06 Feb Notable Moments Abound At South Bend BrewFest
On Saturday, January 24, a sold-out crowd of 1,500 joined brewers, vendors, and their fellow beer-lovers in the Century Center in downtown South Bend at the fourth annual South Bend BrewFest. Indiana breweries, such as Bare Hands Brewery, Burn’Em Brewing, Evil Czech Brewery, Flat 12 Bierworks, Iechyd Da Brewing Company, South Bend Brew Werks, 3 Floyds, Triton Brewing, and Upland Brewing came out in force with their crowd favorites as well as new or recent introductions.
Many national and regional breweries, as well as local spirit distillers, were also on hand
for tastings. As my focus was on Indiana’s breweries, I had some notable moments in my tasting
adventures that day – and please note, I’d tried all the breweries listed above prior to the Brew
Fest, save Flat 12 Bierworks. This oversight on my part was quickly rectified.
- Kudos and major props to Triton Brewing Company. I am a huge fan of their Deadeye Stout and while this was one of the offerings at the Brew Fest, it was not available for tasting at the moment arrived at Triton’s beer tasting area. Why? It was not at the right temperature according to the gentleman serving – a nod to quality control even in the midst of beer-tasting madness. The alternative offered, an appropriately cooled Amber, was delicious and refreshing. Bless you, Triton, I am and remain a fan.
- Most unusual beer I tasted was Craisin Hell by Burn’Em Brewing. If you haven’t tried Burn’Em’s offerings, I send you directly to the nearest place to find their beers for immediate tastebud overload. Craisin Hell was sweet, sour, rich, and delicious. Burn’Em never fails me.
- Most fun (and tasty) Scottish ale was from Iechyd Da Brewing Company appropriately named “It’s Not a Skirt.” While I drink Scottish ales sparingly (as I know one of those and my taste buds are shot for all other tastings), I could not resist the tasty goodness of this particular beer. Order it for the name, drink it for the deliciousness – you won’t be sorry, and you might consider wearing a kilt after one too many of these.
- Flat 12 Bierworks made me laugh and smile with two of their offerings – a milk stout (Lacto-Matic) and a ham-inspired porter (Glazed Ham). The milk stout was all that I hope a milk stout to be in its rich & creamy goodness, while the ham inspired beer was a spicy, unusual beer which harkens back to a breakfast beer. Yes, I said it, a breakfast beer – hair of the dog, if you will. I’m not sure I’ll be drinking one with my eggs in the morning, but it sure wouldn’t be out of place there – nor at a 3 a.m. post-concert need-to-get-some-food-now diner.
- MEGA, the Michiana-area homebrew group, offered over fifteen kinds of homebrewed goodness with a constantly evolving and changing dry-erase board of currently tapped beers. There were meads, stouts, ales, and a barleywine, among others. To be honest, I could have stood here all day, learning from these homebrewers and sampling their innovative offerings. MEGA offered a learning environment coupled with creative brews – and never lacked for company during the entire festival.
Next year’s South Bend Brew Fest promises to be larger yet, in a bigger space within the
Century Center. See ya there …
Aleea is a native Hoosier, beer-lover and PhD candidate in public administration. When she’s
not championing her home state, actively seeking out Indiana breweries and trying new beers,
she writes on topics related to public management, public policy, politics, financial management,
and organizational development. She can be contacted at email@example.com.