A Toast to Indiana’s Historic Champagne Velvet Beer

For many years, Velvet has held a special place in the hearts of Indiana enthusiasts. With its rich history and unique flavor profile, this Classic American Pilsner has stood the test of time and continues to be a beloved choice for beer connoisseurs.

First introduced in 1902 by Walter Bruhn, a son of German immigrants, Champagne Velvet quickly gained popularity and became one of Indiana's most sought-after beers. Its recipe was carefully crafted to capture the essence of a traditional pilsner, reminiscent of the local beer that was enjoyed prior to the era of prohibition.

One of the defining characteristics of Champagne Velvet is the use of a balanced blend of corn and malted barley. This combination not only imparts a beautiful golden straw color to the beer but also adds a subtle sweetness that harkens back to a time when corn was commonly used to enhance the flavor and stability of beer.

When you take a sip of Champagne Velvet, you'll be greeted with a slightly sweet and slightly grassy taste. It resembles the flavors found in European lagers or pilsners, with a touch of that familiar sweetness. The malts come through just enough to provide a gentle sweetness that complements the overall flavor profile.

In terms of mouthfeel, Champagne Velvet is fairly light, making it an easy-drinking beer that can be enjoyed on any occasion. It has a touch of slickness in the finish, enhancing the overall smoothness of the beer and leaving a pleasant aftertaste.

While Champagne Velvet's production ceased in 2006, its recipe and rights were acquired by Indiana's Upland Company in 2012. This move ensured that the legacy of this classic beer would continue to thrive and delight beer enthusiasts across the state.

In June 2015, the original Terre Haute Brewing Company, where Champagne Velvet was initially brewed, was purchased along with its historic building. Extensive renovations took place until mid-2016, allowing the brewery to regain its former glory and once again produce this iconic beer.

Champagne Velvet is now available year-round, allowing beer lovers to enjoy its timeless taste whenever they please. Whether you're a fan of craft beers or simply appreciate the history and tradition behind iconic brews, Champagne Velvet is a must-try for anyone looking to experience a piece of Indiana's beer heritage.

Champagne Velvet holds a special place in Indiana's beer scene, with its rich history and unique flavor profile. Its blend of corn and malted barley creates a beautiful golden color and subtle sweetness, reminiscent of traditional pre-prohibition beers. Whether you're a longtime fan or new to the world of , Champagne Velvet is a classic pilsner that deserves a spot in your glass.

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What Happened To Champagne Velvet Beer?

Champagne Velvet beer, originally produced by the Terre Haute Brewing Company, underwent several changes in its history. The production of Champagne Velvet beer ceased in 2006, but in 2012, the recipe and rights for the beer were sold to Indiana's Upland Brewing Company. This marked a new chapter for Champagne Velvet beer.

In June 2015, the Terre Haute Brewing Company, along with its original building, was purchased. The new owners embarked on a process of renovating the building, which continued until mid-2016. These renovations aimed to revive the historic brewery and bring back the production of Champagne Velvet beer.

It is important to note that while Champagne Velvet beer is no longer produced by the Terre Haute Brewing Company, its legacy lives on through Upland Brewing Company, which now carries the torch for this iconic beer.

What Kind Of Beer Is Champagne Velvet?

Champagne Velvet is a Classic American Pilsner beer. It is a type of beer that harkens back to the pre-prohibition era when local beer had a distinct taste. This beer is known for its balance of corn and malted barley, which gives it a beautiful golden straw color. The addition of corn in the brewing process not only adds flavor but also helps stabilize the beer.

Here are some key characteristics of Champagne Velvet:

1. Style: It falls under the category of American Pilsner beer style.
2. Appearance: The beer has a golden straw color, which is visually appealing.
3. Taste: Champagne Velvet offers a subtle sweetness, thanks to the combination of corn and malted barley. It provides a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other beers.
4. Historical significance: This beer is often associated with the time before prohibition, reminding beer enthusiasts of the traditional brewing methods and flavors that were prevalent during that era.
5. Corn utilization: Corn was used in the brewing process to not only add flavor but also to enhance stability. This ingredient gives Champagne Velvet its distinct character.
6. Craftsmanship: The brewing process of Champagne Velvet involves careful attention to detail, ensuring that the beer maintains its classic American Pilsner qualities.

Champagne Velvet is a delightful beer that offers a taste of history and craftsmanship. Its corn-malted barley balance, golden color, and subtle sweetness make it a unique and enjoyable choice for beer enthusiasts.

What Does Champagne Velvet Beer Taste Like?

Champagne Velvet beer has a unique taste that can be described as a combination of slight sweetness and grassiness. It is reminiscent of a Euro or pilsner, with a touch of sweetness from the malts. The taste is not overwhelming, but rather subtle and enjoyable. The beer has a light mouthfeel, and the finish has a slight slickness to it.

To summarize, Champagne Velvet beer offers a slightly sweet and slightly grassy taste, similar to a Euro lager or pilsner. It has a light mouthfeel and finishes with a touch of slickness.

Is Champagne Velvet A Pilsner?

Champagne Velvet is indeed a pilsner beer. It was created in 1902 by Walter Bruhn, who developed a recipe for this specific type of beer. Pilsner is a style of lager that originated in the city of Pilsen, in what is now the Czech Republic. It is known for its light, crisp, and refreshing taste, with a golden color and a distinct hoppy aroma.

Champagne Velvet was a popular choice among beer drinkers in Indiana during the early 20th century. It gained a reputation as a go-to beer for many people's grandparents and great-grandparents. The beer's popularity continued to grow over the years, cementing its status as one of Indiana's most beloved beers.

Champagne Velvet's success can be attributed to its adherence to the traditional pilsner style, which focuses on using high-quality ingredients and precise brewing techniques. By staying true to the characteristics of a classic pilsner, Champagne Velvet offers a delightful drinking experience for those who appreciate this style of beer.

If you're a fan of pilsner beers, Champagne Velvet is definitely worth a try. Its rich history and commitment to quality make it a worthy representative of this beloved beer style.


Champagne Velvet beer is a classic American Pilsner that harkens back to a time before prohibition when local beer had a distinct flavor and character. Originally created in 1902 by Walter Bruhn, this beer quickly gained popularity and became a favorite among Indiana residents for several decades.

With a golden straw color and a subtle sweetness derived from a balanced blend of corn and malted barley, Champagne Velvet offers a unique taste experience. It brings to mind the traditional use of corn in beer brewing to enhance flavor and stability, evoking a sense of nostalgia for the beer-drinking habits of our grandparents and great-grandparents.

The taste profile of Champagne Velvet is slightly sweet and slightly grassy, reminiscent of European lagers or pilsners. The malts provide a gentle sweetness that is not overpowering, while the overall mouthfeel is light and finishes with a touch of slickness.

It is worth noting that the Champagne Velvet recipe and rights were acquired by Indiana's Upland Brewing Company in 2012, and the original Terre Haute Brewing Company was bought in 2015 and underwent renovations. These changes have ensured that this beloved beer continues to be available to beer enthusiasts, maintaining its legacy as a go-to choice for those seeking a taste of Indiana's brewing history.

Champagne Velvet is a year-round pilsner that offers a unique and nostalgic drinking experience. Its classic American Pilsner qualities, combined with the historical significance of its recipe and the passion of its current brewers, make it a standout choice for beer enthusiasts looking to explore the rich brewing heritage of Indiana.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.