20 April 2009

Dear Hoosier Beer Geek: Scrumpy Edition

We recently received this question from a reader named Rut who is originally from Southampton, England but now lives in Indiana. And we don't have an answer for Rut. Maybe our intelligent and good-lookin' readership will have an answer. Feel free to leave a comment or email us directly at hoosierbeergeek at gmail dot com.

Stumbled across your excellent Hoosier Beer Geek site - a good read.

Do you know any bars in Indy/Indiana then sell draft scrumpy style hard cider? Or even sell it in bottles?

Recently made a trip to Broad Ripple Brewpub and the only bad thing was their lack of decent cider. As an ex-pat Englishman that is the closest I've seen to a English pub in America - for one thing they serve proper UK pints which makes a big difference to the authenticity of it. I hope to get back there soon.

Anyway if you do know any bars that sell 'real' cider then let me know
- if not, no probs...

Cheers for now
So if anybody has any tips, please do share! And if you every have any questions that we can not answer for you but instead turn into a new piece of material for our website, don't hesitate to drop us a line: hoosierbeergeek at gmail dot com


  1. Not a bar, but Whole Foods in Nora has it.

  2. If Strongbow counts as scrumpy, the Heorot in Muncie used to offer it regularly.

    Several Indiana wineries have their ciders too: Oliver, Huber, and Thomas all make Hoosier ciders.


    Caleb from that brewery in Bloomington.

  3. Chatham Tap on Mass Ave has a good selection. It looks like in addition to previously mentioned Strongbow (bottle), they have Blackthorn Cider. Also, they have a crapload of English beers and play a bunch of EPL games.


  4. Sam's Wines in Chicagoland has JK Scrumpy in bomber bottles for 6.95 There was/is someone in the Baltimore area importing scrumpy and perry casks from the UK. Don't know if they still are.
    A good google search could tell you alot.

  5. Apparently this importer does have product in Indiana, not sure if the real cider and perry is part of that.

  6. To be fair, anonymous #1, you didn't answer any of the questions asked... so a google search probably wasn't the right answer.

    hey, you brought it up.

  7. It's not a British cider, but Kahn's has JK's Scrumpy as well in 22 oz. bottles. I know Jim wasn't fond of it, but I loved it!

  8. We have a keg of Thomas Family Winery (Madison) scrumpy hidden away at the Public House, and might be having a cider fest with it and a few Gwatkin (UK) firkins and Dupont (France) kegs in June.

  9. We had a few responses via email as well...

    Thomas Family Winery in Madison makes a draft cider under the Gale's Hard Cider brand. BRBP had it on tap for a bit some years back (bug John Hill to bring it back) and TFW usually serves it at the B.I.G. Microbrewers Festival in Indy in July.


    The nearest place I know of that regularly had good cider is the Hop Leaf in Chicago. Always some selections in bottles (Clos Normand Brut, Domaine Dupont, Christian Drouin Peary right now) and sometimes on tap.


    BJ's in Greenwood always has Wyder Cider on tap from Canada but it isn't really on the APPLE list of real ciders.


    Bob Ostrander - bob@indianabeer.com


    Maybe The Wellington in Broad Ripple??

    Jeff Strain

  10. Hey - thanks for all the replies.

    We're nearly getting somewhere!

    New Albanian - where is the Public House that you mention? ('public house indianapolis' is a bit hard to search on). That keg of scrumpy sounds good :-)

    To add a bit more info for those who aren't that familiar with cider...

    Go into 99% of English pubs and they will have at least one cider on draught. The most common one is Strongbow.

    Strongbow is not really that popular among those who 'know' their cider though. However finding a bar in the USA with it on draught is always pretty cool. Last time I was in Indy we made a point of going to Claddagh on S Merdian as we'd found that they sold it.

    I don't think the Chatham has it on draught anymore though they do sell bottles of it.

    Scrumpy however is a bit like a craft/real ale version of cider. A short, fairly accurate description of it here:


    At any beer festival in England you will always find a few barrels of scrumpy on the go.

    I wouldn't have expected to find it anywhere round here but after seeing the beer selection in the Broad Ripple Brewpub my hopes have been raised a bit! Actually talking of the BRB they do have a bottled cider by Gales I think it is. Tried that but it tasted more like wine than cider - didn't rate that at all. I'm sure the draft one that they used to have (thanks Mike/emails) was way better.

    Keep that advice coming - it's all good info to know.

    Actually it's funny the USA/UK differences in cider. A friend visited the USA a while back and was well pleased when he found a gallon of cider for about $3 or whatever (ie real cheap). As it was cloudy it looked like scrumpy and he thought it would be good stuff. He didn't know it was non-alcoholic - wanker! To rectify the problem he bought a bottle of vodka and poured it in. Bet there aren't too many Americans who would do the same thing? A gallon of apple cider & vodka - praps we could start a new trend?


  11. Rut - I wish we were lucky enough to have the Public House in Indianapolis, but it is in New Albany, Indiana, almost 2 hours south.

    Rich O's Public House

  12. This link has more up to date information regarding the Public House.

  13. Actually I've heard of a drink called "Apple Pie Wine" where you take a gallon of non-alcoholic cider (widely available in the Fall), remove 1 cup and top off with Everclear then add 1-2 cinnamon sticks. Let it sit for a couple of days to pick up the cinnamon flavor and it's ready to go.