MashCraft Hosts an Excellent Stout Bonanza!

MashCraft Hosts an Excellent Stout Bonanza!

by Andrew Dickey for Indiana On Tap

Leap day is awesome when it falls on a Saturday. February 29th this year saw several awesome beer events, but my friend Chris saw there was going to be a Stout Bonanza at MashCraft Brewing. I knew this was an event for us. I had not been to MashCraft in a while, and stouts are the beers that Chris and I always seem to drink together. We love rich robust stouts, and the idea of an event featuring multiple stouts from many breweries seemed beyond awesome. And let’s just say that when I got there, it was all that, and more!

We arrived at MashCraft’s Greenwood site to a full brewery with no seats left. This top room reminds me of a small beer hall, and it was just as bustlingly noisy! Three drink stations were pouring 21 different stouts, four of which were house beers. 18 of the beers were part of a beer bracket, and I scarcely knew where to begin. I walked up to the main bar, and immediately saw that CBS from Founders was on tap. I have always regarded this beer as one of the best, so it seemed the perfect beer to start on.

We were given tiny snifters when we walked in, and the bartenders asked, “half or full pour?” My CBS was as tasteful as ever. At this point Andrew Castner, MashCraft’s founder, came over to say hi, and we made plans to discuss the event later

Andrew Castner of MashCraft explains the rules during the Mariana’s Stout Bonanza. image credit: Andrew Dickey

The event was called Mariana’s Stout Bonanza after MashCraft’s excellent imperial stout, and as I said earlier, it was well attended. It was a competition of sorts featuring 18 stouts including one from Sweden (Omnipollo’s Agamemnon, named after my favorite Greek tragedy!). A panel of five judges whittled the 18 down to eight, and then four. The four finalists were:

Mashcraft’s Mariana

The Bruery (CA) Bakery Cherry Pie

18th St. Brewery’s Barrel Aged Crown of Deceit

And the overall winner: Daredevil Brewing’s Vanilla Barrel Aged JWP

While I was there I tried nearly every one of the 18 as Chris and I mingled. There wasn’t one I did not appreciate. There was great diversity in the flavors from cherry, and maple, to coffee, and fudge. Many of the breweries present like Cigar City and Omnipollo make other beers I really like and, and I was pleased that their imperial Stout’s were amazing as well. This many breweries producing amazing beers on this level of quality including six Indiana breweries is definitely cause for celebration. And the fact that Indiana Beer (Daredevil BA JWP), was the overall champion speaks to the quality of our beer.

Late in the day I had a chance to sit down with Andrew Castner, who I’ve known for years. He was pleased with the turnout, and the amount of food that was sold. He had three other stouts on tap, so 21 beers were available during the event. The pours were small which was crucial given the potency of these beers, but we noticed this was a very well behaved crowd. I met a lot of nice people and it was impressive to see so many fans of stouts altogether. It gives me hope that other specialized events will happen in the future.

I tried a great deal of beer, and had a great time. MashCraft threw a heck of a party, and it was a great success. I expected the beer to be great, but I can say after tasting so many that they were some of the best beers I’ve had this year! I hope this event becomes annual, and I certainly will attend it again!

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