Winterfest, beyond the beer 

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Winterfest, beyond the beer: NUVO asked for personal thoughts

Deviate Brewing is making its first appearance. NUVO asked founding brewers Greg Ortwein and Mike Orkey, “What’s your number one concern?”

“Being it’s our first festival event, our collective minds are on the basics and making sure we don't forget anything the kegs of beer! That would be embarrassing!

“With our appearance at the IndianaOnTap event [at the end of 2015 before Deviate officially opened] we were largely unknown, so there was no pressure. No expectations to live up to. We came in hoping people would appreciate our offerings. Now that we have established ourselves and received some great publicity, we come to Winterfest with the pressure of living up to the hype!

Drew Fox has this to say about attending his first Winterfest to introduce 18th Street:

“How many people waited in line to try our beer for the first time and being received with open arms by the craft beer community in the State of Indiana. I was nervous about a lot of the rude comments people would make, and some did because we’re located in Gary, but a lot of people were very supportive and helped me through it, especially the crew at Three Floyds and Sun King.”

“Our first Winterfest [as Sun King] is like a blur in my memory,” recalls Clayton Robinson. “There were only a handful of us working for Sun King at the time and we spent all of our time at the table explaining each and every one of our beers. These days it seems like most people are familiar with our House line-up of beers, but we always bring a wide variety of seasonal/specialty beers that give us a chance for greater interaction with the attendees.”

Robinson and Dave Colt left brewing positions at The RAM to open Sun King in 2009. “The difference from the RAM to Sun King is immense,” says Robinson. “When we dreamt about it, I don’t think we imagined there would be much difference. But the realities of operating your own business are far more intense than running someone else’s brewery. We have so much more freedom to be creative in all aspects at Sun King, but we wouldn’t be who we are today if it weren’t for the experiences we had along the way.”

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Before heading up Sun King’s marketing team, Beth Belange represented NUVO at Winterfest before being part of the Sun King family. She shares what for her is different between the positions.

Behind the NUVO table, Belange alludes to “The difficulties of chatting it up with an attendee,” whereas it’s a natural aspect of being at a brewery booth. “At the Sun King booth we are pouring the nectar of the gods, delicious craft beer, which is what people attending want to sample.”

“I loved being a part of this event as a promotional partner/media something imbedded in the NUVO culture,” nevertheless, Belange notes that being an integral part of the brewing community, beyond the experience of being an insider and interacting with brewers and other people that work at the breweries, “There is a certain electricity that happens when the gates open for the general admission crowd and you may not experience that unless you are behind the table pouring for a brewery.” At that point, whether you’re part of NUVO doing something in Indy or with a brewery, the excitement is with trying something rare and never tapped before.”

For Crown Brewing brewmaster Steve Mazylewski, “Coming to Winter Fest is still exciting because of the amount of new breweries opening in the state. It is like "one stop shopping. Every brewery in Indiana is usually there (and many from other states). I look forward to visiting new breweries, introducing myself, thanking them for attending, making them feel welcome, and trying some of their beers.The Winterfest is different from the Summer Fest because it is exciting to try the Real Ale firkin kegs outside in the cold.”

“We love coming to Winterfest year after year because of the awesome beer camaraderie we have here in Indiana. Excited to see what everyone will be bringing this year,” said Emily Hines on behalf of the Upland brewing and marketing crew.

Jason Larrison, along with his fellow Hoosier Beer Geeks, has been an integral part of Indiana’s Craft Beer scene since 2006, volunteering for festivals across Indy. This is HBG’s, and Larrimore’s, first Winterfest without official involvement. On reflection, Larrimore comments, “Winterfest continues to be my favorite event that the Guild produces. There tends to be fewer regional beer events in the dead of winter, so more breweries participate. And there are a greater variety of seasonal beers produced during this time of year as well. The variety of stouts, barleywines, old ales, and barrel-aged beers available makes me skip through the event like a kid in a candy store!”

“Last Winterfest was TwoDEEP’s very first pouring festival, period. What stuck with us the most was the positive response and interaction we received from the festival goers. They were having fun, we were having fun, everyone was enjoying local Indiana craft…it was a good time!” reveals Lizzie Hineman, TwoDEEP Marketing Manager.
“This upcoming Winterfest, we’re looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and gathering together as Indiana breweries for the first time in 2016! The Indiana craft beer industry is a tight-knit community—everyone knows each other. I don’t think we realized to what extent until we were surrounded by 80+ Indiana breweries. As a ‘newbie' we were able to meet a lot of new faces who have become good friends and collaborators over the past year. You find so many incredibly passionate and hardworking individuals in our industry—it’s something to be proud of.

“Our advice to new breweries: Arrive and set up early, visit as many of your fellow brewers as possible, and love your lines of people. Cheers and see you at Winterfest!

8th Annual Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest, Jan. 30, 3-7 p.m., Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St., in the Champions & Blue Ribbon Pavilions. Tickets here.

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Revelations for 2016 for Indiana craft beer

Brewer Dan Gohr chated with NUVO following Redemption Bierwerks first anniversary on Jan. 6:

NUVO: What's been most delightful about Redemption's first year?

Dan Gohr: It has been delightful to overcome hurdles and watch the business grow into a legitimate brewpub with great beer and fantastic food. But the MOST delightful thing is the people you build relationships with. Our customers are fantastic and we've developed a strong core of regulars that have been the root of our positive growth.

NUVO: What special niche have you been fulfilling in your neighborhood?

Gohr: We are a full service restaurant and brewery with lunch, dinner and brunch items on the menu in a very comfortable, inviting atmosphere. We also have a catering license and have taken part in some very successful events at businesses and charity functions.

NUVO: What should we be looking for at Redemption Alewerks in 2016?

Gohr: Everyone should look forward to more beer from Redemption Alewerks in 2016. We just completed our first canning run of Atonement APA this past week and already have placements in select liquor stores in the area. In addition to Atonement APA, we plan to can our Deliverance IPA, FourFathers Cream Ale and Salvation Orange Blossom Honey Wheat. We also have plans to add more fermenters in the brewery to create more wonderful styles for the pub. We're very excited.

Stop by to welcome Redemption to their first Winterfest at Section B, spot #3

Central State Brewing grand opening

The Koelschip, a beer, wine, and coffee bar officially opens Jan. 30 at 2505 N. Delaware St (next to Goose the Market). Festivities are in effect 10 a.m-9 p.m.

The grand opening will feature beers from Central State and several breweries that they admire locally and internationally “flowing from our shiny new draft system,” according to co-owners Jake Koeneman, Josh Hambright and Chris Bly.

“Bring cookies, dollars and a willingness to party. Please note that all drink prices will include tax and we are using Square Register, so cash is preferred, but not required,” adds Koeneman.

Normal business hours will be:
Monday-Wednesday: 12 noon-9 p.m.
Thursday - Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m-6 p.m.

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Daredevil, QuaffON! And Upland all busy

“More Rare Devil Small Batch beers at the Speedway taproom,” promises Daredevil co-owner Shane Pearson. “After taking the last seven months to break in our new location we are going to be increasing the frequency of our small batch beers.”
Pearson points to first-things-first, with a focus on was getting all our core beers available. “In the first three years before we had the new brewery and taproom Lift Off IPA was really the only year round beer we were making. With the new facility we now are making seven beers year round even though +90% of the volume remains Lift Off IPA.”

Daredevil’s core beers include Lift Off IPA, Rip Cord DIPA, Slip Stream American Pale Ale, Muse Belgian Golden Ale, Carnival Saison, J.W.P. American Stout and Vacation Kolsch.

They started up their lager program last Fall and now have two lagers rotating at the taproom all the time. Oktoberfest Marzen was followed by Pils German Pilsner. New on tap is a Doppelbock, their first malt forward beer. Pearson says a Rauchbier is next up.

“With both the expansion of our core beers and lager program we are able to start doing more one offs from the 100s of beers that we have made in the past in small batches,” said Person. “That can be anything from 5 to 20 gallons in some cases and for some we will scale them up to 10-20 bbls. First up are Cherry Bomb Muse and Madagascar Vanilla Bean J.W.P. We will be doing at least two small batch beers a month at the taproom.” More here and here

QuaffON! is expanding on their environmental efforts, report Ian McCAbe. “We are still donating our spent grain to landscapers and cattle farmers. And, most recently we struck a deal with a local farm to use our spent hops and yeast. Typically, those go down the drain, and a lot of municipalities have started restricting breweries from disposing of them that way. So, our head brewer, David Watkins, decided to be proactive and set up a deal with Sobremesa farm in Bloomington. They'll be taking our spent hops and yeast to use for composting (yeast is great for compost).”

NUVO sister publication Indiana Living Green shared QuaffON!’s early environmental story when they were brewing under the Big Woods name.


After reporting bare details about Upland’s Sours expansion we asked Upland spokesperson Emily Hines to tell us more:

NUVO: How did you manage to snag those cool looking foudres (casks)?

Emily Hines: We acquired three 37 bbl. foudres last fall from a winery located in Virginia. They will be joined by a 60 bbl. foudre from Oregon and three 90 bbl. foudres from France. The oak tanks will help us grow our sour fermentation capacity in Upland’s new Sour House facility. Our original 60 bbl. foudre, General Sherman, is still in use and develops wonderful flavors after over 7 years of sour beer brewing.

NUVO: Who joins Sours brewmaster Caleb Staton to grow Upland's Sours program?

Hines: Currently there is a lot of crossover between our two locations from a beer production perspective and that will continue with the expansion. Caleb Staton, Cody Chestnut, and Nick Nehrig have been dedicated to our sour beer production over the last three years with the support of many other brewers and packaging staff from our main production facility. Eli Trinkle will transition from a Cellarman at our west side facility and begin brewing at the new sours facility. Adam Covey (Quality Manager) and Pete Batule (Brewery VP) have been instrumental supporting both locations and will increase their involvement with the expansion and on-going production of sours. We plan to add two to three additional positions to support increased production and will be posting jobs in the next few months.

New brews and news

Jan 24 kicked off Beer Can Appreciation Week — so here’s more to try in cans:

Triton’s new Wild Goose Canning Line packaged their “Flagship Beer” Rail Splitter IPA and is on shelves in 4-pack 16oz cans along with 12oz bottles. “Cheers to package options,” enthuses do-owner David Waldman.

Sun King’s newest seasonals: Ring of Dingle, a rich and roasty Irish-Style Dry Stout with a clean, dry finish, named after a scenic road network in Ireland that starts and ends in the city of Dingle in Cans and on Draft.
BA Timmie is part of Sun King King's Reserve Series. “The heady cocoa, dark chocolate, and molasses flavors of our Timmie Imperial Stout are rounded out with subtle but distinct smoky oak notes brought on by bourbon barrel aging. Cans Only; release at Sun King Locations on Feb. 11.

Upland is releasing Stoaked in 4 packs and on draught; on tap at Upland retail locations starting Feb. 5. Stoaked is described as a “luscious Belgian style quadrupel that pours a deep amber hue with shades of copper and ruby. Alluring aromas of ripe fig, cherry and subtle spice and caramel pull you in. After maturing for months on oak Stoaked reveals a profound vanilla character and malty sweetness, supported by a creamy mouthfeel. With a clean finish and a lingering sweetness.” this beer is dangerously drinkable for a beverage of its strength; ABV: 10%; IBU: 25.”
Scarlet Lane reports, “Our most popular beer, Dorian Stout with Coconut will be available in 22oz Bombers Feb. 5 at the brewery located in McCordsville followed by a market-wide launch. “Keeping with our new label designs, Dorian Stout will undergo a new look with a hand drawn label,” said Nick Servies.

And a contest, too

Flat12 Bierwerks is launching a new interactive social media contest called #WhatWillYouBrew “to give one lucky Flat12 fan the chance to brew and name their very own small batch beer in collaboration with Flat12,” announced Valerie Green Flat12 director of marketing.

Here’s how it works: Between now and Feb. 6 fans submit “creative selfies via Twitter or Instagram featuring Flat12’s new, rebranded packaging with the hashtag #RevvedUpBeer.”

Everyone who submits is automatically entered into the contest to create their very own beer in collaboration and under the guidance of Flat12 Gallon Series Brewer, EZ.

Feb. 6 the Flat12 team will select the most creative selfie submission on #SelfieSaturday.

“We’re encouraging people to have some fun with our new branding,” said Green.

Flat12 will host a tapping party, at the taproom of the winner’s choosing, either in Indianapolis or Kentuckiana, to celebrate the winner’s limited small batch beer release.

“We wanted to find a way to include our loyal fans in our rebranding and 5-year milestone with their own Flat12 imprint,” said Green. “For a chance to be the mad scientist and mastermind behind creating and naming Flat12’s next great craft brew, check out the terms and rules below.”

Rules and Terms:

• To enter, use the hashtag #revvedupbeer and post a selfie with any new Flat12 packaging - Half Cycle IPA, Upside Down Blonde, Walkabout Pale Ale, or Pogue's Run Porter.
• You must follow the Twitter or Instagram account @flat12bierwerks
• The contest will run from January 25th-February 6th.
• The winner will be contacted and announced February 8th.
• Flat12 will not cover travel costs or accommodations.
• The final beer recipe must be designed with and approved by Flat12 brewer.
• Winner must be 21+ with valid ID and is required to sign a waiver.
• Winner must coordinate date and time of brew with Flat12 brewers according to Flat12's production schedule, and within 2 weeksof awarding of prize.
• The tapping party date will be determined post-production according to Flat12's beer release schedule.
• Winner will receive a $25 gift card to be used on the day of the tapping event.

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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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