My first taste of Burn ’Em Brewing, hailing from Michigan City, was at last year’s Blue Chip Brewfest preview. I was very impressed with Steve Murray’s beer and I’m glad to see more of it around Michiana.
The Chubby Trout recently added a rotating Burn ’Em tap, and last week I enjoyed a Gawd Loves Fugly (English IPA brewed with Fuggle hops, 6.7 percent ABV). Being an English IPA, the hops took a more mild profile, with a bigger malt flavor up front. It paired very nicely with one of my absolute favorite dishes at the Chubby Trout: Sue Sue Shrimp.
Another great pairing with this spicy dish was Epic Brewing Sour Apple Saison (8.1 percent ABV). It was quite carbonated and almost champagne like, but worked well with the dry fruitiness. The flavor began with a nice sweetness, moving to a slight sour funkiness that complemented the spice of the shrimp.
As of mid-January, you can order sushi during lunch at the Chubby Trout. Between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. you can get two rolls, miso soup and ginger salad for $12. The sushi chef was kind enough to let me sample a custom roll he was making with shrimp, avocado, bacon and more. Sushi and beer is a good meal for me.
But maybe you are not sure that you want to buy a 22-oz. bottle of beer if you don’t know what it tastes like. Chalet Party Shoppe will be featuring Burn ’Em during its Valentines tasting on Thursday, Feb. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the C.R. 17 store.
Samples will be offered of the Burn ’Em beers available in the store:
- Happy Brewdha (double IPA, 8.2 percent ABV)
- Espress-O-Face (coffee stout, 8.2 percent ABV),
- Long Johns On (winter warmer, 9.3 percent ABV)
- Smoke That Shizz (imperial smoked Belgian-style blonde ale collaboration with Four Fathers Brewing, 8.5 percent ABV)
Canned beers fresh off the line will also be available for sale in 16-oz. cans including Pale Alement (pale ale, 5.6 percent ABV), MCA (four hop American IPA, 6.8 percent ABV) and 3:33 (black IPA, 7.5 percent ABV). Burn ’Em partnered with Michigan Mobile Canning to make these cans available. See some photos of the new cans at Burn ’Em’s Facebook page.
- RELATED: Canned beer is making a comeback, thanks to popularity with craft breweries, Oct. 16, 2014
Just this week I picked up a couple of bottles at my local Chalet Party Shoppe.
Express-O Face, as the name implies, has great coffee flavor from espresso beans roasted by Maple City Roasters of Michigan City. Oats provide a creaminess to this dark, rich stout that also has a hint of nuts.
If I had one very small complaint, it was just a touch too thin on the mouth feel, but that is just my own personal preference. Otherwise, I thought this was a great beer.
Long Johns On is a complex winter warmer with a huge malt bill. It poured very dark and left some nice lacing on my glass. Many versions of this style are brewed with spices, and although this one is brewed with some nutmeg, it is very subtle. It is also brewed with dates, and then over fermented with bourbon soaked vanilla beans.
The fruit and booze are very apparent on the nose as well as the flavor. I did catch a bit of the vanilla on the back end, just before the flavor was overtaken by a big booziness.
One of the added touches that I love about this beer is the waxed cap. Although I have heard some debate on the effectiveness, I’m sure that this does prevent some oxidation over time.
But the aspect that impresses me is that the extra effort sets this beer apart. The brewery acknowledges that this is an extra special beer, and deserves just a bit more personal touch and presentation.
Some may complain about the extra work to remove the cap, but I have an extra special tool for waxed caps. A friend of mine in Mississippi is a blacksmith and makes openers with sharp hooks, just for this purpose.
Burn ’Em was established in February 2013, and although it may be one of the newer breweries in northern Indiana, Steve Murray is no stranger to the local brewing community. Before opening his own brewery, he was a bartender and brewer at Greenbush Brewing Company.
There is definitely plenty of passion, creativity, and uniqueness in Burn ’Em brews, and I look forward to tasting more of them in the Michiana area.