The VIP Brewmaster's Dinner Friday, July 17, 6-9 p.m. at Opti Park, 820 E. 66th St., precedes the 14th Annual Microbrews Festival. The five-course, sit-down dinner under the tents pairs an area chef with an Indiana craft brewer. The $40 ticket also includes special beers on tap from many breweries, some exclusive to this event, live music and a chance to meet owners and brewers from Indiana microbreweries. Purchase tickets only at Broad Ripple Brewpub or Brugge Brasserie.
The menu includes three first courses:
* Dan Orr of FARM-Bloomington follows a classic Spanish preparation of seared fish marinated in a vinegary sauce loaded with herbs and spices for Hoosier Escabeche of Catfish with Hilltop Herbs and Chilies to pair with Upland's Wheat Ale.
* R Bistro's Regina Mahallick's Grilled Indiana Tomatoes, Mushroom and Traders' Point Cheese Pizza pairs with Barley Island's Sheet Metal Blond.
* Chris Ely of Indianapolis' Goose the Market's Charcuterie of Smoked Venison Terrine, Pickled Blueberries, Whole Grain Mustard; Berkshire Lomo, Confit Tomato, Thyme; Truffled Bologna, Pickled Duck; and Eggs and Fennel Marmalade pairs with Brugge's Diamond Kings Two Thousand Nine.
Greg Hardesty, formerly of Broad Ripple's H2O Sushi and Indianapolis' Elements, is pairing the main course Brochette of Beef, crushed Amish potatoes, sweet Indiana corn and rich mushroom sauce with Broad Ripple Brewpub's Monon Porter and Lafayette Brewing Company's Tippecanoe Common Ale.
For dessert, Albert Trevino of Rene's Bakery is pairing Chocolate Creations with Three Floyds' Apocalypse Cow and a surprise brew from New Albanian.
Also on Friday, July 17, Chumley's, 838 Broad Ripple Ave., is hosting the Indy Microbrewers Fest Kick Off tapping of five kegs "that have either never been seen in Indiana or might as well have never been seen in Indiana," according to Mat Gerdenich, founder of Cavalier Distributing.
7 p.m. Two Brothers Brewing Co. Hop Juice Double IPA
8 p.m. Stone Brewing Co. Sublimely-Self Righteous Ale
9 p.m. Founder's Brewing Co. Maple Mt. Brown Ale
10 p.m. Schmaltz Brewing Co. He'Brew Oak Aged Bitter Sweet Lenny's RIPA
11 p.m. Left Hand Brewing Co. Oak Aged Imperial Stout
The main event is the 14th Annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival July 18, 3-7 p.m. at Opti Park. Special this year: a beer class by Ron Smith, nationally certified beer judge and award-winning homebrewer; Hopapalooza with Anita Johnson from Great Fermentations; the one-of-a-kind Moo Mobile dispensing Lefthand Brewing Company's beer from trunk taps; and brews from at least three new Indiana breweries (Sun King of Indianapolis, Bee Creek of Brazil and People's Brewing of Lafayette). Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the gate, if not sold out. Designated driver entry is $8 (at gate only; not subject to sell-out) and includes complimentary water and soft drinks. The event benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Optimist International. Call 317-856-6092 or log on to www.indianabeer.com for more information.
2009 Indiana State Fair Brewers' Cup top winners
Professional Best of Show: Oaken Barrel of Greenwood, Pumpkin Ale
Homebrew Best of Show: Larry Barnhart of Kokomo, Susie's Sweet Stout
Champion Brewery: Oaken Barrel, three gold medals, two silver medals, three bronze medals
Homebrewer of the Year: Bill Ballinger of Shelbyville, four blue ribbons, one red ribbon
Homebrew Club of the Year: MECA