Big ‘ol dump o’ Indianapolis beer news

Recess' bologna sandwich with Nøgne Ø brown ale at Tuesday's beer dinner.

  • Phillip Schlosberg's Blackberry
  • Recess' bologna sandwich with Nonge-o brown ale at Tuesday's beer dinner.

The beer dinner at


was amazing, and hosted by Scott Larrick of Norway’s

Nøgne Ø

Brewery — who is actually from Ohio, despite his now-perfect Norwegian (that’s what they speak up there, right?).

First off, even though “it’s not what’s on the bottles as much as what’s in them,” as Larrick so aptly quipped, the proper pronunciation is “Nyoog-ne-uh.” I think.

Second, having just come from the World Beer Cup and brewers' conference in Chicago, Larrick paid the restaurant a daunting compliment. It was along the lines of, he’d been to New York and Chicago and every other worldwide market for beer dinners, and none paired as well and did his beer as much justice as the one he attended at Recess. I think I caught Greg Hardesty blushing, but maybe it was the kitchen heat.

It was a delightful dinner. The highlight, in my opinion, were the egg udon noodles steeped in a gorgeous broth with perfectly poached mussels. Bits of ginger floated at the bottom, so clean and definite-tasting compared with the glutinous, flat noodles that lingered through several chews. Nonge’s effervescent-but-boozy tripel made everything lighter.

There are about two or three shipments of the stuff from Norway in the city, and they’re at Kahn’s and the new Crown Liquors downtown.

Tuesday night we tasted the saison, the pale ale, the tripel, the brown ale and the porter. Each was solid. My favorite was the pale ale, which was actually quite malty, amber-hued and robustly bodied for a pale, with a nose of toasted honey. Simply mouth-filling, saliva-inducing goodness. The brown was light, roasty, and delicious. The porter was that and creamy, though it seemed to lose its structure if you let it sit a bit.

*Speaking of the World Beer Cup … My friend Scott Metzger owns the amazing Freetail Brewing Co. in San Antonio, Texas. He attended that Chicago beer event last week, and sent me the run-down of a private beer dinner he attended, hosted by Fort Collins, Colorado-based New Belgium. Get a load of this beer list (note the Dark Lord 2010):

Allagash Avance/ Bell’s Quinannan Falls/ Bell’s Wild One/ Brooklyn Dark Matter/ Brooklyn Black Ops/ Dieu de Ciel! Isseki Nicho/ Elysian Perfesser/ Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA/ Half Acre Daisy Cutter/ Half Acre Ginger Twin/ Half Acre Gossamer/ New Belgium LOVE/ New Belgium Eric’s Ale/ New Belgium La Folie/ New Belgium Transatlantic Kriek/ Norrebro Bryghus/ Odell IPA/ Odell Woodcut/ Odell Mountain Standard Reserve 2009/ Piece Swinging Single/ Real Ale Devil’s Backbone/ Russian River Pliny the Elder/ Russian River Consecration/ Russian River Supplication/ The Bruery Oude Tart/ Three Floyds Dark Lord 2010

Holy ****.

Next up, Indiana's winners at the event!


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