A Q&A with Deviate Brewing on the verge of their six-month anniversary

A Q&A with Deviate Brewing on the verge of their six-month anniversary

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By Charlie Sasse for Indiana On Tap

Deviate Brewing’s Mike Orkey and Greg Ortwein have found themselves receiving quite a bit of attention since they opened the doors in August.  From the Indy Star’s Amy Haneline to FOX 59 morning news to the amazing Rita Kohn with NUVO, Deviate has garnered some amazing praise.  Most impressive may be the national attention the Indianapolis brewery received when Deviate was listed as one of the Best New Breweries in 2015 by Beeradvocate Magazine.  This is high praise considering the number of craft breweries that opened last year!

Since the first wall was knocked down I have been following Deviate with a series of 20 question articles.  The articles ask a very similar list of questions at strategic points over the course of their first year in business.  The questions are meant to show how things change throughout the first year for a new brewery.  The first article was posted a few months before they opened the doors.  Everything was either being destroyed or built and no license had been granted.  I followed up with the guys a couple of months after the grand opening and their initial success.  They could not produce enough beer to both sell growlers and keep the doors open.  They chose to keep the doors open.  Now Deviate is nearing their 6 month anniversary and I wanted to see where they stand and what surprises have jumped out at them.  Greg took time out of his busy day to answer some questions for us.

  • Since we last spoke 4 months ago, what new surprises have you had?  

    • Local support continues to be outstanding allowing us to expand our brew equipment and purchase two more fermenters.  Kudos to Mike Orkey for making the installs go off without a hitch.  They are already producing more beer!
  • Any immediate plans for further expansion?  

    • We will ride these two new adds for a little… but we have room for more tanks!
  • What has given you the greatest satisfaction to this point out of the brewery?  

    • The appreciation being shown for the beers we have made.  We love seeing the local market have the willingness to get adventuresome and try new things!
  • What has given you the greatest satisfaction to this point in the Tap Room?  

    • Seeing the fun everyone has sitting at the community tables.  They may start off as strangers, but after a few sips everyone quickly becomes friends.  
  • Have you learned anything new about the market in Indiana concerning beer styles?  

    • Just a continued affirmation that there is a growing group of craft beer lovers that is willing to be adventuresome in their drinking habits.
  • Have you seen any shifts in the market concerning customer taste or trends?  

    • See #5
  • In the past 4 months, what has been the biggest issue for Deviate Brewing?  

    • Keeping up with demand.
  • How did/will you solve this issue?  

    • Added two new fermenters and started our Deviate Drinking Club.

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  • If you could do one thing, and only one thing, differently what would it be?  
    • Discover craft beer sooner in our lives!
  • What advice would you give to a potential new brewery after 6 months?  
    • Relax and enjoy the ride.
  • Explain the .1% Club:  
    • We are only taking 100 members and only a few openings remain.
  • As home brewers your sours were amazing, any plans to have a consistent sour program?  
    • We have some ideas in mind and we have some bugs working.
  • What delicious surprises do you have coming up and when do you expect them to be released?  
    • Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram to stay tuned with what we are working on and when they are available.
  • We know you were at Winterfest, what will be your next event/festival?
    • TBD
  • Any second thoughts on the “Bring Your Own Food” decision?  
    • Absolutely not.
  • Are you open to hosting private events at the brewery?  If so, are there any days/nights/times that would be off limits (weekends, brewing days, etc)?  
  • Are there any plans for cans or bottles in the future?
    • Limited bottle or can releases are being discussed.
  • If so, will it be special releases or will you quietly bottle/can and just have them available in the tap room for those in the know to purchase?  
    • TBD
  • If not, why not?
    • See #18
  • What other comments and/or ramblings would Deviate like to share with the public?
    • GFY!
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​Good For You too Greg…  Yes, I know the true meaning of this acronym.  I recommend stopping in to the brewery and trying one of the amazing beers on their ever rotating tap list.  What is here today may be gone tomorrow!  If you are undecided then spin the wheel of beer.  With 10 spots on the wheel there is always a surprise, and a GYF.  Keep drinking great beer and talking about it, I know I will!


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