Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Beer: Wabash Valley Arrives

Hoosier Beer Geek reported back in January that Wabash Valley Malt Beverage Company -- Brugge Beer's sister (see Ted Miller's notes in the comments below) a line being produced at the former Terre Haute Brewing Company -- had released sample kegs around Indianapolis. It now appears that bottles have arrived around Indiana. World Class Beverage's search engine shows that six packs of Cannonball Porter, Gangster Pale Ale and Harvest Amber Ale are now available at the following Indianapolis liquor stores and restaurants:

Alabama Liquor
Stony's Still Liquors
Parti Pak (no Harvest Amber)
Shallos (no Harvest Amber)
The Hop Shop (no Harvest Amber)
Payless Liquor #9 (9520 Uptown Dr, Suite G)
United Pkg Liq #9 (9908 E 79th)

Hazy Days Wheat and Limestone Lager don't appear to be available in bottles yet, though Hot Shotz has a keg of Hazy Days Wheat. Spencer's in downtown has a keg of Gangster Pale, and if you live in Muncie (Fickle Peach) or West Lafayette (Scotty's Brewhouse) you can also try Cannonball Porter on tap.

I may have to pop into Alabama Liquor sometime this week to grab a mixed 6-pack and see how Indiana's newest beers taste.

11 comments:

rodney said...

I'm curious as to both what they taste like and what price point they're at.

CorrND said...

They're all $8.40 per six pack at Alabama Liquor. For comparison, my touchstone is Two Hearted Ale, which costs the same $8.40. Alabama is usually a bit lower than other stores, so I'd except to see $9-10 elsewhere.

Unfortunately, they're not very good. Or, to be more fair, they're not worth the money. The things I've read seem to indicate that they want to be a transitional beer between BMC and true craft beer. That puts them squarely in the Sierra Nevada/Sam Adams category, but their price point is more in the regular craft beer range.

I had a Pale last night and a Porter tonight. The Porter is better than the Pale, but I'd definitely take Sierra Nevada Pale/Porter over either of them. If Wabash drops the price a dollar or two per six pack, I might consider them.

Generik420 said...

I have had a chance to sample some of these a month or so ago and they aren't bad as a gateway beer. That is afterall the idea behind them. But if they are really being priced at the same level as Bell's, Three Floyd's, etc.. this is going to be a short run. In some ways we as consumers of beer almost have too many choices in terms of variety available. The beers that get my money have some pretty high standards to live up to when you get to that $8-10 per six pack price. Unfortunately Wabash Valley wasn't quite there. I would have expected them to be more in the Leinie's price range to be honest.

Ted said...

Not trying to sound like a jerk, but WV beers are in no way a sister line of the Brugge beers and I'd buy you a big ol Tripel de Ripple at Brugge if you changed that label. We brew what they ask us to brew and are in no way affiliated brands. That said, I think they are perfectly suitable entry beers as many people have said. Pricing is a tricky issue. In most cases, a line of beers such as this would be brewed on a much larger scale. Without the economies of scale, no beer - regardless of its contents - can really find its way to shelf at the price point you mentioned you would like to see for a product of this nature.

Make sense?

CorrND said...

Thanks for stopping by Ted and letting us know some more details about Wabash Valley. Regarding the "sister line" comment, not to sell out what little blogging credibility I may have, but if you're offering Tripel de Ripple, I'll write whatever you say!

In all seriousness, though, that comment was just my impression from reading Wabash's Nov. '07 write-up in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. If the relationship between the two lines isn't really that close -- and that certainly seems to be the case from your comment -- I'll gladly change my post.

But what exactly is the relationship between the two lines? Are you basically brewing on contract? Who is the "they" that you brew for?

Regarding the price/quality discussion, I guess it will be what it will be and people can make up their own mind. I don't think Wabash Valley is really brewing for "me" anyway.

Ted said...

Ok. Print this and it's even another Tripel de Ripple

Brugge is THE example of greatness. The Brugge team exemplifies all that is right about beer and wonder.

CorrND said...

[lights seance candle under portrait of Ted Miller]

Brugge is THE example of greatness. The Brugge team exemplifies all that is right about beer and wonder.

Brugge is THE example of greatness. The Brugge team exemplifies all that is right about beer and wonder.

Brugge is THE example of greatness. The Brugge team exemplifies all that is right about beer and wonder.


Mmmmm....Tripel de Ripple...

Ted said...

that was pretty funny

CorrND said...

Should have researched more. The Terre Haute brewing history over at the Brewers of Indiana Guild page says this about your "Vigo Brewing Company":

The Brugge Brasserie in Indianapolis and some other investors bought the Terre Haute Brewing Company facility to make beer for the brewpub and to bottle the Brugge beers. They also contract brew for others including the Wabash Valley Beer Company.

Ted Miller is the principle owner. Micah Weichert is the head brewer.


I guess that answers the question of your relationship to WV.

And seriously, Tripel de Ripple is easily my favorite beer being made in Indy.

rodney said...

I'd like to see Champagne Velvet brewed under the Wabash Valley moniker. Not because it's particularly good, but just because I think it has some emotional significance to people in Terre Haute (or at least some that I know).

Also,
Brugge is THE example of greatness. The Brugge team exemplifies all that is right about beer and wonder.

Jim said...

Brugge is THE example of greatness. The Brugge team exemplifies all that is right about beer and wonder.

I drink the Tripel, as well! :)