This week Sky Blue Window celebrates Indiana's craft beer community with stories, photos and videos about everything from the art that decorates the drink to the ornately designed custom taps that dispense it. Enjoy!
Baby, It's Cold Outside ... But you really can stay. Next Saturday, Feb.1st countless craft beer lovers will cozy up for an evening of sheer indulgence as the Brewers of Indiana Guild (B.I.G.) hosts its 7th annual celebration to honor the art of brewing and to promote public awareness and appreciation for quality made-in-Indiana beers.
But score a ticket while you can, because this tasting festival sells out fast. As before, it will be staged at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, in the Champions Pavilion and will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you've never had the privilege of seeing 70-plus craft breweries within the same space and sampling more than 200 perfectly balanced brews -- with their rich aromas and generous flavors -- then you best be finding a designated driver or making a date with a cabbie, because your weekend plans are shaping up.
A general-admission ticket is only $40 and $10 for your D.D. (who's welcome to all the free soft drinks he or she desires). Remember to bring your photo ID; attendees must be 21 or older. You'll receive a little 3-ounce glass when you arrive. Keep it. You'll use it for your unlimited tastings. Speaking of which, take it easy on the drink. Think: sipping versus slamming. Five hours of unbridled passion with the pours can make for a sloppy end to your evening -- especially considering that most of these beers are as strong as they are delicious, often packing a 6 percent (or more) alcohol content.
If you're a newbie to Winterfest, it's worth pairing up with a veteran who knows the ropes. If not, at least read up on sampling strategies for tasting your favorites or trying new brews. Many local social sites offer tactical tips. Or forego a game plan and just enjoy hanging with your peeps. Lines may be long, but the conversations will carry you through to your next brew.
New to craft beer? Curious about how to talk about it? This CraftBeer.com video guides you through the most important points to consider as you sample:
For more details and a complete list (updated daily) of beers and breweries represented at Winterfest, check the B.I.G. website.