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Beer Buzz: Sun King and Chilly Water birthdays


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Good Reasons to hang in the neighborhood on June 27

Chilly Water celebrates its 1st Anniversary at 719 Virginia Ave. #105

Sun King marks its 6th Anniversary at 135 N. College Ave.

Skip DuVall (Chilly Water) chatted with NUVO

DuVall: We’re a music brewpub so we are planning a party with multiple musical acts including The Jenarita’s and Tim Brickley along with special tappings throughout the day. So many of you have made this a fantastic year so come out and celebrate with us. We also will be tapping a Vienna Lager and 5-string ESB along with the return of New Speedway IPA and Harmonika Hefeweizen. The new menu has been a big hit as has been the smoked brats on pretzel buns that we are serving on Cycology Sundays. As we grow we are using more and more locally sourced products from our friends at Smoking Goose and Claus' German Meat Market. With the summer Farmers Market getting into season we will be using many veggies from there as well.

NUVO: What are the best moments from your first year? The most fun?

DuVall: Dan has been making great beer, which makes life much easier. The live music has been a blast. Friday and Saturday music is free and starts at 8 p.m.

NUVO: What were the challenges?

DuVall: Like in so many things, expenses.

NUVO: How is the neighborhood bonding with Chilly Water and vice-versa?

DuVall: We have so many regulars from the neighborhood and have made a lot of friends.

NUVO: What's the beer that's trumping all the others? Second?

DuVall: One Hop Wonder IPA, Built To Last Pilsner.

NUVO: What are you hoping year two brings?

DuVall: Continued success as year one was a success with happy customers and employees. We’ve brewed over 40 styles of beer with many, many lagers included. In year two we will start to bring some of them back while still brewing more styles.

Learn more: 317-964 0518;


Sun King told NUVO:

Six years ago when Sun King Brewing Company began crafting Fresh•Local•Beer at the corner of Market Street and College Avenue hardly anyone noticed. Today the brewery has grown to become the second largest brewery in Indiana.

SKB VI will feature live music, Indy's best food trucks, a great line up of limited release beers on tap, plus the release of our most anticipated seasonal beer Grapefruit Jungle I.P.A., 4-10 p.m. in Sun King's south parking lot with Indy's own DJ Helicon setting the mood for the day and warming up the stage for Beech Grove native Brandon Whyde & The Devil's Keep, who will be opening for San Diego's dirty blues duo Little Hurricane. The headliner for the evening's festivities will be Austin,Texas-based band Jamestown Revival playing their self described 'Indie Rock with a Southern slant.'”

Dave Colt, Sun King Owner/Head Brewer, says Grapefruit Jungle was designed as a tribute to the birth of rock and roll and features three distinct hops “to mirror the three notes necessary to make a chord, which also happens to create an intense depth of flavor."

Daredevil's new H-Q "Birth-day" in Speedway

June 17 saw non-stop waves of people coming to 1151 Main St. For most it was the excitement of Daredevil moving into a larger, accessible location. For the Indiana brewing history oriented it was a momentous first building from-the-ground-up for Indiana’s new era of craft brewing. With NUVO staffer Casey Parmerlee and fellow craft beer writer Greg Kitzmiller, I was looking at the meticulous details that make Daredevil’s new home worth crowing about. For starters, it’s the nod to Speedway heritage with a “Yard of authentic bricks” at the entrance gate into the brewhouse, followed by the repurposed barn materials into the handcrafted bartop, tables and woodwork, along with other repurposed materials throughout. Casey gave thumbs up for the greenspace adjacent to the patio that features a raised stage. The brewhouse itself replicates a cathedral setting with highrise windows pouring in light that plays against majestic brewing tanks. Every brewery is meticulously clean—Daredevil’s architecture is clean-lined. I toasted with a superb Kolsch appropriately served in a tall glass. Brewers/founders Michael Pearson and Bill Ballinger recalled, “Five years ago we were featured as homebrewers in True Brew. All this has happened since.” Of course, honing skills and gaining industry recognition for consistent quality with a distinctive brand is a large part of the “success equation.”

Daredevil's yard of bricks
  • Daredevil's yard of bricks

Beer Education: Intro to Beer Judging at Black Acre Brewing

Girls Pint Out is hosting certified beer judge Sandy Cockerham June 24 at 7 p.m. for an introduction into the complex world of beer judging. The co-ed program cost for the beer samples and materials is $10 at the event.

“Sandy will walk us through the steps of judging beer and judge a flight of Kolsch and a flight of IPA beers. We also will taste and discuss common beer flaws,” said GPO president Amanda Wishin.

Meet Mario Gose [rhymes with ‘rose-uh’] beer at FLIXBrewhouse; follow it to Black Acre

Birthing a beer with a 1,000-year-old tradition became a quest for FLIXBrewhouse brewer Chris Knott. Partnering with Black Acre brewer Stephen ‘Steve’ Ruby resulted in the first of a new lineage to be tapped June 25 at 6 p.m. at FLIX, 2206 E. 116th St., Carmel.

“For a long time, I’ve really admired the Berliner weisse Black Acre brews,” said Chris. “Finally, Stephen said, “When you’re ready to brew that Gose, I’ll come brew it with you.” Stephen, Spencer [Mason, FLIX assistant brewer], and I got to talking about playing around with different side batches, and this dry hopped cask [firkin] will be the first variation, which was Spencer’s idea.

“Mario gose is an all but extinct style of German sour (Gose) that is being revived by American craft beer,” explained Chris. “The base beer has a soft, tart, refreshing acidity from a lactic acid producing bacteria (lactobacillus) during fermentation. This cask features a dry-hop treatment of a brand new hop called Wai-iti from New Zealand.


Wai-iti adds more depth with flavors of Mandarin orange and lime.

“The base recipe is pretty straightforward, but the souring process is where this style becomes challenging. We really don’t know how well these hops will compliment the gose. We just thought it sounded cool,” concluded Chris, making space for Steve Ruby to enter the conversation.

“Like Chris said, we had been talking about the souring technique for a while as it's a process that Justin [Miller, Black Acre co-owner/brewer] and I have been working on for the past few years with our Berliner Weisse, Ol' Fritz,” began Steve. “We originally were sour mashing in the mash tun with all of the grain. This was effective, but substantially more difficult than our current technique of kettle souring.”

In walking me through the traditional sour mashing process, Steve pointed out why he and Justin looked for a different brewing path to gain the same end. Sharing his step-by-step is more information than you normally need to know to enjoy a beer. The short story is that traditional Gose brewing takes a brewer away from every other style. Gose requires meticulous temperature control because you want to retain some qualities of sour you don’t want in other ales. On the other hand, if the temperature is too low, you can get problems you don’t want to deal with.

“While mashtuns can hold temperature pretty decently many like ours are not jacketed so maintaining temperature for multiple days is really difficult, so we had to rig up an immersion heating system to control the temperature. Which then leads us into the problems we experienced with traditional sour mashing,” explained Steve.

“Getting down to the proper temperature takes FOREVER. I love brewing, don't get me wrong, but when my day is taken up with watching something slooooooowly drop temperature, it's a little tedious. So, since sour mashing has some inherent flaws and difficulties, we tried a new technique: kettle souring, which is what Chris and I did.”

Gose gear of old - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Gose gear of old

You might need to go on a brewery tour or take time to talk with brewers about the brewing process so you understand the gist of what Steve is explaining here. They’re not inventing a new recipe rather developing a new approach to brewing the recipe. And that’s pretty exciting.

“Here, you mash in, sparge, and mash out like normal,” said Steve before moving on to the special steps for a Gose. “Once your wort is in the brew kettle, then do a quick pasteurization (180-185 for 10-15 minutes), chill, then pitch and seal up your brew kettle for several days. To be fair, the pasteurization is questionable in its necessity, theoretically everything is still dead from the mash, but it is a good guarantee that there's NOTHING there you don't want. While it would seem now that you're in a worse spot for cooling than before, we're actually doing pretty well since now we're able to chill through our heat exchanger and get down to temperature pretty quickly. Note, though, that we have not pitched any lacto yet, so there's no risk of infecting the heat exchanger. Once we got down to temp, we break everything down then purge with co2, pitch the lacto, and seal.

“Since now we're in a jacketed, heat controlled vessel, we can maintain temp incredibly easily. Like the traditional method, we let the lacto do its thing for a few days and then come back and bring to a boil and transfer out like normal. The vessel has contained all of the lacto and once we boil it, we're able to kill it and go about our day with a substantially reduced risk of infecting the rest of the brewery.

“Not only is this a way safer method for the brewery, much easier on all of us, we've also found that it produces a substantially cleaner flavor than the traditional method. My quality of life has increased substantially thanks to this technique.

Note Steve’s warning: “This technique shouldn't be used to make cheater sours. It's perfectly acceptable for a Berliner, but if you think that making a Belgian style red and kettle souring it makes a Flanders in three weeks, you are sorely mistaken."

A German Gose is not a beer you’re likely to encounter everyday, and in truth to fully appreciate the complexity is an acquired taste. A thousand years ago it started out as a top-fermented beer style-making it an ale—brewed with the naturally saline water from the Gose River in the town of Goslar about 100 miles west of Leipzig. Then as now Gose Beer imparted a distinctive taste profile and because it was spiced with coriander, it did not fit into the German Beer Purity Law. An exception was required.

Goslar, Deutschland - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Goslar, Deutschland

About a half dozen years ago homebrewer Mark Scheiss introduced me to the style, a variant in the Sours family. I did not like the taste. It took multiple tastings to recognize a Gose enhances distinct tasting sea foods such as smoked salmon or oysters on the half shell and is a fine way to quench thirst on a very hot and humid summer day.

For the record, a brewing pot can be a mash tun or a kettle. If you’re perplexed enough to care, when next you visit a brewery or brewpub ask the brewer to show you how they’re different and alike. Enjoying a well-made craft beer invites you into lifelong learning.

Expect more variant/one-off partnership batches to be available at both FLIX and Black Acre.

Click here to learn more about Gose.

For an earlier Beer Buzz story on FLIX check here.

For a recent Sarah Murrell feature on Steve Ruby, this is your link.

More New Brews

Bloomington Brewing Back Country Session India Pale Ale, in 16oz 4-pack cans, offers sweet aromas of melon and earthy pine leading into sweet lemon and orange flavors, along with a spicy earthiness and a ingering bitterness. A portion of each sale goes to the Indiana Forest Alliance to help protect Indiana's back country forests that have recently been opened up to commercial logging, despite strong public opposition.

Rock Bottom downtown taps Summer Honey Ale June 25, 6-7 p.m. Locally sourced honey adds to the smooth, quenching flavor of this summer brew. $1 from each pint sold on June 25 goes toward the annual Rock Bottom Christmas Miracle on Washington Street.

FLIXBrewhouse taps Merckx’s Juice, a Belgian IPA on June 30 for Tour de France. “Eddy Merckx is a Belgian cyclist who won 5 out of 6 Tours in the 70’s. He tested positive for doping three times, hence, the juice,” explained brewer Chris Knott.

Mad Anthony has new brew and entrée pairing menus at all MadBrew locations. Learn more at:


Bier Brewery has a new line up with a continental flair: Special “K” Kolsch, Weizengoot, Belgian Blonde, Dunkleweisen and PDG Pale.

Half Moon’s Twisted Kilt Scottish Ale is a "wee heavy" style of Scottish Ale that’s a "wee" bit strong and malty with a rich nutty and roasted character.

Upland Infinite Wisdom Strong Belgian Ale is now available in in four-pack bottles. Upland’s Hillbilly Haiku Fest tickets go on sale July 1, with all proceeds going to Sycamore Land Trust. Go to:

Winners for Indiana Brewing

Three Floyds again earns accolades from Zymergy Magazine readers who voted the Munster-based brewery no. 14 among the 25 top breweries nationwide and named Zombie Dust no. 7 in top ranked 50 beers.

RAM head brewer Shawn Byrnes won a Bronze at the North American Brewers Association [NABA] 21st Annual Beer Fest in Sandy Downs, Idaho for his Steel Cut Stout, an American oatmeal stout. This is Shawn’s fifth national award.

“I have brewed a couple variations of this beer prior to this batch,” said Shawn. For flavor and profile, my vision was for a bliss of oats balanced with caramel, roasted barley, and chocolate malts. It’s the kind of brew that would change someone’s mind about dark beer. From the traditional stout I took modern equipment and years of protocol to come up with something new age and exciting.” At 5.4% ABV, 40 IBU it’s a nice summer alternative. Find it on tap at RAM downtown. Shawn says it will be on nitro “in the future” for an even smoother mouthfeel.

“It is a team effort in the brewery to make anything happen,” observed Shawn.

Shawn’s previously winning brews include: World Beer Cup 2011 for Fruit Beer Raspberry Wheat, GABF 2011 Bronze with a Brown Porter, U.S. Beer Open 2011 for an Octoberfest and a German Pilsner.


Reviewing Brew Ha-Ha 20th Anniversary Event

June 20, 2015 it did not rain—yet, as one brewer quipped, “We poured.” Every corner of Indiana was represented along with a spread of breweries from across the U.S. It’s impossible to try even something from everyone, so we visit a lot and drink less so as to remember the people and the tastes.

Brugge anchored the north end of the promenade; Sun King was at the south end. I started with Brugge Tres Mauvaise Chaton, a cognac-barrel-aged sour ale imparting a smooth mouthfeel and floral bouquet, and 4 hours later wove my way to SKB’s Velour Soccer Mom, aged 7 months in a wine barrel, now imparting a ferocious pink hue, floral nose and raspberry mouthfeel opening to a world in your mouth with a balance of sour and sweet.

Everyone brings out their best brews. Many are standard go-to, like Bloomington Brewing’s Ruby Bloom. The RAM’s Strawberry Blonde introduced a different approach at 4.8%.

Newly opened breweries showcased a wide range of styles: Greenfield’s Wooden Bear shared Growl at the Moon American Wit, Big Paw Party and Hoppy Bear IPA — all fine to the style. Danny Boy Beer Works, at home in the Village of West Clay, brought Scottish Strong Ale and MacDaddy — both big and full-flavored.

Carmel-based FLIXBrewhouse offered Lemon Drop Hops brewed with 22 pounds of fresh ginger root making this brew distinctive and memorable on a hot, muggy day.

By this time it was my water break so I chatted with TwoDEEP’s expanded marketing team and owners of The Tap, opening late Summer/early Fall in Indy after being a Bloomington fixture for decades.

Ash&Elm gave a choice of Dry, Light or Sweet cider. Don’t be fooled by the ‘apple a day’ thing—these easy sipping brews sneak up at 6.5%.

Evil Czech Brewing reported good things about the expansion to Mishawaka. Their swag resembles baseball trading cards with brew stats. Bobblehead American Wheat felt just fine at 3.6 % ABV and 22 IBUs. Lucky Dog maintains its softer side as an American pale ale featuring grapefruity Citra hops. Chucky Imperial IPA steps up to 8% ABV and 83 IBUs with Polaris Simcoe Citra hops imbuing a layering of pineapple, orange and lemon peel.


Valpo-based Figure 8 reports long-time brewer Mike Lahti has moved westward to Temblor Brewing in Bakersfield, CA — look for a follow up story to come. Figure 8’s new brewing team continues their specialty, a full line of unpasteurized beers to retain full scope of vitamins, favonoids and antioxidants.

Plainfield-based Three Pints said adding a Martinsville location has been good. Lafayette-based People’s also reported their taproom makeover has been a success with regulars who most often bicycle over. Their consistently refreshing Mound Builder IPA is within reach at Jazz Kitchen so I chatted and went to Brooklyn Brewing for I Wanna Rye-It — pun intended, as is the nice rye warming effect with layers and layers of nutt, spicyness. As close you’ll get to rye whiskey without having to wear boots with spurs. O.K., Brooklyn is still home-place for me and I check them out to make sure quality remains top notch.

Fountain Square’s Unruly Session Rye is an Indiana version of rye. Fountain Square folks reported, “People from St. Louis are coming to us and Chilly Water as a destination trip.” Notebook entry: check on this for more to the story. Could music be a factor? Fountain Square Music Fest, July 1-4, pairs with a music line-up at Chilly Water. July 3 headliner is Ohio-based/world traveled Brian Ernst.

Richmond’s Noble Order brought a Scottish Ale that’s close to a Rauchbier with the smokiness morphing into a waft of cognac. Westfield’s Grand Junction offered Squirrel Stampede Brown Ale with the slogan, “The excitement is in brewing.” I offered them my squirrels. They said they had a sufficiency.

Flat12’s Sometimes Dead is Better is a thirst quenching wheat raspberry sour. All around me people were busy with selfies and tweets. Admittedly, the hue is perfect for showcasing the commemorative 20th Anniversary Brew-ha-ha tasting glass.

Gonna party like it's 1996.
  • Gonna party like it's 1996.

Here's more on Brew-ha-ha’s origins from a faithful reader

Homebrewer and Certified Beer Judge Paul Edwards emailed NUVO:

re: your Beer Buzz article about the Brew-Ha-Ha

The folks at the Phoenix Theatre wouldn’t know this factoid. I got the event all the beer.

I remember Shannon Callahan from the meeting we had during the formative days of getting the Brew-Ha-Ha off the ground.

I’m the one that talked to all the breweries and distributors and convinced them to provide beer for the event. Bonnie Simmons, the wife of Tom Pericak, who I knew from homebrewing, was on the board of the Phoenix at the time and she asked me to talk to the craft breweries of the day. She knew I was well connected with the beer community.

I remember having to serve the beer for the Broad Ripple Brewpub because it was the birthday of BRBP’s brewer Kevin Matalucci and he spent the day with his family.

I also remember that the now long-defunct Indianapolis Brewing Company didn’t want to participate in the Brew-Ha-Ha that year. The owners were extremely politically conservative and didn’t like the subject matter of some of the performances at the Phoenix. But I talked them into it, as I recall. Their name is on the poster as a sponsor, so I guess I was successful. Alcatraz [Brewing] also participated.

I can’t say for sure with whom I talked at Monarch Beverage. I’m thinking it might have been Jim Schembre. I think Schembre Beverage and Monarch Beverage had merged by then.

The original Brew-Ha-Ha was June 15, 1996, and admission was $15 in advance and $18 at the gate, according to the poster.

I still have an original promotional poster for the event taped up in my basement.

More Tastings:

June 24: Kahn’s free hoppy beers tasting, expect about 30 choices; 6-8 p.m.

June 26: Crown Liquors downtown, World Class Beer tasting, 4-7 p.m.

CORRECTION to last week's Beer Buzz: we confused Brewery Tours and Indy Brew Bus. A thousand pardons!

Founders of Sanctuary Brewing at 140 S. College Ave. are also founders of Brewery Tours of Indianapolis. More here.

Indy Brew Bus, headquartered in Zionsville, is owned by Megan Bulla. More here.


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