Indiana Brewery Names by the Numbers, Part Last

Indiana Brewery Names by the Numbers, Part Last

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

There’s been a lot going on in Indian craft beer lately, so we had to wait a few weeks to get back to our series on the stories behind Indiana brewery names. This is the third and last set of stories for breweries that have numbers and/or numerals in their names. You can see the first and second installments of the series here and here. I’m sure that there will be breweries which open in the future with numbers in the name, so we’ll probably end up re-addressing this subset of stories, but for now here are our last six entries.

Thr3e Wise Men Brewing in Indianapolis – Scott Wise, the 2009 Restaurateur of the Year for Indiana, has always had his family as a focus. So when it came time to name the brewery that would supply his chain of Scotty’s Brew Houses with in house beer, he naturally went back to his wheelhouse.

image credit: Thr3e Wise Men Brewing

Wise has two sons, Lincoln and Slater, and then there’s himself – that’s three Wise men in total. With a bit of a twist on the spelling, Thr3e Wise Men Brewing was born. The sons played other roles early on as well; Lincoln and Slater were names of items on the children’s menu.

The success of the Scotty’s chain allowed Wise to follow through on his original idea to open a brewery, although his production facility idea blossomed into a brewpub in Indianapolis first in 2010, and then a taproom/restaurant back in Muncie where it all began. Several years of growth and success led to a change in 2016. Wise sold the chain, along with the brewery, to the Pacific Restaurant Partners subsidiary of Due North Holdings, LLC from Arizona.

The Thr3e Wise Men name remained, as did the Scotty’s Brew House moniker, with Scott assuming a role in the company for about five years, while a national expansion was planned. Some growth did take place early, but a recent contraction, closing of three different locations, and a lawsuit against Wise has people wondering about the fate of the brewery. Let’s hope it all works out; head brewer Keely Thomlinson makes great beer. She has on awards for multiple beers and we really look forward to her seasonals.

image credit: Old 41 Brewing Company

Old 41 Brewing Company in Terre Haute – US Highway 41 runs from Miami, FL to UP of Michigan. Part of what is now called US 41 was originally called the Dixie Highway, imagined and designed by Carl Fisher, the same Hoosier who envisioned and created the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (with three important partners). A few years after the IMS was opened, Carl bought up a lot of land next to the ocean in Miami, turning a swamp into Miami Beach. He was determined to make it a vacation spot for the rich and the poor alike, so he built hotels, and bridges and started to promote it. This was just when the automobile was becoming more affordable and plentiful, but the roads were very bad.

Fisher decided that the best way to get people to Miami Beach was to provide them with a good road so that they could drive there. That’s where the idea for the Dixie Highway began. Running from the UP of Michigan to Miami Beach, Dixie Highway was the first North-South decent road in the country, with eastern and western routes.

The building where Old41 Brewing is now located predates US 41. image credit: Tom Helman

Later, US 41 became the major North-South highway, covering almost exactly the same roads as the southern portion (western route) of the Dixie Highway. The Dixie in Indiana ran through Indianapolis and Bedford, but when the major highway became US 41, this was tracked through Terre Haute and down the western side of the state. Believe it – the major highway from North-South in the US for decades went right through downtown Terre Haute.

In Terre Haute itself, US41 was rerouted in the 1960s. South of town it splits, the original US 41 was 7th St., the portion further west run by the courthouse and is now the official US 41 (also called 3rd St.). The result is that the original US 41 route was then called Business 41, or in town it’s now called Old 41.

The building that houses Old 41 Brewing Company is the 7th & Elm Bar. The building was constructed in 1894, first as a grocery store, then a trucking company. It was there when US 41 was constructed. The building was there when US 41 splits and 7th St. became Business 41, and it was there when people started to refer to it as Old 41. The bar 7th & Elm opened 11 years ago (anniversary was Feb. 20th), and the Hellman family of owners followed the same theme when they named and opened the brewery in 2017.

The new logo for the new name. The lines represent the railroad tracks that pass by the brewery. image credit: Plat 35 Brewery

Plat 35 Brewery/10 Mile Brewery in Porter – Lucky you, here’s two stories for the price of one. Porter saw the opening of a craft brewery late in 2018 with the name of the 10 Mile Brewery. I talked to co-owner Rich Tarin about the name; he seems to have a strong love of northwest Indiana history.

According to Rich and several good sources, the area of Indiana from the north central portion of South Bend and Elkhart west to the lake became the property of the US by the Treaty of Mississinewas. The last portion negotiated was a 10 mile strip to the west that now includes the towns of Portage, Chesterton, and Porter. Rich said Indian Boundary Road/10 Mile Line Rd. just north of the brewery dates back to the treaty. It all seemed very appropriate for the neighborhood brewery to adopt a name so important to the history of the neighborhood.

Except…….just after 10 Mile Brewery opened, another brewery outside of Long Beach bought the name of a defunct winery. It had something to do with Ten Mile Creek in Kings Canyon National Park, not a big overlap with a patronage in NW Indiana. Yet they sent the cease & desist order to Indiana, and rather than fight, 10 Mile Brewery began to look for another name.

Rich thought that a good candidate for a name was 151, the number of the train that crashed in 1921 just down the street from the house that is now the brewery. In fact, the building was used as a triage area for the dead and wounded. But after much consideration and research, a plat map of the town from 1921 showed that the area where the brewery now stands was called plat 35.

There is a bit of practicality in the name, it is short and easy to remember, important because they have to overcome the first name, and because it fit on the sign they had already purchased. The owners got together and thought this was a good choice, and a neighbor lady soon brought in several plat maps of the town from 1861 and on which will be used to decorate the taproom. But the railway disaster still plays a role in the brewery brand. The SMASH No. 151 is their IPA, and their logo has crossed lines that represent the railway crossing and spur that was the site of the disaster just outside their doors.

image credit: 812 Farms & Brewery

Eight One Two Farms Brewery south of Columbus – Many breweries choose names based on their location. The future Eight One Two Farms Brewery exemplifies a brewery’s link to its piece of ground, although it’s even more of a connection to this particular piece of Earth here, since there was a family farm in this area has been building the relationship between Eight One Two and Indiana dirt for quite some time.

Aaron Harden has been growing hops and produce south of Columbus for four years. The new part of the plan is the acquiring of the buildings on the old Oak Knoll Golf Course to turn into a restaurant, brewery, and event center. The Columbus Board of Zoning approved the variance in mid-2018, and owners and lifelong friends Aaron and Joe Oliphant have been busy renovating the buildings. They just recently acquired a 2bbl brewing system, and have started their paperwork (who knows how that will go as they deal with the fallout from the partial gov’t. shutdown last month).

The area code of southern Indiana provided the name for the farm and the brewery, but there was more thought that went into it than just that. Aaron certainly wanted to reflect the connection of the brewery to the farm and the farm to their part of southern Indiana, but it has in it the idea that all three are linked – the brewery and restaurant will be using local ingredients whenever possible to reinforce that link of the area to the beer and food. And for why they used the words “Eight One Two” instead of the numbers “812,” Aaron felt that the words added more weight and authority to the name as opposed to the numbers. This is the degree to which owners immerse themselves in the naming of their business, and they should – it’s only slightly less important than naming a child, and think of how much effort we put into that.

image credit: Ruhe@152 Bistro, Brewery, Sushi, Spirits

Ruhe152 in Nappanee – Owners Gary Nephew and Scott Tuttle are in the middle of their build out of the old Wolfberg’s building in Nappanee, so look for a mid-2019 opening for this interestingly named brewpub between Warsaw and Goshen. Originally Gary was planning on opening a brewery and Scott was contemplating a restaurant, both in Nappanee but completely separate from one another. When each became of aware of the other’s intentions, they quickly joined forces to produce a gastropub for people who were tired of traveling too far for good food and beer.

Just after the Wolfberg’s location was chosen, David Michael came on as head brewer and distiller (yep, they’re putting in a distillery as well). He has extensive experience in both brewing here in Indiana and in Colorado, and has distilling experience from his time at Stranahan’s in Colorado. I asked Dave about the meaning of the name, and as it turns out, the name links to the community on a couple of levels.

The address of the brewpub is 152 Market Street, right smack dab in downtown Nappanee, so that’s where the number comes in. The “ruhe” is a bit deeper. Nappanee sits squarely in one of the larger Amish populations in the state, and Indiana as a whole has the second largest Amish population in the country (right behind Ohio). Indiana is even more Amish dense than Ohio, as it has fewer, but larger Amish communities, being home to five of the ten large enclaves. There is estimated to be over 6000 Amish in just the immediate Nappanee area.

The heritage of most of these Amish lies in a Swiss-German lineage, as the church started from a schism in the Swiss Anabaptist traditionalists. Many migrated over time to Pennsylvania, and continue to speak their native German, even though it is now called Pennsylvania Dutch. It’s this German language heritage where the “ruhe” comes in.

image credit: 5 Arch Brewing

The word “ruhe” in German means “calm, relaxed, serene,” in line with Nappanee’s town motto “embrace the pace.” That just happens to be the vibe that that the owners and Dave are looking to project, the experience they want their patrons to have. Together, Ruhe152 honors both the German heritage of the area and the specific town and location where they intend to build a relationship with their customers. It’s easy to remember, and different enough to stick in your mind. But don’t look for an Amish theme in the brewpub, it will be ultra-modern; a slick but relaxing brewpub with food, beer, and spirits. Sounds simply excellent to me.

5 Arch Brewery in Centerville – Kyle Turner and Scot Laster are in the middle of their built out for 5Arch Brewing a few miles west of Richmond in the picturesque town of Centerville. The logo has an arch, and there is the great story of the war t be named the county seat between Centerville and Richmond that ended up with Centerville residents firing a shard-filled cannon called “Black Betty” at their own records building. This left five holes in and around the arched doorway of the building that can be seen even today (it’s the library now).

One of the five arches in Centerville. image credit: Only In Your State, Heather Farr & Bruce Morgan/Wikimedia

But this isn’t the story behind the name. Centerville is known as the “City of Arches” for the five unusual buildings that lie along the Old National Road (US40). Platted in 1814, Centerville is one of the older towns in Indiana, older than Richmond even. Because of this, Centerville was seen as the center of commerce and culture when people started moving west on the national road. Businesses and houses built up on either side of the 100 ft. wide road, causing people to build right up to the national road edge.

As more and more building took place, people started to encroach on the road itself. New buildings were put in front of older ones or added on to the existing homes. Over time, the road was narrowed to just 65 ft. wide. People built their facades right to the street – but they also needed to be able to get to the older buildings behind those, and to their gardens. At the same time, the road was becoming more and more busy and that kicked up all kinds of dirt.

To provide access to the buildings behind and to cut down on the dust that could get to their back gardens, folks built narrow archways from the front of their building all the way to the back. Some were wide enough just for people, while others wide enough for horses walking side by side. Five these buildings now remain on the Old National Road – collectively called the “five arches.” Each has a plaque and a name for the original owners of the building, and they make for a nice walking tour around town.

Centerville is know for its effort to preserve the original architecture and as a destination town for its history, quaint buildings and shopping, so it is appropriate that the local brewery would honor the town’s history and tradition. If you have time, stop in at the brewery (open in mid/late 2019) and come back for the Archway Days Festival every August.


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