Blaming the beer

Sep 10th, 2014 | by Eat Drink Indy | Craft beer, News

By Will Carroll

Sportswriter and EatDrinkIndy columnist WIll Carroll

Sportswriter and EatDrinkIndy columnist WIll Carroll

Twenty pounds.

That’s a good phrase if you’re buying a Brew Dog beer, but it’s not what you want to see on your scale. At least, if it’s pounds you’ve added, not lost.

That’s what I was looking down at recently, forcing a quick re-assessment. Man, I had been drinking more beer lately. Were those calories and all the carbs that came with it sitting there looking at me, at about half the weight of a sixth barrel, firmly around what I’d much rather was a six pack?

To some extent, yes. The phrase “beer belly” exists for a reason. But is there a way to balance the enjoyment of great craft beers with a healthy lifestyle.

It’s easy to say moderation, but it’s easier still to sit on the couch with a beer and a pizza. Think of some of your best beer memories. Where were you —at a restaurant or a barbecue? Did you have several? Was it a tour of a craft brewery or maybe you were at a game with your friends? The beer is a part of it — maybe not the most important part, but it adds to the enjoyment.

I’m not one of those people who needs a beer to have fun, but for me, it’s one of those things that I really love. But to keep enjoying it, it’s better to be healthy. That means more moderation. It means fewer random beers just because I’m sitting down and watching TV. It means being focused. If I’m going to drink less beer, I’m only going to drink good ones, dang it.

Yes, craft beer can be a part of a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. I’m not going to stop tasting and enjoying beers just because I’m going to get down to my goal weight. (And I am!) Healthy Will should have lots more years to enjoy the beers.

***

The southside has already seen Mashcraft joining Oaken Barrel making and serving fine beers, but there will be two new-ish operations opening in September. Tiny Planetary Brewing in Greenwood will open up a tap room, expanding its options a bit, though it will still be constrained by its small brewing operation. It’s an advantage in ways, allowing Planetary to iterate rapidly and turn over stock quickly.

On September 20th, Taxman Brewing will open up its tap house even farther south in Bargersville. While I had only had its flagship La Maison saison previously, I recently had the chance to taste Taxman’s wheat beer and discovered that I really missed out on a great summer beer. It was light and citrusy without being sweet. Seriously, this one is one I want to try again just to make sure it really was as good as I thought it was!

With Quaff On continuing its expansion, the southside is starting to assert itself as a solid beer area. Watching three of the brewmasters sharing beers at Hal’s Las Vegas a week ago tells me that there’s going to be more coming and probably not from just these.

***

HopCat continues to exceed even the highest expectations. While new restaurants with novel themes can burn out, there’s no sign of that going away. There’s certainly no shortage of beers for their 100+ taps. While I haven’t been yet, every report I’ve heard is glowing. I’d love to hear your take on this. How does HopCat stack up to other local places and can this concept grow the Indy beer scene or do you think it will begin to dominate it?

***

I don’t do reviews. I’ve said that here before, but there’s another reason why that principle is a good one. I’ve tried a couple of the recent openings and in a couple cases, it’s simply not fair to judge a first or second batch of beer. Even if the brewmaster is well established, even if the operation is well thought out, there are still a lot of little details to work out. A book is never finished and neither is a brewery.

Even mature breweries make constant changes. There are very few places that get it right out of the box and even then, there are likely to be bumps along the way. I don’t pretend that I have the power to make or break a brewery with a review, a la Frank Bruni, but I also believe that discouraging a new brewery isn’t the best use of my time.

So yeah, there have been a couple places where I said, “Nope, not there yet.” It doesn’t mean I won’t be back. It doesn’t mean they don’t make good beer. It doesn’t mean they won’t make good beer. Sometimes, it just means I haven’t actually been there. Yet.

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