Monday, March 3, 2014

Burgeoning Indiana Craft Beer Scene: Can we handle it?


On the show we talk about all things Indiana craft beer. When we started this thing the craft beer movement was hardly in its infancy. Breweries were popping up all over the country at what appeared, then, to be an alarming rate. We had no idea what alarming was. Four years and three seasons later things are beyond heating up; they are white hot. With breweries appearing all over Indiana it has been increasingly difficult to keep up with all the new names and faces. But we are sure as hell gonna try.

The benefit of these new breweries has come two fold. Now, not only do we have the variety of world class beers from the new kids, but the established breweries have stepped up their game to account for the new, albeit friendly, competition. Among the myriad of tap takeovers, seasonal releases and special events, I can't help but wonder, "How does one keep up with it all?" Even with updates from shows like Indiana BrewHaus or Indy Beer News or the Biercast, the average person can't help but feel overwhelmed.

These and other craft beer related media have popped up almost as fast as the breweries themselves. It's not just the local guys blogging and 'casting about their hometown brews. This movement has brought about an influx of national attention. Programming like Beer Geeks and Beer Nation have brought exposure and caught the eye of even the mainstream media. Newspapers have even expanded their food and drink section to specifically cover craft beer. Despite all of this, I feel like we are just scratching the surface on coverage of what could be the most exciting time in American craft beer history. 

Bold statement, I know.

To be quite frank, there IS no way to keep up with it all, at least not everything. Is it hopeless? No. I'll say one thing though. It is a pretty good problem to have.


IBH Crew

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Indiana Flower & Patio Show highlights craft beers at new Backyard Brewfest


Sixteen beers. Seven breweries. Four flight styles. One backyard.

The 56th annual Indiana Flower & Patio Show has partnered with Brew Bracket to host its first-ever Backyard Brewfest, an a la carte beer tasting March 8-16 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St.

Among the beautiful landscapes and Urban Homestead at the Fairgrounds Expo Hall, beer enthusiasts can sample four different beers of the same style, such as amber or brown ales, so they can appreciate the variations within just one style.

“This is much different than our typical event or tournament,” said Ryan Coyle, owner of Brew Bracket. “Normally we have 16 brewers who compete with just one style, and then people can vote for their favorite.”

“But for this show, it’s not so much about getting the ‘people’s vote,’” Coyle said. “Our main goal is to introduce people to craft beer, educate them on what to look for and just make them feel like they’re out in their backyard enjoying a beer.”

Participating artisans include Upland Brewery, Sun King Brewery, Flat12 Bierwerks, Fountain Square Brewery, as well as Barley Island, Oaken Barrel, and Triton brewing companies.

Four tasting stations will feature the following flight styles:

The Lighter Side (Wheat/Blonde/Hybrid) – Upland Wheat, Sun King Sunlight Cream Ale, Barley Island Sheet Metal Blonde, Oaken Barrel Razz Wheat

The Malt Shop (Amber/Brown) – Triton Four Barrel Brown, Sun King Wee Mac, Flat12 Hello My Name Is, Oaken Barrel Indiana Amber

Hop Garden (Pale/IPA) – Flat12 Half Cycle, Sun King Osiris, Fountain Square Hop for Teacher, Triton Railsplitter

Dark & Delicious (Porter/Stout) – Flat12 Pogues Run, Fountain Square Backyard Porter, Triton Deadeye Stout, Upland Bad Elmer Porter

Beer fans will enjoy perusing through more than 40 fabulous showcase and featured exhibitor gardens reflecting the theme “Personal Spaces.” Coyle, also owner of VIVE Exterior Design and recipient of last year’s Mayor’s Award and Garden of Excellence honors, is collaborating with Brew Bracket for VIVE’s “Home Brewing” theme in hopes of sparking some inspiration among guests.

The biergarten admits adults ages 21+ only, and will be open from 3-7pm Monday through Wednesday, 3-9pm Thursday and Friday, 10am-9pmSaturday, and 10am-5pm Sunday.
Sample flights are $8 each; subsequent flights cost additional. A portion of sales from the Backyard Brewfest will benefit the Indiana State Fair Foundation. A special Brewfest and general admission show package is available at the show’s box office only for $18; general admission is discounted to $10 for Brew Bracket participants.

General show admission is $13 for adults at the door, or when purchased online. Children 12 and under are free. Downloadable $3 discount coupons are available on the show’s website, and are not valid combined with other promotions.

Senior Day is Monday, March 10, when showgoers 65+ with proper ID are admitted for $9 per person.

Show hours are 10am-7pm Mondaythrough Wednesday, 10am-9pmThursdays through Saturdays, and10am-5pm Sundays.

Parking is $5 per vehicle in convenient, well-lit Fairgrounds lots. Free shuttle service runs continually from parking areas to entrances of the West Pavilion and Expo Hall.

For more information, log, or call 317.576.9933 or toll-free800.215.1700.