Northwestern Notes

P1010532 Lafayette Brewing‘s Winter Warmer is February 13th. Too bad it’s sold out already. Went on sale last Tuesday at 10:06am. (10:06?) When we got there at 2pm they were gone. Lafayette also has new swing-top 1-liter growlers. New: $9. Refill: $5. Tues. Refill: $4.

  • Winter Lager – Heather lager with meladonin malt, Celeia and Sazz hops. 6.1%. Basically a big Munich lager. The noble hop presence keeps it bright.

Figure 8 Brewing in Valparaiso hasn’t started production yet. They are now working on the floor of the brewery. A full description is at the News button of their web site. P1010544
In the most out of focus picture ever, Jon Uban checks the new flat Figure 8 floor after a day of grinding. P1010551 Brickworks Brewing in downtown Hobart is rapidly becoming a hometown restaurant and their brewing can barely keep up with demand. Only 2 were on tap on our visit but Rubus Wheat, Wind Chill Factor, Potawatomi Porter, and Hoar Frost are due up this winter.

  • Browncoat Brown Ale – Dark clear light American Brown with infinitely-lasting tan head. A+ for looks. Light aroma. Massive chocolate malt belies the light color.
  • Cornerstone Bitter – American Pale Ale with wake-up bitter NW hops tang.

 P1010548  Crown Brewing in Crown Point has 7 beers on tap. P1010553

  • Xtacy of Gold Blonde – "Our lightest offering. Brewed to be drinkable without too much flavor". Oops. 4.1%
  • Blueberry Wheat – The Weiss with flavoring, ala Back Road. Nice tang without being obnoxious. Tang is the correct word. 4%
  • Lady in Red – Malty Scottish 60/-. Went down quickly. Nae, richt noo.
  • Crown Town Brown – Maris Otter and Fuggles. My favorite. Simple presentation of basics puts it dead square in the middle of the Southern Brown kingdom. 4%. Please, put this on a handpull.
  • Winter Warlock – Cinnamon, nutmeg, clover of a pumpkin but lots of pine and cascade citrus makes it a 2002 Sierra Nevada Celebration.
  • Industrial Porter – Solid, broad taste band incorporating roast and toast encompassed by a flight into fresh beer brightness around the edges. Halo effect?
  • Special Force Ale – The Crown flagship is an unfiltered IPA with 7 hop applications of Summit, Centennial, and Cascade. A Cascade hop bomb worthy of the Alpha King Challenge. 5.8%

P1010568 Three Floyds‘ Brewpub is one of my two favorite beer bars in Indiana. Great guest list on tap and more goodies in bottles. Always good conversation at the bar. And a big selection of house beers.

  • Ham on Rye – A collaboration with Piece Brewery. Aroma of smoked ham. Not just any ham. Certainly not one of those clove-infested spiral-cut hams they sell for 89¢ per pound right after Christmas. A real Virginia smoked damn ham that you have to soak for a day before slicing and pan-frying. They should export this stuff to Bamberg. 6.2%
  • Admiral Lord Nelson British Strong Bitter – Emphasis, of course, on "bitter". Hey, there’s apricot; distinctly apricot. Neat. 6.8%
  • Grosser Kurfurst Munster Dunkel – Dark amber Vienna. Subtle caramel is the keynote. It’s darn near normal. 5.8%
  • Black Sun Stout – Black American Stout. Very black – which just enhances the surprising lightness of body. All that chocolate, molasses, etc. that you expect without getting into the coffee realm. 7%.
  • Stay in School – Let’s let is grow a bit more. Dull, dark persimmon color. Aged 6 months in a Palo Santo barrel and another year in a bourbon barrel. Not yet drinkable. Discussing this beer is tantamount to judging Obama’s presidency after 1 year with 7 more to go.