FLASH: Bistro New Albany to open for business in January.
Smoking policy change at Rich O's is implemented.
NABC is back: Elector on tap, more to follow as the brewery begins using its new toys.
Poor Richard's "Old Lightning Rod" Ale will rest until tapping on January 17, 2006.
Saturnalia MMV is history, with a handful of stragglers still in transit.
Random reading at the Potable Curmudgeon's beer blog.
Current draft beer lineup.
Cask-conditioned English firkins still reportedly coming this way, some sweet day.
Rich O's rotating bottle list selections.
Hours, events and esoterica.
II. A BRIEF WORD ON THE NEW RICH O'S SMOKING POLICY.
As forewarned, the smoking policy at Rich O's changed on January 2, 2006.
The front seating area, comprising the seven tables located by the front windows, has now been added to the existing non-smoking area by the entry doors.
Smoking is allowed in the bar area and the Red Room, and in the whole of the Sportstime Pizza dining room area (by the brewery).
It was reported to me that on Monday evening, a longtime customer asked whether we were serious about the market-driven change, and being informed yes, departed in a huff, saying, "(slang term for copulate) this place."
Sorry to hear that, but intemperance in this fashion does nothing to modify the soundness of the reasoning behind the change, which itself is little more than a recognition of prevailing reality in the here and now.
There'll be a such few bumps along the way ... but that's how it is with change of any sort. For those reading who have requested more non-smoking seating: Your asked for it, and you have it. Thanks for the patience and the input, and I hope to see you soon.
III. NABC BREWERY NEWS: ELECTOR NOW ON TAP, WITH COMMUNITY DARK AND HOPTIMUS TO RETURN NEXT WEEK.
The wait is over. Elector is back on tap, with Community Dark and Hoptimus Double IPA returning next week. Also next week, batches of Croupier IPA and Bob's Old 15 B will be brewed. Brewer Jesse Williams (seen below in quality control mode) also has found time to brew an Imperial Stout, which I'll tell you more about when the time comes.
The last piece in the expansion/remodeling puzzle is the new draft station, and the equipment needed to complete the connection between the serving tanks and the taps is coming this week.
The brewing schedule is being structured to comply with our public declaration that NABC will simplify its core portfolio during the first part of 2006. This is being done primarily to simplify yeast management while establishing a new routine. The Belgian styles, including Tunnel Vision, will return later in the year. Bourbondaddy? We're not sure when the next batch will be. Stay tuned.
Check out the artwork: Three new NABC beer "labels," and more on the way.
IV. POOR RICHARD'S "OLD LIGHTNING ROD" ALE BEGINS POURING ON BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S 300TH BIRTHDAY (JANUARY 17).
Poor Richard's Ale, which we're subtitling "Old Lightning Rod," is finished and will rest until tapping on January 17, 2006, as part of the nationwide Brewers Association promotion celebrating Benjamin Franklin's tercentenary.
Members of the FOSSILS homebrewing and beer appreciation club will get a sneak preview of the ale on Sunday, January 8, as will the Serge Storms Historical Research & Debating Society, which will be meeting on the same night at Rich O's Public House.V. SATURNALIA MMV -- CASHED OUT, ALTHOUGH A FEW STRAGGLERS REMAIN TO BE TASTED.
We thank you for the heartening response to Saturnalia MMV. Coupled with very strong holiday business during Christmas and New Year's, the festival saw record-breaking draft turnover.
As always, some selections have been delayed. Here's what I know:
JW Lees Moonraker and La Rulles Cuvee Meilleurs Veoux “Best Holiday Wishes” have yet to be shipped from their importer, B. United, to Cavalier Distributing in Indianapolis. The earliest possible date for us to receive them is January 18.
Both Upland Winter Warmer and the elusive Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout come to us from World Class Beverages in Indianapolis. You'll recall that we previewed Upland's ale in early December, and did so because another was supposed to be following it. However, it was delayed. ETA is mid-January. As for the Dark Horse, well, I simply don't know what happened to it, but investigations continue.
VI. RECENT NEWS AND ARTICLES AT THE POTABLE CURMUDGEON’S BEER BLOG.
Here are recent articles posted at http://potablecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/:
Elector ... First brewed on Election Day 2002, Elector’s delicious malty body and heavy hopping rates continue to make democracy utterly pointless. English & American malts; Cascade & Galena hops; London yeast. Dry-hopped. O.G. 1075 … A.B.V. 7.0%
Remaining Saturnalia listed beers:
Corsendonk Christmas Ale (found another keg) ... Belgium
New Holland Phi ... USA
Guests from near and far.
De Dolle Oerbier (different batch -- new/old yeast)
Rogue Juniper Pale Ale (formerly Yellow Snow)
Rogue Mogul Ale (John's Locker Stock series)
Sprecher Root Beer (non-alcoholic)
In the Bullpen:
Left Hand Milk Stout (Saturnalia list; found another keg)
VIII. UPDATED CASK REPORT: DUO STILL SOMEWHERE OUT ON THAT HORIZON.
With apologies to Joe Walsh, 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 http://www.ratebeer.com/.
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:
X. 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.