Columbus IN Craft Beer Fest: Relaxed atmosphere – check. Short Lines – check. Always a brewer to talk to – check. No lines at port-a-potties – check. Special beers – check. Big variety of beer – check. New breweries – check. Popular breweries – check. Breweries from all of the state – check. Kentucky breweries – check. Sun – check (okay, I’d have loved some clouds, too, but completely uncontrollable). No rain during the event – check.
Approximately 50 breweries were on hand at the 1st ever Columbus IN Craft Beer Fest on Saturday, August 27. 3-6, with VIP at 2. When I wrote the original preview of this fest I highlighted the park setting, many port-a-potties, as well as potential shorter lines as big and small brewers with intermingled. I never saw a port-a-potty line (NEVER) which is a first in my experience at dozens and dozens of beer fests AND there was almost always a very short beer line somewhere or no line at some brewery.
Rain came and went before the fest opened. Many brewers got set up, waited the rain out in the car or truck, and then reset in plenty of time to meet the 2:00 VIPs. That rain did create some steamy times when the sun came out, but better humidity than rain. There was a huge guest tent and there were some trees around so if you wanted to stand in the shade it was there.
It always seems almost unfair to choose a few beers to talk about – but do the math. 50 breweries most with at least 4 beers = 200 beers to try. If I chose a 2 oz. sample from each brewery I’d drink (50*2) 100 oz. or equivalent of 8 bottles of beer in 3-4 hours. That may seem like a fair challenge to some people yet I am never that scientific at a fest.
Here are some beers I want to highlight! Just not time and room to share them all.
Flix Brewhouse – Tripel Carmel-ite. Belgian style tripel with nice dry finish. also, Bourbon Barrel Aged Druish Princess Quad – one we’d had at our visit to FLIX. Related story on Flix Brewhouse
Shoreline Brewing, Michigan City, IN, brought a German, English, Scottish, and an IPA. I chose the Scottish which delighted with caramel.
Twisted Crew, Seymour, IN, offered a Bicenteni-ale, solid throw back ale made with Indiana hops and malt but at 7% and they had it also on a Randall with fresh cascade hops
Goshen Brewing, Goshen, IN, had 1816, also a delicious all Indiana bicentennial ale. This an English pale.
Black Acre, Indianapolis Irvington, IN had a heavy, flavorful Barrel Aged Beard Tax, a Russian Imperial Stout 10% and aged in multiple barrels.
New Albanian Brewing, New Albany, IN, Had their Naughty Girl Belgian IPA a nice spice from the Belgian yeast with a hop character + the Old 15-B Robust Porter with plenty of dark malt and smooth
Deer Creek, see our story “cover” shot, of Noblesville, IN, is the production brewery creation of Jeff Eaton who was founder of one of Indiana’s oldest Brew Pubs, Barley Island in Noblesville. Their Cork County Red Cream Ale at 5.4 % was refreshing on this August day.
Pokro Brewing Company, Griffith IN, has only been around about 1 1/2 years. This was our first sample. Wookiee Love, Imperial Stout at 10%.was big, chewy, bold, with some dark fruit flavor.
Chapman’s of Angola and Ft. Wayne, IN, is another brewery that I don’t see often and that always pleases with their Kolsch. But this time they had a Peach Blond ale that was just right for the weather.
Cedar Creek Brewery, Martinsville, IN, brought the Kentucky Common that I loved on my visit to their place. Our recent story on Cedar Creek
And Falls City Beer of Louisville, KY, represented their state with their own Kentucky Common. We were also happy that Country Boy Brewing of Lexington, KY, traveled the farthest from home and shared Black Gold, a bourbon barrel aged porter that gives that great vanilla from the barrel on top of medium roast at 10%.
Metazoa Brewing, Indianapolis, IN, brought the Fire Dog smoked kolsch, a rarity that we’d sampled courtesy of the brew crew about a week ago! What many will like is that the smoke is not overwhelming. Related story on Metazoa
Oh, and toward the end there was a well-deserved line. Most people from Central and South Central Indiana have still not yet shared Evil Czech‘s beer, from Mishawaka, IN. They brought 4 beers and each was certainly worth trying. But the General Patton is a very well made clean pilsner with just a nice slight and appropriate bite at the end.
Thanks to the many, many brewers who shared. Wish we could have tried them all. Great Chatting with Goshen Brewing
There were games to play. The Columbus Rugby Team was represented. Bottles of water were sold with money going to charity. And overall this was a great fest and surprising to some brewers that this was the first time Columbus has tried a beer festival. Knowing chief organizer Elaine Wagner for many years, as well as principal sponsors, Zwanzigz, I was certainly not surprised at how nice it was!