It Was Quite A Weekend in Indiana Craft – Medals, Anniversaries, Homebrew Festivals, Etc.

It Was Quite A Weekend in Indiana Craft – Medals, Anniversaries, Homebrew Festivals, Etc.

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

I guess Indiana skipped late fall and went right to winter this weekend, but that didn’t stop our craft beverage producers of all sorts from having a hot couple of days. Everything from anniversaries to medals to festivals to openings – there was something for everyone and the fun spanned just about the whole state.

Walter and I weren’t able to attend everything that was going on, no one could, but we did have fun at a few events. Here’s a rundown of the festivities we were aware of/visited:

image credit: FOBAB

Festival of Wood & Barrel Aged Beers (FOBAB) – This great festival in Chicago was back after a year’s hiatus. Over 160 breweries brought barrel and wood aged beers to sample and some to be judged for medals. Indiana traditionally does very well at this competition, and 2021 was no different. Medal winners from Indiana were:

2nd place for Taxman Brewing in the Other Strong Beer category for their Bourbon Barrel Qualified

1st place for Misbeehavin’ Meads in the Cider/Perry/Mead category for their Caramel Apple Cider Aged in Bourbon Barrels

2nd place for Sun King Brewing in the Specialty Experimental Beer category for their Soul Shakedown

3rd place for Taxman Brewing in the Specialty Experimental Beer category for their Imperial Bean Counter

Indiana breweries that poured/competed in FOBAB included those above, plus 18th Street Brewery, Four Fathers BrewingShoreline Brewery, Sun King Small Batch Brewing, and Three Floyds Brewing.

3rd Indy Brew Battle – Homebrew was well represented this weekend, including the Homebrew competition held in Guggman Haus Brewing’s event space and benefitting the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation (HVAF). Several clubs came to pour homebrew for the big crowd, including M.O.N.K., FBI, CCZ, THC, IBU (the hosts), and Great Fermentations.

Hanley Hops offered hops to the top brewers and winning brewer Chuck Whybrew will get to brew a beer on the Guggman Haus system in conjunction with their brewers. Thanks to all the sponsors and participants and to Guggman Haus for hosting this great event.

image credit: Leah S. on Untappd

Ash & Elm 5th Anniversary Party – Ash & Elm held two parties Saturday, one on the rooftop and one in the first floor restaurant. The weather made the mulled ciders even better, and they had music along with several special releases. A huge crowd was treated to four different variants of their Autumntide cider, including a great “Thanksgiving in a Glass” variant with blackberry.

HopLore Market Street Grand Opening – HopLore Brewing from Leesburg had their grand opening party for their new location on Market Street in Warsaw on Friday evening and they continued the party through the weekend. They had live music at the new location and topped that by releasing the 2021 versions of their Soviet Occupation Russian Imperial Stout.

31st Anniversary of Broad Ripple Brewpub – Indiana’s original craft brewery celebrated another birthday on Saturday. They had special menu items for the day, live music, and they broke out the barrel aged version of a beer made for their 25th anniversary party, Ron Swanson’s Last Day of Camp. This beer was made using ingredients supplied other Indiana breweries as an homage to the first craft brewery in the state, and it had been sitting in bourbon barrels FOR 5 YEARS!

Abraxas draft at A Taproom – A Taproom in Indy has hosted some fantastic breweries since opening in April, but hosting Perennial Artisan Ales during the yearly Abraxas release has to rank amongst the biggest coups of the year. The base beer and the salted chocolate, coffee, and vanilla variants were available in exactly two places this past week, St. Louis and in Indianapolis.

Assistant brewer Keith was on hand to talk beer and enjoy the entire weekend, and we didn’t just talk beer – he showed us pictures of his dogs and we discussed how dogs and cats can get along before the crew took off for the Pacers game. He was kind enough to break open some even rarer bottles of Perennial (like barrel aged Abraxas) on Friday night, so it was a very special time to be at A Taproom for beer and some BBQ from the Rusted Silo satellite location.

What’s a s good as Creek Bottom on draft? Being able to get it to go. image credit: Creek Bottom Brewery

2nd Anniversary Party at Primeval Brewing – Noblesville got into the weekend action via the Primeval Brewing 2nd Anniversary party. Tim Palmer and Nathan Compton tapped a bourbon barrel aged version of their fantastic Chompinator doppelbock. Old 55 barrels were home for this beer for months, so it was wonderful for it to see the light of day and make people very happy.

1st Anniversary Party at Creek Bottom Brewery – Steven and Melanie Stahley opened their taproom, interestingly, sharing a building with the Oldenburg Police Department, just one year ago. Since then they have been gaining fans (and medals) for their beer, and have brought many people to their lovely town.

They had parties on Friday and Saturday, with a food truck and music, but what caught my eye was the Smoketoberfest that they tapped this past week. After winning a medal for their rauchbier at the Indiana Brewers Cup, I can’t wait to get hold of their smoked marzen. Maybe they have cans in their new package cooler.

Congratulations to all the producers and retailers that had great weekends, and congratulations to all of you, the craft fans, for having the forethought and good taste to live in Indiana, where you can enjoy all this artistry.

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