In this edition of Publicanista!:
We'll be closed on Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve).
The Beer Grinch has rare gift recommendations.
Saturnalia MMV rolls on, with 17 selections still on tap and more on the way.
NABC lays claim to the "brewery with no beer," but the brew crew is hard at work catching up.
Cask-conditioned English firkins still reportedly coming this way, apparently on Conestoga wagons.
Random reading at the Potable Curmudgeon's beer blog.
Current draft beer lineup.
Rich O's rotating bottle list selections.
Hours, events and esoterica ... Smoking policy change at Rich O's.
I. RICH O'S PUBLIC HOUSE AND SPORTSTIME PIZZA WILL BE CLOSED ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24 (CHRISTMAS EVE).
We'll reopen on Monday, December 26 for regular business hours, and then be closed again the following Saturday (December 31 - New Year's Eve), also to reopen on Monday, January 2.
II. BEER GRINCH STOCKING STUFFERS FOR THE DISCERNING BEER AFICIONADO.
See the complete article -- The Beer Grinch's Stocking Stuffers -- and a plug for local liquor stores that sell good beer -- for details. The following, available in verying quantities, might prove useful as last-minute gift items.
$3.50 each or 4 for $12.00 – Assorted signature glassware basket, which will be replenished as depleted according to random selection.
$10 – Alaskan Smoked Porter (22 oz)
$15 – T-shirt (Saturnalia long sleeve; “Red Room” Rich O’s; NABC “I’m for It”)
$20 – Peche Mortel Imperial Coffee Stout (22 oz)
$20 – Three Floyds Behemoth Barley Wine (22 oz)
$35 – Tim Webb’s new 2005 edition of “Good Beer Guide to Belgium,” paperback.
III. SATURNALIA MMV CONTINUING TO PUT THE PAGAN BACK INTO CHRISTMAS WITH SEASONAL DRAFT SPECIALTIES.
Yes, opening night for Saturnalia MMV was a blast. Critical favorites have included De Dolle Stille Nacht, De Ranke Pere Noel, and He-Brew Jewbelation, while the public has voted affirmatively by draining full half-barrels of Alpha Klaus, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, Rogue Santa's, Rogue HazelNut and Great Lakes Christmas.
Yes, there are Saturnalia MMV shirts: Sand-colored, long-sleeved, bearing the image below, the listed drafts and the official slogan: "We're putting the Pagan back into Christmas ... one pint at a time."
See Aaaargh! for more information about a minor (!) t-shirt mishap ...
For complete beer information, go to the Saturnalia MMV press release, with full beer descriptions.
Saturnalia beers on tap as of Wednesday, December 21:
Corsendonk Christmas Ale ... Belgium
*De Dolle Special Extra Export Stout ... Belgium
De Dolle Stille Nacht ... Belgium
De Ranke Pere Noel ... Belgium
Delirium Noel ... Belgium
N’Ice Chouffe ... Belgium (second keg of two has been tapped)
St. Feuillien Cuvee de Noel ... Belgium
*Ridgeway Seriously Bad Elf ... UK
Avery Old Jubilation ... USA
New Holland Phi ... USA
*Oaken Barrel Epiphany ... USA
Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve ... USA (second keg of two has been tapped)
*Schmaltz He’Brew Jewbelation 5766 ... USA (second keg of two has been tapped)
*Summit Winter Ale ... USA (second keg of two has been tapped)
Yet to come (in house, ready to pour when called):
Left Hand Milk Stout ... USA
Rogue Chocolate Stout ... USA
Young's Winter Warmer ... UK
Yet to come, but still in transit:
*Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout ... USA
JW Lees Moonraker ... UK
Upland Winter Warmer ... USA
Scratched owing to wholesaler incompetence:
Depleted, gone, dry, done, tapped and away:
Gale’s Christmas Ale 2003 (cask-conditioned; firkin was "off")
IV. NABC BREWERY NEWS: BREWING HAS RESUMED.
However, brewing resumed on Monday, December 12, as brewers Jesse Williams and Jared Wiliamson kicked off a new era with the Poor Richard's Ale recipe. It will be served beginning on January 17, 2006, as part of the nationwide Brewers Association promotion celebrating Benjamin Franklin's tercentenary.
Batches of Elector and Community Dark also have been brewed, and these will be ready soon. Bob's Old 15B and Croupier IPA are next in line for brewing. This will begin to make sense during the first couple of weeks of January, so please stay tuned.
As stated previously, NABC will simplify its core portfolio during the remainder of 2005 and the first part of 2006 as we work toward restoring a semblance of routine. In effect, the core portfolio of familiar styles will be repackaged and presented anew, with fresh logos that I can't wait to unleash on the drinking public. There'll be more on that in future issues of Publicanista!
V. UPDATED CASK REPORT: DUO STILL SOMEWHERE ON THE HORIZON.
Confirmation finally has been received that the next wave of English and Scottish cask-conditioned ales are traveling in this direction.
Notice how I add a week or two to this projection with each issue of Publicanista?
J.W.Lees Manchester Star (firkin) looks more like late January, 2006.
The firkin of Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Special Reserve (Scotch barrel-aged) will be delayed until mid-January at the earliest. It might be held for use during Gravity Head 2006, depending on the final arrival date.
For more information on cask-conditioned ale:
Horse Brass Pub (where our friend Biscuit works)
Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)
Warm, Flat and Boring -- the Truth About Cask Ale, from www.RateBeer.com.
VI. RECENT NEWS AND ARTICLES AT THE POTABLE CURMUDGEON’S BEER BLOG.
Here are six recent articles posted at http://potablecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/:
They're fermenting as you read. Until then, it’s official: NABC is the “brewery with no beer.”
Guests from near and far.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sprecher Root Beer (non-alcoholic)
In the bullpen:
De Dolle Oerbier (different batch -- new/old yeast)
Rogue Mogul Ale (John's Locker Stock series)
Strubbe Doedel (West Flanders pale ale; French malt; Poperings hops; spices)
VIII. NEW, AND IN SOME CASES RARE, ROTATING BOTTLED SELECTIONS.
Remember to check the chalkboard in the front room at Rich O’s for bottled specials and seasonals. These are the bottled beers not carried on the everyday bottled list, and represent a wide variety of flavors and textures for your tasting enjoyment.
Fantome Noel - 750 ml – Darker, stronger, spicier and displaying the funky house yeast character of Fantome. Only a dozen bottles; act quickly.
Fantome Saison – 750 ml – Eclectic Ardennes elixir, with a spicy fruitiness and an unmistakably wild, yeasty elegance.
Founders Breakfast Stout – 12 oz – Brewed with oats, chocolate and coffee, and every bit as nutritious and filling as the name conveys.
Zinnebir X-mas – 750 ml – Little is known about this tiny brewery, and its X-mas ale is the first Zinnebir product we’ve ever had, here or in Belgium. If you try one, please take notes and share with the Publican (who’ll get around to his bottle in time).
Previously posted, and still available in limited quantities:
De Dolle Special Extra Export Stout - 11.2 oz - Preview a Saturnalia draft selection and reflect on Kris's typically eccentric take on a rare (export stout) beer style.
Jolly Pumpkin Luciernaga "The Fire Fly" - 750 ml - Try this on for size ... an oak-barrel aged, bottle-conditioned "pale ale brewed in the Grand Cru tradition" with coriander and Grains of Paradise. Subtle and incredible.
Jopen Koyt - 750 ml - Dutch "gruit" (spiced) ale from Haarlem, near Amsterdam, home of my good friend Boris and the outstanding Cafe Briljant, where I wish I could be drinking Jopen ales right now.
N'Ice Chouffe - 750 ml - From those creative "gnomes" in the Ardennes comes a longtime favorite seasonal winter warmer (10% abv). Dark and deep, but deceptively drinkable.
Panil Barriquee - 750 ml - Flemish style sour red ale brewed in Italy (this is not a misprint) and aged in cognac barrels. A bona fide classic, and probably the best "new" bottled beer at Rich O's in 2005.
Previous guests/seasonal/rotating, and still available:
IX. EVENTS, HOURS AND RELATED FACTS.
SMOKING POLICY CHANGE AT RICH O'S.
Effective on January 2, 2006, the front seating area at Rich O's (seven tables by the windows) will be added to the current non-smoking area. Smoking will continue to be allowed in the bar area and Red Room, and in the Sportstime Pizza dining area.
It's an issue that will be contentious for a long time to come, but when it comes to our decision to reconfigure the non-smoking area, rest assured that the rationale is purely market-driven. Numerous customers now request non-smoking seating beyond what is currently available, with the bottom-line-unfriendly result that the non-smoking area often if filled, while half the remaining room remains empty.
General business hours:
Sportstime Pizza opens at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Rich O’s opens at 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and at 1:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. We are not open on Sunday except during special events. The same food and beer is available at all times in both rooms, so you may have lunch and a beer in the Sportstime Pizza dining area during those hours when Rich O’s isn’t open. The brewery is available for a look-see if one of us is around and we’re not busy.
Gravity Head 2006 (Vol. 8)
Note a date change: Gravity Head 2006 has been moved forward two weeks, and will begin on Friday, February 24. I have every reason to believe this will occur this year only, and in 2007, the festival will revert to the second weekend in March.
Readers who aren’t as familiar with our business should go to http://www.newalbanian.com/ and http://www.richos.com/ for more information.
NABC is a member of the Brewers Association and Brewers of Indiana Guild.
Questions or comments about editorial content should be directed to Roger A. Baylor: firstname.lastname@example.org.