News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 16, 2013

Voting under way on final two Champagne Velvet labels


The Tribune-Star

BLOOMINGTON — The final look of a revived Terre Haute icon is taking shape.

The decision rests with the people.

Since December, Upland Brewing Co. in Bloomington has conducted an online survey, asking the general public to rank seven classic labels once used with the beer Champagne Velvet, which was mass produced in Terre Haute during the first half of the 20th century. Two emerged as clear favorites, according to an Upland news release issued Monday morning. Both have been updated by artists to include references to Upland, the company that will reintroduce the famous beer in early April in celebration of the brewery’s 15th anniversary.

Now, Upland wants the public to choose between the two finalist labels, head-to-head. Voting continues through Thursday online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/cvsurvey2a.

The survey also asks site visitors to help choose slogans for CV promotions.

The interactivity doesn’t end there. Participants in the surveys will automatically be placed in a random drawing to serve on Upland’s Champagne Velvet Tasting Panel. Fifteen names will be drawn, and the panel will gather at the Bloomington brewery on Jan. 27, to taste pilot batches of CV created by the brewer team. The brewers are attempting to use modern ingredients to re-create the pre-Prohibition “million dollar flavor” of the beer, based on handwritten recipe notes by original Terre Haute Brewing Co. assistant brewer Walter Braun.

“The Champagne Velvet heritage belongs to everyone,” said Doug Dayhoff, Upland’s president, in Monday’s release, “so we want to let everyone be a part of this process.”

Once the tasting panel weighs in, Upland brewers will use their opinions and preferences to determine the final formula of CV and then brew the first complete batch.

Champagne Velvet was originally produced at the Terre Haute Brewing Co. in the brewing district around Ninth and Poplar streets. The operation once stood as the seventh-largest in America, but ceased production in 1958. The discovery of Braun’s handwritten 1901 recipe led Terre Haute businessman Mike Rowe to secure CV’s rights and revive the drink locally from 2000 to 2006. Upland secured a deal with Rowe last year to resurrect and more widely distribute Champagne Velvet.