Goshen has been my home for nearly 18 years, and during that time there has been a growing interest in craft beer. The Constant Spring is the foundation for our beer scene with it’s 18 taps, but there are currently, and soon to be more local options for craft beer enthusiasts.
Venturi Pizza (123 E Lincoln Ave, Goshen) has had their brewing license for a bit now, and they have had a few of their beers on tap over the recent weeks. Thursday, alongside Dark Horse Crooked Tree, they had their own Neapolis IPA (double IPA, 7.7% ABV, IBUs 167). Here are the brewing notes from brewer Logan Miller. This beer “Celebrates the original name of Naples, Italy and with 3 varieties of hops, it excites the taste buds with hoppy bitterness and floral sweet notes. Simply put, this is a beer with generous amounts of hops that lend a subtle complexity of flavor and aroma.” This beer is on the low ABV end for double IPA, but I thought it had just about everything that you could want for this style.
Here are my tasting notes. The aroma was full of citrus, pine and floral notes, all of which were more present than your average commercially available IPA. Initially I thought it was just a bit high on carbonation, but as I sat there and enjoyed myself, it just kept getting better. My palate picked up citrus on the front end, some bitter spiciness in the middle, with a nice sprucy pine finish. And there was good malt balance all the way through. Unfortunately, it is probably gone at this point, although there will be another Venturi beer replacing the same tap.
There have been about 5-6 Venturi brewed beers featured at their restaurant so far, and there is still a good bit of experimentation going on. Logan is brewing a single 5 gallon batch each week, and it is being consumed by customers in about four days time. That makes for extremely fresh beer. It seems that customers are ordering beer not by style, but rather by which beer on the menu is the house brewed choice. The ultimate goal is to find a companion IPA for their Margherita pizza, which is their most popular item on the menu. Until then, look for an ESB (extra special bitter), a cream ale, and plenty more IPAs.
They keep a beer log at the bar for comments, so if you would like to leave any thoughts about Venturi’s beer for Logan, be sure to ask your server. Hours for Venturi Pizza are dinner Tuesday – Saturday 5:00PM – 10:00PM, and lunch Wednesday – Friday 11:30AM – 1:30PM
Around the corner on Main St., you may have recently seen a sign out in front of the Gateway Cellar Winery (211 S. Main St). Last week it said “opening soon”, but Thursday I noticed that it said “Back Alley Brewery opening September 27″. I have been stopping in regularly to chat with owner Larry Libey about the progress on the brewery. To say the least, it has been a long road for Larry. For the last year or so, it seemed that every time he turned around, there was a new inspection or department that needed to check something off their list before he could open. Now, finally there is a very small list that he hopes to have completed by his opening date.
Since he doesn’t have full clearance yet, and it takes a few weeks to finish fermenting a full batch of beer, Larry plans to open with the three “lite sisters” – that’s right – Miller Lite, Bud Lite, and Coors Lite. This does not particularly excite me, but he says that his neighbor the Constant Spring doesn’t offer those beers, so for now he will. It’s going to be a sports bar with eight 50 inch screen televisions. When I asked what sports will be on the screens, he told me that he will hand out the remotes, and the customers can decide. He suggested quite possibly there may be eight completely different sports on the screens.
As for the full beer list, he will have 8 taps, one of which will feature a house made soda. His brewing experience has included everything from ambers to stouts, so you can expect a good variety. In addition, he will offer a small menu of pizza, sandwiches, and other snacks such as poppers, pretzels, and hot dogs.
Now, let’s take a little walk over to the mill race, at the west end of Washington Street, just past the farmer’s market. There you will find the old NIPSCO building which is currently sitting unoccupied. Jesse Sensenig, who’s wife is from Goshen, is looking to open the Goshen Brewing Company in this building. With the go ahead from Goshen’s Redevelopment Commission, and with all of Jesse’s financial backing in place, he is ready to move forward with his plan. Jesse is currently living in Bluffton, OH, but I have made plans to meet with him next time he is in town.
The entrance will appear to be from the ground floor, but will actually be on the second level. From here, customers will be able to over look to the lower level where the brew house will be located. Since there is no current kitchen, renovations will be extensive, requiring a good amount of time before Jesse will be able to open the brewery. When Jesse returns to town, we will take a full tour of the building, and I will get you all of the details at that time. Until then, check out this article from Nick Wesman.
Lastly, we can’t forget all of the local home brewers out there. The Local (211 S. 5th St.) is hosting another home brew night for the October First Friday. If you are a home brewer, bring out your craft. If you are a home brew lover, bring your enthusiasm and interest in trying new beers.