The past 13 years, Mad Anthony Brewing Co.s Oktobeerfest has been a small-scale event. The brew pub event has been held in its parking lot, under a tent, with other beer enthusiasts.
This year, theyre kicking things up a notch – or five.
Oktobeerfest 2012 is a four-day event, including tastings at local restaurants paired with their chefs creations, a golf scramble, a concert and a Headwaters Park festival.
We noticed that beer enthusiasts are growing every year, says Blaine Stuckey, an owner at Mad Anthony and a board member of the Brewers of Indiana Guild.
The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at Old Crown Coffee Roasters (3417 N. Anthony Blvd.) with Indiana Craft Beers & Hors Doeuvres. For $20, people can taste four craft beers – including two Mad Anthony brews – as well as the food pairings conjured up by Old Crowns chef.
The following day, the fest continues at Halls Guesthouse (1313 W. Washington Center Road) at 7 p.m. For $45, guests will taste five craft beers and chow on the Guesthouse chefs food pairings.
The grand finale is Saturdays Oktobeerfest from 2 to 6 p.m. at Headwaters Park. Taste more than 100 Indiana beers poured by the more than 20 brewers. Tickets are $25 and include a T-shirt and tasting glass.
To buy tickets to any event, go to www.madbrew.com or stop by Mad Anthony (1109 Taylor St.).
New owners at 2 Higher Grounds
The Higher Grounds locations on St. Joe Center Road and at IPFW are going through some changes. Under new ownership, the stores are updating the menus, learning new tricks and phasing out paper coupons and stamp cards.
Brian Keefer, who worked at Higher Grounds when he was in high school, bought the two locations this summer and has been making changes to the stores, St. Joe Center barista Steve Erick says.
Were slowly beginning the process of renovation, says Erick, who has been at Higher Grounds for eight years and worked with Keefer when he was in high school.
The store recently took down the out-of-date menus that had been displayed, and they introduced smoothies at the beginning of the month.
The smoothies are 100-percent fruit, Erick says, and vegan, with no sugar added. Each smoothie has four servings of fruit per 16-ounce drink. If you ask nicely, theyll even tweak a smoothie to your taste: Last week, I tried a pineapple smoothie, and the menu indicated it had hints of banana and coconut.
Can you do more than a hint of coconut? I asked, and the barista obliged – delicious. Very flavorful without being too sweet.
The two Higher Grounds stores are also becoming more coffee- and espresso-based; Keefer recently took a trip to Chicago to visit the Intelligentsia barista clinic, and the Higher Grounds baristas are now trained to make espresso and lattes the Intelligentsia way, which is more Italian, Erick says.
As a result of the new ownership, the stores are phasing out the use of their stamp cards and paper gift certificates – the final day the coffee shops will accept the cards and certificates is Friday.
Chung King expects to reopen soon
Chung King Express (3101 N. Anthony Blvd.) had a small fire last month, and readers have inquired as to whether – and when – the restaurant would reopen.
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health has said it has heard nothing about the drive-thru Chinese restaurant closing for good and says it will likely reopen after renovations. According to the Chung King Facebook page, owners hope to reopen by the end of August.
Save at DeBrand
To celebrate its 25-year anniversary, DeBrand Fine Chocolates is giving customers a 25 percent discount on all chocolate purchases today only.
This discount is valid in all three DeBrand stores and online. Use promo code 25YEARS to save at DeBrand.com.
Cosmos on Washington Center Road closed last week. The store was bought by Culvers, which plans to open a third local store in January, says Panos Bourounis, who owns the Cosmos location on St. Joe Center Road. His father, Petros Bourounis, has health issues and will start dialysis soon, Panos says, leaving him unable to run the Washington Center store.
The plan is to open another store next year. Petros will run it, if he is well enough; otherwise, Panos says, he and his brother will own the restaurant. He is looking at locations in southwest Fort Wayne – on U.S. 24 near Spyros Pancake House – or on Dupont Road near Dupont Hospital.