJCP Categories 20 & 21 (below)
May 2: Roger must attend the final city council meeting prior to the primary election the next day; no Office Hours.
May 9: Office Hours Special Edition, with Struise's Urbain Coutteau, who’ll be wrapping up Struise's Awesome Midwest Travel Itinerary after a weekend of Derby debauchery. It’s all been organized by Lori and Tyler at Louisville Beer Store/Holy Grale. Earlier on Monday, there’ll be a collaborative brew with Urbain and the brew crews from NABC and LBS/HG. Office Hours will be transformed into the post-brewing day recap party, with appropriate beers from Struise, NABC, and others.
OFFICE HOURS for Monday, April 25, 2011
***BJCP Category 20 – Fruit Beer
20. Fruit Beer
***BJCP Category 21 – Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer
21A. Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
21B. Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Among others, Michael Jackson, Greg Noonan and Don Younger have passed away in recent years.
Pete’s Wicked Ale no longer exists, and Goose Island is owned outright by AB-Inbev.
Fritz Maytag sold Anchor, and Mishawaka Brewing has closed shop.
Pierre Celis also has died. He was the obscure, largely untrained Belgian champion of Wit, who began brewing Hoegaarden almost 50 years ago, rescuing the style from oblivion. In turn, Celis the Belgian was championed by Jackson the Englishman in the latter’s early and revolutionary beer texts. We’re richer for both their efforts.
Having sold Hoegaarden and made one fortune, Celis provided the founding family of Goose Island with a template for retirement, which is to say, he did not, instead relocating from Europe to Austin, Texas, and founding an eponymous microbrewery. There he introduced Americans to the concept of Wit.
Having proven his point, Celis cashed out a second time (Miller bought his brewery and tossed it in a nearby trash can; fortunately, the brands live on, as brewed in Michigan), went back to Belgium, and spent his dotage creating interesting new beery concepts (Grotten) and in general, just being himself.
Several of us met him at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver in the mid- to late-1990s. My recollection is entirely positive. Celis was personable, friendly and willing to have a beer with us. Somewhere there is a photograph.
Here’s to Pierre Celis … clink … and here’s a link to a good essay about his life.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Matt, Bernie and the kitchen crew have hit the ground running since Josh's departure. Mr. and Mrs. Publican spent a lovely Sunday afternoon on the patio at Bank Street Brewhouse playing Scrabble with a friend, drinking and sampling from the menu. Here's what we had, before leaving with a growler of NABC Tafelbier (Sunday carry-out beer sales in Indiana are from breweries only!)
In the top photo (from top right, clockwise): Asian chicken wings, shrimp ceviche, salad with fruit slices, and Philly cheese steak.
In the bottom photo: Garlic hummus (left) and Kalamata hummus (right).
The beer was NABC Mt. Lee (California Common, deliciously hoppy and clean) and a Bloody Mary fashioned from the build-your-own bar.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
"Mishawaka Brewing Company Has Closed"
Mishawaka Brewing’s venerable brewpub opened in 1992 as perhaps the second in the whole state. It closed in 2008, but the Schmidts plowed ahead at their more recent production facility in Elkhart. I’d been hearing rumors of the closure, and dismissed them, seeing as nothing was said at the Brewers of Indiana Guild’s annual meeting two Saturdays ago. So much for wishful thinking.
Tom Schmidt forever endeared himself to the FOSSILS homebrewing club by driving all the way down to New Albany in winter, circa 1993, and speaking to the club in the company of voluminous samples – a brace of pony kegs, if memory serves. He later said that the fearsome reputation of Walking the Dog, the club’s newsletter, ensured a “yes” answer. It was a noble gesture in any event.
Breweries dying are like people dying. Neither man nor brewery is an island, and we are connected by commonalities of aspiration and experience. When I hear news like this, my reaction is militant: We shall overcome, and two breweries will arise where one previously stood. We’ll carry that flag, and we’ll carry that weight.
But stridence masks the grieving process, doesn’t it?
Maybe the Schmidts can come down now, visit, and just have a simple beer with NABC.
Monday, April 18, 2011
But there is a lesson here as pertains to beer, isn't there? Inasmuch as we'd all like to source beer ingredients locally, until there are barley fields, malting houses and hop yards, it won't happen. What, then, does local brewing mean, and is it enough?
Think about it while I drool some more over these excerpts from Reuters.
Pulses and sea urchin on menu at world's top eatery
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark's Noma won one of the restaurant world's highest accolades for the second consecutive year on Monday with a menu that remains deeply committed to an innovative Nordic cuisine.
Noma's 33-year-old chef Rene Redzepi, whose restaurant topped the S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list released late on Monday, has created a menu that includes sea urchin and dill, potatoes and milk skin, beef cheek and pear …
… The Noma approach to cooking is concentrated on obtaining the best raw materials from the Nordic region such as Icelandic skyr curd, halibut, Greenland musk ox and berries.
"Noma is not about olive oil, foie gras, sun-dried tomatoes and black olives. On the contrary, we've been busy exploring the Nordic regions discovering outstanding foods and bringing them back to Denmark," Noma said on its website ...
… The two Michelin star restaurant does its own smoking, salting, pickling, drying, grilling, and baking, prepares its own vinegars and concocts its own distilled spirits such as its own eaux de vies.
Noma makes systematic use of beers and ales, fruit juices and fruit-based vinegars for its sauces and soups rather than wine, and allows vegetables, herbs, spices and wild plants in season to play a prominent role in its cooking.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
First, the Shelton Brothers portfolio of outstanding imports, formerly with Cavalier, departed Indiana. As an insider, I knew about it a long time ago, and already had grown so weary of banging my head against the wall after failing at receiving what I wanted, that any sort of comment seemed superfluous.
In fact, having once considered making Shelton’s brands the basis for the Public House beer list, I channeled my abject feelings of deprivation into a positive “buy local” epiphany, which has re-energized me, and generally has done the job when it comes to my personal beer drinking needs -- except for when a strong yearning for Lambic overwhelms my senses. Then, I miss them quite dearly.
Next, Dogfish Head vacated our Hoosier premises. Avery followed them. As the Eagles once observed, Allagash was already gone. You could hear the sounds of furtive sourcing as shelves emptied of valuable brands. The wails of lamentation kept me awake at night as craft beer fans weaned on the tender mercies of Beer Advocate and Rate Beer vented their despair.
They should have been asking: Should one’s go-to beer come from another time zone?
And: Your forefathers had it far tougher, whiner.
Me? I shrugged, yawned and filled a growler of fresh local beer.
It’s now 2011, there are now 1,700 breweries (you’re within ten minutes of one), and hundreds of available beers still flow into the state. Indiana itself soon will have 40 brewers, and who couldn’t subsist on Three Floyds, Sun King, People’s, Flat12 and the like? Here in New Albany, there’s BBC and Cumberland (maybe still Browning’s?) right across the Ohio River.
In fact, there is precious little in any of this that’s grim, and there’s nothing but sweetness and light in my world. For instance, I’m told that New Holland bottles are trickling down to the Sunnyside through North Vernon Beverage. This is good. We still have Great Divide, which withdrew from other states. And Southern Tier. And Schlafly. And (fill in the blank).
The ones that went away will return. Somehow, we’ll survive until then. Maybe it’s all about the grass being greener elsewhere, and humans wanting what they cannot have. I suppose this is understandable. Just remember: I used to walk ten miles in waist-deep snow just to score a six-pack of Sierra. Your troubles are miniscule by comparison.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
No, it isn’t. Actually, it’s starting to make a bit more sense. Like theories of tectonic plates and continental drift, the beer categories are slowly separating by money, just as the capitalist system insists they should.
Most of us will concede that we’re for sale. We may be more or less interested in negotiating a price, but we’re still for sale. It is neither a moral nor ethical discussion. It’s just reality. Having acknowledged it, you may breathe a sigh of relief, because few of us are sufficiently valuable to attract the big bucks.
Value is a very funny thing, indeed. As the stories began circulating about the $38 million Goose Island deal, our local newspapers were reporting about a proposed real estate development on New Albany’s riverfront totaling investments of $43 million.
While most of Craft Beer Nation rushed to the ramparts to defend Goose Island’s honor before even knowing the dimensions of the story, I was thinking: Wow, even factoring in the previous investment shares in distribution … $38 million for 127,000 barrels, compared to $43 million for a parking garage, plaza, condos and commercial space … geez; what does it all mean, anyway?
Should I have gone into real estate instead?
Look, this isn’t Einstein. Goose Island’s owners sold out – note I’m not saying they’re “sell-outs”, which means something else in popular culture terms, but isn’t appropriate here. They sold business interests in a somewhat open market, and in doing so, they became transformed from an entity that interests me to one that no longer does. It is nothing personal. It is nothing at all. It just is what it is, which is true.
What does it mean to craft beer? Very little in the larger sense, because there are several hundred of us prepared to fill the gap and keep the flag in the sir.
However, it must be conceded that AB-Inbev surely intends to use this erstwhile craft toy to aggressively combat the interests of craft beer in the venues where its money buys space on the top shelf, whether by hoarding shelf space in supermarkets or engaging in the usual concessionaire’s extortion in closed settings like airports and stadiums.
This means that we’ll have a better beer choice, somewhere, in the form of ex-craft, its placement achieved by business as usual, which we generally loathe – and rightly so.
Will you still drink Goose Island, now that the money flies to a board room somewhere overseas? That’s your decision.
If it’s the only choice before the jet way rolls back, will I swallow hard and fork over ten bucks for 16 ounces of Honkers?
Honestly, I don’t know.
Has something died?
Yes. Then again, death is a necessary part of life.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Photos of the crew can be viewed here: Bottles up, by Kevin McGloshen (News and Tribune). As you can see, there's nothing much automated (or glamorous) about small-time bottling.
Meet the workers: Josh Hill you probably already know, and perhaps recently designated brewery tech Jeremy Kennedy, too; Jesse Jacobsen has been doing some part-time "intern" work assisting Jared Williamson at the original NABC brewhouse.
Thanks to their labors, we're getting bottles out the door.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
My blogging co-editor Jeff Gillenwater authored this piece at NA Confidential. If you know someone who lives within range in Southern Indiana, please tell him or her about this opportunity. We only need a few more sign-ups to keep the drops continuing.
Many of you may know about community supported agriculture projects (CSAs), local food distribution networks that help provide stable, predictable incomes to farmers in return for a share of their crops and production.
You may also know about Grasshoppers Distribution, a local CSA that distributes out of their warehouse in Louisville's Portland neighborhood.
From their web site:
Grasshoppers has improvised on this (CSA) model, to offer a multi-farm, all-natural and organically grown program that provides beef, chicken, pork, milk, cheese, and eggs as well as produce. Many of our CSA farms also have their own CSAs and sell at Farmers' Markets or other outlets. Our program provides them with a stable market and fair prices for the additional crops they can produce, creating another stream of income on the farm.
The income generated for Grasshoppers helps us pursue the new frontiers of local food opportunity, such as hospitals, schools, and other institutions. Our farmer-owned business is dedicated to building a local food economy on all levels, and we enthusiastically invite you to join us!
What you may not know is that Grasshoppers has been making deliveries to its New Albany customers each week at the New Albanian Bank Street Brewhouse for the past couple of seasons and wants to continue.
That's where you come in. In order to justify continued weekly deliveries for BSB pick up, Grasshoppers needs to increase its New Albany customer base. If enough people sign up for a CSA share of $18 or more per week and specify New Albany as their pick up location, Grasshoppers will deliver a box of fresh, local, organic food for them weekly or bi-weekly direct to the BSB patio for easy pick up every Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. The spring/summer season runs from May 4 - November 18.
There's a wide variety of farm-fresh products available including fruits, vegetables, assorted meats, milk (in real glass bottles), cow and goat cheese, eggs, Blue Dog bread, and even locally produced desserts. You can mix and match the above items, choose a share for two or four people and weekly or bi-weekly delivery, and pay for it all with an upfront investment or on a monthly installment plan. Shareholders can also usually add extra, individual items to their regular weekly or bi-weekly deliveries.
CSAs shares work really well in conjunction with local farmers markets, too, potentially helping to supply items that may not be regularly available at the markets. Do both and consider the Downtown New Albany Farmers Market as well.
An updated Grasshoppers web site with added features like community areas for recipe sharing, guest bloggers, and online order add-ons should be launched soon, but for now:
A Grasshoppers brochure that specifies everything available and prices is here.(PDF)
Online registration and payment is available here.
Be sure to specify New Albany as your preferred pick up location. The spring registration deadline is April 18.
Any questions can be directed to April at Grasshoppers, april(AT)grasshoppersdistribution(DOT)com
Monday, April 11, 2011
Beer tasting will be added to Jeffersonville’s barbecue festival this summer, by David A. Mann (News and Tribune)
The city of Jeffersonville just released its schedule for RiverStage — the floating Ohio River venue off Riverside Drive — and 2011’s Smokin’ on the River event is being dubbed a “Barbecue, Blues and Brew Festival.”
The new title is being used as this year’s event will feature a local beer tasting tent, confirmed Sara Schutz, assistant superintendent of special events and RiverStage for the Parks and Recreation Department.
Six local breweries — including New Albanian Brewing Co. and Bluegrass Brewing Co. — are expected to offer two brews each for the tent. Part of the fun will be pairing different beers with the varying takes on barbecue at the event, Schutz said.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
There's fine ink for NA Exchange in the past week's LEO. It's located just down Plaza Drive from the Public House, and is a welcomed addition to "The Northside." Now, if we could just think of a snappier name for the neighborhood ...
Gastropubbing at NA Exchange, by Robin Garr (LEO Weekly)
On Tuesday evenings there’s generally a $2 special, recently taking the form of “Bells and Burgers,” with a draft beer selection from the excellent Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo, Mich., and a slightly downsized version of the Exchange burger going for $2 each. That was enough to bring us in. We immediately ordered two-buck glasses of hoppy, crisp Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale and examined the menus.
Subdivided into Starters, Salads, Light Fare and Specialties of the Chef, the evening bill of fare was substantial and varied, ranging from fairly traditional bar food to more upscale gastropub grub; but even the basics generally came with a tasty twist.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
The first book link is about a topic closer to home and a West Coast blogger's ruminations on Hoosier beer: Specifically, John’s and Nate’s “Indiana Breweries.”
Hoosiers and Beavers
A little while ago, John Holl and I exchanged books. I got his real live Indiana Breweries (with Nate Schweber), published by an actual publisher, and he got Best of Beervana, published (and unedited) by me.
The second addresses my European travel bug, one currently suppressed out of necessity, but that I hope one day might be indulged again, just as in days of old.
Out at last!
Perhaps, those of you who don't follow my Facebook Page have been wondering about my long silence here. The answer is simple, I was working really hard finishing My Book, "Prague: A Pisshead's Pub Guide", which I was finally able to do yesterday (Sunday).
Friday, April 08, 2011
I didn’t know Drew was working at Irish Exit, either – until a friend sent this glowing review. New Albanians, take note: Downtown options just keep getting better, seeing as the Irish Exit already has the biggest beer list downtown.
(Slightly edited by me)
Yesterday I had the opportunity to be one of the first lunchtime customers for the new Irish Pub in New Albany, a.k.a. The Irish Exit. I was told by one of the owners that Tuesday, 3-29-11 was their opening day as a lunch establishment there in New Albany.
Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by one of the managers and his bartender. They suggested a few of their 15 draft brews so we hoisted a few Smethwick’s, downed a Classic Rueben (my friend’s choice) and Irish Chicken Melt (my choice), shared a bowl of garlic parmesan frites and had a very productive first meeting. Our meal was fabulous and I later found out that my guest personally knew the Executive Chef there, Drew Scharlow – he did not realize Drew was working there at the time! Before we left to go our separate ways, Drew showed us his latest edible creation…it involves fried oysters and other secret ingredients…and it looks nothing like what you’d expect to see being served at a traditional Irish Pub. So, watch out Irish Rover, Flannigan’s, O’Shea’s, Molly Malone, Tilted Kilt and ri ra’s…there’s a new leprechaun in town and his gold ‘cooking’ pot is on the Sunny Side of the River!
I see good times happening at this place because their drink list is phenomenally special and the daily drink specials are not to shabby either! Check out the place the next time you are in New Albany during the lunch hour and you’re mouth is a wee bit parched from your travels. The breads and circuses at this place are 3.5 stars in my book, and their frites are BIG & TASTY with just the right amount of grease left on them!
Take care and let’s make it a great day!
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Apologies, because I am late in getting this link posted. In it, food and drink free-lancer Steve Coomes gets it right on the money, as usual, with testimony from the chef himself.
Chef Joshua Lehman leaving Bank Street Brewhouse for Ivor Chadkowski’s new Harvest, by Steve Coomes (http://www.insiderouisville.com/, April 1, 2011).
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
It's opening night for the first-ever advanced installment of my IUS non-credit class, entitled Even More to Beer.
The majority of students previously completed my introductory course, and perhaps owing to the novelty of there being a part two, enrollment is 22 -- an all time high, and a very pleasing number.
Here's what you're missing. The Here's to Beer section will again be offered on Wednesdays in June; contact the Continuing Ed folks at IUS for information (I'll have a listing here soon).
Even More to Beer: IUS non-credit course
April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2011
Roger A. Baylor, instructor and carnival barker
American craft beer by the pitcher
In the NABC brewery: With Roger, David Pierce and Jared Williamson; NABC beers to be announced
Belgian Ale Immersion: A bastion of traditional eclectic European brewing explored, with help from the Louisville Beer Store
Cellar Door Selections: Tasting of rarities from the Public House lock box
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
If you are not a Three Floyds diehard, and if you are unfamiliar with Dark Lord Day, which takes place this year on April 30 in Munster, Indiana, the following information will make little sense. You may navigate elsewhere.
However, if you are, and you’d like to go to Dark Lord Day but could not score tickets when the event sold out within mere milliseconds of being announced, then continue reading.
Thanks to the benevolence of a friend, NABC has gained possession of two tickets to Dark Lord Day (Group B; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. admittance). We are going to raffle them as a unit, according to the following rules:
1. 100% of the proceeds from this Dark Lord Day raffle will be donated to Team Livestrong, as requested by the donor. Team Livestrong is “creating a relevant, vibrant cancer movement based on evidence and investing in strategic solutions.”
2. The two tickets are being raffled together, as a unit. Each chance costs $10, cash only, please. You may enter as often as your wallet likes, but only human to human transactions will be accepted, i.e., no snail mail or Internet entries. When the winner is drawn, he or she will receive both tickets. Sorry, but employees of NABC and their immediate families are ineligible to participate.
3. All raffle chance sales will be conducted during regular business hours at the two NABC locations, beginning at opening on Tuesday, April 5, and concluding on Friday, April 15 at 5:00 p.m.
4. The drawing will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 15 at the Public House bar. The donor of the tickets will have the honor of drawing the winning entry. There’ll be special beer for the occasion; just don’t ask us what – yet.
5. You need not be present to win, but please have your full name, address and phone number on your raffle chance so we can contact you, and when you come to claim your winnings, have your ticket and your ID ready. There'll be no shenanigans.
That’s all, folks. Thanks for playing, and take lots of photos to show the bar flies back home.
Sunday, April 03, 2011
Blame it partly on Butler’s second NCAA title run, and also on politics, my city council campaign and a generally overcrowded spring schedule. The upshot is this: Office Hours with the Publican must take a break.
On Monday night (April 4th), we’ll all be distracted by basketball, and not only that, there’s a city council meeting to attend.
There are campaign events on the following two Mondays (April 11 and 18). At each, all the council candidates have the opportunity to speak, and given that most of my politicking so far has taken place where I drink, I can’t turn down chances to address groups of people.
This leaves us with the possibility of returning to Office Hours on the 25th, and we may be able to squeeze another four or five sessions into the time remaining before summer break. We still have a few BJCP categories to cover, and will do so.
To summarize: No Office Hours until the 25th of April. Thank you for understanding.
Saturday, April 02, 2011
The television appearance is in the can. You can see it here:
WHAS-11 video of Indiana Breweries, earlier this morning.
For the Indiana Breweries book signing this afternoon at the Pizzeria & Public House, we'll be tapping a firkin of Jared Williamson's Extra Ordinary, which he has dubbed "An American hophead's session ale." Those readers who attended the past week's Patio Party at Bank Street Brewhouse perhaps enjoyed an advance tasting.
While similar in overall concept, today's Extra Ordinary differs in both malt and hops from last year's USA vs. England Ordinary Bitter. Here is Jared's overview:
Malt: Rahr 2 row, pinch of Roasted Barley
Hops: Summit, Palisades, Citra
Yeast: House ale
Indiana Breweries book signings with the authors today and tomorrow at NABC's two locations.
(photo credit: John Holl)
Friday, April 01, 2011
LEO's Fake Issue, published earlier this week.
New Albanian hosts domestic beer tasting
New Albanian Brewing Company, a local microbrewery and pub that specializes in hoppy and heavy craft ales, will hold a beer tasting Friday evening at its main location just off Grant Line Road in New Albany. Some of the beers that will be on hand include Natural Light, Miller Lite, Bud Light, Bud Ice, Keystone Dry, Red Dog, Busch and Old Milwaukee. “We’ll also be tapping kegs of both traditional Coors ‘banquet’ beer and Coors Light,” said NABC owner Roger Baylor. “This is definitely an if-you-can’t-beat-’em-join-’em move. If people are truly stupid enough to enjoy this urine soda, we may as well see if we can as well. Also, we figure that if our palates can actually detect a difference in any of this offensive swill, it will only improve our senses.” Baylor also said there will be food pairings as well as guest speakers, including noted beer expert John Holl, who will lead a 45-minute roundtable discussion about pairing Natural Light with cat shit.