I will have to start off saying that I am new to the craft beer drinking scene although being around my craft beer loving family the craft world is not unfamiliar to me. All those years of being around it, I never really gave it a chance. It wasn’t until about 6 months ago I decided to see what was so great about craft beer. I had a Dorian Coconut Stout from Scarlet Lane and at that point there was no turning back. I have fully embraced craft beer. It is exciting to go around to different breweries sampling all the different types of beer. That being said I jumped on the chance when I was invited to go to Winterfest, and how exciting was that!
Wow, 101 breweries all in one place. We did have the early bird tickets so there was no waiting outside and from 2:00 to 3:00 having no lines was pretty nice. If you can snag some early bird tickets to any beer fest I would have to say it is worth it. After three-o-clock the lines were long but they went faster than I expected.
It would have been nice if more of the breweries could display more visibly what beers they were serving so the people in the back of the line could decide what they wanted to try before they got up front. Most of the breweries had a list on the table. It took more time for people to stop, check what that wanted, decide, and order vs. stating what they want when first asked.
I did notice that the inside men’s restroom line looked extremely long and the women’s line was really not long at all! My husband ended up waiting in the Porta-potti line outside and he was out a few minutes after I was. Plus, he said they were pretty clean.
It might be nice for some people if there were more places to sit. The seats they had were pretty full. The people from the breweries were warm and inviting and I’d have to say that I never stood around with an empty glass for long. In all, I had a blast! The craft world is a fun environment to be in. There are so many people from different walks of life coming together enjoying good beer. Thank you to the 101 breweries and the Brewers of Indiana Guild for putting it all together.
Oh, the beer! here are just a few I remember that really stood out (I need to take notes!)
Elm Street Brewery (519 N Elm St, Muncie, IN) Blackfyre
Talk about smokey, roasty and toasty. The smoke hits you up front the he sweet hits you in the middle and the spice hits you on the way down. I don’t have a high tolerance for spicy and it was more than tolerable for me; definitely a fun beer to have.
Burn’em Brewing (718 Freyer Rd, Michigan City, IN) Red Zeppelin
I love this beer, a red ale with toffee and cherry notes was one of my favorites.
Flat 12 Bierwerks (414 Dorman St, Indianapolis, IN) Sleeping Pils, a lower alcohol (4.5%) blonde with chamomile giving it a little bitterness like a nice tea.
Great Crescent Brewery (315 Importing St, Aurora, IN)
Hands down the best beers of the day for me. Coconut Porter so smooth and sweet with the chocolaty Porter taste and the layer of coconut; absolutely fantastic.
Harmonie Dark Lager
an historic beer based on a German black lager; I was surprised that I like the Dark Lager so much, a nice drinkable dark beer without overwhelming.
Industrious American Stout, big bold, but not bitter
Scarlet Lane Brewing (7724 Depot St, McCordsville, IN) Eirik Bloodaxe is a surprising beer as it does not overwhelm with hops (a double IPA) but has sweetness from honey, a taste of blood orange, and fruit-like hop flavor at a whopping 11% alcohol!
Iechyd Da Brewing (317 N. Main St. Elkhart, IN) Breakfast Cookies Stout was smooth, milky, and slightly sweet without strong bitterness.
next time I need to take notes!