THE BEER BEAT: Hull & High Water is only days away, and it has me all playful about beer lists.


Hull & High Water at 324 E. Main Street in New Albany should be open for business on Friday, and it would be an understatement to suggest the anticipation is palpable.

While I’m generally skeptical about the ability of “business” publications to get relevant aspects of culture right — usually there’s too much dollar-sign fetishist-speak for the benefit of the clueless moneyed classes — this preview is fairly good.

INSIDE LOOK: Hull & High Water restaurant finishes its nautical-themed digs, by Bridgett Weaver (Louisville Business First)

Garrett Petters said that often when people think of going to seafood restaurants, they think of spending a lot of money.

But his goal with his new restaurant, Hull & High Water, is to be more like a coastal seafood shack — offering good seafood at an affordable price.

“When you go to the coasts, there’s a lot of seafood shacks. We wanted to bring seafood back to the normal people,” Petters said. “To take it back to where it came from.”

I caught myself wondering what sorts of wine are to be sold at an inland seafood shack, then began trying to remember when (or even if) I’ve ever ordered wine at a seafood restaurant of any sort.

Everything about Weaver’s piece screams “beer,” and precisely because not a soul has asked me, here are a few ideas for a solid, nautically-and-aquatic-themed beer list. It isn’t real, and I have no idea what you’ll find at Hull in terms of beer, although there’ll be “craft” choices.

At the same time, no gimmicks. These are fine beers, every last one of them. Some (including me) might quibble with corporate owners like Constellation Brands and Sapporo, but they’re not AB-InBev, and I’m just having fun without thinking too much about the credentials of the choices.

Off the top of my head, I’m not sure if there are any locally-brewed beers with an appropriate name … unless Falls City decides to make Calliope Hoppy Pils year-round.

It would rock a seafood menu as the go-to Pilsner draft choice.

Otherwise, leading off, Ballast Point Brewing Company gets a whole category to itself, given that …

From day one, Ballast Point’s philosophy has always been doing what we love, and making what we love to drink. So, naturally, we named the beers after something many of us love almost as much as brewing—fishing. Today, many of the beers are named for fish or fishing terms, and the labels have fish on them as a reminder to always do what you love.

I’d have Anchor Steam on draft, and push it hard. It’s amber but lighter-bodied than many “craft” beers, with more flavor than most mass-market carbonated waters masquerading as beer, and entirely poundable at 4.9% abv.

If available on draft, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter would be delightful, too. Dogfish Head‘s 60 Minute IPA could be a hoppier choice, or perhaps Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (see Big Two Hearted River, a short story by Ernest Hemingway).

Baltic Porter as a style category is named for the Baltic Sea, and Zwiec Porter from Poland in 16.9-ounce bottles is one of the best imported beer values going. Maybe Hull & High Water could keep some herring around, just for me.

For higher gravity Belgian-derived styles, there’s Brigand (brewed by Van Steenberge) and Piraat (brewed by Van Honsebrouck), both from Belgium. in a similar vein from Canada: Unibroue Don Dieu (also Maudite and Raftman), all with imagery of ships, boats and such.

For dessert after a few oyster shooters and the catch of the day, why not Rogue’s legendary Old Crustacean Barleywine, pulled from a secret stash somewhere on the premises? It’s a coastal Oregon classic.

One of my eastern seaboard favorites is Shipyard Export Ale, from the harbor town of Portland, Maine. It is described as a North American Blond Ale, though I detect the founding English influence. Beer Advocate hates this beer — which is another reason to seek it out; in April while in Portland, I consumed one with a lobster roll. It was perfect.

I’ll stop there, cognizant at having omitted countless choices. Feel free to offer upgrades to my faulty memory in the form of comments, and best wishes to Garrett, Eric Morris and the rest of the team at Hull & High Water. I’m in post-holiday detox, but will make it down sooner or later.