29 Dec Burn ‘Em Brewing’s Long Johns On Winter Warmer Bash Set for January 13th
I’ve got a good job…duh. I run around talking to people about beer, and trying out as much beer as Walter and I can handle. True, I probably spend more money on beer than I make writing about it, but such are the vicissitudes of life – I chose this path and I’m happy to walk it.
The only problem is that Water and I can’t be everywhere all the time. Indiana may not be a huge state, but in terms of craft breweries, there’s a lot of area to cover. If you live in Central Indiana, you don’t get as much Evansville beer or Region beer as you would like. If you live in South Bend, you have a lot of good beer around, but how often do you get to visit Floyd County Brewing or Great Crescent? It’s not like you can find their beer in the store down the street.
One of the outcomes of this distance problem is that Walter and I have never been to a Burn ‘Em Brewing event. We have visited the taproom a couple of times, and are fortunate to drink their beer in local bars or purchase it at Kahn’s Fine Wine & Spirits, but we haven’t been to an Anniversary Bash, Danksgiving, or Labor Daze.
It’s high time we fix this, so we’re heading up to Michigan City for the 3rd Annual Long Johns On Winter Warmer Bash. This year’s party will take place on January 13th on the grounds of the brewery. The driveway and space in back of the taproom will all be commandeered for serving stunning high gravity beers, with the heated tents out back – like they do for Danksgiving.
While this is the third iteration of Long Johns On event, the beer (2014) actually predates the festival (2016). The idea of an outdoor event had always intrigued the owners; Rob Austin at Burn ‘Em told me that not many people were running an outdoor beer bash in winter when they conceived of this festival.
Of course, now outdoor winter festivals are all the rage, Shelf Ice Brewfest in Michigan City, Michigan Winter Festival, Frigid Digits Centerpoint Anniversary, Brrr Fest in Bluffton…..it’s weird that most of these take place in Northern Indiana or Michigan. There must be antifreeze in the veins of these folks; they’re my kind of people.
That being said, I bet I’ll still be only person in shorts that day. I tell you what – if the temperature is below 32˚F and you show up in a T-shirt and shorts, I’ll buy you a beer – guaranteed. Rob said that even though he has never had a complaint about the festival being outside, “You can’t escape the cold, that is Northwest Indiana in January, but we can try to make it a little more tolerable.” Tolerable for Michigan City means that more than 400 people will probably show up for a festival where the weather is completely unpredictable. Of course the price has something to do with that too, entry is only $10 ($15 day of event) – that’s cheap for access to this kind of tap list and music. Even as I write this article I’m looking forward to it more.
The list of bottle releases and draft beers to be served is just mesmerizing. Of course the Long Johns On will be available, a winter warmer finished with vanilla and including dates and nutmeg in the brew. While there will be no limit on purchase of those bottles, the variant bottles will be limited to two per person. The variants will include a Heaven Hill BBA version, or BBA versions with cold-pressed coffee, cherries, blackberries, blackberries and raspberries, or cherries and cocoa nibs.
On this same day, Burn ‘Em will be releasing a braggot collaboration with Misbeehavin’ Meads called Burnin’ Down The Hive. This beer is a blend of a strawberry mead that has been aged in red wine barrels with more strawberries and the Burn ‘Em strawberry DIPA (limit 2 bottles). Along with these bottle releases in the taproom, the heated draft tent in back will be serving all the variants of Long Johns On (not much of each, so get them early) and additional special beers that are now being determined.
I find this intriguing because I’ve seen some of the previous tap lists from Burn ‘Em events – I’m all a quiver to think of the 15-18 beers they might put out; danks, one offs, infusions…..better get a hotel room. As Rob said, “If you’ve ever been to one of our events, you know we throw a hell of a tap list together.”
If that weren’t enough of an incentive, there will be live music all day long and food from the La Margarita truck based in Fountain Square, Indianapolis. The music will start with Fragile Soul out of Chicago, a blues/folk rock band that stresses great vocals. Anchors, originally and again from Valpo will play second, giving us their original rock songs that delve the depths of shoegazing – if you don’t know it, come check it out. The headliners, Miller, will finish the day (4:30-6:00). They are led by LD Miller, a nationally known singer, guitar and harmonica player, and sometimes fill in for John Popper of Blues Traveler. Rob said that though it is getting harder to do, Burn ‘Em tries to out-do themselves with the music at every event.
I’ll let you know how things go with the beer bet over shorts and a T-shirt, but it’d be better if you show up and enjoy the day yourself. Burn ‘Em designs Long Johns On Winter Warmer Bash to be a smaller, more intimate event and the weather might take care of that itself, but consider the physics of the event. The more people that show up, the more body heat will be donated to the grounds. Consider it a civic duty to attend and make the day more pleasant for others.
This is an all ages event. Click here for tickets.