29 January 2012
Where to Drink in Indy - Hoosier Beer Geek's Guide to Broad Ripple, the North Side, and the East Side
In our third post of our "Where to Drink in Indianapolis" series, we focus on one of Indy's prime entertainment and cultural districts: Broad Ripple Village. We also highlight some drinking destinations on the city's north side and east side. Here's our list, sorted according to area.
South Broad Ripple/Meridian Kessler
If you're looking for an amazing culinary experience to match your search for excellent beer, you should dine at Recess or its companion restaurant, Room Four. Chef/owner Greg Hardesty is a gastronomic superstar in Indianapolis, and the restaurants' contemporary American dishes are unparalleled in the city. The menus change daily. And the beer selections, though offered solely in bottles, are perfect for pairing with Hardesty's cuisine. Reservations are a must for Recess; if you want to walk in, try Room Four.
4907 N. College Ave.
Scenes From a Beer Dinner: Nøgne Ø at Recess
The Sinking Ship
Along with Recess/Room Four and the Upland Tasting Room, the Sinking Ship brought a welcome revitalization to the long-neglected intersection of 49th Street and College Avenue. The Ship has a punk vibe and a menu of hearty sandwiches and draft beers from regional and local brewers (though be prepared to have your beer served in a Mason jar). The Ship is a great place for hockey fans because NHL games are always on during the season. 21+ only.
4923 N. College Ave.
The sign outside Twenty Tap says "Craft. Beer. Bar." What more need we say? Well, this: Twenty Tap, owned by former Broad Ripple Brewpub brewmaster Kevin Matalucci, is one of your best bets for getting a taste of the best beer Indiana has to offer, especially considering that the pub boasts 38 taps. It's also worth noting that Twenty Tap offers half-pours of any of their beer selections, allowing patrons to moderate their sampling. Chef Rob Coates keeps a menu of expected bar food favorites interesting and upsale yet remarkably affordable. The vegan (yes, vegan) bahn mi sandwich is a Hoosier Beer Geek favorite. And to top everything off, Twenty Tap now offers their own house brews under the Underground label.
5408 N. College Ave.
KOTBR #139 - 31 Flavors
KOTBR #134 - Zombies on Twenty Taps
Upland Tasting Room
Bloomington-based Upland Brewing Company opened up their Indianapolis outpost, the Tasting Room, in 2009. The brewery's concept for the space is pretty simple. They serve beer, but they're not a bar. They serve food, but they're not a restaurant. The best way to describe the Tasting Room is that it's like a coffee shop, but with the emphasis on beer instead of coffee. Stop in and you'll be able to grab a beer and relax in a funky chair, or just walk in with a growler and head home to enjoy some fresh Upland beer there. We recommend the Teddy Bear Kisses Imperial Stout or a bottle of one of Upland's acclaimed lambics (if available).
4842 N. College Ave.
KOTBR #124 - In Tribute
Upland Tasting Room Now Open!
Upland Coming Soon to Indianapolis
Binkley's Kitchen & Bar
Binkley's is a neighborhood favorite with Broad Ripple and Meridian Kessler residents. The restaurant offers classic American fare and has a great line-up of local and regional beers on tap, including unique offerings from a nitro line.
5902 N. College Ave.
Sierra Nevada Brewmaster Meet and Greet - Binkley's
Broad Ripple Brewpub
English expatriate John Hill opened the Broad Ripple Brewpub in 1990 in an effort to bring an authentic English pub experience to Indianapolis. He did more than that, kick-starting Indiana's craft beer revolution and creating an Indiana craft beer monument. English-style ales and an extensive menu help complete the effort. Order whatever is on the hand-pull. We especially like the Monon Porter.
842 E. 65th St.
KOTBR #94 | 2001: A Stout Odyssey
The 2009 Knights of the Beer Roundtable Beer of the Year - Broad Ripple Brewpub's Monon Porter
KOTBR #64 - Forgotten Landmarks
Indiana Beer Week Bar Hop - Day One - Operation Chaos
KOTBR #11 - Broad Ripple Brewpub's Wee Alec Heavy
Look below and you'll see a long list of posts we've written about Brugge Brasserie. There's a good reason for this: Brugge is an Indianapolis treasure. Nestled next to the Monon Trail, Brugge is unique among Indiana's brewpubs because it's the only brewery in the state to focus on Belgian-style beers and food. Ask your server if there are any sour beers on tap, such as Brugge's famous Pooka and Harvey sour ales, and be sure to order the frites (fries), which are among Indianapolis' best. You also can't go wrong with a glass of Brugge's famous Tripel de Ripple, but be advised: there's a two-beer limit due to the potency of this beer.
1011 E. Westfield Blvd.
KOTBR #147 - At the End of the World, A Beer Named after a Cat Named "Good Dog"
KOTBR #124 - In Tribute
KOTBR #120 - Two Places, One Beer - Dogfish Head/Three Floyds Poppaskull
Beer Diary #17 - Jim | The Power of Names
KOTBR #104: Brugge Spider
Beer Diary #18 - Lose Ends Edition
KOTBR #90: Medal Winners
Beer Diary #15 - Mike - Vacations
The First Annual Hoosier Beer Geek Craft Beer Breakfast
Beer Diary #10 - Mike
KOTBR #51: The Hoosier Beer Geek Second Anniversary Party
Indiana Beer Week Bar Hop - Day One - Operation Chaos
KOTBR #48 - Dude, Where's Chris's Car?
Six Pack Interview with Brugge's Charlie Midgley
The Complete Works (so far) of Ted Miller (abridged)
KOTBR #34 - Two at Brugge Brasserie - Thunder Monkey and Impérial
Beer Diary - Mike
The Hoosier Beer Geek 6 Pack - Ted Miller, Brewer/Owner of Brugge Brasserie and Brugge Beer
Beer Diary - Jim | South Florida Edition
KOTBR #14 - Brugge Quadripple
KOTBR #5 - Brugge's The Black
Chumley's is more or less a college bar, attracting much of its clientele from nearby Butler University (home to Indy's beloved Butler Bulldogs). But unlike many college bars with their sole focus on macrobrews, Chumley's has an extensive tap list that always has something to suit any beer geek's tastes. The bar also sells beer by the pitcher and has several nitro lines that pour more than the usual nitro offerings. 21+ only.
838 Broad Ripple Ave.
KOTBR #55 - Beer and Progress with the Urbanophile
Corner Wine Bar
If you're looking for a restaurant that is perfect for date night and that has a well-curated wine and beer list, visit the Corner Wine Bar. Along with a menu of Continental-inspired dishes, the CWB has a cozy English-style pub with a small but nice selection of draft beers. Stop by on Wednesdays, when pints are $3.00.
6331 Guilford Ave.
Beer Diary #8 - Jim | Then and Now
Monon Food Company
Offering a selection of 60 beers (mostly bottled), the Monon Food Company is a great place to dine in a family-friendly and casual atmosphere. During the summer, the restaurant's deck is a great place for people watching due to the restaurant's close proximity to the Monon Trail. When it comes to the food, we recommend the Ultimate Mac and Cheese.
6420 Cornell Ave.
Managing to be upscale and casual at the same time, Northside Social carries a sophisticated air with its contemporary furnishings, well-dressed patrons, and attentive servers. Sink into a cushy chair in the lounge area, grab a table, or snag a spot at the bar and you'll have a good draft list at your disposal.
6525 N. College Ave.
KOTBR #112 - Flashback at the Northside Social
For a few years now, Sahm's Place at 65th and Keystone has carried an excellent range of craft beers on tap and in bottles, including beers from locals Bier, Sun King, Fountain Square, Daredevil, Triton, and Flat12. Sahm's also has beers dinners twice a month and hosts a Tuesday night trivia event weekly that features a craft beer sponsor.
2411 E. 65th St.
Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company
Scott Wise's Scotty's Brewhouse restaurants are well-known in central Indiana, especially in the area's college towns. To refer to Wise as possessing a restaurant empire would be no exaggeration. But Wise is an emperor of the best kind: a benevolent one who always wants to ensure a fun, good-quality dining experience. In 2011, Wise added a brewpub to his stable of restaurants with Thr3e Wise Men. With its blond wood paneling and airy space, the restaurant kind of looks like a ski lodge inside. But pizza and beer are the house specialties. Hop-heads should go for a Golden Zoe IPA, which is lovingly crafted by head brewer Omar Castrellon.
1021 Broad Ripple Ave.
3WM HBG Double Brown Tapping
KOTBR #132 - Thr3e Wise Men Golden Zoe IPA, Neil Patrick Harris Style
Opening Today: Thr3e Wise Men
Triton Tap is the Broad Ripple outpost of east side brewery Triton Brewing Company. The Tap offers all of Triton's house and seasonal brews. Grab a pint, a six-pack, or a growler to go. For more information on Triton Brewing, check out our guide for the east side of the city below.
915 Broad Ripple Avenue
Union Jack Pub
There was a time when hardcore soccer fans in this town had no place to go if they wanted to watch a match from across the pond. Around the time of the 2006 World Cup, Indy's barkeepers began to catch on to the fact that yes, rabid fans of the Beautiful Game make Indianapolis their home. The Union Jack Pub is one of Indianapolis' soccer-centric bars, offering Saturday and Sunday breakfasts to accompany the English Premier League matches they show. The pub has a pretty extensive draft and bottle list with some British, regional, and local offerings.
924 Broad Ripple Ave.
KOTBR #75 - Secret Meeting of the (Expanded) Knights of the Beer Roundtable
Billing itself as "The Home of Honest Pizza," Ale Emporium has a respectable selection of craft taps and bottles from local, national, and foreign breweries. You won't find many off-the-beaten-path beers here, but you'll definitely find something to suit your palate. If you find yourself on the north side of town, Ale Emporium is worth checking out.
8617 Allisonville Rd.
Barley Island Brewing Company
Noblesville's Barley Island has been putting out award-winning beers for over a decade. Their brown ale, dubbed Dirty Helen, is particularly delicious, as are their barrel-aged offerings such as Beastie Barrel Porter and Beastie Barrel Stout. We also think that the brewery's Barfly IPA is one of the most under-appreciated beers coming out of Indiana.
639 Conner St.
Noblesville, Indiana 46060
KOTBR #90 - Medal Winners
KOTBR #16 - Barley Island's Bourbon Barrel Beers
Chatham Tap Fishers
Like soccer? We do. Chatham Tap is the default choice for fans wishing to catch English Premier League action. The pub's tap list follows suit, with the standard English selections as well as local taps and a nice bottle list. And if you happen to follow the U.S. National Team, the Chatham Tap is where you want to be on match day because the local American Outlaws chapter takes over the bar with their bawdy chants and infectious enthusiasm.
8211 E. 116th St.
Fishers, Indiana 46038
The Pint Room
140 taps. Tasty gastropub fare. Carmel's Pint Room opened in 2014 and has impressed patrons with its nearly endless selection of beers, which always includes plenty of Indiana-brewed beers. The staff does a fantastic job of rotating selections and providing an excellent lineup of out-of-state craft brews as well. So grab a flight of samplers and taste away.
110 W. Main St.
Carmel, Indiana 46032
Ram Restaurant & Brewery Fishers
Ram is part of a chain, but don't count that against them. They have good food and locally-crafted beers with fantastic brewers. We recommend that you grab a pint of Ram brewmaster Andrew Castner’s special or seasonal brews, especially if any of his barrel-aged brews are on draft.
12750 Parkside Drive
Fishers, Indiana 46038
Rock Bottom College Park
Unfortunately, chain brewpubs sometimes get a bad rap. People automatically assume that if it's corporate, it's not worth having. Definitely not so with Rock Bottom. While some of Rock Bottom's beers are the same no matter which Rock Bottom you visit, each pub's brewer is given the freedom to brew several other beers according to the brewer's own recipes. Rock Bottom's north side location offers several gems from brewer extraordinaire Liz Laughlin. We recommend ordering whatever's on cask.
2801 Lake Circle Dr.
KOTBR #107 - Re-dedication at Rock Bottom College Park
Union Brewing Company
This small brewery in an inconspicuous Carmel strip mall might not look like much from the outside. But once you venture inside past the brewhouse and into the rustic bar area, you know you've arrived at one of the north side's havens for craft beer drinkers. Specializing in cask ales, Union usually has at least three of their house beers on along with several cask offerings from other brewers. If it's on tap, we recommend a pour of Union's Miami Weisse Berliner Weisse.
622 S. Rangeline Rd., Ste. Q
Carmel, Indiana 46032
KOTBR #149 - North of the Rodney Zone at Union Brewing Company
Upland Carmel Tap House
In 2013, Upland opened its Carmel Tap House, where it offers its flagship and seasonal brews and an extensive menu of delicious pub-style dishes.
820 E. 116th St.
Carmel, Indiana 46032
Bier Brewery and Taproom
Bier Brewery and Taproom's Darren Connor began his brewing career at homebrewing supply store Great Fermentations, perfecting the homebrewing craft that he learned in college. In late 2010, he opened Bier just a few doors down from Great Fermentations. Because Bier's batches are small, the brewery rotates styles quite frequently and offers only growlers for sale. But that's not a bad thing; variety, as they say, is the spice of life. We're quite fond of Bier's DFG IPA, so grab a growler if it's on. 21+ only.
5133 E. 65th St.
Black Acre Brewing Company
What happens when a group of law students decides to forgo law practice and start a brewery? Black Acre Brewing Company happens. The brewery, which takes its name from the hypothetical tract of land discussed in property law classrooms throughout the country, brews small batches on a three barrel electric system. As you might expect from a group of lawyers, Black Acre is attentive to detail, producing high-quality, innovative beers. Among them are the brewery's house IPA, Saucy Intruder Rye IPA, and the Green Tea Pale Ale. Black Acre sits in an impressive space on Washington Street in Indy's charming Irvington neighborhood and offers a small menu of artisanal sandwiches and sides along with their beers. Sunday brunch is also offered. 21+ only.
5632 E. Washington St.
KOTBR #151 - Comedy Night at Black Acre Brewing Company
KOTBR #150 - Celebrating a Century-and-a-Half of Roundtables at Black Acre Brewing, Irvington
KOTBR #141 - Knights in Irvington
Triton Brewing Company
Triton Brewing Company opened in 2011 out at Fort Benjamin Harrison in a marvelously refurbished building that was long-used as a horse barn. At Triton's helm are Jon Lang, former head brewer at Barley Island Brewing Company; Mike DeWeese, a longtime veteran of Indianapolis' craft beer scene; and David Waldman. Triton's name--borrowed from the name of Greek sea god Poseidon's son--stems from the brewery's emphasis on water quality. Indeed, Triton uses a reverse osmosis filtration system to ensure the highest quality water for its beers. Pints and growlers are available at the brewery, along with local and regional beers from the brewery's guest taps. Drinkers won't be disappointed by Triton's Rail Splitter IPA or Deadeye Stout.
Fort Benjamin Harrison
5764 Wheeler Rd.
Previously in our "Where to Drink in Indy" series:
Where to Drink in Indy - Hoosier Beer Geek's Guide to Mass Ave, the Near East Side, and the Near North Side
Where to Drink in Indy - Hoosier Beer Geek's Guide to Fountain Square