Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beer: Indy Pub Crawl

Indy Pub Crawl is a bi-annual pub crawl around downtown bars/restaurants. The organizers have apparently been doing this for 10 years! Their summer crawl will take place on Saturday, June 28th and the tentative schedule is:

11:30 The Living Room Lounge
12:10 The Elbow Room
12:50 The Front Page
1:30 Rathskeller
2:20 Bourbon Street (lunch stop)
3:10 AJ’s Lounge
4:00 Buggs Temple
4:50 Spencers Tavern
5:40 Baseys
6:30 The Dugout
7:10 Radio Radio
7:50 Mystery Stop
8:40 Subterra

The list isn't 100% confirmed yet, but given the distance between some of the locations (particularly Buggs->Spencers) they're going to have a bus. A small donation will be required to cover that cost. More information here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Development: ZING!

First reported here back in October, it turns out that the name on the liquor license application for the former Payton's Place, Indiana Avenue Restaurant and Lounge, was just a placeholder. Instead, the new restaurant will be called 'Zing'. It will feature two floors of seating with an outdoor deck that will wrap around the point of the building at West St. and Indiana Ave. The owner is shooting for a July 1st opening and their goal is for the restaurant to be of "five star quality."

Taking a peak in the windows, the inside of the building is still very rough. It appears that they have completely gutted the building and many walls are still bare to the studs. My guess is they'll be hard-pressed to have this done in a little over two months. Here are some photos that show the status of the exterior of the building, which now features many more windows than in the past:
The last photo shows what appears to be a new doorway to the outdoor deck. Also, if you look closely at the sidewalk in front of the round planter, you can just make out a square. These squares indicate the areas where the deck supports will attach to the sidewalk. The deck will span the entire length of the building on the Indiana Ave. side and part of the North St. side (North St. is effectively a parking lot at this location). To see earlier photos of the exterior, click here, here and here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Beer: Dark Lord Day

I attended my first Dark Lord Day on Saturday and I've got some bullet-point thoughts about the experience:

The Good:
  • I got some Dark Lord!
  • The line was mostly orderly. A little extreme drunkenness and some line-jumping here and there but luckily those two forces never butted heads.
  • Oak Aged Dark Lord is delicious. And -- BONUS! -- it actually costs less than Dark Lord in the bottle. A 22oz bottle of Dark Lord was $15, or $0.68/oz. A 10oz sample of aged Dark Lord was $5, or $0.50/oz. You explain that one to me...
  • We also sampled Flossmoor Station Pretty Big IPA, which is very, very good. I think it's a little misnamed though -- more like Almost DIPA! I'd never even heard of them before Saturday, so I look forward to checking them out in the future. Looking at a map, they're a little SW of Chicago, just a little off my regular route from Indy to my older brother in Evanston. I feel a side-trip in my future.
The Bad:
  • A lot of people didn't get any Dark Lord. It seems from reports around the internet that if you weren't in line by 10 or 10:30am -- yes, 30 minutes before the doors even opened -- you were SOL. They ran out of Dark Lord sometime between 4 and 4:30pm.
  • The line CRAWLED. It took us a little over two hours to move 200 feet. For my fellow geeks out there, that's 0.019 mph or about 20 inches/minute. Supposedly there were improvements made to the sales system this year, so they were either very ineffective or were simply overwhelmed by the increase in attendance this year.
  • I forgot my camera. Good thing Mike and Matt have you covered.
  • We made the decision in advance to not stay over in the Munster area on Saturday night. This required that one person in our group DD, which put a little bit of a damper on everyone's drinking. Getting the Dark Lord is great and all, but most of the fun of the event comes from sampling great exotic beers and carousing, so I regret not staying around. We won't be making that mistake again next year.
All in all, a very fun event. Our group declared the day a success, a "scouting trip" of sorts that should make us that much more prepared to enjoy the event next year.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Photos: Residences at 429 on the Park

Residences at 429 on the Park facts:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Development: A Tale of Two Lighting Schemes

Now that construction on Lucas Oil Stadium itself is nearing completion, progress is beginning on the treatment of the land around the stadium. The designer of the lighting in the stadium parking lot must have been a little schizophrenic. First, we've got some nice, retro, human-scaled lights at the driveway entrances:

Then, literally steps away, we've got gigantic Lucas Oil Stadium-scaled lights (given the way things turned out on 38th St., at least the color matches!):

And finally, here's a shot of the sidewalk treatment along McCarty St.:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beer: This n' That

Brugge Brasserie: from the most recent email newsletter:

Brugge is moving up!
We have leased the second floor of our building and will be expanding upstairs sometime in May. The new level will feature lots of additional restaurant seating, a much larger bar, many additional beer and wine offerings, 3 large flat screens for sports fans, and a sound system aimed to keep you hanging around Brugge a bit later in the evening. And you may have noticed.....there's a deck with the most spectacular view of Broad Ripple and the Monon. A combination Grand Opening and 3rd Anniversary Party is being planned. Stay tuned.

From the files of "but don't quote me on that," I've heard that they're shooting to open the expansion the week before the Indy 500. And does anybody else read "many additional beer...offerings" as a possibility of guest breweries on tap? That would be an incredible addition to an already incredible restaurant.

Rock Bottom: Wednesday happy hour is one of my favorite times to hit Rock Bottom. Every Wednesday, all day, all 6 regular beers are $2 per pint. Throw in their 4-6pm happy hour menu -- there are $2.99, $3.99 and $4.99 options -- and you can get two beers and a little food for about $10. The secret? You have to ask for the happy hour menu (they always bring the regular, full menu when you sit down in the bar area).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Photos: Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Photo 4

Trees are beginning to be planted along the Cultural Trail (with Ann Dancing in the background).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Photos: Stokely-Van Camp Building

Stokely-Van Camp Building Facts:
  • Location: SE corner of Meridian St. and St. Joseph St.
  • Height: 3 stories
  • Architecture: Gothic Revival
  • Built: 1925-26
  • Renovated: 2007-08
  • Previous Tenants: Knights of Pythias (Insurance Headquarters), Stokely-Van Camp Inc. (Van Camp's Baked Beans still produced by ConAgra Foods)
  • Owner/Current Tenant: Buckingham Companies


Sunday, April 20, 2008


The Lucas Oil Stadium sign on the west face of the stadium is now complete. It's BIG. What do you think?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Development: Gene and Marilyn Glick

I took a run on the canal the other day and noticed a couple new signs on the Indiana History Center. The center has apparently been renamed the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. You probably recognize those names from the official name of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Their generous donation of $15M, almost one-third of the total cost of the trail, added "A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick" to the end of the trail's name.

The December 7, 2007 Indiana Historical Society newsletter indicates that the Glicks recently donated $8M to a fundraising campaign for "The Indiana Experience." In recognition of that large donation, the Indiana History Center was renamed the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center.

The outstanding generosity of the Glick's is fast making them the most famous benefactors in Indianapolis. Thank you to the Glick's!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beer: Rock Bottom Notes

Notes from the "Big Board" at Rock Bottom downtown:

Next Tapping: Maibock on Thursday, May 8th at 6pm.

Brewer's Dinner: Tuesday, May 27th. Four courses, four beers, $35.

Cask Beer: Red Ale dry-hopped with Simcoe hops (as of 4/15).

Beer: Tripel Finally Bottled

Last night we finally bottled our tripel. It sat in primary fermentation for about 3 weeks and then secondary fermentation for about 2 weeks. Now our tripel is in for a third round of fermentation (how appropriate) through bottle conditioning. The sample I took last night was just as good as the one I took a couple weeks ago. I can't wait to try it once it's properly carbonated.

Here's what my once-tidy homebrewing storage nook looks like now:

It's starting to take over the bathroom! Of course, the biggest item there is ALL THE BEER, a little more than three cases right now. That's what pipelining homebrewing operations will do. I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon. In fact, I'm not going to brew any more until I put a dent in that pile! Unless I go on a bender, it's going to take a while to drink 49 bottles of 9.3% abv tripel.

I see some tripel gifting in my future....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beer: New Brugge Space

I'm a little busy today, but here's one quick tidbit I just remembered from last week. On a trip to Brugge last Monday -- I hoped to cash in my free Tripel de Ripple "coupon" -- I chatted briefly with owner Ted Miller and he mentioned that their goal was to open their new upstairs expansion (formerly Netheads) sometime in May. The walls are up and they're putting the finishing touches on it right now. When we stopped in again on Wednesday -- I wanted to show off Indy's awesome beer to my parents, who were visiting -- he was giving a group of people a tour of the upstairs space. He also mentioned that they've recently been turning away 150-200 people a night on Fridays and Saturdays.

Man, I can't wait to have some Tripel de Ripple on the upstairs patio!

Monday, April 14, 2008

BlogIN 2008

I just came across some information about an Indiana blogging Unconference called BlogIN 2008. The event will be held at IUPUI on Saturday, April 26th. Here's their promotional blurb:

Anyone interested in learning more about how to blog, why to blog and meet other bloggers should attend Smaller Indiana’s BlogIN on April 26, 2008. Bloggers from around the state will share best practices, tips, tools, case studies, and strategies for successful blogging. Whether you are an experienced blogger or a blogging beginner, join us for an afternoon as we explore blogging as a tool to build community, culture and commerce in Indiana.

Cost to attend is $10 for IUPUI students and $20 for everyone else. Register here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Gear: $50 For Free From Amazon

Ok, let me get this straight:
  1. I bought an HD-DVD player from Amazon in November when the format was alive and reasonably healthy, but knowing full-well that the format could die.
  2. The format died and now I can get tons and tons of HD movies for incredibly cheap prices.
  3. I'm perfectly ok with this.
  4. For all this "heartache," Amazon wants to give me $50, for free!
If you figure that the $50 credit from Amazon will buy about four HD-DVDs, the $199 I spent got me a perfectly functional HD-DVD player and 14 free movies. Or maybe I got 14 movies for $199 and a free HD-DVD player. What some people may think of as a very stupid purchase looks just dandy to me!

This n' That

Couple quick items today:
  • Rock Bottom downtown (and northside) is tapping "Catcher in the Rye" tonight at 6pm. According to brewmaster Jerry Sutherlin, it's an IPA brewed with North American Two Row malt, English Crystal malt, flaked rye, and American Pacific Northwest hops that comes in at 6.5% abv and 60 IBUs.
  • Rod lets us know about another beer-pairing dinner next Saturday (4/19) at BadaBoomz. $35 gets you a five course cajun/creole-themed dinner paired with five beers.
  • Frequent commenter SpeedBlue47 just launched his new Indy development blog, The INDYpendent. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Development: Former Superior Distributing Site

I intended to post about this site weeks ago but couldn't find the information I was looking for. I figured I just had to delve a little deeper and I'd find it, but it appears there just isn't any information out there. As far as I can tell, Superior Distributing Co. was a business that operated at this site in St. Joseph Neighborhood in downtown Indianapolis for many years:

Recently -- in the last six months to a year -- they were acquired by a competitor, CourterCo, and subsequently closed their doors. Their wares are still on display at their store front and they appear to have sold cabinets, fixtures and the like. This is the only information I've been able to find, a notice taped to their front door (if anybody knows anything else about this site and/or company, let us know in the comments):

The possibility of redeveloping this site represents a golden opportunity for St. Joseph. The neighborhood -- roughly bounded by I-65 to the north, Pennsylvania St. to the west and Ft. Wayne Ave. to the south and east -- is remarkable for its classic rowhouses and a residential makeup that, despite few buildings over three stories tall, remains one of the most dense in downtown. Below are some examples of the neighborhood housing stock.

Looking south on Alabama with Riley Towers in the distance:
More detail on the rowhouses on the east side of Alabama:
While all indications are that Superior was a good neighbor, its business profile and the use of the site were very out-of-character for the neighborhood. If the site were redeveloped in a way that both integrated with and served the existing residential base, it would be a huge boon to St. Joseph. The following are some pictures of the site as it sits today:

Looking northeast across the intersection of Alabama and 9th.
Looking northeast across 9th, with Lugar Tower in the distance.
Looking northeast along Ft. Wayne.
The same angle; note the almost
completely blank wall along Ft. Wayne.
Looking west from Ft. Wayne to Alabama.
The northern building on the site, looking northeast from
Ft. Wayne and Sahm. Note the "Space 934 Hair Salon" in
the distance, one of the few retail locations on Ft. Wayne.
The Ft. Wayne side of the site practically begs for a row of neighborhood-serving store fronts with a couple floors of residential above, while the Alabama side of the site seems ideal for an extension of the rowhouses shown in this post. Here's hoping a thoughtful developer considers this site at some point in the future.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Beer: Brewer's Association Top Brewers List

The Brewers Association released their newest Top Brewers List this week. They rank the Top 50 "Craft Brewers" and the Top 50 "Overall Brewers" by 2007 sales volume. Not too surprisingly, zero Indiana breweries appear on the lists. Indiana boast no major "macro breweries" that top the "Overall Brewers" category and the largest craft brewer in the state might be Three Floyds Brewery (a guess). Despite their recognition for very high quality, they're still a relatively small player in the market. California dominates the "Craft Brewers" list with a whopping 11 breweries, eight of which also appear on the "Overall Brewers" list. See the full list here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday's Five Ws (and One H)

Who is going to BadaBoomz tonight for $1.75 pints?!

What do you think of the design for the new Dunkin' Donuts at the former Roselyn Bakery in downtown? Opinions seem to range from "Cool Retro Look" to "AHHH, my eyes!"

When will we finally see Brugge Beer in bottles? Sounds like it won't be too much longer. (Be sure to check out all the other updates from yesterday at Brugge Blog, including a mention of DIG-B!)

Where will L'explorateur end up downtown? Got any recommendations? Let Neal Brown know over at his blog, Babelfish Tartare.

Why haven't I bottled my tripel yet?! The sooner I bottle it, the sooner I can drink it. Seriously, I should get on that...

How was your weekend? I celebrated my nephew's first birthday outside in the gorgeous weather with Two Brother's Domaine DuPage. That was my first taste of a beer made in the French style called Bière de Garde. Two Brother's version was really easy-drinking, with a medium malt body and a little kick of hops at the end. It's not a particularly common style here in the US, but I liked it enough that I'm going to keep my eye out for others.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

DIG-B On The Road

I'm taking off tomorrow afternoon to go to my nephew's first birthday party, so no posting for a couple days (not that I post much on weekends anyway). I've loaded up on new stuff in the last couple days, so make sure to check the next several posts below this so you don't miss anything. And be sure to go visit Generik's Tap and Brew Bits.

Oh, and speaking of milestones, somehow I missed that DIG-B passed the 6 month mark March 24th. Thanks to everybody that stops by regularly to read and/or comment! Amazingly, I haven't been flamed for a single word yet.

Beer: Another New Blog

I just found out that frequent commenter, generik420, hosts his own beer blog, Generik's Tap. He's got cool beer info, beer reviews and he's even working on a do-it-yourself kegerator project (right up my alley). The site is hosted on the rogue "Windows Live Spaces" blogger area, but I won't hold that against him!

Beer: Rock Bottom Events

Monday, April 7th: If you've got a beef with BadaBoomz or Mike DeWeese but still want to celebrate 75 Years of Legal Beer, Rock Bottom will be having a toast at 6:30 on Monday. Buy any beer and swipe your Mug Club card to be entered into a contest to be a "Brewer For a Day." (via RB email)

Friday, April 11th: Tapping party for "Catcher in the Rye." Free beer from 6 to 6:30. (via RB events page)

Thursday, April 17th: Tapping party for "Cezanne Saison." Free beer from 6 to 6:30. (via Indiana Beer calendar)

Thursday, May 8th: Tapping party for "Vienna Lager." Free beer from 6 to 6:30. (via Indiana Beer calendar)

Late May: Brewers dinner. Four courses and four beers for $35. (via DIG-B memory. According to brewers dinner regulars Rod and Jess, this quarterly dinner is usually Indy 500-themed, so it'll be sometime around then.)

Beer: Party at BadaBoomz

If you love good beer and aren't planning to go to BadaBoomz on Monday (4/7/08), well, I just don't know what to say. As if $1.75 pints wasn't good enough, it looks like BadaBoomz now has Brugge Tripel de Ripple! With Black and White already on tap, BadaBoomz is practically a second Brugge pub. Good thing I love the Brasserie's food too or I might not drive to Broad Ripple again!

Even if you're not into the whole "beer with flavor" thing, they've got you covered with $0.75 pints of Bud and Bud Light.

(Yes, I know I've practically turned into a beer-only blog. Development news has been pretty slow recently so one of these days I'll get out with my camera and grab some photo updates to satisfy the development people. I've got a post on a gear project brewing as well.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Beer: New Blog In Town

There's a new Indy beer blog on the scene going by the name Brew Bits. Looks like they'll mainly be focusing on beer reviews and they've got a nice, clean, quick-hit style. They sure hit the ground running, with 30 reviews in just under two weeks. Make sure to pace yourself, Brew Bits -- we want your blog and your liver to be with us for the long haul.

Check 'em out and let them know what you think of the header.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Beer: This n' That

Mad Anthony 10th Anniversary: I saw over on Indiana Beer's calendar that Mad Anthony will be celebrating their 10 Year Anniversary the week of April 13th to 19th. They'll be releasing a special 10th Anniversary Ale in celebration. No word on what style it is, but hopefully we'll see it down in Indy in some form (though I doubt it, based on the description of their celebration). They'll also be releasing a Java Porter that week.

Krups/Heineken BeerTender: I braved the northside for shopping on Saturday and ended up in Williams-Sonoma, where I spotted the BeerTender. It looks pretty cool, but they're charging $299 for it. I still think that's crazy but at least it's not going for the originally planned $400.

BadaBoomz: We popped in for dinner on Monday and finally met and chatted with Mike DeWeese. Cool guy! He let us know two interesting tidbits. First, they apparently sold almost none of the Vintage Beer Tasting from this past Saturday (Bell's Batch 7000 and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot '00 & '03). Fortunately, the beer is still in the coolers so if you ask for it this week, they'll still be able to pour the samples for you (5oz of each for $9). Second, in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition (see discussion in comments) modification of the Volstead Act, BadaBoomz will be sweetening their Monday u-call-it special to $1.75 per pint. That's an absolutely insane special -- count me in!