Category Archives: brewpubs

Glocal Craftiness: Coffee, Beer, Music

Was listening to the portafilter.net podcast (Episode 23) and thinking about coffee shops, cafés, brewpubs, bars, bands, venues…

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Michiana Beer: South Bend Breweries

A Brief and Incomplete History of Brewing in South Bend, Indiana

Over at Indiana Beer. Link posted by Jeff Sutter on the Michiana Brew Google Group. A list of a few breweries in South Bend, especially the Muessel Brewing Company and Manitoba-based Drewrys Brewery. (“Michiana” is the informal name for a region which crosses the Michigan-Indiana border around South Bend, IN.)
In more recent history, there has been a few brewpubs and microbreweries in Northern Indiana. The following ones are currently in operation: Three Floyds Brewing Company in Munster (along with the Three Floyds Brewpub), Backroad Brewery in LaPorte, Mishawaka Brewing Company in Mishawaka, Shoreline Brewing Company in Michigan City, Mad Anthony Brewing Company, in Fort Wayneand most recently, Nine G Brewing Company, in South Bend. A more complete list of Hoosier breweries is available on the Indiana Beer website.


Beer and Brewing in South Bend and Elsewhere

Ok…

Been living in South Bend since August, talked to a number of people about beer and brewing. Sent long messages to some of them. Hopefully, didn’t scare them off too badly… 😉

Thing is, there’s a lot of resources for/about beer and brewing. Here’s
just a few to get people started. And once you get started, well, anything can happen.

Local/Regional

Relevant for North Central Indiana and some other parts of the MidWest

  • Legends of Notre Dame
  • Beer pub on Notre Dame Campus. The site has their beer menu…

  • Mishawaka Brewing Co.
  • Michiana’s only brewpub, at this point. They have some limited brewing supplies.

  • Quality Wine and Ale Supply [Added: 24/03/08. Thanks, Andy C!]
  • A homebrew supply shop in Elkhart, which might be the closest “LHBSS” to Mishawaka/South Bend. Looks like they have an extensive selection and decent prices.

  • Zeke’s
    Beer pub in Dowagiac, MI.
  • Indiana Beer
  • A site about beer events in Indiana.

  • Great Lakes Brewing News
  • A beer newspaper which is distributed for free at Legends and MBC. Jim Herter, business manager for Notre Dame’s food services, writes for the Indiana section.

  • Chicago Beer Society
  • Group of beer lovers and homebrewers. They do cool events like “Thirst Fursday” the first Thursday of each month.

  • Grape and Granary
  • A mail order brewing supply shop which has a good selection and ships to Northcentral Indiana pretty fast. There are other homebrew supply shops, including online, but this is the one that my friends in town have been using.

  • Theta Ridge Coffee
  • Importer of green coffee beans. As other beer lovers seem to enjoy fresh coffee, I thought I’d mention this one.

In my humble opinion, the best liquor store for beer in South Bend is City Wide Liquors’ downtown location:

109 E. Jefferson Blvd.
(Across from Keybank, down the street from Century Center)
South Bend, IN 46601
574-287-8652

General Beer Sites

Lots of information about homebrewing

  • Palmer’s How to Brew
  • A homebrewing book available online for free.

  • Papazian’s Complete Joy of Homebrewing
  • A good, inexpensive brew book for beginners and intermediate brewers.

  • HomeBrew Digest
  • A mailing-list for homebrewers and a “library” of brewing information.
    Some of the library’s stuff is a bit old but the mailing-list is a cool place to contact brewers.

  • Beertown
  • A site for different brewing associations, including the American Homebrewer Association

  • Real Beer
  • A general site about beer with a lot of information about brewing.

  • Bodensatz
  • A site with lots of info about homebrewing.

Miscellaneous Beer Sites

  • Beer Judge Certification Program
  • The most useful thing, IMHO, are “style guidelines” that are used for homebrew competitions. I hope people won’t get too stuck on the details as some of it is very arbitrary. But it’s a good way to get information about some styles, like “Irish Red Ale” or “Dunkelweizen”…

  • Rate Beer
  • A site where one can rate beers they try and/or read people’s comments about beers. Some of these comments are a bit strange and those people tend to like specific types of beer, but it’s sometimes a good way to choose a beer you want to try. Hops are liked by raters and so are strong full-bodied beers but the best-rated beer is in fact a Belgian Trappist…

  • Michael Jackson the Beer Hunter
  • The best-known beer writer, not the youngest member of the Jackson 5.

  • Beer Advocate
  • I mostly use it to look for beer pubs across the US and in other places, especially when I travel. Many places have lists of brew- and beerpubs and may even do pubcrawls for beer geeks…

  • PubCrawler
  • Another site listing beer pubs in the US and elsewhere. Actually, I was confusing PubCrawler with BeerAdvocate. They accomplish similar goals…

  • All About Beer
  • A brewing magazine.

  • Siebel Institute
  • A very serious institute where you can get a degree in brewing technology. Education you can actually use!


“Don’t Quit Your Day Job” (Brewing as Hobby)

[Oh, my! I do hope I won't get too hooked to blogging! I'm scared!!! ;->]

Thinking about brewing, as I often do. Responding to a message about a post I sent to the HomeBrew Digest about beer and beliefs.
In relation to my previous post on work and debt. And compartmentalization.

"Don't quit your day job"
I have no intention of doing such a thing. I love my "day job" (insofar as I have one). I see no reason to quit it.

[Yup, blogging in my case encourages the use of first person singular pronouns, a habit I try to kill in many contexts. But if it's supposed to be self-indulgent, let's do it the self-serving way…]

Some homebrewers I've met hate their day job and see brewing as an escape. [It might be something of the same for me (doing a bit of
self-analysis here) as I may use it to procrastinate. Although, brewing needs planning. Procrastination I mostly do with thinking about brewing. Anyhoo…]
Those homebrewers who brew to "get away from it all" are oftentimes the same guys (yeah, mostly guys in homebrewing circles, nowadays) who want to "Go Pro" and open a brewpub. Now, that's not silly and it's kind of easy to expect, but it might be ill-advised.
Going Pro means a huge investment on money. Of course, we all dream of having enough money to invest in brewing. Hey, if I win the lottery, I might go nuts with brewing gear and if I win enough, I might even give the brewpub idea more of a thought. But…
Going Pro also means transforming a cool, relaxing hobby into an obligation to perform. Sure, many small brewpub and microbrewery owners do it their own way and the lottery win should imply that you don't need to turn a profit. But still, professional brewing is bound to be more of a pressure. And many aspects of brewing aren't necessarily so much fun. And these are the ones that become very important in the Pro world. Not to mention the whole business side. Some people enjoy it but
these are few and far between.

A well-known homebrew celebrity (!) who became a brewpub owner is quoted as saying that if he were to start again, he might not go pro. Nowadays, he doesn't brew anymore. And even though his pub is often packed, he still struggles to make ends meet. Not a pleasant feeling.

Then, the ideal solution should be collaboration. One "business-type" to handle the business and one crazy brewer. Well, the crazy brewer won't be so crazy when the business guy talks about minimizing risk.
A big important notion, risk. A hobby is fun because the stakes are low. You scrap a 5-gallon batch, so be it. You lost a bit of time, a bit of money. So be it. That's life. And you learned something. You scrap a batch as a commercial brewer, uh-oh!
So that's one reason even the most adventurous brewers end up making a lot of fairly uncompromising beer. Another reason is that what pleases the brewer might attract a few beer geeks but the beer geek market is incredibly small as compared to the swill drinkers. Lots of talk about that. But brewing capacity (volume) is correlated against risk.