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Limestone Comedy Festival Recap: Upland Brewing Company

 

For the last 5 years, the Limestone Comedy Festival has brought over 40 of the nation’s top comedians to Bloomington, Indiana for a weekend of non-stop laughs, beer and all around amazement. Limestone has quickly become recognized as one of the most prestigious comedy festivals in the United States and this year’s fest cemented that as fact. A-List headliners such as W. Kamau Bell, Fortune Feimster and the legendary Colin Quinn descended upon “B-Town” to deliver incredible performances to packed audiences all weekend long. What a way to celebrate a 5th anniversary! I’m seriously still light headed from all of the laughing.

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Poster featuring festival headliners and sponsors

BrewTube Comedy got to team up with a major staple of the Indiana beer scene, Upland Brewing Company, to kick off the amazing weekend with a pre-fest happy hour. As a sponsor of the festival, Upland outdid themselves and brewed a delightfully refreshing and delicious “Limestone 5 Year IPA” which all V.I.P badge holders and comics got to try for free. Believe me when I say that no one was upset about it.

We set up our show in Upland’s wonderfully aesthetic Wood Shop which houses Upland’s sour beer collection while also acting as a tap room. I got to try “Cursed Kettles” which is a beautiful collab with “Prairie Artisan Ales” out of Oklahoma. It’s light tartness up top finishes dry with flavors of cherry and dark fruit. It’s wonderfully complex and would be a favorite of any lover of sours.

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The Wood Shop is a prominent part of the Upland campus

Limestone does a great job of making sure that every show is packed and our show was no different. Thanks to comics,  Jessica Hong (New Orleans), Jonas Schrodt (Bloomington), Rachael Goldman (Evansville), Tommy Mcnamara(New York), Tom Thakkar (New York), the wood shop rang out with laughter for the entire hour that we occupied it. I can’t wait for you guys to see this episode!

We were also ecstatic to announce that we will be back at Upland this fall on September 12th for a show that will be fully open to the public! Be sure to sign up for our e-mail list and follow us on social media so that you don’t miss out! The great thing about Upland is that they are always experimenting with new flavors which means they are constantly rotating what they have on tap. Mmmm….I’m already salivating just thinking about getting back there.

Once again, I’d like to thank the organizers of Limestone for bestowing the honor of opening the festival and for the opportunity to work with the amazing people at Upland. And again to all of the comedians and to those who came out to support our live show. Our next episode (On Tour Brewing: Chicago), comes out on June 19th so be sure to give it a watch!

We love to hear feedback and suggestions of breweries so never hesitate to drop us a line!

Until next time, keep laughing.

Cheers!

BrewTube Parties at Dancing Gnome

It’s no secret that Pittsburgh is a city that prides itself on hard work, ingenuity and quality. So it should come as no surprise that Dancing Gnome Beer showcases all of these attributes and more the moment you walk in the door.

Dancing Gnome sits in the neighborhood of Sharpsburg, which is about 5 miles northeast of Downtown Pittsburgh. This community has an historic architectual feel and is bustling with youth and energy. Accompanied by absolutely gorgeous weather, we arrived for our shoot midday, eager to check out what Dancing Gnome had to offer. I will say that I was extra in need of a beer because Sheila (my gps), decided to take us on an adventurous hour long detour that included parts of Pennsylvania no one ever needs to see. Sheila is a sweet woman but she can be stubborn and has a mind of her own.

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Dancing Gnome offers 4, 8 and 16 oz pours. Our favorites were the Spy Dolphin, Lustra and O.B.B.

Walking in, it’s easy to see why Dancing Gnome fits in this neighborhood. It’s a small and intimate taproom that was filled with people of all ages (over 21 of course). Behind the bar, was the owner and head brewer, Andrew. It’s easy to see that Andrew takes pride in his beer as he was enthusiastically talking to a group of locals about what they were trying. While he is young and laid back, simply put, Andrew knows his stuff. Our tour included explanations of Dancing Gnome’s origin story, inspiration for beer names, keeping things fresh and creative and putting his stamp on the Pittsburgh beer scene. They are unapologetic in their brew style and for good reason. Everything we tried seemed meticulously detailed and complex. My personal favorites were the O.B.B Special Pale Ale and the Spy Dolphin Double I.P.A. The Spy Dolphin was light, refreshing and had that wonderful finish that you ask for in a double ipa. Also, the Lustra American Pale is one of the more unique beers that I’ve ever tried. You get the citrusy notes of orange peel and grapefruit and this thing is packed with flavor for being a pale ale. It’s impressive.

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Katelyn Calhoun sets up a shot of the stage amidst a standing room only crowd while comedian Gab Bonesso laughs with the audience.

As for our comedy show, it was a major major success! About 70 people filled the small space to come and check out their Pittsburgh comedy scene and drink some delicious beer. I personally believe that comedy can be the most fun in these intimate DIY settings and the show at Dancing Gnome certainly helps that case. Also, it doesn’t hurt when the comics are supremely talented and funny. Special thanks to Peter Heinz, Amanda Averell, Derek Minto, Gregory Joseph & Gab Bonesso. Because of you, the audience had no reprieve from being taken to crush city.

All of our fun interviews with Andrew, staff, comics and locals will be included in our Dancing Gnome episode, April 10th.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Our next episode, “Against The Grain” in Louisville comes out on March 13th!

In the meantime, CHEERS!

 

BrewTube Comedy: Beer + Comedy = Party

What seemed like a pipe dream 9 months ago, is slowly becoming a reality. On Monday, Feb. 13th, BrewTube Comedy will release it’s first episode, filmed at Black Acre Brewing in Indianapolis.

At first, when I had the idea to do a web series that combined craft beer with stand-up comedy, I just wanted to do something cool, unique and fun. “Easy as pie!”, I thought to myself (My sub-conscious speaks to me in early 1900 idioms apparently). Little did I know the undertaking of putting together a project such as this would be. I’m just a stand-up comic and avid craft beer after all. I’d need to find a videographer, talk to brewers, book the shows, get out press releases, make sure the shows were well attended not to mention finance the whole thing. Sheesh!

But they say if you’re passionate about something, you’ll never work a day in your life. And listen gang. I’m passionate about good beer and good comedy. My little idea to combine the two has now blossomed into a full time passion. I’ve learned by talking to brewers and brew professionals over the last few months that this is a natural progression. Something starts small and then transforms into something big. Maybe an obsession for brewing leads to a full time brewing position. Maybe that off the wall recipe is really well received and gets national attention in a beer competition. That’s what breweries and comics have in common. Small world. Big ideas.

So now, we’ve filmed at Black Acre in Indianapolis and Against The Grain in Louisville. Our next show will be at Dancing Gnome in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Feb 18th and we are in talks to add several other breweries to the 2017 calendar year.

One of the goals of the show still remains to be something that is unique, fun to watch and informational. My hope is that you’ll watch and find a new comedian that you like and a new beer you want to try. BrewTube just aims to be a big ol’ fun and lighthearted party. Join us!