Thursday, August 29, 2013

#Volunteering #DigIN

This past Sunday was the Annual Dig-IN: A Taste of Indiana Indiana's Farm to Fork Celebration at White River State Park.  Continuing my #volunteer streak I hooked up with the Hoosier Beer Geek (HBG) #volunteer group and helped out at the main gate.  It was a little bit of a cluster at first, but everyone pulled through.  So many volunteers were needed to keep this event running. The HBG crew was one of many groups helping out.  Great job everyone!

For those that don't know about #DigIN, it is a celebration of all that Indiana has to offer.  Everything from farmers, chefs, breweries and wineries from around the state all coming together for a great eating/drinking festival!  Oh wait!  Did I mention music to?!

I want to say that I was only there for the beer, but some chefs/restaurants of note were:

-Tent 4: Anthony Handslits with The Chefs Academy, Indianapolis
Dish: Lamb Ruben, Napa cabbage slaw & Minted Mustard
Just blew me away, great paired with the Tin Man: BIPA I was drinking at the time!

-Tent 1: Chef BJ Davis with Bee Coffee Roasters, Indianapolis
Drink: Plum Buzz Iced Coffee Soda

Not only was this little concoction made with coffee and plum juice, but it was also made with a special vinegar.  What was so special about it?  It was made from a few barrels of Upland Sours that had started to turn to vinegar.  ZOINKS!  It has a great sweet vinegar and coffee nose, light body, that cascades into a pleasant tart sour mellow coffee dry finish that was wonderful on a hot festival day!  I spent more than one of my bonuses on second/thirds of this fantastic brew!  Chef BJ Davis and crew ran out towards the end of the festival.  I hope they make this a staple in their coffee shop!  I wonder if they will make a cherry version in the future...  really accentuate the sour/wild character!

On to the Brews!

Most of what was being served off the Sun King Draft Vans were a lot of the usuals that are currently on draft or bottled around town:
Brugge - Harvey
3Floyds - Pride and Joy, Gumball Head
Daredevil - Lift Off
Triton - Railsplitter
to name a few...

Of Note:
Sun King - Cream Dream VI: Hops Live (VIP)
Flat 12 - Saison du Flat (VIP)
Tin Man - Black IPA
Three Pints - Black IPA
3Floyds - Moloko Milk Stout
Black Swan - Cherrywood Smoked Porter
New Day - South Cider

I know you are asking yourself "Why in all creation was he drinking porters/stouts on a 93 degree day?!"  Honestly, it was a much more pleasant experience then you think!  Everyone had IPAs and Saisons, only two had porters/stouts.  It really broke up the tastings for me!  Also a great nod to Brugge bringing their sour Harvey.  It was the only sour at the festival.  Many a heart was broken when that tap went dry!

A great perk for #Volunteering this time around was the amount of time volunteers had to enjoy the festival.  Also being able to go straight to the taps and get a fresh pint without waiting in the lines didn't hurt!  There were three beverage stations that were made apparent by Sun King's Draft Vans.  Most breweries brought kegs of one kind of brew, while others like 3Floyds brought several different kegs.  If their keg went dry, they tapped something new!  It was fun playing "who has something new on tap now" as a side game while Joe and I walked the food tents.  Speaking of Joe...

A big thanks to Joe Walsh with Flat 12 for taking me around and introducing me to several head brewers and higher ups in the brewing arena!  I finally got to meet Clay Robinson with Sun King, Barnaby Struv with 3Floyds, Brett Canaday with New Day, Fred Hillenbrand with Tin Man & Michael Pearson with Daredevil.  I also had a great conversation with Master BJCP Beer Judge Sandy Cockerham on Berliner Weisse style beers.  I was pleasantly surprised that she enjoyed the Berliner Weisse style as much as The Barons and I did.  I hope I hear from her soon so I know where to send that Deesko! I offered her.

All in all a great laid back festival atmosphere. Even with the slight dehydration and sun burn, Great times!  If you couldn't join us this year, we hope to see you next year!

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