Thursday, June 30, 2011

NA Exchange/NABC beer dinner report at Kentucky Brew Review.

I just now joyfully relived Monday's NA Exchange/NABC beer dinner thanks to John King's essay at Kentucky Brew Review: NABC and NA Exchange beer dinner. Check it out.

Rick and Jeff Tours will take you to the 16th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival on July 16.

Rick and Jeff Tours has the information at Facebook.

The 16th annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival takes place on Saturday, July 16, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Opti Park in Broad Ripple on the north side of Indianapolis. Something new for 2011 is that some Indiana brewers will have "double wide" tables with expanded beer selections for sampling. NABC is one of these.

The motor coach leaves Louisville circa 12:30 p.m., with lunch before entry to the festival. You'll be back in Louisville approximately by 9:00 p.m. The cost of $85 per person includes motor coach transportation, ticket to festival, lunch, and refreshments. Call Jeff "Professor" Gesser at 502-807-7531, or send a message from the Facebook page.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Begin now: Bell's Night at the Public House.

Six Bells beers are on tap right now at the Pizzeria: Oarsman, Oatmeal Stout, Oberon, The Oracle, Two Hearted and Wedding Ale.

The Public House doors open at 5:00 p.m. When they do, a firkin of Bell's Porter will be on the hand pull.

I would have posted photos, and actually tried to do so, but Blogger is performing at peak levels of inefficiency, previously exceeded only by the Louisville Courier-Journal's non-circulation department.

Previously: The Oracle expected to go quickly when the Public House hosts Bell's Night on Wednesday, June 29.

Video: Touting LIBA's Louisville Brewfest on WHAS-11.

The 3rd annual Louisville Brewfest is at the Mellwood Arts Center is this Friday, July 1. Yesterday, I did a promo for it with Louisville Independent Business Alliance's Summer Auerbach (of Rainbow Blossom) on WHAS news.

See the video: Interview: Louisville Brewfest

For more on the festival, go to Lville Beer.

Local De Struise collaborations go on tap tonight at the Louisville Beer Store.

Tyler Trotter at the Louisville Beer Store says it all at Facebook. Let's just say that there's no shortage of hops in any of these fine beers.


De Struise (KY Derby) collaborations **Release Party**

We will be releasing three of the collaboration beers that Urbain Coutteau (De Struise Brouwers Brewmaster) brewed while he was in town visiting for the KY Derby. At 5 p.m. we will have the following beers on tap:

*Three Floyds/Struise Shark Pants (Double Belgian IPA)
*NABC/Struise/LBS Naughty Girl (Blonde IPA)
*NABC/Struise/LBS B'Urban Trotter (Double IPA with Bourbon & Mint)

***We will also have 22oz. bottles of Naughty Girl for sale***

Come say thank you and goodbye to Jared Williamson (NABC Brewmaster) on his last night in town before he moves to St. Louis to brew for Schlafly.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What you missed: NA Exchange beer dinner with NABC on Monday, June 27.


The Greeting Glass was NABC Strathpeffer (Gruit Ale), followed by a Starter of house-made bourbon beer cheese and fresh pretzel bread, paired with NABC Community Dark (Dark Mild). The camera lens wasn't quick enough to capture the pretzel; here is the fresh fruit salad with local mixed lettuce, feta, marinated onion, sunflower kernels, cucumber, and fresh fruit tossed in raspberry vinaigrette, with NABC/De Struise/Louisville Beer Store Naughty Girl (India Blonde Ale).



Entree: Grilled Pork Medallions in a fresh pineapple mango salsa, garlic, smashed potatoes, and seasonal vegetable medley, with NABC Henna (Black IPA).



NABC Brewmaster Jared Williamson enjoys his last beer dinner at the helm. Beer pairings from Jared and Richard Atnip were spot on. Former Bank Street chef Josh Lehman was on hand, too.



Dessert: Bread Pudding with walnuts, caramel, and fresh raspberries, with NABC Jasmine (Sweet Stout). The Parting Glass for the evening was NABC Hard Core Gore (Belgo-American IPA).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

NABC and BBC in a real Southern wedding? I can prove it.

There's a first time for everything, as with this link to Nicole's blog at Southern Weddings.

Kentucky Picnic Wedding from Bella Grace, Part II

Scroll through the photos until you see the chalkboard listing NABC and BBC selections helpfully described for guests, and read where the bride verifies that their choice of local microbrews helped make the wedding really Southern.

Cool stuff from an atypical source. Thanks to MR for the tip.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sam Cruz is giving NABC a hand, and we thank him.

(Earlier in the year, we had beers at BBC 3rd Street. Left to right: Jared Williamson, Josh Hill and Sam Cruz)

Let's begin with a blurb.

If you’re looking for a great way to spend a Monday evening, permit me to point again to the beer dinner at NA Exchange on June 27, featuring Dave Clancy’s culinary expressions accompanied by handpicked NABC favorites.

Move fast: NA Exchange/NABC beer dinner coming on Monday, June 27.

It will be Jared Williamson’s last NABC beer dinner (think of it as a victory lap), before he leaves for a new job at Schlafly and a new life in St. Louis. Join us for a celebration of beer and brewing memories, and a hopeful view to the future.

Earlier in the week, I mentioned our succession plan for the Research and Development brewery at the Pizzeria & Public House. The first stage of our “bridge” to a permanent brewer has commenced with the temporary assistance of Sam Cruz, late of BBC’s 3rd Street location.

Sam recently left BBC to continue his efforts to bring the Against the Grain brewing project in Louisville to fruition, in conjunction with a group of partners. Sam probably will be brewing for NABC for a few months, until Against the Grain is up and running. The timing is beneficial both for NABC and Sam, and I'm thankful he was available to help.

Suddenly, it seems the Kentuckiana brewing scene has been jolted, and is evolving. To know me is to know I'm for it, even if there are bumps and annoyances along the way. As soon as I'm in a position to describe what happens next for NABC, I'll provide an account here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Oracle expected to go quickly when the Public House hosts Bell's Night on Wednesday, June 29.

Thanks to Eric and Ben, there'll be a Bell's Night at the Public House (NABC's original location at 3312 Plaza Drive) next Wednesday, June 29 from 5:00 p.m. to closing.

It's a night dedicated to our good friends from Comstock, Kalamazoo and points northern, with regional sales representative Veronica Sanders on hand. All Bell's drafts will be on special. Here is what we've confirmed so far; check back for updates:

Oarsman
Oatmeal Stout
Oberon
Porter (on the hand pull)


The Oracle
Two Hearted
Wedding Ale

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Move fast: NA Exchange/NABC beer dinner coming on Monday, June 27.

Since the beginning of 2011, NA Exchange has been an invaluable addition to NABC’s dining and drinking neighborhood on the north side, near our original Pizzeria & Public House location and Indiana University Southeast.

NA Exchange’s owner, Ian Hall, has completely reinvented and remodeled his previous MyBar into an atmospheric, wood-adorned gastropub with craft beer, in the process engaging the consultative culinary services of David Clancy (formerly of Bistro New Albany).

Ian, Dave, their crew and NABC’s brain trust (really?) have created a beer dinner for Monday, June 27. Chef Clancy will be hoofing in the kitchen, the Publican (that's me) will emcee, and there will be some of our more rare NABC selections as pairings. See below for all the details.

---

Place: NA Exchange, 3306 Plaza Drive, New Albany

Date and time: Monday, June 27 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Dinner: 4-course menu prepared by Chef David Clancy, including NABC beer pairings chosen by Jared Williamson and Richard Atnip

Cost: $55 per person, including beer pairings, not including service

Reservations: 812-948-6501

Greeting Glass
NABC Strathpeffer (Gruit Ale)

Starter
House-made bourbon beer cheese and fresh pretzel bread, with NABC Community Dark (Dark Mild)

Salad
Fresh fruit salad with local mixed lettuce, feta, marinated onion, sunflower kernels, cucumber, and fresh fruit tossed in raspberry vinaigrette, with NABC/De Struise/Louisville Beer Store Naughty Girl (India Blonde Ale)

Entree
Grilled Pork Medallions in a fresh pineapple mango salsa, garlic, smashed potatoes, and seasonal vegetable medley, with Henna (Black IPA)

Dessert
Bread Pudding with walnuts, caramel, and fresh raspberries, with Jasmine (Sweet Stout)

Parting Glass
Hard Core Gore (Belgo-American IPA)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jared's going to work for Schlafly, and we're damned proud of him.

The Publican now steps aside as NABC's brewmaster, Jared Williamson, does the writing and tells you about love, serendipity, and his impending move to St. Louis. I still believe I should have held out for a Stephen Hale kilt to be named later ... but to be truthful, words fail me when it comes to thanking Jared and wishing him the best at Schlafly. We're sending a brewer out into the world!

---

Love and Serendipity

Where do I begin … let’s go back a few years.

At some point in the spring of 2005, when it became known that NABC’s original brewer Michael Borchers would be leaving, I turned to the now Brewery Representative/sales guru Richard Atnip, who then was a server and myself a kitchen worker/guest beer grunt, and said these now fabled words: “We should take over the brewery.”

Since then, well, a lot of serendipitous things have happened. Six years later, NABC has grown from two fermenters and a few house beers on tap amongst our world renowned beer bar, using online clip art for our signs, to a two brewery regional power, featuring one of the best graphic artists in the business, with a new bottling program primed to take serious flight. The journey has been arduous and exhilarating; wrought with discoveries, defeats, and triumphs. I could write many pages detailing the journey, but this letter has a different purpose.

In 2008, NABC was invited to attend and pour our beers at Schlafly’s Repeal of Prohibition festival, where each year they invite breweries from a different state to attend. Our salesman at that time, John Campbell, had previously worked for Schlafly and due to this connection, NABC was one of the four Indiana breweries invited. We traveled to St Louis and did what we normally do: Pour samples of our awesome beers, sell some t-shirts, educate people about NABC, and wow the taste buds. But something else happened that weekend that I was not planning on, and that is how serendipity works.

The stars aligned that weekend and I met the love of my life, Kelsey, and my life hasn’t been the same since. It’s taken several years for us to sort out the details, but ultimately we have worked towards both of us being together, living and working happily in the same community. And that my friends, is the reason for this letter:

I am leaving my post as NABC Brewmaster and joining the team of brewers at Schlafly in July.

Over the last few years, St Louis has been my second home and now it will simply be home. I am struggling to find the words to properly convey my emotions but the simple truth is the timing and opportunity are here, and I need to embrace this next phase of my life.

I cannot thank Amy, Kate and Roger enough for the opportunity they gave me years ago and I hope their trust has been repaid through my work for the company. I love The New Albanian Brewing Company, without them who knows what I would be doing today. A huge part of my soul, creativity and determination will always be with NABC, and I will keep a keen eye on all things NABC from St Louis. I hope to one day see our 22oz bombers on shelves there, and will probably weep with joy if and when I see them.

I want to thank all the current and former employees of the company, and those we have lost way too young, who all have played a role in some way in my life. You guys are dear to me and I will miss seeing you, laughing with you, and raising pints with you. I want to thank our loyal customers, without your contributions none of this would have been possible. I have proudly brewed for all of you these years and in turn all of you have graciously lifted me up.

I am so proud of how far we have come as a company, and so excited for the future of NABC. It’s as strong a company as it has ever been and this next phase of growth will see NABC up the revolution to heights that just a few years back seemed like a dream. David Pierce and the rest of the brewery team are poised for fantastic growth at Bank Street, and some lucky brewer will get to take the post at our R&D brewery and live the dream that I have, and will always cherish. I will proudly trumpet the name and beers of NABC where ever I roam, and am proud to be the first NABC brewer to move on to continue my brewing career.

I hope to visit often, and those of you that know me well, know that I am a road warrior. The four hour drive from STL to NABC is quite easy, and I know the way all too well. I also hope to come back and guest brew here again when the timing is right, and will be back often to see so many of my friends and family that live here as well. I was not born in Indiana – Iowa, for those who wonder – but I have spent the majority of my life here and my roots are deep. I haven’t even touched on my music roots here, and honestly, that is a book unto itself.

So you see, my tale is full of love and serendipity, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. My becoming a brewer was serendipitous, and my love for brewing continues to grow as the years pass by. My meeting Kelsey was serendipitous due to my love of brewing, and now it is time to start the next chapter in this journey we call life. I could ramble on for hours, perhaps days, about how everything has lead to this moment. But instead I will finish with this quote from a good friend of mine:

“Parting is sweet sorrow, and the battle rages on”

Cheers

Jared Williamson

---

Final note: Stay tuned for more about how we're going to fill the position. Notice I didn't use the word "replace," because that simply isn't possible.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Naughty Girl and B'Urban Trotter pour dates draw ever nearer.

NABC brewmaster Jared Williamson has released on-premise pour dates for draft Naughty Girl and B'Urban Trotter, NABC's collaboration brews with De Struise and Louisville Beer Store/Holy Grale.

NABC Bank Street Brewhouse: Thursday, June 23 at opening.
NABC Pizzeria & Public House: Friday, June 24 at opening.


Supplies are very limited, so there'll be a few necessary restrictions: No growlers, no pitchers, and 10-ounce pours only for B'Urban Trotter.

We believe a release event at Louisville Beer Store is being planned for next week, and when details come through the pipeline, they'll be posted.

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

Four (!) new Louisville breweries are in the planning stages.

Here’s a long overdue report on Louisville start-up brewing news, as relayed by a number of sources, whom I’ll try and properly identify. To greater or lesser extent, we've known about these projects for a while, and have been patiently awaiting as they've come together. One would not want to rush a good thing.

First, from Insider Louisville, Steve Coomes reports that the O’Shea’s Family of Pubs, Louisville pioneers in imported and craft beer presentation, will begin brewing some time in 2011 from the Flanagan's location.

Then, at the Louisville Restaurants Forum, NABC’s David Pierce has been monitoring the situation with Against the Grain Brewing, which comes to us courtesy of some familiar faces in Louisville brewing:

There is a new and welcomed addition coming to the Louisville craft brewing scene, Against the Grain Brewing. Check them out on FaceBook: Against the Grain.

But there’s even more. LouBrew, a nanobrewery in Germantown, is being planned: LouBrew on FaceBook. To contribute to the effort, go to KickStart LouBrew. A while back, Jason Lyvers reviewed the nanobrew: LouBrew is coming, LouBrew is coming!! (Lville Beer)

Back at David's Louisville Restaurants Forum post, frequent contributor and beer enthusiast Rob Coffey mentions his own plans to brew commercially. When details are forthcoming, I’ll try to post them here.

Four new breweries in Louisville? My liver simply cannot wait.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Reminder: Celts on the River, tomorrow (Sat., June 18).

Tomorrow is the third annual Celts on the River concert at New Albany's Riverfront Amphitheater from 4 - 10 p.m.

Irish Exit, River City Winery and NABC are vending. It's the release day for NABC's Haggis Laddie Celtic Red as well as Strathpeffer Honey and Heather; also, we'll have Elector, Tafel, Gale's Hard Cider (draft) from Thomas Family Winery, and maybe even a surprise or two.

Come down to the river and see us.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NABC beer list for Brew Ha Ha (June 25).

Fear no beer? How about NABC's fest motto: "Go big ... or go bigger." We like Indianapolis to have choices in summertime, you know?

For Brew Ha Ha on the 25th, we're sending kegs of Jaxon (Barley Wine), Tunnel Vision (Royal Wallonian Ale), ThunderFoot (Cherried Imperial Stout) and Hoptimus (DIPA).

For details, get ye here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Craft beer events this week: NABC at various riverfront venues, baseball games, and collaboration debuts.

It's another week filled with craft beer events, and improved outdoor temps for enjoying them. This summer is the busiest in NABC's history, and we're doing our best to keep up.

TUESDAY, JUNE 14

In Charlestown:
CPC/NABC Pirate Pale Ale debuts tonight at Charlestown Pizza Company.
It's a collaboration between NABC and CPC, and the result is an APA.

THURSDAY, JUNE 16

In Huntingburg:
Dubois County Bombers vs. Terre Haute Rex
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 17

In Jeffersonville (also on Saturday):
Smokin' on the River: BBQ, Blues and Brew Festival
For the third year, on Friday and Saturday, this sanctioned Kansas City BBQ Society event comes to the Jeff waterfront. The location is in front of the RiverStage, where Cluckers Wings will be operating a fest tent with food and craft beer, including NABC and some draft selections from World Class Beverage.

SATURDAY, JUNE 18

In New Albany:
Celts on the River
The hard-working volunteers from the Kentuckiana Celtic Society return to New Albany’s revamped riverfront amphitheater with the third annual “Celts on the River,” a free concert running from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. I wrote about it last week: ON THE AVENUES: From the Liffey to the Ohio. NABC is doing the craft beer (Haggis Laddie, Strathpeffer, Elector, Tafel and Gale's Hard Cider from the Thomas Family Winery), and Irish Exit will be on hand with sprits and other libations.

In Huntingburg:
Dubois County Bombers vs. Springfield Sliders

In Jeffersonville (also on Saturday):
Smokin' on the River: BBQ, Blues and Brew Festival

SUNDAY, JUNE 19

In Huntingburg:
Dubois County Bombers vs. Springfield Sliders

Am I forgetting anything? Let me know.

CPC/NABC Pirate Pale Ale debuts tonight at Charlestown Pizza Company.

The basic facts, courtesy of Charlestown Pizza Company's page on Facebook:

Hey y'all ---- Kiel Haymon, Tajana Johann, & Jared Williamson brewed the world's tastiest APA at the New Albanian Brewing Company and we'll be tapping a keg of this beer Tuesday night at the CPC .... CPC/NABC Pirate Pale Ale.

Jared duly provides the specs for this, NABC's first collaboration with a local dining establishment. We hope to be doing more of them.

Malts: Rahr 2 row, Castle Biscuit, Weyermann CaraFoam

Hops: Chinook (mash); Columbus, Chinook, Centennial, Cascade (kettle); Centennial and Cascade (dry hopping)

Yeast: Chico Ale

O.G.: 13.12 degrees Plato

SRM: 6.4 degrees lovibond

ABV: 5.5%

IBU: 45

Sunday, June 12, 2011

At least 18% of the time, "Local is Better."

I suppose the sentiments are laudable, but of the eleven beer brands listed, only BBC and Kentucky Ale have any claim to being truly "local." One sees displays like this, and about the only response is head shaking and a lamentation as to the passing of literacy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Actually, "piss brew" always is in the can of the Lite beer holder.

As a mildly opinionated sort, I’ve long since made peace with the fact that not everyone can be expected to agree with me -- even though they should.

Fortunately, differences of opinion in the wider world of beer seldom escalate to thermonuclear modes of response, although to be sure, it has happened before. It is in the realm of local affairs – politics, neighborhoods, law enforcement and the like – that the contestants can get testy, and do.

Of course, Internet discourse (is it really?) has a habit of elevating otherwise innocuous levels of human dysfunction to those on a par with Pol Pot and Joe Stalin. That’s because anonymity is the greatest single enabler of cowardice yet to be devised by the mind of man, and the Internet is the ideal way of distributing the contagion.

For every courageous pamphleteer or whistle-blower, there are 1,000 craven character assassins waging bilious Jihad against whomever and whatever annoys them.

You can easily imagine how much of this dullness is directed toward threatening figures like me in a place like New Albany. After all, I'm an atheist who has traveled some, and even read a book once. Here in Nawbany, I’m variously accused of imposing progress on poor little God-fearing white folks, and simultaneously standing in its way.

I’m not sure how that's possible, and yet I'm regularly reminded by people wearing hoods that no one really wants NABC's beer, and the business is bankrupt (when not funneling money from corrupt politicians to pay the electrical bills), and I'm a "drunkist" who fleeces little old ladies to keep a sinking ship afloat. These people know more about my company than I do. It's stunning,

My recent favorite is when an anonymous Internet commentator was driving past Bank Street Brewhouse and saw only two people seated at the bar, leading to the conclusion that NABC must be failing. Of course, the troglodyte in question drove past the bar after closing time, and the previous night did the best business of the year to date; no matter, he or she saw it, and context makes no difference when spiteful agitprop is the goal.

Such an individual wouldn’t want lies told about him or her, but attacking someone else somehow makes it right, especially when you can hide while tossing brickbats.

My biggest regret when it comes to anonymity is that I'm forever denied the pleasure of telling them to %$#@ off to their faces. Here’s another recent exchange, troglodyte in italics, my response following.

Have you seen the old nasty looking bread truck that advertises piss brew that is parked for weeks at the corner of bank and spring?

"You have a few correct words, but they're placed in the wrong order.

"Nasty is the nickname of a bartender I know.

"The truck in question was never used for bread.

"However, once upon a time it was indeed used for piss brew, i.e., Miller Lite. It was owned by a Miller distributorship. We cured it of piss brew by adaptively reusing it for craft beer, and the rest of it is history -- and a dullard's anonymity."

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Baseball with NABC and the Bombers: A Bus Trip to Dubois County on Sat., July 2.

Baseball with NABC and the Bombers: A Bus Trip to Dubois County.

Date: Saturday, July 2; Pickups in Louisville and at Bank Street Brewhouse TBA

NABC and Rick & Jeff Tours are sponsoring a motor coach trip from metro Louisville to Hoosier points west, including the following beer related attractions for a summer day’s relaxation:

12:30 p.m.: Historic Corydon for Summerfest 2011
There’ll be a Craft Beer Garden at the Harrison County Fairgrounds, with these beers on tap: Barley Island Sheet Metal Blonde, BBC Amber, Bell’s Oberon, Flat 12 Half Cycle IPA, NABC Community Dark, Schlafly Kolsch and Upland Preservation Pils.

3:30 p.m.: Schnitzelbank
A refueling stop at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant in Jasper. Since 1961, the Schnitzelbank has been a popular regional destination for German cuisine and beer.

7:15 p.m.: Dubois County Bombers vs Terre Haute Rex
The Dubois County Bombers play in the Prospect League, a collegiate summer baseball league. Players with remaining NCAA eligibility compete with wooden bats, and they 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.

NABC is serving beer at Bombers home games this summer: Community Dark, Beak’s Best and Tafel Bier. In addition, for the game on the 2nd, we’ll have a special NABC selection on the fourth tap at the Craft Beer Bullpen down the left field line.

The price is $50 per person, and includes motor coach transport and amenities, motor coach beer, and your ticket to the ballgame. Beers and food at Summerfest, the Schnitzelbank and League Stadium are your responsibility.

We need 30 persons to make this trip work, so send your RSVPs to me at roger(at)newalbanian.com, and payment details will be forthcoming. All timings are approximate, but will not substantially vary when finalized.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Select group of Office Hours attendees samples B'Urban Trotter.



Top photo by Rick, bottom one by the Publican.

Last night, NABC's Jared Williamson treated attendees at the final Office Hours of the season to a sample of B'Urban Trotter. It is a powerful Double/Imperial India Pale Ale with a depth of fresh hop aroma seldom experienced hereabouts. Jared informs us that release time is near. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Someone get me an envoy and a pitcher of craft beer.

Yesterday I offered this brief assessment of the first annual Bloomington Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, June 4: Yesterday's inaugural Bloomington Craft Beer Festival.

On the same day as the Bloomington gig, Keg Liquors in Clarksville held its sixth annual Fest of Ale. Owner Todd Antz provides this report:

We came up with some great numbers for the Fest of Ale. We brought in over 1,000 people and raised $7,225 for the Crusade for Children. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make this the best one ever!

The question: Are these two locations, Bloomington and Clarksville, sufficiently far removed from each other that there were no ill effects from celebrating craft beer twice on the same day, at the same time?

Now, I'm not interested in exploring who had which date first, or which charity is the more deserving. Rather, I'll cut directly to the chase and note that in the perfect world, the two festivals would be held at different times.

Upland Brewing Company subordinated its Rad Fest into the Bloomington Craft Beer Festival, with hopeful results that vindicate the notion of placing a Brewers of Indiana Guild satellite event there. In spite of Big Red Liquors, Bloomington deserves the placement.

Meanwhile, Todd has done such a good job of establishing Fest of Ale as a metro Louisville tradition that it might easily be transformed into the Brewers of Indiana satellite fest intended to titillate the emerging Louisville market and to introduce it to the burgeoning world of Indiana-brewed beer.

But the fests simply cannot take place on the same day. Brewery personnel cannot always be organized into split squads; logistical choices must be made, and not all these choices are good for the consumer.

Can't one of them take place in the spring or early summer, and the other in the fall? I believe the reconciliation talks need to begin right away so that we can have an effective, balanced calendar in 2012.

Office Hours finale tonight, summer break to follow.

There'll be a relaxed Office Hours wrap-up tonight in Prost at 6:30 p.m., featuring some of the beers Richard brought back from Milwaukee, as well as any other unsampled selection lurking in the Public House's back room.

Office Hours will begin anew in the fall, probably September. I'm not exactly sure what we'll do then, but there's time to formulate a plan. Suggestions are welcomed.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Yesterday's inaugural Bloomington Craft Beer Festival.

The First Annual Bloomington Craft Beer Festival took place yesterday (June 4, 2011). It was an outdoor event on a blisteringly hot day, and yet still drew somewhere close to 1,000 paid admissions, which I think was very good for a first-time event.

Most Indiana brewers were in attendance, and the ironic aspect of the day to me was that even though the Brewers of Indiana Guild might have hoped for a larger turnout, it proved to be a rare chance to interact with fest goers in a way that isn't possible when 5,000 people want beer, now.

NABC's reps in attendance were me, Richard and Ben, and we actually had the chance to converse, answer questions and educate. It's a tightrope when it comes to meeting consumer demand and doing so with requisite artistry; money's a factor, and so is face time. There is no firm verdict, just a constant process of compromise.

The Woolery Mill venue on the south side is ideal, in my estimation. Lots of space, scenic and accessible. I'd hate to see this location lost. There already seems to be some discussion of moving next year's event back, perhaps into May, which would be another spin of the wheel in the sense of (possibly) avoiding high temperatures, while risking the chance of monsoons like we suffered through in 2011.

But it would have the very positive effect of separating the dates of Bloomington Craft Beer Festival and Keg Liquors' Fest of Ale in Clarksville, which is committed to its June slot owing to the annual Crusade for Children in Louisville.

Thanks to everyone who turned out yesterday, both attendees and volunteers. A few tweaks, and we have another BIG winner on our hands.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Fifth Annual Art on the Parish Green in New Albany's Midtown is Saturday and Sunday.

The Fifth Annual Art on the Parish Green at St. Paul's Episcopal Church begins today. The church is located just around the corner from my house in what we call Midtown, and is the oldest Episcopalian congregation in Indiana, dating back approximately 175 years. For Art on the Parish Green, 11th Street is closed between Main and Market, and 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 today and Sunday, and you can read more at the Art on the Parish Green Facebook site.

Friday, June 03, 2011

"Schad Bash: Rock for Rauch 2011" is tonight in New Albany.

Don't forget: Schad Bash: Rock for Rauch 2011, tonight in New Albany.

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.

3rd Street will be closed off adjacent to the office building. 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.