IMPORTANT NOTE: IF YOU ARE HEADED TO INDY, YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THIS EVENT FROM 4-7 P.M. FRIDAY NIGHT! OVER 15 INDIANAPOLIS AREA BREWERIES REPRESENTED.
You guys, I know this week has been a tough one already. You were a bit hungover from Thanksgiving weekend on Monday, but still jacked up about winning the Big Ten West and beating Minnesota for the ∞th time. Tuesday came around, which was a day away from beer to get your mind right for the big Duke basketball game on Wednesday. Then the basketball game actually happened.
It was rough, but in the grand scheme of things doesn't really affect what Bo Ryan, Detective Frank Kaminsky and the rest of the precinct are trying to accomplish this year. Some quick thoughts here and here on the game. Now it is Friday, and the biggest football game of the season looms Saturday night.
We as fans need to prepare just as diligently as the coaches and players, if not more so! There are tailgates to be planned in a foreign (well, not really, we have been to Indy three of the four times there has been a championship game) land or one last party to be thrown in your home/apartment/men's halfway house (which is where I assume many of our readers reside, and hey, the internet seems to be pretty fast there).
For those traveling to the game at Lucas Oil Stadium, I have quite the itinerary planned for you so that you can experience all Indiana has to offer, uh, malted barley-wise.
What about the game?
What about the game?
If you are driving from Madison or Chicago, your first stop should be at Three Floyds Brewing in Munster. I know we've discussed them around these parts before and I know they may be a tiny bit over-hyped, but when in Indiana you should drink like an Indianaianiannanan (?). It is just across the border once you leave Illinois and if you have 30 minutes to spare, I suggest stopping in and grabbing a case of whatever they have to go.
Once you get back on the highway and start heading south towards Indianapolis, your next stop isn't until the one annoying person in your traveling party (in mine, it's my wife. LOVE YOU!) has to pee. But after that, your next stop isn't until 25 minutes away from the stadium. Brugge Brasserie, which will remind you of Brasserie V in Madison, is a lovely little Belgian beer bar/restaurant in the Broad Ripple section of Indianapolis. They are currently featuring four of their own beers on draft as well as five beers from local outfit, Outliers Brewing. Brugge Brasserie's flagship is their Tripel de Ripple. A big, boozy (9.85% ABV) tripel, their de Ripple will warm you up with notes of vanilla and possibly pear (their description says). It should also be mentioned that you are only allowed to have two in one sitting. Badger fans love a challenge, though. They also offer 12 different sauce options with their frites and I think I'm in heaven.
A couple of Outliers beers caught my eye, obviously the Buffalo Jacket IPA because I'm hopelessly addicted, but one that is a bit more interesting is the Hopes and Dreams Sour Reserve. It is "a Spring seasonal brewed with barley and wheat malt, fermented with rice wine yeast, botanicals, and aged in cognac VSOP barrels." Now it is on their website's menu, but the "Spring seasonal" part has me a bit concerned. I hope some enterprising Badger drinker can discover if this is actually on tap AND if it is as good as it sounds.
Last, but certainly not least, is Indy staple Sun King Brewery. A mere 1.4 mile walk away from the stadium, Sun King has been winning awards and making awesome beer since they opened in 2009. Only sold in Indiana, Sun King is a must-see for any Wisconsinites that love beer. Osiris Pale Ale and Wee Mac Scottish-Style Ale are the two year-round beers that you should check out, and they conveniently come in cans for easy tailgating access. They also make a Fistful of Hops series (four different IPAs a year) and this quarter's features Citra and Galaxy hops. I bet it's a citrusy dream come true. If you can't make it to either of these spots, fear not, because Sun King is literally ('sup former Indy resident Chris Traeger) in every bar in town.
Have a good weekend, wherever you may be, Badger fans... and don't forget to wake up early and crack a beer for #MarquetteHate2Hours. Those clowns don't deserve a week.