The first Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest! debuts Saturday, Jan. 24 and includes one-on-one conversations with brewers, plus food, music, games and a breweriana show. The event is being launched as a companion to the immensely popular summer Microbrewers Festival at Opti Park to help us become conversant about winter beers from Indiana breweries and others nationwide.
Specialties at the Cask Conditioned table will include:
16 firkins served on gravity
"A firkin is a small keg with a British unit of capacity equal to nine imperial gallons," brewer Jon Myers says. Try this for a mental puzzle instead of Suduko: At 4-ounce pulls, how many people will be served?
Beer writer Bob Ostrander explains "served on gravity" as without CO2 pressure. "Just a tap at the bottom of the keg and a breathing hole at the top [to prevent vacuum]. The gravity is different from a hand-pull but the results are the same."
Indiana's ReplicAle aged in Jack Daniel's barrels
Brewers from Alcatraz, Barley Island, Broad Ripple, Mad Anthony and Rock Bottom Downtown took up the challenge to follow Ram brewmaster Dave Colt's original recipe for 70-schilling Scottish Ale. Who among us will be able to discern and articulate nuances each brewer brings to this heavy (hence great for winter) ale?
Along with favorites and new brews from greater Indianapolis, brewers will bring beers from the far corners of Indiana to entice us to travel to brewpubs statewide including:
Southeast New Albany
New Albanian Brewing Company will pour "Beak's Best," a session "bitter" in the English tradition and winner of Louisville Magazine
's "Best Local Beer" 2003 award; "Bob's Old 15-B," Bob Capshew's 2003 competition-winning homebrewed Robust Porter; "Community Dark (cask-conditioned)," a dark-colored, light bodied session ale; and "Elector," the original Red ale brewed on Election Day for NABC's 2002 opening.
Main Street Brewery/Turoni's Pizza will pour "Pumpkin Ale," "Rudolph's Revenge" and "Vinny's Light Lager."
Back Road Brewery will pour "2012 IPA," "Millennium Lager" and "Pole Shift Pale Ale."
Powerhouse Brewing Company will pour "Diesel Oil Stout" and "Wee Heavy Scotch Ale." (Here's a chance to learn the difference between Scotch and Scottish ales.)
Penn Jensen, executive director of Brewers of Indiana Guild, says, "We want to create something that is the weekend before Super Bowl. In 2012 the Super Bowl is going to be here in Indiana. We're going to have an established major event by that weekend. You can be sure there'll be a lot of hoopla all over town! What we are doing [now] is positioning ourselves to capture the high end of the winter sports fever with high-quality Indiana brewed beers, and other Indiana-made products including food served at Winterfest! The goal is to make it a cultural winter event for the Indiana craft world."