Big Woods Brewing (bigwoodsbeer.com, 60 Molly Lane, Nashville) has become a destination for step-above brewpub fare and compatible craft beer, whether you're meandering the shops or heading to the T.C. Steele State Historic Site.
Since opening in 2009, Big Woods has integrated itself into the life of the surrounding community, using seasonal, locally accessed ingredients and promoting area artists, craftspersons - and musicians, with nightly live shows. Last week we stopped for a tour of the newly renovated "Big Woods Village" housing the expanded brewery, an inspired pizza parlor, the Big Woods Gallery and artisan shops.
At the original timberframe brewhouse - the germ from which the mighty Big Woods Complex has grown - chef Emily was featuring a sandwich with grilled asparagus atop a succulent grilled chicken breast and drizzled with a zesty lemon dill sauce. With a side of bountiful rice casserole or kicked-up slaw the serving was big enough to share, especially with an appetizer of BW's Cheddar cheese dip with scallions and a cup of the soup of the day - delicately creamed fresh mushroom chunks topped with mozzarella cheese.
Testing compatibility with house brews, the Wheat and Blonde blended while the Hare Trigger IPA and Busted Knuckle contrasted. Busted Knuckle's rich complex flavor and smooth, slightly sweet finish remains Big Woods's best selling brew. It's bottled in 22-ounce bombers and is available in Indianapolis at Crown Liquor stores.
Congrats to Easley Winery for garnering 9 gold medals, 1 double gold medal, and 2 Best of Class honors at six separate wine competitions in the last 5 months. As Indianapolis's original location for homebrew supplies, over the past 38 years Easley has provided a viable impetus to Indiana's artisan beverage industry.
A New Albanian
New Albanian's 10th anniversary celebration includes a celebration for Hew Ainslie (1792-1878), New Albany's first-known commercial brewer, with the newly formulated Scotch de Ainslie Belgian-style Wee Heavy. Current brewers David Pierce and Ben Minton also re-created Stumblebus, originally brewed by Michael Borchers, NABC's founding brewer.
The daily buzz
The Red Room, 6335 Guilford Avenue, Sampling Triton brews in 12-oz bottles.
Sahm's Place, 2411 E. 65th St., 8:30 p.m.Trivia Night with Triton brews.
New on tap
New Albanian: HellBock, a Helles Weizenbock, is a 'golden wheat bock' with a banana and clove nose and a spicy finish.
Bier: Good Pils, Cascadian Light Ale, Weizengot, Kolsch, Bier de Garde, Redrum, Witbier; and on the walls, new art by Stepahnie Hartranft.
Triton: Fieldhouse Wheat, Four Barrel Brown, Magnificent Amber, Deadeye Stout, Railsplitter IPA and Sin Bin Belgian Pale.
Oaken Barrel: American Wheat and Uberweizen.