Each year for both Winterfest and Summerfest, the Brewer's Guild of Indiana invites a guild brewer to create a “replicale” recipe. This can then be "repli-brewed" by any member brewer and brought to the festival. This year's Winterfest took place on Saturday, February, 1st , and Chip Lewis, owner/brewer at Iechyd Da Brewing was chosen to create this year's Wintefest replicale, which was an imperial stout at 8.1% ABV.
I stopped by Iechyd Da recently and found Chips's replicale quite enjoyable. It was medium to full bodied with plenty of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee in the aroma as well as the flavor. It had an ever so slightly dry finish, but not as dry, and in my opinion, much more flavorful than a dry Irish stout. Chip told me that he was able to showcase some new malts from Patagonia that he had never used before. Congratulations to Chip and Summer on this honor, and get in soon before it's all gone. Half growlers only are available for take out.
Also on tap was Chip's new Red Dragon Rye English IPA, (5.9% ABV, IBUs 52). This style tends to be a bit more subtle than it's American counterpart. Unlike many American IPAs that can tend to be “in your face” hoppy, English versions are in my opinion, quite a bit more malt forward. The rye malt in this beer, of which Chip uses three varieties, also adds a nice spicy quality. Earthy hop flavors are a bit more prominent than the citrus hop notes that we sometimes associate with the IPA style.
Other beers on tap:
Go Red Miles Lab Brew (5.6% ABV, IBUs 25) Chip describes this beer as a nicely balanced red ale, with a bit of floral and citrus hops in both the flavor and aroma. Fifty cents from every pint will go toward Miles Lab Heart Association fund raising
Local Blonde (4.8% ABV, IBUs 17)
1635 English Mile (4.2% ABV, IBUs 18)
Main Drag (5.2% ABV, IBUs 32)
Revolution IPA (7.2% ABV, IBUs 74)
Odd Job Series Local on Mango – this is Local Blonde that has been infused with fresh mangos and dried apricots for a week, and then put on the hand pull. Chip has been experimenting with different infusions of their regular beers, and typically they have been tapped on Tuesdays. According to Summer, “This has been a lot of fun, so we are going to keep doing it.”
On Valentine's day (Friday), they will be tapping something special – Stiff Wind Scottish Strong Ale (7.4% ABV, IBUs 21). This is It's Not A Skirt Scottish Export (lightly hopped scottish ale, 5% ABV) taken to the next level with a more aggressive malt sweetness, but still lightly hopped.
Iechyd Da Brewing is open Tues – Thurs 3 PM – 10 PM, Fri, Sat 11 AM – 11 PM, Sun 12 PM – 8 PM
Other brews around the town:
At the Constant Spring you can find Bell's Expedition Stout (Russian Imperial Stout, 10.5% ABV) and Smitten Golden Rye Ale, (rye beer, 6% ABV), Founders Dirty Bastard (scotch ale, 8.5% ABV), and Dark Horse Brewing 4 Elf (winter warmer, 8.75% ABV).
Just in at Chalet Party Shoppe:
Not exactly new, but very worthy to note, beers from Jolly Pumpkin, Dexter, MI. They brew 100% open fermented, wood aged, bottle conditioned beer. If you have never treated yourself to their beer, you are missing out.
Anchorage Brewing Bitter Monk (Belgian Style IPA, brewed with brett, 9% ABV, IBUs 100), and Galaxy (white IPA bottled with brett, 7% ABV, IBUs 50).
Great Divide Old Ruffian (barley wine, 10.2% ABV). Last year we completely missed out on this beer in Elkhart County, so take advantage of it while it's here.
Boulevard Imperial Stout 2013 (11.8% ABV) from their Smokestack series.
Cambridge Brewing (Cambridge, Mass.) The Audacity of Hops (Belgian Double IPA, 8% ABV, IBUs 70), and Red God (imperial red ale, 10% ABV, IBUs 80).
Clown Shoes Brewing (Ipswitch, Mass.) Blaecorn Unidragon (Russian Imperial Stout, 12.5% ABV), Hoppy Feet 1.5 (black IPA, 7% ABV), and Chocolate Sombrero (Mexican style chocolate stout, 9% ABV). These beers have been in the South Bend area for awhile, but this is the first time in Elkhart County that I'm aware of.
Victory Hop Ranch (imperial IPA, 9% ABV)