Winterfest preview: Big beers and big expectations 

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Year eight of Winterfest is here. We were able to catch up with a few of the brewers to get a sneak preview of what they will be pouring. String your pretzel necklaces (bonus points if you can fit a pizza on there) and godspeed.

For a map of Winterfest go pick up a NUVO on stands today

18th Street Brewing

"What are you bringing?"

"If I told you that I would have to kill you."

Drew Fox is not revealing 18th Street Brewing's surprise brew.

"Something very cool I would rather not share at this time; pay special attention to Sour Note," he advises. "We have some cool stuff to showcase from our sour brewing project, and our Stouts."

"We keep being asked what special beers we plan to bring. Given our focus is to make only fun beers that constantly rotate every day is like a beer festival at Deviate." Greg Ortwein and Mike Orkey, are equally mum, but promise, "they will be fun offerings that will deviate from the norm."

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Sun King

Sun King isn't yet ready to announce lineup and tapping schedule, "But here are a few things that you can highlight," offers Beth Belange, "Bourbon Barrel Timmie, Velvet Fog, Afternoon Delight, Cherry Busey, When Doves Pie."

Indiana City

"In addition to our Core Lineup of Shadow Boxer Oatmeal Stout, Tribute Pale Ale and Yacht Rock Wheat Ale, we'll do hourly tappings of several limited release beers including our newest—a big, earthy barleywine we call Citizen's Right," says Erin Stevens. "Fan favorites will also make an appearance, including Double Uddercut Double Milk Stout, Red Collar Imperial Amber, Dock 7 IPA and Double Tribute Double Pale Ale.

"Another surprise may pop up for a few lucky folks; you'll just have to wait and see," says Erin Stevens.

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During the VIP hour, TwoDEEP will be tapping Camp Hope Smoked Porter. "This beer gave us a chance to experiment with unique kilned malts," says Lizzie Hineman. "Camp Hope is a full-bodied robust smoked porter brewed with applewood smoked malt. We're excited to share this beer — just remember though, don't put Twinkies on your pizza!"

TwoDEEP will highlight its malt focus with They've Gone to PLAID! Scotch Ale, Jolly Old Stout, Helluvadortfest German Lager house favorites, KnightStick Cream Ale, Red Sunday Irish Red Ale, Brickhouse Roasted Amber, and Lake IPA.

"Follow @twodeepbrewing for updates on our Winterfest booth location, tappings and other brewing shenanigans!" advises Hineman.


"For Winterfest we are taking a couple of rare Triton Beers and some old favorites! We will be pouring a firkin of Five Alive IPA; Barn Phantom Sour with Grapefruit; Rail Splitter IPA, Hometown Hero Golden Ale; Sly Boogie Session IPA; Midnight Rail Black IPA; Double Deadeye Imperial Stout and a pin of Blood Orange Sly Boogie IPA in the Firkin Booth," promises Jon Lang.


For Winterfest, Bier's bringing Sanitarium (limited edition), Tripple, Dubbel and Hator to name but a few.

Black Acre

"Black Acre will be bringing a bunch of fun beers including Gatekeeper Belgian Golden Strong Ale aged in New Day Meadery's Imperial Magpie barrels, Beard Tax, our Russian Imperial Stout, Noxious Beast, our Double Rye IPA, and The Quickening, our Scotch ale," says Justin Miller.

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"Upland is excited to bring several big beers to help keep you warm and toasty. Teddy Bear Kisses, Carpet burn (oyster stout with chilis and chocolate), Stoaked (Belgian Quad), Syrupticious (Maple Breakfast Stout). On Cask: Spiced Strong Ale with winter spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice), orange zest, chocolate, and vanilla. 7.5% ABV. Of course some sours — you'll have to wait and see," says Emily Hines.


Chris Knott at FLIX completely lifts the veil: "For VIP hour we will be tapping the FoBAB Bronze medal winning Barrel Aged Chillaxed Mild. The Barton Bourbon barrel adds unique flavors of vanilla and charred oak to compliment the nutty, toffee malt flavors of the base beer and low ABV.

At 4:30, we will tap Druish Princess Belgian Quad — Bold and complex, yet soft and elegant. This quadrupel boasts rich malt flavors of bread, raisins, and dates with the characteristic fruity/peppery flavors from the Belgian yeast. 9.2% abv. 35 IBU

Hail Skroob Russian Imperial Stout will be on full time — This beast of a beer contains a thick body and rich flavors of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and dark fruit. May the Schwartz be with you... you'll need it. 8.4% abv. 55 IBU

English Gentleman (English IPA) will be on full time — Traditional spicy, grassy, floral hop character is balanced beautifully by the bready, nutty English malt flavor."

Chilly Water

Chilly Water is bringing it's 2015 Indiana Brewers' Competition Bronze Medal Pilsner, IPA, Saison, Belgian Dubbel, Doppelbock. "We saved some of our pumpkin ale to share and we will have a special tapping of our Batch 100, a Strong Scotch at 13% abv," confirms Skip DuVall.

Crown Brewing

Steve Mazylewski says Crown Brewing will be bringing "The Dude" White Russian Java Porter, Grand Poobah Imperial Stout, a barrel aged Raspberry Sour Winter Warlock, a couple of IPAs, something else barrel aged, and a few other beers.

"This year for the Winterfest Bloomington Brewing is taking eight beers," says Mark Cady. Four you already know of: Ruby Bloom Amber 6.0% ABV, 11 IBU; Rooftop IPA 7.4% ABV, 80 IBU; 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat 5.2% ABV, 27 IBU; Java Porter 5.2% ABV, 21 IBU

For our second jockey box we are bringing 4 special beers to dazzle the senses:

Krampus Imperial Black IPA 9.1% ABV, 116 IBU; Bourbon Barrel Aged 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat 6.2% ABV, 27 IBU; Swashbuckler Oatmeal Stout 6.8% ABV, 37 IBU; Simcoe Kid IPA — an all Simcoe hopped IPA 7.2% ABV, 68 IBU

Half Moon

The Kokomo brewery is bringing two standards: MILF-n-Honey Wheat and The Kokomonster. The other two beers will be the Wild Cherry Wheat and the Lil Sumpin' Wheat IPA, according to brewer John Templet.

Mad Anthony

Mad Anthony will pour Hopsquatch II, Ruby Raspberry Wheat, Auburn Lager, Good Karma IPA, Snow Plowed Winter Ale, Jonesing for Java Porter and O.C.B.

Lafayette Brewing Company

Greg Emig notes that Lafayette Brewing Company's outdoors cask booth will have a firkin of Barrel-aged Big Boris Barleywine ready, and the adjacent table will feature an American wheatwine and a smoked amber along with LBC standards Black Angus Oatmeal Stout and Tippecanoe Common Ale.

(Editor's Note: This article was graciously boosted on social media by Bier Brewery []. Bier Brewery had no input on the content in this article or the decision to create it.)

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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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