Beer buzz 

Sun King, Indiana's newest brewery, has its debut at Upland's first RadFest, June 13, 5-10 p.m. at 350 W. 11th St. in Bloomington. Also premiering some 40 other beers are Alcatraz, Barley Island, BRRP, Brugge, Bloomington Brewing Co., Mad Anthony, Mishawaka Brewing Co., Oaken Barrel, Shoreline and Three Floyds along with Upland with their newest year-round beer, Rad Red Amber Ale.

According to Upland's Scott Johnson, "RadFest includes a custom beer glass, samples of great Indiana craft beers and live music entertainment from seven local bands. Come wearing an outfit that is creative, or 'rad,' and receive a free meal ticket." Decided by the head brewer, the person with the most "rad" ensemble will receive an Upland T-shirt of their choice and a $50 gift card to the Upland Tap Room.

Bread and pretzels will be provided at no cost. Hamburgers and brats will be available to purchase. Cost is $20 in advance and $25 at the door; half of the proceeds benefit the Brewers of Indiana Guild. Log on to or call 812-336-2337.

Since Stella Artois' TV marketing features a leitmotif from Giuseppe Verdi's "La forza del destino," it's not that much of a stretch the product appeared as title sponsor for Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's June 4 Happy Hour. Audience members also sampled AB InBev's Michelob and Wild Blue labels. Stella, a Euro Pale lager-style beer, is similar to Anheuser-Busch products with limited complexity. Downtown brewpubs serve more interesting pale beers and Oaken Barrel's RazWheat is a fuller-bodied fruit beer compared with Wild Blue's Blueberry Lager. The surprise pour was Goose Island's 312. Its spicy aroma, fruity ale flavor and creamy body compares well with BRBP's English style summer ale.

When John Hall founded Goose Island in Chicago in 1988 he wanted "to not only cater to his customers' tastes, but to challenge them as well." Hall's philosophy is similar to that of the ISO: build interest by allowing people to experience the process. Just as craft beer consumers get to watch the brewing process in brewpubs, Happy Hour conductor Sean Newhouse walks audience members through a broad spectrum of music. In a program inspired by Spain, Newhouse introduced two rarely heard composers - Turina and Gimenez - and furthered appreciation for Falla and Bizet. Log on to

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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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