What a beautiful spring day it was to have a beer fest in Bloomington. The Bloomington Craft Beer Fest on April 8 was a great chance to get to know more beer! Woolery Mill is a great backdrop to have such a fest. I have plenty of beers that I would like to talk about but first I want to acknowledge all of the breweries, pourers, and the Brewers of Indiana Guild. The day seemed just right as the location, the way the lines flowed, and the friendliness of all was a recipe for a great fest. Plus they raised over $7,000 for the Lotus education and arts Foundation – a local group that puts on a major music fest and places interactive musical artists in K-12 schools in Southern Indiana. How cool is that!
Now on to the beer! Here is a solid sampling of beers I tried and found noteworthy.
Bier Brewery, (5133 E 65th St, Indianapolis, IN), had an old standby and I just had to have their noted Weizen Goot Hefeweizen 5.3% ABV 10 IBU that’s been a signature of this award winning brewery.
Black Acre Brewing, (5632 E Washington St, Indianapolis, IN, in Irvington), delighted with Cherry ol’ Fritz, a classic Sour- Berliner Weisse with cherries at 4.5 ABV 5 IBU. I loved this one!
Broad Ripple Brew Pub, (842 E 65th St, Indianapolis, IN) Indiana’s oldest brewpub, took their Lawn Mower Pale and added grapefruit soda for a true Radler/Shandy which they called a Rattling Lawn Mower. Though I am usually not a fan of some hops in a pale ale, the grapefruit made it quite Pleasant for my palate! 2.5% ABV 9 IBU so truly a summer lawn mower, drink-a-lot quencher. The BRBP also served the collaboration with Flat 12, that was a combination of a strong ale rye aged in bourbon barrels at Flat12 then blended with the straight rye ale from the Brew Pub. It offered sweetness almost along with a not overwhelming bourbon flavor in a big bold beer.
Carson’s Brewery (2404 Lynch Rd, Evansville, IN), brought an out-of-the ordinary banana beer called Killer Apeel; this was a Blonde Ale 4% ABV. It’s all in the name with lots of bananas that linger.
Centerpoint Brewing, (1125 E. Brookside Ave, Indianapolis, IN), a relatively new brewery, offered their Dry Irish Stout, 4% ABV 40 IBU and seems like a classic dry Irish Stout. This is their flagship!
Danny Boy Beer Works, (12702 Meeting House Rd, Carmel, IN, but found in the Brockway Public House in Carmel also) had their Walking Red 5% ABV 17 IBU Red Ale, this is an Irish Red available for St. Patrick’s Day. It offers a slightly sweet and malty take on a red with toffee flavor.
Fountain Square Brewing Company, (1301 Barth Ave, Fountain Square in Indy, of course) offered Winter King Wheat, a cousin to a barleywine but with a large quantity of wheat as a warmer. (9% ABV) A big bold beer.
Function Brewing, (108 E 6th St, Bloomington, IN) always goes all out, this year with 21 beers. The Codex Stout with cayenne, vanilla, cinnamon, and cacao nibs at 6.7% abv was certainly a treat. This complex beer delivered a wallop of flavor with the cinnamon, vanilla, and chocolate creating nearly a Mayan treat and the cayenne sneaking up at the end deep in the throat with a gentle tingle and light burn sensation. The Szechuan Pale is a really interesting experiment since you taste nice pale and then the peppercorns sneak up on you at the end with both flavor and burn. The Fourier has the spice of orange peel with lemon and lime juices but at 3.5% ABV you could have a few of these nicely spiced beers!
Mad Anthony Brewing (2002 Broadway, Fort Wayne, Indiana – also Auburn Angola, and Warsaw) is one of the venerable early breweries in Indiana. This year their delight was a special surprise. They offered Apricot Tart, an apricot sour as well as their regular Ruby Raspberry Wheat, an English Pale that won a GABF gold back in 2012. They gave me a half pour of the apricot sour and topped me off with the Ruby raspberry wheat and it was amazing. The Upfront sour with a raspberry finish was delightful. If they packaged it up I would drink it all summer long. Both are 4.7% beers so very sessionable.
New Albanian Brewing Company, of New Albany, (415 Bank Street & 3312 Plaza Dr, New Albany, IN), one of Indiana’s female ownder breweries, shared two of their seasonal beers.
Bonfire of the Valkyries – a nicely smoked imperial Black Lager at 8% ABV & 20 IBU which has a strong malt flavor with just the right smokyness. I have found that I am in love with the smoke beers right now so this being the first of the day was a great way to kick off the B Town Fest.
Otrok Drak is Belgian dubbel ale 7% ABV 14 IBU aged in southern Indiana Huber Winery Pop’s reserve wine barrels plus infused with raspberry and hibiscus. The Hibiscus is tart and the Raspberry is sweet. They are quite complementary.
New Corner Brewing Company, (2100 W White River Blvd, Muncie, IN), had the White River Stout, 4.75% ABV 34 IBU, This is just a good Irish stout, Nothing fancy, Just really good, with a mildly sweet start with a slightly dry finish.
Twisted Crew Brewing of Seymour, IN, -it’s sad that they are closing their doors (more on that on another post). This time they brought 2nd Breakfast, an amber infused with maple, cinnamon, and vanilla at 5.1% ABV This has very sweet Maple, very strong cinnamon, and tastes like a cinnamon bun. Call me crazy but I also got a slight raisin taste – maybe the amber of the malt and the vanilla.
ZwanzigZ Craft Brewery, (1038 Lafayette Ave, Columbus, IN) brought a S’mores Porter, the desert of beers tasting like gooey marshmallow and chocolate. Another great flavor combination from the Indiana Brewery that won Best Small Brewery nationally at the Great American Beer Festival last year! And my husband loved their Beauregard’s Blueberry – a staple for ZwanzigZ.
Story and Pictures by Leesaloo