Sunday, December 06, 2015

My Wednesday in Indianapolis, with beers by St. Joseph and Sun King.

Last Wednesday was meeting day for the Brewers of Indiana Guild, and as is my habit, I drove up to Indianapolis early. Doing so gives me a chance to walk around for a while downtown, and grab a bite for lunch from the Grecian Garden in the City Market.

They had pastitsio on special, and it was yummy.

The typical Greek version has a bottom layer that is bucatini or other tubular pasta, with cheese and egg as a binder; a middle layer of ground beef, veal or lamb with tomato and cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice; another layer of pasta; and a top layer of sauce, varying from an egg-based custard to a flour-based B├ęchamel or a B├ęchamel with cheese (known as Mornay sauce in France). Grated cheese is often sprinkled on top. Pastitsio is a common dish, and is often served as a main course, with a salad.

I parked at Sun King for two reasons. First, it's an invigorating 20-minute walk north on College, across Massachusetts Avenue, to the meeting place at the guild offices on Central Avenue. Also, I needed to buy beer, both to give as presents during the holiday season, and to drink myself.

The mixed 16-count case was purchased and stowed in the trunk, and at the moment I'm drinking one of the Fistful of Hops, a special quarterly IPA release. Although I prefer session-strength beers these days, this one's only 6.4%, which strikes me as ideal for an India Pale Ale.

You can taste the components without suffering palate overload, as with "double" IPAs. Balance is not a dirty word in my world, and Fistful of Hops is a good example of it.

My empty growler from St. Joseph Brewery was packed along for the walk, and after the meeting I stopped in and had it filled with Absolution Ale, an Amber with Cascades hops. It's richly malty, and I'd drink it with an anchovy and black olive pizza in a heartbeat.

A few years ago, we stopped at the Lockerbie Pub while making sales calls, and I remember the huge vacant lot across the street. The former church housing the brewery is on the other side, and now a huge apartment complex is being built between them. The whole area is under perpetual construction. The ideal of a walkable, bikeable urban setting seems possible there.


The St. Joseph beers I've had have been good, and it isn't necessary to sell me on the idea of breweries taking over church buildings. At least they go back on the tax rolls this way.

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