Big Woods Brewing to Open One-of-a-Kind Restaurant in Downtown Speedway

Big Woods Brewing to Open One-of-a-Kind Restaurant in Downtown Speedway

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By Indiana on Tap Senior Editor Donovan Wheeler

From it’s humble origins in the rustic setting of Brown County to its state-wide explosion after the opening of their Bloomington location, Nashville Indiana’s Big Woods Brewing (parent company for the popular Quaff On! brand) is announcing a major expansion with the opening of a new location in Speedway.  For Big Woods’ owner Jeff McCabe, the journey seems almost overwhelming when he puts it into perspective.

“We started six years ago with just the brew pub,” McCabe explains. “We actually brewed one keg at a time for the first few months, and now we have essentially three restaurants: Big Woods Pizza, the brewing company, and Quaff On! in Bloomington…which is going gangbusters, by the way. And on the distribution side, it was a couple years ago we got the brewing system running at the bowling alley, and now we’re distributing through most of the state.”  And while the brand will see even more growth with the addition of the Indy location, McCabe fully intends to keep the Nashville operation center to the company’s identity.

“The thing that Nashville does for us, since it’s the number two in-state tourist destination for Indiana residents, is it’s allowed us to build a great ‘fan base,’ something that’s kind of neat and is also something which has helped us with the distribution.”  As McCabe explains, the final decision to settle in arguably the most famous part of the Indy area was not one made on a whim.

“We’ve been looking for other locations, and we’ve talked to other municipalities and economic development teams around the state. We landed in Speedway for a couple of reasons. One, as we learn what Speedway has done in terms of bringing new life to the Main Street area…that’s very exciting to us. And number two is the history of the town as the home of the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Motor Racing.’ People from all over the country and the world know about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500. It’s an iconic place, it’s got a great history, it’s very special, and it’s right in the middle of our distribution market.”


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Architect’s rendering of the new Big Woods restaurant set to open in Speedway.
And while Speedway is also the new home to another successful craft brew operation, Daredevil Brewing, McCabe views that as an asset and an opportunity rather than a competitive threat.

“I think it’s a great thing because they make great beer for starters. Also, our experience will focus on the Big Woods theme, so I think we will actually complement each other. We will be creative with our beer list, and I imagine that Daredevil will be on tap at our place.” Once the new location on 10th and Main is completed, McCabe expects it to blend into the Speedway scene while easily reminding all patrons of the company’s more rural origins, primarily with their plans to create a timber-frame entrance similar to their home in Nashville. 

“It’s a departure from the other buildings in Speedway,” McCabe said, “but it will complement the city because of their efforts to create a more diverse area around Main Street. We will try to be artful about our efforts to retain our brand and our personality, yet become a part of the Speedway experience as well. 

“Our three restaurants are very different from each other in terms of menu because we cater to different populations between Nashville and Bloomington,” McCabe added. “Our plan for Speedway is to bring the best of each of those and converge them there. We believe that the Speedway location will be ideal for meshing all of those different elements. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it’s going to be really exciting.”

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No Comments
  • Eric Powell
    Posted at 05:13h, 23 April Reply

    I continue to be amazed, impressed and happy with the work of the Speedway Redevelopment Commission, and my hats off to Big Woods for becoming part of the community! Speedway’s my home town, and when I was growing up, Main Street was doing OK but had seen better days. I now think it’s best days are yet to come; thank you for being part of the growth!!

  • Robin Carrothers
    Posted at 12:19h, 23 April Reply

    We are from Bloomington and just bought a house in Old City Speedway just a block off of main street. We are super excited to hear this news!

  • Jan hosp
    Posted at 12:59h, 23 April Reply

    Were on main street…an approximately when does it open?

    • Indiana On Tap Staff
      Posted at 13:11h, 23 April Reply

      Hi Jan, they plan to open sometime in Spring 2016. Cheers!

    • Greg
      Posted at 17:19h, 01 February Reply

      10th and Main Street

  • Kim Luppino
    Posted at 15:00h, 27 April Reply

    Our family is so happy that Big Woods is coming to Speedway! We love visiting when we are in Nashville and cannot wait to hav you in our own backyard!

  • Brenda Butz
    Posted at 09:01h, 29 April Reply

    I am a Speedway resident that has been known to go to Nashville, IN just for your pizza and beer. We will still ride our motorcycle down and do this but so very excited to have this addition to our Main St. I agree with others…the new Main Street is so exciting and the redevelopment commission is the reason! Yay!

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