For those that didn’t make it, this post is somewhere between a “nana nana boo boo” and “Dude, you totally missed out!”
After months of planning, beer “tasting” and advertising, everything came together perfectly on November 5th for the first annual “The Beer Is Good at Fiddler’s Hearth” craft beer party. We have been spreading the word on this for quite a while now. Craft beer has been exploding more and more by the month, but would people actually show up to a dedicated craft beer party?
I figured I’d be drinking alone for at least 30 minutes after Fiddler’s 11am opening, but fortunately TheBeerIsGood.com supporters Corey, his wife, and Shawn were there right away. Nobody expected the mayhem that would ensue as we patiently waited for the great staff of Fiddler’s to put a few last minute touches on the restaurant before we received our first beers.
What to go with? The list of things I wanted to try was huge! I really wanted the Four Horseman Porter that Jeremy and I helped brew back in September… but while Jeremy cleaned out the lines for the casks, I started with a very delicious Flat 12 Joe Brahma Coffee Brown Ale. It was so good that I would have it at least once more that day.
Fellow TheBeerIsGood.com contributor, AV, and his wife, strolled in shortly after opening and by 11:30, the entire Pub was full of people drinking great beer and ordering from a very impressive food list. Sean, the pub owner, manned the bar while an awesome crew of servers raced around the restaurant taking orders.
With people standing 2-deep at the bar, and every table full at 12:30, this was a great turnout so far, but it was still early… was this just a lunch hour rush?
After getting a chance to talk to Matt from World Class Bev, Ben and Stephen of Four Horsemen, Michele of SouthBendFoodies.com, among other craft beer supporters, it was time to take a break and head home for a bit, watch some football and prepare for round two.
Nearly asleep on my couch from the high gravity beer I was drinking earlier, I received a txt from a friend who was still there. It was 3pm, the place was STILL packed, and WNDU was there to cover the event! Although WNDU decided to change the name of the event to “Total Tap Takeover” and totally disregarded the fact that this was a joint event between TheBeerIsGood.com and Fiddler’s, at least it was more free advertising.
Around 6pm, it was schwag’oclock. We had cases of brewery pint glasses, mountainous stacks of stickers, tshirts galore… It was like Christmas, only better, and I was Bad Santa. Everyone there that was a known regular got something right away, and that was only a slight dent in our stash. From there, I went around with handfuls of stuff, spreading the love to each table. A very special thanks to Sun King, Flat 12, Ben Amster of Indiana Beer, Matt Johnson of World Class and KC Mars of Cavalier for providing TONS of schwag to hand out to all the great craft beer fans that showed up. My personal favorite hand-out of the night were the Southern Tier glasses from Ben Amster. Everyone wanted one, and we tried to hook-up as many people as we could. Next year we’ll start handing out schwag much sooner so that the early crowd get some as well…
This event was so much more successful than I could have imagined. The pub was packed all day and some staff that were scheduled to get off at 5 where still working at 9:30 when I left. People were eating, drinking, being merry and certainly enjoying the event! Thanks so much to Sean & Jeremy at Fiddler’s Hearth for letting me have a hand in this party, and being such amazing hosts. Also thanks to my close friend AV, who contributes really great stuff to this site and shares this killer hobby with me. Shout-out to all of my friends that came down to support this event, you all are awesome and the best friends a guy could ask for.
I’m already thinking of ways to do it even bigger next year… we’ll see you then!
For those that didn’t make it to the event, below is the list of beers that were on tap at one point or another during the day…
Bell’s Batch 10,000
Brewdog Punk IPA
Dark Horse Scotty Karate
Dogfish Head My Antonia
Dogfish Head/Three Floyds Popaskull
Flat 12 Joe Brahma
Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale
Founders Nemesis (2010)
Four Horseman Vanilla Porter (Cask)
Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti
Great Lakes Market Street Wheat
Hair of the Dog Fred
Hitachino Nest White Ale
Leifmans Oud Bruin
New Albanian Yakima Rye
New Belgium Clutch
New Belgium Kick
New Holland Ichabod (Cask)
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (2008)
Southern Tier Backburner (2009)
Southern Tier Creme Brulee
Stone 15th Anniversary
Sun King Osiris
Three Floyds Moloko
Three Floyds Thick White Freeks