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Potawatomi Zoo Brew (South Bend, IN) Recap

Now that I’ve gone through the required two weeks of grieving over the loss that my Irish suffered at the hands of one of our most hated rivals, and whose name I refuse to utter on this blog, I am starting to feel comfortable reliving certain details of that evening… more specifically, Potawatomi Zoo Brew.

First off, setting craft beer aside for a moment, any event that supports your local Zoo is worth attending. I think it’s very important to preserve this resource for current and future generations, and it’s mostly through the generosity of others that we are able to experience these animals in our own city.

Back to Zoo Brew…

This was another really great event brought to us by Ben Amster of Indiana Beer, and many others. Due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to arrive as early as planned, or stay nearly as long as I would have liked, but having the chance to say hello to fellow beer geeks, try a few beers and enjoy a warm evening outside was well worth my time and the money spent on tickets.

The logistics, staff and atmosphere was top notch. Getting through the lines to enter the event was smooth and efficient. There were laminated sheets with cab company phone numbers listed on the park benches outside of the zoo for those who “sampled” just one beer too many. The area within the park used specifically for this event had plenty of space to roam about without feeling too packed in. I was impressed with how this was organized, which I’m sure years of experience helped perfect. My only complaint would be the music, which at times was way too loud for me to be able to carry on a conversation with people, but that’s likely a result of torturing my ear drums over the last 20 years.

As far as the beer is concerned, there were lots of regional favorites from the likes of Bell’s, 3 Floyds, Dark Horse and others. Seeing local breweries such as Iechyd Da (Elkhart), Four Horsemen (South Bend) and Bare Hands (Granger) represented was the highlight of the evening, in my opinion. Given a more loose schedule, or not having to drive home afterward, I would have spent much more of my time at those 3 tents.

So what did you think of the event, and what was your favorite beer? My personal favorite of the evening was the Dry-Hopped Imperial Porter by Bare Hands; I hope Chris decides to brew this again sometime!

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