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Beer Buzz: Treeter takes over in Broad Ripple

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Lafayette Brewing Company.
  • Lafayette Brewing Company.

Treeter comes on

On Feb. 20, Broad Ripple Brewpub showcased new brewer John Treeter's inaugural brews - Longshanks English Brown Ale and Wallace's 70 Shilling traditional Scottish ale - to general acclaim by regulars who appreciate real ale. Publican John Hill presided with pride.

The brewpub's fifth brewer, Treeter steps into a operation that's as close as to 'old time' as you'll get. Having come from a close to state-of-the-art set-up at Oaken Barrel with a team of brewers, going solo at the brewpub both intrigues and challenges Treeter.

"It's just me, creator of the living [brewing] museum," he quipped. "It's the oldest original system in the state - no automation. It's by smell for timing, working from a feel. It's fascinating, the very traditional way of doing things."

In the process of "making himself at home," Treeter found a notepad left by the brewpub's first brewer, Gilbert Alberding, with "recipes from way back." Expect the brewpub's English line up to be augmented by brews drawing on Treeter's brewing heritage.

The Kid

We stopped at Chatham Tap Feb. 28 for Bloomington Brewing Company Night featuring BBC's Ruby Bloom Amber, Rooftop IPA, Rye IPA and Ole Floyd Belgian Dark Strong - along with the new specialty release, The Simcoe Kid IPA.

This single-hop IPA immediately befriends with its amber hue and a huge whiff of orange, passionfruit and earthy aromas. Its nicely balanced medium-body with a blend of special pale, caramel and Munich malts blended with Simcoe opens with sweet citrus flavor followed by a smooth finish and dry pine bitterness for a smooth experience at 6.8% and 65 IBUs.

Warmer Winter in Lafayette

Lafayette Brewing Company's annual Winter Warmer is as big in heart as it is in barley wines and strong ales. Since its inception the event has generated over $35,000 in proceeds to endow the Laura Williams Memorial Scholarship. Seventeen Indiana breweries joined LBC with over 50 beers to sample.

Within the two-hour limit Beer Buzz had time for Black Swan's (Plainfield) perfectly balanced Belgian Quad, the powerful Stealth, rich American Brown Ale, chocolate-like Porter, spicy Saison and multi-flavored Trappist; Figure 8's (Valparaiso) equally pleasing spicy Lost Saint Saison Ale, Rye Knot Baltic-style rye ale with a blend of 7 grains, and Date Night, an utterly complex black barleywine.

Also on the bill was Sun King's 666 - in a word, wow! - and Crown Brewing's Pecan Coffee Porter. Lafayette Brewing Company's run-down included the flavorful Big Boris Barley Wines 2011 and 2012; a sparkling ruby Scottish Ale; a crisp, refreshing Irish Red; and a very drinkable Amber.

All those samples were teasers of sorts, enticements to visit breweries to sample the full scope of their wares. While in Lafayette we also stopped at People's to scope out their planned expansion to increase brewing capacity and add another "green" element to their pub food fare. More news to come.

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