Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tapping of Susie's Sweet Stout at the Half Moon

Thursday, May 20th was the tapping of the award winning Susie's Sweet Stout at the Half Moon restaurant & Brewery.  It was the featured beer of the evening and was paired up with a dinner designed to go with it by chef John Comancho. 
He chose Galumpkis, a traditional Polish dish of stuffed cabbage rolls, Au Gratin potatos & green beans.  Then to top off the meal, a piece of their decadent Chocolate Porter Cake that matched perfectly with the stout.  It was all very good!
The Half Moon sent out a very flattering Email to their Mug Club members announcing the event. 
It read;
Suzie's Sweet Stout
Suzie's Sweet Stout is an oatmeal/milk stout created by Howard County Homebrewer Larry Barnhart. It won Best In Show at the Indiana State Fair Brewer's Cup Homebrew Competition. We had Larry come in and brew his recipe at our brewery to show our appreciation and support for the local craft beer/homebrew culture. We are celebrating American Craft Beer Week this week, with the release of this delicious craft beer collaboration from Half Moon brewer John Templet and homebrewer extraordinaire Larry Barnhart.
We started to gather friends and put the booth to the test as we attempted to see how many people it could hold.  We maxed it out at nine, but throughout the evening we had a total of 11 people in it.  Those in attendance at our booth were;
Nancy, Lee, Jim & Connie, Mike, Joe, Jon, Ken & Mary Ann.
The Howard County Homebrew Club was well represented too, but had to fill another table.
Jeff & Jean, Brent & Tammy, Matt & Andrew were all spotted there.
Others seen that evening were Yves & Chris, Fran & Mike, Blake, Gary & Babs.
Thanks to everyone who came out to help celebrate the final weeks of my one year of fame as state champion homebrewer.

For a glimpse into the making of this beer, Erik Markov has posted a video of the brew day on the Howard County Homebrew Club website.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Most Amazing Evening

Susie & I got to have one of the most exciting nights we've ever had.  Thanks to the generosity of Caroline and Howard Kaufman, we were given access to the inner sanctum of the Verizon Music Center on the night of Jimmy Buffett's concert.

Caroline is a daughter of Nancy, our good friend and neighbor.  She is married to the man who has HK Productions and represents an amazing number of some of the most famous names in music.

We arrived several hours early to enjoy the festivities that take place in the parking lot of every Buffett concert.  Apparently the bean bag tossing game called corn hole has become the official sport of parrotheads.  A very slight sprinkle began to fall, but did nothing to dampen the spirits of the crowd.

At 6:30, we met Nancy inside the main gate and she ushered us inside the very well protected backstage area. We were greeted there by Caroline who gave us a quick tour of the patio party area and into the dressing rooms.   We were instructed that while in the hallway we were to be very quiet as Mr. Buffett likes to have it quiet while he prepares for the show.  He also likes to ride his Lemond Spinning bike that we got a glimpse of as we passed his room.

Caroline took us to Howard's room where we received a warm greeting and offered anything we wanted to eat from the tables or drinks that the personal attendent would get for us.  After a few nervous minutes, I finally got up to get some snow crab claws that were excellent and ordered a margarita.  Susie had a glass of wine that apparently was VERY expensive!

Caroline then gave us a tour of the backstage area, where we could see the stagehands preparing everything on stage before we went out to our seats in the 4th row center of the stage.  She told us she would come back for us at intermission.

The concert was fantastic as usual, and its nice to know that the "elite" that sit in the pavillion seats don't behave any differently than the "lawn" people.  Just before the break, Caroline appeared and took us behind stage again and lead us to an off-stage area where we could see the band from stage level.  Her sister-in-law took some pictures of us with the band behind us.

It was back to the dressing room where, being a bit more at ease, we had some gourmet hotdogs and another margarita.  We were also given a bag of concert gear that including a personalized autographed shirt from Jimmy.  We then went back to the seats as the show began again and watched the rest of the concert. 
It was a most amazing experience.  We are "lawn" people at heart and not used to this kind of royal treatment.  Not just sitting right up to the stage, but being able to see the inner workings of of a concert like this was unbelievably cool.  Truely an experience of a lifetime!