Thursday, July 13, 2006

Publicanista! ... July 13, 2006.


In this edition of Publicanista!:

I. “TOUR DE GARDE”: BISTRO NEW ALBANY AND NABC COMBINE TO STAGE A BASTILLE DAY BIERE DE GARDE DINNER AND BIKE RIDE AT bNA ON SUNDAY, JULY 16. RESERVE NOW!

II. FROM THE HAND PULL: NABC ST. RADEGUND ENGLISH BITTER.

III. TEMPORARY RED ROOM CLOSURE.

IV. NABC BREWERY NEWS: ARTEMSIA ALE AND JENEVER RYE HAVE DEBUTED.

V. DAVEFEST 2006 COMES TO A CONCLUSION.

VI. RECENT NEWS AND ARTICLES AT THE POTABLE CURMUDGEON’S BEER BLOG.

VII. DRAFT BEERS: OUR LIQUID, DAILY BREAD, ON TAP AT RICH O’S AND SPORTSTIME.

VIII. BOTTLED BEER NEWS: BALTIC PORTER WAVE.

IX. EVENTS, HOURS AND RELATED FACTS.

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I. “TOUR DE GARDE”: BISTRO NEW ALBANY AND NABC COMBINE TO STAGE A BASTILLE DAY BIERE DE GARDE DINNER AND BIKE RIDE AT bNA ON SUNDAY, JULY 16. RESERVE NOW!

In France, Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14, which falls on a Friday, so we've decided to celebebrate two days later with a bicycle ride through New Albany, a multi-course French meal and the long-awaited French Bieres de Garde tasting -- all at or near the Bistro New Albany.

At 2:30 p.m., we'll embark on a bicycle ride.

Beginners and intermediate riders should be fine to ride this course, whch is generally level ground: Tour de Garde Ride July 16th, 2006. Park by the Farmers Market or near the Bistro New Albany (corner of Market and Bank), because when we return, it'll be time for relaxation, war stories and a few introductory tipples as we await dinner. Note that in the event of inclement weather, the ride will be cancelled. Naturally, you need not join the bike ride to dine and sample later in the day.

Circa 5:00 p.m., the meal will begin.

Weather permitting, we intend to use the courtyard, but can go indoors if necessary. The French menu will be accompanied by the Bieres de Garde, roughly four ounces per person of each selection listed below. The exact beers to match the various courses will be revealed here before the day of the show, but it should suffice to say that the metropolitan Louisville area has not seen such an assembly of Northern French ales.

Chef Dave Clancy's Menu:

Hors- d ‘ oeuvres
-Canapês au Duxelles (mushroom canapes)
-Oeufs Farcis Garnis (stuffed eggs)
-Boucheés au Chevre (puff pastry with goat cheese)

Soup Course
-Pureé de Cèleri (celery soup)

Salad Course
-Salade de Betterave (beet-root salad)

Entree Course
- Suprême de Vollaille á l’ Arlesienne (breast of chicken with fried eggplant)

Dessert Course
-Tartlettes aux Nuisse (nut tartlette with blue cheese)

Bieres de Garde/Northern French Ales:

Cuvee des Jonquilles (Biere de Garde de L’avesnois)
Jenlain
La Choulette Ambree
La Choulette de Noel
Les Sans Culottes
St. Sylvestre Gavroche
Thiriez Blonde
Thiriez Amber
Thiriez Extra

There'll be additional bottles of most of these ales, priced reasonably, and available for those wishing to sample further. There's no possibility of carry-out sales on Sunday. Remember that although these ales are of moderate alcoholic strength, you are obliged to arrange your evening's transportation accordingly.

The price per person for the Tour de Garde meal and beers is $50, with service not included. Those wishing to partake of a non-alcoholic meal will pay less. For this event to work, we need no fewer than 20 people to reserve spaces, with a limit of 40 at the most.

Reserve by evening of Friday, July 14 by e-mailing me: Roger A. Baylor.

See also: Dreaming about Northern French ales? I am.

And: Excellent Courier-Journal review for Bistro New Albany.

II. FROM THE HAND PULL: NABC ST. RADEGUND ENGLISH BITTER.

On the hand pull now: Cask-conditioned NABC St. Radegund Bitter.

For more information on cask-conditioned ale:

Horse Brass Pub (where our friend Biscuit works when not skipping town)
Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)
Warm, Flat and Boring -- the Truth About Cask Ale, from Rate Beer.

III. TEMPORARY RED ROOM CLOSURE.

Although the Red Room should be back to normal by tonight (Thursday), it has been closed during the first part of the week and may be out of commission a bit longer. The reason is the presence of one of the main kitchen drain pipes in the wall to the rear of the Red Room (the dish washer and sinks are on the other side, out of view of Lenin). We could no longer avoid replumbing the area, so Amy and Bryan began removing fixtures and commencing the project. Thanks for your patience; with luck, this won't be a problem again for a while.

IV. NABC BREWERY NEWS: ARTEMSIA ALE AND JENEVER RYE HAVE DEBUTED.

The first two of NABC's summertime "gruit" ale series have been released and are on tap now:

Artemsia Ale ... brown ale brewed with 80% Simpson's Golden Promise two-row and molasses, and flavored with mugwort (the "dream herb," related to sagebrush and a cousin of wormwood), sweet orange peel and chamomile. 4.5% abv.

Jenever Rye ... 80% Simpson's Golden Promise two-row and rye, with crushed juniper berries in the mash and the hopback. Golden orange. Circa 7% abv.

Yet to come (ETA the week of July 10):

Strathpeffer Heather ... 90% Simpson's Golden Promise two-row and heather flower honey, with heather (i.e., a shrubbery) added throughout the brewing and maturation processes. Gold in color. Named for the town in Scotland where a Pictish eagle is famously carved into a large stone. Circa 8% abv.

Remember to visit the events section below for updates on summer fests and coming attractions. Next up is the annual Brewers of Indiana Guild (BIG) Festival in Indianapolis on July 29. For details, visit the Guild's website.

For a listing of where our beers can be found, see NABC outside accounts in Southern Indiana.

V. DAVEFEST 2006 COMES TO A CONCLUSION.

Let's let the man himself explain: Dave, on the conclusion of DaveFest 2006.

VI. RECENT NEWS AND ARTICLES AT THE POTABLE CURMUDGEON’S BEER BLOG.

Here are recently posted articles:

Good local beer in Louisville Slugger Field? Now as before, don't count on it.

Previews: Lupulin Land & Saturnalia (2006) and Gravity Head (2007).

Yet another Louisville beer dinner -- this one guaranteed to offend purists.

"Brewmasters of Louisville" beer dinner at Limestone Restaurant, July 19.

Pamplona (from 1998): "Being, Pretending and Other Assorted Daydreams of an Outsider."

REWIND: The surreal absurdity of Pabst Blue Ribbon as alt-retro-chic.

Huauzontle and ... Croupier?

From 1994: "Beer Guru Michael Jackson’s November 19 Visit to Louisville."

Bob Capshew, “The Incider,” and the Rocky Meadow orchard.

Rich O's medals in Rate Beer's "Best Beer Bars in the United States."

Rich O's Public House cracks the Top 20 in Beer Advocate rankings.

VII. DRAFT BEERS: OUR LIQUID, DAILY BREAD, ON TAP AT RICH O’S AND SPORTSTIME.

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

Artemsia Ale ... Bbrown ale brewed with 80% Simpson's Golden Promise two-row and molasses, and flavored with mugwort (the "dream herb," related to sagebrush and a cousin of wormwood), sweet orange peel and chamomile. 4.5% abv.

Bob's Old 15-B ... We're calling it a robust, brown Porter precisely because style definitions were meant to be bent.

Croupier IPA ... Jesse's homage to our casino employee clientele is modeled on the English interpretation, with a few American flourishes.

Community Dark ... Based on English Mild, and our light-bodied dark quaffer. 5% abv.

Elector ... Making Democracy pointless since 2002; English malt, American hops. 7.2% abv. Double Red?

Hoptimus ... Brewed with Simpson's Golden Promise malt; Northern Brewer, Fuggles and Cascades hops; and the house London yeast. Dry hopping with Fuggles and Cascades. 9% abv.

Jenever Rye ... 80% Simpson's Golden Promise two-row and rye, with crushed juniper berries in the mash and the hopback. Golden orange. Circa 7% abv.

St. Radegund Bitter ... Cask conditioned; all English ingredients (very limited time).

Guests from near and far.
Market pricing.

Staples:

Arrogant Bastard

Alpha King

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

Guinness Stout

Lindemans Framboise

Pilsner Urquell

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Smithwick’s Irish Ale

Spaten Premium Lager

Sprecher Root Beer (non-alcoholic)

Upland Wheat

Rotating (limited engagement)

Anchor Steam

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

Founders Black Rye

Founders Red's Rye

Rogue Smoke (DaveFest)

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barley Wine

Spezial Rauchbier

Weihenstephaner Weissbier Dunkel

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier

Bullpen:

Gulden Draak

Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale

Warsteiner Premium Dunkel

VIII. BOTTLED BEER NEWS: BALTIC PORTER WAVE.

Don't forget 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.

There have been a few new entries, which are surveyed here: Baltic, Russian and Ukrainian bottled beer blast: Porter and more.

Here is the remainder of the current lineup of rotating guest bottled beers:

***Microbrews

Allagash Curieux (750 ml; 9.5% – 10.5% abv)
I had the privilege of tasting an early version of this Belgian-style ale, which is aged for two months in Jim Beam barrels, while visiting Portland, Maine, in early 2005. Finally some of it has come our way.

Bluegrass Brewing Company
BBC Professor Gesser's Mind Numbing Ale (750 ml; 7.1% abv)
BBC Homewrecker Double IPA (750 ml; circa 10% abv)
Formerly sold as Ultra (on draft). I know these bottlings are from the pub on Shelbyville Road, and the recipes are pub brewer Jerry Gnagy’s. Beyond that, I’m not sure about the genus of the program, although I’m guessing that BBC Shelbyville Road is free to sell bottled beers that aren’t the same as the line offered by the production brewery downtown. I’ve sampled the Homewrecker, and it is spritzy, lethal, and veering toward a barley wine.

Golden Dogfish Head Golden Shower Imperial Pilsner (750 ml; 9% abv)
This “extreme” makeover is one of the better executed, sans adjuncts, and including all noble hops.

Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale (12 oz; 9.3% abv)
Founders Imperial Stout (12 oz; 10% abv)
Two excellent seasonal specialties from a brewery that seemingly can do no wrong.

Stone Imperial Stout
Stone’s is one of my favorite versions of one of my favorite styles. Black liquid sipping delight irrespective of the weather.

Three Floyds Rabbid Rabbit Saison (22 oz; 7.4% abv)
It’s been too long since we had Rabbid Rabbit on tap, and this is a measure of how difficult it has become to score those few specialty items that Three Floyds makes available for general distribution.

Imports

De Glazen Toren Jan de Lichte (750 ml; 7.5% abv)
Listed as “Imperial Wit,” or to me, another way of saying “Grand Cru” in the Belgian sense of the usage. A higher gravity spiced White.

De Glazen Toren Ondineke (750 ml; 8.5% abv)
Tripel from Aalst. No spices are used.

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel
Chouffe suspended its seasonal specialty program a few years back, but has returned in a big way with this much-anticipated hybrid. What is it like? Just remember that the magic hop cone is rendered “houblon” in French, and it all makes sense.

Le Baladin Wayan (Italy; 750 ml; 5.8%)
Nothing has been as surprising, and gratifying, than the recent arrivals of high-quality Italian microbrews. From the maker of Super Baladin and Nora comes another: Wayan, a clean Saison true to the Belgian style.

IX. EVENTS, HOURS AND RELATED FACTS.

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.

2006/2007 events:

Weekly on Wednesday evening @ 7:00 p.m.

Drinking Liberally (New Albany & Southern Indiana) meets in the Red Room each Wednesday. Contact organizer Lacy Davis for details.

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Sunday, July 16 (see above)

Bastille Day Biere de Garde Dinner & Bike Ride at Bistro New Albany.

This event currently is being planned in conjunction with the Bistro New Albany, and it will take place at bNA and include a reservation-only multi-course French-themed meal with a fixed price that includes ample portions of Northern French ale: St. Sylvestre Gavroche, Thiriez Blonde, Amber and Extra, Jenlain, Cuvee des Jonquilles (Biere de Garde de L’avesnois), La Choullette de Noel and Les Sans Culottes.

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Thursday, July 20

New Albany book signing

Gregg Seidl, a 2006 IUS graduate majoring in American History, has written a book called A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF NEW ALBANY. Gregg will be at Rich O's Public House from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., drinking Spaten and selling/signing his book.

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Saturday, July 29

Brewers of Indiana Guild (BIG) Festival in Indianapolis

For details, visit the Guild's website.

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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.

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Saturday, August 19

SWIRCA Craft Brewer's Festival in Evansville, Indiana

The event is at the Casino Aztar, and NABC's participation is tentative owing to the already busy August festival.

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Saturday, August 26

Brew At the (Louisville) Zoo

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Friday, October 13

Lupulin Land Harvest Hop Festival

We’ll be exceeding OSHA’s legal limits on IBU’s per square foot of floor space when Lupulin Land 2006 begins on Friday, October 13. It is our fifth harvest hop celebration, and a good occasion for Kentuckiana’s hopheads to unite over a pint or two of America’s most bitter beer.

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Friday, December 15

Saturnalia MMVI

NABC, Rich O’s Public House and Sportstime Pizza pay tribute to the ancient pagan origins of Christmas with Saturnalia, a draft beer festival showcasing seasonal specialties and festive ales.

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Gravity Head 2007

The ninth edition of our annual festival celebrating the brewing world’s biggest and best will kick off from its customary March starting time.

Credits:

Thanks to Jim Bell for his photographic prowess, which we share with you from time to time.

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, who also writes The Potable Curmudgeon and NA Confidential blogs.

THE END.