Posted by: marcmwm | October 10, 2008

Beer O’ Clock — Indiana

I’m really only just poking my head out the door after a 10-year addiction to Leinenkugel’s regular.

The last two years in Dubuque and the first eight or so in Cedar Rapids, that’s the only beer I drank. I discovered it when I was a lifeguard at in the Wisconsin Dells in the mid-’80s. Not so much discovered. It was really cheap, I want to say $8 a case, so, basically living on change found in intertube pools, we made due. I liked it and just kind of stuck with it.

It’s great. I still dig it. But in the last two years, I’ve slowly started learning some of the differences and the different tastes and breweries. It’s become sort of a hobby, as far as my wife knows, anyway. So, after years of one, I’m kind of shopping around and trying just about everything.

This fall, I’ve started working one day a week in Iowa City. And just this Tuesday, I finally hit John’s Grocery. I knew it was there. I worked there for like two days the summer of ’90, just before I started grad school.

Holy crap, fellas. The place is like beer Christmas. I went a little crazy on Tuesday, picking up some Trout Slayer, Dogfish Head, Golden Pheasant and the 2007 Anchor Christmas brew.

I’m sure the real beer guys know all about John’s, but here’s a link anyway:

Next is a stop to Old Capitol Brew Works.

So far, I’ve tried the Golden Pheasant, a classic Czech pilsner. I’m not a big pilsner guy, but this was OK, I’d give it a B-. On Beeradvocate, it rates a B- with 114 reviews.

Here’s what Atis thinks: “Anyway, the beer is beautiful deep golden, extremely small head which disappears in 5 secs too leaving nothing – not a single patch of foam…lacing non-existent. Aroma is mild malty and fruity. Taste is clean bittery citrus with a bit sweet aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel.”

Can someone explain this “mouthfeel” stuff to me? I think I know, but I don’t know, if you know what I mean.

I’m kind of hoarding bombers right now. I stopped tonight at Benz and took all their Anchor Small, along with a bunch of wine. (I know less about wine than I do about how my computer works.)

Let’s get to beer:

This week I simply Googled Indiana beer and came up with this, the Oaken Barrel Restaurant and Brewery located in Greenwood, Ind., the hometown of Iowa linebacker A.J. Edds.

It’s beers include Indiana Amber, Snake Pit Porter and Gnaw Bone Pale Ale among others. It’s calling card appears to be Razz-Wheat, which is described as “One of the first of the now-ubiquitous brewpub raspberry wheat beers. Theirs is still one of the best and most successful. It has a clean flavor that is still sweet but not strong of berry. Found in area restaurants.”

 Now, I probably couldn’t do a Razz-Wheat. I’d try it, but probably wouldn’t put a six in my fridge.

But I would so be all over Superfly I.P.A.

It has only 10 reviews at Beeradvocate, but it rates a solid A- with some raves.

This from TheodorHerzl:

“Pours a nice amber/red color with about nice looking head on it and that leaves some decent lacing on the glass.
Smells of a weaker IPA. Earthy with grass tones and very slight citrus smell if you really get your nose it.
The smell does not represent the taste though. The citrus and pine flavors really come through while drinking it.
Mouthfeel is pretty good with mild carbonation.
Drinkability is very good for about any occassion. A very good IPA overall and above the norm.”

The Oaken Barrel is north of Bloomington and south of Indianapolis. You might stop if you’re staying the weekend.


  1. Nothing beats a cold Blatz.

  2. How does John’s compare to Benz?

    And mouthfeel, ironically enough, is how the beer feels in your mouth. Is it thick and chewy? Is it thin? Is it over-carbonated? Most often I think of viscosity when I think of mouthfeel but there are some more subtle things in there too.

  3. Joe, thanks for not lowering the boom on me! 🙂

    That was pretty damn funny, though.

    I’m drinking an Anchor Small right now.

    It is absolutely heavenly.

    I’m trying to work up the energy to write tomorrow’s story, but I want to know what the wife scored in Madison.

  4. Actually, I was being serious. For a change. LOL!

    I’d never heard of Anchor Small so I looked it up. BeerAdvocate rates it a C+. But, I really like Anchor’s beers so I’ll have to look for it. I’m about out of my Stone beers. I picked up a sixer of Sam Adams Boston Ale the other night and it’s quite drinkable. Nothing extraordinary but a decent beer when you want to have 2 or 5. 😉

  5. We had some Harps and Sam Adams on the flight home last night. One of each for me, it was only a 56-minute flight.

  6. How was the mouthfeel on the nipple?

  7. Hey, I had to drive from the airport!!!

    Eagerly awaiting the Madison beer caravan. And the good thing is my wife is going back on Nov. 7 to visit family. So, hopefully, I’ll have a favorite to load up on.

  8. OK, a six of Arrogant Bastard oaked, a six of Ruination and a four of Old Rasputin. She got sticker shock. I never seem to when it comes to beer.

    So, the second shelf in the fridge includes Bastard, Ruination, Dogfish Head (continually hopped) and Bell’s Two Hearted. The top shelf is more mainstream, Guinness, Red Stripe and Anchor Christmas. The door is full of bombers. The bottom shelf is Miller Lite and the crisper is Miller Lite and Old Style Light cans. You know, for the in-laws.

  9. You’re my hero. What’s your address?

  10. The mean streets of Fairfax!

  11. Fairfax? I don’t think my ankle bracelet goes that far.

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