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Beer Buzz: Beer at the Fair (sort of)

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The Brewers' Guild booth in the DuPont Pavilion at Indiana State Fair has been getting statewide visitors whose acquaintance with breweries and brewpubs is heartwarming. Indiana craft, boosting local economies, might be a mere 3 percent of the market share - the megabrewers still take their 97 percent of sales out of state. But drinkers are increasingly attending to the quality of what they're drinking, and new brewpub and brewery openings are expected in 2013 and 2014. Even if newcomers are in our midst, Brewers of Indiana Guild director Lee Smith reminds us it's always satisfying to revisit old standards: "I cook with beer, and my personal favorite is Dirty Helen from Barley Island absolutely makes my French Onion Soup. We throw it in chili too."

August has historically been a good month to open a craft brewery in Indiana. Lafayette Brewing Company is celebrating its 20th anniversary with events Aug. 15-21. Look for new brews and homebrew contest winners along with community highlights and music. Marking their 15th anniversaries are Upland and Mad Anthony, which have both recently opened new sites to expand the reach of their brews: Upland Tasting Room at East 86th St. in Carmel and Mad Anthony Lakeview Ale House in Angola. Upland's historically inspired Champagne Velvet proved its mettle with a Silver Medal at this year's State Fair/Brewers' Guild Competition.

Brewmaster Omar Castrellon credits assistant brewer Keely Thomlinson for Thr3e Wise Men's newly tapped Tasty Waves California Common. It's a richly flavored Amber with ample malts yielding layers of toasted and caramel against the bitterness and flavor from the woody Northern Brewer hops.

Floyd Rosenbaum and Jeff Mease at Bloomington Brewing Company estimated the late July harvest from their hops garden yielded about 45 pounds of hops. They plan to utilize the hops to create the annual Homegrown Hops installment. Stay tuned for specifics.

EVENTS

Aug. 14

Triton Tap Takeover, 5-10 p.m., at Copper Still (917 Conner St, Noblesville)

Sun King Flagon Slayer tapping (official beer of Gen Con), 6-11 p.m., on Georgia Street in downtown Indy

Aug. 15

Daredevil Brewing Pint Night, 5:30-9 p.m., at Lino's Coffee (1201 Main St. Speedway)

Aug. 16

2nd Annual Taste of the World Timmy Trivia Night at Athenaeum Theater; featuring the Second Helpings culinary class serving international cuisine paired with Flat 12 brews; $40 per person or $300 for a team of eighht; reserve at timmyglobalhealth.org

Aug. 17

Hops 4 Hope, benefitting the Hancock Hope House, 4-8 p.m., at American Legion Post 119 (275 Center St., Greenfield); $35 general admission, $10 designated driver at 467-4991 or hops4hope.net

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