Sunday, October 21, 2007

Beer: Rural Inn and Founders Centennial IPA

"If you shop the Rural Inn, you could sample 200 different import, domestic and microbrew beers..."

I love the Rural Inn commercial -- it's so delightfully local! If you've never been to the Rural Inn, it's quite an experience. You might say that the commercial glosses over some of the finer details. For starters, it's at the corner of Michigan and Rural on the eastside, one of 27 intersections in the city deemed worthy of a remote surveillance camera from the Indy Metro Police. On Friday afternoons, it turns into a paycheck-cashing depot. There's also a bar directly connected to the liquor store by a small doorway. But my favorite detail? The porn selection in the glass counters while you're checking out.

Still, despite their location, they have a very impressive selection of beer. They've pretty much got a monopoly on east-side craft brew sales, though I'm not sure how large that market really is. No one has ever come into the "Big Beer Cooler" while I've been there. They probably depend a bit on people like me coming over from downtown. With due respect to Idyllic Indy's interesting idea, if it weren't so convenient to take one-way New York out and one-way Michigan back to downtown, I probably wouldn't go to the Rural Inn at all.

It's almost exclusively 6-packs, so if you're looking for bombers, shop elsewhere. Aside from the very most exotic 6-packs, I'd say that they've got everything you can expect to see in the midwest. And the management has always made it clear that they're very happy to have my business. They really want to court the beer geeks of Indy, asking me on multiple occassions what beers I'd like to see them stock.

On my most recent trip there, I picked up a 6-pack of Founders Centennial IPA. I had a serious relationship with this beer about 6 to 9 months ago, but other than maybe at the Indiana Microbrewers Festival, I don't think I've had it since then. I love this IPA. It's probably not my favoite of the style, but it's up there in the top 4 or 5. This IPA is brewed and dry-hopped primarily with centennial hops, hence the name. The dry-hopping leads it to be VERY hoppy, but it's balanced with a good amount of malt. Rural Inn happens to have a great price on this beer: $8.99. If you consider yourself a hop head, this is a must-try.

Other Quick Beer News:
  • Psych! Apparently The Goose isn't ready for prime time yet. A sign on their door yesterday indicates they'll be open on October 23rd now. Of course, their webpage still says October 20th in multiple spots....
  • UPDATE: Commenter Indy Steve points out that Feed Me/Drink Me has a review of Goose The Market (looks like this is the official name) and wondered if maybe they're open. I had a little extra time after lunch today so I briefly stopped by. A very personable person answered the door, introduced himself as Chris and said that they're currently fixing everything up from the opening party on Saturday and will officially be open for business tomorrow at 10am. (When I got back to a computer I noticed that their webpage says they're closed on Mondays, so they wouldn't have been open in any case.)


thefens said...

I should go out to The Rural Inn more often. Partly to dive into their unique selections, and partly for their unique ambiance. I can't remember, what are their prices like?

Also, by any chance do you know what's going to happen to the old Indiana State Museum/former interim central library? The way things seem to be going downtown, my immediate guess would be high-end condos.

bhorg said...

No thanks, I'll just go to Alabama Liquors

CorrND said...

"Unique ambiance" -- I like that. Their prices are ok. I'd say they vary from perfectly reasonable to $1 or 2 high, which isn't bad if you live in the area and can save the time and gas of going to another store. I should note that there's really no reason to go the Rural Inn if you live closer to Kahn's, The Hop Shop or Parti Pak. The selection at those stores is undoubtedly better.

bhorg -- I've always felt that Alabama Liquor's selection was only amazing for the size of their shop. I still shop there a lot, but in absolute terms, their selection isn't that great. Rural Inn is definitely better.

thenfens -- I think the last I heard about the interim Central Library (originally City Hall) was that the city had commissioned a reuse study.

John said...

Eee. The Rural scares me!

Parti Pak Liqours for me please.

Unknown said...

Feed Me/Drink Me has a review of The Goose from their opening day party. So.. I guess they are open? I was planning to swing by there tomorrow for some MNF beer. Maybe if they're not open I'll make my way over to Rural... if its daytime.

CorrND said...

The sign I saw said something about an open house Saturday night (something like 6-11) and then opening on the 23rd. I was busy watching ND gets slaughtered so I couldn't stop back that night. If you stop by tomorrow, definitely let us know the status!

John said...

Stopped by the Goose today. A fair selection of beers, moderately priced. No freezer.

CorrND said...

Thanks for the update John! What time were you there? How busy?

I was in there around 3pm today and there were 2 other pairs of people. If there were that many people at a fairly off time of day, I wonder it was like around 5 or 6pm.

sbo said...

I realize those are forsbobet doggies but I would be hard pressed not to eat one ;)