02 Jan Goshen: Indiana’s Future Biking & Beer Destination
Anyone who has even the slightest appreciation for craft beer should know that it is a rapidly growing industry. Breweries of all shapes and sizes are sprouting up all over the country–not to mention over 50 due to open in the next year in Indiana alone.
And as a resident of Goshen, I’ve witnessed firsthand how a city so ripe for a brewery might be getting more than it bargained for.
Goshen is seemingly becoming, for lack of a better term, a brewery boom town: a town with multiple breweries planning to open almost simultaneously. And for anyone planning a biking excursion for 2015, Goshen will be the place to be when the snow melts.
While the city of Goshen will become home to two new breweries within the next few months, it is also right in the middle of a 25-mile-long bike path. The Pumpkinvine Nature trail spans from Shipshewana through Middlebury before passing through Goshen and ending in Elkhart.
The result? A fun-filled day of biking and breweries.
Goshen Brewing Company, located at 315 W Washington St, expects to open its doors next spring, and has generated a lot of hype among beer lovers in Michiana area. Owner and brewer Jesse Sensenig plans for the space to be a family-friendly brew pub, and to serve farm-to-table meals alongside his handcrafted brews.
But unlike most startup breweries that I’ve seen in the area, Goshen Brewing Company is excited to dabble in barrel-aged beers. Sensenig is planning to fit as many barrels into the space as possible. “If we can have a new barrel-aged beer coming out every 2-3 weeks, that would be great,” he said.
Meanwhile, only two blocks East, Thomas Stieglitz Brewing is awaiting approval from the state to begin developing their space within The Local, an art gallery and artist cooperative located at 211 S 5th St. Brewers Gary Stieglitz and Jeff Thomas intend to run a growler fill station out of the space, which they hope will grow quickly into a small distribution brewery.
While the brewery hopes to open this spring, the gallery is open most weekends.
“It’s always going to be changing (in the gallery),” said co-owner Gary Stieglitz. “We’re hoping some art enthusiasts become beer enthusiasts and some beer enthusiasts become art enthusiasts.” Jeff Thomas, another co-owner, hopes it will be a draw both ways.
And while it plans to brew under a dozen recipes on a regular basis, visitors can plan on seeing a few unusual brews from Thomas Stieglitz, including a Chipotle Bacon Porter and a Cranberry Sage Ale.
And finally, for the long-distance bikers, a bike-n-beer day can end at Elkhart’s Iechyd Da brewery at 317 N Main St in Elkhart. Brewer Chip Lewis has developed some truly memorable beers, and has generated a lot of buzz around his Breakfast Cookies Milk Stout, which rarely lasts on their taps for very long.
So if you’re wondering where to plan your next biking excursion for next year, you might just find the perfect outing in Northern Indiana! A 25-mile bike ride with beer stops might just be the best way to stretch the legs after a long winter.