Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fetch your calendars for NABC's forthcoming week in beer.

Here comes another weekend packed with craft beer events. I'll try to use this space each week to preview the busiest summer schedule in NABC's history. Are you ready?

THURSDAY, JUNE 2

In Huntingburg:
Dubois County Bombers vs. Nashville Outlaws
It's summer collegiate-level baseball, and NABC is on tap at League Stadium in Huntingburg as the Bombers begin the Prospect League season. Look for Beak's Best, Community Dark and Tafel Bier at the Craft Beer Bullpen down the third base line. From New Albany, it's about an hour's drive down scenic I-64 to Dubois County.

FRIDAY, JUNE 3

In New Albany:
Schad Bash: Rock for Rauch 2011
The law office of Schad & Schad is right across the parking lot from Bank Street Brewhouse, and we're happy to join the fun at the first annual Schad Bash, which begins at 8:00 p.m. Music will be provided by the Louisville Crashers, and Rosa L. Stumblebus will be on hand for the pouring of NABC drafts. The beneficiary is Rauch, Inc., for 63 years providing opportunities for the physically and mentally handicapped in Southern Indiana.

In Lawrenceburg, Indiana:
First Friday "Party in the Street"
Our brewing friends from Great Crescent (Aurora) and Powerhouse (Columbus) will be vending Indiana-brewed craft beer, including some of NABC's -- Dan from GCB brokered the deal, and we're thanking him for thinking about us.

SATURDAY, JUNE 4

In Clarksville, Indiana:
6th Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale
Keg Liquors owner Todd Antz didn't waste time complaining when he learned that the BIG fest in Bloomington was to be held on the same day as his own gathering. He just went out and assembled the best Fest of Ale lineup ever, including this year's newest innovation: The House of Hops. Rock on, Todd, and read this news item from Daniel Suddeath in the News and Tribune: Hey you, beer me! Fest of Ales set for Saturday.

In Bloomington, Indiana:
First Annual Bloomington Craft Beer Fest
Formerly Rad Fest at Upland Brewing, this event has morphed into an officially sanctioned Brewers of Indiana Guild fest, and more than 30 of Indiana's 40-ish breweries are expected to attend, including the newest of the bunch. Purely exhaustive information can be found here, and tickets are on sale now.

In New Albany, Indiana (also on Sunday):
Fifth Annual Art on the Parish Green
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, located just around the corner from my house, is the oldest Episcopalian congregation in Indiana, dating back approximately 175 years. For Art on the Parish Green, the church's lovely historic grounds are given over to a multitude of arts and crafts, with live music, food and NABC beer. It takes place on Saturday and Sunday, and you can let them know you're coming at the Art on the Parish Green Facebook site.

SUNDAY, JUNE 5

In (outside of) Greenville, Indiana:
Capriole Spring Open House
It's the semi-annual open house at Capriole Farms, makers of the sublime goat cheese, without which my household would cease to function in a culinary sense. I'll be there, packing NABC beers for pairing with goat cheeses, and using the cheat sheet that Chef Matt and I devised last week. My advice is to get there early, because folks come from miles around for this one.

In Huntingburg:
Dubois County Bombers vs. Danville Dans

In New Albany:
Fifth Annual Art on the Parish Green

Am I forgetting anything? Let me know.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Chains: Usually there is an exception to the rule.

My standard reply when asked about "chain" restaurants and bars is to echo my hero, Lew Bryson, and respond: Death to Chains.

However, there was a thread on the Louisville Restaurants Forum asking which chains the purported foodies there regularly visit, and what they ate when visiting, and so I peered deep into my soul for this:


For the most part, I'd rather gnaw on fallen tree bark rather than give my money to multinational chains, but at the same time, I've never denied going to the regional chain Skyline Chili for a five-way, and as many others here have noted, alcohol mixed with White Castle is inevitable a couple times a year. It's the bane of professional drinkers everywhere, and somewhat unavoidable.

That's pretty much it.

I strive to find a local alternative -- coffee boiled in an unrecycled lard can rather than Starbucks,or NA's own locally-owned Honey Creme rather than Krispy Kreme -- and stick with it. Admittedly, integrity is harder while traveling the purposefully barren Interstates, and in airports and sports venues, because the latter are permitted to use spaces constructed with public money to enforce chain monopolies, which frankly sickens me.


But there it is.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jared "Collaboration" Williamson is interviewed at Hoosier Beer Geek.

Over at the Hoosier Beer Geek blog, there's a fine recap of our recent collaboration brews in the form of an interview with Jared Williamson, NABC brewmaster.

Struise In Indiana

Two Indiana breweries were recently visited by De Struise Brouwers' Urbain Coutteau. HBG readers may know of Mr. Coutteau from our January 2008 interview, or perhaps by his reputation as part of the brewery that was named RateBeer.com's 2008 best brewery in the world.

Urbain's visit wasn't just a vacation (though he did attend the Kentucky Derby) - his brewery visits lead to collaboration. Both Three Floyds and New Albanian played host, and it's safe to assume that we can expect fantastic beers as a result.

We contacted New Albanian's Jared Williamson to get more details about the New Albanian/Struise efforts.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Craft beer at the ballpark: Dubois County Bombers and New Albanian Brewing Company.

“There is only one game at the heart of America and that is baseball, and only one beverage to be found sloshing at the depths of our national soul and that is beer … beer needs baseball, and baseball needs beer - it has always been thus.”
-- Peter Richmond, author and journalist

Growing up in Southern Indiana, one quickly comes to associate two of life’s most important pastimes with Dubois County: Baseball and beer.

Indiana’s Baseball Hall of Fame is in Jasper, and major leaguer Scott Rolen of the Cincinnati Reds starred at Jasper High School. Amazingly, at least four former major league players were born in the small town of Huntingburg: Bob Coleman, Ray Blemker, Alex Graman and Mitch Stetter.

As for beer, need I do more to document Dubois County‘s fermentable predilections than note its heavily German heritage? Although as yet there are no craft breweries in the county, Jasper is home to the regionally famous Schnitzelbank Restaurant, since 1961 a popular destination for its German cuisine and solid beer list.

Verily, it’s only a matter of time before an enterprising craft brewer sets up shop in Dubois County and brings beer tradition back to its local, independent roots.

That’s why the New Albanian Brewing Company is so excited to be partnering with the Dubois County Bombers to bring craft beer to League Stadium in Huntingburg for Bombers home games this June and July.

The Dubois County Bombers play in the Prospect League, a collegiate summer baseball league with teams located all the way from Hannibal MO to Slippery Rock PA. Players with remaining NCAA eligibility compete with wooden bats, and live with host families during the season.

Huntingburg’s League Stadium is a retro jewel, reconstructed from an existing grandstand to serve as the 1940’s-era home for the Rockford Peaches during location shooting of the film, “League of Their Own” (1992), starring Geena Davis, Madonna and Tom Hanks.

As for NABC, it is a small but growing Southern Indiana brewer with an expanding reputation, and bringing fresh local craft beer to Dubois County for Bombers games (and hopefully to other area establishments, too) is an overdue notion, but Bombers management deserves all the kudos for the idea. They get it.

Unlike other baseball clubs nearby, which have been slow to grasp constant changes in consumer beer preference, Bombers management sees the natural alliance of local baseball and local beer as one perfectly placed to give fans more of what they want when attending games.

NABC favorites Beak’s Best, Community Dark and Tafelbier will be available on draft from the beer trailer parked down the third base line. There is a roofed picnic area just in front of the taps, and the main concessions area is adjacent. Informally, we’re calling it the NABC Craft Beer Bullpen.

Within the next few days, NABC will announce promotions to coincide with craft beer at League Stadium, including as many as two weekend motor coach trips from metropolitan Louisville (probably coupled with an early afternoon lunch stop at the Schnitzelbank and/or a stop at the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame, prior to a 7:15 p.m. Bombers game), NABC poster night, and special tasting nights when a surprise NABC beer “to be named” will be pouring from a fourth tap.

If you enjoy great craft-brewed beer and high-caliber baseball, League Stadium will be the place for you this summer.

Links

Dubois County Bombers: http://www.dcbombers.com/

Bombers 2011 schedule: http://www.dcbombers.com/test.html

Prospect League: http://www.prospectleague.com/

A League of Their Own: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104694/

Dubois County: http://www.visitduboiscounty.com/

Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame: http://www.indbaseballhalloffame.org/

Schnitzelbank Restaurant: http://www.schnitzelbank.com/

NABC home page: http://www.newalbanian.com/

The Meheen in the box.



Thanks to the Meheen Merlin, which arrived today, your chances of getting NABC bombers sooner, rather than later, just exponentially increased.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Office Hours reaches Category 23.

It all started last September ...

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

... and now it's approaching a conclusion.

With summer break looming, tonight at Office Hours with the Publican, we arrive at the final Beer Judge Certification Program style category. It's Category 23 — Specialty Beer, described like this:

This is explicitly a catch-all category for any beer that does not fit into an existing style category. No beer is ever “out of style” in this category, unless it fits elsewhere.

Unusual "techniques or ingredients" fall in Category 23, such as the steinbier method (stone-brewing) and the use of potatoes as an adjunct.

It's also referred to as an “incubator,” intended for existing styles deemed not yet appropriate to have a category or sub-category, although Belgians are excepted and given their own catch-all. Examples in Category 23 include Australian Sparkling Ale and Czech Dark Lager, as well as one of particular interest to us lately: Rye IPA.

I'm heading to Keg Liquors shortly for field research. Office Hours begins at 6:30 p.m.; it's five bucks per head; and we'll be in Prost, as always.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Any "unusual" cues from Philly Beer Week?

I'm not in the habit of reprinting press releases verbatim, but this one strikes a chord, because the Louisville Craft Beer Week committee has started planning this year's LCBW (September 16-24), and a "wealth of unusual events" similar to these might be the ticket ... just thinking out loud.

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PHILLY BEER WEEK 2011 TO FEATURE A WEALTH OF UNUSUAL EVENTS INCLUDING A DUNK TANK, BEER-LEBRITY BOXING, BULL RIDING, A GONG SHOW AND MORE…

PHILADELPHIA, PA – This June during
Philly Beer Week (PBW) 2011, visitors will enjoy several usual events that combine amazing beer with everything from a foot race and a boxing match to a late night variety show and riding a mechanical bull.

“Part of the fun of PBW is interacting with brewers and beer reps in a fun, casual setting – and nothing could be more fun than the chance to dunk one of them for charity, or compete with them to see who can stay on a mechanical bull the longest,” says PBW Executive Director Don Russell, aka Daily News columnist Joe Sixpack. “It’s events like these that make PBW so popular and special.”

Some of the more unique events include:

Saturday, June 4:


Beer-lebrity Boxing at Kite & Key (1836 Callowhill Street, 215-568-1818) – 2 p.m.

A series of epic boxing match-ups will pit brewers against one another in the ring with oversized gloves and no holds barred. Undercards will include “Brothers in Brewing” featuring Steve and Doug Mashington from Yards vs. Paul Rutherford (Iron Hill) and Andrew Rutherford (Yards), refereed by Casey Hughes of Flying Fish, and “The Ladies of Craft Beer” featuring Wendy Domurat of Dogfish Head vs. Suzanne Woods of Sly Fox, refereed by Megan Maguire of Ommegang. The main event will be Tom Kehoe of Yards vs. Jim Kirk, owner of Kite & Key. Beers from all participating “boxers” will be featured on draft.

Sunday, June 5:
“The Wire” Quizzo with Johnny Goodtimes at The POPE (1501 E. Passyunk Ave. 215-755-5125) – 9 p.m.

North Coast Brewer Doug Moody will join legendary quiz master Johnny Goodtimes for an evening of beer and quizzo based on the HBO Show “The Wire.”

Monday, June 6, 7, 8 and 9: Late Night with Joe Gunn at Jose Pistola’s (263 South 15th Street, 215-545-4101)– 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Join Jose Pistola’s owner Joe Gunn for his very special Late Night Variety Show. There is no way to do this evening justice, think surreal Late Night with David Letterman. Joe will invite attendees “on stage” to be interviewed. There will also be visits from brewers, live music and the occasional whiskey drinking.

Tuesday, June 7:
Dunk a Beer-lebrity at London Grill (2301 Fairmount Avenue, 215-978-4545) - 4 to 8 p.m.

Dunkees will take to the tank in 15-minute blocks and guests will pay as they go for the opportunity to get the brewers and reps all wet, with proceeds benefitting
PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society). Chef Michael McNally will be grilling food outdoors throughout the event, and of course, a host of terrific beers will be available, as well. The dunk tank line-up will include: Tom Buonanno of Muller Beverages; Steve Mashington of Yards; Eric Vanzile of Ithaca; Jim Meiers and Jim Wiggins of Origlio; Suzy Woods of Sly Fox; Dan Conway of Left Hand; Michael Pearlman of Stoudt’s; Cameron Saunders of Shangy’s; Mike Lubeski of Weyerbacher; Casey Hughes of Flying Fish; Brian Grossman of Sierra Nevada; John Hobbs and Jenny Hobbs of Spy vs. Spy; and Rich Allen of Long Trail.

Tuesday, June 7:
Mechanical Bull Riding at Percy Street Barbecue (900 South Street, 215-625-8510) - 7 to 11 p.m.

For the second year in a row, Percy Street will bring in a mechanical bull. Guests will pay-as-they-go to ride and try to win prizes. Chef Erin O’Shea will prepare barbecue specials and Victory Brewing Company will offer special beers throughout the event.

Wednesday, June 8:
Bike the Ben (outside Race Street Café) – 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Set out from Race Street Café for a leisurely ride over the Ben Franklin Bridge. Before crossing, the group will stop at the base of the bridge for a special tasting of bridge-themed beers served from Trophy Bike’s custom-made Dutch Bakfiets cargo bike and bar. There will also be small bites served from the Surly Big Dummy cargo bike. After riders sip and snack, they’ll head out over the Ben to catch a glimpse of the sunset and maybe even a bit of the Camden Riversharks baseball game. Bikers must bring a helmet, lock and lights to participate. The event is free, contact
http://us.mc1147.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=mcget@aol.com to sign up.

Thursday, June 9: Gong Show at Standard Tap (901 North 3rd Street, 215-238-0630) – 7:30 to 10 p.m.

Sponsored by Philadelphia Brewing Company, come show off your talents to win prizes, but you better be good, or they'll gong ya off the stage. Sign up at 7:30 p.m., event starts at 8 p.m.

Friday, June 10:
Ride The Rails with Boxcar Brewing Company (306 Westtown Road - 484-887-0538) – 7 to 11 p.m.

Boxcar Brewing invites you to join them for an exclusive unveiling of their great beers aboard the West Chester Railroad. Board the train, grab a beer and ride the rails to the Glen Mills picnic grove, where food, beverage (more beer) and entertainment will be provided. Dress comfortably for your ride on the old fashioned rails and feel free to bring chairs or blankets for your time at the park. Train will return at approximately 10:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Must be 21 years of age or older to attend.

Sunday, June 12:
Dock Street to Dock Street Run (701 South 50th Street – 215-726-2337) – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Run for great beer and prizes from Dock Street in Old City to the brewpub. Along the run, participants will collect clues that will award them prizes. Runners will end at Dock Street Brewery to pick up their prizes, have a beer and enjoy an outdoor music festival. Free to run, contact
http://us.mc1147.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=bryan@brewlounge.com to sign up.

PBW 2011 is a 10-day celebration of “America’s Best Beer-Drinking City,” held from Friday, June 3 until Sunday, June 12. Established in 2008, it’s the largest beer celebration of its kind in the United States, featuring hundreds of festivals, dinners, tours, pub crawls, tastings and meet-the-brewer nights throughout Greater Philadelphia. PBW highlights the region’s diverse beer scene – its world-class breweries, neighborhood taverns, trend-setting restaurants and rich beer culture and history. The festival is organized and operated by Philly Beer Week Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization overseen by a board comprised of brewery owners, distributors, restaurant owners and others, to promote the beer and hospitality industries.

For more information including the ever-expanding schedule of events and list of participants, please visit
http://www.phillybeerweek.org/ or click here http://bit.ly/mTzkCV to access iphone, android and mobile web apps.

Collaboration specs: B’Urban Trotter DIPA and Naughty Girl India Blonde Ale.

Note that http://beernews.org/ got the scoop on this one. The story is here: Struise, New Albanian collaboration update: B’Urban Trotter DIPA and Naughty Girl. When the time comes, availability information will come your way.

In May of 2011, Urbain Coutteau of De Struise Brouwers (Oostvleteren, Belgium) visited Louisville as the guest of Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter, the founders of Louisville Beer Store and Holy Grale.

After numerous liquid discussions between Urbain, Lori and Tyler, a plan arose for collaboration brews, one at each of New Albanian Brewing Company’s two locations, as described below.

Naughty Girl

Overview: Brewed at Bank Street Brewhouse (May 8, 2011) by Urbain, David Pierce and Jared Williamson, Naughty Girl is a Belgian India Blonde Ale brewed to a dry finish, with medium body and a very aromatic American hop profile. 74% of the IBUs are from the mash hops and later hop additions.

Malts: Rahr 2-Row, Rahr Premium Pils, Castle (Belgian) Aromatic, CaraPils

Hops: Cascade in the mash (13 lbs whole), two bittering additions of Galena, two middle additions of Golding, late addition of Cascade, Cascade hops (15 lbs pellet) for warm dry-hopping

Yeast: De Struise House Ale

ABV: 6%
IBU: 69

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B'Urban Trotter DIPA

Overview: Brewed at NABC’s Pizzeria & Public House (May 9, 2011) by Urbain and Jared Williamson, B’Urban Trotter is a Double India Pale Ale inspired by the Kentucky Derby as viewed by a brewer and ostrich rancher from Flanders. Note: Tyler sourced 3 lbs of Simcoe hops from Paul at My Old Kentucky Homebrew for dry hopping use. In deference to the Derby, B’Urban Trotter is bourbon/oak aged.

Malt: Rahr 2-Row, Weyerman Bohemian Pilsner, Castle Biscuit, Simpsons Medium Crystal

Hops: Cascade (mash, dry), Summit (first wort), Summit (bittering), Chinook (bittering, flavor, dry), Northern Brewer (flavor), Simcoe (dry)

Yeast: American (Chico) ale

Special additions: Vanilla beans and honey were added during the whirlpool.

OG: 21 degrees Plato
ABV: 9.2%
IBU: 208
SRM: 9

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This Sunday's Capriole Spring Open House is postponed until June 5.

Earlier in the week I surveyed the events schedule: NABC is all over the map this coming weekend (May 20, 21 & 22).

I've since learned that Sunday's Capriole Spring Open House in Greenville is being postponed until Sunday, June 5, owing to soggy grounds. Anyone who's been to previous open houses amid the goats and greenery will recall that vehicles are parked on the farm fields and the lawn, and these are soaked; hence the postponement. But I'll be there with the cheeses on the 5th of June, pairing and pouring NABC samples.

Governor Mitch Daniels, chief executive beer wanker.

I never thought there would come a time when I’d thank National Review for being anything other than resembling a waste of healthy trees, but just when I was least expecting it, suddenly there’s value in it, as announced by the most misleading headline of the month, and perhaps of the year.

Mitch Daniels: Not a Light Beer Man

The article by a beer-clueless political commentator goes on to note this amazing admission:

His favorite beer, (Daniels) said, is Foster’s — but that’s only when he’s home. When he’s out, he likes to drink Grolsch or St. Pauli Girl.

We learn that the Hoosier state's first-ever Falangist governor is capable of making “it through at least two beers” in a setting, and that Foster's Lager -- Australian for “Totally Fake and Not Even Brewed There, Mate” -- is his favorite when being seen in public.

That's bad enough. Worst yet, while not “light” in name, all the beers mentioned are pisswater lagers.

But there’s still more: In a state with almost 40 craft breweries, St. Daniels still proudly drinks imports, and wretched ones at that.

Note to America: He's going to run for President. Don't believe a word of it, okay? His record in office is as bad as his taste in beer.

Summer hours and service at Bank Street Brewhouse.

The weather is about to transition into seasonal warmness (really, I swear it’s true), and accordingly, NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse gradually has been transitioning into a summer schedule. In the process of doing so, we’ve been tweaking here and there.

The most important thing for you to know is that we are very thankful for a steady increase in dining volume on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and to better accommodate diners on these days, we’ve made a change involving the service plan for BSB’s outdoors seating areas.

On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during dinner hours, a menu of appetizers and small dishes is being served to patrons seated within the north (smoking) patio area. For those desiring the full menu, we’ll make every effort to get you seats inside. Rest assured that we thought long and hard before making this change, but it’s the best way to ensure quality and prompt service for the diner menu.

Note that the non-smoking outdoor tables facing Bank Street are considered part of the dining room, and the full dinner menu is served there.

Here are Bank Street Brewhouse’s summer hours and service schedule.

Tuesday through Thursday
BSB is open at 2:00 p.m. for beers and Brotzeit, i.e., appetizers (and burgers). The dinner menu is served from 5:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. Closing time is 10:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday
BSB is open at 12:00 Noon, with lunch from Noon until 3:00 p.m. Brotzeit fills the gap until 5:30 p.m., when dinner hours begin. Dinner ends at 10:00 p.m., but a special Late Night menu will be offered until 11:00 p.m. Closing time is Midnight.

Sunday
BSB is open at 12:00 Noon, with the Sunday menu available until 8:00 p.m. The Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar is from Noon until 4:00 p.m., with Steak & Eggs also available concurrently. Closing time is 9:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The Bank Street Brewhouse front-of-the-house team is: General Manager Joe Phillips, Executive Chef Matt Weirich and Sous Chef Bernie Collier.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Acronyms and collaborations: CPC/NABC APA is in the fermenter.

It should be obvious by now that the original NABC brew kit at our Grant Line Road “R & D” brewery (Pizzeria and Public House) is ideally used for small batch brewing, which is why brewmaster Jared Williamson has been able to utilize it so creatively since Bank Street Brewhouse came on line in 2009.

Nowadays, David Pierce and Josh Hill turn out the bigger distribution batches downtown, and Jared follows his muse on the north side. The tasty results include seasonals, one-offs, and recently, more than a few collaborations, such as C2 (with Schlafly and O’Fallon’s) and B’Urban Trotter (with de Struise and Louisville Beer Store).

Given NABC’s longstanding relationship with the fine folks at Charlestown Pizza Company, it only stands to reason that CPC would lead off another collaborative series, this one not undertaken with fellow brewers, but with selected restaurants and bars in the area.

When these beers have been conceived, brewed and are ready for drinking, you’ll see them on tap both at NABC and at whatever collaborative partner worked on that particular recipe.

The first in this series overall, the CPC/NABC collaborative beer, was brewed yesterday by Jared, joined by CPC’s Tajana Johann and Kiel Haymon. It’s an APA (American Pale Ale) in the 5% abv range, and as such, it shouldn’t take long to mature. Then, we all get to drink some and eat pizza, in Charlestown and New Albany.

Recipe details to follow soon …

Monday, May 16, 2011

Office Hours tonight: "Category 22 — Smoke-Flavored/Wood-Aged Beer."

Office Hours with the Publican is winding down before summer break, but we still have two BJCP style categories remaining for reviewing and sampling before calling it a year.

Tonight (Monday, May 16), it’s Category 22 — Smoke-Flavored/Wood-Aged Beer:

22A. Classic Rauchbier
22B. Other Smoked Beer
22C. Wood-Aged Beer

As many of you know, these styles are among my personal favorites. We begin deliberations at 6:30 p.m. at the Public House, back in the rear area of Prost.

Next Monday, May 23, will be the grab bag known as 23. SPECIALTY BEER, which completes the BJCP style examination we began last summer.

The following Monday, May 30, is the Memorial Day holiday, and there'll be no Office Hours. However, there may well be a final hurrah on Monday, June 6 … more on that one later.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

NABC is all over the map this coming weekend (May 20, 21 & 22).

It’s that time of year, folks. Calendars get crowded, feet begin hurting, sweat pours down in buckets, and livers cry out in primal agony. Festival season is here. We bitch about it, but rest assured, we love every craft-beer-soaked-moment.

In metro Louisville, Derby Festival serves as one seasonal bookend, although it’s usually the third weekend of May when festival solicitations really start to flow. 2011 is no exception, so here’s a quick guide to where we’ll be serving NABC craft beer this coming weekend. We're splitting squads, calling up the reserves, and trying to make beer available when and where we can.

Friday, May 20

Madison IN: Opening night for the 6th Annual Ohio River Valley Folk Festival in Madison, Indiana. Gates open at 5:00 p.m., and musical headliners this year include The Greencards, David Bromberg Quartet and Carrie Newcomer. Once again, we’ll share beer vending duties with our friends from Upland Brewing Company (Bloomington IN). On Saturday, we’ll be joined by Dan and the crew from Great Crescent Brewing in Aurora.

Louisville KY: The 3rd Annual Louisville Loves Mountains block party will take place on Longest Avenue in the Highlands (by Heine Brother’s Coffee and Carmichael’s Bookstore). The event benefits Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, and celebrates Kentucky’s mountain beauty and heritage. Wendell Berry is this year’s special guest speaker. NABC’s Rosa L. Stumblebus (our draft truck) will be on hand with Tafel and Elector, and the crew from BBC (Main & Clay) will also be pouring during the event.

Saturday, May 21

Madison IN: The Ohio River Valley Folk festival starts at 11:00 a.m. and continues until around 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 22

Madison IN: The Ohio River Valley Folk festival starts at 1:30 p.m. and continues until about 7:00 p.m.

Louisville KY: The 3rd Annual Buy Local 1st Fair is from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Water Tower off River Road. The fair is sponsored by the Louisville Visual Arts Association, in conjunction with Grasshoppers Distribution and the Louisville Independent Business Alliance. NABC will be there with Rosa, and we expect other local brewers to attend, too. ValuMarket is the beer tent sponsor, and fair attendees will receive a coupon good for a free empty growler suitable for filling at ValuMarket's growler station.

Greenville IN: Capriole Spring Open House is at the beautiful farmstead from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. This year, the theme is “Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!,” with goat cheeses, condiments and accoutrements alongside a sampling of NABC beers poured by the Publican. It costs $10 person and $5 for children under 12, and I highly recommend you visit the web site for details and/or call for further information.

Is that enough to kick off summer?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

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

My "Here's to Beer" non-credit course, which last year was profiled in the IUS Horizon newspaper ("Non-credit course educates students on history of beer") is back for another installment in June. The enrollment period is underway now. This section is for "beginners" just coming to beer enthusiasm, so don't fear the dark.

Here's to Beer!

Instructor: Roger A. Baylor
Tuition: $65.00
Location: NABC Pizzeria & Public House
Wednesday 6:30 pm - 8:30 p.m.; 4 sessions starting June 8, 2011, ending June 29, 2011

Harrison County Summerfest in Corydon to feature a craft beer garden on Saturday, July 2, Noon - 9 p.m.

For readers unfamiliar with Southern Indiana geography, historic Corydon is right down the road from New Albany, perhaps 20 miles away and westbound on I-64.

Among other claims to fame, the town was Indiana’s first state capital. In fact, a little bird tells me that Corydon may soon experience another historic first: A group of townies apparently are exploring options for opening a brewpub on the square.

Wouldn’t that be delighfully epochal?

In the meantime, NABC is perfectly happy to be among the craft brewers represented at Harrison County Summerfest on the weekend before the 4th of July.

The craft beer action is on Saturday, July 2. The morning begins in nearby Lanesville, where there’ll be a charity 5k run/walk to benefit Shelby Richert.

After the race, the astute organizers have cleverly arranged for awards to be presented at the county fairgrounds in Corydon, where by sheer coincidence, a craft beer garden will begin operating at 12 Noon. Here’s the tentative draft list:

Barley Island Sheet Metal Blonde
BBC Amber
Bell’s Oberon,
Flat 12 Half Cycle IPA,
NABC Community Dark
Schlafly Kolsch
Upland Preservation Pils

The craft beer garden will run on Saturday from Noon until 9:00 p.m. More information can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=116169881797121

As someone who has spent a lifetime hereabouts, I cannot describe how excited I am at the prospect of showcasing craft beer in Corydon. It's a holiday weekend, so consider lining up a designated driver and heading that way.

Furthermore, there's a Dubois County Bombers baseball game (with NABC beer) later the same afternoon, approximately 45 minutes further west, in Huntingburg. Anyone up for a combined roadtrip -- Corydon, Bombers and craft beer?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Celts on the River is Saturday, June 18th, 4 - 10 p.m.

NABC's Strathpeffer and Haggis Laddie are about to be brewed, and there's more information here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Celts-On-The-River-Festival/186048838098834?sk=wall

First Annual Bloomington Craft Beer Fest is Saturday, June 4th, 3 - 7 p.m.

On Saturday, June 4th, the First Annual Bloomington Craft Beer Fest takes place in Bloomington, Indiana. Tickets are on sale now. The festival is an officially sanctioned Brewers of Indiana Guild event, and purely exhaustive information can be found here:

http://www.indianabeerfest.com/

Yes, the 6th Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale is the very same day and time. NABC will split squads and represent at each. I'm in a position of touting both events, and as most readers know, the conflict is regrettable.

The 6th Annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale is Saturday, June 4th, 3 - 7 p.m.

(From the tireless beer maven, Todd Antz)

What is the Fest of Ale?

It is a charity beer festival to help raise funds for the WHAS Crusade for Children, with 40+ Breweries, 4 Craft Beer Distributors, 6 Fine Wine Distributors, over 150 craft and import beers, wine, food, a charity raffle and more!

We've continued to improve the festival year after year. This year, we have added even more wine, and we have also added several new breweries to the mix.

Date: June 4th from 3 - 7 p.m.
Location: St. Anthony's of Padua, 320 North Sherwood Avenue, Clarksville, Indiana 47129-2798

Cost: $25 advance, $30 day of show


For more details and to buy tickets, check out the events website at http://www.kegliquors.com/fest_of_ale.html

Monday, May 09, 2011

A collaborative day at NABC.

The notion of "collaboration beer" is an outgrowth of craft beer's intrinsic vitality as a genre, and illustrates the cooperative spirit therein. Brewers come together to share ideas and experiences, and the consuming public is the biggest winner, because craft fans have the chance to taste the result.

Imagine Miller and Budweiser working together on a beer recipe. You cannot. It could not possibly happen up there in multinational land ... but it's increasingly common within the craft segment.

Yesterday afternoon, Urbain Coutteau of De Struise Brouwers (Belgium) brewed a collaboration batch at Bank Street Brewhouse with NABC's Jared Williamson and David Pierce. Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter (Louisville Beer Store, Holy Grale) organized Urbain's tour of the States, which included stops at Three Floyds Brewing Company and the Kentucky Derby.

Brew photos here: Naughty (Girl) Brew Day, May 8, 2011

The fun continues today at NABC's Pizzeria & Public House, where a second collaboration beer will be brewed, followed by Office Hours with the Publican, which tonight will take the form of a reception of sorts with Urbain -- think of it as a going away party.

More information here: Urbain madness at Bank Street and the Public House, Sunday and Monday -- for collaborations and more.

Thanks to everyone who helped make yesterday such a great time -- Urbain, Lori & Tyler, NABC's brew team, Bank Street Brewhouse staff (they handled a huge Mother's Day crowd) and anyone else who grasps the meaning of Progressive Pints.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Urbain madness at Bank Street and the Public House, Sunday and Monday -- for collaborations and more.

Tour organizers (and great beer dispensers) Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter are putting Urbain "Struise" Coutteau through the Derby Week party paces during his B'Urban Trail 2011, which finds him at Louisville Beer Store for the aftermath of the Oaks, and Holy Grale for post-Derby madness.

But there's more.

On Sunday (May 8), Urbain joins David Pierce and Jared Williamson, and Lori and Tyler, for brunch, Bloody Marys and an afternoon collaboration brew at NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse. I'm told that the target recipe is a Belgian Blonde Ale with American hops, reportedly to be called Naughty Girl.

Then on Monday, May 9, there'll be another collaboration at NABC's R & D brewery at the Pizzeria & Public House, this time involving a Derby-inspired Imperial India Pale Ale with bourbon-soaked oak spirals and mint. It turns out that Urbain is an ostrich farmer in his spare (?) time, and grafting jockeys onto ostriches leads inevitably to visions of B'Urban Trotter Ale.

Let's hope NABC's graphics wizard Tony Beard is reading.

Monday will conclude with an Office Hours Special Edition in Prost, with our Monday night tasting session transformed into a post-brewing day recap party and meet 'n' greet with Urbain, who presumably will return to Belgium later in the week for an extended stint in rehab ... as will I, but without going to Belgium (damn).

Expect Office Hours beers from Struise, NABC, and others, depending on what can be foraged.

Urbain madness at LBS and Holy Grale, tonight and tomorrow -- and with NABC casks.

Reprinted below is the plan and pertinent details for Urbain "Struise" Coutteau's whereabouts tonight and tomorrow, at Louisville Beer Store and Holy Grale. NABC's contribution to the festivities are cask-conditioned Henna Black IPA and Yakima Rye IPA at LBS tonight, and yet another Yakima at Holy Grale on Saturday.

---

Friday, May 6th (Derby Eve & Trolley Hop)-
DUB & GRUB at Louisville Beer Store
with special guests: Urbain Coutteau of Struise, John Host of Founders and the
3 Floyds crew
Starts at 7:00 p.m.
Jamaican food by Dirk Woods
Music by World Force Reggae (DJ's Ibuka & Basil)
Special tap line-up with beers from Struise, Founders, 3 Floyds, NABC and more!
*outdoor seating (music and food) is weather permitting

Saturday, May 7th - 1st annual DERBY BEER BALL
with special guests: Urbain Coutteau of Struise, John Host of Foundersand the
3 Floyds crew
Starts at 7:00 p.m.
Beer inspired snack menu ... we will cook good things to eat in beer
Track/garden attire preferred
Special tap line-up with beers from Struise, Founders, 3 Floyds, NABC and more!
*RSVP NOW, limited space available, email names in party to:
info(at)louisvillebeerstore.com

Lori has posted more details about The Urbain exchange: Struise meets the Midwest.

It's a New World Order: Link to the bottled beer list.

The newly released bottled beer list at the NABC Pizzeria & Public House is now available for viewing and printing at our web site.

Here's the tiny version: http://tiny.cc/1g1or

The list went live yesterday. A few of the beers remain on back order, but roughly 95% are in house and ready to drink.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Indiana-brewed beer ... that's what I'm saying, and doing.

I took this photo yesterday at the Public House, before the new rear keg box came on line, so we're three or four draft lines shy of the normal complement.

Earlier in the week, we had both Three Floyds and Flat 12 on draft, too. Still, there are seven Indiana-brewed beers pouring from the guest taps, with 14 from NABC on draft, too, meaning that over half the offerings are Hoosier in origin as we go into Derby weekend.

Speaking of which: The Public House side of the operation will not open until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Derby Day, although there'll be seating from 11:00 a.m. in the Pizzeria.

Bank Street Brewhouse opens at noon on Oaks and Derby Days.

True in the 1990's, still true today.

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Wednesday Weekly: At long last, the millstone is reformed.

(Apologies; I've been too damned busy to write Wednesday Weekly, but the election's over, I lost, and it's time to get back to it)

I’ll confess to having written next to nothing about our momentous reform of the guest bottle list at the Pizzeria & Public House since January at the most recent.

There has been a very good reason for my silence, primarily that the list itself has not been ready for prime time. There’s been nothing to write, but now it is finished.

As with most such ideas, this one has been far easier in the conceptualization phase than when it comes to actualizing in the real world.

Back around December and January, I made an effort to preview the new list here at the blog, and even this had to be suspended owing to the number of times we made changes. In turn, the changes were necessitated by the dizzying speed with which beers have been coming and going, into Indiana and then back out.

Recall that for a beer brewed out of state to be legally available through Indiana wholesaling channels, there must be a distribution agreement in place. If you’ve been reading the headlines, you already know that the pace of change has been frenetic, as some craft brewers contract while others expand.

(Indiana brewers are permitted to self-distribute, which is why you’re seeing Sun King cans on the new list … but I digress)

To illustrate, let’s review. The reform was explained here: Wednesday Weekly: The milestone of reforming a millstone.

To reiterate, the main bottled beer list must be a consistent, readily obtainable, everyday guide to the panoply of world beer styles as defined by the BJCP.

That’s Beer Judge Certification Program, by the way.

It has been a herculean task to sort through available beers, first to find ones that fit the BJCP’s style categories and sub-categories (we’re trying to teach, after all), and then to keep our choices fixed as availability waxed and waned, but I’m pleased to announce that whenever the physical, paper lists arrive from the printer, hopefully tomorrow, we’re finished.

The Pizzeria & Public House bottle list now will include roughly 125 beers (presumably) available on an everyday basis. We’ve tried to skew the list toward American craft beer where possible, because that’s the idea. However, plenty of good European choices remain.

These will be augmented by a rotating list of seasonals and specials comprising perhaps 20 more. At the beginning, there’ll still be previous stocks of beers destined for selling through, and some good deals therein. Look for these on the blackboards.

Next, we get to work on Cider, Meads and Lambic. The selections of Cider and Mead will be consistent and uniform.

Lambic is a different story, as most of the ones I like come from Shelton Brothers, which still is not distributing in Indiana. A certain number of vintage dated Lambic brands will be offered until they’re gone. By then, maybe reason will have prevailed.

The one thing I said we’d do that isn’t coming down immediately is this: Style Council. It is slated to be a “drink all the selections on the list, get your name on the wall of foam” type of promotion, and it still is scheduled to occur, except that first, we want staff to be comfortable with the new arrangement, and have a chance to cull and update the reformed bottle list, since change is the only constant. Style Council is likely to begin by summer.

Thanks for your patience, and once we get underway, please give me your feedback. I’m considering periodic public meetings along the lines of Office Hours, at which we’ll entertain suggestions for changes and improvements, and (of course) drink the available options.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

NABC bombers in today's Courier-Journal.

I'll have more to say about the bottling project very soon. Until then, enjoy Marty's fine piece on NABC's bombers.

In Search of Good Food: Cheers to New Albanian's big bottles of beer, by Marty Rosen (Special to The Courier-Journal).

It takes a big bottle to contain a big beer. And big beers have been a hallmark of the New Albanian Brewing Co. since owner Roger Baylor and his crew first started playing with grain, hops, water and yeast. So it's not surprising that when NABC started bottling beers, it would bring out the big guns and put them in the 22-ounce bottles called bombers.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

An Elector Day pint special.


Because a troglodyte surely will complain, note the small print: In the state of Indiana, discounted alcoholic beverages are offered all day long during business hours, to all comers in a strictly non-discriminatory manner, provided (a) you're 21 years of age and can prove it, and (b) not already intoxicated. Enjoy Elector Day responsibly.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

It was good vodka, I think.



Circa July 4 or 5, 1987, canalside in Leningrad with Kim Wiesener, Allan Gamborg and Barrie Ottersbach. The photo was taken around 1:00 a.m.