The perfect way to warm up on a cold and wintery day in the Midwest, is to drink some good beer. The beer culture in Indianapolis is growing quickly and is really making their mark in the world of tasty beer. Indianapolis is proud of their beers and is always promoting the support of local breweries. What better way to spend a day, whether it be in celebration of a holiday or a date night than to explore Indy’s breweries?
Here is a list to prove that it is quite possible to embark on a beer tour of Indianapolis in one day. The following breweries are all within a 10-minute radius within downtown Indy.
This brewery is fairly new, having only opened in 2010. The ambiance was very chill and it seems like a great place to hang out during the summer, especially because dogs are allowed. The staff is friendly, and they offer free samples and great conversation. Some favorites from Flat 12 are: Lacto-Matic Milk Stout, which is Chocolate-y goodness with a hint of coffee. ABV: 5%, IBU: 28.6; Winter Cycle Double IPA, a super hoppy double IPA featuring 6 different hops, from 3 continents. ABV: 9.3%, IBU: 107; and Hinchtown Hammer Down, that is crispy and bright, offering a warm and summery feeling (especially helpful this winter) ABV 5%, IBU: 27.
A local favorite, this brewery offers free tours and has a rad tasting room which offers beer flights for only $4. Currently, Sun King’s beer flights are offering the following: Sunlight Cream Ale, which honestly just tastes like water, but this beer has its credentials, having earned the silver medal at the 2010 World Beer Cup in the Golden or Blonde Ale category. ABV: 5.3%, IBU: 20; Wee Mac Scottish-Style Ale; an easy go-to beer because of its hops balanced out with sweetness. ABV: 5.3%, IBU: 23; Osiris Pale Ale, Hops hops, and more hops. ABV: 5.6%, IBU: 50; Ring of Dingle, a February special and a classic Irish stout with a hint of pumpkin ABV: 4.8%, IBU: 34; Winterfest, a winter special (obviously), a German-style lager, with hints of hops and a crisp, dry finish. ABV: 5.6%, IBU: 23; and Malus Pi, supposedly a fruit beer that tastes like apple pie, but pretty much tasted like any other beer. ABV: 5.3%, IBU: 14.5.
Chilly Water Brewing Company
This brewery is located in a vibrant part of Indy, with lots of fun bars and yummy restaurants. Walking in, visitors will experience the modern and cool vibe that this place has to offer. However, don’t expect good service – even the simultaneous service of three different waitresses will disappoint. The beer that makes visiting this brewery worth it is the White Room Cream Stout, which has an odd texture of a milk stout but tastes differently compared to other milk stouts.
By now, even the best of the best beer tasters will be hungry. Recommended by many, if not all, at The Chef’s Academy (TCA), is Rook Indianapolis, an Asian fusion-type restaurant, which offers a mixture of flavors from all over Asia and Pacific Islands. The executive chef, Carlos Salazar is also a graduate from TCA. The menu changes often but here are some dishes that you must devour:
- Pork belly steamed buns: Similar to manapua – a local favorite in Hawaii – but also quite different. The pork belly is similarly laid across the same kind of steamed bun but was flavored with pickled cucumber, peanuts, scallions, and hoisin. The added peanuts are sometimes overwhelming, but the pork belly is salted and seasoned perfectly.
- Fried lumpia: Filled with pork and dressed with kimchi and date gochujang, this yummy appetizer has a savory beefy flavor and an opposing spice, which compliments each other very well.
- Karaage: Chicken thighs, flavored with a sweet chili sauce, onions, frenos, cilantro, basil, and mint, over rice. The mint really stands out like no other, and is a little overpowering at times, but overall, a delicious meal.
- Pig face hash: Pig face, weird huh? But this dish is delicious to say the least. Probably a little too salty for those who don’t like salt as much, but otherwise, yum! Served over white rice, with a fried egg on top of the pork, which is flavored with pork crackling, frenos, and lime.
New Day Craft
Although New Day Craft doesn’t serve traditional beer, it is known for its mead and cider. This is a swanky little place that lures hipsters like no other, with its weekly fun events such as massages, yoga classes, and the like. Lots of New Day’s mead tastes like fruit juice trying really hard to be an alcoholic beverage, but it is worth the try. The Shelby Blue Ribbon is the absolute best. It is strawberry flavored, tinted with rhubarb. It also tastes similar to guava juice mixed with champagne, so it is basically delicious and refreshing at any time of day, ABV: 8%, Sugar: 5%.