Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Category: Beer Blogger’s Conference (Page 2 of 7)

Indiana City Brewing Company

Samples poured for us at the Tomlinson Tap room. (Indiana City Beer, courtesy photo)

On our fist evening in Indianapolis, the beer bloggers went to the Tomlinson Tap Room (on the second floor of a really cool open marketplace) and were provided with beer samples and food. While we ate and chatted amongst ourselves, we also got to meet some interesting locals to talk about beer. One of the people I met was Ray Kamstra, who was holding a tray of samples, and walking around talking about a “soon to be born” brewery called Indiana City Beer Company.

Currently working to get funded on Kickstarter, this group is focusing on the local beer scene. I got to try two of their brews, and both were very solid. The oatmeal stout was nice and roasty, and the pale ale was a high-quality brew, and both were above 7% ABV, which I found unusual and interesting. I really hope that these guys do well in this exploding beer market, and I think they can, especially with their local roots. In a very savvy move, the brewer was passing out information not only about the beers, but about the Kickstarter efforts.

Shadow Boxer oatmeal stout [ 7.0% ABV | 44 IBU | 55 SRM ]
This is a black, full-bodied ale with mild roasted grain aroma, coffee flavor and moderate spicy hop bitterness. A diverse combination of flavors all below a creamy brown head.

Beyond the Pale pale ale [ 7.2% ABV | 59 IBU | 5.4 SRM ]
A twist on the Belgian style, this beer has higher than traditional hop flavor and aroma and alcohol content. Specialty spices add natural citrusy-pine flavor and aroma to this well-balanced ale.

I love seeing people pursue their dreams, so I hope that you’ll check these guys out soon. Good luck Indiana City, we’re rooting for you!


Lafayette Brewing Company

This post is part of the ongoing coverage of the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference. For more information on the conference, please visit:

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.

Goose Island Beer Dinner

This post is part of the ongoing coverage of the 2012 Beer Blogger’s Conference. For more information on the conference, check out

After a memorable visit to Goose Island’s production facility, I was even more excited to attend the beer dinner at Goose Island Clybourn’s brewpub. We were brought to a seating area with black tablecloths and fancy silverware. I was told that the Goose Island pubs are known for good pub food, but not ‘fancy’ fare, so this was a pleasant surprise. I sat at a table with a few Chicogans so that I could talk to them a bit more about their city.

Brewmaster Brett Porter was on hand to give us an introduction into what they do and to tell us about the barrel aged beers that Goose Island has in their portfolio. Education Coordinator Suzanne Wolctott then walked us through each course. Their stories and knowledge were great, and I think that I can safely say we were big fans of them both by the end of the evening.

The courses & beers:

Goose Island Lolita
Trout and Tomoatoes: Rushing Waters trout, Iron Creek heirloom tomoatoes, local chevre and balsamic vinegar.

After a brief huddle at our table about whether to eat the fish and its skin (the verdict was yes), we dove in to this beautiful course. I tasted the tomatoes first, and they were succulent and delicious. I was surprised that the goat cheese was on the trout, but it was a fantastic match. The Lolita was bright pink, tinted by raspberries, and its tartness went with the vinegrette very well. I’ve never had Lolita before, and I have to say it was amazing.

Goose Island Matilda
Pork Belly and Pasta: Gunthorp Farms Pork Belly, House-made Pappardelle, Rosemary, Jus, Camembert Foam.

Not one to ever turn down pork belly, seeing this get put down in front of me made me instantly smile. The pork belly was well cooked, and the somewhat dry and sweet notes of Matilda cut through the fat of the dish very well. I wasn’t as much of a fan of the pasta, but it was a very nice (and unexpected) pair. I am very familiar with Matilda (as I mentioned in the last post, it was something I’d always have to ask people in other states to get) and was really surprised by its versatility with food. I may have to incorporate it more into my dinner experiments in the future.

Goose Island Juliet
Leg of Lamb: Slagel Farms Lamb, pork fat poached fingerling potatoes, haricot vert, jus.

Now come on, seriously, you’re spoiling me here. I will have lamb any day of the week so this twas just heaven. Perfectly cooked, lightly seasoned, and again, a great pair for the beer. Juliet is a rye beer made with Michigan blackberries, and aged at least 14 months. It was also reddish, and had a great tartness to it. In this course I fell in love with the lamb, but enjoyed the beer long after the course was over.

Goose Island Madame Rose
Chocolate and Cherries: Flourless chocolate cake, seedling cherries, black dog malted gelato.

You know when you see a cake that looks so rich that you’re almost afraid to take a bite? This one looked like it was going to be heavy and sticky, but was neither. Absolutely delicious chocolate and a slight hint of dark cherries made this blissful. Our table had a “moment” where we all put a forkful in our mouths and were stuck speechless, eventually putting the fork down and just staring at each other in bliss and delight. With the cherries and the Madame Rose? Even better. It was heavenly.

All in all this was one of the better beer dinners I’ve ever attended. There wasn’t a missed course, and the welcoming atmosphere was obvious. Great job, all!

Note: I would like to thank the Goose Island Clybourn staff, chefs, brewers and everyone that helped out with this event. I know the work that had to have been involved, and I think that it shows how much you care about the beer and the food. Cheers and thank you! Yours, The Beer Babe

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