Indy 500 for 2019

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by MonkeyBread, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. MonkeyBread

    MonkeyBread Zealot (596) Apr 26, 2014 Nevada

    Saw the 2018 thread from iRun2Beer but it is locked. I’ve never been to Indianapolis before so this is obviously my first Indy 500. Staying in northeast suburbs near Lawrence (Fall Creek Highlands specifically). Hoping for a little help BAs on some recommendations. I get in Thursday afternoon and leave Monday. Any style works well except not into sours, looking for breweries or bars that let you do tasters to sample. Also a place to pick up cans for the race and the weekend in general. I assume it’s going to be very crowded, bad traffic all weekend. I’d rather drink slightly inferior beer and avoid a madhouse if I can.

    Trying to determine which to do on Friday or Saturday:

    A) Sun King / Books & Brews / Redemption / Mashcraft: cluster of the first three on top of each other and Mashcraft not too far. Any one of these stand out or is noticeably worse than the others?

    B) Daredevil Hall: this place looks great. Nice tap list and says can get four packs to go.

    C) Black Acre or Black Circle: seems like these two along with Daredevil are the top breweries. Not that easy of a drive from where I’m staying though. Is it worth the trek over A) or B)?

    Any good craft beer bars?

    Thanks BAs appreciate the help!
    ShaneP likes this.
  2. Crazytrain83

    Crazytrain83 Initiate (51) Feb 19, 2017 Minnesota

    Hey man.... sounds like a great trip.

    But Indiana is actually in the Great Lakes forum, not the Midwest one.
    MonkeyBread likes this.
  3. mayorQuimby

    mayorQuimby Devotee (455) Jun 5, 2009 Tennessee
    Society Trader

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  4. ShaneP

    ShaneP Initiate (115) Jan 26, 2013 Indiana

    And if you are going to the Indy 500 then you might want to stop in. Daredevil is 4 blocks south of the track on Main Street. We open at 8 am on Race Day for your pre-race needs - including carry out cans -- and we host an after party until 8 pm with food trucks and a beer garden. Obviously there all week too. You are not staying far from Daredevil Hall and we have the same carry out can options there as we do the home brewery in Speedway. Hope you enjoy your first Indy 500 + Cheers!
  5. bellalovesbeer

    bellalovesbeer Initiate (28) Jul 29, 2009 Indiana

    Definitely hit up Deviate. To me Sun King is a pass. Mostly mediocre beers IMO. Also just a short drive north is Moontown. Really good beer and food!
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  6. drac86

    drac86 Disciple (340) Jan 28, 2014 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Deviate is hit or miss - when they hit, it's out of the park. When they don't, it's just good. They do stouts better than nearly anyone in the city, but the hops have been extremely inconsistent IMO. If you're staying in Lawrence area, I dunno that I'd make it a priority drive - there's not much there besides that, and you'll get way more bang for your buck time-wise if you head down into the city.

    Regarding your two proposed stops... A) Sun King in Fishers is fine, their core beers are forgettable but their King's Reserve barrel-aged stuff is generally pretty good. Redemption Aleworks has meh beer, and I have had horrible, borderline homophobic customer service there - I'd stay away. Books & Brews is super cozy and the beer is fine, but nothing earth-shattering. I've not been to the far northside Mashcraft location, but their beer is always solid at their other locations - definitely a better bet than Redemption or B&B on that front.

    B) I cannot recommend Daredevil highly enough IF you are into traditional styles - they do West Coast hops pretty damn well, but they really pride themselves on their lagers, which are bangers (Negra and Dark Mild are killer). If you aren't so much into that, then maybe it's worth more of a drive.

    I grew up in the NE Indy area and live more in the central area now, but if I were you, here's what I'd do if you can get away on both days: hit one of the nearby places (Daredevil Hall or Sun King/Mashcraft) on Friday evening, and Saturday consider a trek into the Broad Ripple area. It'll mean a 20-25 minute drive, but you get access to much more interesting options. Take I-69/Binford Boulevard down to 65th St to stop in at Bier Brewery, which has a tiny taproom but does some of the best traditional styles in the city - they also have more carryout than most places aside from Daredevil. Head a little further south (you'll go by Blind Owl Brewing, but that's a hard pass) and take 46th St over to Black Circle for a flight and their Cuban food (get empanadas, thank me later). Head back north a bit to Twenty Tap, the best-curated beer bar in the city and awesome food. Parking is a bitch since they're restructuring that road, but it's completely worth walking a block. North another few blocks is Broad Ripple Village, where you have more great food and beer at Brugge Brasserie (plus Hopcat if you want a giant but overpriced selection). If you still need more beer, you can head straight north and get a decent flight at Big Lug Canteen on 86th St on your way back to the NE side.

    Note that if barbecue is more your jam than pub food, feel free to swap out any stop in Broad Ripple for Half Liter BBQ & Brewery - it's right down the road and their German styles are great.

    Black Acre is really good, but you have to really want to go there because it's a haul from where you'll be. If you do decide to go that far south, I'm happy to make other recommendations that are kinda sorta in that area.

    Hope that helps. Cheers and welcome to Indy.
  7. Palos

    Palos Initiate (53) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    Also going to the 500, staying in lot 2 and hoping to make it to Daredevil. Unfortunately my buddies refuse to drink anything but macro so we’ll see if I can persuade them. Maybe I’ll take a walk over and at least get some cans to go for the race. Does anyone know if they sell any Indiana beers inside the track? We are bringing in coolers but would like to grab a couple crafts if possible. Thanks
    chrismattlin likes this.
  8. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,432) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Not to the point of the OP's question, but here is a recommendation based on an old memory from 1984 when I went to the track -- you'll need some food to soak up the beer, so get some of the fried chicken while there. Back then it was a tradition, but after 35 years, I don't know. Maybe someone who is a more recent visitor can confirm. Anyone?
    toolbrew likes this.
  9. mikeat

    mikeat Initiate (95) Jul 31, 2007 Indiana

    I'd never tell you to skip a place - even your least favorite brewery has the ability to surprise you from time to time.

    But since I work for Sun King, I'll tell you that our Fishers location has 20+ beers on tap at all times, and that the tap list is here - if you see things that are up your alley, then stop in. We'd love to have you, and you can get track-friendly crowlers of a lot of the beer on tap.

    I'm not too familiar with what Books & Brews or Redemption have to offer, but I drink at the Mashcraft location on the south side of town regularly, and I never leave disappointed.

    Haven't been to Daredevil Hall yet but these guys kill it and the hall looks like an even better version of what they've got going on in Speedway.

    I love Black Acre. Don't know Black Circle.
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  10. mikeat

    mikeat Initiate (95) Jul 31, 2007 Indiana

    I haven't been to the race in a while but last time I was out there, you'd be hard-pressed to find a craft selection. They did have a trailer out by the back stretch of the road course... but that was a road race.
    chrismattlin likes this.
  11. Murphysxm

    Murphysxm Initiate (66) Sep 22, 2014 Indiana

    If you don’t include a trip to Deviate you are doing it wrong. The best beer in town and it isn’t even close. The Sun King Taphouse in Fishers has some decent options and is worth going, but I agree there core beers are a pass. Metazoa downtown has some good options, but past that, nothing in indy to write home about.
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  12. CKQ

    CKQ Initiate (30) Jan 24, 2018 Indiana

    I go to the race every year and it’s pretty much macro inside the gates. There might be some stands but I’m guessing it would just be Sun King if anything, which is beyond subpar.. you’re better off packing your cooler with cans you like and bringing it in. Don’t forget to pack water too, it can get really hot.
    chrismattlin likes this.
  13. mikeat

    mikeat Initiate (95) Jul 31, 2007 Indiana

    Thanks for your support.
  14. Palos

    Palos Initiate (53) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    Thanks, gonna look around this year, your right on the temperature, saw lots of people down and out from the heat and maybe some other things last year
  15. chrismattlin

    chrismattlin Crusader (707) May 10, 2014 Ohio

    I, too, go to The 500 every year. If you go without a cooler of your choice of craft beer and definitely some food to soak it up, then you're doing it wrong. The fried chicken recommendation is a good one. Just be sure your cooler is within their size restriction (it needs to fit under you seat) and no glass.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  16. drac86

    drac86 Disciple (340) Jan 28, 2014 Indiana
    Society Trader

    No offense man, but if Deviate and Metazoa are the only places in Indy that you think are good, then I have to take issue with your opinion that there is no good beer here. :wink:

    Bier, Black Circle, Brugge and Liter Haus all have great beer and are just as easily accessible from the NE side as Deviate (and are more consistent beyond one style IMO). If @MonkeyBread wanted to go a bit further, the Koelschip, Black Acre and Indiana City all have good to great beer. Daredevil makes absolutely stellar lagers, easily some of the best crafted beers in the city - definitely worth writing home about if you're into those styles!
    kiwifuz and MonkeyBread like this.
  17. ns88

    ns88 Initiate (60) Feb 26, 2011 Indiana

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet, but since you're staying in the Lawrence area, check out Triton Brewing. I wouldn't rate it as a top 3 in Indy but it's located in the same area as where you'll be staying. Aside from that; Deviate (usually everything is great), Indiana City (NE IPAs), and Daredevil (IPAs and Lagers) are all worth checking out as others mentioned. Twenty tap, Tomlinson Taproom, and Hopcat would be your best craft beer bar options IMO.
    kiwifuz likes this.
  18. drac86

    drac86 Disciple (340) Jan 28, 2014 Indiana
    Society Trader

    I considered it, but I haven't had much from Triton that I can honestly recommend these days. Their fruited goses have been solid (but he's not into sours), and one or two of their limited release BA beers have been okay, but most of their stuff is pretty meh. Plus, there is nothing else out that way in terms of beer, so it would largely be a wasted trip IMO.
    MonkeyBread likes this.
  19. dcall384

    dcall384 Aspirant (275) Aug 9, 2011 Indiana

    Tomlinson is my favorite place to go drink Indiana beer. They have a great variety and sometime some rare beers. Also not far from there is a pizza place called Greeks Pizzeria. They have a neat beer room upstairs and their pizza is really good.
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  20. MonkeyBread

    MonkeyBread Zealot (596) Apr 26, 2014 Nevada

    Thanks for all the recs everybody, super helpful and appreciated! I glanced at Triton but it seemed pretty average. Lot of great options here to consider, going to start mapping out a plan!
    drac86 likes this.
  21. TargaFlorio

    TargaFlorio Crusader (723) Jul 3, 2012 Indiana

    I was at the track for practice today and took a pic of the complete, one page tap list at the "craft beer" trailers. 2 local beers (neither of which I'd be very excited to drink) and a few Miller/Coors offering. The price of these "craft beers" was $12. The moral of this story is bring your own beers to the track. Remember, they have to be cans. I'd recommend Daredevil, Black Acre, or even new cans of Gumballhead or Alpha King from Three Floyds.

    I drank water today and then went down to Daredevil to have one of my favorite Indy beers, JWP American Stout.

  22. MonkeyBread

    MonkeyBread Zealot (596) Apr 26, 2014 Nevada

    This is a tough decision, lot of good options. Here's my revised plan:

    Daredevil Hall / Deviate (Saturday) - Both look great, they're kind of near each other and from Lawrence it's workable to hit both. This is my plan for Saturday as unfortunately with Deviate not open on Friday until 3pm that doesn't really work as I'm basically tied up that evening with other commitments. Daredevil for lagers to-go as it feels appropriate to be crushing pilsners and helles at the 500. As a sucker for Hazy IPAs and pastry stouts, Deviate looks way too hard to pass up.

    Friday - I'm a bit conflicted. Either I'm going to hit Twenty Tap / Bier Brewery / Black Circle or go further south to do Tomlinson Tap Room / Indiana City / Central State. Will depend on the beer lists as we get closer to that day. I was also intrigued by Black Acre's tap list, but it's kind of out there not connected to anything else and it isn't strong enough to make a trek like Deviate is. Taxman in Fortville is interesting as well, partly because as a finance person the beer names and merchandise are humorous, but also they have quality belgians and Evasion stout variants look nice. Again though it's in the middle of nowhere. Holding out a bit of consideration for Sun King's Fisher location too who it appears is launching a number of collaboration beers this week. The tap list is strong, unfortunately the breweries nearby (B&B, Mashcraft, Redemption) are all meh so it's kind of an isolated place to go.

    Very good problem to have with a lot of quality options. Thanks for the suggestions BA's. I will report back on experiences for those interested after!
    mayorQuimby and chrismattlin like this.
  23. chrismattlin

    chrismattlin Crusader (707) May 10, 2014 Ohio

    Picked up a 6 pack of James Hinchcliffe's Hinchtown Hammerdown by Flat 12. I'm ready for the 500 now!

    Anyone catch qualifying Sunday afternoon? Man, that was some intense stuff!
  24. mayorQuimby

    mayorQuimby Devotee (455) Jun 5, 2009 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    Taxman is worthwhile and has excellent food. Great people that run/own it too, and fabulous set up they have. Also walking distance in downtown Fortville is Foxgardin Kitchen. Under the radar and possibly the best restaurant in Indy, imho. Usually some good beers on tap there as well.
    MonkeyBread likes this.
  25. iRun2Beer

    iRun2Beer Savant (995) Jan 27, 2015 Minnesota

    Glad to see my yearly thread got it's start without me. I'll be heading down to Indy for the 9th straight year in a few days.

    To the OP - it's a shame you don't enjoy sours, because the Koelschip is maybe my favorite spot in Indy, and they make some good sours, along with a variety of other well made beers.

    Any good beers in town that I should consider picking up in cans or a bullet that is a track beer - one that I can drink a handful of and not be completely housed in front of my wife and MIL/FIL (been there more than once at the 500...would like to avoid that...)? In the past I've picked up some Natural Liberty or Central States Table Beer, which have served me well.

    Is Deviate the only place that fills bullets? Do they have anything even remotely resembling a session beer? I'm not looking to bring in a bullet of a Imperial Stout or DIPA...
  26. mayorQuimby

    mayorQuimby Devotee (455) Jun 5, 2009 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    Deviate's list currently looks pretty epic and includes a 5.7% chocolate orange porter as well as a 5.3% pilsner.
    MonkeyBread likes this.
  27. iRun2Beer

    iRun2Beer Savant (995) Jan 27, 2015 Minnesota

    There is nothing more vile in this world than the flavor combination of Chocolate and Orange...
    Any feedback on the Bohemian Pils? Might grab a bullet of that if folks have been enjoying it.

    Deviate's list always looks pretty epic - just not "I'm going to drink a sixer of these at the track" epic, according to my wife. Deviate is easily a top 3 spot for me to visit while I'm in Indy.
    MonkeyBread likes this.
  28. MonkeyBread

    MonkeyBread Zealot (596) Apr 26, 2014 Nevada

    I haven’t had the pils but in my online research the 3.32 rating on Untappd made me scared. Even for a Pilsner that’s pretty rough. Comparatively Daredevil’s Pilsner is 3.62.
  29. iRun2Beer

    iRun2Beer Savant (995) Jan 27, 2015 Minnesota

    Yea I was thinking of swinging by Daredevil and grabbing some Pils and/or Helles. I generally try to not read into Untappd ratings (some of the best Pils I've had have been sub 3.5 on Untappd), so was hoping for some local advice. Thanks!
  30. MonkeyBread

    MonkeyBread Zealot (596) Apr 26, 2014 Nevada

    Had a great time in Indy and taking in the 500. Thank goodness didn’t get rained out. My beer travels were as follows:

    Friday Afternoon:
    Taxman in fortville for lunch and sampled 7 beers. Their Evasion series is an incredible stout had the normal version and port raspberry. All their Belgians were strong examples of the styles and their hoppy offering was solid if a bit different with a maltier, spicier Belgian taste. Lot of to go options with many cans and bottles. Lunch was excellent too, super modern, clean establishment.

    Sun King Fishers - nice new facility, great set up inside. It’s in an inconspicuous strip mall. Unfortunately I tried a flight of their barrel aged offerings and wasn’t too impressed. Struggled to finish them and decided wasn’t much point going deeper into the line up.

    Saturday Afternoon:
    Deviate - thought it would be packed on a Saturday before the race. I was first person there at about 12:20. Best beer I had for the week. Excellent pastry stouts and two good IPAs. Their Pimp Nuts peanut butter stout was excellent as well as DDH Hop Supremacy. Entire menu you could get in a growler or bullet as well as a few 22oz bottles to go. They definitely have a unique vibe. Some of the strangest rock music was playing the whole time. Awesome spot.

    Daredevil Hall - really cool area it is in at bottom of a boutique hotel and other trendy, nice restaurants in the same spot. Looked extremely new and beautiful, large space. Had two flights of mostly lagers and two IPAs. All excellently done, their Helles Lager was a stand out. Many to go options. Grabbed a four pack of Pilsner for the race. Spoke to a lady who was drinking Parabola at the bar, real beer fan who had taken a long trip to Belgium recently. Great convo with her. Also had an excellent lunch here.

    Had a number of more core flagship offerings at bars and other spots around town. Definitely like their lagers here and more malty IPAs. Great experience, thanks for the recs BAs!