Oaken Barrel hosted its "Threepeat Win as Indiana Brewery
of the Year" celebration on Aug. 2. Greenwood [and environs] residents along
with a contingent of 'northsiders' arrived early and stayed late to savor, and
talk about, the three gold, five silver and one bronze Indiana State Fair
Brewmasters Cup Competition brews. What's special about Oaken Barrel being the
best of the best three times in a row? Owner Kwang Casey, Head Brewer Mark
Havens and Assistant Brewer John Treeter acknowledge Oaken Barrel's unique
relationship with the equally crowned MECA homebrewers club members.
"These guys show up Friday afternoons, bring samples of
their homebrews to share and sit around the brewery analyzing what we've got,
what they're doing. I call them 'the Bucket Club,'" quipped Casey. At the
corner table, quietly acknowledging the symbiotic relationship along with Bill
Ballinger, 2010 Homebrewer of the Year, were MECA members John Showalter and
Keith Baute. Their nationally and Indiana-homebrew award winning Barley Wine
grew into two silver awards for Oaken Barrel, as a pro-am venture.
NUVO first tasted and remarked upon this amazing brew at a
shared growler tasting at The Ram, to celebrate Oaken Barrel's former assistant
brewer, Andrew Castner, in his new position as Head Brewer at The Ram. "It's
not just beer, it's people striving for the best to share on all levels,"
ALSO: Downtown RAM is transformed to celebrate Gen Con
2010. The redesigned menu includes "Lord Toruk Burger" along with "Rasheth's
Red IPA," "Blackbane's Ghost Pale Ale," and "Primal Porter," a special Gen Con
seasonal release, according to head brewer Andrew Castner.