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Boiler Brews: A Guide to Classy Tailgating – vs. Minnesota


Happy Friday, Boilermaker beer enthusiasts!  As mentioned last week, Peoples Brewing Company of Lafayette was nice enough to invite the H&R staff for a tour of their facility last weekend before the Notre Dame game, or whatever you want to call what happened at Ross-Ade on Oct. 1.  Either way, the day was not a total wash as TMill, Mrs. TMill, Jordan and I enjoyed fine local beer, good hospitality, and a true small business success story.  A recap and recommendations from Peoples are after the jump for all of your tailgating needs this weekend.

Peoples Brewing is a really neat place.  Housed in the industrial district of Lafayette, there’s really nothing to suggest the proximity of a great little brewpub except the sign out front.  As you move through a non-descript warehouse door, you enter an intimate, clean, friendly environment to share a conversation and a pint.  There’s no kitchen here, but plenty of salty pretzels on the table to munch on while you drink.  There are always 6 taps available, freshly hooked up to new beer as it rolls off the line.  Our party tried several beers during our visit, but more to come on those later.

I was really impressed by the story that the boss Chris Johnson told about his company.  Chris brewed at Lafayette Brewing Co. for 9 years, and was inspired to take what he had learned and branch out and do his own thing. [Like most brewers, Chris started brewing in his own home.  He told a great story about convincing a roommate to move out so he could convert his bedroom into a lagering room.  He worked on bulking up the insulation and was able to get the room down to 37 degrees in the middle of summer with just a window air conditioning unit in order to age his beers at the proper temperature year-round.  Badass!]  When Peoples moved in to the current location, Chris couldn’t imagine what he was going to do with all the space he had.  Two years later and much of Peoples’ beer is sold before it is even made, and the company is not only taking over the other half of the building they are in, but is looking to construct an addition to the entire structure.  This is a small business success story for the whole community to be proud of.  Cheers, Chris!

So back to the beer.   Between the four of us, we were able to try 3 of Peoples’ offerings. 

Aberrant Amber :  5.5% ABV, 48 IBU

 “American Style Amber with an twist.  We started with a classic American Amber, 22% Caramalt giving it an Amber hue.  Then added a large addition of Amarillo and Centennial hops for the bittering and dry hoped with Amarillo, giving it notes of grapefruit and tangerine.  The complexity of the malts and hops in this beer make it a great ale for anyone who loves flavor.”

- Peoples description

My take – As advertised in the description!  This beer had a beautiful color and full flavor without being too overwhelming.  This one went down very easily and satisfied for the whole pint.   I definitely picked up on the citrus notes from the hop profile: Centennial and Amarillo are hops you might be familiar with from beers like Three Floyd’s Gumballhead (Amarillo) and Founders Centennial IPA (Centennial).  All in all, this was a great beer that I would definitely order again, year-round.  It’s available at the pub in pints or to-go growlers, with plans for bottling in the future.


Mr. Brown: 7.0% ABV, 47 IBU

American Style Brown Ale… “That’s Mr. Brown to you!”  We used a lot of base malt and four different dark malts in this beer resulting in a complex malt character and a warming alcohol flavor.  This is a great cold weather beer, warming and smooth to take away the chill.  We balanced it with Kent Goldings hops. “

-Peoples Description

My take – This one was delicious, smooth, malty, heavy-bodied brown ale that is definitely well-suited to wintry weather.  It was exactly what I want in a dark beer, with a complex, rich malt character and coffee notes that is perfect for slow sipping.  This one would definitely be more difficult to drink in quantity, but a small amount goes a long way on Mr. Brown.  If you love dark, malty beers, this one’s for you.


Space Cowboy Double IPA: 9.0% ABV, IBU – forgot to write it down!

This beer has only been in existence for about 2 weeks, and thus does not have an "official" description from Peoples.  I did not try this one, but Jordan did and here’s what he had to say about it. 

"Space Cowboy is a pretty apt name for a beer that is wild and out there.  It’s probably the easiest-to-drink DIPA I’ve ever had, but still packs the high ABV and IBU punch you’d expect.  Really a delightful marriage of taste and finish."

- Jordan's Description

I should note that this stuff packs a deceptively serious punch and Chris has put a limit of two snifters per customer on it. 

So there you have it.  I had a great time on Saturday at the brewery and will most certainly be stopping in when I come into town to grab some local beer from a promising young brewery, right in Boilermaker country.

Thanks again for reading!  Go out and beat those Gophers, fellas!  Cheers, and Hail Purdue.