Beer buzz 

Both Rock Bottom Restaurants are tapping their seasonal Kolsch beers June 4 at 6 p.m. At 2801 Lake Circle Drive, Liz Laughlin brewed her 2007 Indiana Brewers' Cup Best of Show recipe. At 10 W. Washington St., Jerry Sutherlin brewed his special take on this brew inspired by the brewers of Cologne, Germany. Brewed with wheat malt, expect a pale hue and clean, refreshing palate. Beyond that, the complexity varies by brewer. Here's a chance to taste the variations within driving distance of each other. Visit

May 28, NUVO spoke with Laughlin just as she was brewing her version of the annual ReplicAle that's served at the Brewers of Indiana Guild July Brewfest at Opti Park in Broad Ripple. This year's challenge is a German Altbier, brewed with dark malts and well hopped. Expect an aromatic, slightly fruity, bittersweet taste. It's typically drunk from small cylindrical glasses and only slightly chilled. Dave Colt annually chooses the style Indiana craft brewers replicate. Colt left The Ram as head brewer on May 1 and is now vice president and brewer at the newly established Sun King Brewery (located on College Avenue across the street from Easley Winery).

Laughlin explained, "I got the recipe from Dave just when I put in my malt order so I may be the first to do the altbier. We'll serve our ReplicAle Alt at RB College Park in June before bringing it to Opti Park."

Worrisome news about hops came May 28. Hailstorms in the hop fields around the Hallertauer in Gemany affected 4,000 hectares with 2,000 destroyed. This happened just as there was hope of getting over the hop shortages from the past few years.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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