Black Swan Brewpub
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Active Beers: 24
Beer Ratings: 76
Beer Avg: 3.81
Taps: 14 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 16 | Show All Ratings:
3.65/5 rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 2.75 | $$$
A - The atmosphere is a mixed bag. The space is in a strip mall, and the place does some work to carry the visitor out of that vibe. Unfortunately, the efforts are not complete. The main dining area is ultimately a little spare. The bar is more intimate, and I enjoy that space much more.
Q - For the beer, I thought the quality was sometimes quite good, but uneven. The Tettnanger IPA was a very good version of the style. The special Pulla Chile Porter was too much pepper and not enough beer and the Imperial Blueberry Stout was the opposite, I couldn't pick up the blueberry in it at all. The delicious Maple Oat Ale, surprisingly drinkable despite its hammering maple flavor, is the main reason that I'm likely to drop by in the future. I brought a growler home.
Ser. - A bit slow, but friendly and helpful during our afternoon lunch visit. When I came back to the bar, it was still relaxed, but I found the staff more attentive. I'd recommend spending your time in the bar, if you have a choice.
Sel. - Limited, but of its own brews, a wide range of styles are available.
F - Disappointing. Fries with truffle oil and Parmesan and the beer cheese were reasonably good. The torta, which generally spells a flavor burst when I've ordered one elsewhere, was shockingly bland and dry. The chicken strips on the entree salad had the same orange breading as the standard GFS, low grade, store-bought option.
P - The beer is reasonably priced. I've got no question that I'd pay again for the beers, particularly the Maple Oat Ale, the Scottish and the Tettnanger IPA, but I'll skip the food. My wife, who had the salad, will skip this destination completely.
11-24-2013 17:12:34 | More by Tsar_Riga
2.89/5 rDev -26.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I was here in April 2011 when they first opened (see my original review), and came back again to see what beers they were brewing and had on tap. We came in early afternoon on a Friday and there were only two guys sitting at the bar. One of them was so loud and obnoxious we elected to sit just outside the bar. Waitress was very knowledgeable of the beers and was friendly and attentive. Let me say this: I can brew better beers at home. None of them were bad, but none of them were good. There is no reason to come back. The porter had too much roast. The old ale was way too fruity. The Irish Ale was the only well balanced beer for style, but still not good enough to make me want to come back. Bummer =/
08-31-2013 14:31:08 | More by schoolcb
2.91/5 rDev -26%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3.25 | $$
If you want complete mediocrity in a brewpub, aside from the fries, then this is your place! Tried 6-7 beers and none stood out. All were very average for their respected style. If it wasn't for the Parmesan/Truffle Oil French fries, the food would've been extremely average. Server was overly friendly, if that makes sense. Kept checking back every 2 minutes to see if everything was ok. Didn't know the beer very well at all. The entire place is in desperate need of remodeling. The bar is ok looking, but the rest of the place is a dump. Will not be going back.
08-01-2013 00:33:33 | More by HomeBrewed
3.55/5 rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
The Black Swan is located near the airport in a strip mall. It is walking distance from a bunch of hotels, which makes it a great fit for a person traveling through the area.
The bar area is small, while the regular food area is probably 80% of the space. I sat at the bar and enjoyed some soccer and basketball while chatting it up with the clientle.
The staff is nice, but all the ladies (waitstaff) seemed to be having a tiff that night. The bartender was very happy to offer a sample before I tried anything. However, I noticed most of the glassware was dirty/greasy which detracted and kept the head to a minimum.
The brewer obviously knows what he is doing. The lines were clean and the beers were well done. I would have liked to see them a bit clearer as all the beers I had were cloudy. (minor point)
The food was EXCELLENT! The rueben was maybe the best I'ver ever had. Everything else I had was great and other plates looked and smelled great as well.
Overall, this is a place to hit if you have a flight the next morning and are looking for a nice pint and great food. However, I can't say it is the best place to hit in Indy. Since they are relatively new, I'm guessing they will smooth out the rough edges in the months and years to come.
05-21-2012 02:32:56 | More by ndolover
4.28/5 rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The beer was a real eye opener for me. I was antcipating it after seeing the owner/brewmaster on the PBS show Hoosier Craft Beer. You have to go to New Albanian in New Albany, IN, Three Floyds in Munster or Rock Bottom, W 86th St, Indianapolis to get a comparable craft brew. Now finally I have what I want on the west side Indianapolis.
I tried 7 different ales and they were all very good to excellent. The do have a unique beer that is brewed with maple syrup and it was very good. Here is my overall review:
A - All the beers had good color and good lacing especially the double IPA.
S - From the Stout to the Belgium Tripple, they all had a nice aroma and I believe this is due to the quality malt ingredients from the UK and Belgium.
T - Once the flavors hit the palate it you knew that the brewmaster is on his "A" game.
O - Great beer and good pricing is always a good thing. Try this place out and you will not be disappointed.
10-24-2011 19:08:16 | More by btaylorgtr
4.25/5 rDev +8.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I have been holding off my review of Black Swan until their house brews were on tap, and now that I have been there and tried them, I am happy to report how good a brewpub it is!
Decent atmosphere, fairly open with nearly comfortable seating. Seems to try and balance an upscale eatery with a beer bar. I would pick one. While the atmosphere is the pub's worst attribute, it's still a nice and wonderfully clean place.
Good quality, everything I had was tasty and as it should be; beer and food.
Excellent service! My server/bartender did an excellent job, even though she was slammed. One of the cooks stopped and talked Terry Pratchet for a moment ( I was reading Reaper Man.) other servers did come on and all were friendly and prompt.
Beer selection was great, too! Between house and guest brews, you were set. House old ale and guest cider, which I have never seen before. All of good or better rating.
All in all it is a very nice brewpub. Definitely worth a stop. Food is a little pricy, but everything I have had (salad, desert, and jerk pulled chicken) has been very tasty.
10-04-2011 22:02:08 | More by JamesS
3.8/5 rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I have been to the Black Swan on three other occasions. That was before they started selling their own brews. I was able to sample some of their beers and food tonight.
The atmosphere is relaxing and typical of a brew pub. It is a comfortable place to drink and eat. The wait staff has generally been attentive and knowledgeable about their offerings.
I had one of their Old Ales and a cream stout tonight. I enjoyed both and will review them separately. I sampled a few other beers and was pleased with their offerings. Prior to the availability of their own brews they had been offering a very good selection of local and regional beers. The choices are not as broad as they were, but are still good choices.
The food is another matter. I have had some disappointments and some very agreeable dishes. Tonight, I had the house salad, frites, and a mushroom tart. It was good. I felt the mushrooms were a little tough, but the rest of the dinner was toothsome.
This place is developing its own character. I will be returning.
09-04-2011 03:35:24 | More by Badbobx
4.9/5 rDev +24.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I've been to Black Swan twice now, and also tried their beer at the festival in Broad Ripple in mid-July.
The first time my wife and I went, they still didn't have any of their beers on offer; they were still tweaking them. We did have some food and some guest-tap beer though.
We had the "pub tots" - basically house-made tater tot-like things, with a tomatillo cream sauce; they were insanely good. I believe we also had the frites as well, and they were good.
We tried their beers for the first time at the beer festival in Broad Ripple. We weren't overly impressed then - the beers were "ok" but not "wow." Though - it was around 95-100 degrees out and ALL of the beers tasted "off."
So, last night, we went back to Black Swan. We tried 3 of their beers - the porter, a double hopped pale ale, and an ESB. All 3 were good - see BA beer reviews for details on those.
For food, we had fried pickles, chorizo-stuffed peppers, and for entrees, a steak special.
The fried pickles were awesome. They're breaded with cornmeal and it's very crisp. Not a hint of excess oil - proper fryer time+temp is a wonderful thing! The stuffed peppers were awesome as well, as was the steak.
Another cool thing about the Swan is the portion sizes are not "run of the mill American sports bar" size, they're gastro-pub size, which means you can enjoy a couple of choices and NOT walk out over-stuffed. The portions are a good value for price, but if you expect a train load of food for $5, this isn't your kind of place.
Service is over-the-top good. The servers from our first time remembered us and that we were "beer nuts" and so they asked the brewer and owner to come chat with us for a while, which was very nice.
07-28-2011 11:07:47 | More by ModemMisuser
4.7/5 rDev +19.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$$
The Black Swan Brewpub is a relatively new Indiana establishment serving craft taps and now their own beers.
When you enter the lobby is dark wood, casual but slightly upscale-feeling. The bar is ahead to the right with a family-friendly dining area farther down. Both times my husband and I visited, we sat directly at the bar.
Black Swan has quite a few taps, "16 taps and no crap" and they mean it. When we went Amazon Princess from People's Brewing Company was on tap, along with a few different beers from Bloomington Brewing Co, 4 of Black Swan's own beers and a Bourbon Barrel aged Ale (mmm, exceptional!)
The service was exceptional. The bartender offered and had no problem giving us tastes of the beer to let us make our final-beer-decisions =) A lot of places do this, but sometimes make you feel a little *too* indecisive, but this bartender was made of patience. When he bartender stepped away from the bar to do prep for the shift end, he apologized to us and let us know each time how long he'd be gone and asked if we needed anything before he left.
The manager remembered us from last time and knew we wanted to meet DJ, the owner. When he was finished he came over to talk with us. I tried to not go all fangirl on him and instead eat the appetizers and stay very cool, and I probably failed. =) I have endless admiration for anyone brewing good craft beer, and while he was very humble about his first attempts, they are very enjoyable and good beers. I squee'd about the conversation on Facebook after he left the bar, naturally... =)
Another brewpub component has to be the food, right? This is a mix between brewpub and gastropub food. The appetizers we've had both times have been eyes-roll-in-the-back-of-my-head worthy. The fried pickles have a very very crisp and light corn-meal based breading, the brewpub tots have a lovely tomatillo sauce with them and the stuffed red peppers with goat cheese and chorizo are excellent.
While I have the prices as 'a bit pricey' this is due to their food being a little more upscale. I didn't find the price/value ratio at all off kilter.
Oh the beer? =) Ah yes! =) We had Black Swan's ESB, Robust Porter and Double Pale Ale. All were very good beers - I had to end the meal with a nod to our home town peeps People's Brewing Co and their Amazon Princess.
We live in Lafayette, but will continue to travel here for their mix of gastropub/brewpub food and their beers. =)
07-28-2011 10:55:33 | More by ElizabethCraig
3.28/5 rDev -16.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$
Visited 5/21/2011 Returned 8/6/2011 for house beer.
A newer brewpub in the area, black swan was still in the process of getting their house brews going when I first visited, but had a nice offering of local and regional taps. Second visit was for their beer, which after that visit, caused their overall rating to drop.
The atmosphere is nothing special, just your normal brewpub in a stripmall. There's separate dining, bar, and patio areas, with the patio situated off to the side basically in the parking lot.
As mentioned, they have a good selection of Indy, Indiana, and regional brews on tap. I believe they rotate some new taps in every week, so the selection should stay fresh and interesting. I hope in the future they pull kegs from wider afar. Ours beers tasted fresh, so there were no issues there. My only issue was the glassware, and it's nitpicking, but our beers were either served in pints or samplers and not appropriate for what we ordered. Like I said, nitpicking, but to me black swan is trying to position itself as an intelligent upscale brewpub and should execute things like this. Maybe when they start brewing they'll fix this.
House beers 8/6/201- Came in to try a growler of their house beer and was pretty disappointed. I sampled 4 of their beers: ESB, Hefeweizen, dry-hopped pale ale, and the IPA. The IPA and pale ale had no balance at all and were overly bitter with no flavor, the ESB was okay, and the hefe was a bit thin and off on the mouthfeel- the flavors were there, but just not strong enough. Hopefully they fix these things as the brewpub matures. While it's great they have started brewing their own beer, it means that it takes away from what was an excellent on-tap offering of local/regional beers.
Service was good. Our waiter was attentive, but not annoying. He was knowledgable about their beers and food, and was educated enough to make informed suggestions.
The menu at black swan is kind of a notch above typical brewpub fare. I had the stuffed burger, which tasted good, but seemed skimpy: bun, burger, pico de gallo. I would've preferred the salsa be replaced by lettuce, tomato, and onion. My gf's tropical salad was "disgusting" in her words and I can't say it looked that great and it seemed to have an odd combo of items.
The food and beer are a little overpriced. Paid $6 for a pint and $3 for a sample sized beer. I don't mind paying that price for something that came a long way, but not for local stuff.
Some small complaints aside, I would likely visit again depending on what they currently had on tap or when they finally start brewing their own. For now I'm going to keep exploring the scene.
05-22-2011 16:41:15 | More by Luckytiki
Black Swan Brewpub in Plainfield, IN
89 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.