Indiana Beer News, Dec. 8, Holiday Beers and Brewer Moves

‘Tis time for special beers and apparently for brewers to play musical chairs with brewing systems.

RAM Indy seems major changes. On the heels of former award-winning Head Brewer Andrew Castner leaving The RAM in Indianapolis in Mid-October , former Asst. Brewer Chris Knott solidified his move to Scarlet Lane Brewing with his announcement this week. Scarlet Lane is another new operation with plans to be brewing soon. It appears the RAM has become another stop on the way to independent brewing since Dave Colt and Clay Robinson of SunKing fame departed the RAM just four years ago. Castner, once with Oaken Barrel, made a major mark on Central Indiana with many award winning beers and now temporarily assists at Flat12 (corrected from earlier misprint) and Great Fermentations Brew Shop on his way to his own start-up brewery on IN 135 in Greenwood, set to open this Spring. Knott did more than shovel grain at The RAM and had his imprint on a number of great beers. I had a chance to wish both Andrew and Chris well on future adventures on Nov. 19, with their great tasting Barrel Aged Olaf as well as this year’s S’No Angel Weizenbock. S’No angel remains on tap. We hope each of them continues some of the “big beer” and barrel aging tradition in their new spots.

Nate Scruggs, formerly of Fountain Square, will start brewing at The RAM although corporate will have to anoint a head brewer.

Bell’s Brewing brings its “Twelve Bell’s of Christmas” to Chatham Tap on Mass Ave. this week Thursday, Dec. 12, starting at 5:00 PM with a special keg of Black Note barrel aged stout (Whoa.. one of my favorites), Christmas Ale, Hopsoulution DIPA, Oarsman Ale, Porter, Third Coast Old Ale, Two Hearted, Winter White , Raspberry Ale, Harry Magill’s Spiced Stout, Wedding Ale, and… either Bell’s can’t count or there will be one additional beer. I’d vote for Expedition Stout but we’ll see. Bell’s does this event other places with 12- beers but not the same so in Elkhart, IN, on the same night you can visit The Chubby Trout after 5:30 for 12 Bell’s favorites or in Newburgh, IN, near Evansville visit Beef O’Brady’s at 6:00 where the Rednose ESB is one of the 12 Bell’s beers. If you really want a road trip, Bell’s Comstock, MI, brewery unveiled a wood sculpture this past week commissioned by Larry Bell called, “From Seed to Senses.” It is less beer related as all Bell required is that the piece from a tree that had to be taken down become art.

Thinking of spicy for the Holidays? Bare Hands Brewery in Mishawaka, IN, yesterday tapped their popular Mango Habanero 574 Pale Ale on Dec. 7. Growler fills available.

Flat12, Indy, is well on their way to this year’s Twelve Beers of Christmas! 12/5 = Glazed Ham Porter, 12/6 = Cranberry Maple Amber, 12/7 = Chocolate Orange Porter and 12/8 = Cocoa Beware Milk Stout, , 12/12 = Wholey Ghost Porter, 12/13 = Brandy Walkabout Pale, 12/14 = Juniper IPA, 12/15 = Snickerdoodle Blonde, 12/19 = Chocolate Mint Porter,’ 12/20 = Apple Bottom Blonde, 12/21 = Gingerbread IPA, and as the last volly the ever-popular and odd 12/22 = Grandpa’s Glazed Ham Porter! And if you must taste all 12 at once, visit City Market on December 14, for The 12 Chef’s of Christmas where local participating chefs have drawn one of these 12 holiday beers and created his/her culinary masterpiece to be unveiled at this event. The Pairing Party is free and open to the public Saturday, Dec. 14, 5-8PM at the City Market.

Check out your favorite local brewery or brew pub for their holiday seasonal. Triton has Gingerbread Brown on tap and in bottles. Rock Bottom brew pubs Indy have their Tartan Scottish Ale, Fountain Square currently has Count Nibula Chocolate Stout, and several of us are going to visit Black Swan this week to see what DJ has brewed up!

Cheers! GregKitz