Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"I used to be a beer collector, but nowadays, I’d rather just drink a few good beers."

In my twice monthly column at LouisvilleBeer.com, I'm passing on collecting ...

... The more experienced I became in a world of beer, and the greater my knowledge of it, the less imperative it became for me to keep detailed lists, and to amass tangible evidence of the beer I’d enjoyed. Most of it tended to be thrown into banker’s boxes anyway, and seldom seen. At some point along the way, I realized that with age came an accumulated weight of experience and knowledge, something that isn’t quantifiable with mere slips of colored paper or hundreds of documented beer ratings.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Eight Beer Fantasy recap by Shane Campbell.

Following is Shane Campbell's review of the Eight Beer Fantasy yesterday at Majid's. 

The Eight Beer Fantasy at Majid's on Sunday, January 29.

I can't say enough good things about this experience. It wasn't just an ideal venue and flawless presentation, but the careful thought placed into the pairings by mastermind Stephen Dennison. While some of the edibles were special for the occasion, they were extensions of what the kitchen usually prepares, and the beers are those on the everyday list at Majid's. Consequently, what was gleaned was very useful, as well as being delicious to learn.


I just returned from the Eight Beer Fantasy pairing at Majid's. For those of you who were at the Whiskey Roulette I would say that for me this actually topped that experience in terms of food/beverage/presentation. It was not as much fun though because you guys weren't there!

There was a full house for this one; I believe 22 - 24 people. Everyone was very social and there was a lot more cross discussion this time. Roger Baylor did a masterful job of describing the beer making process and how it applied to the different beers we were sampling. His colorful descriptions included personal anecdotes from his travels in Europe and elicited many comments from the attendees. Roger is a consummate communicator and a natural teacher.

Stephen, was again the polished entertainer and he went well beyond the Roulette experience this time with an impressive array of small plates. What a meal! We had deviled eggs with ham and salmon, giant shrimp cocktail, filet mignon with mushrooms, Persian chicken with goat cheese fritters. My favorite was the dessert dish; fresh strawberries with Frangelico crème. That paired with the Chokolat Stout was sublime.

Of course he created a couple of beer based cocktails that were icing on the cake. In fact, the final, a digestif, was quite amazing. It was so concentrated and complex that it was like tasting port wine for the first time. Stephen described so many steps in the process for making this wonderful drink that my eyes glazed over and Roger commented that types like Stephen these days are as much akin to molecular chemists as bar tenders. Throughout, Joey and Majid were a whirlwind of activity, keeping us supplied with each course. At the end, Stephen introduced Chef Brandon Lewis to a huge round of applause.

My thanks to Joey, Majid, Chef Brandon, RogerB, and StephenD for a most excellent beer pairing on a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

P.S. Roger is planning a special beer pairing with the Frenchman for March. He is very excited about this and as he talked about the French cuisine and how it would be paired with the biere de garde I couldn't help but get excited too. I hope some of you decide to cross over and indulge in this decadent feast.

P.P.S Stephen, the BBC Bourbon Barrel Stout, Fernet Branca, Espresso-Walnut Gomme is a signature drink! I really want another. Are you sure everything in that is legal?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Updated Gravity Head 2012 roster of kegs.

With the announcement of the New Holland contingent, Gravity Head 2012 has topped the stated goal of 50 kegs. We're now at 52, with two from Three Floyds still yet to be determined. After that, we'll see how matters develop. Opening day at the Public House is Friday, February 24; more details will be coming. The starting lineup will include all the New Holland kegs, and then on the third weekend (Friday, March 9), the Founders kegs will take over the Gravity Head taps. It's time to arrange your designated drivers, and get ready for the end of the world as we know it.

New Holland Barrel Aged Charkoota Rye 8.4%
New Holland Blue Sunday “Custom Gravity Head Sour Blend” 8.7%
New Holland Charkoota Rye 8%
New Holland Dragon’s Milk 10%
New Holland Envious Circa 8%
New Holland Golden Mean 8.1%
New Holland Imperial Hatter 9.4%
New Holland Silent Night 11%

Kulmbacher Eisbock “Bayerisch G’frorns” (2010) 9.2%

Alvinne Podge Belgian Imperial Stout (cask; 2009) 10.5%
Bell's Expedition Stout 10.5%
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (2010) 10%
De Molen Ceast and Desist (a.k.a. Rasputin; a.k.a Disputin) 10.7%
Founders Imperial Stout (2010) 10.5%
Stone Imperial Russian Stout (2010) 10.8%
Upland Teddy Bear Kisses Russian Imperial Stout 10.2%

Bell’s Hopslam 10%
Flat12 Winter Cycle 9.3%
Founders Double Trouble 9.4%
Mikkeller I Beat yoU 9.75%
NABC/De Struise/LBS B’Urban Trotter 9.2%

Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock 12%

De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) 9%
Founders Blushing Monk Founders Brewing Company 9.2%

NABC Le Diable Blonde (2010) 10.7%

Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale 9.8%

Dogfish Head Olde School
Barleywine 15.04%
Founders Nemesis (2010) 12%
Great Divide Old Ruffian Barley Wine 10.2%
Hair of the Dog Fred 10%
Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barley Wine (2009) Circa 11%
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barley Wine (2009) 9.6%
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine (2010) 12%
Three Floyds Behemoth Blonde Barley Wine 12.5%

Founders Breakfast Stout (2010) 8.3%

Haandbryggeriet Bestefar 10%

BBC (Main & Clay) Bearded Pat’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine (2009) 11%
Founders CBS Imperial Stout (Canadian Breakfast) 10.6%
Founders KBS Kentucky Breakfast Stout (2011) 11.2%
Great Crescent Bourbon’s Barrel Stout 8%
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Old Engine Oil Special Reserve Conditioned in Highland Park 18-Year-Old Scotch Barrels Circa 11%
Left Hand Wake Up Dead (barrel-aged; nitro dispense) 10.20%
NABC Oaktimus 10.7%
North Coast Grand Cru 12.9%

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron 12%
Hair of the Dog Adam 10%
NABC/O'Fallon/Schlafly C2 Collaboration Ale (keg and cask-conditioned) 10.7%
Shmaltz He’Brew Jewbelation Fifteen – 15th Anniversary Ale 15%
Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head Life & Limb (Version Two, 2011) 10.2%
Stone Old Guardian Belgo Barley Wine 12%
Two Brothers Bare Tree (2010) 10%
Upland Ard Ri Imperial Red 9.3%

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The New Holland delegation for Gravity Head 2012.

We've received the list of incoming Gravity Head kegs from New Holland Brewing Company, and so here's a Gravity Form program peek.



New Holland Brewing Company
Holland MI


Gravity Head Twist: Way back in the youthful daze of the Public House, Fred Bueltmann used to stop in for chats and refreshing libations while he crisscrossed the Midwest for his job as Bells beer rep. Later New Holland joined him, and I’ve enjoyably made it to Holland twice to check things out. Unlike Holland, New Albany has no Dutch-styled windmill, but NABC has this stylish contingent of New Holland specialties, handpicked by Fred and his team. For Gravity Head 2012, they’re in a category by themselves, because it’s the end of the world as we know it, and we might as well celebrate with our brethren. Accordingly, they’ll all be on tap on Friday, February 24, when Gravity Head’s 14th bacchanal begins.

New Holland Barrel Aged Charkoota Rye
(22C) Rum Barrel Aged Smoked Rye Doppelbock
8.4% abv
(See below) New Holland’s distilling arm, Artisan Spirits, crafts “freshwater” Michigan Amber Rum. Emptied rum barrels are used to age regular Charkoota for eight weeks, adding another complex layer of flavor.

New Holland Blue Sunday “Gravity Head Sour Blend”
8.7% abv
From the brewery’s cellar library of barrel-aged Blue Sunday Sour source ales comes this exclusive Gravity Head custom blend, put together solely for the 2012 event.

New Holland Charkoota Rye
(22B) Smoked Rye Doppelbock
Circa 8% abv
Pigs indeed can fly, as illustrated by this tribute to the porcine, ranging from Porkapalooza to the glories of the charcuterie. Rye and four barley malts, including cherry-smoked.

New Holland Dragon’s Milk
(22C) Barrel Aged Stout
Alcohol by volume: 10%
Aged in bourbon barrels for four months, with accompanying vanilla notes, and a name that derives from historical examples of English special strong ale reserved for the privileged. Fox hunting, anyone?

New Holland Envious
(20) Fruit Beer
Circa 8% abv
From the brewery’s Cellar Series, utterly unique fruit ale aged on oak. Michigan pear juice and chardonnay yeast create a second fermentation, and the ale is finished with local raspberries.

New Holland Golden Mean
(18C) Belgian Tripel
8.1% abv
A New Holland pub exclusive, shipped just for Gravity Head. It’s a classic Belgian Tripel, tawny golden, with hints of clove, apple and chamomile in the nose.

New Holland Imperial Hatter
(14C) Imperial IPA
Alcohol by volume: 9.4%
A member of the High Gravity Series, with plenty of grapefruit and citrus overall, bitterness in front, dry-hopped at the end, and suitable for falling down rabbit holes.

New Holland Silent Night
(18E) Belgian Strong Dark Ale
11% abv
Another house ale usually seen only at New Holland’s pub, Silent Night is referred to as “Biere de Noel”, seasonally for the yuletide, but not spiced.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This Friday is Billow's grand opening, with NABC and Irish Exit lending a hand.

Billow, a new downtown New Albany shop specializing in fine cigars, smoking accessories, clothing, gifts and merchandise, is having a Grand Opening Celebration this Friday, January 27th.

Don't miss our GRAND OPENING this Friday, from 7:00 p.m. We’ll be giving away merchandise and cigars, and there’ll be door prizes, raffles and gifts. We will have appetizers, free tastings, and plenty of seating for smoking. NABC will have beer, and Irish Exit will offer a cash bar. Crossfire Cigars and Black Patch cigars will be here, so come out and help support our local New Albany Police Department, which will receive a portion of our ongoing proceeds.

In case you hadn’t heard, Billow is located at 137 E. Market Street in New Albany, right next to Quills, and across the street from Habana Blues and The Grand. It's a block and a half south of Bank Street Brewhouse. There’s a walk-in humidor and selection of fine cigars, and a fully ventilated indoor smoking lounge with cable tv, wi-fi, iPads and comfy leather seating.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Advance notice: Beer dinner and Alsatian choucroute garnie at the Frenchman's.

This information is subject to change, but the probable date for the first-ever beer dinner at Louis Le Français (133 East Market Street in downtown New Albany) is Thursday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m.

I joined Tim Eads of Starlight Distribution LLC this morning for a chat with the Frenchman himself. Tim will be featuring a few Bieres de Garde ales from the Shelton portfolio, to which I'll add a couple of appropriate NABC beers. Apart from three or four other courses, the Frenchman revealed the beer dinner's projected pièce de résistance: Alsatian choucroute garnie.

The last time I had this dish was in Strasbourg, with Trois Monts ale handy to accompany. It is an understatement to say that I'm excited about this beer dinner, and we're not even close to the pairings yet. Put this on your calendars, and I'll be back soon with pricing and further information.

Meat of the Matter, by Beth Kracklauer at Saveur (photo credit to Saveur)

The first time I visited Alsace, the half-timbered houses and the window boxes filled with geraniums looked to me like something out of a Grimm fairy tale. In one of the cozy winstubs, or taverns, unique to this northeastern corner of France, I was introduced to authentic Alsatian choucroute garnie, a heaping platter of wine-braised sauerkraut (choucroute in French), "garnished" with Hansel and Gretel–worthy portions of cured pork and sausages.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em … NABC ConeSmoker is coming soon.

(If Tony's reading and he has a better graphic than this one from a few years back, send it to me and I'll make a dramatic substitution in the dead of night. I always loved the smoking jacket, though)

Once again, the annual batch of ConeSmoker has been brewed by Ben Minton at NABC's original R & D Brewery, and in a few weeks, it should be ready for release.

The inspiration for ConeSmoker dates to the late 1990’s. One night I poured BBC American Pale Ale into a glass used previously for Bavarian-style Schlenkerla Rauchbier, or maybe the other way around, and an idea for Smoked APA was born.

There have been more than a few variations over the years, but lately, we’ve been sticking to the template below.

Malts: Weyermann Rauch, Vienna, and CaraHell malts; Rahr Pale and Simpson Dark Crystal

Hops: Summit and Nugget for bittering, Cascade and Nugget for flavor and aroma

Yeast: House Ale

IBU: 65

OG: 16 Plato

ABV: 6.8%

Color: 13 SRM

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Local Brew Review: New Albanian’s ‘Solidarity’ will Occupy Your Taste-Buds."

Thanks to Chris Ritter for his thoughtful review of NABC Solidarity. Bottles should still be out there, but we're running low on draft ...

Local Brew Review: New Albanian’s ‘Solidarity’ will Occupy Your Taste-Buds

January 21, 2012
New Albanian Brewing Company is just across the river, but the toasted, malty, soul-warming flavors of its ‘Solidarity’ Baltic Porter originate from much farther still. A not-so-distinticly American interpretation of a Baltic Sea tradition, ‘Solidarity’ exists in tribute to the popular revolution that saw the overthrow of communist Poland in the 1980′s.

Friday, January 20, 2012

NABC Bonfire of the Valkyries is out and about.

NABC’s signature Black Lager is on tap at both Bank Street Brewhouse and the Pizzeria & Public House for consumption in-house, or carry-out sales in growlers and bottles. The first 22-oz bomber shipments have gone out to wholesalers in Indiana and Kentucky. A very limited amount of draft will be made available to outside accounts.

Bonfire of the Valkyries is NABC's full-bodied and clean Black Lager with medium smokiness. It is the ideal accompaniment to all smoked meats, oysters on the half shell, cabbage soup, kielbasa and freshwater trout. Or, just have a few glasses while you’re burning away the hours until Ragnarok. It won't last long, so get some.

Ron Downer to brew at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

It delights me to share this news with readers, because our friend Ron Downer, one of the great guys in the brewing business, is back in the show after a few years on the sidelines. Ron was a prolific homebrewer before turning pro, and so starting small at Blackberry Farm prior to growing the brewery should be right up his alley. Congratulations, Ron! Now it's my job to make it down to the Smokies for a visit.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my loyal readers of the Burgundian Bulletin and to inform you that the last issue you received several months ago is the last in the series. As much as I have enjoyed writing the Burgundian Bulletin I must quit due to my recent acquisition of the new position of Brewmaster at the Brewery at Blackberry Farm.

I am excited about being Brewmaster at Blackberry Farm, which was honored in 2011 by Travel & Leisure magazine as the top resort in North America. Our small pilot brewery will be used to fine-tune recipes and introduce our guests at Blackberry Farm to our special beers; it is just the first step before opening a larger brewing facility in the future.

I invite you to visit www.blackberryfarm.com to learn more about the Farm and its activities. As the Brewery progresses I expect there will be information on the website about our beers and the brewery. Thanks again.

Ron Downer

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Indiana's lingering legislative blue law fetish dooms Sunday off-premise alcohol sales in Indiana ...

... except for small breweries and wineries.

It amazes me that our Indy-centric legislators prattle endlessly about economic development, and at the same time, never seem to understand that drinkers living on state borders travel to where they can spend their money on Sunday, namely surrounding states.

Also, Indiana's legislative contingent continues to endorse the doltish notion that it's better to go to a bar on Sunday to drink, and then drive home, as opposed to taking the alcohol home to drink.

And then there is Rep. Davis's comment to the effect that six days in a week is enough to buy alcoholic beverages. The same might be said for groceries and restaurants; if you plan ahead and buy supplies earlier in the week, do you really need to go anywhere at all on Sunday? Why permit any shop or store to open on Sunday, according to this reasoning? Is it 2012, or 1812?

Of course, Rep. Davis's blue-law-friendly internal rationalization is not how it works in real life -- and increasingly, real life is a place that few of these political dullards seem to inhabit, although Ideologyland is fairly bursting at the seams.

Sunday alcohol sales dead in Legislature, by Maureen Hayden (CNHI Statehouse Bureau)

INDIANAPOLIS — Depending on what happens in the Sunday-dry state of Connecticut, Indiana could soon become the last state in the nation with a Sunday ban on alcohol sales.

Legislative leaders in the Indiana General Assembly have decided against scheduling committee hearings on a bill that would have lifted the decades-old prohibition on the Sunday sale of alcohol for off-premise consumption.

Their decision effectively kills the bill.

“Surely we can buy enough alcohol in this state six days a week that we don’t need a seventh day to do it,” said state Rep. Bill Davis, the Republican chair of House Committee on Public Policy where the bill had been assigned.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wait for it: NABC's Propagator Doppelbock coming in March.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, all that was missing in NABC’s R & D Brewery at the Pizzeria & Public House were heaping platters of succulent Schweinehaxe, as Ben Minton was busy brewing our first-ever Bavarian model Doppelbock, formulated with an enticing whiff of smoked malt as a knowing nod to the Franconian tradition. Think Bambergator.

The fermentation will be slow and easy, so the release of Propagator Doppelbock will not come until March. Maybe we can arrange pork knuckles by then, or rinds, or something from a hog. As we wait, here are the specs.

Malts: Weyermann BoHo Pils, Melanoidin, Rauch, CaraFoam and Simpson's Coffee (brown) malt

Hops: German Hallertauer Magnum

Yeast: Andechs Lager

IBU: 20

OG: 18.5

ABV: TBD, but expect 7.5% - 7.9%

Color: 11.8 degree SRM

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Runkel Dunkel is coming next in NABC's Andechs yeast series.

Im Hühnerstall ist dunkel!
In der Ecke eine alte Runkel.

These words from a song in German may mean this: "The chicken coop is dark, and there's an old vegetable (Runkel) in the corner."

Or, they may not. Internet translation pages certainly are fun, though.

Runkel also is a town and castle in the Lahn Valley, and when NABC's Stephen Powell heard Ben Minton was brewing a Munich Dunkel (meaning dark; I'm on much firmer ground here) at the R & D Brewery, he went with the rhyme as his suggestion. Steve might be interested to learn that Runkel Dunkel is a song, too.

In any event, say it the German way: ROON-kell DOON-kell. It should be out soon, so stay tuned.


NABC Runkel Dunkel

Malts: Weyermann Munich, BoHo Pils, Caramel Wheat and Carafa III Special

Hops: German Hallertauer Magnum (bitter/kettle) and Tettnanger (flavor and aroma additions)

Yeast: Andechs Lager

IBU: 22

OG: 14 Plato

ABV: 6%

Color: 22.5 SRM

Monday, January 16, 2012

"Back Into the Future," at LouisvilleBeer.com

My latest column is up at LouisvilleBeer.com ... remember that these appear twice monthly, and thanks for reading.

Back Into the Future

Earlier in the week, I went for a refreshingly brisk walk in the cold winter’s rain. On the way back from downtown New Albany, I took the shortcut home via 10th Street, where it crosses Market next to the city’s war memorial traffic island. Mansion Row is only a block away to the south, and after 10th crosses Spring northward, the neighborhood is transitional.
Standing right there, between Market and Spring, is a nondescript yet dignified 19th-century red brick commercial building, two stories tall, with a sloping roof and a “fermentational” story to tell.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pat Allgeier, as spotted in Missoula.

Mark Allgeier forwarded the link to this article about his brother Pat, as published in the Missoula (Montana) Independent. Older readers will recall Pat's years of Louisville bartending service at the BBC St. Matthews location, and later at Cumberland Brews, with a few others in between. What more can be said? Pat always was a great favorite of NABC's, and it's truly a pleasure to see him thriving out West.

Stars behind the bars; A few top tenders revealed
So at home
It's around noon on a recent Sunday and Old Post bartender Pat Allgeier, an insouciant, animated 39-year-old with a thick frame, gray muttonchops and a long brown ponytail, is fixing drinks for the brunch crowd. He spurts a circle of whipped cream on a snifter of Irish coffee, spears an olive, pickle and pepperoncini to garnish a bloody mary and pours champagne for a mimosa.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bell's HopSlam, but not in our house until later in February.

This is the time of year when Bell's HopSlam is released. Accordingly, there is a social media stampede: The first place to tap it, where bottles remain for sale, and the like.

I'll not be churlish by suggesting that dozens of other Imperial IPAs released during the course of a calendar year bear a similarity to HopSlam, because it is quite good, and I appreciate both it and Bell's in general. As in the past few years, we'll wait to tap our Pizzeria & Public House draft allotment of HopSlam until Gravity Head (February 24) begins, and then sell through whatever kegs we get until it's all gone.

Enjoy some now, and then enjoy some more later.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Free movie night at the Public House: "Inside Job."

The following is from Carol Tvaroh, who belongs to an organization called Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan (HCHP). On at least one previous occasion, the group screened a video (Michael Moore's "Sicko") in Prost, at the Public House. They asked to come back with a series of documentaries, and I'm delighted to accommodate them.

Read on ...

You're invited to attend a screening of INSIDE JOB, the 2010 Oscar-winning documentary which examines the causes of the financial meltdown. Described as "The brilliant explanation of how the world's economy was almost destroyed by the banks, the economists and politicians", this movie is well worth watching. The crisis is far from over.

The time is 6:00 p.m.
The date is January 16th, Monday
The Place is The New Albanian Brewing Company (Rich O's).
The address is 3312 Plaza Drive, New Albany, IN. (Just off Grant Line Road, across from the Kroger store).

This is the first of a series of screenings that we're planning. The second one will be on the first Monday in February, the 6th - CAPITALISM, A LOVE STORY, Michael Moore's great film about the relationship of Wall St. and government. Same time and place.

The third documentary will be THE LAST MOUNTAIN, about mountaintop removal coal mining - on the third Monday in February, the 20th.

We plan to cover a wide range of important topics - food/water, fracking, the environment, health care, and many others.

Stay tuned for further news.

A note: Roger Baylor, owner of the New Albanian Brewing Company has been kind enough to let us use his premises gratis, but I'm sure that all purchases of food and drinks will be much appreciated.

Thank you - hope to see y'all on Monday.

Final 2012 NABC beer release schedule link.

You can view and print the 2012 NABC beer release schedule PDF here.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Eight Beer Fantasy at Majid's on Sunday, January 29.

Is this the first beer dinner of 2012?

I'm not completely sure about that, but it's the first one for me to take part, and so let me introduce the Eight Beer Fantasy, as devised the mixologist Stephen Dennison, and as copied from his posting on the Louisville Restaurants Forum.


Here's the menu, my friends. As always, I am open to suggestions. As we get closer, I will add some of the finer flourishes I am so fond of ... if you didn't catch it on the previous thread, Roger Baylor will be speaking on the craft of brewing. I will be addressing pairing techniques. And everyone will just be plain... discussing!

Appertif Cocktail: Sam Adams Imperial Double Bock Shandy- Domaine de Canton, Boker's Bitters

River City Pale Ale
Surf and Turf of Devilled Eggs- House Cured Salmon Belly and Crispy Pancetta

Rivertown Helles Lager
U-8 Shrimp Cocktail with Russian 'Potato Salad'

NABC Hoptimus Double IPA
Gorgonzolla Fondue with Filet Mignon and Mushroom 'Bourgogne Flavor'

Palate Cleanser: Jasmine/Lemon Granita

Upland Wheat
Persian Chicken Kabob with Sumac, Potato/Goat Cheese Fritter

BBC Nut Brown
Ash-E-Reshteh (Persian Whey Noodle Vegetable Soup,) Mir Poix Powder

Southern Tier Chocolate Stout
Mocha Pate', Creme Anglaise, Berries

Digestif Cocktail: BBC Bourbon Barrel Stout, Fernet Branca, Espresso-Walnut Gomme

With 3 oz pours, this brings the total imbibed to just over two drinks (because I'll be adding spirits to the cocktails.)

Price: $35, plus tax and gratuity

Sunday, January 29th at 2:30
3930 Chenoweth Ln

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Pint/CounterPint III -- now at LouisvilleBeer.com

The third installment of Pint/CounterPint is up at LouisvilleBeer.com. This time Adam "Against the Grain" Watson differs with the Brewers Association's definition of craft beer, while I defend.

Yes, it's understood that to do so, I must agree with Charlie Papazian. So be it.

Pint/CounterPint 3:1
Arts and Crafts, by Adam Watson, Against The Grain Brewery

Pint/CounterPint 3:2
In defense of the BA’s craft definition, by Roger A. Baylor, New Albanian Brewing Company

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The first 36 for Gravity Head 2012: "It's the End of the World As We Know It."

Gravity Head 2012 kicks off on Friday, February 24, with the (now) traditional Gravity Head Tailgate Breakfast at the Public House. There'll only be somewhere around 50 listed selections, of which 36 are listed below. As we await the announcement of New Holland's shipment, and foraging just a handful more big beers, here is what we have so far.

Alvinne Podge Belgian Imperial Stout (2009)

BBC (Main & Clay) Bearded Pat’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine (2009)

Bell's Expedition Stout

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (2010)

De Molen Ceast and Desist (a.k.a. Rasputin, Disputin)

De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine

Founders Blushing Monk

Founders Breakfast Stout (2010)

Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale

Founders Imperial Stout (2010)

Founders KBS Kentucky Breakfast Stout (2011)

Founders Nemesis (2010)

Great Crescent Bourbon’s Barrel Stout

Great Divide Old Ruffian Barley Wine

Hair of the Dog Adam

Hair of the Dog Fred

Haandbryggeriet Bestefar

Harviestoun Ola Dubh – Old Engine Oil Special Reserve … Conditioned in Highland Park 18 Year Old Scotch Barrels

Kulmbacher Eisbock “Bayerisch G’frorns” (2010)

Left Hand Wake Up Dead (barrel-aged; nitro dispense)

Mikkeller I Beat yoU

New Holland Dragon’s Milk

North Coast Grand Cru

Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barley Wine (2009)

Shmaltz He’Brew Jewbelation ifteen – 15th Anniversary Ale

Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barley Wine (2009)

Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head Life & Limb (Version 2, 2011)

Stone Imperial Russian Stout (2010)

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine (2010)

Stone Old Guardian Belgo Barley Wine

Three Floyds Behemoth Blonde Barley Wine

Two Brothers Bare Tree (2010)

Upland Teddy Bear Kisses Russian Imperial Stout

Friday, January 06, 2012

A resumption of Sunday Brewhouse Brunch at NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse.

After a two-week holiday outage, the acclaimed (well, by me) Brewhouse Brunch resumes this Sunday, January 8, at Bank Street Brewhouse.

Brunch menu items will be served from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with afternoon hours lasting until 6:00 p.m. The inimitable Sarah Howell will be tending the Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar, which at inception more than two years ago was the first of its kind in this area. Growlers of proven merit will be dispensed and refilled. The new patio doors may even be installed; who knows. They're supposed to arrive at any minute.

We have no Van Halen tickets, so don't even ask.

Also, remember that we're only a week away: Old Lightning Rod Day is Sunday, January 15, at Bank Street Brewhouse.

Be there, or be Legacy Square. That's an inside joke for New Albanians in the know.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

"Questions for the Revolution," at LouisvilleBeer.com

My most recent column at LouisvilleBeer.com is up, and the next Pint/CounterPint with Adam Watson of Against the Grain will appear next week. The link on the graphic is active ... so click it.

Questions for the revolution?
Posted by  on Jan 5, 2012
When it comes to beer, I’ve sworn off end-of-the-year lists, enumerations and reflections, primarily because the sheer volume of great beers and wonderful drinking experiences in.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Old Lightning Rod Day is Sunday, January 15, at Bank Street Brewhouse.

Old Lightning Rod

Let thy discontents be thy secrets

An annual January release commemorating the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, Old Lightning Rod is a throwback strong ale from Colonial American times, incorporating “triangular” molasses as an adjunct, and encapsulating Franklin’s sly founding wisdom.

This year, we've moved the celebration back to proximity with Benjamin Franklin's actual birth date of January 17 (in 1706), and changed the day to Sunday. It will be the first chance to get a feel for the new enclosed/former patio.

In addition to Bank Street Brewhouse's normal offerings on Sunday, January 15 -- including Brewhouse Brunch until 2:00 p.m and the normal menu of food -- there'll also be a special Old Lightning Rod Day Menu.

Polska Kielbasa ... slow smoked in Old Lightning Rod, grill seared, and served on a toasted Tribeca Hero Roll, topped with House Pickled Onion and
Apple Relish and House Honey Mustard.

Northern Bean Soup ... with Smoked Virginia Ham.

Either with a brunch item or one of these two special culinary offerings, we recommend pairing with an Old Lightning Rod, and be sure to bring your growlers for an OLR fill. Wear something remotely Colonial, and win an OLR poster signed by the brew team.

Benjamin Franklin was a multi-talented Colonial-era creative legend who brewed beer and drank beer. In his writings, Franklin referred to various types of ale and concluded that its consumption was healthy in moderation – an observation with which modern medical science concurs. What did these ales of old taste like? Six years ago, as part of a nationwide promotion on the occasion of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, NABC’s brewers tweaked a Colonial-era recipe provided to members of the Brewer Association, and the result was our first ever batch of Old Lightning Rod. We've repeated the experiment every year since, and the ale keeps tasting better and better.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Your continuing beer education: "Here's to Beer" and "Even More to Beer" non-credit IUS courses return in January, March 2012.

My "Here's to Beer" Indiana University Southeast non-credit course returns on Wednesdays in January. Enrollment is underway now. Relatively speaking, "Here's to Beer" is designed for "beginners" just coming to the sunny side of beer enthusiasm. Don't fear the dark, consider attending, and note that "Here's to Beer" is the prerequisite for the advanced course: "Even More to Beer," which will follow in March.

Yes, you must be 21. Classes take place in the Prost room at the NABC Pizzeria & Public House at 3312 Plaza Drive (just off Grant Line Road) in New Albany. For the money, you get four class sessions, generous beer samples, and a mode of presentation that hasn't yet devolved to power point. It's oral beer history, sometimes incisive, other times rambling. No two class presentations are the same, and I hope that's a recommendation.

Get on board by visiting Indiana University Southeast’s web site via the links below, and for more, read this IUS Horizon newspaper article from spring, 2010: "Non-credit course educates students on history of beer."

Here’s to Beer! (101)
January 18, 25 and February 1, 8

Even More to Beer (202)
March 7, 14, 21 and April 4*
*Note that while the course description has the last of four classes taking place on March 28, this is Spring Break week at the university, and so we'll delay until April 4

Monday, January 02, 2012

Calendar check: River Roots (formerly Ohio River Valley Folk Fest), May 18, 19 and 20, 2012.

Along with our friends from Upland Brewing in Bloomington, NABC has been pouring beers at Madison's wonderful late spring musical and folk arts event since its inception, and we hope to return in 2012. As opposed to so many other similarly styled show, Madison's edition always has embraced craft beer. Last year, Great Crescent from Aurora joined the fun, and in the future, I'm sure the new Mobreki Brewing in Madison itself will be producing enough beer to sell some down by the river.

The name has changed for 2012, to a far shorter and less tongue-tying River Roots. More at Facebook: RiverRoots Music & Folk Arts Festival - (ORV Folk Festival)

2012 River Roots Line-Up has been announced!

Friday, May 18, 2012
6pm Carolyn Martin (Texas Swing)
8pm The Band of Heathens
10pm Searson

Saturday, May 19, 2012
1pm Joe Crookston w/ Peter Glanville
3pm Roosevelt Dime
5pm Charlie Parr
7pm Over The Rhine
9pm Hayes Carll

Sunday, May 20, 2012 (Times may change)
12:30pm Appalatin
1:45pm Michael Kelsey
3pm Bobbie Lancaster & Mill Branch String Theory
4:30pm The Black Lillies

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Calendar check: BIG Indiana beer events in 2012.

Are you joking? It's not already festival season, is it?

Not quite, but almost. First is the Brewers of Indiana Guild's yearly Winterfest 2012, which is scheduled for Saturday, January 28, at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. General admission tickets will buy their holders sampling privileges from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., but if you pony up for the VIP rate, the gates open at 3:00 p.m.

Purchase Tickets Online

Fast forwarding until summer: The weekend of July 6 and 7 is the time for judging the Indiana State Fair Brewer’s Cup. Information from 2011 is here, so be sure to check for updates.

This year, Indianapolis hosts the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference on July 13, 14 and 15. Not coincidentally, the annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival takes place on Saturday, July 14.

These are events to consider attending if you're serious about craft beer in Indiana. Rest assured, there'll be many more.