Beer Buzz: Indy Jazz Fest pub crawl


The weather was perfect, a full moon shining down. The Jazz Fest pub creep was creeping along, Rob Dixon's saxophone floating and wailing. And Broad Ripple Brewpub founder John Hill was lifting a pint of Stout to salute the 20th anniversary of Lafayette Brewing Company and founder Greg Emig.

Emig started out in Indianapolis, in a refurbished automotive shop at 65th Street and the Monon. He honed his brewing skills here before opening Indiana's first "legitimate" brewpub on September 17, 1993.

Meanwhile, in Lafayette, 20 brews were on tap for a roll-back $2 a pint, representing five generations of Lafayette Brewing Company brewers working with Emig. The list? DJ McCallister (1996-1998), now founder-brewer of Black Swan Brewpub, Plainfield. Doug Ellenberger (1998-2000), now founder-brewer of Everybody's Brewing in White Salmon, Wash. Chris Johnson (2000-2008), now founder-brewer of People's Brewing Company, West Lafayette. And Matt Williams, on deck at Lafayette Brewing Company since 2008.

Back to the pub creep. Bill Lancton & the Red Hot Whiskey Sippers opened the series at Sun King with taps pouring, in turn: the whimsical, fresh-squeezed-lemon Shake Up; the steadfast Indiana Lager; Oktoberfest, an effervescently uplifting Mark Vojnovich; and the bold Wet Hopped & Sticky.

Zach Lapidus Trio initiated live music at Brugge where the roasty, multi-layered Belgian-style stout Pollywog made its debut, alongside single-hop Leopold and the refreshing fresh-blackberry sour tinge Harvey.

Tad Robinson brought his blues concert to Flat 12's dock with their new pours of richly-flavored Jack Pumpkin Ale along with Kiwi Kiwi Crystal Weiss and Hello My Name Is Amber.

And at Broad Ripple Brewpub, the tapping of John Treeter's Jazz Hands, an easy drinking Amber Ale, nicely fit with Rob Dixon's fusion program, featuring Reggie Bishop on keyboard and Brian Yarde on drums.

Sun King takeover

The end of September overfloweth with all things beer. Sun King's Indy takeover includes the Sept. 28 first ever CANventional: Celebration of Canned American Craft Beer at Georgia Street. Coast-to-coast breweries will join Indiana's four "canning" breweries. Royal Brat, a Sun King-Three Floyds collaboration, will debut in can form The ESB Ale [Extra Special Bitter] promises to shake up popular perceptions that the traditional English Bitters are ho-hum ales.

Sun King's partnership with the IMA's Matisse Exhibit, opening Oct.13, affords a sneak taste of Bier de Fauve at IMA's Sept. 27 Final Friday. You'll get to sample brewmaster Dave Colt's take on the traditional Bier de Garde style, as filtered through Matisse's palette (or palate).


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