On a recent visit to Brugge Brasserie we learned that the restaurant was making a move towards bottling and distribution. Ted Miller's work at Brugge is a Hoosier Beer Geek favorite, so we followed up with Brugge's Charlie Midgley to see what's in store for Brugge Beer.
HBG - What prompted the move to bottling?
Midgley - Expansion from the restaurant concept to the bottling and distribution side was always part of the plan. We were patient in finding the best possible brewery for the types of beer we want to make. The Terre Haute Brewing Co. facility is the perfect place for us.
HBG - Where is the beer being bottled?
Midgley - The Terre Haute Brewing Co on S 9th St is the 2nd oldest oldest brewing facility in the US. Brugge bought the building from Mike Rowe, owner of THBC, and the famous Champagne Velvet brand. We did not buy those names from Mike, only the facility.
HBG - What styles of beer do you plan to bottle?
Midgley - We will be making 5 Belgian beers at this facility: Black, White, Dubbel, Tripel de Ripple, and the Sacre Fleur Saison. Each of these will available in .75 litre bottles or 12 pack boxes. Kegs will available for bars and restaurants and these 5 beers will now always be available at Brugge Brasserie in Broad Ripple. A barrel aging room is also under construction and all kinds of fun things will be flowing out of there in the future.
HBG - How much volume do you expect to produce?
Midgley - Our current brewing capacity is 3,000 barrels in the first year. The facility is large enough to expand to upwards of 100,000 in the future, although our current goal is to be at 10,000 in 5 years. 1 barrel equals about 14 cases of beer.
HBG - Where will your beers be available?
Midgley - In the first year, we will sell our beers exclusively in Indiana, focusing on upscale retailers and restaurants.
HBG - Who are you working with for distribution?
Midgley - We are happy to be partnered with World Class Beverage as our exclusive distributor in Indiana.
HBG - What sort of things have you learned by going in the bottling direction?
Midgley - The biggest thing we have learned so far is there is a growing demand for high quality beer. As more and more people are exposed to the craft beer segment, there is no turning back. Everywhere we go, we see a certain inquisitiveness, a broadening of horizons, and a sense of adventure among beer drinkers which all make us believe we are on the right track.
HBG - Are you doing anything else new that you'd like to talk about?
Midgley - We will holding a "Launch Party" for the brewery in a tent outside Brugge Brasserie, Friday night, July 20. After a VIP reception from 5:00 - 8:00 PM, we will be opening the party to the public. All beer that night will be $2.00 until 1:00AM or until we run out of beer!
This party will also be our kick off celebration for the 12th Annual Indiana MicroBrewers Festival the following day held in Broad Ripple. Another "launch" party will be held at the brewery in Terre Haute on a date in August, yet to be determined.
HBG - Thanks for your time - I'm sure you're busy.
Thanks for the interest. As one of Ted's partners, I've come out of retirement, moved from Bangkok to Indy, and bought a house here to look after the sales, marketing, branding, and distribution of the products.
You heard it here first. A Hoosier Beer Geek exclusive? - Look for Brugge Beer across Indiana later this summer. And make mine black.