Monday, January 7, 2013

The Scene: Union Brewing Company

I think just about everyone on the North side of Indy has been looking for a brewery to open up close by. As it is you have to go up to Barley Island or down to Bier. Neither of which are long hauls, but wouldn't it be nice to have something in the middle of Carmel.

Prayers = Answered

Union Brewing Company (UBC) opened its doors right before the holidays in 2012. I had the pleasure of checking them out on day six. They have a solid line up of guest taps and their current house beer, the Picadily Pale Ale, is very good. They are part of the "real ale" family of breweries. These breweries are putting together cask conditioned ales for us that are naturally carbonated not force carbonated with CO2. Their cask conditioned ales are also, not filtered or pasteurized. This means that they have living yeast in the beer that is being kept alive to naturally ferment the beer and continue to condition it as the beer sits in the cask. This leads to less carbonation and a great unique flavor that will develop as it sits. This is similar in concept to letting a bottle conditioned beer age to mellow the flavor.

At UBC, like most great places serving cask conditioned ales, the beer is poured off of their beer engine. This is a machine that pulls the beer out without forcing it through tubes by way of CO2. It has been used for centuries across the pond, but is making a real splash in the craft beer world over here. Instead of using your CO2 pumps, it uses a system of hydraulic pumps that pull the beer from wherever it is being stored (it used to always be stored below the bar or pub to manage temperature). It gives a beautiful looking beer with head and consistency that resembles something off a nitro tap. The cloudiness went away after about a minute of sitting in front of me. The beer ended up clear and golden yellow.

UBC is not doing growler fills right now, as they are still getting their reserves of beer going. They are adding another beer (Irish Dry Stout) next week. Expect a full review and follow up to this article in a couple of months. For now, go check them out. I found their place to be great, their beer to be tasty and their location to be perfect.

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