Beer buzz

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Great American Beer Festival news of winning Indiana brews will arrive in time for next week's Beer Buzz, but you can live the BIG BUZZ vicariously through the Indy to Denver road trip daily blog by Hoosier Beer Geeks Jess and Rodney. Log onto hoosierbeergeek.com for their sprightly accounts and you're-right-here-with-us photos.

NUVO's tour of Indy-brewed Oktoberfest beers included Sun King, Rock Bottom downtown, The Ram downtown and Broad Ripple Brewpub for fresh on tap and Upland bottled. Jerry Sutherlin at RB and Caleb Staton at Upland are sharing a "traditional" medium-strong version of the amber-red Vienna Style with a malty aroma that goes back to the first Oktoberfest held on Oct. 18, 1810. Before refrigeration, beer was not brewed during the summer so the last batch was made in and stored in cellars, "lagers" in German, until September, and in Germany is still called Märzenbier, beer brewed in March. Confusing but after a glassful of the full character brew it doesn't much matter.

Sutherlin's is spicier and dryer than the now expected paler "Oktoberfestbier" that recently came into fashion to satisfy broader international tastes. Upland describes its Oktoberfest as "A rich, amber hue and a malty sweetness. All-German malts with rare German hops [for] a crisp, hop finish. Our best selling seasonal."

Subtle differences exist between the others with degrees of tart hoppiness and malt backbone to stand up to traditional German fare led by brats and kraut. RB downtown, BRBP and Upland also are featuring a line up of other German-style beers.

News from the north

John Templet invites us to stop at Half Moon Brewery in Kokomo for: MILF-n-Honey-Wheat Ale, "very delicate and refreshing with a sweet honey aroma and taste and a crisp, refreshing wheat beer finish." ODB Wheat Ale, "a melding (bastardization?) of two classic styles that will please the adventurous hop lover in each of you." Off-Kilter Wee Heavy, "a trong Scotch Ale that's rich, thick, and malty to warm you from the inside out just as the cooler weather of fall arrives."

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