Broad Ripple Brewpub is tapping homebrewer Larry Barnhart's Indiana State Fair 2009 Brewers Cup Best of Show "Susie's Sweet-Stout," Oct. 17 at 3:00 p.m. BRBP annually brews the Best of Show and serves it on tap until it runs out. Barnhart came down from Kokomo on Sept. 30 to work up his original 5-gallon recipe for BRBP's 7 bbl system with brewmaster Kevin Matalucci.

"This is my first time hands-on with a professional brewer," said Barnhart. "I'm a little nervous." Think scaling up a family batch of cookies for an industrial size sharing at a Fever home game.

Matalucci said this isn't what he usually does, either. He daily solos making the kind of beer BRBP regulars expect. "But they do get interested in the Best of Show and look forward to having it on draft."

Barnhart's recipe calls for some ingredients BRBP doesn't ordinarily keep on hand. "It's been a long time since I've used lactose - it was in our original razz wheat - and Larry's sweet stout has oatmeal and different roast malts. I went shopping."

We concluded this could become a great breakfast beer with ingredients providing a robust body and a sweetness that counters the roasted character, for a lower hop level in comparison with the original stouts, a generic term for the strongest or "stoutest" beers (generally associated with Guinness). "I made this for my wife, who doesn't like hoppy beer," said Barnhart.

Barnhart, who owns Kokomo Cycling and Fitness, couples his passion for craft beer with participation in Kokomo's bike club. "The Beater Bike Beer Bash takes riders to the best beer places in Kokomo to get people to try something different."

A homebrewer since 1998, Barnhart is a founding member of the Howard County Homebrewers. "They'll be coming down to Broad Ripple on the 17th."

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