28 Mar Here are the Breweries Getting Ready to Open in Indiana, But Don’t Hold Them to a Date
by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap
Never bet money on a brewery opening that’s more than three days away. OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement. If a craft brewery or taproom is willing to commit to an opening event on Facebook or their website, then chances are better than not it’s going to happen. It’s just that there are so many things that can go wrong or create delays, I personally never hold anyone to their first, or even their fifth projected opening.
That being said, here’s a list of Indiana craft brewery openings that are rumored to be happening in the first half of 2019. In general, this list is a way to introduce you to these new breweries, tell you a bit of their story and the things they have overcome, and urge you to follow them on social media so you can become even more familiar with them. Start building the relationship now, and you’ll be ready to support them when they open. Any help in helping me find breweries that aren’t on this list will be appreciated (as long as they’re looking to open in the next three months – I have an entire separate list for breweries opening in the second half of this year).
So far this year we’ve already had four openings:
Myriad Brewing – Max King has started brewing at Myriad. The taproom in Evansville opened in very late 2018, but Myriad beers hit the taps in February of 2019. Owners Jason and Jamie Elliott have created a fantastic feel in their taproom, and now the beers truly make the place their own. In planning for more than three years, Jason and Jamie did extensive work on the 103 yr. old McCurdy Building, right downtown and close to many downtown businesses. The current taproom is the previous “Coral Room” bar of the McCurdy Hotel, which was an upscale place sporting bartenders in tuxedos. Myriad is much more laid back, a black tie is more likely to be nailed to the wall than be part of a dress code.
Head brewer Max had brewed for Tin Man and Carson’s before taking the position at Myriad, but has been a friend of Jamie’s since Jamie was 13 years old. It was always the plan to bring Max on board, even if the plan was more than two years in the making. The testing process was lengthy to get the beers prepped for the public, but they have pumped out more than ten different offerings since starting to pour their own beers a month ago.
Max is brewing on a 3.5 bbl electric system with four fermenters – meaning Myriad can have several of their beers on at one time. Co-owner Jamie said, “We chose to brew on a small system so we can really have fun with several different styles of beer. It’s fun to watch regulars come into the taproom, look at the menu and get excited because nothing is the same as it was the last time they came in. It keeps things interesting.” They’ve already had eleven Myriad beers on tap.
Pretty Nice Guys Brewing – Aaron, Nick, and Ryan are indeed pretty nice guys. They have opened a brewery that is distribution only for the time being, sort of the Daredevil model with a twist. They are doing an alternative proprietorship brewing model at another brewery so that they can keep their costs down.
They keg their beer off and send it to accounts around Indianapolis as a way of building capital, with an eye to a brew house of their own and then a taproom further down the road. They started off brewing at Powerhouse in Columbus, but then they closed up for good, the first closing in Indiana for the year.
Look for Pretty Nice Guys to be your crushable brewery. They look to make easy drinking beers that rely on four ingredients and a tip of the hat to classic, easy drinking styles. The Low Boy that is currently on tap around central Indiana is a good example, sort of an English mild with a bit more hop. Look for their beer and support this start-up Indiana brewery.
Civilian Brewing Corps – Spencer is the home for Civilian Brewing Corps. Ben Williams is the co-owner/brewer, along with partners Kylene Willams and Matt Kilbride. Matt and Ben are from Owen County, and the recent work to revitalize the downtown sparked their interest in opening a brewery near their ancestral homes.
They opened just a couple weeks ago in the Tivoli Theatre building in downtown Spencer after a more than two year search for the right spot. They serve house beers and some guest taps, along with with a pub grub menu with a twist – Cubans and pimento burgers with unique sides.
In contrast to many breweries, most of CBCs path was relatively smooth. They applied for their permitting only one month after the original planned date, and they were able to get the permitting done before the government shutdown put its icy hands around the throats of coming breweries. The locals and the city have been very helpful in getting things started, Ben says they have certainly benefitted from small town Hoosier hospitality.
Look for a much more in depth profile of the brewery and the owners coming in short order from Indiana On Tap.
Fireside Craft Burgers & Brews – All the way up near the Michigan border in LaGrange, Fireside opened in 2018, but they only starting serving their own beer in February of this year. Owners Corey and Marsha Dunker moved the restaurant from Shipshewana for several reasons, one of which being that it’s a dry town and they wanted to make and serve craft beer.
The restaurant has a smaller footprint and a reduced menu, which leaves more time and money to put in a 1 bbl brew house and the time to make beer. Corey is the brewer and he tends to be a big IPA fan, but Marsha is a fan of many styles of beer, so she keeps him honest in his recipe development.
They are starting with a single beer of their own on tap at a time, but they have a nice list of local craft offerings on their taps. Chris and Cody from Wedgewood Brewing and Chad at Guesswork Brewing have been very helpful, so look for some of their beers on tap perhaps.
Now for the openings that are coming in the next three months or so (remember, don’t hold any one to their projected opening date):
Hydraulic Ale Works – Elkhart is getting a second brewery from Ryan Thompson, Shane Dyer, and GM Jordan Mullins. The new brewery is just about set to open at 333 Nibco Pkwy. Look for the brewery to open with two soft dates on April 6th and 7th by invite only. The grand opening will be on Monday, April 8th with a full twelve beers on tap, of which five or six of them will be will be Belgian inspired.
Chef Mat Ewing will also have an eclectic menu up and running at the open, with dishes from Asia, Spain, and Mexico. The food may be all over the map, but look for brewer Ryan’s beers to be classic. He’s a four ingredient kind of guy, and is a wizard at all the different flavors he can pull from just water, malt, hops, and yeast. The brewpub is industrial chic, but the main players will be the food, the beer, and the view. Located on the Elkhart River, Ryan says, “Our patio is the best outdoor seat in the county.”
Some things have gone smooth as silk, but Hydraulic has been in the works for some time and we’re very happen to see them opening their doors. Changed local ordinances about grease traps, coordinating multiple contractors, and dealing with how everything costs more than you would expect have all been over come and it’s time to make and pour beer. It’s been a challenge, but owner Ryan says, “ It’s been totally worth it, and I wouldn’t have done much differently.”
City Wineworks – at 69 N. Broadway in downtown Peru. I have been unable to contact anyone at the brewery.
Fork + Ale House – Late April (the 25th) is the opening that is set for this brewpub in midtown Carmel. Owners Chris and Amy Long (of Stacked Pickle fame). The open will include four house made beers, a blonde, an IPA, a wheat, and a brown ale. Kyle Hodges, ate of Danny Boy Beer Works, is the head brewer for this new brewery at 350 Veterans Way. As they work their way into their brew house look for more beers and a complete set of seasonals, but there will also be plenty of local guest brews on their taps (18 or so to start with), with another 30+ in bottles and cans.
Fork + Ale House, as the name suggests, is a full menu brewpub. They have a scratch kitchen with pizza using handmade dough, smoked meats and more. All the sauces and dressings will be made in house, and the burger patties will be hand ground, mixed, and formed.
Carbon Brewing – Partners Adam and Mike Evinger and Chuck Linebaugh are getting ready to open their brewery in the small town of Carbon, just north of Brazil, IN. This has been a bit of a craft beer desert between Terre Haute and Wasser Brewing in Greencastle since the closing of Bee Creek Brewery in 2012. Look for the first beers from Carbon to hit pint glasses perhaps in late April, but more likely in early May. There are still a few variables that need to fall into place – aren’t there always.
The Evingers have been home brewing for literally decades, and have the hardware to prove that they do it well, but getting from there to a commercial brewery has been a task at the least. Being rural, they needed a three phase electrical hookup to be put in to use their first choice of an electric kettle. They had it worked out with another business to split the cost of installation, but that business fell through, leaving them on the hook for $200,000 of payments if they wanted to do it alone.
The investigated everything from wind power to solar (like Big Thorn Farm Brewery in Georgetown, IL), but nothing panned out. They ended up with a 5 bbl steam jacketed brewhouse with several fermenters, but it has taken much longer because of the set backs. Besides the power issues, getting enough water from their well to run the brewery and then having proper drainage to get rid of the water have also been problems they have had to solve.
Look for Carbon to first serve their beers not at their barn-based brewery, but at an old restaurant in Stilesville that they also own. Later, the taproom property that they have already procured in Carbon will be finished out and used as the taproom. Owner/brewer Adam states that Carbon will be producing drinkable beers with a focus on lower ABV offerings. English styles are in their wheelhouse, but they will also be looking to do some mixed fermentation beers as well. Having overcome so much to get this project to the finish line, we’re very much looking forward to drinking a pint with Adam and Chuck.
Guggman Haus Brewing – The search for a location for Guggman Haus was a three year process. During their hunt, they met the founders of the Boyle Racing Headquarters Foundation, a group dedicated to saving the old Boyle racing garage and buildings in Indianapolis from demolition. The foundation wanted to restore the site, but also find a business to occupy it that would help to keep the memory of Boyle Racing alive.
Courtney Guggenberger, one of the partners in the family brewery said, “Our goals and visions aligned so we decided to partner with the foundation, and developed plans for our taproom, event space and production area to be on the property, along with a “museum” type of garage for racing memorabilia including a rebuilt race car hauler.” But pulling this off has been quite the task – a re-zoning that took about 6 months, getting utilities back to the location after about 10 years, and building a new parking lot for the business.
These problems made putting the brewery in the garage building an even more daunting task, so they decided that they would put in a smaller brewery to start in the house on the property. Of course, that meant completely renovating the house. The build out is pretty much done now and the brewing system is in place. In the last couple of weeks they have been doing detail work, like installing a live edge hickory bar top and installing a wrap around deck for summer drinking.
Courtney states, “We are hoping to open by late spring, in time for the Indy 500, but no promises there. I stopped giving real time lines a long time ago!” Look for the beers from head brewer Derek Guggenberger to be made beautifully in a beautiful space. This is reason enough to make the trip, but they will be displaying Boyle Racing memorabilia as well, so this will be part brewery, part museum.
New Madison Brewing – Owners Nick Privette, Daryl Hardesty, and Chris Bratten had originally planned on being open in Madison in the summer of 2018, but it looks like spring 2019 is the ticket. The buildout took much longer than expected with just three people doing all the work and while they all have full time jobs as well. Nick says it’s like doing work on a car, everything takes three times as long as you think it should the first time.
They first looked to go into an established building, but after searching with little luck, they decided to build their own place, and have raised it themselves from the ground up at 3463 Shun Pike Road. They have got the 10 bbl brew house in place and are making beer as we speak. The tasting room is intimate, with room for about 50 people.
They currently have two beers in the fermenters, and as soon as those are kegged off, they’ll be brewing again. The building is all done, so the guys are looking for a first weekend of May opening.
Logansport Brewing Co. – Everything old is new again at Logansport Brewing. The brewery that will open this summer is located on the exact spot that the original Logansport Brewery was opened in 1888, 412 High Street. This version is about 6000 sq. ft. and instead of housing just a production brewery, the new one will be brewery, taproom/bar, restaurant, and event center. Don’t look for all the amenities to be in place when they open, as they are working in phase, but know that there will be beer and food by opening day.
Local support has been phenomenal; the brewery has more than 2100 Facebook followers and has sold many memberships to their mug club. Part of this is undoubtedly the desire for a brewery in the area (closest brewery was Kopacetic Beer Factory 25 miles away in Monticello until City Wineworks came along in Peru), but also the brewing history of the town plays a role. To this point, the beers Logansport is making will have the same names and recipes as those produced in town from 1889-1895, as well as planning on beers from Columbia and Schmidt, other breweries that were founded in Logansport.
Owner Brandon Barron is very civic minded about Logansport and its history, and this is what has driven him to use so much of the history in the idea for a local brewpub. In discussing the brewery with him, he brought up how Logansport is the birthplace of Tony Hinkle, and the home of the 4 cycle engine, the distributor cap, and the Western Motor Company.
The date Brandon is shooting for is May 31st, but as with most openings this is soft. The government shutdown stopped Logansport from getting the TTB permit for a while, and the state license would have to come after that. It could come tomorrow, but we won’t hold our breath. The taste tests have been great successes, so now it’s just a matter of getting the government to kick in with the permits.
Fortlandia Brewing – There are five owners of Fortlandia Brewing in Fort Wayne, and four of them brew and have won awards for their beers. This is going to be good for us drinkers since each of the brewer/owner specializes in different styles. Between the four of them they have German lagers, imperial stouts, barleywines, IPAs, wheat beers, and sours covered.
They look to start brewing in the next couple of weeks to test the system since the brew house is in place and the build out is pretty much done. Look for a couple of soft opens in late May or early June, with a grand opening to follow immediately. There will be eight taps of Fortlandia beer at the opening, and they are applying for a permit to open a patio just in time for summer.
The lessons that Fortlandia has learned have been numerous, a real eye-opening experience for all in involved. There have been headaches and roadblocks, but as with most things, perseverance has been the key. Finding a contractor on short notice was a task, especially one that was open to allowing the owners to a lot of the work themselves and provide their own materials. Once they started construction, they had to rotate so that one owner was on site every day, eve though they all had full time jobs.
This is an opening that many people are looking forward to, perhaps the most since the 2Toms Brewing opening. Keep this one on your radar.
Black Dog Brewery – Mooresville will be getting their first craft brewery this summer, with Black Dog planning on opening with a couple of soft opens in June and a Grand Opening in early July. The brewery is planning on opening in phases, with phase 1 being a production brewery with a small tasting room for pints and growler fills. Phase 2 will be a build out for a bigger taproom with many more amenities, and who knows that is after that. Rest assured, you will be able to drink on site when they open.
Head Brewer Shawn Byrnes (of Upland, Lexington Avenue, and Bent Rail fame) is planning to have six beers on tap at the open, from a blonde to an amber, to a couple seasonals, though they will have the Kuntz’s Old German Lager out by Oktoberfest. This is a beer dear to owner Jeremy Kuntz (see the last name there?). Jeremy’s ancestry goes back to the original Kuntz Brewery in Ontario, Canada. The fact that Labatt’s now owns the Kuntz name is the only reason that this brewery isn’t called Kuntz Brewery. Nobody shoots for getting sued in their first month of operation.
Ruhe152 – We talked a bit about Ruhe152 before, in our series on how breweries with numbers or numerals got their names (found here). Look for a June opening with a couple of soft open dates and then a grand opening for this brewery and restaurant located at 152 W. Market St. in Nappanee. The genesis of this project was born in one person looking to open a good restaurant in the area, and another looking to open a brewery in the same town. They joined forces and the rest is history.
They are just finishing up the rebuild on their 100 yr. old building downtown, and this has been the source of most of their delays. She’s a complicated old girl, with three main floors (including basement) and some weird middle floor between the first and second levels in the back. This required a lot more structural work than they had planned on due to how much equipment were going to bring in.
And equipment is what they have. They are a brewery and a distillery, both under the direction of David Michael. The huge steel frames are in now, and the distilling pot and stack, as well as the brew house, are on site. Look for a varied food menu to include sushi, but don’t worry, this is definitely a family type place with a great bar to sit and relax with a pint…or six.
Wait a couple of months and we’l do another piece on breweries planning to open in the second half of the year.