Beer Buzz: Super Bowl remembrances 

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NUVO tasted:

Broad Ripple Brewpub: Chocolate Milk Stout delightful contrast with Vegan Dolamdes and match up with hummus.
Flat 12: Kiwi Kiwi awaits a comeback. A take-home howler heightened pleasures of salad of mixed greens with avocado, mushrooms, orange slices, feta cheese; sautéed salmon; wild rice with cranberries and caramelized onions; bread pudding.
The Ram: Buttface Amber won over friends enjoying the special Super Bowl menu.

New on tap

Flat 12: Bleeding Heart IPA
Fountain Square: Escape From Alcatraz Bock, Batch 133 IPA.
Bier Brewery: Special K Kolsch, Weizengoot, Scottish 80 Shilling, Weizenbock
Rock Bottom Downtown: Black American IPA [has a roasty malt backbone].
Thr3e Wise Men: Wise Ass White IPA.
Triton: Sin Bin Belgian Pale Ale, Sweet Georgia Brown.
Patrick’s Kitchen, Zionsville: Sun King Sunlight Cream Ale, People's Mr. Brown, Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf, New Albanian Yakima Rye IPA .
Oaken Barrel: Nitro Stout, Barley Wine.
Half Moon, Kokomo: Honey-Rye with soft honey aroma, light sweet taste, creamy mouth-feel, slightly spicy and dry finish.
Crown Brewing, Crown Point: Squatch Barleywine .
New Albanian: Bonfire of the Valkyries Black Smoked Lager; limited seasonal release in 22oz bottles and limited draft.

MacAllan scotch tasting

At the Feb. 9 Macallan Single Malt Scotch tasting at the Columbia Club, Charlie Whitfield put us through the paces of enjoying the nectar aged 10, 12, 17 and 18 years, each in specially selected oak barrels. The region where oak grows imparts a particular nuance. Scotch Whiskey comes from six different regions in Scotland. Hence local water imparts its particular character as well. Scotch starts its life as beer made with malted barley, but its path quickly takes a turn to distilling rather than brewing. Nevertheless, the selectively aged product is to be enjoyed akin to craft brews: never gulped, always approached with respect and intelligence: pour into a glass, slightly tilt the glass as you aerate the liquid, hold the glass up to a light and examine the color, sniff through nose and mouth, taste by filling your mouth and literally chewing the liquid to set the full range of nuances into motion, swallow. Whitfield emphasized touching all the taste zones of the tongue. Our personal taste dictates what we like best. Scotch is usually served neat [by itself], on the rocks [over ice], with water [or another liquid]. Macallan Scotch is moving into the Indianapolis market. Of course, if you ask for it, the buzz is on.

Feb. 16-29
Scotty's Brewhouse 2012 Burger Bracket Contest.


Feb. 16
Sun King Brewing Co., award-winning Dominator Doppelbock tapping; a sweeter version of the traditional bocks brewed by Munich’s Paulaner monks, Doppelbock, or strong lager, was “liquid bread” for fasting brothers during Lent, rich and malty, aromas of brown sugar, molasses and hints of gingerbread and raisins with a crisp finish.

Binkley’s Kitchen and Bar, Monthly Beer Club, 7 p.m., Triton Brewing Company tasting and on draft: Magnificent Amber Ale, Rail Splitter IPA, Sin Bin Belgian Pale Ale [official beer of the Indiana Ice], Sweet Georgia Brown [infused with B- Java expresso beans]

Kahn’s new craft beer event;

Feb. 18
Elbow Room, 6 p.m., Annual THON Beer Dinner, The PSAA Central Indiana Chapter and Flat 12, benefits Penn State Dance Marathon, the Hershey Medical Center and the Four Diamonds Fund. $35 at Kristina@elbowroompub.com; 317-365-3354.

Great Crescent Brewery, 315 Importing Street Aurora, IN; "Rhythm, Bites and Blues" monthly third Saturday event; 7-11 p.m. Tapping GCB Chocolate Porter, music and dinner. 812-655-9079;

Feb. 21
Flat 12 Brewery, 4-8 p.m. “Flat Tuesday” Mardi Gras Celebration; special beers, King Cake, beads, food from the Smoking Goose.

Feb. 28
Bier Brewery, Arts&CraftBeer inaugural DYI event to make an “upcycled” T-shirt scarf.

Craft beer during the Super Bowl

Indiana craft beer fared very well in the center of downtown Super Bowl events but not well out of the main loop. NUVO, with the aid of Lee Smith, newly appointed executive director of Brewers of Indiana Guild, gathered these reports:

World Class Beer: “The free shuttle buses got plenty of use on Friday and Saturday as visitors made their way around town. Local representatives rode each bus, including Bob Mack, talking about local bars, restaurants and beers and answering questions about Indianapolis. Many bars and restaurants along Mass Ave and in Fountain Square were aided by this effort as people left the buses to visit those locations. Some Mass Ave merchants have even given some thought to doing the free shuttles again during other big events in Indianapolis. Social media played a key role in the success of our craft beer division. The #Indianabeer tag was put to good use by visitors and bar & restaurant owners. We saw a 45% increase is case sales for craft beers for 2012 over 2011 in the period of January 1 through Feb 4.”

Cavalier Distributing: “Sales were 124% week of Super Bowl; we made a lot of special deliveries to keep our customers stocked. Sales were strong the week before as well; we were up 79%. [We] do not have an easy way to break out Indiana Beer sales from the total but [we] could say our Indiana beer sales increased by the same percentage maybe even more.”

Sun King: “Exposure for our brewery was over the top. Not only were the twitter/blog-o-sphere a buzz with comments and reviews, but we got some solid celebrity cache as well. Peter King from Sports Illustrated called Sunlight Cream Ale "The Nectar of the Gods" and Jimmy Fallon wrapped up his show, assisted by Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler, on an orange and black Sun King keg. Deliveries to bars, restaurants and liquor stores were up significantly. We offered expanded hours in our Tasting Room and had a nice increase in traffic, plus our Local Underground Tent Party was not only big fun, but a huge success by giving locals a comfortable respite just outside the madness and as a place where visitors could get a good taste of a truly local Super Bowl party.”

Upland: “Sales were up over 200% in the two-week time span, with the main focus being Downtown Indianapolis. Many accounts really focused on local brew, including but certainly not limited to Tomlinson Tap Room as they teamed up with Indy Hub and Yelp; Mass Ave had more local brews available on tap. First Friday at Upland’s Propaganda Room in the Murphy Arts Building in Fountain Square was a huge success. JW Marriott, Marriott and The Omni all stacked up huge on Upland Beer, and Slippery Noodle doubled the amount of Upland and Sun King they normally carry. Places like the Huddle and other non-accounts picked up liquor licenses to carry our beer, thanks to the local workers or organizers who made it happen. Our Indy Tasting Room was pretty mellow, as was most of Broad Ripple during that week. Most everyone wanted to stay Downtown in the hub. However, we doubled our Saturday growler fills. Friday and Saturday of Super Bowl Weekend were the only days that the Indy Tasting Room felt a major difference.”

The Ram Downtown: “We are in serious recovery mode from the Super Bowl being on our doorstep. We sold as much beer that week as we normally do in a month, and our new 32 oz. RAM Howler was a huge hit with the crowds on Georgia St. We hope our guests had as much fun as we did.”

Triton Brewing: “We were the craft brewery for the IDADA Turf exhibit at the former Indiana State Museum and the craft beer at Jeff Saturday’s party at Skyline Club, attended by multiple current and former NFL players.”

Flat 12: “Frito Lay brought the finalists, ad agency and brand folks of their Super Bowl Ad competition into the brewery for a private event on Friday including lunch and a brewery tour; a group from Motorola had a private event in the taproom. Saturday we saw the most foot traffic from Massachusetts and New York; more Patriots fans than Giants. Lots of carryout on Sunday mostly loyal locals providing for their friends while they watched the game together.”

Oaken Barrel: “We met some great out of town football and beer fans last week. We had a record turn out for the Super Bowl party.”

Lee Smith, representing Brewers of Indiana Guild: “BIG delivered beer donated by about a dozen Indiana Brewers to the Governor’s Residence for Super Bowl hospitality to serve along with Indiana wines.”

Greg Kitzmiller visited from Bloomington. On IndianaBeer.com he posted: “Surprise: Velocity Bar in the grand JW Marriott serves several Indiana and local beers. We are used to hotel bars having National Brands. Props to JWM for having local beer. Surprise: Crowds concentrated on Georgia, Meridian, and Capitol with waves up and down Penn and other streets; but until Friday night Mass Ave and Fountain Square was fairly quiet. Even Friday it was just above a normal Friday night.”

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