THE BEER BEAT: “Dives and hives” in Nawbany, a new brewery coming to Floyds Knobs, and other tales of the drinking life.

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It’s late notice, but if you’re out and about today between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., drop by Donum Dei Brewery (3211 Grant Line Road in New Albany) for Chili Cookoff to Benefit Apron, Inc.

Let’s begin with a gratifying round of self-aggrandizement.

Thanks to Sara “Bar Belle” Havens for the name-drop in this survey of “New Albany’s smoky dives and trendy hives” at Insider Louisville.

In the early ’90s, Roger Baylor transformed (NABC Pizzeria Public House) into a craft-beer mecca, long before craft beer was a big thing around here. And since then, it’s been the spot to try all sorts of styles and brands.

Ironically, the release of Sara’s article was concurrent with RateBeer’s annual list of very best places in America to have a beer, in which the Pizzeria & Public House yet again was named as Indiana’s best brewpub (with Keg Liquors Clarksville capturing another “best bottle shop” citation).

Sara’s pub crawl also took her to Jack’s, Brooklyn and The Butcher and Hugh E. Bir Cafe. Taken as a whole, her wanderings testify to a rich diversity of drinking options in New Albany, and in spite of my own personal trials and travails, I have to admit I’m proud to have played my role in it — and look forward to doing so again.

THE BEER BEAT: Have a look at this Pints&Union pub buildout progress report.

Speaking of start-ups, I too was surprised to see a brewery coming soon to Floyds Knobs.

A craft beer boom is looming. Keep an eye out for these 7 new breweries opening this year, by Bailey Loosemore (Louisville Courier Journal)

Our Lady of Perpetual Hops

Location: 3815 Paoli Pike, Floyds Knobs

Anticipated opening: Late spring

Introduction: We first heard of this new Southern Indiana brewery earlier this month, and it’s already well on its way to capturing our attention.

The brewery will be located on a 10-acre property near the Valley View Golf Club, where four co-owners plan to eventually build an entertainment campus complete with a taproom, restaurant, sand volleyball courts, outdoor deck and beer garden.

The entire campus isn’t expected to be finished until spring 2019. But this year, the company plans to open a small taproom and brewery in an existing building at the site.

CEO Robert Pappas, a chemist who owns Essential Oil University, said Our Lady’s beers will be unique for the area.

With help from an experienced brewer, the team has created beers that incorporate essential oils to act as a sort of aromatherapy, Pappas said.

Follow the brewery’s process on Facebook.

Upon further reflection, I recall discussing a similar idea with Rob (a longtime pub customer) in 2012 or thereabouts; at the time, he was looking at a farm in Starlight near the Huber winery and distillery. The brewer at OLPH is Kyle Richmer, and I’m enthused that the Knobs will be getting in on the game.

For the record, here is the entire list.

  1. Falls City Brewing Co., 901 E. Liberty St., NuLu
  2. Bluegrass Brewing Co., South Fourth Street and Broadway
  3. Wild Hops Brewery, 1001 Logan St.
  4. Our Lady of Perpetual Hops, 3815 Paoli Pike, Floyds Knobs
  5. False Idol Independent Brewers, 1025 Barret Ave.
  6. Against the Grain, 719 Lynn St.
  7. Goodwood Brewing Company, Vine Street

As a closer, ignore the author’s lapse (these days my beloved Pilsner Urquell is owned by Asahi of Japan, not the MillerCoors leviathan) and feel good about how far beer has come in the States.

Now, all we need to do is make sense of where we’ve been. I have a feeling this is something that will be occupying much of my time in the near future.

Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America, by Derek Thompson (City Lab)

Corporate goliaths are taking over the U.S. economy, yet small breweries are thriving. Why?

But what explains the nature of the craft-beer boom? From several interviews with economists and beer-industry experts, I’ve gathered that there appear to be two big reasons—a straightforward cause and a more complex and interesting history.

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