This post is part of the ongoing coverage of the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference. For more information on the conference, please visit: www.beerbloggersconference.org
A little tired, a little loopy, a bus of about 40 beer bloggers rolled through the countryside of Indiana, joking around and staring out the window at cornfields. The bus, funded by Goose Island Brewing Company, served to take us from the pre-conference excursion in Chicago to the conference content in Indiana. While I was very sad to leave the Windy city, I knew that more adventures lay on the road ahead.
As we pulled off the highway in Lafayette Indiana, the characteristic shape of a midwest town began to form. The tight corners were stressful for the bus driver, but we soon rolled up to a flat faced brick building with a green awning.
Lafaytte Brewing Company opened in 1993, making it one of the breweries to survive that craft beer drought in the 1990s. Walking in, there was a great little downstairs pub, but we were brought to a really cool space upstairs. Obviously an old building, the wood beams and open room was just an amazingly interesting atmosphere.
We were provided with pulled pork, beef brisket, which was the perfect cure for some of us with the ‘morning after blues’ from the previous night’s pub crawl. My two favorite brews that I sampled were the Tippecanoe Common Ale (hoppy and summery, just hit the spot and went great with the spicy barbequeue) and the Black Angus Oatmeal Stout (the roastiness was just at the right level to go with the lunch).
As a special treat to finish the meal, we were given a chocolate truffle made by a local chocolatier paired with their aged barleywine, an unbelievable match. I’m learning that the sweet sting of a barleywine and hops is great for cutting through the fat and richness of chocolate, and at the same time the chocolate saves you from the alcohol of high gravity beer. Nice job, and, writing this a week later, I really wish I had a bit of that barleywine to sip right now. It was that good.
If you ever find yourself thirsty in Indiana, I highly recommend taking whatever detour you need to to stop here. It may not be a brewery that a lot of folks are familiar with, but you don’t have to have a big name to make great beer. Thank you to everyone at Lafayette for your hospitality, I hope that fate will bring me back to you again sometime.