David Thieme stacks cases of Boiler Gold American Ale fresh off the canning line Thursday, August 31, 2017, at People's Brewing Company, 2006 N. 9th Street in Lafayette. (Photo: John Terhune/Journal & Courier)
LAFAYETTE – Two nights before his People’s Brewing Co. was scheduled to deliver Boiler Gold American Golden Ale, the first beer officially branded through Purdue University, Chris Johnson was sweating a bit.
The brilliant gold labels featuring the Boilermaker Special logo and stamped with the year of the school’s founding, “1869,” from top to bottom had been printed in St. Louis. But they wound up being shipped to the wrong warehouse, leaving final production of the cans in Logansport until the last minute.
The beer he had at People’s brewing facilities on North Ninth Street in Lafayette. Plenty, in fact, to put in kegs to deliver 2,000 samples for the beer’s debut Friday at Indianapolis’ Monument Circle for the Circle Up Boiler Tailgate, an afternoon pep rally ahead of Saturday’s Purdue-Louisville football game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
And a run of 150 cases of Boiler Gold wasn’t due to Ross-Ade Stadium for another week, ahead of Purdue’s Sept. 8 game against Ohio. For starters, Boiler Gold will be sold only during Purdue games and in the 1869 Tap Room in the Purdue Memorial Union. Later, People’s will distribute six packs to retailers in Indiana and the Chicago area in time for the holidays.
There was one small detail: “Mitch Daniels wants some cans to show on the Circle,” Johnson said. “It’s going to happen.”
A half-hour later, with pallets of the 16-ounce cans and specially sourced gold tops with black tabs in hand, the crews at People’s had a home football game’s shipment of Boiler Gold canned, stacked and ready for delivery.