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Homebrew Clubs

1st Inaugural Homebrew Palooza

Circle City Zymurgy, in partnership with Indiana On Tap, is excited to announce the date of the inaugural Indiana Homebrew Palooza–Indiana’s LARGEST exclusive homebrew festival and celebration for craft beer fans. 

The 2019 event will feature UNLIMTED SAMPLES from over 12 different Indiana homebrew clubs (and an estimated 50+ homebrewers) spanning all the way from Evansville, to Fort Wayne, and everywhere in between. The event will also showcase great live music, local food trucks (Rusted Silo BBQ & Las Tortugas Mexican Cuisine), games and more. 

The event offers a unique opportunity for Indiana’s biggest craft beer fans and supporters to come sample one-of-a-kind homebrewed beer that you’ve never tried before and may never get to enjoy again. While attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite beer, this event is truly more of a celebration and appreciation of the Indiana homebrewing community, their craft, and their unique beers. 

The event will take place in the massive and ideal outdoor lot next to Grand Junction Brewing Co.’s Tap Room in Westfield. Attendees are encouraged to visit the tap room before, during and after the event.

There is also an option for online ticket buyers to purchase a new (first year) Indiana On Tap Tasting Society Marketplace membership for only $5 more when purchasing a VIP or GA ticket. Normally $59.95/year by itself, this annual craft beer membership & rewards program is the largest and most unique of its kind in the state and good for over $1,200 toward the purchase of craft beer and more at 145+ Indiana breweries and locations. Offers are redeemed via an easy-to-use mobile app. Ticket buyers who choose this option will receive a separate email within 24 hours AFTER they receive their ticket order with their promo code to purchase/redeem their new membership for just $1. (The add-on price to the ticket is $4, plus the $1 at time of redemption = $5). To learn more about this amazing and unique membership program and the substantial savings, please visit www.TastingSocietyMarketplace.com. 

Tickets are now on sale with an opportunity to save big by buying online, in advance.

Early Bird Tickets (Available until May 1st): GA – $25 | DD – $10

Advance Sale Tickets (Available from May 1st – June 22nd): GA – $30 | DD – $10

Gate Sales (Available Day of Event if Tickets Are Still Available): GA – $40 | DD – $10

Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Boone County Habitat for Humanity and their “House That Beer Built” initiative! 

This is a 21+ event. All attendees must show a valid photo I.D. at the gate. You must be 21 years or older to attend—this includes designated drivers. ALL TICKET SALES ARE FINAL. The event will be held rain or shine.

Participating Homebrew Clubs (with more to be announced soon):

Circle City Zymurgy – Indianapolis | Bloomington Hop Jockeys – Bloomington | Sunblest Brewers Association – Fishers | Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association – Evansville | Foam Blowers of Indiana – Indianapolis | Midwestern Order of Nin-Kasi (M.O.N.K.) – Beech Grove | Illiana Beer Rackers Union (IBRU) – Highland | Lilly Homebrew Club – Indianapolis | Marshall County Brew Club – Plymouth | Dubois County Suds Club – Jasper | Tippecanoe Homebrewers Circle – Lafayette | Indiana Brewers Union (IBU) – Indianapolis

Guide: Obtaining Your Permit to Pour at Festivals

Want to pour at a festival? Great, its a lot of fun! There’s just a few quick steps that you need to do about a month in advance. Although everyone’s ID is checked at the entrance, you do still need a permit to legally be able to pour beer. It just takes filling out a simple form, a little bit of money, and then a few weeks to process. Here’s how to get started.

First, go to this link and click continue under the steps for a new registration. Fill out the form completely. Everything here is pretty self explanatory. Once you fill out the form, sign in with the login you just made. Click initial application on the left side of the screen and fill it out as follows:

A few notes come up before proceeding. They are as follows:

  • Completion of Server Training is required within 120 days of issuance of this permit. You will have the opportunity to complete Server Training online after this application is submitted.
  • An Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Check of your BMV driving record is preformed on every application. Please allow 24 – 48 hours for the check to be preformed before your application is complete. You can use the receipt from this online application for 60 days to work until your permit arrives in the mail.
  • The total fee for this application is $18.87 ($15.00 Application Fee + $3.87 in processing fees.)
  • You will need to print your receipt at this time. If you do not print your receipt at this time, you will not be able to print it at a later time.
  • For additional information, please visit the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission web page.

Once you proceed again, just confirm your mailing address and hit continue. There is a set of 10 very easy questions that you need to answer. Fill these out and then continue. There will then be a final page that says “Pay Fees and Submit”. Proceed with paying for the permit. As stated above, print out your receipt and you can use this for 60 days or until the permit arrives in the mail.

Now that you have paid for your permit, you need to complete your server training within 120 days. You can start your training here. Simply sign in using the last four numbers of your SSN and your birth date. The training is very simple but can take upwards of 30-60 minutes so be sure to pay attention and have the time for it. Be sure to print out the certificate of completion and keep it in a safe place.

That’s it! Now it is just a waiting game. It typically takes about 2-4 full weeks to receive the actual permit in the mail. There really is no communication between when you pay for the permit and receive it, just a confirmation of payment and then you receive it in the mail so be patient! In the meantime you can use your receipt if you printed it out.

Happy pouring!

Circle City Zymurgy at Union Jack’s 5th Annual Pumpkin, Cider, and Fall Beer Festival

Man, what a day! Circle City Zymurgy had a great time at Union Jack’s Pumpkin, Cider, and Fall Beer Festival. The event was completely sold out and had about 650 attendees. There were around 40 different vendors pouring delicious beverages with a total of 76 different, unique beers being poured.

CCZ had a great presence at the festival. Along with myself, other attending members were Steve Kent, Wes Martin, Jeremiah Tyson, and Allen Brown. We brought 5 kegs of homebrew. Wes brought his “Great Horse Pumpkin Ale”, Jeremiah his “Jack ‘O’  Porter (served on nitro), Steve brought his PSL – also on nitro, Allen had his near 15% mead, and we had Jonathan Marting’s Pumpkin Roll Ale.

In the end, we poured a total of 25 gallons of homebrew. Everyone that came up for a taste wanted to try something different and I believe we had a great variety for everyone to have something to enjoy  (I’m pretty confident in saying that based on the constant line we had!)

There were a total of 9 homebrewers that attended and we were all right next to each other. As you could imagine, we had great conversations discussing the hobby we love. This year, Union Jack also held a homebrew competition with the winner receiving a $100 gift card to Union Jack. A big congratulations is in order for our member Jeremiah for getting 2nd place for his Jack ‘O’ Porter!

The festival itself was a great time. We really could not have asked for a better day. The weather was perfect and really gave an exact feeling of what Fall is all about. As soon as you walked in you were given a choice of two neat glasses that you get your beer poured into. The festival had plenty of great food to keep you going during your beer trek. A few vendors such as Indiana on Tap were there as well supporting the hobby and offering free or discounted offers.

Elysian Brewing, based out of Seattle, Washington, had a great presence as well. They had their own little area where 6+ of their beers were served. Each of theirs had its own unique style and taste as well. With a big name like Elysian, I definitely had to try them all.

In conclusion, this was a very prosperous event for Circle City Zymurgy. I heard multiple attendees surprised that our beer was homebrewed, expecting it to be made at a professional brewery. I also had a few people walk up to me after seeing my shirt and asking where our beer could be purchased. You can’t get a much better compliment than that. This will definitely have to be an annual event for CCZ!

Wait For It… (Winterfest Recap)

‘Twas a blustery day in early February, when the Brewers of Indiana Guild chose to hold their 9th Annual Winterfest at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  Who am I kidding?  It was FREAKING COLD, thus the aptly named Winterfest.  This year sported a selection of more than 100 Indiana micros and guest breweries from the Midwest, all pouring between two and six different styles to a sellout crowd of 6,000 thirsty Hoosiers and HooYaWannaBees!  I overheard various guests mention their travel from nearby Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, and even as far away as Honolulu, Hawaii!  I myself Uber’ed from the Residence Inn on the Canal in downtown Indy.  That in and of itself should have been a sign of foreboding as the driver and I neared the intersection of 38th and Fall Creek PARKway.  The parkway was a parking lot!  The fairground was a spectacle of Biblical proportion.  Like Pharaoh’s army chasing the Israelites through the desert, the swarm of humanity was exhausting.

Now, leave it to fairground management to schedule 5 of the largest events to hit Indy on the same bitterly cold Saturday in February, plus a minor-minor league Hockey game.  All told, there was the beer festival, a Lumberjack wood working gala, Boy Scout Memorabilia auction, The Great Train Show and the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry!  I heard that there was also a D-List Porn Convention being held in the Barns, but I cannot confirm nor deny its existence.

Back to beer, or at least lines for beer.  With an advertised sellout crowd, the festival planners failed miserably to execute the ingress of all 6,000 attendees in a timely manner.  Many in attendance waited more than an hour to enter the West Pavilion to sample the carbonated concoctions from around the state.  Much like the Israelites in the desert, it was a long, long walk.  Except it was colder, much colder, and like the Israelites, the flock only had bread to eat.  Okay, they had leavened bread in the form of pretzels hung around their necks with assorted jerky’s and beef sticks.  Upon final entry into the pavilion, many of the adornments had already been consumed to fuel their warmth generating bellies while in queue.  Back to this later, let’s get to the beer.

Once inside the hall, this year’s layout of the event was much easier to navigate than in years past, where the brewers were spread between two buildings.  Having recently returned from GABF where the brewers are alphabetized by region, the haphazard positioning of Winterfest had no rhyme or reason.  Now, don’t get me wrong here thinking that everything about this event was negative, it was a lot of fun and I tasted some crazy good brews!  But let’s talk about the event from our perspective as homebrewers.

Setting up for the big event

As a homebrewer, I enjoyed the experience of watching guests taste the fruits of my hard labor and hours upon hours of cleaning and sanitizing everything in sight.  As a club, we were well represented by Tanner Andrew, Jarrod Otter, Nick Boling and myself.  We shared our booth space with Wes and Bryan from Great Fermentations and together we represented homebrewers in a bright and shining spotlight!  The first question after people tasted their beer for the first time was, “Where are you guys located?”  My standard response was “Garages, barns, dark basements and spare bedrooms in our mom’s house around Indianapolis.”  When people ask where they can get more of what you are offering, you must be doing something right!

From a style perspective, we poured a Milk Stout on nitro (Meeb’s Milk Stout by Nick Boling), a peppermint chocolate porter (Dark Mint Lord by Tanner Andrew and Jarrod Otter) and an East Coast IPA (Juicy Lucy by Robert Ecker).  All three offerings were well received and fulfilled the needs of the thirsty public.  Dark Mint Lord enticed those who kept swiping the leftover Andes mints in front of the table and asking, “Why the mints?”  Tanner and Jarrod ran their beer through a Randall that contained a butt load of Andes Mints!  What a brilliant idea and a perfect balance of the sweet chocolate mint flavor against the roasti-ness of the robust porter.  Nick’s milk stout stood up against any number of stout offerings from other breweries.  The creamy mouth-feel of the beer gas nestled among the residual lactose sweetness was tempered with just the right amount of acidic acrid roast we love in our dark beer.  In an effort to introduce the New England IPA craze to Indiana, I created a simple yet extremely flavorful and aromatic IPA that was full of haze and flavor.  Using flaked wheat and oats, as well as dry hopping during primary fermentation, and again four days later, this cloudy tang colored brew was loaded with Citra, El Dorado and Mosaic hops, but not the tongue turning bitterness that turn off many non-IPA drinkers.

Proudly supported by our CCZ brethren and sisters, adorned in their CCZ shirts, our club was loud and proud and could have poured much longer and pleased many, many more drinkers.

If you suffered through the long, long wait to get into the hall, the Brewers Guild has offered a gracious discount on upcoming events such as the Microbrewers Festival at Military Park or next year for Winterfest, where they pledge to have a more streamlined process in place to allow fest goers to enter in a more efficient and timely manner.

Until then, Cheers!

Rob Ecker, Winterfest 2017 Review

Rob’s emptied Juicy Lucy keg after a successful pouring with CCZ at Winterfest 2017