When’s the last time you remember holding your glass in the air and cheering with 5,000 other beer enthusiasts? Believe it or not, this post took me almost a week to create. There were so many people that worked their tail off to make Winterfest 2014 a success. A very special “Thank you” to the breweries that participated, the Brewers of Indiana Guild, Hoosier Beer Geek, and the 100+ volunteers that made this happen. The planning and execution of this beer festival were top notch. We had an awesome time pouring at Winterfest, and we also wanted to thank everyone that dropped by to say hello and sample our offerings.That said, this year’s Winterfest was HUGE. We loved the extra space that Champion Hall provided, however it was soon consumed by the 5,000 beer loving ticket holders. This was by far the largest beer tasting I’ve ever been to. Note to self: VIP tickets at Indiana beer tastings are becoming more and more validated 🙂 Eric Meyer has a fantastic photo album documenting the debauchery. Either way, I wanted to take some time to share some of my favorite picks from this past weekend. Here it goes:
| The Upland Sour Barrel Spin Game
Upland used a Twitter password to allow entry into this Wheel of Fortune! The wheel included Raspberry, Cherry, and Kiwi Lambic, and also the much coveted Sour Reserve 4.
|ZwanzigZ Brewing Eisbock
This beer was fantastic! This style of beer is created by freezing bock beer and removing the ice. This method concentrates the flavor and abv. Great work and thanks for sharing!
|Country Boy Brewing Chestnut Brown Ale
We were lucky enough to pour right next door to Country Boy Brewing. This beer really stood out for me. Very easy drinking and flavorful brown!
|New Albanian Phoenix Kentucky Komon Ale
This beer was great! Kentucky Common beer has the unique history of being America’s first sour! Lactobacillus is used to create a twang sourness that complements the malt profile of this beer. New Albanian pulled this one of brilliantly.
| Planetary Fly Casual Brown Ale
This was my first Planetary beer, and I was pretty impressed. I’m a sucker for Brown Ales. I’m sure I’ll be enjoying more Planetary beers in the not so distant future.
|Three Floyd’s War Mullet
I’m not sure how long this keg lasted, but my guess is it went quickly. War Mullet is, at the moment, a very rare Imperial IPA created by FFF.
|Reposado Du Flat Saison/Farmhouse Aged 6 months in Extra Anejo tequila barrels.
The evil geniuses at Flat 12 created a saison that they aged in anejo tequila barrels. Everyone was talking about it the first couple of hours at Winterfest. I did not get a chance to try it, but I thought it was worth a mention as it seemed very popular.
|Power House Barrel Aged Diesel Oil Stout
Diesel Oil Stout is a fantastic beer. Seeing a barrel aged version at Winterfest was a great comfort 🙂
|Rhinegeist Uncle English Dark Mild
We’ve been drinking a lot of English Mild beer lately and this one stood out. Smooth, great malt profile, and highly sessionable.
|Bier Brewery 1.21 Gigawatts Belgian Strong and Hator Dopplebock
Both these beers were served at Bier’s 3rd Anniversary Party this past year. I was glad to see they still had some left for Winterfest. Cheers if you had the opportunity to try these rare beers!
|MONK Wookie Tears English Brown Ale
These guys were great neighbors to us, and you can bet I made sure to sample each one of their beers. Wookie Tears English Brown was one of those great beers!
|Bloomington Hop Jockeys Sour Collection
There is no doubt that the Hop Jockeys have skill when it comes to brewing, but sampling their sour beer has become something to look forward to at these events. Thanks for sharing Luke!
If you are on the lookout for Rare Devils, Tomlinson Tap is the place to be. Daredevil Brewing’s Anniversary Tap Takeover Bonanza kicks off at Tomlinson Tap tonight at 6pm. Muse Belgian Golden Ale with Blackberries is ready to be served (for those of you that missed it at the Twenty Tap event it was verified on their Twitter feed that all 7 beers will be there), as well as some other noteworthy devils include their Mr. 300 American Barleywine (with a ridiculous 300 IBUs :)), Slip Stream Pale Ale, and J.W.P American Stout.
I know what you are thinking…. Mmmmmmm……DELICIOUS! Haha. Well in all seriousness, this actually is a great idea for peeps looking to improve their dry hopping skills/build a knowledge base on what multiple varieties of hops taste like when dry hopped. For ~$15 you can buy some premium quality American Lager (snicker ;)) and enough hops (roughly a gram each) to dry hop each bottle. Scott from BertusBrewery.com did an excellent write up of his experiment with this process with a 12 pack of Bud Light. The beauty of this experiment is that Bud Light is so mild that the hops stand way out. Simply recap your bottles after adding each hop, and let them sit for a couple of days. You can crash out any free floating hop particles by letting your bottles sit overnight in the fridge. You can view the entire article on this process at BertusBrewery.com.
Hops and beer go together like peas and carrots, but hops and liquor? I was a little surprised when my friend Zac said that he was drinking hop infused vodka the other day. New Holland Brewing makes an un-aged whisky infused with hops (Hopquila) that is turning into a top seller for the brewery/distillery. Oregon based McMenamin’s Edgefield Distillery makes a mean dry hopped whiskey (Monkey Puzzle) that I’d love to try (Haha, please contact me if you’d like to send samples). So why not make your own hop infused spirits? The idea is pretty simple, mix hops with distilled alcohol to break down hop oils and make a hop elixir. There are several techniques I’ve found as I’ve been digging around, and also several suggested recipes. My inclination is that a dry hopped whisky would be awesome, but I’ve also found that vodka infused with Centennial hops would also be pretty good. Here’s what you’ll need to start experimenting…
1) Vodka or Whiskey (pick your poison)
2) A french press or a container/funnel/strainer/coffee filter (haha, which is easier?).
3) 1/2oz of Medium alpha acid hops (Centennial would be a good choice, but I’ve heard of people using Cascade or Amarillo as well)
I’ve found a great wiki for making vodka infused with hops on Bob Stempski’s blog here. In this wiki he used water to “sparge” the extracted hop resin, and then froze the end result. After the elixir had frozen, he inverted the mixture allowing the hop infused vodka to pour out before the water melted (this actually looks like the ice may also help filter out any remaining hop particles). He also mentions that you can add hop vodka to underdeveloped beer to bring up the abv and add some hop flavor. I’ll be giving this a shot here soon to let you know the results!
Happy IPA Day everyone! IPA day is an opportunity for brewers, bloggers, and beer enthusiasts to use social media to converse and celebrate craft brew. IPA Day was created by Ashley Routson (AKA The Beer Wench) and Ryan Ross (Marketing Manager for Karl Strauss Brewing). Many breweries across the country and participating with hoppy pint deals and special brews. How are you spending IPA Day? I’ll be updating BIMP’s Twitter feed with retweets of breweries, brew shops, bars, and businesses that are participating throughout the day. Here’s some links to homebrew recipes that will hop you up! Also feel free to post any hoppy additions to BIMP’s Facebook page if you feel so inclined 🙂
So I came across a really great blog tonight as I searching for brewing art. Beer Paintings – Original Art for Beer Lovers By Beer Lovers is a blog showcasing some fantastic oil paintings that integrate bottle caps, hops, and other beer odds and ends. I’m really impressed with these paintings! They even have an Etsy page where you can order custom oil paintings of your favorite brewery bottle caps! Please take some time to drop by their site (beerpaintings.blogspot.com) as they do an excellent job. Much respect!
Lips chapped? Do you crave the bitter hoppy flavor of Cascade while skiing? Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has the solution to most of your problems. This an actual product you can pick up on their webstore.
This is AWESOME! If you are a homebrewer creating your own recipes, or just someone looking for something unique to hang on your wall, hopschart.com created an aesthetic poster sized hops chart. You can compare individual hops based off of flavors like citrus, spice, floral, herbal, etc. This would be a great tool for someone fine tuning their brew. Thanks to contributor zacjackson for the link.
Great Fermentations is doing pre-orders for hop rhizomes again this year. They’ve got 13 different strands ranging from 3.5% to 15.5% Alpha Acid. They take about two years to actually start producing a good crop, but I don’t think they are very hard to maintain. Here’s a wiki I’ve found for growing them. Who knows, once you get a good yield you may even be able to trade your stash for some homebrew… (hint). No brewer I know would ever turn down fresh hops! Either way, it might be worth dropping by their shop or webpage.