Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Survey of coming breweries includes the latest news on New Albany's Donum Dei.

Donum Dei's new logo.

It's gratifying to have Kevin Gibson on the job as a free lancer, being remunerated (we hope) for the time and shoe leather required to assemble news and information about the local brewing scene. Notice how he manages to describe new businesses without resorting to boilerplate chamber of commerce-speak?

With the exception of Bannerman, I've been keeping up with these projects on a fairly consistent basis, especially Rick Stidham's Akasha. Because I'm based in Hoosierland, the extended excerpt from Kevin's piece details progress toward fruition at Donum Dei, which is located a few hundred yards (as the crow flies) from NABC's original location off Grant Line Road on the North Side of the West Bank.

Five new Louisville breweries to watch out for in 2015, by Kevin Gibson (Insider Louisville)

We’ll take a quick look at five new breweries that are either on track for or are working toward opening in 2015.

Akasha Brewing Company
Beer Engine

Donum Dei Brewery: Over in New Albany, at 3211 Grant Line Road, just a stone’s throw from the original New Albanian Brewing Company location, is another brewery in waiting. Richard Otey is brewing in his new space, which is nearly complete. However, he still is yet to offer a target opening date.

Originally, he told us he had planned to open sometime around Derby 2014; that prognostication later changed to summer, and then to Thanksgiving. Now, early 2015 looks most likely. But Donum Dei already has a batch of its pale ale brewed and ready to drink, as well as an enkle. Up next is wee heavy.

Kegs have been purchased, and the buildout seems mostly complete. Otey is doing most of the buildout himself, using reclaimed materials whenever possible, from rescued wood to 1940s-era mirrors to chairs from an old Wendy’s restaurant.

I stopped by recently, and the place looks within reach of opening. Still, Otey hesitates to throw out a deadline.

“Every time I try to make a deadline,” he told me, “it’s just that — it’s dead.”

He did tell me how he acquired his reclaimed brew kettle, which was purchased from a brewery in Vancouver Wash. — he found it on Craigslist.com on a Friday, left in his truck to pick it up on Saturday, and had it back at the brewery by Wednesday. He called it a five-day “turn and burn.”

Otey gave me a sample of the Donum Dei pale ale, his first test batch, that sure tasted better than a test batch — moderately hopped, it was well balanced and right on the money. He also gave me a sample of a roast beef panini that will be representative of the future food menu — another thumbs up. Expect sandwiches, soups, hummus and other such small eats once Donum Dei opens.

When will that be? Hard to say, although he admits February should be doable. Of course, as noted, last February he began construction hoping to open by Derby.

“I didn’t say which year,” he clarified with a smile.

Bannerman Brewing
Old Louisville Brewing Company

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