Thursday, April 16, 2009

Combining my passions...

I am combining some of my passions today. I arrived in Indianapolis this morning for the 2009 Museums and the Web conference. I manage technology projects for a museum so this is my yearly opportunity to learn from a wide range of international museum technologists that are working on some really cutting edge stuff. But if you are reading this on my beer blog you probably don't care too much about that. Don't worry, I will get to the point.

This is my first time in Indianapolis so my first order of business was to scout out the good beer joints. As always I checked out the beerfly listings on beeradvocate. I wasn't very impressed with my immediate options. Rockbottom, Alcatraz, and Ram brewing companies all get average ratings. I was looking for something a touch better and found a listing for a German restaurant called The Rathskellar...of course what else would it be called. One pretzel, a rye roll, a jaegerschnitzel (breaded, pan fried pork with a rich wild mushroom gravy) salad, potato salad, sauerkraut, and an Ettaler Curator Dopplebock (great name for a beer on a museum conference!) and I was quite satiated. I thought about an angioplasty for dessert, but I surprisingly felt ok.

Baseball is another passion of mine and I took care of that by heading to an Indianapolis Indians baseball game. They are the Pittsburgh Pirates International League affiliate (founded in 1887). Tom Gorzelany was pitching and Andrew McCutchen is their star center fielder. You will be hearing about him in the next couple of years if you are a baseball fan. But I digress, there is more beer in the story.

Earlier in the day, during my lunch break, I slipped into a local package store and picked up three bottles from the infamous Three Floyds Brewing Company (Munster, IN). Their beer is not easy to find in Massachusetts so I was very excited to pick some up. Here is a brief review of their Broo Doo Harvest Ale:

This is an American IPA with a 5.5% abv. It pours a luscious autumn gold color with a thick 1/3 inch white head. It carries a wonderful piney hop scent with touches of sugar covered grapefruit. The first sip is incredibly thirst quenching and ridiculously delicious. The obvious hops are balanced by a rich caramel malt flavor that sits on the palate like a granny smith caramel apple--but again, it is balanced by a hop wallop of bitterness. This is a well crafted beer, it only takes one sip to realize that. I even think there are faint touches of milk chocolate on the malt profile and certainly dried fruit, maybe apricots and a touch of orange zest is more complex than expected. This stuff is amazingly smooth and it goes down way too quickly. Now I can understand all the fuss about Three Floyds. This is an outstanding beer that ranks about 4.6 on my 5.0 scale. I look forward to cracking the other two in the next couple of days.

I topped the night off by learning that my beloved Boston Bruins took the first of their 16 games needed for their date with Lord Stanley. Did I mention that this was a good day?