14 Nov Hoosier Breweries: Twisted K-8 Edition
AUTHOR’S NOTE: When Indiana On Tap issued its request for articles, I began thinking of the breweries I’ve visited, the people I’ve met, the beers I’ve sampled (loved, liked, disliked), and the people who have yet to set foot in an Indiana brewery or taste the deliciousness produced right here (sample some Indiana beer already!). All of this combined with the knowledge that I love beer, I love to write, and Indiana breweries need publicity, here I am, ready and willing to meet owners, brewmasters, staff, patrons and lovers of Indiana beer – all while consuming what I consider to be some of the best beers, nationwide, hands down.
In the interest of full disclosure, while I do not count the owners of Twisted K-8 as personal friends, I first visited Twisted K-8 back in February 2014 after hearing that a new brewery had opened up in La Porte. What I found then (and now) is the same commitment to Indiana beer and hospitality that all Hoosier state breweries should embrace – thus, it is my pleasure to introduce my fellow Hoosier beer lovers to Twisted K-8. Welcome to Column 1 of Hoosier Breweries: Twisted K-8 edition.
The perfect way to thank a Veteran in November? Drink his beer!
It doesn’t matter what branch, you’re still a brother.” -Michael Boshaw
At Twisted K-8, you can drink a pint, eat some delicious food, and support a veteran all in one magnificent stop. Michael and Kate Boshaw are the proprietors – Michael is a veteran and current National Guard reservist with twenty-four years in. Twisted K-8’s décor proudly represents a commitment to the armed forces, law enforcement and fire departments with pictures, flags, and patches hung around the bar and dining area. Included in this décor are two personal items of Michael’s: a picture of his fellow troops in Afghanistan and a flag flown over Camp Phoenix on September 11, 2004. Complementing the décor is the mug club members’ hand-tooled dog-tags attached to each mug club members’ glass – a dog-tag created exclusively by Kate. A patch board highlights some of the many military, police and fire department members who have visited Twisted K-8’s to date.
After many years of vacations to breweries and wineries, what is now Twisted K-8 Brewing started after Michael purchased his first beer kit, one that cloned a brewery’s wheat beer. Two more kit beers later, he went all-grain, developing his own recipes. His first, the 2Cream Stout, was a hit with friends and has remained a recipe he uses today. After six years of home-brewing experience, Michael and Kate knew they wanted to open a brewpub. From the initial decision of “we can do this” to opening of Twisted K-8’s doors, six months passed and with six taps, a one-barrel brewing system and a location in downtown La Porte and they were opened on December 18, 2013. Two months later, they added a two-barrel brewing system to up capacity and have the capacity to ferment 18 barrels system today.
The beers are varied, from ales, to stouts, to porters, to IPAs and beers are rotated in and out of the taps on a seasonal and permanent basis. The ‘permanent’ beers are those that will always be in rotation, although they may not be on tap each day. The ‘seasonals’ are just that – once a year favorites that make you wish they were permanent! Some notable beers at Twisted K-8’s are the I Don’t Remember, AfterGlow, Indiana Summer and the 697. I Don’t Remember is a summer seasonal made with key lime zest, named after the motto of Kate and Michael’s favorite Key West bar, Irish Kevin’s. The motto: I came, I drank, I don’t remember. AfterGlow, an IPA, is a permanent staple, made from the grain reused from another Twisted K-8 beer, MoreSex. While MoreSex, an imperial IPA, packed some serious ABV heat at 17.5%, the AfterGlow from MoreSex was a more reasonable 7.5% ABV.
Indiana Summer was developed after a Lake County farmer contacted Michael about some fresh hops to be picked that Sunday. From Sunday picking to Monday brewing, the Indiana Summer is a wet-hopped IPA available only during the summer as a seasonal. Indiana Summer will return again in 2015, although with 2015 hops, so the name will change to Indiana Summer 2015 – different hops, same concept.
Finally, Twisted K-8’s flagship beer is 697, an American Pale Ale named after Michael’s local electrical union. Upcoming beers include two beers aged in bourbon barrels from the Mississippi River Distilling Company. These beers are Kate’s Dad, a barleywine at 12% ABV, and Anne Bonney, an oatmeal stout, both expected to come on tap on December 15 and November 15, respectively. In addition to these two, HolidaySex, another version of MoreSex with cinnamon, and the Walk of Shame, will come on board on December 15 and the end of November. The Walk of Shame, mocha cherry vanilla porter will feature a coffee, Chocolate Cherry Thunder Coffee, from the Cherry Republic in Traverse City, MI, and vanilla to combine into a rich porter at 7% ABV for the winter seasonal.
While the above listed beers are plentiful and varied, this list is not exhaustive! Please see the information below for the current tap list and upcoming beers.
Food, Labels, Merchandise
Everything from the menu, to the beer labels, to the merchandise is carefully designed to complement the beer. The menu is hand-crafted, much of it made in-house, and tested on patrons before it is placed on the menu. A best-seller is their flatbread pizzas with over 200 possible combinations of toppings and sauces. Two new additions are the Mac and Cheese, with over a ½ pound of cheesy goodness in a crock with garlic bread, and the BLT sandwich, featuring ten (yes, 10!) slices of bacon, choice of cheese, and their house-made bread.
Desserts even complement the beer with choices such as Stout Pudding Pie, of which Kate remarked that she wanted people to, “drink a beer and enjoy their food at the same time.”
Beer labels (and their accompanying artwork) are also crafted by local artists to both feature the beer and meet the regulations surrounding what information must be provided by beer manufacturers on each label. Merchandise includes the aforementioned beer label posters (18” x 24”), t-shirts, muscle shirts, ball caps, winter beanies, pint glasses, growlers, and stickers, all available at the brewpub.
On Other Hoosier Breweries
I asked Kate and Michael how many breweries and wineries they had visited in their years of beer-cations and wine-cations – the answer: too many to count. Both noted some of their favorites in Indiana, stating that Shoreline Brewing and Backroad Brewing, here in La Porte County were fun to visit. Around the state, they noted Triton Brewing (“fun, good people, good beer”), HalfMoon Brewing (“excellent ribs”); Barley Island (“excellent Scottish eggs”) and Oaken Barrel (“nice beers, fun place to eat, good place to hang out”). They, like many of us Hoosier beer fans, look forward to visiting many more in the coming months and years.
Availability, Final Words
While Twisted K-8’s beers are currently only available in La Porte and Porter Counties, they plan to expand first to the east and then south. They currently distribute by-hand, with Michael loading and delivering every bomber for sale in the area. As the rest of Indiana is booming with new breweries, Twisted K-8 Brewing should be a must-visit for those venturing on northern Indiana brew-tour. In closing, I offer you words of advice from Kate and Michael: “Indiana beer lovers should try every brewery in the state of Indiana, see what’s out there. Every brewery is different and every beer is different” and “Keep an open mind” when visiting an Indiana brewery.
Brewery: Twisted K-8 Brewing, LLC
Owners: Michael & Kate Boshaw
Brewmaster: Michael Boshaw
Address, City, Zip: 610 Monroe St., La Porte 46350
Hours: Closed Mon; Tues-Wed-Thurs: 4-9 p.m.; Fri: 4-10 p.m.; Sat: noon – 10 p.m.; Sun: Noon – 6 p.m. ALL TIMES CST.
Facebook: Twisted K-8 Brewing
Food? Yes, menu created to pair with beers served.
Kid-Friendly? Yes, last seating at 6 p.m., all under 18 asked to leave by 7 p.m.
Mug Club? Yes: 23 oz glass at 16 oz price; VIP Wednesdays are ½ off beers on taps and growler fills; email list of new/upcoming beers; VIP shirt exclusively for mug club members.
Beer sizes? Tasting, pint, bombers, growlers
Where can I purchase?
Twisted K-8, La Porte, IN
Red Carpet Liquor, La Porte, IN
Bottle Shop, La Porte, IN
Bottle Shop Too, La Porte, IN
Trail Creek Liquors, Michigan City, IN
King Richards, Michigan City, IN
Pat’s Liquors, Porter, IN
Portofino Grill restaurant, La Porte, IN
Satellite Inn, Union Mills, IN
Tap List (as of 10/31/14)
This column was my first adventure in writing for IndianaOnTap. If you have a Hoosier brewery you like, support and want to see in this column in the future – drop me an email and I’ll do my best to pay them a visit.