Beer Buzz: A Guide to the Heartland 

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Heartland beer guide

If you're traveling to Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota or Wisconsin, you'll want Michael Agnew's A Perfect Pint's Beer Guide to the Heartland, with the author's caveat that it's already outdated because these states, like Indiana, are sprouting new locations every week. Newly published by Illinois University Press, Agnew gives facts about brews and food, adds his personal assessments and nearby attractions along with notes about each state's brewing legacy. Agnew ponders if there is a quintessential American heartland beer, pointing out Minnesotans distinctive "love of bitter brews" while residents of the other three states lean toward malt-centric recipes. To breweries and brewpubs Agnew adds "fermenteries [such as] the Granite City brewpub chain that produces all its wort at a central brewery in Iowa and ships it via tanker truck to the various stores where it is fermented. However, because they have no brewery and no actual brewing occurs, they have not been given full profiles."

Homebrew winners

Three Indiana homebrewers took second place awards at the 2014 National Homebrew Competition in Grand Rapids June 13-14: Agatha Feltus of Noblesville for Porter against 364 entries; John Raczkowski of Plymouth for Mead against 87 entries; Bill Saashelm of Indianapolis for Light Lager against 179 entries.

New brews

Upland's new releases include their first with an edible flower and two collaborations with Oliver Winery. Viola gives Upland's classic oak aged sour ale a new twist with fresh viola flowers. Vinosynth White aged on Vidal Blanc grapes and Vinosynth Red aged on Catawba grapes are a combination of Upland Sours and grapes from Oliver Creekside Vineyards. These plus Sour reserve #5 and Blackberry Lambic are part of a lottery open until noon on June 30. Upland Valley Weizen German-style Hefeweizen is now on tap only at Upland locations in Bloomington, Indianapolis and Carmel.

Mad Anthony Solar Wheat, is a summertime IPA with a lighter body than regular IPA has a large dose of American-grown Chinook hops.

Flat 12 Summer Cycle American IPA re-imagines Half Cycle IPA toward the citrus side of life. Bloomington Brewing Backcountry Session IPA features lower alcohol, subdued bitterness for easy summer sipping. 10% of sales support Indiana Forest Alliance [IFA]

Events

June 26
Kahn's Keystone Hoppy Birthday free beer tasting, 6-8 p.m., features 30 hoppy favorites; RSVP at 317-251-9463

MacKenzie River Pizza Grill Pub at Castleton, 6 p.m., features Bier brews

June 27
Party on the Plaza, Tomlinson Tap Room /City Market, 3:30-7 p.m. $15 GA includes 2 beer tastings

Fox Prairie Gold Course; Birdie, Bier and Brats event; from 5:30 p.m., Bier tapping at 5:30 p.m., play begins at 6 p.m.

June 28
Sun King 5th Anniversary Party and Grapefruit Jungle tapping, 4-10 p.m.

Crown Liquors, SR 32 and River Road in Noblesville, Drink Indiana Tasting features Barley Island, 2-4 p.m.

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