Beer And Ballet Come Together For An Excellent Pairing

Beer And Ballet Come Together For An Excellent Pairing


By Nate Lowe for Indiana On Tap

Most beer drinkers would never think to strike up a connection between beer and ballet. I certainly wasn’t expecting the email from my girlfriend to contain an invite to such an event. I even had to reread it to make sure I was seeing it correctly. The marriage between the two may not make much sense, but I’ll tell you this: it works.

I have never attended the ballet, but I am open to the cultural arts, especially when they are products of Indiana creativity. One thing I certainly have done though is enjoy craft beer from Sun King. I’ve enjoyed so much of their Wee Mac and Osiris that I truly believe they could end up being the names of my first two sons. Tasty stuff.

Now, the Ballet Theatre of Indiana is only in its infancy, but its direction seems to be in the capable hands of Stirling Matheson. Matheson, a former beer blogger turned ballet director, has taken his interest in dance to the next level and is looking to bring ballet back to the circle city, with a little help from Sun King, a brewery that a handful of our readers may be familiar with. 

On Friday night, March 27th, these two Indiana establishments, one new and one old (in beer years), put together “Beer and Ballet” at the Athenaeum Theater in downtown Indy to which my girlfriend, Janae, and I were in attendance. Janae, who you will hear from shortly, has a greater interest and a more clinical understanding of ballet, which is why this reporter was expecting to be asking a lot of questions as to what my eyes were witnessing, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. I was pleasantly surprised by how accessible the production was. Matheson and his wife welcomed the audience to their creation, and after wishing us a pleasant evening, they moved backstage. As the curtain opened, there sat Mr. and Mrs. Matheson in the center of the stage on a loveseat surrounded by several ballerinas.


During this first “contemporary” performance, you could see the beautiful couple celebrating their upcoming venture into parenthood. It was amazing to see two people, surrounded by ballerinas and an audience, look so comfortable in their love. I found myself staring more at them than the dancers during that first song. It was the highlight of my evening. 

I’m a sucker for happy people. 

Next, let me compliment the group of women that were performing. Bravo ladies. You made this crusty old reporter understand your art, even if it was on a skin deep level. I could truly see the dialogue that is capable between performer and patron that comes from a well planned and well performed ballet. I actually understood what Stirling was saying through his dancers, and that was a pleasant surprise. I would also like to congratulate Sun King on their participation in this event. Many companies and consumers judge success on a scale of dollar signs, but this reporter believes that when a company uses their success to help their community, they stand taller than those who stick to status quo. 

Beer and Ballet is not status quo – it’s a leap for awareness by two like minded groups, and it’s an awesome example of what community-minded businesses can do for creative people looking for a louder microphone. Here’s hoping we see more companies reinvest back into their communities…as long as they keep making fantastic beer. 

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