Indy Brewpubs

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by zeff80, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (9,934) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    I'm headed to Indianapolis in July and I am looking for what I call "true" brewpubs. Meaning ones that have a full restaurant menu that I can take my family to. I searched the forums and found a similar thread from 2014. Is there a list or blog post somewhere that clearly establishes which breweries have a full menu and which ones are simply taprooms with food trucks/limited menus.

    I know of Broad Ripple and Brugge, Chilly Water?, Grand Junction, and St. Joseph.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers!

    Seth
     
  2. dcall384

    dcall384 Aspirant (275) Aug 9, 2011 Indiana

    I think Chilly Water is still 21 only. Litre house is very family friendly and has great food and beer. Also, Big Lug is another great place for family and food. They have the same beer as Litre house but the food is different. Sunking downtown is now family friendly and have a restaurant inside now. Tomlinson taproom is really great for Indiana beer, but under 21 have to sit away from the bar. There are some food options in the city market where it is located. Greeks pizza is not far from Tomlinson Taproom and has great pizza and a secret beer room upstairs that is worth a look. I think the beer room is 21 only, but downstairs is under 21. I have heard great things about Black Circle, Center Point, and Indiana City, but not sure if they are 21 only. Hope this helps.
     
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  3. taalhiker

    taalhiker Initiate (81) Aug 26, 2008 Ohio
    Trader

    Upland (Carmel, IN & College Ave) would be an option similar to Tomlinson taproom - under 21 must be behind a 'separation barrier'.
     
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  4. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (324) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
    Society

    Recently moved back here and have been wondering the same thing. Seemed like in AZ most of the breweries had food, and good food at that. Subscribed.

    I liked Big Lug/Litre House (whichever has the BBQ). Sun King in Carmel (the distillery) has a good food court with several local options, but the beer selection is limited. Sun King downtown does have OCA inside, as mentioned, but it seems like more snack foods (charcuterie, pretzels, etc.) although they do have hot dogs/brats and sandwiches.
     
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  5. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (9,934) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    Thanks. Was I correct about Grand Junction and St.Joseph?
     
  6. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (324) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
    Society

    The place I was thinking of is called Half Liter. They’re all affiliated anyway, I think.
     
  7. mayorQuimby

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

    Don’t go to either, the beer at both is scat. Big Lug is good food and serviceable beer. Upland is mediocre to very good beer and good to great food.

    For what you want, I would recommend Taxman in Bargersville (original) or Fortville (nicer/newer). Either will be worth the drive for a high caliber beer/food combo. For Fortville could also do Foxgardin Kitchen; incredible food and walking distance from Taxman. May want to confirm under 21 is allowed there though...
     
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  8. dcall384

    dcall384 Aspirant (275) Aug 9, 2011 Indiana

    If I remember right, my coworkers told me Foxgardin is 21 only. I think they may have opened and under 21 are but I can't remember. A place I forgot is Ale Emporium in Fishers. They have some of the best wings and pizza. The rest of the menu is pretty good too. They usually have a bunch of different beers on tap too. The one in Fishers is under 21. The other location is not.
     
  9. TargaFlorio

    TargaFlorio Crusader (722) Jul 3, 2012 Indiana

    There may (or may not) be a couple new options for you by the time you get here in July. Ellison Brewing out of East Lansing Michigan is opening a location downtown (it was suppose to open in May but I don't think it has yet). I believe its suppose to have a full menu with a brick pizza oven. Never had any of there beers so I can't comment on the quality. Also, don't know if kids are allowed.

    18th Street brewing out of Gary is also opening an Indy location (it too was suppose to open in early May). I know they will have food and their beers are typically really nice (if a bit pricey). Same situation, won't know about the age thing until they open. I'll try to post an update once I hear. I pretty excited about this one.

    My humble downtown recommendation for a good brew pub would actually be Rock Bottom. The downtown Indy location is not at all like the typical national chain brew pub. The head brewer is phenomenal and makes some of the best hazy/NEIPAs in the city/state (if that's your thing). If you go there I'd ask the server which beers are local recipes brewed here and stick to those. Most all the bad ratings on here for that location are from before he took over. They obviously have a full food menu.
     
  10. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (324) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
    Society

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  11. mayorQuimby

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

    Like...can’t speak to the Fishers location but agreed the wings at Ale Emporium are my shit and almost always some great things on draft.
     
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  12. ShaneP

    ShaneP Initiate (115) Jan 26, 2013 Indiana
    Industry

    Agree with the suggestions above. If you are in the near NE side of Indy (86th & Keystone) our Daredevil Hall location has an all ages restaurant and patio. Our brewery in Speedway does an all ages night every Thursday during the summer and the second Friday of each month but otherwise is 21+.
     
  13. nw2571

    nw2571 Initiate (53) Feb 26, 2017 Indiana

    I'll add one more to the list, Redemption Aleworks. Beers are good (not necessarily great), and they have a good kid-friendly menu plus board games. Our family always has a good time there and I'm the only beer drinker.
     
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  14. archiebunkerjr

    archiebunkerjr Aspirant (202) Oct 25, 2010 Michigan

    I've been to Ellison in East Lansing many times. Their beers are fantastic! Dawn Street is their pale ale and I believe it is their best beer. Which is saying something because I think they make a lot of great beers.

    They do a great job with their IPAs and stouts. Even their amber, kolsch, pils - just everything. They have done a few barrel aged stouts and barleywines in the past and they have all been first rate.

    Ellison has only been in East Lansing approximately five years. Their current location in East Lansing is on the smaller side - indoor seating is around 75. They don't serve food there everyday but they do have food trucks or brick oven pizza outside on most weekends. They are also working on a place in REO Town in Lansing, MI. I'm not sure when the Lansing site or the Indianapolis site are due to be finalized but I highly recommend their beers!
     
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  15. shirtless_mike

    shirtless_mike Zealot (542) Aug 4, 2010 Indiana
    Trader

    As a religious Ale Emporium and hermanaki wings devotee since I moved here in '07, I can say that the new Ale on Olio Rd has a killer kitchen and there's no drop-off in quality. It's kid-friendly which has been a massive plus for my fam since I have 3 and they can finally see why dad has been obsessed for the last decade. However, the downfall is the beer menu is 1/3 the size of the Ale in Castleton. They have rotating FFF if that's of interest. Always seems to be Zombie Dust, Permanent Funeral or Lazer Snake whenever I'm there.

    Again, get the hermanki wings and a deep dish Porky Pig pizza. I can blame a good 60 lbs I'm carrying on that combo.

    I'm also a fan of Rockstone Pizza on Alisonville/116 St. Good pizzas, a good variety of beers on tap and good service. The kids always get excited when we go there.

    I'm also very partial to Broad Ripple Brew Pub which is a 5 minute walk from Brugge. Their ESB on cask is my favorite beer and a go-to any time I have an excuse to celebrate something. Kids love the fish and chips. I can dig on that or their scotch egg pizza. There's also a nice little ice cream shop on the Monon Trail between there and Brugge for dessert afterwards.

    I know Daredevil chimed in. I haven't been to the new Beer Hall location on Keystone but I've heard good things. I'm kind of snobby about German beers but really like the stuff they've been churning out. They're more known for their IPA game but don't sleep on their bocks. Their menu looks like a good reflection of their beer prowess.
     
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  16. TargaFlorio

    TargaFlorio Crusader (722) Jul 3, 2012 Indiana

    Thanks for the info on Ellison, I know their beers are rated pretty highly on here. Anxious to check them out.
     
  17. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (9,934) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    Turns out I'll be in the Fishers/Noblesville area. Any hints on best places to hit there?

    And how about bottle shops? I checked the Places tab here on BA, but most places don't have any reviews since 2015. A lot can change in 4 years.
     
  18. rdailey76

    rdailey76 Initiate (184) Nov 6, 2003 Indiana

    For bottle shops in Fishers/Noblesville, I suggest the Payless at 146th St. and River Rd. It's probably a Carmel address, but River Rd is the border to Noblesville. If you are further south, then the Parti-Pack at 96th St, just west of 69 was good. I haven't been there in some time, so I can't speak to how it is now. I like Mr G's in Noblesville, but you have to check the dates and a lot of their beer is stored warm.

    I like the Mashcraft off of Allisonville and 116th St for beer. It's probably a limited food menu though. Unfortunately, avoid Deer Creek Brewery/Barley Island, it is the same owner, just different locations. I used to frequent Barley Island a lot back 10-12 years ago, but the beer just hasn't kept up. The last time I was in Deer Creek the had 1 to go option in cans and less than 6-8 of their own beers on tap with the 2 breweries combined.
     
  19. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (9,934) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    Thoughts on Four Day and the Sun King location?
     
  20. mayorQuimby

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

    You'll have a ~15 minute drive to Deviate and the Daredevil location on the northside. Those are what you should prioritize imho.
     
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  21. rdailey76

    rdailey76 Initiate (184) Nov 6, 2003 Indiana

    I would agree, versus Sun King and Four Day Ray. If you have kids in tow, then those are decent options. I've only been there once, but Flix in Carmel does some good stuff.
     
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  22. shirtless_mike

    shirtless_mike Zealot (542) Aug 4, 2010 Indiana
    Trader

    Echoing what Quimby said. Deviate are the best in the game in Indy at IPA's, stouts, and whatever else it is they throw on tap. I finally got a chance to hit the new Daredevil spot on 86th St in the Keystone area this last weekend. Awesome venue, great beers on tap as expected and a good food menu. German beers are a go-to for me and they always scratch that itch when I want something local. Although I will say their English Dark Mild stole the show for me. Only problem is they aren't doing crowlers/growlers just yet. They do have carry-out 4 packs of 2/3 of their offerings.
     
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  23. Gunslinger711

    Gunslinger711 Initiate (177) Apr 16, 2010 Indiana

    I've tried Deviate a few times over the years, last time being 6-8 months ago and was not impressed compared to other brews I can get in Indy. What beers do folks really like from there?
     
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  24. dcall384

    dcall384 Aspirant (275) Aug 9, 2011 Indiana

    I know a new Books and Brew opened in Noblesville. I have not been there. Just throwing out some options.
     
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  25. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (324) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
    Society

    From looking online, it seems to me that 90% of what they make has some fruit or flavor added to it. I’d guess that people who like that kind of thing will like the brewery, and those who don’t (like myself, and possibly you) might not. I’ve never been there myself, but have thought about going in, as I drive by occasionally.
     
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  26. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Devotee (459) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    Deviate is good IMO, but I have not tried everything. Here is my limited take, and know that I am a member.

    Their IPAs are top notch for anything in Indy. Specifically those that lean to the NE style. The NE style ones that I have had have been every bit as good as M-43, which I think most regionally consider one of the better widely available options. Are they as great as the best in the nation? Nope, but the freshness make them a great option that even me, a non-IPA lover will partake in.

    Their stouts are always very good.

    I don’t try fruit IPAs, so not comments there, and I am limited to stouts without nuts.
     
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  27. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (9,934) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    Thanks for all the help. Looking forward to visiting a city that I haven't spent significant time in since I was 11.
     
  28. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Devotee (459) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    No problem. (I know this was not just directed at me.)

    For store options, Vine and Table is on the north and a good option. Further south-central (on more of the east side) is Kahn’s fine wine and spirits.

    Also, for food in Indy there are two places I recommend:

    Goose the Market is great for sandwich and stuff - all more classy items - but you pay a premium. They also do lots of stuff to go, cryosealed.

    The other is a Korean, but I’ll have to look up the name later as I cannot find it easily right now (if you are interested). By far some of the best Asian food I have ever had (although this is specifically Korean), with great prices. They have received some local awards, and if memory serves it is on the northeast side of the loop.
     
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  29. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (324) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
    Society

    I just moved back here after being away for about 5 years, and I feel like it’s changed a lot even in that time! Definitely for the better!
     
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  30. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (9,934) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    My brother-in-law, who went to Purdue about 16 years ago, has been trying to give me advice. I keep politely accepting it, even though I know every large city's beer culture has changed about 1000% since 2003.