Monday, September 24, 2012

Now you know: Good Hoosier beer is being brewed locally in places you might not expect.

The words I heard most often on Saturday that meant the most to me went something like this:

“I’ve never heard of any of these breweries.”

Yes, and that was the whole point.

Now you know that good beer is being brewed locally in Needmore (Salt Creek), Aurora (Great Crescent), Columbus (Power House) and Nashville (Big Woods), and also that good local beer is being brewed in Bloomington at an establishment (Cutters) differing from our longtime friends at Upland and Bloomington Brewing Company.

And cider and mead from New Day, and still more cider courtesy of Starlight.

In fact, to me the whole exercise on Saturday was about making friends and providing information, and as such, the Southern Indiana Craft Beer Showcase was a huge success. We also sold quite a lot of 10-oz portions, and so by a financial point of view, it panned out for NABC, too.

It wasn’t until the cold plates were pouring and the line of beer enthusiasts was beginning to form that it occurred to me: We had no hop bombs.

Granted, Hoptimus and Elector were available at the Bank Street Brewhouse dining room bar as always, but outside in the Reading Room for the craft showcase we’d managed ten different beers (5 house, 5 guests) composed of ten different styles (from Wit to Bourbon Barrel Stout) with nary an IPA among them.

And only a handful of visitors commented. Most were perfectly eager to try something new, and they came back for multiple portions. Depletions seemed to be about equal among the kegs, so there were no clear “winners,” and it wouldn’t matter if there were.

Thanks again to those who ventured out. It was a festive day, and times like that renew my confidence in what the craft beer movement’s all about.

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