Tuesday, June 30, 2020


UPDATED 6/30/20: Some places come right out and say it, and some are more passive-aggressive. Bloomington's Book Corner is of the latter persuasion, but they make the list because almost every bookstore I have checked is now seated in the paranoid retard section.

UPDATED 6/24/20: Not that Indianapolis will ever be mistaken for a city with good bookstores, but now the options are even more limited, as Indy Reads Books and Irvington Vinyl & Books make the list. And the credit-card-only shit is starting to piss me off, too. You are legally obligated to accept cash for payment, you candy-ass pieces of shit. (I have no doubt that Monkey Joe and Monkey Eric probably suspended that rule for the time being. Why not? They probably get a sweet thumb up the ass from the credit card companies. Fuck those two knuckle-dragging simians.)

UPDATED 6/20/20: Lick Ice Cream reopened their tasting room in the Circle City Industrial Complex today, but they are requiring masks, so I will continue to get my ice cream at Wyliepalooza here in Irvington - which, by the way, has remained open throughout the last three months, while most of the world was shitting the bed. They have not, to my knowledge, ever required that customers wear masks - and yet they seem not to have all died agonizing, respiratory-related deaths. I don't even know how that's possible, given that the whole fucking internet apparently thinks that masks can walk on water, part the Red Sea, and sing in perfect, three-part harmony.

UPDATED 6/13/20: The Indianapolis Public Library has posted its plan for re-opening for "in-branch services," and they are, unfortunately, including the fascist dictum that everyone over two years of age is required to wear a face mask. I have not actively pursused information from any of the other businesses on this list as to when they plan to drop their incorrect policy errors; but the library, more than most all of the other establishments listed here, is an essential service for many people. The library should feel an obligation to be more accommodating and less stupid, so it may be necessary to petition them directly for redress of this grievance.

UPDATED 6/11/20: "Wear a mask when ordering" sounds like a dictate to me, so Percolate Irvington gets added to the list. This used to be the second outpost of a Fountain Square spot called The Wine Market, but the Irvington shop closed for remodeling right around the time the world shit the bed. I drag Amy to breweries all the time, where there usually isn't much for her to drink - so having this place right here in Irvington was a nice alternative for her. Not a big loss for me, since the tiny beer selection they have isn't very good.

UPDATED 6/8/20: The Facebook pages for the three Barnes & Noble stores in the metro area have inconsistent messaging with respect to face masks, but all three stores have used the word required in at least one post. The two stores outside Marion County send a somewhat mixed message by also using the words strongly encourage. Both indicate that this company does not value my business.

UPDATED 6/4/20: Calvin Fletcher's Coffee Company is obnoxiously pimping face masks at every opportunity on their social media posts, but I haven't actually seen the word required yet. I guess there's a fine line between paranoia and discrimination. I don't go there very much because they're closed on Sundays, but even with all of the time off that I currently have, this sort of behavior will discourage me from patronizing their establishment.

UPDATED 6/2/20: We went downtown this afternoon to ogle broken glass and boarded windows, and I discovered two more places that are discriminating against unmasked people—Global Gifts and Silver in the City.

Following is a list of places that require* face masks for entry to the premises. It is not acceptable to require people to wear face masks anywhere, for any reason, at any time. Until these businesses permanently exterminate their incorrect policies, they will not receive my business.

Apple Store
Barnes & Noble
Black Circle Brewing Co.
Book Corner - NEW
Global Gifts
Indianapolis City Market
The Indianapolis Public Library
Indy Reads Books
Irvington Farmers Market
Irvington Vinyl & Books
Lick Ice Cream
Percolate Irvington
Silver in the City
Tattered Cover Book Store - NEW

* These places, to the best of my knowledge, require face masks as of the date and time of the most recent version of this post. I will update the list as I receive new information, but removing the incorrect face mask requirement will not absolve any business of guilt. They will be moved to a separate list of businesses that did wrong, but have since learned from their mistakes. (And if I sound angry, it's because I fucking am.)

Sunday, June 28, 2020

236. Black Acre Brewing Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - Shutdown Schwarzbier

“Shutdown, our German-style Schwarzbier, was brewed to benefit the Indy Independent Relief Fund, who assist industry employees in need. Hops donated from Crazy Horse, and grain donated from Sugar Creek Malt Co.”

I spend so much time with IPAs that I mostly forget the fact that I do, actually, like other styles. I thought our multiple stops at Big Woods in December, when I discovered the joys of Peanut Butter Busted Knuckle and Common Necessity would help me to keep that in mind—but that seems not to be the case. I don’t know if that’s bad or not. I tend to love the hoppy pales I try, and a lot of the other stuff is usually just meh. This one has some nice coffee notes, and solid malt in the spine; but it doesn’t really do anything for me.

235. Black Acre Brewing Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - Riotous Daymares

“Jam packed with tropical fruit and the orange goo of dream logic, this juicy IPA won’t help you interpret the world around you. But then again, it can’t hurt.”

I think the word up there is goo; but it might be god. The label font is a blocky style that makes O and D almost indistinguishable. The ordering website says pineapple and mango, but I taste lemon and peach—and it gets pretty tangy as it warms up. I don’t think there’s any lactose in there, but this sort of feels like what you might get if a milkshake and a sour collided at a fairly high speed.

Friday, June 26, 2020

234. Four Day Ray Brewing (Fishers, IN) - Grapefruit Track Jumper IPA

“Brewed with grapefruits and heavy on the hops. Grapefruit aroma with orange, citrus, resin and pine.”

Really nice grapefruit flavor up front, with a smooth, dry finish. It’s a little too heavy to be called refreshing, but I think it would probably still make a pretty good lawnmower beer.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Deep Thoughts #213

And now it is time to stop reading Twitter. Even the reasoned people are re-tweeting the ejaculations of the mask crazies. Shut the fuck up.

Deep Thoughts #212

We got a double surrey at White River State Park today, and it was refreshing that none of the employees there were either masked or gloved.

Monday, June 22, 2020

233. DuClaw Brewing Co. (Rosedale, MD) - Oatshake

“To make this velvety-smooth double IPA, we blend in steel-cut oats that have been soaked and strained into rich, creamy oat milk. That, along with the addition of even more oats, gives Oatshake its hazy, pillowy mouthfeel while allowing hop flavors & aromas to shine through.”

I’ve had beers that were brewed with oats as part of the grain profile, but this is the first time, to my knowledge, that I have had a milkshake that came from oat milk. It works awfully well. There’s an echo of fruit in there, but it blends so smoothly with the high alcohol (8.5%) and the dry finish that the whole thing feels like it’s meant to be a showcase for the oat milk. Best new beer I’ve had in a long time.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

232. Terre Haute Brewing Co. (Terre Haute, IN) - La Riviere

“Classic farmhouse ale spice and fruit combo with a twist. Dry hopped with Lemondrop hops. Late additions of Moroccan coriander, grains of paradise, sweet orange peel, and Lemondrop hops. Peppery spice, orange, lemon zest. A crisp and refreshing springtime beverage.”

UPDATED 6/22/20: After pouring the final two, the verdict is that this particular batch is overcarbonated AF.

A little bit of citrus and farmhouse funk up front and on the nose, and a very bitter finish that I suppose might be the classic spice they’re referring to. I’m not entirely sure. This one foamed over when I popped it, and I was afraid it was overcarbonated. I had to wait awhile for the foam to subside, and the carbonation was fine—but it got too warm, too fast. Such is the risk of drinking beer in the summer in my poorly-ventilated aboveground lair. (The second one is not much better, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s overcarbonated or because it’s not a very good beer.)

231. St. Joseph Brewery (Indianapolis, IN) - Second Chances

“DDH American IPA. Brewed with Citra, Blanc and Mandarina hops. Double dry hopped with Mosaic, Simcoe and Amarillo.”

All those different hops flavors mix together pretty nicely, and the result is a deceptively light-tasting beer with good balance.

Friday, June 19, 2020

230. Indiana City Brewing Co. (Indianapolis, IN) - Parachuting Pigs

“Our latest in the Craft Brew Doodle Crew series is another amazingly juicy full-flavored and smooth DDH IPA brewed with Mosaic, Cashmere and Galaxy hops.”

Light fruit flavors up front, and a soft, bitter finish. Wasn’t sure I liked the first one, but am more certain of the second. The bitter finish is soft, but it mixes with the moderate alcohol (7.5%) to sharpen up that sweet fruit opening.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

229. Schlafly Beer (St. Louis, MO) - Tasmanian IPA

“Our Tasmanian IPA is brewed with 100% Australian hops. The Tasmanian hop, Galaxy, is a strong, aromatic variety that is different from traditional strains of the Pacific Northwest. Our brewers developed a recipe that showcases the hop’s unique flavors of citrus and pineapple.”

I suspect that must be passionfruit—but it might also be lychee? Those are two fruits I have never eaten, so I can’t say for sure what they taste like; but I get a strong fruit flavor up front with this one, and it ain’t citrus or pineapple. It might just be the flavor I have tasted in I don’t know how many other beers and have never been able to identify. Whatever it is, I like it. Also, this is the first beer I have tried in this little experiment from the state of Missouri. I have now tried beers from 21 different states—as well as two other countries (Canada and Honduras).

228. Brew Link Brewing Company (Plainfield, IN) - $timulu$ IPA

No description, except that it’s part of the Industry Relief Series, an offshot of the Indy Independent Relief Fund. Very light tropical and citrus notes up front, with a strong, malty bitterness to the finish. I’m still not entirely clear on what dank is supposed to be mean when we’re talking about beer, but that was the word that came to mind when I took my first sip of this.

Monday, June 15, 2020

227. Sun King (Indianapols, IN) - Math Doctor

“Small Batch Math Doctor is a Sour IPA with a mouth-puckering tartness and flavors of lemonade, lychee, and guava.”

That first sip is impressively sour, with low carbonation and bright citrus, and then some very light stone fruit in the finish. This one is either too sour, or my taste for the style is diminishing.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

226. Sun King (Indianapolis, IN) - The Big Tickle

“The Big Tickle is an Imperial IPA that tickles the taste buds with substantial citra [sic] hop satisfaction.”

I can almost taste the tree that the fruit was picked from, and this strain of Citra has a strong finishing flavor of nectarine that isn’t quite ripe yet. So smooth that you won’t have any idea how big it is (8.3%). Wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but it’s growing on me. I like a little more balance in an IPA—but I love nectarines, and that flavor at the end is really impressive.

225. Quaff ON! Brewing Co. (Nashville, IN) - Pineapple QTFO!

“Quaff ON!’s Pineapple QTFO! adds a twist of pineapple to our smooth-drinking IPA, enhancing and blending seamlessly with the tropical hop aroma.”

Today was our first foray back into the world of dine-in restaurant service, and we wound up at the Big Woods in Speedway; unfortunately, we were seated directly in the sun, and I had a little bit of trouble concentrating on the beer while my forearms were cooking. Noticeable shot of pineapple up front, and a smooth, dry finish.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

224. BrewDog (Columbus, OH) - East Coast Crush

“This New England Style IPA pours as hazy as a brisk Vermont morning. With bags of crisp tropical fruit aromas, this dry-hopped monsoon crushes with pineapple, mango, and a touch of zesty lime. Brewed with wheat and oats, the waves of juicy flavor finish with an unfiltered, coastal-crisp, that’s smooth and sessionable. High on hops, low on bitterness, and big on taste. East Coast Crush - Fully fruited fog machine.”

Um…okay. I saw New England Style IPA on the label, and did not think for a second that it would be a session; and I suppose for a session it’s alright. I sort of get the session-style lightness of it, but New England’s are supposed to be juicy and big. I think. I could be wrong. This one is neither, but I sort of get the idea that it wishes it were both.

223. Sun King (Indianapolis, IN) - Small Batch Check Ya Later

“Small Batch Check Ya Later is a Rye IPA brewed as one of the last beers to come from our 96th St. location.”

Because apparently the cold, industrial plainness of that taproom needed some kind of sendoff? I’m no expert on rye IPAs, but ever since I first tried the plain old rye IPA at Black Circle, I have felt as though I have an affinity for them. Philip’s version isn’t quite as good as Dan’s, and the very aggressive Saucy Intruder from Black Acre falls somewhere in between. This one comes a close second to Dan’s version of Carney Rye’d. It’s more dynamic, with a stronger spice up front and a very upright bitter finish. Dan’s was a little more even; Philip’s is very bitter; and Black Acre’s is much hoppier, and a little more drinky. To be clear, though—all four are very good; and this is the best thing I’ve had from Sun King in a long time.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Deep Thoughts #211

My true face will reveal that I won’t be told what to do. Like the colonists who left merry old England. Shane Leonard can fuck off and die.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

222. Southern Tier Brewing Co. (Lakewood, NY) - 8 Days a Week

“With fruity notes, low bitterness and a clean finish, this refreshing beer is hard to put down. Take it with you on your infinite adventures. No matter the journey, this is an ale you can enjoy 8 Days a Week.”

Meh. Very drinkable, but almost no flavor. Blondes are not my jam, but there’s almost always something lame in a variety pack that you just have to put up with if you want to try the rest of them.

Monday, June 08, 2020

221. Taxman Brewing Co. (Bargersville, IN) - Double DIPA - Mosaic + Lemondrop

“Great things come in pairs. Double DIPA showcases two hops working in harmony to create a balanced, hop-forward experience. The intense mango, berry and pine aromas of Mosaic hops are brightened by vibrant citrus notes of Lemondrop hops. Both are elevated by a soft, malty saison body.”

I get the mango more on the nose than in the taste, but not much in the way of pine. Another big beer (9.0%) that loses some of its flavor in the punch of the alcohol. I don’t get much of the expected Taxman funkiness, either. Not bad, but maybe a little too big for its britches.

220. BrewDog (Columbus, OH) - Pulp Patriot Blueberry

“This powerhouse of a double milkshake IPA is packing blueberry. Delivering intense blueberry aromas and gigantic jammy flavor upfront. Tailgated by citrus notes that balance out the sweetness. Milk sugar adds body and rounds out the chewy delivery.”

If nothing else, they’re better brewers than they are writers. As for the beer, I get a strong scent of blueberry when I pour it—almost like the smell from the toaster when I would heat up a blueberry bagel in the Teter Quad dining room—but the flavor is not quite as strong, and it gets buried under the high alcohol (9.5%). As usual, the citrus comes out as it warms up. I’m a cheap date. This was only $10.99 for a six-pack, and it seems like craft beer is getting more and more expensive since the middle of March when the world shit the bed. Like most everything I’ve had from BrewDog, I don’t love it—but it’s not bad.

219. Southern Tier Brewing Co. (Lakewood, NY) - Live Session

“Live Session is bright, refreshingly loud, and cracked [sic] up to 11 by adding generous amounts of Citra hops to reflect the feeling of live music. Live Session pairs great with toe-tapping or head-banging to your favorite band on stage.”

This one is also not particularly remarkable, but it has an interesting grassy aftertaste. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it’s definitely interesting.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

218. Souther Tier Brewing Co. (Lakewood, NY) - Nu Juice IPA

“Sometimes evolution is observed in real time. Case in point: Nu Juice IPA. Over the course of more than a year of development, our R&D team uncovered the ultimate balance of hops and malts. This process involves adding Mosaic, Eukanot, and Simcoe hops over a multi-day period, creating a refresingly juicy and approachable IPA. As an added bonus, bitterness has been reduced to a low 30 for what could be the smoothest IPA ever brewed.”

Very subtle fruit flavor up front, and then a dry, earthy finish. Not particularly remarkable.

217. Southern Tier Brewing Co. (Lakewood, NY) - Lake Shore Fog

“Three words to describe Lake Shore Fog: hazy, juicy, refreshing. Three more: aromatic, delicious, golden. A year of brewing development has captured these attributes and rolled them into a brilliant new beer. We are using absurd amounts of hops, dry hopped on 4 different days, making it a juicy flavor and aroma bomb. A slightly malty sweetness balances a dry and very mild finish which melds perfectly with its hazy appearance. Tropical, citrus, and stone fruit, and pleasingly floral character is [sic] marked with notes of big, dank, resinous Mosaic, Citra, and Amarillo hops. Enjoy!”

Yeah…and that doesn’t include the paragraph preceding it, which is a very purply description of whichever lake shore fog seems to have inspired this beer. Nice stone fruit up front, and a hint of citrus on the back end. The dry finish is pretty subtle. Excellent.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Deep Thoughts #210

I am happy to be part of the problem, because I want nothing to do with a solution that would please this special breed of blathering idiot.

216. Southern Tier Brewing Co. (Lakewood, NY) - 2XIPA

“With our 2XIPA, a massive dry hop brings a feverishly hoppy and well-balanced Double IPA. Citrusy hops tease the senses with big aromatics and certifiable bitterness. An enormous haul of hops, including Simcoe and Citra, deliver notes of grapefruit, lemon and doughy sweetness. Double your expectations because this is an ale that demands reverence.”

Okay. There is a pretty good balance between the piney Simcoe and the citrusy/tropical Citra hops. I don’t know about the doughy sweetness, though. The strong bitter finish accentuates the high alcohol (8.2%). Tried another one a day later, when it wasn’t quite as hot up here in my aboveground lair, and found that the Citra stands out a little more when it’s colder. The alcohol still comes to call, but on the whole I’d say I like it better cold.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Deep Thoughts #209

How do you learn a kid who’s about to turn thirteen to turn the stove off when he’s done cooking ravioli, so he doesn’t burn the house down?

Deep Thoughts #208

Amy just got this book out of the library, and I’m thinking someone should buy a bunch of copies and send them to every police officer ever.

Monday, June 01, 2020

215. Single Cut Beersmiths (Queens, NY) - Eric More Cowbell!

“We’ve got a fever—And there is only one cure: a lusciously creamy, slightly sweet Stout that sits atop a roast malt base and huge cocoa infusion that will rock all night long.”

Website says it’s a nitro, and it’s smooth and creamy going down; but it poured like a regular beer. I haven’t had enough nitros to say for sure, but this feels like one. Needs more of a chocolate flavor to balance the vanilla and the sweetness, but not bad.