So Much Indiana Beer, So Little Time
So after attending a good amount of beer fests this last summer, I can’t help but feel like a kid in a candy store. 150(ish) breweries in Indiana, and that number continues to grow. They make a lot of beer, and there’s some top-notch quality in those products. And seeing the awesome beer brought by the homebrewers to the competition at the Whitestown Brew Fest back in September, there is great potential for even more beer to hit our market (shout out to The Brothers Grissom Brewing). This is currently a great time for Indiana beer, and it’s a beer drinkers paradise. We brew hundreds of styles of beer in the state, some of which I never would’ve imagined would be made here a mere 10 years ago!
I have been into craft beer since the late 90s, and I’ve already written in great detail about how things have changed here in Indiana. It wasn’t all that long ago when Indiana was home to only a handful of breweries, many of them far flung across the state, with people like me who could only enjoy them at beer festivals (and the occasional trek to their tap rooms). We drank craft beer imported from other states, and Indianapolis was hardly a hotbed of brewing activity.
That all soon changed, and the last eight years have witnessed an explosion as brewing in Indiana has expanded exponentially, and as of this writing, is still happening. More breweries are slated to open, and optimistically, this energy could keep going for a long time. We have brewfests, and events nearly every week, and given the circles I run in, it seems like a lot of people enjoy craft beer. Someone in the brewing industry recently told me that a large percentage of millennials have never tasted a Budweiser product. People of all ages enjoy craft beer, but it’s hard not to notice how whole-heartedly the younger generation of drinkers are embracing good beer.
So right now might be the most exciting moment in Indiana beer history. Breweries are operating in nearly every corner of the state. If you are into beer, places like Muncie, Evansville, and Bloomington have breweries and great beer bars that can enhance any trip. I can mention nearly every other large community in this state in the same breath. And Indianapolis has more breweries in the downtown area than I ever thought possible. And since many of these breweries can and bottle their product, you can enjoy them at home as well!
So if you are interested in the Indiana craft beer scene, there are a lot of things you can do. Plan a trip to a brewery. Visit Indiana On Tap more regularly (the website does a good job of keeping you informed, after all). Most of these breweries are nearby to something else, so I have often planned a day of activities around a brewery visit. A lot of diverse beers are brewed here, so explore them. A lot of breweries offer a sampler flight, and that is a great way to learn about their beer and different beer styles. Many breweries are also affiliated with a good restaurant, so take advantage of that as well.
I feel good about the overall product and the people making it. Indiana has a rich tradition in brewing, and once again, it is alive and well. It is easier than ever to drink local, and you the beer drinker are an important part of the picture. The Brewers cannot exist without you, and what we choose to drink affects the industry greatly. As much as craft beer has grown, it’s still small enough that a few drinkers can make a big difference. If you like having variety, and more beer to choose from then what was once being made, then do your part and drink Hoosier-made beer whenever you get a chance.
Indiana is my home, and its beer is my beverage of choice!
“Better people, better food, and better beer. Why move around the world when Eden was so near!” -RUSH