Thursday, January 31, 2013

ON THE AVENUES: Not to mention rack of lamb.

ON THE AVENUES: Not to mention rack of lamb.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

Louisville’s Against the Grain brewpub staged a “swanky” beer dinner earlier this week. The occasion was a visit to Louisville by the gypsy brewers known to the world as To Øl, a pair of twenty-something homebrewing Danes gone commercial, and now making the most of their newfound stardom on a stateside tour.

Prior to the dinner, there was a “happy hour” and meet ‘n’ greet a few blocks over at the Louisville Beer Store, which featured To Øl’s beers and a chance to learn what makes them tick. Unlike NABC, To Øl has no brewery of its own. Rather, the beers are brewed at other existing European breweries with capacity to spare … or this week, in Louisville.

Part of the reason for To Øl’s visit was to brew a collaboration beer with Against the Grain, and it must be conceded that in doing so, Tobias and Tore found just the right hopster partners in creative beer-themed lunacy, the only difference being the customary experience of Danes speaking English better than most Americans. Apart from superb hosts, witty guests and their fine beers, I’ll always remember two aspects of the beer dinner.

First was Chef Reed Johnson’s commendable decision to go raw with a course of quail egg-topped steak tartare, served with sprouts, fried capers and pecerino, and paired with To Øl’s Snowball Saison, an example of “wild” ale with a funky, sour character.

“Yummers,” writ large.

The olfactory memories were immediate and compelling, because the dish reminded me of my good fortunate in being introduced to the concept of traditional Danish lunch many years ago by friends in Copenhagen.

“Lunch” in this usage is a refreshingly elastic concept meant for stretching one’s food and drink consumption from just after breakfast until almost closing time, featuring a steady succession of small plates, tapas-style, and mostly served raw: Herring, steak and eggs, with dense dark flatbread for stacking as well as acorn-sized capers and pungent onions for use as condiments.

Granted, sour ale in the Belgian style would not have been available to us back in those halcyon days, although we somehow made do with glasses of lager and beakers of akvavit (regional schnapps), all of them repeated until the last traveler’s check was gone. One time I spent roughly $300 for my share of such a repast, recalling almost nothing about it the next day.

I’ll never forget not remembering.


Second, on Tuesday night I soon realized that my beer dinner’s glow was not exclusively derived from the sheer joy of ingesting raw meat and quaffing sour ale. In fact, it was almost uncomfortably warm outside following a 70-degree Kentuckiana shirtsleeves day in January, with high winds and even tornadoes expected overnight.

It seems that my memories of steak tartare and uncooked victuals are tied to cooler climes, and crisp evening sweater temperatures in places like Denmark and Finland, even during high summer. It’s a bit incongruent, but this being the Ohio Valley, one merely must wait patiently for a few hours to pass and the weather to turn upside down.

It’s now Thursday morning, and the mercury’s below freezing. I’ll be bundling for a restorative walk, and craving more food designed for colder weather. As I’ve noted in the past, whenever it isn’t a fit night out for man or beast, some dining options are inadequate in spite of their ready availability owing to the wonders of long-distance trucking.

Let’s face the facts: Salade Nicoise, gazpacho, watermelon and corn on the cob neither were meant to be consumed in winter, nor are calculated to warm one’s increasingly creaky bones. Waxen imitation veggies can do no more than offend. Rather, hearty soups, stews, goulash, cabbage rolls and casseroles form integral recipe files deep within the genetic code.

Foodstuffs like these arouse the slumbering distance of ancestors on the continental steppes and in the northern forest, those enduring and resourceful people who during winter reached for the pickled vegetables, delved into cellar for potatoes, beets and onions, and cracked open stocks of salted beef and fish.

This also is the point where the oenophile loses traction. Wine’s fine, the redder the better, but beer excels when it comes to winter’s fortification. It’s true that I’m an evolving apostle of session-strength (lower alcohol) beer styles, but when it’s cold outside and the ham and beans in the tureen are steaming, real beer matches the occasion -- beer that is cool, not cold; solid, not puny; and challenging, not simple.

Winter – assuming suntans are appropriately impossible – provides the most suitable conditions for sampling and studying the heavyweight classics that have come to us from Old World brewing cultures, and in turn are embraced and redefined by America’s innovative craft brewers ... and Europeans like To Øl.

Among these are multi-faceted imperial stouts, deeply affecting barley wines, potent Belgian Trappists and big, brawny German “double” bocks. Not only do these styles provide ample warming for bodies iced and chilled in the great outdoors, but they also stick to the food that sticks to your bones, when it matters most.

These needn’t necessarily boast double-digit alcohol contents. Doppelbock and Baltic Porter are in the 7%-8% range, ideal to wash down roasted pork and sauerkraut. Robust, jet-black Imperial Stout, once an English export beverage for markets in Russia and Scandinavian port cities, retains its roasty fruitiness in examples at 9% ABV. Forget the fridge and place your bottles and growlers in the basement, or by a cold wall, and begin thinking about the meals to come.

I’m swooning: Steak and kidney pudding, or Bavarian-style Schweinehaxe (pork knuckle with a crisply chewy rind). Smoked salmon and mackerel. Dilled potatoes with butter or sour cream. Pickled eggs and mushrooms as an opening appetizer course. Smelly cheeses and nuts afterward, with the sherry-like vintage Barleywine you’ve been saving, and cigars if permitted. Of course, a snifter of Kentucky bourbon never hurt, either.

Thanks to everyone who made Tuesday such an adventure.

RateBeer users declare NABC's Pizzeria & Public House the top brewpub in Indiana.

Congratulations to our comrades in the list above. Metro Louisville is an under-rated craft beer destination, and both Indiana and Kentucky are exploding in terms of craft beer in the hinterlands. It's an exciting time to be in the business.

It's true that I'm fairly ambivalent about beer ratings, but there are two things about such rankings that I always find pleasing.

First, just being included as part of any conversation about best beer bars and brewpubs is reward enough for me. I've always felt we deserve to at least be mentioned, and I'll leave the exact numbers to the calculation of others.

Second, it's wonderful to see New Albany's name alongside New York, Chicago, New Orleans and San Diego in accountings pertaining to the "best of" anything.

Obviously, we could not do any of it without our workers and without you, the customer. Your patronage and their efforts are much appreciated, and we thank you all.

In 2012, we marked 25 years for the business overall (founded 1987), 20 years for me at the Public House, and 10 years as a brewery. Once upon a time, I sat down at a bar somewhere with a pint of Guinness in hand, and the next time I looked up, a career seemed to have found me. Problem is, I still don't know what I'd like to do when I grow up. This will do, at least for now.

Here's the press release.

RateBeer Best 2013 -- AWARD RESULTS

By RateBeer's Joe Tucker, Executive Director, 2001-present

(Santa Rosa, CA) First and foremost, I'd like to raise a glass to the people who make the beer we drink. These men and women are the artists, engineers, visionaries, chefs, CEOs and of course janitors and many other roles combined that are today's craft brewer. I've had the pleasure of listening to many in my role here and there are no more passionate, skilled, brave and hard working people on the planet. The great success of craft beer around the world proves this.

It's my great pleasure to honor them, and all those in the craft beer industry, with the results of this year's RateBeer Best.

Over 4.5 million times, RateBeer beer reviewers worldwide have raised a glass to review a new beer. We have tallied those scores and now present them as our competition results. For our summaries, a particular emphasis was placed on tastings made in the last twelve months. Additionally, brewpubs, bottle shops, restaurants and bars from around the world were awarded prizes. Cheers to all the winners and to everyone who keeps the world of craft beer growing as a fun, cooperative community devoted to artfulness and excellence.

Predictably, the real disaster is Albert Mohler.

Because Mohler is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, we're unfortunately compelled to be smitten by his voluminous wind far more often than those residing in civilized portions of the country. However, he still is considered a quoteworthy ayatollah of sorts among the nation's evangelicals in need of "leadership," sacred or profane.

Last year, I advised Mohler to stay the hell off my porch.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Albert Mohler: Policy Change on Gay Boy Scouts, Leaders Would Be a 'Disaster', by Joseph Lord (WFPL)

The president of the Louisville-based Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is criticizing the Boy Scouts of America's decision to re-examine a policy that excluded openly gay scouts and scout leaders.

Albert Mohler discussed the possible Boy Scouts change with USA Today, calling it "nothing less than disastrous" for the organization.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mr. Gahan, complete these streets.

In Monday's edition (January 28) of the 'Bama Fried Chicken Pop Up Gazette, Randy Smith's letter to the editor finally was published.

You read it here at NAC first, on the 20th, several days after he submitted it to the newspaper.

NAC Guest Columnist Randy Smith: "Don’t Rush to Build Outdoor Swimming Pool."

But do the people of New Albany need, or even want, a new outdoor pool? As we blow through the second decade of the 21st Century, is building a swimming pool a legitimate and equitable use of tax money?

If my chronology's right, Randy submitted the letter just before Chris Morris editorialized in favor of an aquatic center on a "quality of life" basis (on January 17). Well, I suppose they have to get topic ideas somewhere, don't they?

Speaking of ideas, over at the newspaper's web site, "Eric" takes issue with Randy's reasoning.

No one, least of all the mayor, is thinking in terms of 'political capital' here. Unlike most local pols, Gahan is actually thinking outside the city-govt bubble about ideas that will actually benefit residents of New Albany. Everyone else has moved on from 2011. It's 2013, Randy. Join us. The water's fine.

I agree with Randy that it's perfectly legitimate to ask for evidence of a public groundswell in favor of aquatics.

Show me, Eric. If it's really there, I'll take it into account, but I don't hear the clamor.

NAC did not agree with every move of the mayor's during the first year of his term, but we've found more to like than dislike. In our view, if the administration really intends to think "outside the city-govt bubble," it should begin with a top-to-bottom rethink of the city's street grid, because virtually all city residents use the street grid every day, but the street grid is not organized (it is profoundly disorganized) to meet the needs of all city residents, i.e., those who are not driving cars.

Before the meeting, let's think about differing qualities of life.

Rather, it’s this persistent, unquestioned notion on the part of self-assigned movers and shakers that the highest civic priority when it comes to “quality-of-life” issues is the same old kneejerk-as-usual pablum: The benign “niceness” of swimming and baseball, and the accompanying tendency of the powers that be to lapse into dazed stupor at the very suggestion that prioritizing basic everyday infrastructures of living, from transport to design to neighborhoods, addresses “quality-of-life” issues far more comprehensively than parks and recreation force-fed into a vacuum.

One last piece of reading for Eric, Chris and the mayor's team. Maybe I'll submit a letter to the newspaper ... postdated for March.

Random 2013 Platform Goals 1: Toll Free New Albany and all it entails, ASAP.

During Year Two of the Gahan administration, articulating and implementing a program of evolution toward complete streets in New Albany is a policy that can address multiple needs with one throw.

1. Complete streets are a means of transforming the urban street grid into a diverse, human friendly mechanism for growth.

2. This enhances prospects for the further expansion of retail, offices and even housing downtown, and of connecting downtown to outlying areas by means of the Greenway and other routes radiating outward.

3. Critically, boldness is needed right now, because the closer we get to a tolling regime on some Ohio River Bridges and not on others (read: Sherman Minton), the more likely that New Albany's current one-way street grid reverts to abuse by no-stop pass-throughs to the detriment of any human scale reform. It is time to act.

Randy Smith remembers the late Patrick Hess.

Randy Smith remembers the late Patrick Hess, who in 1950 became New Albany's first pediatrician.

In Memoriam: Patrick Hess

I just learned of the death of Dr. Patrick Hess – Pat, as we knew him, but Dr. Hess to so many, many New Albanians for whom he was their primary care pediatrician.

Pat was truly a man of his generation. Cultured, witty, inquisitive. I of course, only knew him in his “retirement,” and during those years I was privileged to serve him and to call him a friend.

How I invented the cure for cancer, and other rigorously factual digressions.

There are many reasons why downtown New Albany no longer is the "barren wasteland" referred to in the title of this Not Quite the Insider That Insider Louisville Purports To Be article, which touches on various aspects of the real story without ever wrestling any of them to the ground.

It should suffice to say that if one is seeking reasons for New Albany's revival these past few years, asking Develop New Albany to explain it is tantamount to requesting that I detail my pivotal role in making NASCAR the nation's favorite motorized spectator sport.

(To represent the great change downtown, we're shown a photo of the former Little Chef, now DP Updogs, which during the period of our civic dormancy remained open for 24 hours a day through a half-dozen presidential administrations or more, while its successor seemingly accepts customers only by appointment. Neither the image nor the metaphor I would have used, but then again, I actually know a bit about the topic.)

For another recent example of an Insider Louisville contributor making me pull out my hair, go here: Polly Wanna History Lesson?

Dan Canon on New Albany: From barren wasteland to bustling urban vibe almost overnight, by Dan Canon

Five years ago, downtown New Albany was practically a barren wasteland.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Check your spelling, C-J slackers ... and watch that arm.

Owing to the terminal cuteness of the church's self-identification as a "fire and rain" kind of place, the proper spelling of the word circled above is obvious.

It should be "retched."

But just in case you chose "reached," don't forget ...

2013 REPRISE: Stop "reaching out" before I tear off your arm.

Rightsizing Streets: Change design, change behavior.

Think about rightsizing New Albany's streets.

What is ‘Rightsizing’ a Street? Rightsizing is the process of reallocating a street’s space to better serve its full range of users.

Rightsizing Streets: The needs of our communities evolve over time, and our street design should, too. That’s the idea behind ‘rightsizing streets’ – reconfiguring the layout of our streets to better serve the people who use them, whether they’re commuters driving, shoppers walking, or children bicycling. Across the country, communities large and small are achieving impressive safety, mobility, and community outcomes by implementing such reconfigurations.

I glance outside the window at our outdated, one-way, pass-through street grid, and I think: It's a veritable laboratory for changing behavior by changing design.

So, why is it that we're so chickenshit when it comes to sorely needed paradigm shifts?

Gonder: "If Life Hands You Lindens, Make Lindenade."

As usual, councilman John Gonder is thinking.

Not only that, but he writes coherently to convey his thoughts. As these qualities are so rare hereabouts, they are to be encouraged in political aspirants.

John's thoughts on a Not Linden Meadows aquatic center trial balloon suggest an obvious question, which promptly is asked in the comments section: Is there demand for an aquatic center? John believes there is, although perhaps not at the $9 million bonded support level.

Okay, seriously: Is there concrete evidence of public demand for an aquatics center? Not a hunch, but something certifiable? I see little, but as I've conceded before, perhaps as a non-swimmer who prefers to stay dry, I may not be listening in all the right places.

If Life Hands You Lindens, Make Lindenade

At yesterday's Redevelopment Commission meeting I floated a lead trial balloon of turning the woebegone property of Linden Meadows into a water park.

Monday, January 28, 2013

And only one of them is dead. Well, maybe two.

To see the Freedom to Screech man of the year for the 2013 edition, a guy who has been dead since 2011, find the highlighted link below.

To learn who the outstanding women are (I believe they're all living), go here.

I print these in their hilarious entirety without correcting grammatical errors, because there is no need to drive traffic to FOS when the laughs can be right here.



The heart of a city is it's people. These men stand up for the best interest for New Albany citizens.

They work hard and play by the rules. And most of all they look out for their neighbors, co-workers, and the many needs of the "little people" of New Albany.

It's well known these men have:

* Supported the best interest for New Albany citizens

* Worked with local groups to provide food and supplies for the needy

* Listened to concerns of the public

* Not afraid to stand up for the rights of us citizens

* Supports the best interest of fellow employees

* They put their lives on the line for all New Albany citizens

* Successful businessman who give back to our community

* Goes above and beyond to bring detailed information to the table

* They always lend a helping hand to the citizens of New Albany

* Dedicated to real public service

Freedom Of Speech salutes and appreciates these outstanding 10 men, and their courage to stand up for what is right. These men through generosity and compassion devote themselves to helping others.

They are a great example of leadership in New Albany:

Todd Bailey - Former Police Chief

David Brewer - New Albany Building Commissioner

Ed Clere - State Representative

Matt Denison - Former City Operation Manager

Brian Gadd - Asst. Fire Chief

Roger Jeffers - Newly Appointed Floyd County Parks Superintendent

Maurice King - Former Citizens Advocate

Chris Morris - Editor, New Albany Tribune

John Schellenberger - 4th District County Council

Bill Schmidt - Former City Councilman, and private citizen

Update: Occupy the K & I.

I've said for years that the only sure way to make this happen is to pry the K & I from the cold, dead hands of Norfolk Southern, and the best leverage strategy is for local officials to work together. Think about it. Here's a project that seems to have both Todd Young and John Yarmuth sharing a goal. Such symbolism is too good to be wasted, and in terms of New Albany self-interest, a Greenway intersection with an accessible K & I virtually writes the Vincennes Street revitalization plan all by itself.

Officials still hope K&I Bridge can complete River Trail, by Marcus Green (C-J)

... the mayors of Louisville, New Albany and Jeffersonville, along with the Clarksville Town Council, have appointed a group to begin looking at options for the bridge. “We have agreed to start that ball rolling again,” said David Karem, president of Louisville’s Waterfront Development Corp.

That’s due in part to the opening of the Big Four Bridge, scheduled for this summer, Karem said. That bridge, a former railroad crossing, would be the eastern connection of the planned Kentuckiana River Trail.

The art of Warren Parker.

My cousin Don "Beak" Barry wrote last week to say he was shipping me an original Warren Parker woodcut. I hope Warren won't mind my reproducing the image here.

Manolete was one of the most renowned Spanish bullfighters. Perusing Warren's work at his web site, the artist's love for the corrida is evident.

It's been too many years since I've seen Warren, to whom I was introduced by Don at the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain, in 1994. If I'm not mistaken, Don has attended every annual bull festival in Pamplona since then, and Warren most of them. They'll be returning this summer to celebrate the fiesta's noble tradition. Hemingway lives, and Manolete will adorn a wall. At Bank Street Brewhouse? Public House?

The Hitler home movies: The "banality of evil."

Almost seven decades after Adolf Hitler perished, his story still fascinates and repulses. The story of how Lutz Becker found Eva Braun's home movies follows.

The Hitler home movies: how Eva Braun documented the dictator's private life, at The Guardian

Eva Braun was the most intimate chronicler of the Nazi regime, capturing Hitler's private life with her cine-camera. But it was only the obsession of artist Lutz Becker that brought her films to light. Robert McCrum and Taylor Downing uncover the story of the footage that shocked the world

Lutz Becker was born in Berlin, he says, "during the anno diabolo, 1941. Mine was the generation that was sent into a dark pit." Meeting this survivor of the Third Reich, now in his 70s and living in Bayswater, London, it's hard to suppress the thought that Becker, a distinguished artist and film historian, has conducted most of his life in a circle of hell.

Becker's childhood passed in the fetid, terrifying atmosphere of Berlin's air-raid shelters as the Allied raids intensified and the city was reduced to burning rubble ...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

These being the community principles we ignore in New Albany.

In New Albany, starting about a year and a half ago, a process was initiated to spend more than a million bucks toward creating a place -- in this instance, a downtown park meant to honor the city's Bicentennial --  conceptually trickling from the top down, as it's always been done, and stewarded by a relatively small group of surely well-meaning persons who nonetheless cannot seem to grasp that the planet is filled with useful ideas, and maybe every now and then, it might be a good thing to be "lower case" democratic about such matters. Unfortunately for the noblesse oblige theory of civic management, our movers and shakers possess too narrow a conceptual vision, which isn't always very obliging. When one's prime objective at every turn is retaining control, it discourages involvement, which in turn becomes the rationale for retaining control: See, no one else can or will do it. It simply isn't true, and I wish "they" could see that.

As an example of what I'm saying, here are eleven principles for creating community spaces. Did any of them feature in the development and implementation of Rent Boy Park?

Eleven Principles for Creating Great Community Places

Didn't think so.

"Now that Lynn’s is gone, Bank Street Brewhouse gently reminds you that we have Sunday brunch, too."

I'll level with you. 

In the aftermath of the demise of Lynn's Paradise Cafe, as various metro food and dining commentators hurriedly sought to answer the pressing question, "Omigod, where do people go for Sunday brunch now that Lynn's is gone?," it occurred to me that at least two of them had omitted Bank Street Brewhouse -- while managing to include Toast on Market (New Albany location), although the origins of Toast in Louisville probably contributed to its inclusion. 

I suppose this means it's time for a refresher course, and I'll be hitting the NABC media mailing list this week with the following information.  

Now that Lynn’s is gone, Bank Street Brewhouse gently reminds you that we have Sunday brunch, too, and moreover, Indiana offers a certifiable Sunday brunch bonus: Adult beverages can be served as early as 7:00 a.m. north of the Ohio -- although at Bank Street Brewhouse, we don’t open until 10:00 a.m. on Sunday (brunch ends at 2:00 p.m., and we close at 6:00 p.m.)

10: 00 a.m.? That’s what we Hoosiers call a good three-hour head start.

The weekly Sunday brunch menu, including Kentucky Eggs Benedict, 3D Valley Farms Angus Burger and Croque Madame, is augmented on the first Sunday of the month with an Omelet Station and Prime Rib Carvery.

Every Sunday, our Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar starts along with food service at 10:00 a.m. The Blood Mary Bar dates from Bank Street Brewhouse’s inception in 2009, making it one of the first in the Louisville metro area. Choose from a selection of garnishes, spices, sauces and seasonings, and craft your own restorative flavor profile.

Other special drinks include Mimosas (with Huber Sparkling Wine), Sweet Lucy Cream Liqueur & Starlight Coffee, and a selection of small batch bourbons and spirits.

Of course, NABC is proud or beer lineup. Twelve draft lines and two hand-pulls pour our beers of proven merit: Standards like Beak’s Best, Black & Bluegrass, Community Dark, Elector, Hoptimus and Tafel, alongside rotating seasonals and one-offs (Solidarity; Bonfire of the Valkyries; Hoosier Daddy; Naughty Girl; and more).

In Indiana, small breweries and wineries are the exception to the Sunday carry-our prohibition, and we sell growlers (64-ounce draft jugs) and 22-ounce “bomber” bottles to go on Sunday (and every day of the week except Monday, when Bank Street Brewhouse is closed).

Thank you,

Roger A. Baylor
Carnival Barker and Nominal Co-Owner


Bank Street Brewhouse
415 Bank Street
New Albany, Indiana

Brunch served from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Bank Street Brewhouse Sunday Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Alcoholic beverages served from 10:00 a.m., including 14 NABC beers. Carry-out draft growlers and 22-oz bomber bottles of NABC beer available all day on Sunday

First Sunday of the month: Omelet Station and Prime Rib Carvery

Executive Chef: Matt Weirich

Sous Chef: Bernie Collier

Two Poached Eggs, Choice of Pork Belly or Applewood Smoked Ham, Mornay, Tribeca Oven Baguette, Hash Brown Potatoes - 11

Bacon Hash, Roasted Vegetables, & Veal Stock Reduction, Topped With a Poached Egg
6oz Sirloin - 13
10oz NY Strip - 17

2 Eggs Any Style; Choice of 3: Toast, Buttermilk Biscuit Hand Made 15-B Sausage Patties, Applewood Smoked Bacon Hash Brown Potatoes, Grits - 7.5

Baked Buttermilk Biscuits, House Sausage Gravy - 6.5

Applewood Smoked Ham, Prosciutto, White Cheddar Cheese, Mornay, Poached Egg, Pommes Frites and a Side Salad - 13

Half Pound Burger, White Cheddar, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Pommes Frites - 10

Fiedler Farms Chorizo, Sunny Side Egg, Pickled Red Onion, Crème Fraiche – 13

Choice of Roasted Vegetables or Fiedler Family Farms Pork, Pickled Red Onion, Pineapple, Cilantro, Mojo Sauce – 12

Mimosas (Huber Sparkling Wine) 6
Build Your Own Bloody Mary - 7
Sweet Lucy Cream Liqueur & Coffee - 5
Locally Roasted Starlight Coffee - 2.5

Sprecher Gourmet Sodas: Old-fashioned Root Beer, Cream Soda, Orange Dream, Lo-Cal Root Beer and Cherry Cola - 2.5
Ale-8 One – 2
Orangina - 2.5

Sweetened/Unsweetened Tea - 1.5

Your choice for exclusive Bicentennial Gala coverage -- now with pictures.

(Updated on Sunday morning because I forgot to append the ending)

Downtown New Albany was all abuzz last night, because it was the long-awaited Bicentennial Gala. Despairing of the future, the city looked instead to its distant past to celebrate a time when women couldn't vote and minorities were third-class citizens -- in short, New Albany's good old days.

Attendees partied like it was 1899.

The Grand was decked out as never before. According to some of the revelers, the  watercress sandwiches were the best they'd tasted since the administration of C. Pralle Erni.

Just down the street from the party, NA Confidential's staff downed Progressive Pints and pondered whether it would be worth crashing the party. Then we had a great idea.

Someone needed to say it, and well, why wait for the Harvest Homecoming parade when there was a far better occasion, right now?

With two-way streets, we could have gotten there quite a bit more quickly.

"I hate those guys," said Dean Wormer.

But before the NAC Deathmobile even reached the Grand, Bill Allen's building finally fell down, and he was given a Pillar Award by Develop New Albany for painting the rubble.

And that's your white bread Bicentennial moment for January. We'll be back with the rest of the story once the coast is clear. Like maybe 2014.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bicentennial gal-lops (where the streets run one way), Indiana Sesquicentennial edition.

In 1966, progress was being measured by our advancement from privies to flush toilets.

In 2013, it's the other way around, and Mike Pence intends to keep it that way.

(Photo credit: NA-FC library's Historical Image Archive ... captioned "Indiana Sesquicentennial parade, Greenville Volunteer Firemen's float in the Floyd County taken 10/1/1966)"

The famous 2002 spring tour of Eastern Europe.

Over at Facebook, Tom Henderson made my day by posting photos of our springtime group trip to Eastern Europe in 2002. Meet Adrian, myself, Tim and Tom.

To the best of my recollection, this photo was taken in Nowa Hut, a suburb of Krakow, Poland. Nowa Hut is the steel mill and community built by the Communists after WWII, and I urged the guys to accompany me in an examination of newer socialist realist architecture, in contrast to Krakow's historic core. As you can see, we found beer.

Jeno, he short fellow in the center, was our tour guide. An Olympic swimmer, he escaped Hungary for Los Angeles after the failed 1956 uprising. While in Budapest, the man with the mustache (a full-fledged Senator) gave us a close-up and personal tour of the Parliament building.

Levoca (above) is a town in eastern Slovakia, near Spis castle (below).

Thanks, Tom, I really needed these! This trip is one I've comparatively neglected in my writings, so perhaps it's time to redress the balance.

Premature anticlimaxes (where the streets run one way).

I'm hesitant to link to the newspaper, seeing as its proverb-quoting "publisher of the year," whose Eastside preacher now writes a weekly Jesus-advocacy column, has festooned the site with inescapable ads for some tacky televised atrocity known as "My Big Redneck Vacation," thus proving what I've been saying all along about our "local" press release compendium being inexorably tied to its Alabama corporate parent ... but we need to be reminded that when Steve Bush announced his bid for Sheriff, it was the most anticlimactic recent moment since it was revealed that Jerry "Horseshoe Foundation" Finn is taking control of the committee to refurbish the church steeple.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Brew By You" at Edible Louisville.

Check out NABC's David Pierce and the history of homebrewing in our area at Edible Louisville (Beverage Issue), in an article by Steve Coomes.

It's called "Brew By You."

Bet you don't know how these two logos are connected.

Mike Kopp's photo shows the newly installed Dragon King's Daughter signage. DKD believes a soft opening could be coming within the next two or three weeks.

DKD's New Albany location is right across Bank Street from NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse, and you might not know what these two business logos have in common.

Both were designed by an old friend and Louisville artist, John Mahorney. Virtually every other graphic in NABC's brewery history originated with Tony Beard, but before I even knew Tony, John was on the scene, and we commissioned him to design the now familiar symbol with the keg-lifting man.

Kitchen Fable hostage crisis enters Day 13. Where the hell is Jimmy Carter?

Last week, we broke the heartbreaking story of the Kitchen Table Tissues blog forced to go into hiding owing to terrorist attacks on its entire linoleum-lined braintrust.

Katie bar the cellar -- it's gotta be a prelude to a pot bust.

Sources close to the crisis say that in a note to the outside world smuggled from Hughie’s in a half full Bud Light bottle, the besieged blog administrator now threatens to "get all high and shit" unless someone sits up and takes notice.

A spokesman from the Troglodyte Civil Liberties Union (TCLU) says that while his organization has not been asked to mediate the crisis, there is a strong case for blue-helmeted intervention:

These poor disenfranchised character assassins are being denied their sole venue to make ridiculous, illiterate assertions and boundless, trognonymous allegations against their betters. We believe Kitchen Fable should appeal to the Human Rights Commission. You arrogant New Albanian elitists do have an HRC, don’t you?

The spokesman declined to be identified.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Affluent and influential urban audience chortles as Eater Wonka savages indie restaurant.

Seemingly every water cooler conversation in Louisville continues to be dominated by the closing of Lynn’s Paradise Café, but surely the shelf life’s end draws mercifully near on that thread, requiring the foodie cognoscenti to search for a new target.

And the lucky winner is Taco Punk, a year-old NuLu eatery, at least if we’re to judge by the acrimonious attention being paid it at a web site of recent vintage called Eater Louisville. Eater is a food and dining news aggregator, now incorporating some original content, and currently all of its barrels are firing at Taco Punk.

You may be wondering why. Has Taco Punk poisoned customers, mistreated servers, refused to honor discount dining coupons or forgotten to advertise at Eater Louisville?

Well, no, not exactly.

Rather, Taco Punk is guilty of the unpardonable sin of crowd sourcing at Kickstarter, and for this breach of commercial etiquette (get that, Edna, there’s roolz in commerce now), Eater Louisville now harnesses its inner Wonka, snidely suggesting that Taco Punk’s contributors will be subsidizing $10 taco platters and fluffing a business owner who won’t go borrow money the old-fashioned, interest-accrued way. Like Hassan.

As someone also in the food and drink business, who currently is servicing about a million dollars more in loans than Hassan, perhaps it would be easy for me to cop a derisory attitude, jerk my knee, and join Eater Wonka in mocking Taco Punk, but you know what? There’s no reason to do so, whether on my part as a restaurant owner, or of a restaurant critic’s, or on the part of restaurant patrons, who do not have one of this nation’s over-abundance of guns pointed at their heads lest they refuse to contribute to Taco Punk, eat at Taco Punk, or even think about Taco Punk when the Eater Wonka avatar appears on their Twitter feed.

Taco Punk will sink, or it will swim. Give Taco Punk money if you want, or eat there more often (I haven’t been once, and I don’t know the owner), or do nothing at all. The free market will take care of this whole situation, won’t it?

Yes, it will, so tell me: What’s the big deal, anyway?

(The subject heading refers to this, publisher of the national chain Eater franchise)

DNA party congress selects Politburo as Gorbachev flees to Birdseye.

Hard work is wasted if it isn't smart work.
-- Graffito

Develop New Albany’s annual party is tonight, and the Sweet Home Alabaminator reports a change in leadership. The incoming president is Joe LaRocca, head of the YMCA.

LaRocca told the newspaper that DNA wants to work with other organizations, and such a stance is welcomed. I stand ready to lead my people to DNA’s door. After all, new presidents always get a honeymoon.

At the same time, how do we know there’s been a change?

Cooperation implies a semblance of genuine outreach and compromise. In fairness, it also suggests a systems analysis, not just of DNA, but of the other organizations involved.

Who’s doing what? Why, and for what reasons? Is any of it truly worthwhile? Where does the Gahan Administration stand? And so on.

Admittedly, I’m skeptical. If the late, unlamented DNA/UEA marketing project is the model, or if the city again will be seeking to anoint and endow winners as it did during the last England administration (see “108K Solutions We Have Known”), then DNA isn’t worth a second glance, at least yet.

Conversely, if DNA decides to come to the table prepared to listen to other points of view in something shared from the grassroots up, as opposed to dictated from the lofty heights down, it could be a good thing, even after all of the organization’s stone-deaf past missteps. It’s never too late to start all over again, and no less than Ronnie RayGun himself said: "Trust, but verify."

Sadly, the best reason for renewed sighs aloud and doubt as to DNA’s willingness to evolve is found in the newspaper’s coverage:

The size of the organization’s board of directors will grow from 10-12 members to 21 representatives, LaRocca said. Of the new additions, the Develop New Albany board will have more public officials from the city represented.

As well as more realtors, lawyers and retirees, if the on-line list is any indication.

Note simply that an entity proudly billing itself as a “business-promotion” organization is stating aloud that in order to better promote business, it is adding more city officials. Think about that, and perhaps you’ll share my puzzlement, because wouldn’t business promotion as a stated objective be better served by including ... could it be ... more business owners as board members?

Of course, there are a few DNA-member businesses, but perhaps the major incongruity is this: On the enlarged board, there is precisely one owner of a retail business in the whole of the city.

I mention this in order to ask another question: What has been the unquestioned prime mover of downtown New Albany during the past five years?

The answer: The food and drink segment, without which there would be no downtown New Albany revitalization at all, period, and so, with DNA eager to claim responsibility for this same revitalization, how many food and drink establishments are member businesses?

Only River City Winery and Wick’s.

How many are on the DNA board?

None, unless we count John Neace, who owns JR’s but is not identified as such on the web site.

Maybe, just maybe, this state of perpetual under-representation on the board of an organization that seeks to take credit for revitalization, as the shortage pertains to those types of business that actually have implemented the revitalization, tells us what we need to know about the odds of zebras changing stripes any time soon.

What about me?

I’m forever the cockeyed optimist.


I believe that Joe LaRocca will purge the DNA same-cadre-as-always demons, freshen the bloodlines, engage the business community, honestly examine DNA’s institutional nothingness, and implement a series of hard-hitting reforms designed to actually DO SOMETHING to promote business rather than merely writing glowing press releases after someone else's fact.

It’ll be New Albany, “Come To Perestroika City,” a place we can be proud to inhabit, work and play.

(Boy, I could use an ice-cold Budweiser right about now.)

ON THE AVENUES When in Rome.

ON THE AVENUES: When in Rome.

A weekly web column by Roger A. Baylor.

Woody Allen’s 2012 film, “To Rome With Love,” received middling reviews, but it is impossible to fault the director’s choice of inspired locales. The Eternal City is sumptuously depicted in the movie, and as the wine pours freely in almost every scene, we all can be forgiven for wanting to pack our bags, chuck the daily grind and go frolic.

The Mediterranean has featured only sporadically in my travels, and it may seem a strange emotion for me to be yearning for Rome, but to be truthful, in spite of herculean efforts to wean myself from the European continent, the tug remains so strong that the ultimate destination right now quite frankly is up for negotiation: Bucharest, Bath, Berlin or Bologna; the destination doesn’t matter to me, as long as a plane deposits me somewhat close to it.

It’s been almost a quarter-century since my last visit to Italy, and there were plenty of good times to remember, none more so than the time in 1985 when I wandered into a church in Rome, and a city fairly swooned.

Trust me: It was a complete accident.


I’d breezed into town after the better part of a day spent riding the ferry from Greece to Italy, pausing momentarily in Brindisi to commence a lifelong love affair with garlic-laden clam sauce before napping upright in a seat, sardine-like, aboard the overnight train to Rome. One persistent memory from the rail journey is waking at dawn just in time to glimpse Montecassino Abbey, as rebuilt after its destruction during the famous World War II battle.

Well, at least I think it was Montecassino Abbey. It might have been Downton Abbey for all I know, given a bone-rattled grogginess borne of two too many days aboard trains and boats, the effect of mediocre Italian draft beers washing down the previous night’s repast, and long, sun-baked hours shared with thirsty backpacking Aussies and Germans, all of us cross-legged in the ocean breeze on the ferry’s open peanut gallery deck, with me teaching them how to play the familiar Hoosier drinking game called Drachma Bounce, using a metal camp cup and alternating portions of Retsina and Ouzo either as penalty for winning or reward for losing.

Arriving early at Rome’s Termini station, I hit the ground running toward one of the $25-A-Day book’s suggested budget pensions – not low rent retirement stipends, but small family-run hotels, usually located upstairs in urban residential blocks. The first one was booked, but the second had a vacancy. It was four flights up on a Thursday morning, and I settled in for a five-day stay. By Friday, I was a sidewalk café veteran, nursing Nastro Azurro lagers and watching the girls go by.

The usual tourist’s high points came and went, but what’s a poor atheist to do on a Sunday morning in Rome, when so many attractions are closed? The answer came to me during a Saturday morning stroll along the legendary Appian Way, when I ducked behind a 2000-year-old mausoleum to take a leak.

People go to church on Sunday, right?

What’s more, being in Rome meant not having to settle for a lowly chapel somewhere in the suburbs, because the Yankee Stadium of organized religion was right there in the middle of the venerable city: St. Peters.

Sunday morning would entail a pilgrimage to the Vatican, and mass at St. Peters. Quite literally, it was time to don my cleanest dirty shirt.


I tiptoed away from my pension before the rolls, jam, butter and coffee came out to the communal table. It was a pleasant, albeit weirdly quiet walk to Termini, where I stopped for espresso and a pastry and boarded the subway, eventually hopping off a few blocks away from the Vatican.

There were plenty of people moving in ragged columns down the sidewalks, passing the occasional loose-footed vendor of souvenirs, novelties and artifacts. I merely followed the crowd into the vast expanse of St. Peter’s Square, feeling overwhelmed to see for the first time the mountainous grandeur of the cathedral and numerous other historic structures ringing the piazza.

Then it hit me: It wasn’t so much the architecture as the throng. There must have been a couple of thousand visitors milling around, and most of them were queuing into a series of crowd control stanchions intended to impose some degree of order on the situation. It looked as though everyone in Rome intended to attend mass at St. Peter’s.

Would an earnest young unbeliever like me even be permitted inside? Would they be able to tell that I was pagan?

Striking what I imagined as a pious pose, I readily observed that at least the lines were steadily moving. It was a huge building, after all, one meant to accommodate Catholics from all over the world, many of whom were about to experience the very highlight of their lives. As a matter of principle, I shuffled headlong into the scrum, because there was no reason why I couldn’t pretend to be one of them.

The attendants were patient and friendly. At regular intervals deep within the labyrinth, someone would greet me in a variety of languages, from Croat to Tagalong, and ask whether I had a ticket. I’d specify English, smile, apologize for my negligence, and be told that it was okay, just go this or that way, and follow the next worker’s directions.

These diversions routed me steadily toward the right, followed by a big left turn into an immense doorway on the side of St. Peters, and when the dust settled I was told to take a seat in the club-level pews behind the altar. Evidently my disguise had worked, and I relished my role as pilgrim for a day.

Meanwhile, it was standing room only inside St. Peter’s, and the atmosphere didn’t seem very sacred at all. The expectant, edgy vibe was not unlike a football stadium just prior to kickoff, with nervous energy and mounting excitement. Having had little experience with religious ecstasy, I worried that perhaps a dosage of peyote would have helped to properly align me.

I’d brought along my trusty workhorse camera, a fully manual Pentax, but left the flash apparatus back in the room. I didn’t want to be disrespectful to the solemn premise of the church service, and so it shocked me when suddenly, hundreds of flashbulbs started popping. Heads tilted and turned, and I saw a nun climbing onto the shoulders of another nun, hugging a stone column and snapping photos with a snazzy automatic. Inexplicably, Sunday mass at St. Peter’s had morphed into a rock and roll show.

And then, finally, I saw the reason for the bedlam.

Advancing slowly down the aisle, no more than 20 feet away from my assigned seat, walked the Pope himself -- John Paul II, the former Karol Wojtyła – amid universal clamor and unrestrained adoration, throughout which perhaps the sole prim and proper person in the whole holy joint was me … the heretic!

And so it was that I went to mass in Rome with the Pope, and he wasn’t even in Guido Sarducci’s renowned pizza.

Or, for that matter, Woody Allen’s.

Some Houndmouth: Clip and interview.

At the DHuff & Nasty Show, Houndmouth gets an introduction from co-host and former Bank Street Brewhouse bartender Nate "Nasty" Little. Thanks to LEO Weekly for pointing the way.

The band also gives a good interview with Hector Barley at The 405:

Lead Off: Houndmouth

... Drawing on blues-inspired Americana bands such as The Band, Houndmouth manage to reinvent a classic American sound to great effect. Their debut EP, released on the esteemed Rough Trade Records, helped to propel the band's distinctive, Southern sound beyond their hometown of New Albany and saw a string of tour dates and critical acclaim.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Legislative libations 2: Sunday alcohol sales, with a huge question mark attached ...

Chris Sikich of the IndyStar provides an overview of this year's model, i.e., Sunday alcohol sales legislation, and it's one of the best pieces I've read on the topic, given that  "booze on Sunday" in America is a far more predictable harbinger of tribalism than a topic for dispassionate discussion.

Sikich duly notes recent Sunday carry-out exceptions for Indiana's small breweries, and the long-standing exemption for small wineries. I might add that while the Brewers of Indiana Guild has interest in a few bits of legislation possibly being considered in 2013, this isn't one of them. As a guild director, believe me when I say that we have our own side of the street to work -- and we're doing so. This particular issue isn't our fight.
Disclaimers aside, and speaking only personally, part of me is eternally annoyed that "moral" considerations as defined by religious interests should be a part of the Sunday equation at this late date. Another part entirely understands that small independent business surely will suffer if big boxes go into Sunday sales. I'm forever willing to sock it to the preachers and health fascists, but at the same time, giving an inch to mega-retail chain-think is odious to my own inner moral structure.

When I'm declared dictator, it's an easy call: Let the indie package stores open on Sundays if they wish, and keep the chains shut tight. Then again, some might say I'm an extremist.

In the end, Senator Alting probably is right: Change will be incremental, in bits and pieces, because such hesitancy truly reflects a state of division in the state of Indiana.

Need I add: Support your local breweries and wineries. That's the best solution, and it beats the Silver Bullet every damned single time.

Sunday liquor sales battle brewing: An effort is afoot to change Indiana's law, but owners of liquor stores say the move would be devastating, by Chris Sikich (IndyStar)

Indiana is the toughest place in the nation to buy take-home beer or liquor on Sundays.

While most states limit Sunday alcohol sales in some ways, Hoosiers face the broadest restrictions.

Indiana prohibits Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor at grocery and packaged liquor stores. Connecticut lifted a similar ban in May, leaving Indiana standing alone.

The longtime ban has remained in place for religious and economic reasons. And though it has been eroded somewhat in recent years, state lawmakers trying to do away with the ban this year aren't hopeful.

Legislative libations 1: Matters of distilling and brewing.

In Indiana legislative news, HB 1293 (creation of artisanal distilling permits) will be heard in committee this very morning. As currently written, it would broaden the scope of distilling permits for existing small wineries wishing to enter or expand distilling, and enable existing small breweries to obtain permits on what amounts to a leveled regulatory playing field.

Our own representative Ed Clere is carrying the ball for this bill, and he is joined as sponsor by Rep. Rhonda Rhoads from the adjacent District 70. I support this measure sans self-interest, seeing as though NABC has no immediate plans to get into distilling, and I'd like to publicly thank Ed Clere (sans irony) for seeing the merit of enabling craft distilling in Indiana.

The other two items of interest to the Brewers of Indiana Guild, of which I'm a director, both originate in the Senate and are explained below in excerpts from a mailing by the guild's executive director. SB 0401 would rationalize the paperwork for small breweries to legally pour samples at fests and events. SB 0100 would allow us to sell pre-sealed bottles and growlers at farmers' markets. Needless to say, I'm in favor of these measures, as well.

We have filed three bills: SB 0100 (to permit brewers to sell product at farmers markets), SB 0401 (to create a streamlined process for serving at festivals and special events) and HB 1293 (to create an artisan distiller permit) ...

 ... There will be other hearings and opportunities to support all of our bills. In order to become law, a bill must have a committee hearing and vote, debate and vote on second reading, and debate and vote on third reading. The bill then goes "across the hall" (from Senate to House, or House to Senate) where the entire process repeats. In reality, only a fraction of bills make it to the governor's desk, and those that do are rarely in the same form as they started (because of amendments).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Secrets of Louisville Chefs at Bank Street Brewhouse on Wednesday.

On Wednesday (January 23) at 12 noon, Secrets of Louisville Chefs will be taping at Bank Street Brewhouse. Shown above is Chef Matt Weirich with Tim Laird during a previous in-studio appearance on the show last year. Drop by tomorrow and be a part of the taping.

Inauguration 3: "Obama's Inauguration Speech: A Primer."

When even a conservative commentator like David Brooks is compelled to concede that Barack Obama’s second inaugural speech "surely has to rank among the best of the past half-century," one making a strong "argument for a pragmatic and patriotic progressivism," then it's been a fairly good day. As usual, Charlie Pierce gets pride of place in summarizing Barack Obama's speech.

Obama's Inauguration Speech: A Primer, by Charles P. Pierce (Esquire)

... The president's second inaugural address was as clear a statement of progressive principles as a president has given since LBJ got up there and shoved the Voting Rights Act and the words "We shall overcome" right up old Richard Russell's ass in 1965 ...

... The speech was a bold refutation of almost everything the Republican party has stood for over the past 40 years. It was a loud — and, for this president, damned near derisive — denouncement of all the mindless, reactionary bunkum that the Republicans have come to stand for in 2013; you could hear the sound of the punch he landed on the subject of global warming halfway to Annapolis. But the meat of the speech was a brave assertion of the power of government, not as an alien entity, but as an instrument of the collective will and desires of a self-governing people.

Inauguration 2: "The President liberals were waiting for is (finally) here."

Maybe, maybe not. That scratching sound you hear is coming from the heels of right-wing obstructionists, digging in.

The President liberals were waiting for is (finally) here, by Chris Cillizza (Washington Post)

... The question going forward is whether President Obama will make good on the progressive agenda he outlined today. Does he push hard on climate change or some sort of broader energy policy? Does he cut a deal with Republicans on immigration reform or go it alone believing they will follow? On guns, will he accept a smaller-bore version of the legislative proposals he outlined last week or go for the whole enchilada (or something close to it)?

Those questions are, at the moment, impossible to answer. What we do know: In his second inaugural speech, President Obama forcefully embraced the sort of progressive agenda for which liberals — and Democrats more broadly — have long pined.

Inauguration 1: "We are made for this moment."

It was a day for celebration and mirth, because there's nothing quite like angry disgruntled "look at me" white guys to double me over with laughter, especially when they can only communicate only through incoherent grunts and Facebook memes.

My advice is to man up and get on with it. I've made it through Nixon, Ray-Gun and two Bushes (oddly enough, Bush Elder wasn't all that bad) ... and lemme tell you, you'll survive. Drink better quality alcohol. It helps.

Instead of howling at the moon, rigging the Electoral College and stockpiling ammo, how's about picking up some litter or something, er, almost communal, if you know what I mean.

Obama's second inauguration: 'We are made for this moment'

• President vows to reclaim the spirit of founding fathers
• Gay rights, climate change and immigration mentioned
• Crowd of about half a million watches Washington swearing-in

By Ewen MacAskill (Guardian)

... Attempting to debunk the rightwing interpretation of the constitution that has held sway in the US, Obama, in what became a near constant refrain throughout his speech, said the founding fathers did not intend the country to become enslaved by the constitution and that patriotism was not the preserve of the right.

"That is our generation's task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness.," Obama said.

It was down to the current generation to make the principles a reality, he declared. "For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Three cheers for delicious goat cheese as Capriole celebrates a silver anniversary in 2013.

I remember listening to NPR probably 15 years ago, and hearing an expert on cheese proclaim the greatness of Capriole. At the time, I knew the Schads made goat cheese, but realizing that their product was nationally renowned was a kick. It made me proud for our area.

Last year was NABC's 25th, and this year it's Capriole's turn. Following is their e-newsletter, which recounts the turning of a page formerly filled with goats as the next Capriole chapter begins.

Reinventing, transitioning, evolving ... these are the notions that keep small business owners awake at night. I suspect that the unexpected closure of Lynn's Paradise Cafe represents one way of her moving to a different phase. Capriole's solution to the logistical task of maintaining a herd of living creatures, milking them and making beautiful cheese is another. Satchel Paige was right when he warned against looking back, lest we see someone gaining on us.



Wishing you a Happy & Cheesey 2013 ... (2013 is also) Capriole's Silver Anniversary, and 25 years of cheese making on our southern Indiana farm. It's been quite a family journey . . . and still is!

A little 4-H project that began in on our farm in 1977 with 2 goats grew over those years to a herd of 500. We've made wonderful milk and developed signature cheeses over those years, and 2012 was a year of even greater change. While the animals have always been a big part of our identity, we realized we still didn't have enough milk and that the farm couldn't sustain more animals. After months of angst, we were approached by a young, Indiana dairy family. They had years of goat experience and their own herd, but needed to grow and establish a more reliable market for their milk. In December, they moved the majority of our herd to their farm. While it's been a big change, it's also an exciting opportunity to grow and still work closely with our milk source, encourage goat milk producers in our area, and help preserve family farms . We're jazzed for a new adventure!

We've also been inspired over the years by the efforts of the cowgirls, Peggy Smith and Sue Connelly, to preserve the heritage of family farms through Farmland Trust oganizations. In 2012 we granted a conservation easement to the Sycamore Land Trust. The trust insures that our land will remain farmland, and its upland forests, open fields and caves, and natural springs will be preserved in perpetuity and provide habitat for a wide range of animals, as well as native and endangered plants.

In 2012 Sycamore Land Trust honored Capriole with their "Conservation Business of the Year" award.

We live where we work, and that's made a definite difference in both our business and our life style. My father and mother (Larry and Judy, who started Capriole) and now my son (Sam) and I, have homes here. The great -- and the not-so-great -- thing is that when the cheese needs us at 1 am, we're here. Our goal has always been to produce sustainable, artisan cheeses that can sit comfortably on shelves and cheese boards next to the best of Europe. Our life style has been part of making that happen. Over the years we've been honored with numerous national and international awards, including a Best-of-Show from the American Cheese Society and the designation "prudhomme' in La Guilde du Fromagers. 

The success of our cheeses has always, and will continue to, reflect the people who live and work here as a family, in close connection to the land, and in a place we call home.

Kate Schad and Judy Schad
Capriole, Inc.

We'll be celebrating 2013 with some very special, "reserve", aged cheeses

Capriole's aged, cheeses represent a very unique family of signature cheeses made with goat milk--a niche that's difficult to fill in the cheese case. Semi-hard to semi-soft, they run a flavor range from mushroomy and herbal to beefy--and always earthy, but clean.

Old Kentucky Tomme ... 4-5 lb. wheel with penicillium rind


Mont St. Francis 1 lb. washed rind

Julianna 1 lb. penicillium rind with herbes de Provence and pepper

10329 New Cut Rd.
Greenville, IN 47124

A word from our sponsor (sort of): What's happening at NABC.

Over the next month and a half, the New Albanian Brewing Company will be completely revamping the main company websiteIn the interim, remains accurate insofar as basic information, menus, hours and routines at the Pizzeria & Public House and Bank Street Brewhouse are concerned. 

At the Pizzeria & Public House, we’re gearing up for Gravity Head 2013. The 15th edition of Gravity Head begins on Friday, February 22. Here is a mid-January update.

At BSB, the WCTU Reading Room gradually is being outfitted, and work can begin soon on Lloyd’s Landing, our evolving outdoor seating and events area. On Sundays, Bank Street's brunch, build-your-own Bloody Mary bar and carryout growler sales are unchanged, as is the strength of Chef Matt Weirich's menu.

Meanwhile, NABC’s beer and brewery event calendar is filling, even this early in the year.

NABC's core lineup for distribution in 2013 is stable: Black & Blue Grass, Elector, Hoptimus and (at present) Hoosier Daddy. Naughty Girl comes back on board in April. Beak's Best and Bob's Old 15-B are available to outside accounts on request.  

As for seasonal our beer releases, Solidarity Baltic Porter currently is pouring at both NABC locations, and because this year’s 22-oz bomber bottling of Solidarity was limited, bottles are available ONLY at the Pizzeria & Public House and Bank Street Brewhouse.

Draft-only Old Lightning Rod (Benjamin Franklin's Colonial-style dark ale) also now is on tap at both NABC locations. ConeSmoker is next to come on line, probably between now and Super Bowl. After that, there is Bonfire of the Valkyries, which has been brewed and is maturing. Bonfire will be kegged for distribution.

As a final note: NABC will soon be shipping 22-oz “bomber” bottles into Ohio via Cavalier Distributing Ohio. We're more than happy to be working with old friends at Cavalier Ohio. 

Here is a quick look at the company calendar.

The Brewers of Indiana Guild holds an annual indoor festival at the state fairgrounds; here is NABC's beer lineup at Winterfest in Indianapolis, coming on Saturday, January 26.

The Varanese/NABC beer dinner is Thursday, February 7, and I'm particularly excited about this opportunity because Varanese is a personal favorite among Louisville's many fine restaurants.

Note that the year's first quarterly Food and Dining magazine (February/March/April) is just about due to be published. My column in the coming edition is about six craft beer trends to watch in 2013. 

Lastly, my two most recent columns at, with another on the way next week:

"Getting Our Shift Together."

"Take It Off! Take It Off!" 

NABC's 70+ employees thank our patrons, and we all wish you a great year to come.