03 August 2010

Headed Through Indy, Looking for Beer

From the mailbag:
Dear Hoosier Beer Geek(s),

I'm from Knoxville, TN and will be traveling up to your parts, specifically Newcastle, tomorrow to visit family. While I'm in Indiana, I am hoping to try some local beers that I wouldn't normally have access to in East Tennessee.

While doing some planning/research, your site came up relatively high in my Google search, and so I figured asking some area enthusiasts would probably be the best way to find the best local beer. So if you've got any suggestions for any microbreweries around the Newcastle area (I'm assuming Indianapolis is my best bet), or restaurants that brew their own beer, or even local/semi-local beer that I could simply find at the grocery store would be awesome. If it's any help, I love me some porters and black lager, but will go for IPAs as well, and pretty much anything in between. I'm really up for anything that is quality brewing.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Although this question comes up about once a month on the BeerAdvocate messageboards, it's not all that common here - but in our self-appointed role as Indy's beer ambassadors, we're always looking for ways to make the site a better resource.

As a start, our all-encompassing "Where to Drink" Indianapolis content can be found here. It's been a little while since it's been updated, but I think it's a good start.

If you've got limited time in Indy and are headed north up 65, I'd start at Oaken Barrel, repeat winners of the Indiana Brewers Cup. Depending on what time or day of the week you're through town, you might be able to hit up the Sun King tasting room downtown (4pm - 7pm Thursdays, 1pm - 7pm Fridays, and 1pm - 4pm on Saturdays). While you're downtown, you can check out the local Crown Liquors (141 East Ohio St.) for a good look at what's available in Indy's liquor stores.

From there, time permitting, you could head north up College Avenue and hit Upland's tap room for a good sampling of what they're up to down in Bloomington. Further north on college is Barley Island's restaurant. At this point you'll be in Broad Ripple, where you can hit Brugge Brasserie (my personal choice for where to eat) and the Broad Ripple Brewpub (Indy's first brewpub, since 1990).

Obviously that's a lot of stops, but it's also a lot of options.

That map would look something like this.

Newcastle is pretty far up there (I had to look it up myself), but it looks like you'll be traveling up IN31 to get there, which means you'll also roll right past Half Moon in Kokomo - they're worth a shot as well. We visited there a while back - unfortunately Brass Monkey (also featured in the article I just linked to) is now closed.

Hope this helps you out. Good luck, be safe, and enjoy what Indiana has to offer.


  1. Just a note, in case the original sender meant "New Castle" instead of "Newcastle," said town is in relatively close proximity to Muncie - maybe 25 minutes or so drive. There one will find the Heorot, Fickle Peach, Savage's, and a couple of pretty decent liquor stores, the Friendly Package on W. Jackson being the best for beer geeks. New Castle is also fairly close to Indy, being a straight shot East on I-70 from the city. If I'm wrong, kindly disregard - though the Heorot is a great side adventure in itself.

  2. He would also be passing by:

    The New Albanian Bank St Brewhouse
    415 Bank Street, New Albany, IN‎
    (812) 725-9585‎

  3. It's not open yet, but Tomlinson Tap Room will be a great place to direct folks looking to try Indiana beer.

    Opening September 17 at the Indianapolis City Market, it will feature only Indiana-made craft beer.

  4. Thanks, Mike - my lack of Indiana geography knowledge (I just googled "Newcastle, IN") may have led him astray.

    I suppose you could still hit all those locations if you were feeling ambitious, but the Heorot and Fickle Peach (from my experience) are not to be missed.

  5. I will second Mike's recomendation of Brugge Brasserie in Broad Ripple for food and drink. Not only is it a great unique IN beer destination, but Ted's wide range of sour beers and various styles make this brewpub unique pretty much anywhere.

  6. I think this guy might have been Googling for the Hoosier Beef Congress. Its a common and easy mistake to make.