01 Jun A New Fishers Brewpub Looks to Become an Indiana Brewing Juggernaut
A new brewery opens in Fishers on June 1, and they’re celebrating with a great outdoor concert lineup on Sunday, June 4 from 4pm to 9:30pm. King Jugg Brewing is located at 11100 Lantern Road, just northwest of I-69 & 106th Street. King Jugg sports a huge taproom for their brewpub, and an equally impressive patio and outdoor stage with a separate full outdoor bar. On Sunday the 4th, you can enjoy Corey Cox, The Why Store, and Scotty Bratcher for five hours for a measly $5 cover charge and try out their beer, their food, and the King Jugg atmosphere.
I talked to Mike Finnegan of King Jugg about their coming brewpub and more. I was impressed by his enthusiasm and optimistically realistic view of opening a brewery these days. He took time during these hectic last few days before the opening to answer a few questions and let us all know what we have to look for:
Indiana On Tap (IOT): What’s the story behind the King Jugg name?
King Jugg Brewing (KJB): “King Jugg” is a play on the word “juggernaut’ which means an overwhelming force. We love the idea of trying to create an “extremely drinkable” variety of beers that will provide the perfect all-day flavor for all of our customers. Although we are ramping up production at this moment (late May) and won’t have all our beers available on day one, we are confident that by mid-summer our patrons will find a beer or beers of ours that will “overwhelm,” ie. be a juggernaut, their taste buds. This concept was so important to us that we created a mascot in charge of this ethos – King Jugg. Once he ascended to the throne, King Jugg decreed “Good beer for all!”
IOT: Name the main people involved, their tasks, and their backgrounds?
Randy De John is our managing partner. Randy brings over 30 years in bars and restaurants experience in the Indianapolis area as well as nationwide. Randy is in charge of our fantastic food, is the founder of Room Service on Wheels and knows how to give our patrons a fantastic music and sports experience.
John Jakob is the head brewer. John has been perfecting his craft over the past few years serving his colleagues at Medasource and Eight Eleven Group with rave reviews. He leads our production and is responsible for our beer quality.
Aaron Pearlman is an owner. Aaron is an executive in the tech industry who assists us in our partnerships and is personally responsible for all the woodwork you will find at our brewery. He is quite the craftsman!
Leslie Halkovich is an owner and the CFO. Leslie has twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry and has managed the budgets for global projects. She keeps our finances in order and frequently can be seen working at our restaurants.
Mike Finnegan is an owner. Mike has been to over 500 breweries in forty states. He helps set up partnerships and organize the business.
Steve Ruby. Steve was the head brewery at Black Acre Brewing and has been assisting us in setting up our production brewery in Broad Ripple and brew pub in Fishers until his own venture finishes construction.
John Causa. John has been brewing for over twenty years and is responsible for several of the recipes we will have on tap. John’s brewing creativity is second to none.
IOT: What is your philosophy of brewing? How will you find your niche? Tell me about your brewhouse – did you buy the Black Acre system?
KJB: Our philosophy is quality first and to not overdo it in any one direction. You won’t find a bunch of overly hoppy or bitter beers produced by us. We have twenty taps at our Fishers brewpub so you will find other breweries with a similar philosophy that will be on tap there with us. Our focus is a unique flavor to meet the majority of patrons’ palates without souring their stomachs or creating something so sweet or bitter you can only have a few. We have a beer garden at our Fishers location and will have bands. We want you to find something you can enjoy all afternoon while listen to some great bands or watching a game.
We did buy the Black Acre Brewing system. It’s currently being set up off Broad Ripple Avenue and we will be opening a brewery there in the next nine months where you can do tours. We’re hoping to have it up and running by July 1 so our production will greatly increase by August.
IOT: Tell me about your brewpub and the amenities there.
KJB: We will have twenty taps at our Fishers location. It will be a brewpub, but will open as mostly a taproom, as we will initially have only a few of our beers on tap. Eventually we will have 8-10 of our beers on tap, complimented by a variety of local and national favorites are patrons enjoy. The brewpub will be family friendly and our beer garden and combined indoor/outdoor spaces will have room for 200-300 people.
We also love sports and will have over thirteen 65+ inch TVs. We’ll have all the sports packages including the Sunday Ticket. I am a sports nut, and find it frustrating that many breweries don’t have sports packages and aren’t somewhere I can take my young family, to enjoy unique beers and watch an out-of-market game. We are happy to fill that gap.
IOT: Will you package any beer to sell in-house or at stores, and/or will you send any beer out in kegs to other bars/restaurants?
KJB: Once production is humming along, we plan on being at a few select bars and restaurants, but our focus will be on our locations. Our partnership with Room Service on Wheels means you will likely be able to find us at all their locations including the Yacht Club in Fishers by this fall.
IOT: What’s your goal for the first year, first five years?
KJB: Our goal is to get our Fishers brewpub and our brewery in Broad Ripple up and running this year. After that, our goal is to move to other cities or locations combining the great beer of King Jugg with our incredible delivery service Room Service on Wheels at all locations. We are hoping to have another location in East Fishers and/or Broad Ripple next. Further into the future, the sky is the limit, but our new facility will have enough production to support several brewpubs.
IOT: What haven’t I asked you about that you’d like people to know?
KJB: If you like craft beer, music and sports come join us in Fishers at 11110 Lantern Rd. and find out what we’re about. We hope and believe you won’t be disappointed.