(Roger gradually is shifting his work-related blog commentaries from Potable Curmudgeon to the NABC web site)
NABC’s next three beer releases will be appearing during the first half of April. For what happens after that, you’ll have to ask the brewers. I’m just the owner.
One of the releases is a familiar face: Naughty Girl, back for her third year during the first week of April. She’ll have a six-month seasonal run during warm weather, with Hoosier Daddy taking a break until October – just in time for the resumption of basketball.
Naughty Girl in 13.2 gallon kegs and 22-ox bombers will be available in Indiana and Kentucky, while bombers only are shipping to Ohio and Florida.
The other two draft-only releases, one in house and the other for very limited outside draft sales, are old and new all at once, and they require a bit more in the way of explanation. Basic formulations are unchanged, but we’re giving them new identities. Here’s the story.
First, from the R & D Brewery at our original NABC location on Grant Line Road (B. Minton, proprietor) comes a small batch recipe first brewed in 2012: Hacksaw Jim Dunkel.
You may remember this beer as Runkel Dunkel, with Dunkel being the German word for “dark,” and Runkel being chosen for use primarily because it rhymes.
In 2013, NABC’s Young Turks have had a better idea, even if three days ago, I had no idea who Hacksaw Jim Duggan is. Now, thanks to Wikipedia, I know he is famed for carrying two-by-fours into the ring to avenge various anti-American indignities … and this works quite well for me, even if my knowledge of professional wrestling does not extend past Gorgeous George and Jerry Lawler.
Hacksaw Jim Dunkel will be pouring ONLY at NABC’s two New Albany locations, and it will not last long once it is tapped. Look for it, and stay very alert to the vagaries of the atomic suplex.
Finally, there’s a whole new identity for an old favorite: Eastern Front, formerly known as Elsa von Horizon.
Eastern Front remains true to the same idea of an Imperial Pilsner, as brewed seasonally during recent year, and as originally formulated by former NABC pub brewer Jared Williamson as part of the since-retired Brewers Best Friend series.
In recent years, David Pierce (NABC’s director of brewing operations), has honed our Imperial Pilsner into even more of an awesome seasonal release than it was before. Unfortunately, and perhaps curiously, Elsa has not resonated as well off-premise as when poured in our own two establishments, prompting a rethink.
Trust me: I didn’t make this decision lightly. Changing Elsa’s name and imagery is hard, primarily because of my respect and esteem for Jared and his long tenure at NABC. At the same time, we really want the idea to succeed, and not just in our own smaller marketplace. It has clearly been the case that the Elsa name and previous label design did not click with the wider pool of customers, especially in the bottled version. So, a plan for adaptive reuse was in order. The beer’s just too damned good to leave behind, and so we move forward with Eastern Front.
The name Eastern Front is layered, and unlike Hacksaw Jim Dunkel, it reflects my own interests.
Eastern Front recognizes that throughout history, German and Slavic lands have overlapped, hence this strong, hoppy lager’s stylistic re-augmentation as a “Russian” Imperial Pilsner. It’s also a nod to graphics wunderkind Tony Beard’s artistic label inspiration: Female sniper teams posted to the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War (in the West, we still call it World War II).
Tony’s presently working on the label for Eastern Front, and as soon as it’s ready, you’ll see it here. This year’s batch will be draft only, with a limited allocation for outside draft sales in Indiana and Kentucky. In 2014, we hope to include a bottling run.