Michael and I recently ventured over the bridge to meet some friends in New Albany, Indiana for great pizza and brews at Rich O's public house and Sportstime Pizza. This establishment is also home to the well-known New Albanian Brewing Company which was once rated sixth best microbrewery in the world, according to ratebeer.com. There are about 650 beers to choose from including it's own brews such as "Hoptimus". This beer is wildly popular among beer-drinkers like Michael, who prefer insane amounts of hops. To give you some idea of just how "hoppy" Michael likes it, the amount of hops in a beer is usually indicated by the IBU or International Bitterness Unit of which Hoptimus has IBU 100. I don't like my beer incredibly hoppy, so I usually look for one with an IBU in the 24-45 range or even lower. I went with one of the guest beers, the St. Bernardus Abt 12, a dark Belgian that has an aroma of malt and caramel and tastes of plum, raisins, caramel, and dried fruits. I normally go for a stout but in the middle of the Summer heat, it was nice to lighten things up with the fruity flavor. I had this St. Bernardus once before at Sergios World Beers, located on Story Avenue in Louisville http://www.sergiosworldbeers.com/ which is another great establishment intent on serving quality beer. New Albanian prides itself on brewing "real beer." You won't find any mass-marketed, domestic, and light beer here. Some beer snobs (clearing my throat, Michael) might joke that if you order a Bud Light, the server might as well bring you a water or show you immediately to the restroom!! HaHa. All joking aside, this brewery considers its work to be a form of art and beer to be "the mysterious, glorious union, of grain, hops, water, and yeast". And the Holladays consider it to be quite a glorious union indeed!
When it came to service, we found our experience to be a bit mysterious, wondering from time to time where our server had ran off too. Unfortunately, service was on the slow side, however she was accommodating when it came to check separation, which can be a headache in a large group. We were super pumped to be dining among another food blogger, Claire, http://claireeatstheworld.blogspot.com/
and we can only hope our testimonies in the world of food and dining are half as amazing as hers. We shared queso and stuffed mushrooms which were both crowd-pleasers. I particularly enjoyed the fresh spinach and tomatoes that were mixed throughout the queso. Michael, Claire, and I all commented on the amazingly creamy and cheesy stuffed mushrooms. These shrooms definitely hit the spot as we all enjoyed our beers with delightful conversation while waiting for the pizza to arrive. Michael and I ordered an "Upside Down" style pizza. I adored the crispy crust, along with the crazy good banana peppers, and spinach that was scattered about quite nicely. The cheese was pretty good too. My only complaint was that the sauce, which was served on top of the cheese, seemed to be sort of bland. Obviously the sauce was good enough considering that we devoured every single piece! Michael was not driving so he decided to order a second beer, this time opting for the Jaxon. It was delightfully hoppy for a Barleywine with citrusy hops balanced nicely with hints of cherry and chocolate. And, the mouthfeel was surprisingly syrupy, allowing the flavors to linger on the palate. After finishing this beer, everyone decided to call it a night. I can't wait to venture here again, perhaps with Michael as my designated driver.
So the next time you wanna get your buzz on quality beer, food, and friends; the Holladays suggest you venture to New Albanian Brewing Company at Rich O's. You will find it to be a glorious union indeed!