Tag Archives: craft beer

In Love with Louisville

I visit Louisville at least 2 times a year. It’s a fun not so distant getaway from my home city of Indianapolis. When you make it here, check out:

Downtown Market Street 
Okay. You have to visit 21C even if you decide not to stay there (And tell them how badly you’d love for Indianapolis to have one!). They have a museum on the first floor that is open to the public. There is a restaurant there called Proof that would be a great place for a meal, source local. And/or a cocktail. Great bourbon flights! The first time I popped into this spot, they were hosting MadMen viewing parties on Sundays, dress up to participate.
Market Street East / NuLu
Pop into The Louisville Beer Store. You can drink beer at the liquor store and open any of their over 500 of unique craft bottle offerings to enjoy and share in the store. They will have a mean selection to enjoy and to bring home. On this visit enjoyed the Baciami Lipsia (Kiss My Lips) from Birrificio Del Ducato (Italy) on draught. My first time enjoying a brew that had been salted. Official description: Italian Sour Ale aged in wine barrels and brewed with pink salt.
Also, Dine at The Garage Bar. Check out The Green Building. Have to work while you are here? Check out Please and Thank You for a variety of coffees, teas and pastries and a vinyl listening box.
Stayed at the NuLu Pearl property this round a wonderful airbnb find. 
Bardstown Road
The BEST beers on Tap in Louisville will be at The Holy Grale. And it’s an old converted church. (Good Dining Option as well.) The space and vibe is wonderful. There are some great Local Louisville Shops up and down Bardstown if you wanted to browse for locally made products or Love The Ville type products.
Oh and you’ve got to pop into O’Shea’s . And well, it’s like 5-10 degrees warmer in The Ville. If you happen to get a beautiful afternoon…There’s a cigar shop along Bardstown, J Shepherd Cigars, in the area of O’Shea’s worth checking out…and a nice hill to just perch and enjoy…
Cumberland Brewery for your Beer Flight.
Quill’s Coffee – Local coffee roaster; Great yogurt parfait’s for breakfast!
Other Areas
Not connected to an area for browsing…but everything is within driving range…maybe 15 minutes away from one another or from downtown.
Sergio’s is an experience as well. Will probably have the greatest variety of rare beers…Sergio’s has been bringing good beer to The Ville for a long time. The Louisville Beer store is the new kid with great offerings as well, maybe 4-5 year’s old. (They also own The Holy Grale and are opening a new bed and breakfast near that property and the new Gralehaus.)
Oh My…and The Monkey Wrench — Think young, hip, biker bar esq…like Indianapolis-based The Melody Inn…
And The Nachbar Dive Bar…Great beers on tap!
If you are in the mood for old school games and live music: Zanzabar. (Food’s Good Here Too.)
Fourth Street Live
There are only 3 places worth visiting on or just off 4th Street. Louisville caters to convention traffic so you will see familiar chains. Now, I would definitely say to visit this block during Derby weekend! The Three Places worth visiting: Marker’s Mark Lounge (to try rare small batch bourbon) and the Bluegrass Brewing Company (This is a restaurant/not the brewing facility – Food’s Good!). There’s also a coffee shop/cafe that is interesting there with a grocery store where you can buy locally made food products…like the basement of Goose The Market…Marketplace Restaurant. Near The Brown Hotel.
Oh and on the way out of Louisville by car, pop into the Liquor Barn in Springhurst. They will have 20 Taps, you can fill growlers to bring home if that suites your fancy. AND stock up on rare Bourbons : )
And stop off at a Heine Brothers to bring home some coffee to brew at home! (Many Locations)
Here’s the link to the Holiday Inn I usually stay at there. It’s right next to The Louisville Cardinals Football stadium.

A night out in Nairobi

A night out in Nairobi is exactly what I need before heading back to the Kenyan coast. Kelly with The Village Experience had made friends with one of the co-founders of the Africa Yoga Project and we decide to take her up on her offer for a night out and a bed and hot water bottle at her place. We meet Paige at her place. She is from New York City and had been living in Nairobi now for six years. Paige happened to score some tickets to a wine tasting we are excited to check out. Really grateful to have the opportunity to taste some African wines (and beers) and talk to the wine makers, brewers and distributors. This style of event is quite familiar to me. I felt at home.

My favorite wine of the night was the Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from South Africa, that went for 3700 Shillings or $43 USD. It was as good as fine wine with age with the complexities of tobacco and earth. Heaven in a glass.

Managed to try a few craft brews from The Big 5 Breweries: Kifabock, a lightly hopped Dubbel Bock.  Nyatipa pale ale, which satisfied my bitter hop cravings. And ended with a Temstout which had nice notes of coffee and chocolate flavor.

The ladies loved the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It was their repeat tasting while we enjoyed a variety of delicious cheeses and flavored chocolates.

Then off to visit the casino. My first time. Of course my first time to visit a casino is in Kenya of all places. We play roulette. I bet maybe the equivalent of $10 USD and enjoy two double Johnny Black Label on the rocks. I win some and lose most.

Next stop? Tree House where Kelly had heard a DJ friend of hers was going to be. I found Caol Ila 12…neat please. We dance the night away. I danced with an older gentleman that completely took the lead to some music of spanish influence. I felt relaxed and simply enjoyed the night.

Conversations at bars. First Edition.

MacNiven’s. Haggis. Craft brews. Scotch and Patrick, tending bar. What’s not to like? The Haggis, oh my it had been too long. I enjoyed it with a taste of the youngest scotch I have ever had, aged 3 years. Who knew. But with the description: ‘youthful, peat and smoke.’ I knew it was for me. Spot on. The last time I had Haggis was in 1998. I worked an event at Christ Church Cathedral with my friend Elizabeth. It was prepared there. I watched and assisted from start to finish.

My roommate and I went to MacNiven’s specifically for Sun King Brewing’sTIMMIE, oaked imperial stout. I had it before, but was craving more. Oh wow, how the flavor of vanilla oak, deep fruit maybe even a hint of lavender come out of it as it warms. This is a big one at 10%ABV so proceed with caution. I met a gentleman named Kevin. He was visiting Indianapolis for the first time. In town for business. I love to chat with first timers on what did you expect Indianapolis to be like and what have you noticed since you have been here. He ordered a Highland Scotch with a splash of water. He’s in town for the week for training. In town from Washington DC suburbs, married. Kevin was pleasantly surprised by how accessible the city was on foot as he had walked to MacNiven’s from Rock Bottom. I went into tour guide mode. Did you know that Indianapolis is #2 behind DC for a city with the most monuments? I had learned he was into beer and recommended Tomlinson Tap Room and a brewery visit at Sun King Brewing. We spoke about the history of Indianapolis, Universities, residential population. For those of you in Indianapolis, what are you excited to share about our fair city with people you meet at bars?

Another gentleman sat down next to me. He ordered a Lagavulin 16 year, neat. We were meant to be friends. He had his yellow note pad and was there to get some work done. I later learned he was making notes for a book. I learned that he was in the business of trees. Who would have thought, starting a business in trees? He travels to consult cities and companies on selecting the right trees. He’s in Indianapolis maybe two times a year. He started his business 8 years ago. Great conversation that just kept leaping into deeper thoughts on business and entrepreneurship. Passion. I could tell he liked to have conversations at bars. He filled my cup a little bit and I him. Would you like another he asked. Nah, I need to head home. What is your name? Mark. Well, Mark, it was a pleasure.

My oh my, how I love Conversations at bars.

Wisconsin vs Pennsylvania Brewery Showdown

Sunday, February 6, Pittsburg Steelers vs Green Bay Packers. Superbowl is one of my favorites, even though my Colts aren’t there this year, game day still gives me the opportunity to try, and entertain with, new brews from the two teams respected territories…

From Pennsylvania We Have:

Victory Brewing Company — Downingtown, PA

Prima Pils, crisp clean, delicious with German malts and German and Czech hops at 5.3% ABV.

Hop Devil, IPA, using German malts and whole flower American hops at 6.7%ABV.

Hop Wallop, heavenly aroma of pine, something to wallop over 8.5% ABV.

Golden Monkey, Belgian style with asian spices, at a whopping 9.5% ABV.

Weyerbacker — Easton, PA

Double Simcoe IPA, This is a double IPA using only Simcoe hops from the west coast, you are going to have hints of orange in this one! 9% ABV

Insanity Barleywine, aged in oak barrels. Rich malty goodness with hint of raisins and dates. Finishes with beautiful flavors of oak, vanilla and bourbon. 11.1%ABV

Yuengling — Pottsville, PA

America’s oldest brewery, established in 1829. Their signature ingredients are American six-row and imported two-row barley malt using cluster and cascade hops.

Troegs Brewery —  Harrisburg, PA

Current Seasonal: Nugget Nectar, an Imperial Amber with, you guessed it, Nugget Hops being very predominant in this one: American Bitter Hop blended with that of Warrior and Tomahawk hops. 93 IBUs 7.5% ABV

HopBack Amber : Noticing a lot more hoppy ambers in the market. Silver medal award winner at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) 55 IBUs 6% ABV

Troegenator Bock : Lager, best noted as liquid bread. Awarded the Silver at GABF. 25 IBUs 8.2% ABV

The Church Brew Works — Pittsburg, PA (must… check out… images)

Award winner: Pious Monk Dunkel

and with names like Pipe Organ Pale, is your curiosity still not stricken?

Sconi has a special place in my heart and come on now, it is the land of cheese:

Tyranena Brewing — Lake Mills, WI

Rocky’s Revenge, an American Brown ale where they age a portion in Bourbon barrels offering each batch a unique flavor.

Bitter Woman IPA, those folks from Wisconsin really like to leave a mark with their signature hop usage.

Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale, is the current seasonal with a subtle peaty flavor, I’m all in.

And if you really like your friends, you’ll chip in the extra bucks to bring something from the Brewer’s Gone Wild Series. Currently available from this series: Doubly Down N’ Even Dirtier Barrel Aged Chocolate Vanilla Double Stout, what’s not to love?

Ale Asylum — Madison, WI

I remember my first Satisfaction Jacksin, I made friends quick being an outsider in a new beer community, because I could hang with this ‘slightly punishing’ brew. Kind of like initiation. Over 3 pounds of Centennial hops per barrel at 8.25% ABV.

Other regular brews include Hopalicious and Ambergeddon.

Capital Brewing — Middletown, WI

Capital Dark – Munich Dunkel – a great session beer that is available year round.

Autumnal Fire, Doppelbock — I wonder if you can still get any of this? It is mighty delicious if you like a little hint of smoke in your brew. They even give you a nice brisket and bread recipe as part of their description on their website.

Capital Weizen Doppelbock walked away with a Bronze Medal from GABF. Did anyone get to try this?

O’So Brewing — Plover, WI

The Big O is one for the ladies a little lighter fair but extremely pleasing. With words like zippy, luminous and sunny makes for a happy day to be had.

Black Scotch is the current seasonal with peat malts, I have a personal craving going on here.

New Glarus — New Glarus, WI

Rasberry Tart, fruit beer or framboise is the one that craft beer passionate individuals will hound you to pick up if you announce your visit to Wisconsin. Happened to be awarded the Bronze at GABF.

ooo, has anyone snagged any Smoked Rye Ale, part of the breweries Unplugged Series?

Miller Brewing Company — Milwaukee, WI

Miller Light won the Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the American Style Lager or Light Lager Category (followed by Pabst with Silver and MGD with Bronze) — so this time only, bringing Miller to your Super Bowl Party…is allowed in my book ; )

And don’t worry for the non beer drinker’s I found a little something for you too. Have you heard of good ‘ol Sprecher’s Root Beer Soda? Made in Milwaukee.

Which of these had you had? Are you going to try February 6? What did I not mention here that you will be enjoying?