Winterfest ’14, Brewers of Indiana Guild, Feb. 1…. some beer highlights

Winterfest for the Indiana Brewers Guild is just around the corner (Feb. 1, Champions Pavilion, Indiana State Fairgrounds — see below for HOTEL info) and we’ve been asking brewers and reps what they will be sharing. Here are some of the answers:

Head Brewer Rob of Flat12 Bierwerks, Indy, got his brewing staff into a Mexican theme to bring at least 16 different beers with a Mexican concept. Earlier this month Rob showed me his “Whorechata” (a take-off of Mexican rice milk called “Horchata”) fermenting away with rice, almond flour, lactose, vanilla, and cinnamon. He had already shared they would be bringing last Summer’s French Saison aged 6 months in Anejo tequila barrels (8%). Here are a few of the other Flat12 offerings:
Centeno Grande Imperial Rye spin of Pogue’s Run Porter with Mexican Pilocillo sugar (8%) and a version with toasted coconut and cocoa nibs. Pedro Gordo Replicale Owd Gordo old ale infused with Ancho and Guajillo chilis. (9.8%). Tepachedor IPA, a tropical IPA with coconut and pineapple.

And for the more traditional drinker there is BIG Owd Gordo, which Rob gave me a taste of earlier this month. A smooth and spicy old ale aged in top-shelf Blanton’s bourbon barrels (10.5%) . And for hop heads the 1024 Winter Replicale becomes Massive Retaliation American stout with Galena, Calypso, & Chinook then dry-hopped with Simcoe and Citra. Rob was keeping this a secret when we connected 2 weeks ago but today they published the list click here to read the list

We know Black Acre Brewing, Indianapolis, will also have a theme but they are keeping it under wraps for now!

Bloomington Brewing Co. brings eleven beers including their delicious Winter Ale, the recent Ol’ Floyd’s Belgian Dark Strong with complexity and a raisin sweetness, the smooth and balanced with spiciness Rye Barrel Roggenbier collaboration with Black Acre, a Bourbon Stout which is also smooth with wonderful vanilla notes, Krampus Dark Strong Ale which has local hop lovers talking with a piney hop scent and citrus notes ending in a smooth finish, a Bourbon Replicale ’13, plus regular pours: Ruby Bloom, Quarrymen Pale, award winning Rooftop IPA, Java Porter, and RyePA.

Upland offers at least 10 beers including two new ones and some special pours of sours. Coast Buster Imperial IPA is part of the new Upland Side Trail Series to be released in February and is obviously a big hoppy beer with Simcoe, Amarillo, Columbus and Cascade hops shining through with tropical and fruity flavors and dry finish. This will also be offered in a pin with Citra hops. Their recent tart Berliner Weisse, Wolf Eye, will be poured and truly offers wonderful tartness and lots of flavor. Also new is the Spicy Nuts, a version of NutHugger brown ale with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove for a really complex flavor. For barrel aged beers Upland will tap the BBL Teddy Bear Kisses Russian Imperial stout which I love on the barrel and a Bourbon Barrel warmer. In addition they will pour Dragonfly, Wheat, Komodo Dragonfly Black IPA, and Champagne Velvet.

Daredevil will build on its portfolio as last year they were new enough just to pour Lift Off IPA while this year we expect Rip Cord Double IPA in a cask as well as regular, Muse Belgian Golden, Carnival Saison, and JWP American Stout – a rich, delightful just-short-of chewy chocolate pudding kind of a stout.

Carson’s of Evansville has opened since last year and should bring their flagship Brown Cow, biscuit nutty brown ale, their Eville (get it) American wheat, RIPA Red IPA with Pacific Northwest hop flavors, and they just tapped a Saint Carson’s “Tripel Quad” (brewed with barley, wheat, oats, and rye with candy sugar added for 11.5%) which was bubbling when I visited them recently so hope it makes it to Winterfest!

At Figure 8 Brewing, Valpo, brewer Mike Lahti will be doing the first ever release of Intergalactic IPA with Galaxy and Mosaic hops. In addition, he promises to bring Dogma Dubbel which mixes German with Belgian styles, which will pour with Snake Pro Double IPA and Pirates Pils (Czech and German hops). Figure 8 will also pour Raven Tor Oatmeal stout carrying a blend of six grains, and Ro Shampo Imperial Red – one Lahti’s known for at 89 IBU and 7.5%. In addition, he’ll have a pin of Black Corridor Choc Imperial Stout.

Zwanzigz of Columbus, IN, will, of course, pour the Ghost Pepper Imperial Stout that made its debut at Winterfest ’13, along with their flagship Chocolate and Blueberry beers. In addition, brewer Mike has Barrel aged some of the chocolate beer so expect a treat, and remember this chocolate ale is a translucent ale, not a stout. In addition, Mike made a German style Eisbock from a lager. Zwanzigz will also bring a barrel aged old ale replicale for the specialty tent.
Bell’s will have some specialty beers this year! Bells will pour Wheat Love, a 7.7% wheat wine which has not been seen since 2005. Those who have tasted this report it is somewhat akin to a German Weizen but clearly ‘bigger.’ Bell’s will also offer Smitten golden rye a newer seasonal take on an American Pale ale, Hopslam, and Harvest Ale, and we hope some Expedition Stout makes it to counteract the cold weather.

Over 80 breweries + distributor World Class Beer’s Malt Shop of unusual beers will make this an event to remember. A host of new breweries include Indianapolis’ Planetary and Outliers.

Here is the complete Brewery List

Winterfest is sold out online, but some tickets may be available at Big Red Liquor stores or by trade using twitter #winterfest

Early birds will get in at 2:00 and general public at 3:00. The event runs until 7PM

Beer Fans, there are still hotel rooms available at Sheraton City Centre, official Winterfest hotel. Stay where the brewers stay! Great discount and located in the heart of Indy. Here’s your reservation link: Click here for reservations Click RESERVE for your BIG rate.

Cheers and hope to see you there!