Dec. 5, Prohibition Repeal Day 2016, is greeted with UNESCO naming Belgian Beer as a World treasure to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
. With a history “stretching back centuries to medieval monks,” the “wide array of tastes” maintains an ever-increasing presence world-wide. In Indiana’s modern craft beer scene, Ted Miller generally is credited with bringing attention to Belgian-style beers with the opening of Brugge Brasserie
. Now, it’s commonplace for just about every Hoosier craft brewery to offer a Belgian-style brew. Of course, Prohibition never crossed the minds of Belgians. Quality beer is a way of life celebrated in culinary and visual arts, music, literature and philanthropic works.
And be assured Belgian brewers are still making history and expanding their culture and finding ways to grow. Most notably, Halve Maan Brewery (a brewery I visited a half dozen years ago) found a way around environmental and architectural issues by building a beer pipeline from their medieval city center brewery to a new bottling plant on the outskirts of the city of Bruges.
Closer to home, Grand Junction Brewing Company
just announced their own growth beyond their original 1800s structure in Historic Downtown Westfield. According to founding partner Jon Knight, Grand Junction will maintain its brewpub at 110 S. Union St. along with a new site at 1189 E. 181st St. This from-the-ground up production brewery and taproom is slated to double production from their current 672 barrels per year to 1,400 barrels, with room for expansion to 4,000 barrels.
In an email to NUVO, Knight said, “Built out of a strong English heritage, Grand Junction Brewing Co. is focused on brewing traditional, true-to-style beers, with a heavy European influence, in a small-batch, artisan environment. As a company, Grand Junction Brewing Co. represents the antithesis of the big corporate brewery, a true mom and pop success story.
“Built from extremely humble beginnings and without deep-pocketed investors, this microbrewery has churned out a number of award-winning beers in just two short years of existence. Passionately focused on its local community and giving back, Grand Junction Brewing Co. feels strongly about using local ingredients whenever possible. This community mindedness is also evident in its significant contributions to local charities and events. Grand Junction Brewing Co. plans to continue its growth in a locally-focused fashion with a strong emphasis on community as it expands its footprint throughout Central Indiana and beyond in the years to come.”
Appropriately on tap now is GJBC Cream Ale, one of the finest true-to-style Pre-Prohibition Ales found anywhere in the U.S. Designed by head brewer Shawn Kessel. The ale is light and crisp, with a sunny-layered balance between an early-American bill of barley, corn and hops.
Along with news of the expansion, Knight wrote, “We brought Mike Hofferman on board as an assistant brewer/cellerman. Mike was most recently with Flat 12.”
If you're looking to celebrate the Repeal of Prohibition tonight, The Indiana Craft Beverage Association is hosting a unique event in the Catacombs beneath the City Market this evening from 7 to 10 p.m.
According to a press release:
The Indy Repeal Day® Party will feature ten bartenders sharing their appreciation of alcohol and spirits through uniquely crafted cocktails.
The bartenders and drinks are:
Kendall Lockwood from Ball & Biscuit - Bird Dog
Frankie Mora from Tini - Casa Noble Crystal
Shelby Minnix from The Golden - Old Forester
Jason Foust from North End BBQ - Still Moon
Trevor Scovel from Wine Down - Knob Creek Rye
Justin Bonham from Platt 99 - Baron Samedi
Ryan Gullett from Bluebeard - Old 55 Sweet Corn
Eli Sanchez from Rook - Jameson Cask Mates
Brian Schrefller from Hideout 125 - Hangar One
Brian Brissart from Thunderbird - William Grant Reception Table
Guests are encouraged to dress up in prohibition-era attire while enjoying live music.
Tickets are $30 and include three drink tickets. Additional drink tickets will be available for $5 each during the event. Tickets are available online at RepealParty.com.