Have dollar? Will Travel! How to drink Indiana craft beer on a budget

Have dollar? Will Travel! How to drink Indiana craft beer on a budget


By Writing Community Member Steve Williams

Now that we are through the holiday season, many people have committed to New Year’s resolutions of saving money and/or sticking to a budget. New budgets likely mean cutbacks on discretionary spending, so you may be thinking you’ll have to sacrifice your delicious micro brew and replace it with that macro brew which shall not be named. Rest assured, good beer can be had on a budget, but it will require some planning ahead of time. You can’t make last minute beer decisions. For example, you don’t want to find yourself in front of the beer display, looking at the 6 pack of Gumballhead ($13.99) and the 6 pack of macro beer ($6). So instead of putting yourself in a tricky situation, take some of the advice below and enjoy good beer without breaking your budget.

The best bang for your buck is always to visit a brewery and fill a growler. You get the freshest beer possible, more choices than you’ll find in the cans/bottles at a liquor store, and you can get the price of a single 12oz beer under a dollar if you plan properly. Yes, under $1. All you have to do is know when and where to go.

The easiest way to check the current specials is to visit the Today On Tap section of the IndianaOnTap website by clicking the icon below at www.indianaontap.com:

Checking the specials daily is a good way to review your options for that day, but if you are looking to plan ahead, below is a list of the best deals currently being offered, in my opinion.

Fountain Square Brewery
$5 64oz Growlers of House Beer
“Preacher’s Daughter Amber Ale” is easy to drink all day, making it perfect for a Sunday of tailgating or sitting at home

Indiana City
Half Price Core and Seasonal Growlers
The deal isn’t limited to house beers

Big Lug
$5 Howlers (32oz growlers)
Sometimes I only want a little bit of a certain beer

Tow Yard
$5 64oz Growlers
If you need beer on Monday, it’s the cheapest option

450 North
$5 64oz Growlers
The beer is good (Scarecrow IPA is always a good choice) plus they make Cider (Gnarly Grove) and Wine (Simmons) so you can make it a one-stop-shop for all of your adult household needs

Chilly Water
$7 64oz Growlers
Winner of Best in show at the Indiana State Fair Brewers Cup and named Brewery of the Year. Drink it any chance you get

$6 64oz Growlers of House Beer
Hinchtown Hammerdown, especially in the summer. Plus, dogs are allowed in the brewery which is awesome. I can get a growler and have a pint with my 4 legged friend

Noble Order
$5 64oz Growlers
With a winery one site (J&J) and dogs allowed on the patio, it’s a great stop in the warmer months

Oaken Barrel
$6 64oz Growlers
A long time Indy staple, if you like fruit beers you will enjoy the Razz-Wheat

Sun King
$6 64oz Growlers of House Beer
Its Sun King,  their house beers are the definition of Indy microbrew, nuff said

$6 64oz Growlers of House Beer
See above, same reason, but now its Friday

Black Swan
$6.50 64oz Growlers
They have small batches of unique brews

Big Lug
$8 64oz Growlers
ANY beer is $8, including all the rotating and seasonal selections. If you find one you really like you can get another 32oz growler in a couple days (Sunday) for another $5.


Danny Boy (@ Brockway Public House)
$6 64oz Growlers
Danny Boy beer is wicked awesome, especially the “Take me to ‘Church'”

Ok, I know what you’re thinking: growlers are great but I have to drink it all within a day or two or the beer goes flat. WRONG. Although it will require a small upfront investment of $45, you can keep a growler fresh from start to finish using the GrowlTap device shown below. It uses a food grade CO2 cartridge to pressurize the growler after you pour each beer.  

If growlers aren’t your preference, you can buy cans and bottles of good beer on a budget.  Sign up for email and text specials from your local liquor stores (Big Red, Payless, and 21st Amendment all have them) and start following them on social media. They frequently offer amazing limited time deals. For example, I recently received a text offer for a one day sale on Sun King Cowbell Milk Porter for $8.99 (normally $11.99). 

So there really isn’t an excuse for sacrificing good beer in the name of your budget. Instead, maybe you can stick to your budget AND pickup some New Year’s Beer Resolutions.

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