logo190gif.png I got the opportunity to interview Mike Atwood of the blog Hoosier Beer Geek. Mike, and the rest of the Knights of the Beer Roundtable, are doing for Indiana what I’m trying do for St. Louis; promote beer and the culture surrounding it. In a bit of a cross promotional event, think Marvel/DC, he also asked me a few questions about STL Hops, feel free to read his interview with me here.

So I see there are 7 Knights of the Beer Roundtable, is there a King? Do you have a full knighting ceremony?

If there was a king, it was Chris Maples, who started the whole Hoosier Beer Geek thing. He started inviting others along pretty early on, and recently he’s been so busy with work that we never see him. We’ve all kind of taken over for him in the meantime. All decisions, from what we’re drinking on a particular evening to the design of the web site are voted on by all seven members.

The knighting ceremony is highly secretive and if I told you about it I’d have to kill you.

How does it feel to live in Three Floyds country and have the rest of the US extremely jealous of you? (Oh and who do I have to kill to get some Dark Lord?)

None of us are currently beer traders, but it’s definitely nice to know that if we were, we’ve got an ace up our sleeve.

We’re all well aware of Three Floyds (or at least you should be STL Hops readers, if you’re not already) but what other Indiana breweries are you proud to call your own?

We’re really blessed in that there’s a wide variety of brewers in Indiana doing all sort of different things. In Indianapolis and now Terre Haute we’ve got Ted Miller at Brugge Beer doing really fantastic work in a Belgian style. Also in Indy we’ve got the Broad Ripple Brewpub, which is pretty much where craft beer got its start in Indiana. Just outside of Indy in Noblesville we’ve got Barley Island, who won silver for their Black Majic Java Stout at the 2006 GABF. In Fort Wayne we’ve got Dave Holmes at Warbird doing really fantastically drinkable and wonderfully tasty “entry level” sort of craft beer. Down in Bloomington we’ve got Upland, another brewery that’s won gold and silver at GABF, and bronze at the World Beer Cup. We’ve got New Albanian down in New Albany, who currently have us head over heels in love with their Hoptimus. And that’s really just the tip of the Indiana beer iceberg.

You all call yourself “beer geeks,” how do you feel about the term “beer snob?”

Right off the bat we want to let people know we’re geeks, not snobs, hence the name Hoosier Beer Geek. I think we all consider it our mission to include as many people in this wonderful thing that is craft beer, and that’s not a snobby thing at all, is it? The way we see it, the more people that know about craft beer, the better the chances that we’ll be able to find it in restaurants and bars all over the state.

Were you aware that the term “hoosier” has a completely different connotation in St. Louis?

For the first twenty-three years of my life, I lived in a little town called Trenton Illinois, ten or so miles from Scott AFB. When I moved to Indy, I couldn’t get over how often the word Hoosier was used in everyday speech – the news reports: “Five Hoosiers Killed In An Eastside Car Crash”, the words “Hoosier Hospitality”, the IU basketball team… Hoosier this, Hoosier that…

Of course growing up just outside of St. Louis, I was thinking the same thing you are:

Peach fuzz moustache, butt cut
El Camino pick-up truck
Aerosmith, Loverboy, Motley Crue
Holding hands just me and you

We don’t need no high school
I think we’re too cool
We’ll have kids at seventeen
Getting laid at Dairy Queen

Hoosier love, Hoosier love
South Side City Hoosier love

“Hoosier Love” – St. Louis’ own MU330

After a while, Hoosier grows on you though. Like a fungus.

How far have any of you knights traveled because of your beer obsession?

Though it wasn’t a beer-only trip, Gina (my girlfriend and fellow Knight) and I recently returned from DC, where we took in the Brickskeller and one of Dogfish’s brewpubs. We’ve been to Cincinnati on a trip that was basically built around buying beer. I was just at the Tap Room in St. Louis. I think once you’re into beer, every trip becomes a beer buying opportunity.