Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I'm Drinking-Winterfest Edition

I attended Winterfest a few weeks ago, one of the two large beer festivals in Indiana put on by the good people at the Brewers Guild of Indiana.  If you have never attended, I highly recommend it.  Not only did I try some amazing beers, I learned a lot from the brewers taking time to actually talk about their beers as well.  It was fantastic.

In case you have not heard, Indiana cleaned up this fall at the Great American Beer Festival.  By “cleaned up”, I mean won more medals than any other state.  That’s impressive no matter how you spin it.  I’ve become more familiar with some of the breweries in the state, and it’s been quite a pleasure trying out the new varieties they offer.  Here are a few of my favorites, and most can be found at local bars or stores.

Sun King Osiris Pale Ale: Best “everyday” pale ale of any that I drink. It's dry hopped but not to bitterness. It's refreshing and extremely balanced (also, for the record, everything Sun King brews is awesome).

Bier Brewery Fuggit Stout: This won last fall's Brew Bracket II event. It's rich and creamy without being dry or overly sweet

Triton Stout and IPA: This brewery just popped up about a year ago, and I'm loving their beers. Their stout is especially good, and it's nice to see a brewery brew a stout as a house beer. Their IPA is citrusy and easy to drink. I think we can expect bottles in the near future.

People’s Hopkilla: Lafayette's own! I was hard on them when they first started up, but they have really come a long way. This is a double IPA that's easily one of the best brewed in the state. It's aggressive and full of flavor.

Upland Gilgamesh: I learned at Winterfest that I enjoy sours. Sadly, this was a one-shot only tasting for me, as this is a very in-demand and rare beer, but man was it good! Sour and fruity, it gave me the same feeling when eating grapefruit.

3 Floyds Gumballhead: A wheat beer with a nice hop flavor at the end, this is one of the best year-round beers they produce. Good for people looking for something a bit lighter.

Brugge Harvey: Another sour (I was on a roll), quite delicious and tart. Only offered at the Brugge restaurant, but you know, they have great mussels and beer, so it's easy to make an excuse to go here.

Sun King Cream Dream IV: This beer starts as a cream ale but then gets the hell hopped out of it. Not only is it amazing and flavorful, I was lucky to have it out of a firkin, which gave some more complexity from the yeast.

Figure Eight Ro Shampo: I just discovered this brewery, and this red ale is my current favorite. It's slightly bitter, which I enjoy, and the malt on it is quite good.

Flat 12 Walkabout Pale Ale: A single hop pale, this ranks up there with Osiris as my favorite current pale ale. It's wonderfully fruity and bright.

That's just a sampling of what Indiana beers are great. Next time you're out, pick one up, you certainly won't be disappointed.