A Taste for Everyone

RiverRoots prides itself on serving Indiana craft beers

18 different craft beers
will be on tap at Madison festival

(May 2017) – The craft beer aspect of RiverRoots Music & Folk Art Festival is something the crowds have come to expect. Every year, attendees of the festival look forward to visiting the Craft Beer Tent and checking out the smaller, independent breweries.
The popular festival is perfectly timed to promote craft beer activities because it coincides with National American Craft Beer Week, May 15-21. Coordinated by the Brewers Associations’ Craft Beer Program, this week celebrates the culture and community of craft brewers across the United States.
“We always focus on Indiana craft beer and kept it domestic, but got to where we were selling less,” said organizer Charlie Rohlfing. “We believe there is such a good variety of Indiana beer.”
Rohlfing replaces Don Clapham as organizer of the Craft Beer Tent. Rohlfing had previously been the marking director for RiverRoots but “just wanted to do something different.”
He said the new director, Dan Williams, suggested he run the Craft Beer Tent. Since “Donnie was already getting out, I saw an opening,” said Rohlfing. Volunteers will be serving beer during the festival.
One big change this year is that there will be no Brew-Off Competition. “Donnie was the brewer,” Rohlfing said. He decided to do things differently for a change.
Quaff On! Brewing Co. will be one of seven craft breweries featured during the two-day folk arts and music festival that also celebrates the best of the areas craft beer. The company hand crafts ales in Brown County, Ind., such as their signature Busted Knuckle Ale, a light porter hybrid with a smooth, sweet finish.
Bloomington Brewing Co., was one of Indiana’s first craft beer breweries. Great ingredients and attention to detail is their goal. They make ales available on draft in Bloomington, Indianapolis, and the surrounding Indiana communities.
Upland Brewing Co. was established in 1997 in Bloomington, Ind. By 2004 its distribution had reached all 92 counties in the state. Current distribution has expanded to southern Wisconsin and Northern Kentucky.
Tin Man Brewing Co. is based in Evansville, Ind., and was started in 2012. It was one of the first small craft breweries in the United States to use a mash filter.
New Albanian Brewing Co. is the first commercial brewery to operate in New Albany, Ind., since 1935. It has been rated as high as sixth among the world’s craft breweries, according to Ratebeer.com.
Powerhouse Brewing Co., based in Columbus, Ind., features core beer favorites such as Diesel Oil Stout, Ceraline Cream Ale, Jack The Bum Ale and Two Daves IPA. Seasonal beers include Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, DILLIGAF Rye Ale, and Moms New Boyfriend Imperial Black IPA.
Sun King Brewery from Indianapolis serves more than 200 beers in a variety of categories:  House, King’s Reserve, Seasonal and Specialty.
“Representatives from the breweries will be serving the beer,” Rohlfing said. Such people “understand the beer and can help customers understand the beer better.”
There will also be announcements when “Tappings Right Now” are available at various times during the festival. These special tappings will be made available by breweries that bring limited offerings.
Rohlfing said craft beer is popular nationwide and “is a huge thing right now.” He said what makes a good craft beer is “the sparkle and freshness to it. It needs to be clean and crisp, with no muddiness to it.”
Since all beers can be measured for bitterness, Rohlfing plans to have an IBU scale posted. “You can look at the chart and know,” which beers have a high or low IBU. “The number is more important than the color.”
Two local wineries – Thomas Family Winery and Madison Vineyards – will be selling wines as well. All draft beer will be sold by the cup.
For some reason, most of the festival goers “tend to be craft beer lovers,” he said. “It‘s sort of our demographics.”

Rohlfing said the Craft Beer Tent will feature  “exclusive Indianan craft beers. There will be something for everyone. It will run the whole spectrum of flavors.”

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