17 January 2011
Opening Today: Thr3e Wise Men
The latest installment in the Scotty's Brewhouse restaurant empire opens today. Since Scott Wise has developed a borderline stalker obsession with Mike, we felt obligated to check the pizzeria brewpub out. Thr3e Wise Men is not quite your typical brewery startup. With 6 other restaurants in his portfolio, you could say Scott Wise knows how to run a business. Much like Scotty's Lakehouse was a burger departure from the standard Scotty's Brewhouse formula, Thr3e Wise Men fully embraces pizza. If you've been to Piece in Chicago, you know the formula. A simple, build your own pizza menu with a few appetizers and a selection of brewed-on-premises beers. That's not to say Thr3e Wise Men doesn't take a few risks as well.
The first thing you'll notice when you enter the brewpub is the dominance of communal picnic tables. Traditional Scotty's Brewhouse towel napkins line each one and an iPad-based menu system is available for an enhanced ordering experience. If you don't feel like meeting a few new beer fans, there are also two seat tables, a large U-shaped bar and cocktail tables made from barrels. Personally, I think the solid wood decor gives the entire place a more welcoming feel than the other Scotty's restaurants.
The pizza is thin crust and based on a recipe that includes their Golden Zoe IPA. Cheese pizzas start at $7/11/13 and toppings are an additional $1.50 or $2.50. Appetizers include pepperoni stuffed breadsticks, goat cheese marinara dipping sauce, hummus pizza and Brewhouse standbys such as dill chips and buffalo wings. Perhaps most notably impressive is that the style of pizza they're offering has not already been done to death by other Indianapolis pizzerias.
But enough about the food; let's move on to the beer. Omar Castrellon previously held a long tenure as brewmaster at Alcatraz downtown, so chances are you've had his beer before. The late Alcatraz wasn't Omar's first brewing gig, so to say he's experienced is an understatement, and it shows in the initial offerings at Thr3e Wise Men. The beer concepts are the product of Scott Wise's brewery dreams and Omar has produced recipes to fulfill those dreams. Now that's an awkward statement.
On the lighter side of things are a well-balanced Blonde with a lemon twist and a Blackberry Wheat that carries a heavy wheat body and a simultaneously sweet and tart blackberry overtone. Moving over to the hoppy side of things, the flagship beer of Thr3e Wise Men is a Double IPA that masks its 8% ABV incredibly well and is actually a great intro to hoppy beers thanks to a hefty malt sweetness. The IPA, on the other hand, is full forward with hops and was my favorite beer of the initial lineup. A Brown Ale, similar to an English Mild, is currently on their hand pull. The Amber Ale combines the ubiquitous brewpub Amber with fruity Belgian yeast. Stout and porter offerings include a Coffee Porter that is light in mouthfeel with a heavy coffee presence and an Imperial Stout, which carries all the chocolate and coffee notes but has the mouthfeel of a regular stout. In total, all the beers are quite impressive for just opening and should be incredibly solid with a year of refinement and experimentation under Omar's direction. Within the next 2-3 months we should be seeing these Thr3e Wise Men offerings available at all of Scotty's Brewhouse and Lakehouse locations.
I'm saving the best for last. $20 gets you a carry-out large cheese pizza and a growler fill. Other specials include $1 off pints on Mondays and Thursdays, $2.50 pints on Wednesdays and $6 growler fills on Tuesdays. Behind the bar, it's hard to miss a row of coolers filled with six packs. Thr3e Wise Men also offers carry-out beers from other craft breweries, just in case you'd like to compare notes.