As I sat in the booth and tuned out the conversation I should have been partaking in, my mind led me to one choice decision, “this is want I want”. The atmosphere, the ambience, the beer philosophy…all of these things wrapped into one make the Bank Street Brewhouse in New Albany, Indiana a place where I could spend every weekend (maybe a weeknight, depending on the budget) as a place to drink a beer. Not just any beer, but a beer that has, well, ummm character to say the least. New Albanian Brewing Company.
I’ve honestly been a big fan of NABC for a long time since my first taste of Hoptimus. I was just getting into IPAs and wanted to try them all. I consider NABC my favorite brewery in the Kentuckiana area and it sits close behind 3 Floyds in the state of Indiana. Both breweries are very unique and honestly, what really stuck out to me at first about NABC wasn’t just the craftsmanship of their beer, but their beers logo and artwork were phenomenal. I am reminded of my younger days and baseball cards, I wanted to find the most unusual and different cards I could find that were both aesthetically pleasing and also had some worth to them. For some unexplained reason (besides the fact they are awesome) I am fascinated with the work Tony Beard does for NBAC. Here are two of my favorites for NABC’s newest bottles…
I love when beers tell you what Malts, Hops, and Yeast are used.
The logos are good, but they aren’t the real reason I choose NABC over any other local Kentucky Brewery. The simple reason is Roger Baylor.
It’s hard to explain honestly. I ask myself, why the heck are you so “obsessed” with the craft beer industry, it’s importance, and wanting to learn as much as you can about what makes a good beer a good beer? It’s a question I haven’t really been able to answer yet, but my learning was nurtured when I started following Rogers’ blog, The Potable Curmudgeon. If you’ve never read it, I suggest you do. He is as masterful with words as he is with his knowledge of craft and artisanal beverages.
But still, it’s not his writing or his knowledge that intrigues me. It’s his philosophy on his business and the city of New Albany. I have a small glimpse of the growth of New Albany from my buddy Matt Bergman who is helping to develop the downtown district (by the way….no on bridge tolls please…I don’t want a charge every time I go over or every time a shipment of Hoptimus comes over either) and appreciate what they are doing. It reminds me exactly for what my father (the mayor of my hometown) is trying to do to our city. He is trying to bring more people into the area to discover what a small little farm town in Central, IL has to offer.
Here’s the plain and simple fact why I enjoy Rogers words and beer, it’s all about staying local. Support your local business, support your local industry, support your local brewery and in turn, you are supporting your local community. It’s all about the little man. In essence, aren’t all craft breweries the little man?
While in the process of finishing up my PhD, I ask myself another question. Is this really want I want to do with the rest of my life? I could see myself teaching part-time, but I can’t see myself become a slave to the academic phrase of “publish or parish”. It’s just not who I am, it’s just not who I was raised to be. I miss working with my hands. Homebrewing gives me that outlook. It gives me that satisfaction. Ashley and I have talked extensively about the next step after the PhD. is finished and where her GE engineering career will take us (probably back to the East Coast I assume). Wouldn’t that be a great job, part-time professor and part-time working at a brewery?
So Friday night I went over to my buddy Bergmans and decided to head over to Bank Street for some beers and the UofL soccer game. There was a decent crowd, not overwhelmingly packed, so we grabbed a booth with our significant others. I decided to go with the Naughty Claus (holiday seasonal, a winter warmer kind of beer with the right amount of spices) and Ashley went with their Le Diable Blonde (a Belgian style tripel). I think Ashley said about 10 times that night how much she liked the Blonde, so I ordered one (We ended up getting a growler of it the next day)…so yeah it’s pretty damn good.
Our food was excellent. Ashley had the house special salad and french onion soup (which she said it was one of the best salads she has ever had) and I had the cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. I’m usually not a big cheeseburger person, but it was exceptional. Chef Josh does good work. At a party the next day, I ended up speaking with Chef Josh for a little bit. I gave him some of my homebrew and we talked about the Kentuckiana beer scene and the NABC philosophy. I’m pretty sure Roger was mentioned as the Godfather of Louisville craft beer at least one time, minus the cows head.
Sunday morning came, way to fast and Ashley sat on the couch recovering from the night before. We talked about the party, but mostly we talked about how we need to visit Bank Street more often because we left the place (twice) fully satisfied.
Most local bars in Louisville carry NABC beers, so ask when you can. As always, I do my best to spread the word about local places like My Old Kentucky Homebrew, Louisville Beer Store, and NABC…so I hope you can all do the same. Buy smart, buy local…and raise your glass to Mr. Baylor and thank him for the quality beer in Kentuckiana.
Also, don’t forget to check out where it all started for NABC, Rich O’s Public House and their impressive beer selection.