Brew HaHa (Photo by Stephen Mariani)
Last Saturday's Brew HaHa was a great success. We had a little trouble with our keg of Out of the Woods at first, but the problem was remedied, and everything else ran smooth. Our first keg to kick was Ghost, a farmhouse ale. That fact, along with many comments received, proved it to be our most popular, followed closely behind by New Day, a wheat ale fermented entirely with Brett. On the other side of the style spectrum, Nocturne, our coffee porter, appealed to just as many folks in attendance. It felt great to be pouring along side friends we haven't seen in a while, and even cooler to be pouring between Virtue, Off Color and 18th Street. Earlier in the day when we were setting up, I chose an empty table, not realizing we'd be located amongst breweries (and cideries) we have a huge amount of respect for. The venue filled quickly as is the case with most beer festivals; attendees don't usually mess around by getting there late, understandably so.
Neither of us made it out from behind our table much that afternoon except for Matt who fetched us more water whenever we ran out. So unfortunately we didn't get a chance to sample much. Out of the beers sampled from the other featured brewers, however, my personal favorite was a bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout clocking in at over 13% abv called Rye or Die from Big Dicks Brewing. We've known Bucky and Kyle for a few years now, and they've always brewed high gravity beers. This one in particular was outstanding. I mean a legitimate FOBAB contender in my opinion. I always enjoy pouring our beer at these events. We don't get much criticism other than to say a person enjoyed this beer and that beer, but it's certain comments that truly resonate. We left feeling appreciated and supported by many, which reassures Matt and I that we're indeed on the right path. Then, that following Monday, we're contacted by DNAinfo in search for an interview. Totally unexpected, and frankly, surprising given our status at the moment—brand new name; haven't shared our beer like we did last Saturday since August 2012; etc. However, we weren't going to pass that opportunity up either.
Now that our debut is behind us, we've been able to take a deep breath. Much of our focus is back to brewing, and I'm looking forward to adding wort to fermenters. This weekend, I'm going to clean equipment and get a large batch of kombucha tea brewed. The next few beers on schedule include a Flanders Red and a Kentucky Common, both of which will see time in our oak casks.
One last thing to note... our friend Drew Fox and 18th Street Brewery was named Best New Brewer in Indiana by Ratebeer just the other day. That's a huge deal and very well earned. Congratulations, Drew.