Black Swan Brewpub


Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

2067 E Hadley Rd.
Plainfield, Indiana, 46168
United States

(317) 838-7444 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by treepaul on 10-12-2010

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 30
Photo of SudsTerkel
4.56/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

I rolled into the BSB while on a biz run to Indy. My work site and hotel were on the SW side and I didn't want to drive all the way into the center of town, despite the good fortune that would be awaiting me at Sun King and other worthwhile outlets.
From my view and as exemplified by my ratings, the BSB is no slouch. There was a full array of styles on hand; 2 IPAs, a red, a stout, a porter and a session style ale. I opted for the red, which was a most refreshing malty experience with a enjoyable but slight, hop finish. I got my hops blast from the Chinook IPA, which offered a very fruity and savory blast and finished off with the Farmhouse Ale ["French Country"] that was a complex realm of tastes which proved a grand counterpoint to the previous ales.
Had one of their chopped salads, that was well prepared and generous in ingredients and serving.
I sat at the bar and was ably served by David, who knows his beer and a good guy to talk to.
I'll certainly return to the BSB on my next trip to the Circle City.

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Photo of DJBaker01
1.7/5  rDev -56.7%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1.25 | service: 2 | selection: 1.5 | food: 3

Wide selection of mediocre beer. I just feel bad for the patrons. Several people came in to fill their growlers as this is the best place they have to choose from. I think I have had better beer at Applebee's also the wait staff is unfriendly and uniformed. Just because you are located next to several hotels and have a captive audience does not give you the right to poorly serve below average beer. Police note - I had the turkey Apple Brie sandwich which was tasty

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Photo of Ssmith999
1.4/5  rDev -64.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1 | service: 1.5 | selection: 1.5

Awful. Stunk horribly at the bar, everyone was stupid wasted at 8pm, service was terrible, and the worst part was the beer. Tried the "Nelson Sauvin" and the "Columbus" IPAs. Tasted extract-y and/or poorly fermented. Too bad this place is still around.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
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.

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Photo of schoolcb
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 =/

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Photo of HomeBrewed
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.

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Photo of ndolover
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.

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Photo of btaylorgtr
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.

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Photo of JamesS
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.

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Photo of Badbobx
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.

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Photo of ModemMisuser
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.

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Photo of ElizabethCraig
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. =)

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Photo of Luckytiki
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.

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Photo of salvo
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

The first two things we ordered from the menu were not available, but the chef came out to the table, apologized, and we had a nice chat about the philosophy behind the place. Stuffed pepper appetizer was phenomenal, and the meatloaf was a revelation. Good service. Food is locally sourced, and the pub prides itself on being family friendly.

Gastro-pub is probably the best label: great food, excellent regional and national beer, as well as a carefully selected collection of Scotch whiskies, American bourbons, and other micro- and nano- distilled rare spirits available in generous drinks or 1oz taster flights of multiple distillations.

If you are headed out of Indianapolis Airport or traveling west along I-70 (exit 22 to IN-267), this is well worth a stop. I think it will become a destination in its own right, particularly when it starts brewing. Highly recommended.

Sixteen taps; the list for April 5-15 included: Tyranena Bitter Woman IPA, Founder's Dirty Bastard, Mad Anthony's Auburn Lager, Singlewide IPA, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Brugge's Bokken Ryder, Goose Island Matilda, and Flat12 Blonde (the newest Indiana craft brewer: their IPA is next to be tapped). Beer available in pints (20oz), half-pints (10oz), 3oz flights of 5 or 10, and 1oz teasers.

My only quibble is that it's a new place, so there's no patina, no history in this strip mall gastro-pub. Dark stained wood moves in the right direction, but it's all so -new- and shiny. Highly recommended.

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Photo of phisigben
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

As soon as I walked in the very nice bartender greeted me and she said to sit anywhere I wanted. I sat at the bar and looked at what they had on tap a couple highlights Hopslam, Sun King Grapefruit Jungle, BBC bourbon barrel stout. I ordered a SK Grapefruit Jungle and the Italian Beef sandwich w/fries. The sandwich was good but IMO it was a little overpriced. One nice thing I didn't even ask for it but when my sandwich was brought out the waitress brought me a side of pepper dew aioli. The thing that I would like for them to do is to keep an updated list of what they have on tap. On the website it just gives what breweries they sometimes have on tap. I cant wait for them to start brewing.

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Photo of w22011
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

Edit July 1, 2011

The black swan tapped their first beers today. Double pale ale and Scottish ale. The beers were simply not ready. Carbonation had not finished, sort of like my home brew before it gets a dose of priming sugar. Both beers were very cloudy, very worty, and just plain flat. That being said I look forward retrying these on the next batch. Really the taste was there but they were rushed to the tap. If you have never had 'raw' beer, it might be worth the trip. Sorta like raw peanuts though, much better fully roasted with a pinch of salt.

My overall rating of the Black Swan takes a slight hit. Still waiting on the first batch.
Best beer selection on the west side. Simply great! Seriously, Hopslam, Brugge Brasserie Quad, Elector Imperial Red Ale and on and on. I am hoping that they will keep a couple of the best guest beers after they start to brew their own. My only compliant is that the beer is served on the cold side.

Atmosphere - not fancy but serviceable, the actual service bar is a bit on the small side. I think 8 seats. Room for improvement but lets spend our capital on the beer end of the business.

Serving staff - good. Mostly on the young side, still learning about "real" beer.

Food can be hit or miss. Fries are one of their main appetizers. Taste like Dairy Queens fries with fancy spices to me. Send the cook up to Brugge Brasserie to see how its done! Stuffed peppadew peppers were outstanding but pricey. Buffalo burger was good, but again, the crappy fries. Also all of the breads have a cheap quality to them, right off the supermarket shelf. . Meatloaf was good but on the dry side the night I had it.. Locally sourced food where possible, which translates into better ingredients and a higher price.

You want good beer go to the Black Swan.
You want a chicken sandwich, tenderloin, hamburger, or other typical pub fare, go on to Three Pints up the road.

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Photo of Brettster
4.6/5  rDev +17%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

This is my new favorite place to eat and drink. I just wished I lived right next door. I bugged my wife to go opening night and have been back a few more times. The West side of Indy desperately needed a place like this. The food, although pricey, is excellent. It varies from sandwitches to lamb shank. The beer list seems to be growing. I believe they just added Brooklyn Brown, Anchor Steam, Three Floyds Broodoo, and one more People's.

I recommend this place for dinner or just a quick pint. Cannot wait until they start brewing their own.

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Photo of treepaul
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

This is a very hopeful review. As of this writing this is THE PLACE to go on the west side of Indianapolis if you want Indiana beer on tap - no place else closeby has more than one local tap - Black Swan has more than ten. As the other reviewer wrote they are currently not brewing on site - licensing is pending and according to the brewer they hope to be serving their own beer by April to June of next year.

We visited late on their opening day and were lucky enough to have good conversations with both the chef and head brewer/owner. The menu is definitely different from most brewpubs. You won't find nacos, burgers or fish and chips - typical beer drinking comfort foods. They do have some creative alternatives. The stuffed mini-pepper appetizer was creative and tasty, but the portion was small. I found the "frites" dissapointing in execution. The entree selection was interesting and I do look forward to trying a couple after I save up a little cash. I hope the menu doesn't outpace the audience.

I really want to see this place succeed and I am looking forward to tasting the results of their brewing when the time comes. In the meantime I will be stopping in every chance I get to enjoy some of my favorite Indiana beers that are sure nice to have on tap in the Indy West/Hendricks County/Airport neighborhood.

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Photo of elalber
4.78/5  rDev +21.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Black swan is a gem for west siders and those visiting the area. They carry 16 taps and no crap. Right now they have 9 of their own brews on. You can expect to find a double pale, an IPA, an ESB, a Porter, and a tasty cream stout. More exciting to me is their rotating/seasonal menu which includes some more interesting stuff. Right now is a belgian tripple and a maple oat ale. (First one I've ever tried, sweet and flavorful coming in at 7%) Some very intersting stuff on the horizon too-a rye wine, a scottish ale, and a lambic in the near future. They fill the taps with a few indiana beers and Crispin cider in case you come with a non beer drinker.
The food is all very fresh and made with local ingredients whenever possible. They keep it pretty simple with only 6 sandwiches and 5 entrees rotating with the season. Sandwiches and apps are very reasonable with entrees being a bit pricier. Food is of exceptional quality and taste in my opinion.
Black swan has been open for just over a year now and has really hit its stride. Definitely worth the drive (Just glad I live close)

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Black Swan Brewpub in Plainfield, IN
3.77 out of 5 based on 121 ratings.
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