Last Friday, I stopped at Figure Eight Brewing for lunch in downtown Valparaiso. The brewery moved to its current location at 150 Washington Street about a year ago, and the place looks great, with a nice, open layout.
Having been introduced to Figure Eight’s beer at the recent Crown Beer Fest (http://midwestbeerandwine.com/2013/05/28/notes-from-crown-beer-fest/), I was looking forward to sampling some more of their products with my lunch. At the Fest, I sampled one of Figure Eight’s signature beers, Ro Shampo, which is an Imperial Red Ale (89 IBU/ 7.5% ABV), mixing six grains with four types of hops to produce a full-bodied toffee, almost whiskey taste.
Being a middle-aged hop head, with this visit, my sampling gravitated toward Figure Eight’s IPAs, such as Where Lizards Dare and Snake Pro Double IPA (advertised as the “…big, ugly brother of Where Lizards Dare”). Snake Pro cranks up the IBUs (100 IBU/ 9% ABV), with twice the grain of its little brother, and a big dose of Nugget and Cascade hops. My third 2 oz. sample was of a Double Pale Ale, called Offwidth. Offwidth (100 IBU/ 8.3% ABV) packs a punch bringing together six grains with Amarillo, Centennial, and Willamette hops and a light citrus accent.However, my choice for the take-home bomber was my first sample, which was Where Lizards Dare. Lizard (84 IBU/ 6% ABV) mixes simple malts with a heavy dose of centennial hops, finished off with cascade and more centennial hops for a fresh, citrus hoppy taste. I also picked up a bomber Figure Eight’s Lost Saint for a family member who really enjoys Saison beer. Lost Saint (6.5% ABV) is a farmhouse-style Saison Ale, with a crisp spice taste and aroma, recommended to pair well with salad and red vinaigrette dressing.
For my meal, I thoroughly enjoyed one of the day’s menu Specials, a Caprese sandwich, featuring tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto and basil pesto on a delicious rosemary Ciabatta roll. The sandwich had a great fresh taste packing a lot of flavor. For a couple of bucks more, I got a side order of Figure Eight’s “Hueco” (which means hollows or cavities in rocks) Mac ‘N Cheese, and as much as I enjoyed my sandwich, this dish did rock. I am a big fan of Mac ‘N Cheese and Figure Eight’s was delicious. The pasta was nice and al dente, with a creamy blend of cheeses and toasted ever so slightly on top. This will definitely be part of my meal on my next visit, either as a side or the meal itself.
Figure Eight Brewing is located at 150 Washington, on the Square in downtown Valparaiso, Indiana. Check out their website, featuring menus, beer lists, a blog and a lot of pictures of the location at http://www.figure8brewing.com/. Figure Eight also has a Facebook page, as well as a Twitter feed @Figure8Brewing.
Below are three videos I have previously posted on midwestbeerandwine.com that were made by Allyn Hane of NWIndianaLife.com, when he interviewed the owners of Figure Eight.