News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 20, 2013

Champagne Velvet to roll back into Terre Haute

Beer with 'million-dollar flavor' to be unveiled here April 6

Mark Bennett
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute gets the first taste.

The beer once synonymous with the city will soon re-emerge. Upland Brewing Co. of Bloomington has resurrected Champagne Velvet — the beer with the “million-dollar flavor” that elevated the Terre Haute Brewing Co. to the seventh-largest brewery in America from the early 1900s to its closing in 1958. Upland’s brewing team recrafted CV, using a less-than-complete, handwritten recipe of its original brewer and some creativity to fill in the missing ingredients. Upland let Hauteans sample pilot CV brews a couple months ago, and a tasting panel gave its opinions in January.

The new Champagne Velvet, brewed in Bloomington, will hit stores and watering holes across Indiana late next month, Upland’s Andrea Lutz said Tuesday.

But CV’s official launch will happen at its birthplace, Terre Haute.

Upland announced Tuesday it will offer Champagne Velvet at three local establishments on April 6. In the style employed a century ago, kegs of the beer will be delivered by a horse-drawn wagon through the downtown streets, first to Sonka Irish Pub at 1366 Wabash Ave. at 3 p.m., followed by the Copper Bar at 810 Wabash Ave., and finally by 6 p.m. to M. Moggers Restaurant and Pub at 908 Poplar St. “where the party will continue into the night,” according to the Upland news release.

That last destination is one of several historic structures still standing in the city’s old brewing district, which had a peak employment of 950 people in its heyday.

Upland is entering its 15th year as a maker of hand-crafted ales and lagers, and recently expanded its operations to a larger plant in Bloomington. The company purchased the rights to CV from Terre Haute businessman Mike Rowe, who came across the 1901 pencil-written recipe by Walter Braun — Terre Haute Brewing’s assistant brewer — in 1990 and then began reproducing the beer locally from 2000 to 2006.

The addition of Champagne Velvet to the Upland line of beers comes at a fitting time for his company and craft brewing in the state, Upland president Doug Dayhoff said in the release.

“We think the best way to celebrate the success that so many breweries are having is by paying tribute to the most successful beer in Indiana’s history,” Dayhoff said.