Dear Hoosier Beer Geek(s),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.
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!
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.