What better place to start this adventure than at Gen Con Indy, 2012 – The Best Four Days in Gaming. I have been going to Gen Con Indy for years and had always appreciated the way the RAM Restaurant and Brewery re-skins their outfit to the gaming themes of Privateer Press, specifically the miniature war game, Hordes. My recent interest in beer drew me back to the brewery for a closer taste.
It once made sense to dedicate an entire post to the sampling of one beer and to really take time to go into some detail, but the answer I seem to give more often or not when asked to choose a beer, is “yes.” The sampler it is. I was fortunate to be joined by my Pulp Gamer Prime Co-Host, Scott Forster. I hope my insights are able to give you a head start in choosing your beer this weekend.
The first beer we tried was on the menu as the Cygnar Blonde and normally goes by the name Indy Blonde. This was probably one of the more flavorful blondes I have had. It was crisp, clean, and refreshing. The menu describes it well as delicately hopped and it represents them very well as it had a sweet character I found in most of their beers. After finishing the sampler, I had another pint of this blonde to finish my meal with. When I put the pint to my nose, the hops first hit me reminding me that it was present, but not overpowering. On a hot day of travel or setting up for the convention, this is a great choice. ABV 4.4% SRM 6.0 IBUs 20.
The Hellion Hefeweizen, usually called the Big Horn Hefeweizen was probably one of the most citrusy Hefeweizens I have had. My palate is not yet sophisticated enough I guess to pick up on the banana-clove flavors or the aroma of the restaurant was just yanking my nose around but I did detect fruitiness and of course that character of wheat you would expect. If you are a wheat beer fan, you will not go wrong here. I loved it. ABV 5.2% SRM 8.0 IBUs 15.
Monoth’s Fury, also known as Buttface Amber Ale was again a good sample of an Amber Ale and represented the RAM well. It was a sweet amber that I could see having a pint of in the near future. ABV 5.8% SRM 22 IBUs 25.
Blackbane’s Ghoast Ale (71 Pale Ale) was not as hoppy as I was expecting, which is very much a good thing. I am not a huge hophead. I like my beers balanced and this one was. Sometimes, Pale Ales can lean a bit too far on the hoppy side for my taste. I could detect the hint of spiciness credited to the rye. I have brewed with rye before and this always catches my attention. ABV 5.5% SRM 12 IBUs 40.
Raseth’s Red, or what is also known by the natives as the Big Red IPA was actually quite pleasant to me as well. As mentioned before, I am not a huge hophead but didn’t turn my head away from this IPA. It had the hoppy character you would expect but it doesn’t blow you away with it. This is also why I like heavier and darker beers, too. It tends to balance out the hops. This may be what has happened here as it is a little darker than most IPAs I have had in the past. ABV 6% SRM 15 IBUs 65.
The Primal Porter was more than I expected. I love porters, and especially smoked porters. Finding one just meant I had picked the growler I wanted to take with me back to the room. You can smell the smoke; you can taste the smoke. The chocolate and roast undertones of this brown porter also come through quite well. ABV 5.1%, SRM 80, IBUs 28.
Worldwrath’s Omnipotent Ale was especially made for this weekend to characterize its namesake. They were looking for something mystic and earthy and captured it well in this black pale ale. The bitterness of this deceptive beer rests gently in the back of the mouth gradually after it is sipped. The menu claims a citrusy hops but I was getting more of a piney or a resin flavor. It did find the chocolate and roast undertones on my pallet. Black IPAs have a fun deceptiveness about them because you expect something so dark to be thick, but they taste more like their more pale brethren, but they always have some character of the dark malt to give them a very distinctive flavor. Well done, RAM. ABV 4.8% SRM 46 IBUs 40.