July 4th is Oaken Barrel's 18th Anniversary, to be celebrated with the annual "Pork of July Party," noon-4 p.m., featuring the all you can eat buffet for $10 per person. On tap are the seasonal Schwartzbier and Uberweizen, along with the house regulars: Razz-Wheat, Indiana Amber, Gnaw Bone Pale Ale and Alabaster White.
"We opened July 4th weekend of 1994, and have been going strong ever since," owner Kwang Casey says. "We just expanded our brewery and have increased our brewing capacity by 150%. Mark Havens is the head brewer and John Treeter and Aaron Koerner are assistants. Sarah Turner has been interning for about three months."
Perhaps Sarah will follow in the footsteps of former Oaken Barrel brewer Tonya Corbett, who left to be brewmaster of Bend Brewing Co., in Oregon, and was named 2008 Champion Brewer at the Brewer's Association World Beer Cup. Two other OB brewers lucky for Indiana landed as brewmasters in downtown Indianapolis: Jerry Sutherlin at Rock Bottom and Andrew Caster at The RAM. OB has been named Champion Brewery at the Indiana State Fair Brewer's Cup 2005, 2006. 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Show up for the gourmet ales, linger to enjoy Indiana's brewing history, displayed through posters and other memorabilia honoring the original Indianapolis Brewing Company.
The daily buzz
June 29-July 1, July 4
Lawrence 4th Annual Fest features Triton Brewing Company beers
Greenwood Freedom Festival, Greenwood Public Library parking lot, 3-9:45 p.m., includes brews from Oaken Barrel, Fountain Square and Sun King. No fee; food and drink sales benefit the Library.
Thr3e Wise Men, 6 p.m., tapping Sanctaneous Hefeweizen (Thr3e Wisemen beer now available at all Scotty's locations: Growlers for carry out: $7 for growlers, $14 fills; Tue and Fri special, $12 fills; at Thr3e Wisemen Brewery in Broad Ripple, growlers cost $6, fills are $10; Tue and Fri special, $8 fills)
Birdy's, 2131 E 71st St., Cavalier Beer Tasting, 6-8 p.m.
Sun King Tasting Room closed for renovations. Visit your favorite bar, restaurant and liquor store for your favorite Sun King brews, or take in a home game at Victory Field.
Beer Bloggers Conference in Indianapolis
Indiana Microbrewers Festival at Optimist Park and Indianapolis Art Center; 3-7 p.m. (2-7 p.m. for VIP). $50 VIP, $40 general admission.
New on Tap:
Triton: Fieldhhouse Wheat, Four Barrel Brown, Magnificent Amber, Deadeye Stout, Railsplitter IPA, Sin Bin Belgian Pale Ale and O'RyeN Galaxy Pale Ale.
New Albanian Brewing Company, New Albany: Haggis Laddie Celtic Red and this summer's rendition of Kaiser's Second Reising, NABC's pre-Prohibition Pilsner.