Holy Ale! There’s So Much Going on at St. Benedict’s Brew Works

Holy Ale! There’s So Much Going on at St. Benedict’s Brew Works

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

How many breweries do you know of where you can drink with the nuns as you relax at one of the most stunning spots in Indiana? Right, there’s only one – St. Benedict’s Brew Works in Ferdinand. The ambience of St. Benedict’s is an important part of the experience, but don’t overlook the fact that their beer is excellent on its own. And soon, you’ll have three places to get that beer: Ferdinand, Rockport, and Jasper.

the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand. Yes – there is a brewery there. image credit: St. Benedict’s Brewing

Spreading the St. Benedict’s love across southern Indiana is a reason to celebrate, but Vince Luecke and crew have an even better reason for you – they’re throwing the Deo Gratias Beer Festival at the original St. Benedict’s location on July 4th. The festival is a grand idea coming out of the shutdown, but let’s talk about the new locations first.

River City Brew Works has been open for a whole week now in Rockport, IN. According to the governor’s order, they are seating at half capacity and because of this have chosen to be open on Thursdays – Sundays. They are serving from 3-10pm on Thurs., 11am-11pm on Fri. & Sat. and noon-8pm on Sun. Located just a couple of block from the Ohio River (405 Main St.) in a century old building that has been refurbished, River City Brew Works has the St. Benedict’s beer but an atmosphere that is all it’s own.

River City serves St. Benedict’s beers, wines, and root beer, along with a full food menu that includes appetizers, salads, burgers, wings, and pizzas. But you don’t have to eat in, they will be offering carryout, as some many places are continuing to do after the coronavirus. Look for them to procure a three-way license and a full spirits menu later this year. Even when they get their three way, River City will keep a portion of the restaurant open for all ages seating, so you can bring the family whenever you like.

River City Brew Works location. image credit: St. Benedict’s Brew Works

After restaurants and taprooms can be open at full capacity in July, St Benedict’s will be doing a formal ribbon cutting ceremony for River City in July, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer to visit the third St. Benedict’s location, that being St. Benedict’s Brew Works – Jasper. The Jasper location will be at River Centre Landing on the Patoka River. St. Benedict’s seems to like rive locations for their taprooms. Vince told me that they should be ready to start installing seating, TVs, and the rest of the equipment by the end of June, so keep your eyes on the Jasper and St. Benedict’s Facebook pages in order to get the opening date details.

It looks like July may be a very busy month for St Benedict’s with the formal opening, perhaps a Jasper opening, and of course the beer festival on the 4th. “Deo Gratias” means “Thanks be to God,” and St. Benedict’s explains their festival this way, “Throughout history, people have made journeys to holy places after going through times of trouble. After months of coronavirus worries and social distancing, it’s time to safely give thanks with one of the summer’s first beer festivals.”

The combination of giving thanks for our coming through the pandemic and for the independence of our nation was just too good a duo for St. Benedict’s to pass up. Many of the public displays to celebrate Independence Day have been scrubbed for 2020, so I think it is a great idea to have this festival on the holiday. Come to the brewery in Ferdinand from noon to 4pm and give thanks for being able to get together with your friends if nothing else.

St. Benedict’s Brew Works – Jasper. image credit: St. Benedict’s Brew Works

St. Benedict’s will abide by social distancing guidelines by spreading the festival around the brewery and outside on the lawn and hand sanitizer will be available. For a $25 ticket, you will get a commemorative event glass, a drink ticket and a food ticket, and be able to listen to a variety of live music, including Ben Dahlquist, on the outdoor stage. There will be prize for the most original facemasks, although they won’t be required since they would get in the way of trying out the more than 20 beers they will have on tap that day.

SBBW will have their favorite beers on tap, several new beers, and several guest beers on the 4th that will pair well with the food choices of hotdogs, brats, hot wings, sandwiches and ice cream.  You can reserve your ticket by emailing the brewery at brewing@stbenedictsbrewworks.com or calling 812-998-2337, but don’t waste time, they now intend to limit the event to 250 attendees to fit well within the state’s guidelines. Go to the St. Benedict’s Brew Works Facebook page to like and share the Deo Gratias Beer Festival post and you’ll be entered to win two tickets to the fest. The tickets will also be available online later this week.

Good luck to Vince and the St. Benedict’s Brew Works team as they expand their reach through southern Indiana and lead the entire state back into doing festivals. New locations, new beers, and a new festival – that’s a lot to be thankful for.

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