Thursday, January 26, 2006

Publicanista! ... January 26, 2006.

In this edition of Publicanista!:

Did the stray keg of Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout finally cross the threshold? Come this weekend and find out.

As NABC serving tanks come on line, the recipe for Thunderfoot Imperial Stout is divulged.

New downtown Bistro New Albany hopes for a January 30 (Monday) opening.

Purely random reading at the Potable Curmudgeon's beer blog.

Current draft beer lineup.

Three (soon four) first-time Dogfish Head craft brews appearing on the Rich O's rotating bottle list selections; also new Belgians and bombers.

Cask-conditioned English firkins finally have been shipped. Maybe.

Hours, calendar of events and esoterica.


Just before leaving work today, I received an e-mail indicating that the elusive and long delayed Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout (a Saturnalia selection) keg is supposed to be delivered on Thursday. If this is the case, I'll get it on tap as soon as possible.

But I won't believe it until I see it. Not after this long.


Last week the switch was flipped and beer flowed to the draft station from the first of four serving tanks to see action. The remaining three will be filled in the next couple of weeks as batches of Croupier IPA, Bob's Old 15-B and Elector join Community Dark as the "Big Four" on tap most of the year at Rich O's and Sportstime. Hoptimus also will be available much of the time, but will continue to be kegged (and dry-hopped in the kegs).

A month ago, Jesse squeezed in a batch of what the brew crew is calling Thunderfoot Imperial Stout (circa 10% to 12% abv), and it will debut at Gravity Head on February 24. Here are some specs.

Malts: 75% Simpson's Golden Promise 2-row; 10% roasted barley; 5% dark crystal malt; 7% sugar and 3% oats.

Hops: Northern Brewer in the boil, the Northern Brewer, Willamette and Cascade (four further additions).

Yeast: The house London ale yeast.

Dried tart cherries were in the hopback, and dried Bing cherries (and oak chips) are in the Brite tanks.

It's yet to be seen what the cherries will do for the finished stout, which has matured startlingly from week to week since being brewed, but Thunderfoot is rounding into something very intriguing and should be a match for the other Imperial Stouts booked for Gravity Head.

NABC's final January priority is preparing for demand at the soon-to-open Bistro New Albany (see below).

Check out Tony Beard's artwork: Three new NABC beer "labels," and more on the way.


Jan. 27 update: Bistro New Albany reschedules opening for February 6.

I'm waiting for an update from downtown New Albany bistro pioneers Greg Merz and Dave Clancy as to whether January 30 will be opening day for Bistro New Albany.

NABC intends to supply at least three draft beers to Bistro New Albany, increasing to four or five when supply permits. There will two or three BBC beers on tap, as well as guests like Spaten and Sierra Nevada. Greg plans a short bottled list of beers, and a well-stocked wine cellar.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Bistro New Albany stands to be a turning point for the city's reviving downtown business district.

Bistro New Albany looking firm for a January 30 opening.

More on the advent of Bistro New Albany.

New Bistro New Albany hoping to open by the end of January.

Bistro New Albany to open for business later this month at 148 E. Market Street in downtown New Albany.


Here are recent articles posted at

Niagara Falls, frozen beer and Dave Thrasher's panorama.

Differentiation: Which -- and how -- do you choose?

Of "bombers" and Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout.

The Curmudgeon discusses his goals for the coming months -- nothing too personal, though.

End of January update: "Gravity Head 2006: Reality ABV" advance orders preview.


Our NABC beers.
Brewed in New Albany by NABC’s Jesse Williams, with assistance from Jared Williamson.

Community Dark



Poor Richard's "Old Lightning Rod" Ale

Guests from near and far.
Market pricing.

Note: In the end, our wholesaler did not have Sierra Nevada (draft) Pale Ale in stock for almost a month, accounting for its absence. As noted here last week, owing to the state of Indiana's laws, I cannot buy the product from another wholesaler, leading to the fairly ridiculous situation recently experienced, wherein the company with the exclusive rights to sell it, doesn't have it to sell. Having consulted with the Sierra Nevada higher-ups, I'm told that the problem has been corrected -- but before Sierra Nevada returns, we'll be auditioning Schlafly's pale ale (see below). Expect SNPA back in early February, perhaps sooner.

Alpha King

Arrogant Bastard

Bell's Double Cream Stout

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

Bell's Winter White

Celebrator Doppelbock

De Dolle Oerbier (different batch -- new/old yeast)

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

Guinness Stout

Gulden Draak

Lindemans Framboise

Pilsner Urquell


Poperings Hommel Bier

Rogue Mogul Ale (John's Locker Stock series)

Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Schlafly American Pale Ale (Expedition Reserve)

Sierra Nevada Summerfest (wholesaler close-out; reduced price)

Smithwick’s Irish Ale

Spaten Premium Lager

Sprecher Root Beer (non-alcoholic)

Upland Bad Elmer's Porter

Upland Wheat

Upland Winter Warmer (belated Saturnalia selection)

In the Bullpen:

Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout

Rogue John's Locker Stock

Schlafly Coffee Stout

Sierra Nevada Brown Ale

Triple Karmeliet

Coming Soon (?):

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barley Wine and Sierra Nevada IPA might arrive in time to begin pouring before Gravity Head. A keg of Spezial Rauchbier is on the way, but hasn't yet docked. Did I mention that Gravity Head's less than a month away?


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.

New Dogfish Head ales.

Burton Baton, a mix of oak-aged English strong ale and 90 Minute IPA, might be priced and ready by Friday night.

Fort … 750 ml … Ready? It’s Dogfish Head’s raspberry ale (a ton per batch), clocking in at 18% abv.

Pangaea … 750 ml … Using an ingredient from each continent, and named for the “super continent” that existed prior to the split. 7% abv.

Raison D’Extra … 12 oz … Dogfish’s Raison d’Etre, but jacked up on steroids to the tune of 18.5% abv.

New Belgians.

Bink Winterkoningske (Winter King) - 11.2 oz - Dark, malty, and spiced with juniper berries and lavender, this 8.3% winter warmer from the tiny Kerkom brewery is the Belgian equivalent of Anchor's great Christmas Ale, though a tad sweeter.

Ecaussinnes Ultra - 11.2 oz - Fruity and very drinkable amber ale of 7% abv, and reputedly spiced, which might account for a light finishing bitterness that doesn’t taste like hops.

Ecaussinnes Ultrabrune - 11.2 oz - A large (10% abv) and malty brown ale with an intriguing trace of Scotch caramelized malt flavor, a fine and full mouth feel, and a noteworthy impression overall.

Goliath Tripel - 750 ml - Rare all-malt Belgian Tripel, brewed in Wallonia in a converted 14th-century castle, and named for the "giant" that leads the Parade of the Giants each year in nearby Ath.

New Bombers.

Arcadia Hopmouth Double IPA - 22 oz - Big Maris Otter malt backdrop, nicely balanced fresh hop character with sufficient bitterness.

Breckinridge 471 Small Batch Double Hopped IPA - 22 oz - Fine entry level Double IPA, with a drier, grassy hop bite.

Previously posted, and still available in limited quantities:

De Dolle Special Extra Export Stout - 11.2 oz - 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. Also, don't forget Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza and Jolly Pumpkin La Roja. These almost certainly will be added to the everyday beer list this spring.

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.

Fantome Saison – 750 ml – Eclectic Ardennes elixir, with a spicy fruitiness and an unmistakably wild, yeasty elegance.

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).

Previous guests/seasonal/rotating, and still available:

BBC Hell for Certain

Great Divide Hibernation Ale

Stone 05/05/05 Vertical Epic

Stone 9th Anniversary Ale


Better very damned late than never, or something like that; I now know for a fact that these are being shipped as I write.

RCH Old Slug Porter and Harvey's Sussex Best (firkins).

Next: J.W.Lees Manchester Star (firkin).

The firkin of Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Special Reserve (Scotch barrel-aged) will 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


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.

Rich O's: The front dining rooms at Rich O's are designated as non-smoking areas. The bar area and Red Room are open for smoking (cigarettes, cigars, pipes). We strongly discourage clove cigarettes, which are divisive even among smokers.

Sportstime: Smoking is permitted in the entirety of Sportstime Pizza.

2006 events:

Sunday, February 5

Super Bowl XL

As in recent years, Sportstime Pizza will be open for Super Bowl. Too bad about the Colts, though.


Friday, February 24

Gravity Head 2006 (Vol. 8)

Note a date change: Gravity Head 2006 has been moved forward two weeks owing to unusual circumstances. The region’s foremost celebration of big, bold, gravity brewing may or may not revert to the second weekend in March in 2007.


Saturday, April 29

Alefest 2006 at Keg Liquors in Clarksville (2 pm to 6 pm)

From the irrepressible owner, Todd Antz, comes this explanation:

"Please join us for our first ever beer festival, which we have dubbed Alefest 2006. Falling on the Saturday between Thunder and the Derby, we will have brewers and importers from around the world on site for a huge event. So far we have New Albanian Brewing Company, Upland Brewing Company (Bloomington, IN), Bluegrass Brewing Company (Louisville, KY), Kalamazoo Brewing (brewers of Bell's Beers), Barley Island Brewing (Noblesville, IN), Wetten Importers (Delirium, Gouden), and Eurobrew Importers (Xingu, St. Peters). There will be food, music, and plenty of great beer. We even have a silent auction planned with all proceeds going to Bridgepointe Goodwill Services. Tickets for this event will be $25 in advance, and $30 the day of the event."


May (TBA)

Publican announces DaveFest 2006 for May (dates TBA).


Saturday, May 13 (tentative)

Fifth Annual FOSSILS Breweriana Sale

There’ll be a new look to this growing event, with dealers vending beer collectibles of every sort imaginable all day on Saturday instead of Sunday, and doing so in the new Prost special events room (entrance through Rich O’s Public House).


Friday & Saturday, May 19 & 20

Ohio River Valley Folk Festival in Madison, Indiana

No solid information yet, but when out friend Steve Thomas is in charge of the libations, it can’t be anything but good.


Saturday, August 12

Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, Wisconsin.

It’s one the top three beer fests in the nation, a perennial box-office sell-out, and certainly the big event with the most relevance to NABC. Web site information is dated, but will be revised later in 2006.


Thanks to Jim Bell for his photographic prowess.

Readers who aren’t as familiar with our business should go to and 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:


No comments: