Saturday, March 31, 2012

Great reading: "The Beer War on American Soil."

Thanks to BC for the link.

The Beer War on American Soil, by Wolf Richter

Disclosure: I love beer. Particularly certain kinds of what the industry calls craft beer. I’m a sucker for a good IPA, or an amber, or a pale ale. For special occasions, there is the expensive stuff. If I’m traveling, I try to discover local brews. And the first swig is one of the simplest great pleasures in life. But for now, I’ll stick to the numbers. And they’re morose for the US beer industry. Yet there is an astonishing exception: craft brewers.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Even More to Beer class: The Finale.

Thanks to MC for these two views of the Even More to Beer finale on Wednesday, March 28. As noted previously, the IUS department formerly known as Continuing Studies has become Discontinued Studies. I am contemplating an indie comeback for autumn, so stay tuned.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tony's label art (and specs) for NABC Black & Blue Grass, an April release.

Tony Beard's label design for NABC Black & Blue Grass, as submitted to the governing authorities. We're aiming for a shipping date of April 18; keep all fingers crossed.

NABC Black & Blue Grass 
Ale with blue agave nectar and spices

The great Bill Monroe described his bluegrass music as "Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. It’s Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It's blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound." Our Black & Blue Grass begs to concur. Belgian yeast and stateside Saison spicing; black pepper and blue agave and lemongrass, and a great bet alongside any food you have around. Or, just enjoy a bomber of Black & Blue Grass as you watch the springtime ponies run.

Malt: Rahr Pale and white wheat, Castle Aromatic

Hops: German Perle

Spice: Toasted Black Pepper, Lemon Grass

Sugar: Blue Agave Nectar

Yeast: House Belgian

O.G.: 15 degrees Plato

IBU: 18

Spotted this one in the Public House walk-in ...

 ... but you'll have to ask Eric when it's scheduled to appear.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

With IUS's non-credit program gone, it's time for a beer education rethink.

It would appear that insofar as they are sanctioned by IU Southeast, my Here's to Beer and Even More to Beer non-credit classes have come to an end (see below). Tonight's EMB section thus becomes the final one in this format.

For quite some time, I've speculated as to the feasibility of offering the course on my own, under the aegis of NABC, and absent the imprimatur of the university. I've always come back where I started, to staying with business and education as usual, primarily because IUS's marketing reach always seemed to ensure a steady supply of students who may not otherwise have been aware of the opportunity.

Roadblocks require detours, and any change to the established order is an opportunity to establish a brand new order. Consequently, I'll be reviewing options for the future of the beer education class. Your suggestions are always welcomed.

March 28, 2012

As a result of Indiana University’s decision to close the School of Continuing Studies and due to financial constraints confronting higher education in the state, IU Southeast has decided to close Noncredit Programs. For many years, Noncredit Programs has served our community by offering business and industry training, general interest programs, and children's classes.

After May 31, 2012, Noncredit Programs will no longer offer lifelong learning adult classes or safety training programs. However, IU Southeast will continue to offer the very successful Project AHEAD®, a children’s academic enrichment program.

Project AHEAD® will now be a part of the School of Education. Lisa will continue working with PA. Her phone number and e-mail address will not change. In addition, each of the academic schools on the IU Southeast campus will have the option to offer noncredit programming that they deem appropriate to their missions.

IU Southeast will continue to offer all academic degree programs, including the bachelor’s degree in General Studies that has been part of the School of Continuing Studies. This degree will be offered through a new unit at IU Southeast.
On behalf of Noncredit Programs, we want to thank you for teaching with Noncredit Programs, and tell you how much we have enjoyed having you as a part of our team. Please don't hesitate to contact us if there is anything either of us can do for you before May 31.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Craft beer and zombies. Cool.

This one sounds like too much fun.

1st Annual 5K ZOMBIE SURVIVAL RUN in Cherokee Park & Concert/After-party at Alley Theater

New Albanian Brewing Company (NABC) and Kentucky Ale will be featured at our Zombie Survival Run after-party and InHuman Festival Closing Party 4:30-10pm at the Alley Theater, Saturday, April 7th! SUPPORT LOCAL BEER!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shane reviews the Louis Le Français/Starlight Dist./NABC beer dinner on March 1.

Last week I bumped into Shane Campbell, a regular participant in the Louisville Restaurants Forum, at Bank Street Brewhouse over tasty pints of cask-conditioned Community Dark.

During the course of a long conversation, he mentioned that he'd penned a lengthy recap of the Louis Le Français/Starlight Dist./NABC beer dinner back on March 1, but thought it too long for posting at the forum. I offered to publish it at my NAC blog, and did so this weekend.

The story is in two parts, and you'll want to pay close attention to the pivotal role of pork belly in the narrative.

A Grand Pairing, Part One.

A Grand Pairing, Part Two.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Calendar check: Phoenix Hill Tavern beer festival, coming June 23.

We've been told that Louisville's Phoenix Hill Tavern will be having its first-ever beer festival this summer on Saturday, June 23. Tentatively, the festival (conducted in a customary sampling format) will take place in the tavern's parking lot, with live music and a “food truckus ruckus,” i.e., local food trucks offering edibles for the day.

I completely agree with the sentiments of Jason Schuster, the craft beer brand manager at River City (NABC's Louisville wholesaler):

The beauty in this account is that they draw not only the hard core craft fans but also more mainstream customers, who may be introduced to a brand that they have not tried previously. In other words, this is a great sampling opportunity!

Indeed, Phoenix Hill (founded in 1976) is renowned as a musical venue, but not considered a go-to craft beer showplace. This may or may not change owing merely to a craft beer festival, but surely Jason is right. In terms of demographics, this should be a fine showcase for better beer.

Seeing as one of Louisville's more famous pre-Prohibition breweries, Phoenix, was located just down the street from the premises of the present-day tavern (NABC's annual sour ale is named after it), perhaps there'll be a few ghostly interventions on top of the rest. As always, stay tuned for more details.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From Gravity Head to Session Head in six weeks and 3.5% less ABV.

Previously at PC: Speaking of radical insurgencies, Session Beer Day is Saturday, April 7.

This is just like the good old days, planning on the fly. Not a lot of hype and hooey, just great beers with a loose theme, and the opportunity to educate. It's been too long, indeed.

NABC can offer three of its own beers for Session Beer Day, and we’re looking to see what can be foraged nearby. I had a delicious light pilsner (circa 3.7% abv) at Against the Grain on Monday afternoon. There's Kentucky Light, a Kölsch coming in at 4% abv. Any other locals?

NABC's everyday Community Dark (English Mild) is 3.7%, and our year-round Tafelbier is 4%. Coincidentally, we already planned the seasonal (Extra)Ordinary to be on tap at sub-4%, right around the beginning of April. That makes three sure drafts for Session Beer Day. Throw in two or three more, and we have a miniature tap takeover by the full pint pour.

This points to the ultimate irony: With our 14th annual Gravity Head strong beer fest (listed kegs at 8%+) now winding down, what better to follow it than the polar opposite? Having the chance to follow Gravity Head with Session Head on Session Beer Day – to me, that’s priceless.

Here again are the parameters as defined by Lew Bryson.


The Session Beer Project exists for one reason: to promote the brewing, provision, and enjoyment of session beers. Session beers are:

► under 4.5% alcohol by volume
► flavorful enough to be interesting -- no light beers, please
► balanced enough for multiple pints
► conducive to conversation
► reasonably priced

In brief, low-alcohol, but not low-taste. It's deliberately vague. The great thing about session beers, especially the ones that come in under 3.5%, is that you can enjoy several beers, and still have a BAC of under 0.04. If you really like drinking beer, session is the way to go!

SBP was started in January of 2007 by beer writer Lew Bryson for two reasons. First, to spread the word about session beers so more people could enjoy them. Second, to better Lew's chances of finding good session beers to drink.

Session Beers: Thanks, I'll Have Another!

Your donations to NABC will be helping Henryville classrooms.

On Friday, March 2, tornadoes swept through areas just north of us and caused loss of life and much physical devastation. The following day, NABC put jars on the bars at both locations and asked for tornado relief donations. We recommended dedicating a dollar for every beer, and said we'd match the total contributed at the end of the day.

After much deliberation, it was our management decision that short-term relief needs were being amply met, and we'd direct the donations to the school in Henryville, which absorbed a direct hit from the storms.

Small town schools are the soul of their community, which often never recovers from consolidations. It is my firm belief that for the town of Henryville to rebuild, it must retain its school. I asked my friend Shawn Turner, a teacher at Henryville Elementary who lost her classroom, where the money might be best spent, and her response was Adopt-A-Classroom. That's good enough for NABC.

In addition to customer donations, our friends in Dayton, Ohio also took up a collection, and their check was added to the proceeds. Including our match, the amount we sent to Adopt-A-Classroom came to $2051.00 ... and if you'll see in the screenshot above, OfficeMax is matching this donation, which means that a dollar per craft beer in the jar will be worth $4,102 toward restoring Henryville's schools.

On behalf of NABC, thanks to everyone who helped and donated.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hard Core Gore to be released Wednesday, March 21.

Tomorrow at the NABC Pizzeria and Public House, two kegs of NABC Hard Core Gore will be tapped, one from the new 2012 batch, and the other from last year's inaugural batch.

Hard Core Gore, a unique beer for a unique man, will be brewed once every year in loving memory of our friend, employee and co-conspirator, Jason Gore. Jason succumbed to cancer in September, 2010. He would have been 28 tomorrow. Hard Core Gore is a Belgo-American Imperial IPA, and was formulated in 2011 by former NABC brewer Jared Williamson.

Hard Core Gore
Belgo-American IPA
A unique beer for a unique man

8.1% abv
160 IBU

Malts: Rahr Pale and Aromatic

Adjunct: Dark Brown Sugar

Hops: Hallertauer Magnum, CTZ, Summit and Cascade

Dry Hop: Cascade

Yeast: De Struise (T-58)

Calendar check: Louisville Craft Beer Week will be September 21 - 29, 2012.

At least I think it will be. We had a productive first meeting last night, and began inking dates. Note that the following "thinking out loud" list involves ONLY those marquee events sponsored by local brewing companies. Obviously, there'll be much more to this celebration, as fleshed in during the coming months ... so stay tuned.

It occurs to me that organizing a city/metro-wide event like LCBW is all about striking balances. The conversation last night, and the list below, merely is the first toe stuck into the water. Full immersion will come. Please mark the date range in your calendars, and the discussion will continue.

Friday, September 21:
Cask fest at BBC St. Matthews, similar format as the previous two years.

Saturday, September 22:
NABC Bank Street Brewhouse event; at BSB itself, intended to replace the previous Strassenfest concept. This well could be an Indiana brewery showcase.

Wednesday, September 26:
Open House at which all local breweries will be present, site TBA.

Saturday, September 29:
LCBW closing event at Against the Grain.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Speaking of radical insurgencies, Session Beer Day is Saturday, April 7.

David Pierce brought this to my attention this evening, and I can't think of a craft beer concept that appeals to me more at the present time. Props as always go to writer Lew Bryson, who has been pushing this session consciousness notion for a while now. NABC will take part in this exercise, and our Extraordinary (Ordinary Bitter) will be ready for drinking by the 7th, but you'll need to give us a few days to come up with details.  

Session Beer Day, April 7!

I suggested to the members of the small (but rapidly growing) Session Beer Project page on Facebook that we should make April 5th (4.5) or April 7th (Little Repeal Day, when 4.0% ABV beer became legal before repeal of the 18th Amendment) our day, Session Beer Day. We could ask for session beers at our favorite bars, and brewpubs, and suchlike, invite people to try them, gin up plenty of social media whoopee, and all dat. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

NABC's Tony Beard in the Indy Star.

In which Tony gets some love from the Indianapolis newspaper's beer-loving correspondent.

Beer companies get creative, put artwork on cans and bottles; Microbrewers get creative to get attention: beer on the inside and art on the outside, by Michael Atwood (Indy Star)

With names like Hoptimus, Moloko, and Osiris, craft beers from New Albanian, Three Floyds, and Sun King leave a memorable impression on the minds of drinkers. But along with their names might come another impression, that of their container art.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gravity Head today, and "Erin Go Blagh".

Saturday, March 17, happens to be the 20th business day at the Pizzeria and Public House during which those beers listed for Gravity Head 2012 are being poured. Right now, there are 11, down from a peak of 20 on opening night ... or was it Founders Night? I can't remember, and that's a reminder of how excellent the event has been this year.

Given prevailing atmospheric conditions during the past three weeks, it is instructive to remember that we pushed the start of Gravity Head into February precisely because doing so would garner better (colder) weather more suitable for strong ales and lagers. The weather's been better for a festival of wheat ales, but we (and you) have persevered.

The ranks have thinned quickly, and today's update can be found here.

Today also is St. Patrick's Day, and always a fitting time to remind readers of the classic commentary called "Erin Go Blah," which for my money remains the definitive statement on the excesses of the holiday. It was written by bartender Chris Halleron some years back for the “Hot Trub” e-newsletter, and permission to reprint has been provided by the author.

Just in time for the holiday: "Erin Go Blah" (a reprint).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hoosier Daddy debuts today. But when?

Stay tuned to Facebook to know when the Hoosier Daddy starts pouring today.  

According to the Terre Haute-born labor union leader and presidential candidate Eugene Debs, "The most heroic word in all languages is revolution." Indiana has had plenty of revolutionaries in numerous fields, from basketball to music, and this is our homage to them all.

Hoosier daddy? Is it Eugene Debs, or John Wooden? James Dean or Hoagy Carmichael? NABC unambiguously salutes all Hoosier daddies, wherever they are, whatever they do, and whomsoever they do it for, or to.

Malt: Weyerman Munich, CaraRed, CaraAroma and Carfa Special II malts. Rahr Pale

Sugar: Lactose

Hops: German Hallertau Magnum

Yeast: House Ale

OG: 18 Plato

ABV: 7%

IBU: 35

Semantics, Dialectics and Devilry ... at

My latest column has been published at, so when you get a break between basketball games, go there and read it, okay?

Semantics, Dialectics and Devilry

You know it’s going to be a rough day when there hasn’t even been enough time to make coffee, and you’ve already seen a note like this one at Beerpulse:
Anheuser-Busch’s answer to Leinie’s Summer Shandy has arrived in some markets. Meet Shock Top Lemon Shandy.

More on the Beer Bloggers Conference, and a rundown of sponsorship opportunities..

Beer Bloggers Conference 2012 will take place July 13 - 15, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Yesterday I received an update, and it is reprinted verbatim, followed by a mailing I received a couple of months ago detailing the price structure of the conference's sponsorship levels, which I believe amply assists in explaining the presence of entities like Goose Island and Leinenkugel on the agenda.

Hello Beer Bloggers!

We have some exciting additions to the Beer Bloggers Conference agenda.  Get over to our site and check it out!
The latest news is that this year’s conference will include a visit to the 17th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival, sponsored by the Brewers of Indiana Guild.  There are over fifty brewers who will be in attendance at this festival and we are excited that bloggers will have the opportunity to check it out during the conference.

Your conference registration includes not only the festival, but also delicious food and beer tastings.  Friday’s dinner will be at the Tomlinson Taproom, which features 16 Indiana beers on tap at any given time.  Lunch on Saturday will be with the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, which will share a sampling of its wide array of beers, focusing on their popular Big Eddy line-up, like Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout and Big Eddy Wee Heavy Scotch Ale.  Dinner Saturday after the Microbrewers Festival will be at Monarch Beverage – one of the nation’s largest beer/wine warehouses with over 1 million cases of beer.

So now that you’re thirsty, don’t forget to take a peek at the agenda.  We are honored to have Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery and author Randy Mosher joining us as keynote speakers as well as Julia Herz of the Brewer’s Association to give the opening remarks on the state of beer.There are still spaces available for the pre-conference excursion to Chicago, which will include visits to Goose Island and a number of other Chicago area brewpubs, as well as lunch at Lafayette Brewing Company on the way to Indianapolis.
If you haven’t registered already but you’ve made it this far down the email and are getting excited – well, what are you waiting for?  

Register online now You can check out which of your blogger friends have already registered on our List of Conference Attendees.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.  Hope to see you in Indy!

The following is self-explanatory. Obviously, if you are considering a last-minute sponsorship, and as evidenced above, some categories have been sold. Fortunately, I have the feeling that if there's an extra wad under the floorboard, you can probably negotiate participation.


2012 Sponsorship Opportunities

About the Conference

The International Beer Bloggers Conference is a unique opportunity to connect with the “new media” of beer. Beer bloggers are more than just enthusiastic about their beer experiences. They are actively socializing their experiences by publishing their thoughts on the Internet. There are almost 750 “citizen” beer bloggers in North America and approximately 130 are expected at the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference, with hundreds more paying attention online.

Elite Sponsorship ($20,000)
Elite Sponsorship is a unique category that provides half of the sponsorship funds to bloggers as a stipend to offset the cost of their attendance. The stipend fund pays the registration fee of up to 100 attending citizen beer bloggers. Elite Sponsors win via a) promotion of the stipends by the conference itself, including
two direct emails to our worldwide list of bloggers, two blog posts, and multiple Tweets, b) connection to the attending bloggers, c) requirements for minimum posts, and d) Premier Sponsor benefits as below (with an extra registration). If you are interested in Elite Sponsorship, please ask for our separate Elite Sponsor

Grand Sponsorship ($10,000)
• Opportunity to organize a special program, such as: participate on a panel or other content session, approved by conference organizers, that highlights your business; sponsorship of a Beer Blog Awards; giveaway promotion; etc
• Staff a table (and optionally pour your beers) during Meet the Sponsors on Friday
• Sponsor listing and logo on website; highlighted in pre-conference packet sent to participants; hang banner at the conference; and recognition during the event
• One blog post on the BBC site and multiple Tweet about your company or organization
• Includes two conference registrations

After Hours Party Sponsorship ($7500) – one available
• Provide beer for an After Hours party Friday from 9:00 to 11:00 PM
• Opportunity to address all participating bloggers during the party
• Sponsor listing and logo on website; highlighted in pre-conference packet sent to participants; hang banner at the conference; and recognition during the event
• One blog post on the BBC site and multiple Tweets about your company or organization
• Includes two conference registrations

Dinner Sponsorship ($5000 plus cost of dinner) Sold
• Provide beer for one of two conference dinners, either at the host hotel or elsewhere
• Sponsor is responsible for handling all dinner arrangements
• Opportunity to address all participating bloggers during the dinner
• Sponsor listing and logo on website; highlighted in pre-conference email to participants; hang banner at the conference; and recognition during the event
• One blog post on the BBC site and multiple Tweet about your company or organization
• Includes two conference registrations plus multiple invitations to your dinner

Lunch Sponsorship ($5000 plus meal costs)
• Provide beer for a conference lunch, either at the host hotel or elsewhere as you choose
• Sponsor is responsible for handling all lunch arrangements
• Opportunity to address all participating bloggers during the lunch
• Sponsor listing and logo on website; highlighted in pre-conference email to participants; hang banner at the conference; and recognition during the event
• One blog post on the BBC site and multiple Tweet about your company or organization
• Includes two conference registrations plus multiple invitations to your dinner

Premier Sponsorship ($4000)
• Staff a table (and optionally pour your beers) during Meet the Sponsors on Friday
• Sponsor listing and logo on website; highlighted in pre-conference packet sent to participants; hang banner at the conference; and recognition during the event
• One blog post on the BBC site and multiple Tweets about your company or organization
• Includes one conference registration

Event Sponsorship ($1000)
• Staff a table (and optionally pour your beers) during Meet the Sponsors on Friday; this is the least expensive option to be able to pour more than one of your beers for all conference participants
• Does not include conference registrations

Live Beer Blogging Sponsorship ($400)
• Bloggers will have five minutes to taste, review, and blog or Tweet about one of your beers
• You will reach 10 tables of bloggers with about six to eight bloggers per table
• Does not include any conference registrations but you must have someone present to pour

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bryant Distributing enters into agreement to sell assets to Heidelberg Distributing.

In beer wholesaler news, Bryant has been sold to Heidelberg. Both are family-owned companies, and I favor such things. All the best to the Carpenters during the transition. The following has been edited only to remove phone numbers.


March 13, 2012

To Our Valued Supplier Partners:

Bryant Distributing is pleased to announce today that we have entered into an agreement to sell our assets to Heidelberg Distributing Company of Ohio and Kentucky.

A family-owned business founded in 1934, Bryant currently has third and fourth-generation family members actively involved in the day-to-day operations of our distributorship. This depth of experience in the Kentucky market will continue in our new management and sales roles with Heidelberg.

We are proud of Bryant’s Kentucky heritage and the fact we represent the finest wines, spirits, beers and non-alcohol beverages from around the world. Our footprint has grown over the last seven decades to include strong retail customer relationships across the entire State of Kentucky.

These relationships and solid representation of your brands will continue and expand under Heidelberg’s ownership. Like Bryant, Heidelberg is family-owned and operated and will celebrate its 75th anniversary next year. Heidelberg is one of the largest privately-held family distributors in the country, with facilities in seven Ohio markets as well as Covington, Kentucky. Its resources include senior level support teams for sales, inventory management, delivery, routing, pricing, IT, point-of-sale production, and administration.

This business progression will utilize the best of both Bryant and Heidelberg to sell, promote and service your brands. There will be no interruption of purchasing or retailer customer service during the transition.

This e-mail serves as our official notification of the pending ownership change.

We will be contacting you personally during the coming days and weeks to discuss this in further detail ...

We are very excited to join the Heidelberg Family of Companies and feel that this change will benefit our great suppliers and customers and the products we represent in the marketplace. Thank you for your continued support of the Kentucky alcohol beverage industry!


The Carpenters
John Jr, Jeff, Jim, Jeff II, Jimmy, and Clay

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Local is an experience as much as it is a sourcing."

This is an excellent column on the nuances of localism, as written by a beer-loving observer in Lexington, Kentucky: On Being Local, at Make Mine Potato.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Well, THAT certainly was a good time ... and another one today at CPC.

Friday night at the NABC Pizzeria and Public House had championship game intensity, a siege mentality and Dionysian exuberance all rolled into one big Gravity Head tsunami. The old building shook, rattled and roared. Whoa!

I've updated the Gravity Head lineup for opening today at 11:00 a.m. The Founders wave was sliced in half by the final bell on Friday night, but plenty of the brewery's fine selections remain, including Backwoods Bastard, Curmudgeon and Breakfast Stout. In all 13 listed Gravity Head beers are pouring, along with two bonus selections.

However, in truth, the action today shifts to Charlestown Pizza Company, where the Hoosier Beer Helps Hoosiers benefit for tornado relief will be running throughout the day. Visit Charlestown Pizza Company's Facebook page for raffle and silent auction updates.

Here's the draft beer list for the day at CPC. All draft beer proceeds from these top shelf pours will be donated to the Clark County Red Cross, so consider making the pleasant drive up State Road 62 and enjoying libations for a cause.

Barley Island Dirty Helen Brown Ale
BBC American Pale Ale
BBC Dark Star Porter
Bell's Amber
Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat
Flat12 Walkabout Pale Ale
Kissmeyer Denied Entry
NABC Elsa von Horizon
NABC Rye Barrel Aged Yakima
Oaken Barrel Java Stout
Oaken Barrel Snake Pit Porter
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Triton Brewing Rail Splitter IPA
Upland Bad Elmer's Porter
Upland Wheat

Friday, March 09, 2012

Whoa, that was fast.

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout ... gone at 3:00 p.m. Pictured are the last two half-pints. Here's the current lineup, but it won't be current for long.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Hoosier Beer Helps Hoosiers at CPC, this Saturday (May 10).

Even if you're reading from afar, you're probably aware that a line of violent tornadoes swept across Southern Indiana last Friday afternoon. There was considerable damage roughly 15 miles north of NABC's two New Albany locations.

Overnight, Saturday's pre-planned "Welcome Back Sherman Minton Bridge" festivities in downtown New Albany were transformed into a way to collect monies and materials for the relief effort. NABC's customers donated around $950, and the company matched it; the Red Cross and Salvation Army are the beneficiaries. Needless to say, communities across this and neighboring states (including Kentucky, which also had pockets of destruction) held similar fundraisers and amassed items to convey to the storm's victims.

Charlestown Pizza Company already has devoted its proceeds from a business day (this week on Tuesday) to the cause, and this Saturday, March 10, CPC is staging Hoosier Beer Helps Hoosiers, a beer benefit for tornado victims, details of which are reprinted below. It is self-explanatory; NABC is happy to help out with two of our heavy hitters, and you are encouraged to stop by and contribute.


The Charlestown Pizza Company is hosting a beer benefit for Tornado victims on Saturday March 10th from 12- 9 pm

Facebook event page

This will be a beer festival type event held inside the CPC where ALL draft beer sales will go directly to the Clark County chapter of the Red Cross.

Donated Draft beers that will be pouring on Saturday -

Kissmeyer Denied Entry
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (not in house yet)
New Albanian Rye barrel aged Yakima Rye IPA
New Albanian Elsa Von Horizon Imperial Pilsner
Upland Brewing Porter
Upland Brewing Wheat
Bluegrass Brewing will have two draft offerings

Donated items that will be raffled OR offered in silent auctions

1 - 750ml bottle of Dogfish Head (Pearl Jam Twenty) Faithfull Ale
4 - 12oz, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum
24 - 12 oz Schlafly Coffee Stout
24 - 12oz Schlafly Winter ESB
12 - 750ml Schlafly #20 Vol. 3 Citrus Witbier
8 - 22oz New Albanian (Jaxon, Elsa, Yakima, Hoptimus, Thunderfoot, Solidarity, Bonfire, Elector)
1 - Gift beer bucket with 4 homebrews, 2 glasses, & 1 book about Indiana beer
3 - Prohibition era whiskey storage certificates from Louisville warehouses. (these historical documents show where and when whiskey was stored in Louisville)
6 - 12oz Bells Hopslam
1 - 12oz Left Hand Fade to Black 2011
6 - 12oz Bee Creek Clay County Coffee Stout

The donations keep coming so I expect this list of raffle/auction items to double by Saturday.

Thanks to everyone that has been supporting relief efforts throughout our community !!!


If anyone is interested in volunteering their time to help on Saturday or donating items, please contact me here, on Facebook, or via email at

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"Blessing in Disguise: Bridge closing helps New Albany discover its own treasures."

This is a fine survey of the downtown dining scene in New Albany.

Blessing in Disguise: Bridge closing helps New Albany discover its own treasures, by Robyn Davis Sekula (Edible Louisville)

Just six months ago, downtown New Albany merchants and restaurateurs shook their heads in dismay as the city was cut off from the rest of Louisville when the Sherman Minton Bridge on Interstate 64 was closed. But something good happened: Those of us who live in New Albany began sticking a little closer to home for our dining options, and we’ve been rewarded in the past few months with some lovely newcomers to the local scene.

Monday, March 05, 2012

If it's Stella, it means that Churchill Downs does not give a flying **** about local-anything.

So why give a **** about Churchill Downs?

With all due credit to Sara "Bar Belle" Havens (her complete LEO story is reprinted below), here's the other side of my writing assignment for Food and Dining Magazine's next quarterly issue, May/June/July, which is to be released just prior to the Kentucky Derby.

My job? Inform the magazine's readers, many of whom will be visitors from out of town, about the nature and whereabouts of Louisville's craft breweries. Included are bits of recent history, as in this brief preview.

The Kentucky Derby has taken place right here in Louisville every year since 1875. From 1979 through 1992, there was no locally brewed beer to celebrate the Run for the Roses, but when Sea Hero captured the race in 1993, a few hardy and pioneering microbrew fans could be found drinking Silo Red Rock Ale. Later that fall, Bluegrass Brewing Company was founded, and there Louisville’s present-day craft beer story really begins.

Amid the usual fanfare surrounding Derby "tradition", let's put it this way. Subway's new Italian Collection is more authentically local in a Naples sense of genuine than anything Churchill Downs manages with its exaltation of AB-Inbev's "classic" Belgian lager (lager just isn't a classic Belgian style, is it?) as the beneficiary of soulless sponsorship dollars, all of which happily reinforces my usual bilious point: It should have been AB-Inbev's Goose Island, not AB-Inbev's Stella. At least Goose Island was once legit craft before its big-buck absorption, and Chicago's considerably far closer as a source than Leuven.

Stella named Derby’s official beer

Stella Artois has been named the “official beer sponsor” of Churchill Downs, Oaks and Derby. According to the press release, “Churchill Downs Racetrack today announced a multi-year partnership, naming the world’s best-selling Belgian beer Stella Artois as ‘The Official Beer Sponsor of Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.’ While attending this year’s Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, fans will be able to experience classic Belgian lager Stella Artois and its iconic Chalice, which will feature the Kentucky Derby 138 logo. Continuing its affiliation with Churchill Downs, Stella Artois also will serve as the presenting sponsor of “Opening Night” and four “Downs After Dark” nighttime events in 2012.”

I’m not a big fan of Stella, but I suppose it’s better than PBR or something. I will stick to the Mint Juleps.

I'm visiting the emerging Bierstadt Danville on Thursday for an NABC tasting at the Liquor Barn.

NABC’s salesman Richard and owner Roger are road-tripping to Danville, Kentucky this Thursday (March 8) for an NABC tasting at the new Danville location of Liquor Barn.

The location:
Liquor Barn (Danville, Kentucky)
2900 S. Danville Bypass, Danville, KY 40422-2476

The beers:
NABC on tap: Elector and Hoptimus
NABC bombers: Elsa, Solidarity and Bonfire

The Liquor Barn tasting starts at 5:00 p.m. and lasts until 8:00 p.m.

I’ll be speaking about NABC beer, other beers, beer in general, or whatever beer-related topics arise.


I wasn’t able to attend our NABCieged promo at the Beer Engine in Danville last October, so we’re scheduling some afternoon time Thursday to drop in on places that I’d like to see up close, if only briefly.

Beer Engine

Bluegrass Pizza and Pub

Lore Brewing

V the Market

Also, as a closing reminder, don’t forget the Brewgrass Trail

Kentucky is known for its fabulous bourbons and its world-famous distilleries. But just as traffic on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® has grown, so has the craft beer movement in the Bluegrass State. Breweries are now scattered across Kentucky, with more and more thirsty travelers seeking out these small craft brewers while sampling the classic bourbons. Check back frequently and follow us to learn more about what is best on the Brewgrass Trail!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Founders invades Gravity Head on Friday, March 9 ... and a look at the Gravity Head schedule in 2013.

(March 8 update: To a non-Gravity Head keg of Founders Centennial IPA added yesterday to Friday's tap list, Eric has sourced a Gravity Head special cameo keg of Founders Backwoods Bastard, bringing the number of Founders ales to be poured Friday to 11. You're welcome.)

Gravity Head 2012 rolls forward, albeit with ranks thinning more rapidly than ever before. At 11:00 a.m. on Friday morning (March 9), Gravity Head’s third weekend will open at NABC’s Pizzeria and Public House with this powerful wave of ales from Founders (Grand Rapids, Michigan):

Founders Imperial Stout (2010) 10.5%

Founders Double Trouble 9.4%

Founders Blushing Monk Founders Brewing Company 9.2%

Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale 9.8%

Founders Nemesis (2010) 12%

Founders Breakfast Stout (2010) 8.3%

Founders CBS Imperial Stout (Canadian Breakfast) 10.6%
Founders KBS Kentucky Breakfast Stout (2011) 11.2%

But there’s even more, because we happened upon yet another Founders specialty, and will sacrifice it on Friday, too:

Founders Curmudgeon's Better Half 11.9% (unlisted cameo)

If you’re keeping track, this makes a total of nine Founders on Friday (that’s catchy: “Gravity Head 2012: Founders on Fried Day”), but we’ll also extend the merriment of F’s to include our pals at Flat12 Bierwerks (Indianapolis), and two of their ales also will be tapped at 11:00 a.m. on the 9th:

Flat12 Vulgar Display of Hops 9.7% (unlisted cameo)
Flat12 Winter Cycle 9.3%

Naturally, there’ll be other listed Gravity Head selections pouring, as well as plenty of other beers on tap from NABC, America and the planet. For frequent lineupdates, go here, and follow @nabcnews on Twitter.


Lastly, the coming third weekend of Gravity Head has become synonymous in recent years with the arrival of John Host, genial Founders sales impresario, in the company of a visiting delegation of revelers from Cavalier Distributing, the official Indiana wholesaler for Founders. They’ll be on hand in the early evening, and for those still wondering, this is why we’ve started reserving Founders ales for their third weekend starring slot.

As advance notice, the schedule will work the same way in 2013, barring the unexpected (like the end of the world as we know it, or other interruptions in routine).

Friday, February 22, 2013
Gravity Head 2013 will open at 7:00 a.m. for tailgate breakfast, with an opening weekend tap takeover by featured guests from Sun King Brewing Company in Indianapolis.

Saturday, February 23, 2013
You may see an expansion of breakfast hours to Saturday morning, although this hasn’t yet been conclusively approved.

For the first full week of Gravity Head 2013 and its second weekend, we will keep dates open and free of special promotions, having learned by costly experience that it’s the most likely time for the business to suffer closures owing to impromptu, unannounced ritual screwings by public utility monopolies, like Indiana American Water (2010) and Duke Energy (2012). The gas company presumably is next in line, although I hope they’re not reading anything except meters.

Friday, March 8, 2013
The unleashing of accumulated Founders kegs, as before, along with the usual delegation’s visit.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Progressive Pints unite for tornado damage relief.

The long and the short of it is this: Yesterday's tornadoes ravaged areas very near to us. The city of New Albany already had designated today as a civic celebration of the Sherman Minton Bridge's return, and everyone I've heard from agrees that it's the ideal opportunity to bounce back the karma to those who are in need of assistance. Grand gestures aren't necessary, just some common sense.

I'm sure there'll be much information circulating today via social media as to what various entities will be doing, so I'll restrict my comments here to NABC. We'll have jars out at both locations today for tornado relief donations. I recommend dedicating a dollar for every beer; toss a greenback into the bucket, and at the end of the day, NABC will match the total. It's simple, easy and to the point. Proceeds will go to relief agencies to be named; we'll consider the several choices (Red Cross, Salvation Army, Henryville High School) and decide where to transmit the monies raised.

In short, don't just drink today - think, too. Thanks for doing so.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

What's up at Bank Street Brewhouse during Saturday's downtown Welcome Back Sherman Minton Celebration.

Gravity Head always gets squarely in the way of planning other events, but now that the first weekend has passed and we’re holding on for dear life until the Founders wave hits on March 9, there’s finally time to chat about what contribution NABC will make to festivities downtown this coming Saturday, March 3.

The occasion this Saturday is downtown New Albany’s celebration to congratulate the Sherman Minton Bridge for its successful comeback after a five-month shutdown for repairs.

A downtown walkabout is slated for Saturday afternoon between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with shops hosting various wineries and breweries. Here’s what NABC’s Bank Street Brewhouse has in store for the day:

A special guest:
Starlight Distribution’s sales manager and head bottle washer, Tim Eads, will be on hand to pour free samples of a few lesser-known beers from the Shelton Brothers portfolio, including examples of Jolly Pumpkin (they’re back), Pretty Things and St. Somewhere. He may also have a few drams from Louisville’s Against the Grain brewery.

A special on Frites:
Tuesday discount Frites pricing until 4:00 p.m.

A special set of music:
Members of Vessel will perform at the patio.

A special NABC release:
Rye-barrel-aged Yakima, one keg only, pint pours, while it lasts … and I suspect it won’t last long.

A special NABC Bomber sale:
Yakima Rye IPA bomber bottles to go, at only $7.75 each, or $90.00 a case (all day Saturday).

Consider coming downtown on Saturday and roaming around for a while. It’s a work in progress, but progress is being made.