Sutherlin celebrated, then moves on 

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Celebrate prohibition repeal on Dec. 5th

The 21st Amendment was ratified Dec. 5, 1933, in time for President Franklin Roosevelt to keep his promise to have beer to drink at the White House for the holidays.

While it’s fine to mark the event at your location of choice, special event notices have come from TwoDEEP for an early 5th Christmas Party; Indiana City for a 6-10 p.m. “put on your 1920s best bootlegger or flapper attire” for prizes, entertainment and food from Cosmic Chrome Café; and Rock Bottom College Park for Repeal Day tapping of Barrel-Aged Scottish Ale [a nod to FDR’s beloved Scotty Falla?].

Brewing Changes

Rock Bottom downtown is celebrating a triple event Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. with the tapping of Wicked Elf Ale to mark the tenth anniversary of Jerry Sutherlin as RB brewmaster and his moving on to his new role as brewmaster at Round Town Brewery, with a projected Spring 2016 opening at South White River Pkwy and Kentucky Ave. Sutherlin describes Wicked Elf as “Brewed in the tradition of a Biere de Noel, our amber colored Belgian-inspired strong ale is smooth and warming for the holidays.” His tagline invites to, “put a little elf in yourself.”

RAM brewmaster Shawn Byrnes shared this early toast: “Jerry has set a tone for Indy [brewers] for many years. It is important to inspire and keep the beer revolution to a high standard just like he has shown throughout the many years. It’s a good time to be in Indy. Cheers!”

The third pint of the evening will be lifted to welcome Nathan Scruggs as RB downtown’s newest brewmaster. Scruggs is coming from his present post at RB College Park. Like Sutherlin, Scruggs has roots with brewing at the RAM.

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If you miss Dec. 3, come to RB downtown Dec. 17 from 6-10 p.m. for more farewell and hello partying.

In between, on Dec. 16 head to Rock Bottom College Park for a 5 p.m. “Farewell for Nathan” and “Meet & Greet for new brewmaster Jason Cook,” who is coming from Rock Bottom downtown Chicago. “Cook, a Fishers native is coming home,” reports Joe Trier, RB/CP general manager.

FLIX Brewhouse’s new assistant brewer Josh Miller graduated in pre-med studies from Purdue in May 2014. “Josh was working in a quality lab at a food processing plant when he applied at Flix,” reports head brew Chris Knott.

Spencer Mason, former Flix assistant brewer, joined head brewer Shawn Kessel at Grand Junction in Westfield. Owner Jon Knight is talking about expanding brewing in the near future to accommodate growth.

Now open in Noblesville

Deer Creek Brewery tasting room adjacent to Noble Corner at 17661 Cumberland Road, Noblesville, is open Wed-Thurs 2-8 p.m.; Fri. 2-9 p.m.; Sat. noon-9 p.m.; Sun noon-8 p.m. On tap for samples and pints and carryout in 32 ounce can crowlers and 64 ounce growlers are Shady Amarillo Pils, DeerFly IPA, Cork County Red Cream Ale, Oktoberfest and Count Hopula Imperial IPA. While no kitchen is on-site, patrons can order food for delivery from adjacent restaurants specializing in pizza, Mexican, Chinese and sushi cuisine, according to co-owner/brewer Jeff Eaton.

More beer + more taps = more growth

Indiana craft is growing because more locations are coming forward to put beers on tap and offer sales in bottles and cans. Here are some places to visit:

Adam Burk, owner of Brew Link Brewing notified: “Stop by Wings, Etc.. at SR 267 and US 40 in Plainfield. Just installed faucet and lines for draft greatness. Go Brew Link Brewing!” The bar shares Indiana brews alongside the mega brands.

Salt Creek Brewery beers are currently on tap at Twenty Tap, Sinking Ship, Fat Dan’s, Aristocrat, Bazbeauz, 317 Burger, 1001, Union Jack, Yat’s at 86th & Ditch, Ember, Dick’s Bodacious BBQ, Lockerbie Pub, Tin Roof and Woodstock Country Club along with a long list in southern Indiana. On Dec. 4 owner/brew Brad Hawkins is at Sundance Studio Salon, 47 S. Elm St. in Zionsville, for their third annual "Open House Tasting." Hawkins says, “All are welcome to come on out and attend the open house.” Call 733-1900 for more info.

Alley's Alehouse, 13825 Britton Park Rd, Fishers, is hosting a Bier Dinner on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.. with six Biers and five Courses. $34.99 for 1 person or $60.00 for 2 people. Reserve at: 773-9988 ext 218.

Village Tap Room, 838 Broad Ripple Ave. (formerly Chumley's) is hosting a Bier Brewery tap takeover Dec. 4 from 3 p.m.-Close.

Samuel Adams special Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru 20-City Tasting Tour - #KMFtour – is in Indianapolis on Dec. 1-10 at Ale Emporium, Sinking Ship, Boom Boz, The District Tap, Champs northside, Blind Owl, Union Jack Pub, Nick’s English Hut, 86th St. Pub and Brixx. Call each location to verify date and time of tapping event. Spokesperson Matthew Schwartz sent this explanation, “KMF is a funky, one-of-a-kind Belgian ale aged for over a year in the Samuel Adams Barrel Room in Boston (more info is in the release below). KMF Grand Cru is available on draft only at select bars as part of the KMF Grand Cru Tasting Tour of 21 U.S. cities. The first 20 cities were chosen in advance, but the final city was “drinker’s choice”, nominated/voted on by beer drinkers across the country. The votes have been tallied, and Indianapolis craft beer drinkers successfully rallied to make their city the final stop on the tasting tour.”


Blind Owl now has McClure Farmhouse Cider in bottles.

The newest batch of Indiana Pickle Co. Indiana Style Beer Pickle spicy pickle spears are brined in Triton Rail Splitter IPA. You can find jars of Indiana Pickle Co. on sale at Flat12 Bierwerks, Sun King Brewery downtown, Triton Brewing Co., Goose the Market, R2GO Specialty Market, Wildwwod Market, The Garden Table, Agrarian; and in Westfield at Big Hoffa’s Barbeque and Rail Epicurean Market, in Bloomington at Gather. See Indiana Pickle Co.’s Facebook page for fun facts about pickling and beer. Owner Robert Carmack made his product debut at the Flat12 Christmas in July 2015 event and has been garnering a following with his homegrown organic pickles and beer combo, along with a line of other vegetables and fruits.

Oaken Barrel’s new seasonal Leroy Brown was “once a regular OB house beer,” says owner Kwang Casey. It came back for OB’s 20th anniversary event, where I once again enjoyed its layers of caramel malt flavor with a hint of honey, along with the lasting sweet aroma and its shimmering dark amber color.

Half Moon’s new seasonal, Peace, Love and Hoppiness IPA, gets its “excellent body and malt flavor” from premium Marris Otter and Bolander Munich malts plus and a touch of caramel malt. “The ever elusive Citra hop gives a powerful tropical fruit aroma that busts from the glass and flavor that delights the taste buds,” reports brewer John Templet.

Bier on tap line up at their brewery: PDG Pale, Unibrown, Roggenshnizzle, Redrum and Belgian Red. You can carry a pint next door to Moveable Feast or bring a carry out over to Bier for a meal with Bier.

Black Acre now has Chai Tea Milk Stout in 4-pack cans and Natural Liberty is back on tap

Grand Junction newest on tap is Squirrel Stampede Nut Brown Ale. “Our brewers are back at it on the 1-barrel pub system to make a small batch, high gravity Belgian Golden Strong ale,” reports owner Jon Knight, adding “GJBC is proud to be an official drop off location for this season's Toys For Tots program. Please stop by to donate new toys for kids in need”.

Deviate announces a new beer on tap: Sailin’ to Ceylon is a Porter with Ceylon cinnamon “true cinnamon” from Sri Lanka (as opposed to Cassia Cinnamon) so you’re going to have to ask the brewers what that’s all about. On Nov. 24, Deviate Brewing reported “Brewing Hop Supremacy today. Green and dank.” Expect it to be on tap at in time for a big and bold Christmas special.


Nick Banks at Bloomington Brewing promises he is indeed sharing at least 275 gallons of Krampus Imperial Black IPA with the rest of us. At 9.1% ABV Krampus makes a statement.

Indiana City Brewing announced: “We brewed our annual release of Death By Pumpkin with 180 pounds of pure pumpkin and spiced it with allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla beans. Then, we aged a small portion in a fresh, single-use bourbon barrel for two months. The end result is a delicately spiced beer full of real pumpkin flavor and aroma, perfectly balanced with earthy oak and bourbon flavor from the barrel. On tap and in wax-dipped bombers.”

Jonathon Mullens brewed his first BRBP Wee Alec. “It’s an iconic house favorite, with an annual anticipation,” explained Mullens, as he shared an early taste prior to the Dec. 14 tapping. Even young the brew imparted layers of taste and a body with heft.

Expect as well another brew that converts American Style Session Ale into a Traditional English Ale for a lighter version of an ESB (Extra Special Bitter), which happens to be owner John Hill’s favorite style. Its fruityness is refreshing, and will serve well as a follow up to the huge beers of Winter

Sharing a whole new profile, Mullens brought a sample taste of “How the Gruit Stole Christmas.” It’s a throwback to before hops as we’ve come to know them, when spices and evergreen cones were pitched into the brew. Mullens balanced ginger and orange with pinecones. The last time I had a Gruit Brew was at Noble Order in Richmond as part of their alliance with the Richmond Shakespeare Festival.


Awards for barrel aging

FLIX Brewhouse is the newest Indiana brewery to gain a medal at the Chicago-based Festival of Barrel Aged Beers. Started in 2003, FoBAB is now “the country’s largest celebration of wood and barrel aged beer,” with breweries nationwide competing in ten categories, according to their website.

FLIX head brewer Chris Knott reports, “The Barrel Aged Chillaxed Mild won a Bronze medal at FoBAB in the Classic Styles category. The original beer weighed in at 3.3% ABV and 15 IBU, and it was aged in a Barton Distillery Bourbon barrel for 3 months.”

The other 2015 Indiana winning brewery is Shoreline Brewery with a Gold in Category 7: Fruit Beers for their Imperial Raspberry.

These recent recognitions sent me recalling Indiana’s FoBAB medals since 2010 (the year I started taking notice). Here’s the list:

2014 Sun King won Bronze in Category 4: Classic Styles for Soul Shakedown Party and Silver in Category 6: Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer for Sympathy for the Devil.

2013 Three Floyds won Silver in Category 2: Strong porter/Stout for Barrel Aged Blot Out The Sun.

2012 and 2013 Sun King won Gold in Category 4: Classic Styles for Afternoon Delight.

2012 Sun King also won Silver in Category 6: Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer for Pappy Fog.

2012 Shoreline won Bronze in Category 5: Strong/Double/Imperial Pale Beer for Rillo Rye P.A.

2012 Three Floyds won Silver in Category 7: Fruit Beer for Ronaldo.

2011 Sun King won Bronze in Category 6: Strong/Double/Imperial Dark Beer for Pappy Van.

2011 Three Floyds won Gold in Category 7: Fruit Beer for Kinder Beer.

2011 Upland won Gold in Category 9: Wild Beer for Gilgamesh along with
Best of Show Runner Up.

2010 Three Floyds won Silver in Category 7: Fruit Beers for Chocolate City and Bronze in Category 8: Experimental Beers for Conquistador de la Muerte

2010 Upland won Silver in Category 9: Wild Beers for Dantalion


Dec. 4: 2nd annual Indiana Taps & Touchdowns showcases Indiana craft-breweries at Pan Am Pavilion in downtown Indianapolis, 5:30-9 p.m. in conjunction with festivities surrounding the Big Ten Football Championship Game.

Tickets on-site for $35, or in advance for $30.

Bring an unwrapped new toy throughout December to any Scotty’s location to benefit the children at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Scotty’s gift to you in return is $5 off your next purchase at any Scotty’s location.

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About The Author

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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