Indiana/Ohio Craft Beer Bet Forges Friendship

It started rather obscurely, two guys who had only recently met on social media were brought together by the love of craft beer. Football too. Here’s how it happened.

My hometown and favorite team, the Indianapolis Colts, were playing the Cincinnati Bengals in a regular season match in October. The teams have met periodically in the past but meet darn near every year in the preseason, apparently in an effort to hold down costs for the cash-strapped, not-for-profit NFL.

…I would bet the only thing Governor Pence received from Massachusetts was a barrel full of “I-told-you-so’s” and a smirk.

Myself and @WeSayWhoDey (former handle) began following each other on Twitter maybe last fall and not just from his Twitter handle but also by his tweets, it was plainly clear that he was a rabid Bengals fan. Not only that but somewhere in filtering out the Bengals stuff, I discovered that he also was a craft beer fan. Well, we had one thing in common.

Several days before the game I threw out a little innocent tweet to him, suggesting we should make a Colts/Bengals “I-74 bet”, and if you’re not familiar, Indianapolis is IMG_0174connected to Cincinnati by 100 miles of Interstate 74. The person behind “WhoDey” is Jeremy, and he quickly accepted.

We agreed to put a limit at about $25-30 of the loser’s craft beer from his home state to be paid to the winner. Jeremy said that he is an IPA fan, as I am too, but I also enjoy porters and stouts.

As we know, the Colts beat the Bengals and it was time for the loser of the bet to pay up with some good Ohio beer! I actually grew up in Ohio but that was long ago and try as I might to pay attention to what’s going on over there, there is still plenty of good beer I haven’t had.

…what’s better than receiving some good Ohio craft beer in a bet? Sharing some great Indiana beer and giving it away as a consolation prize!

Admittedly, Ohio is ahead of Indiana in production of beer and in the number of breweries and I recognize their high regard in the craft beer world. We discussed it and Jeremy vowed to find some mostly Cincinnati beer or other Ohio beer I haven’t had. However, I was eager to show off the equally excellent beer produced here so I decided Jeremy was going to get some Indiana beer too!

In this day and age of “everyone’s a winner”, what’s better than receiving some good Ohio craft beer in a bet? Sharing some great Indiana beer and giving it away as a consolation prize! There were no losers here.

It’s customary in a big game for governors of competing states to make a “bet” on their respective state’s team. For example, in the Colts recent AFC Championship game Governor Pence had this type of deal with his Massachusetts counterpart, however, I would bet the only thing Governor Pence received from Massachusetts was a barrel full of “I-told-you-so’s” and a smirk.

As easy as we thought it would be to meet and the harder that Jeremy and I tried to connect, the more difficult it became. I offered to come nearer to his house, he offered to meet me deeper into Indiana, and then to top it off, Jeremy became a new father. The holidays came and went and we still hadn’t met.

At last, we agreed to meet last weekend at the one-year anniversary bash at Warped Wing Brewing Co. in Dayton, Oh., which oddly is the original hometown to both of us. When Jeremy arrived, I left the crowd inside and we met in the parking lot like we were doing some sort of covert drug deal.

True, it turns out that Jeremy is a year or two, or a couple of decades younger than me and he poked some recent fun about that on Twitter. I think he mentioned he was in middle school when I brewed my first beer but when we met, I didn’t comment on his stylish flat-billed Yankees hat and he didn’t mention my buttoned-up cardigan sweater. I’m kidding, I wasn’t really wearing a cardigan. That day.

Anyway, here is my fantastic haul from Jeremy:

  • “BlackTart” Stout (a collaboration beer between the fifteen Cincinnati breweries for Cincinnati Beer Week.
  • “Thunder Snow” winter beer by Mad Tree.
  • “Shakedown” Imperial Stout, Fat Heads.
  • “Christmas Ale”, Great Lakes Brewing Co.
  • “Chickow”, hazelnut double brown ale by Triple Digit.
  • “Dark Apparition” Russian Imperial Stout conditioned on vanilla and coffee beans, by Jackie O’s. (12.7 oz. bottle).
  • “Ink”, Imperial Stout by Rhinegeist. (limited release bomber bottle).

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Here is Jeremy’s IPA catch:

  • Flat 12- “Walkabout”
  • Triton- “Railsplitter”
  • Daredevil- “Lift Off”
  • Upland- “Dragonfly” and “Coastbuster”
  • People’s- “Mound Builder”
  • Three Floyds- “Zombie Dust” (2), “Gumballhead” and “Alpha King”(2)
  • Sun King- “King’s Reserve-Afternoon Delight”, bourbon barrel doppel bock, special release-November 2013

After our back lot deal was finalized and photos were taken, me and my new friend went inside the brewery to drink a couple of pints together, along with some of my buddies. It seems rather fitting and just a little ironic that Warped Wing’s trademarked slogan is, “Share A Pint, Make A Friend”.

Indeed.

Cheers!

Rick

Jeremy Fultz is starting a business whose goal is to bring more great beer to Cincinnati, and can now be reached at @TheKidsGotHands on Twitter.

Rick Burkhardt can be found on Twitter at @Indybeersleuth and at Indybeersleuth@gmail.com