A Look back at the inaugural bloomington Tour de biere

A Look back at the inaugural bloomington Tour de biere

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By James Roach of IndianaOnTap.com

This past Saturday (April 5th), Indiana On Tap led a group of 19 enthusiastic Indiana craft beer lovers on a 9 mile cycling tour of Bloomington’s three breweries; Upland, BBC and Function. A chilly start to the morning quickly turned into a perfect day for cycling on the B-Line trail and through the streets of Bloomington and Indiana University.  


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The first stop on the tour wasn’t at a brewery at all, but rather the future site of Cardinal Spirits, Bloomington’s first craft distillery. Just steps from the B-Line trail, Cardinal Spirits plans to be open by the fall with a tasting room for their line of gins, vodka, fruit brandies and eventually, whiskey. Co-Owner Adam Quirk shared his plans for the company and gave riders a brief lesson in how spirits are made. We all certainly look forward to seeing what’s in store for Cardinal Spirits in the future!  

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The first brewery stop of the day was at Bloomington’s newest, Function Brewing. Co-Owner and Brewer Steve Llewelyn talked to our group about his vision for the brewery and shared his plans for Bloomington Craft Beer Week and the Bloomington Craft Beer Festival. Plans include a chili pepper infused beer and variations on their popular single hopped Falconer’s Flight Pale Ale  using different types of dry hops. Riders particularly enjoyed Function’s Belgium Pale and the Milk Stout. In the short 3 months that Function has been open, they have already needed to expand production capacity to keep up with demand. Function hopes to be selling growlers as soon as this summer. 

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Next, riders got a sneak peak at the soon to open Quaff On! Bloomington taphouse. General Manager Mary Louise Dominick and Bloomington owners Jim Dunbar and Jeff McCabe graciously opened their doors early to show us around their new location at 116 N. Grant Street. They were also hosting their racing team, Quaff On! Racing, for a party after the IU Half Marathon. Riders were treated to samples of their bottled beers and some very cool t-shirts and pint glasses. Bloomington residents who remember the former Cafe DeJango resturant will no longer recognize the building. Quaff On! Bloomington plans to open later in April.  

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The tour stopped for lunch at Lennie’s/Bloomington Brewing Company. BBC Management Team member Michael Fox joined us for the ride and gave riders a tour of the BBC brewing operation. Riders got to see the inner working of BBC and even taste a sample of an unfinished beer straight from the fermenter! Riders enjoyed the Kirkwood Cream Ale, Bière de Mars, and Ruby Bloom Amber. Several riders also tried the Midnight Delight Black Wheat Ale. This is the collaborative beer made by BBC, Function, Upland and Quaff On! specifically for the Bloomington Craft Beer Week/Festival. You, too, can try it at the Bloomington Craft Beer Festival held this Saturday, April 12th.

The day of the ride was extra special for BBC as it was also the first day of release of their very first bottled beer in their 20 year history, (their Rooftop IPA). After leaving BBC, several riders stopped at the downtown Big Red Liquors to pick up a bottle or two. 


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The day ended on the patio of Upland Brewing Company’s downtown brewpub. It was perfect weather for the patio which was full of beer lovers enjoying the sunshine. Riders enjoyed the first two releases in Upland’s Side Trails series, Coast Buster Imperial IPA and Haystack Lightning American Wheat. Other favorites were Easy Chair Amber and Campside Session IPA.

Keep watching the site for details about future rides and other events!  Do you have pictures from the event you’d like to share? E-mail them to james@indianaontap.com 



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