Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'll see your bicentennial, and raise you a Tricentennial. Whatcha got?

In 2013, New Albany celebrates its 200th birthday, and obviously, a bicentennial is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Consequently, it would have been nice for more of the citizenry to be included at the big kids’ table.

Alas, quite a lot of bright local folks who might have contributed immeasurably to New Albany’s birthday have instead been effectively excluded from planning and implementing it, and sadly, lots of great ideas have gone unheard because the usual civic pillars have hoarded the process to ensure it proceeded according to their own narrow viewpoints, and while that’s a damned shame, the way this bicentennial has gone down to date is a perfect metaphor – a fitting distillation – of two hundred years of social stratification.

It’s disappointing, but here’s the good news: Craft beer can be a wonderful leveler.

For this reason, I decided that NABC will sit out this year’s “official” commemoration, better to honor “next,” or the more hopeful, forthcoming party we’re all guaranteed to miss – not because we were not invited, as was the case in 2013, but because each and every one of us will be dead as door nails in 2113.

Hence, it is my pleasure to announce NABC’s Tricentennial Ale … because in another hundred years, who knows?

NABC Tricentennial Ale is a slightly revamped formula previously released in 2011 as Steamboat Common, which was meant to observe the 200th anniversary of the first steamboat journey on the Ohio River. It's a malty ale on the strong side (circa 7% abv), with sorghum and/or molasses deployed as a fermentable.

Tricentennial’s official draft debut will be at the Culbertson Mansion’s Garden Party on Saturday, June 1. Immediately afterwards, there’ll be a limited amount of draft Tricentennial for sale at NABC’s two locations in New Albany.

On June 3, a limited run of 300 hand-numbered 22oz “bomber” bottles will go on sale at both NABC locations in New Albany, and at Keg Liquors.

Can you say “renegade collector’s edition”?

The label art by NABC’s graphics authority-in-residence Tony Beard depicts the city of New Albany in 2113, when our city’s future generations will have yet another chance to get it right, assuming they can hack a pathway through the inevitable phalanx of wagons circled by the descendants of the usual suspects even in that far-off era to come.

Draft Tricentennial then will make a cameo appearance alongside other NABC brands at the July 4th fireworks party at the Riverfront Amphitheater, which in New Albany is held on July 3, not July 4.

A second Tricentennial wave will occur during the 2013 edition of Harvest Homecoming, when draft Tricentennial will pour at NABC’s 6th annual Fringe Fest at Bank Street Brewhouse. At this time, we’ll also make kegs of Tricentennial available for purchase by six local draft accounts, hopefully affording festival attendees a final chance to drink to New Albany’s future.

Perhaps by then, we’ll have evaded our past. But only time will tell ... and that’s why we drink today.

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