Five Indiana Breweries brought home medals from the World Beer Cup in Nashville, TN, on May 3. That’s the greatest number of distinct breweries since 6 years ago in 2012 when 5 also garnered awards.
Upland Brewing of Bloomington and distributed in 20 states, earned Gold for The Upland Raspberry Sour Ale. Upland celebrates their 20th year as a brewery, originally just a local brewbpub, and started their sour beer program in 2006. I distinctly recall being invited to meet with the brew team at the time and representatives from Oliver Winery of Bloomington to sample the first Upland ale aged in Oliver wine barrels. A dozen years later, Upland sours are distributed from California to Maine plus New York, Texas, Colorado, Michigan and North Carolina in addition to multiple metro areas and their Midwest distribution where all Upland beers are found. Congrats especially to Eli Trinkle as lead sour brewer, Patrick Lynch as lead brewer, Matt Wisely as innovation lead, and Pete Batule, VP of Operations. Upland has gone through a number of changes while the Sour Program has become a highlight. While Upland still has plenty of wine barrels for aging specialty product, most of the sour beers come through huge fooders, many of which can be viewed in the Wood Shop adjacent to the Upland Brewpub in Bloomington. The sour is sometimes avaiable at the Wood Shop or at The Upland Bloomington Brewpub they also have locations in SoBro (Broad Ripple), Carmel, and Columbus.
Metazoa Brewing Company of Indianapolis took Gold for Klipspringer a farmhouse ale winning in the American-Belgo Style category. Metazoa also took a Bronze Medal for Wee Bit Left, a scotch ale awarded in that category. Klipsringer took Silver at the Great American Beer Festival in 2017. Metazoa is a dog-friendly brewery with fabulous view on the near south side of Indianapolis, that provides a 5% of profits to animal & wildlife organizations . Veteran Brewer John Hall, Brewmaster at Metazoa left well known Five Rabbits Brewery of Chicago, and the Latin to Mexican themed beers, where he had hopped (sorry) from Goose Island. Congrats to Hall and brewer Nick Betzner. Metazoa is at 140 S. College Ave, Indy.
Blind Own Brewery, Indianapolis, took Silver for VII Kings Belgian Dark Strong ale. Brewer Alex Petersen loves his German style lagers but clearly had a good distraction over to the Belgian style for a great beer. It is very notable that they were second in this category to Hetog Jan, a brewery in the Netherlands that clearly can nail this style. Alex brewed at Thr3e Wisemen and is still humble about his palate, yet clearly this proves what he does! Blind Owl is a brewery and restaurant on the northeast side of Indianapolis and part of the Lux restaurant group. Blind Owl is in a shopping Center facing Binford Parkway just north of 62nd St. with an odd address of 5014 E 62nd St.
Bier Brewery, Indianapolis, added to their WBC wins with a Silver this year for their Pumpkin Ale. Bier won double gold in 2016, one of only 2 breweries to do so, with their ESB and a Belgian quad. This clearly continues to show the fine quality Darren Conner puts out and has for 8 years as a smaller brewery with solid distribution and award-winning beers.Bier and Blind Owl are within less than five minutes of each other near Binford Blvd. and 62nd to 65th Streets. Find Bier at 5133 E 65th St.
The Tap Beer Company, Bloomington, grabbed Bronze for Kill the Lights British-Style Imperial Stout. Brewer Jarrod May took particular pleasure in the fact that as he won the Bronze, his mentor from a previous brewery also medaled. Jarrod was recruited away from Iron Hill Brewery of Pennsylvania to join The Tap Beer Co. when it opened as a brewery. While the Tap started as a beer bar on the Town Square in Bloomington, where their beer joins dozens of others on tap, there is a brewery Taproom at 206 W, Kirkwood where you can sample their current beer, and the Tap Beer is also available at The Tap Beer Bar, 306 N. Delaware, Indianapolis at the ‘end of Mass Ave.’
In the past ten years, thirteen different Indiana breweries have won at the prestigious Word Beer Cup, which is held every two years. Sun King has taken six awards, Upland five, Bier Brewery 4, Shoreline (Michigan City) 4, and Three Floyds 4 since the awards started.
Comparing to other states in 2018, California took 44 total awards, Colorado gained 28, Washington state took 10 this year yet has garnered a whopping 86 awards since inception, and in the Midwest with bigger populations Ohio grabbed 10 total awards (9 different breweries), Michigan took 9, Illinois took 7 including a Bronze for Hamms by Miller, and Indiana grabbed 6 awards.
Three Hundred Two awards were given while the country consuming the most beer per person, The Czech Republic, took none, likely too busy drinking to enter.
Cheers, Greg K