The Beer Journal

Here in northeast Indiana, just as we all were dreaming of an early spring with early January temps in the 50’s and 60’s, Mother Nature’s pendulum swung back to “Deep Freeze” with  a 40 degree drop in temperature over 24 hours.  We won’t say the change was welcome, but the timing did set us in the mood for the first in a string of winter beer festivals.
Winter beer festivals have a different feel than the summertime variety.  By necessity (at least here in the Midwest), you’ll find them indoors or in a heated tent. If you’re really lucky, you’ll also find an outdoor fire pit or fireplace surrounded by merry beer drinkers with booze-pinked cheeks.  Since chilly temperatures typically drive away all but the truly dedicated craft beer drinkers, “beer tourists” or non-beer drinkers that get dragged along by their friends, are minimal.
The most obvious difference from summertime festivals however is the beer itself.  The event that we are attending today at Fort Wayne pub called J.K. O’Donnell’s, is appropriately called the Winter Warmer.  For those of you not familiar with the term, a winter warmer is a somewhat nondescript term used for any winter seasonal, although most winter warmers favor a big malty backbone, and are frequently spiced, barrel aged or high in alcohol content (alcohol by volume or ABV) – or all three!  Big flavors predominate, with caramel, dark fruits, and roasty notes commonly found.  You’re not going to find many lagers or session ales, but pale ale lovers don’t be disheartened, usually a heavy English ale can be found at more than one booth because well, ABV.  So if you are going to a winter beer festival, pack an extra liver and pace yourself.   For our part, a staple of our winter beer festival line up is the Monster Smash Marsh-mellow Stout.  It’s big at 11.3% ABV and full of all those roasty, caramel notes from toasted marshmallows.
Want to visit Trubble Brewing at an upcoming festival?  You can also find us at the Indy Winterfest in Indianapolis February 3rd or at Bluffton Indiana’s Brrr Fest on February 24th.  The Indy Winterfest is organized by the Brewers of Indiana Guild and attendance is a great way to support all Indiana craft breweries. You can purchase tickets here.


Cheers and safe festival going,
The Troublemakers

Some of you that have been down to the brewpub in the last few weeks might have noticed this ugly behemoth taking up a precious parking space.  It’s not the color scheme we would have picked (orange and grey, definitely).  Also we’re not that into the whole industrial look.  But what this storage pod lacks in beauty it makes up for in utility.  You see, in October we installed two new 7 barrel fermenters in our brew house and while that solved one very important problem – not having enough beer for all our thirsty fans to drink – it also created another problem.
Back in 2014 when we acquired the building at 2725 Broadway in Fort Wayne, Indiana, it was much the same layout you see today; patron area on the south side of the building and production primarily on the north side.  We had to move around some interior walls to add beer production as well as food production, but more or less the same.  The one exception to the north/south exclusivity is the walk-in cooler.  If you see lots of employees buzzing in and out of a door next to our ladies room, it is because that door leads to our cramped and well-used office. And breakroom. And storage area. And most significantly, walkway to the walk-in.
The walk-in cooler is only 8′ x 13′ – roughly the size of a large closet in some of the grand old homes just down the way off Old Mill Road.  It worked fine when the building was used as a seafood restaurant throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, storing a few kegs of beer, lots of food and lots of booze.  It even worked okay for us as we were ramping up to our current level of sales.  But now that our patrons’ capacity for consuming Trubble beer has more than doubled from where we started, changes needed to be made.
When these arctic conditions are gone for the year, we’ll add on to our tiny walk-in.  But for now, the storage pod will be the home to some of Trubble Brewing’s finest ales.  It will allow us to keep kegging the beer we make, rather than using our fermentation vessels as storage tanks.  It will also allow us to put more beer in 1/6 barrel kegs or “sixtels,” to sell to bars and restaurants in the area.  If you’d like to see Trubble on tap at your local watering hole, please shoot us a line at and we’ll see what we can do.
Thankfully, in the spring, the pod will be gone and our sense of aesthetics can be restored. But Trubble..well Trubble will be here to stay.

We’ve recently completed our new bar at Trubble Brewing. A big thanks goes out to Brett Gallmeyer for his skills in the woodshop building our new bartop. It is 2″ thick walnut and a bit of maple that makes up the center piece and the bowties or more commonly known at dovetails. The splits were epoxy filled and dovetails were hand cut. Our old bar only had a 5.5″ overhang which made it uncomfortable to sit and eat at, technically it was a cowboy standup bar. The new bartop has an 11″ overhang for plenty of leg and knee room.

Every Thursday Trubble Brewing has been serving up the ramen dish. It has really taken off well over the last few months and our patrons have loved it. Each week our kitchen manager picks a new protein to go into the ramen dish.

On late show nights when Trubble has live music, they dish out the pizza for the people. They lay bricks in the oven and cook it up. Please call in advance to see if pizza will be available.