Thursday marks a first for Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County: the Happy Appé Hour fundraiser, which involves an appetizer competition among area eateries and a silent auction of items donated by local businesses and individuals.
Hosted at Mad Anthony Lake City Tap Room in Warsaw, attendees will enjoy sampling local-made beers by Mad Anthony, and staff from Satek Winery in Fremont will be pouring tastes of their locally-made wines.
Also a first: the debut that evening of Mad Anthony’s new barrel-aged Imperial Blackberry Beer, which is the culmination of the first collaborative partnership between Mad Anthony and Satek Winery.
The camaraderie between the two local businesses is nothing new. In a region that embraces locally-made products, Satek Winery and Mad Anthony have often been asked to share the serving bar at many area fundraisers and events over the last several years. So, when it came time this past spring to retire several oak barrels, Satek’s operations manager Jason Satek and head winemaker Shane Christ immediately thought of Mad Anthony.
It is common in California and other large winemaking regions to source their retired oak barrels to local breweries to then make a barrel-aged beer that shares the characteristics of their wines — a term known as “barrel love.” Mad Anthony’s Blaine Stuckey jumped at the opportunity when Christ contacted him about it. “I knew it was a good opportunity for them to use their creativity to a make special ale that would have a little kiss of Lake country,” said Christ. For the style of beer to be made in the barrel: “I completely left it up to Blaine’s expertise.”
That expertise and creativity, combined with the 58-gallon former Cabernet/Port barrel, 150 pounds of blackberry puree, and 6 months of aging, have resulted in a big, bold Blackberry beer with a floral nose, citrusy-tart middle notes and a clean finish. “This is a great tasting brew,” notes brewmaster Jeremy Zuber, “the flavor is so unique, big and bold yet really balanced.”
The success of the end product, combined with the strong admiration both businesses have for each other, has paved the way for future partnerships. When Mad Anthony Brewing Company opens their fourth location in late 2012 in Angola, IN, they will be just a few minutes from Satek Winery’s Lake James vineyard on Kreibaum Bay. The proximity will facilitate more opportunities for the companies to work together, united with the common thread of Lake-county located, locally-owned businesses.
Proceeds from the evening will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County’s inaugural Women Build, to date more than $47,000 has been raised toward the total goal of $70,400. A new sponsorship donation will be announced at the event. Diane Jones and her son have recently been approved as the next Partner Family for Habitat and most likely will be the buyer’s of the Women Build home that will come with a 20-25 year interest-free mortgage.
The Happy Appé Hour fundraiser is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Mad Anthony Lake City Tap House, 113 E. Center St., Warsaw. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10.