Well Known Indiana Craft Brewer Ready for New Adventures in Europe and US

Well Known Indiana Craft Brewer Ready for New Adventures in Europe and US

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

For the second time in a year, Tow Yard Brewing in Indianapolis (501 Madison Ave.) is looking for a new head brewer. Aaron Koerner took over brewing duties early in 2017, and increased the number of styles produced by the brewery. These included a couple of new fruit beers, an American barleywine, an English Strong Ale, and several shandies. But now Aaron is ready to embark on new adventures, from France to the internet to, perhaps, back here in Carmel. Let me explain.

Even though Aaron is just now 29 years old, he has been in the national brewing scene for years. He first worked with Ken Johnson at Fearless Brewing and Aaron Hanson at Bunsenbrewer in Oregon. In Indianapolis, he was the head brewer at Metazoa when it opened, and helped to set up the taproom and get the brew house up and running. After accomplishing what he wanted to do at Metazoa and proud of the start he and his team had helped them make, Aaron became the head brewer for the 20 bbl system at Tow Yard.

Aaron Koerner is looking into working with Deck & Donohue Brewing in Paris while visiting his sister. Photo credit: not drinking poison in Paris blog

These experiences have been painstakingly recorded by Aaron, as have his reactions, lessons, and brewing notations and equations for all his time brewing. Though his last day at Tow Yard was December 14th, all the information he has gathered over the years will not stop brewing results. Aaron is now collating the observations and assembling a series of quick guides to help breweries and brewers through both common and rare problems that always pop-up when making beer.

Aaron will continue to add to his guides and base of knowledge after his tenure at Tow Yard. He plans to travel to Paris, France for three months of visiting with his sister, Anna Koerner, and to work with a brewery in the City of Lights. What he can do with Deck & Donohue is left up to the vagaries of international employment law, but he has talked with them and has a plan to get a work visa.

Taken as a total package, Aaron’s experiences and collected data/opinions/resources will form the basis of an LLC craft brewery consulting opportunity (having the LLC will go along way to allowing him to work with Deck & Donohue in Paris). Small to midsize breweries having issues with consistency, market analysis, equipment purchase issues, etc. will be able to call on Aaron for information, suggestions, research, and resources.

Limbic Brewery Consulting is one of several brewer consulting firms. This one concentrates on Latin America. Aaron Koerner wants to focus on breweries that are starting or want to expand. Image credit: Limbic Consulting

As of now, Aaron hopes to make many of his quick guides, such as Moving from Home Brewer to Professional, Product Packaging, and Common and Useful Brewing Equations,  freely available on the internet. For more personal advice or solutions, the breweries can hire Aaron to come in and help them deal with larger issues. For instance, for small breweries in which owners/brewers still retain full time jobs, many of the issues that need to be tackled when opening a brewery are too daunting to solve in the time available. Let Aaron help you meet your goals.

The quick guides will be a more hands off type of help from breweries, but some issues must be tackled in a hands-on way. For instance, a new brewery might want to bring Aaron in to do a market analysis, determining what styles of beers sell best in their region, what styles are becoming more popular or are fading, or how to expand. Suggestions and game plans could be offered that would be specific to their location. The issues might be general, like how to design a taproom or specific, as in how to start a cellaring program.

Tow Yard hasn’t filled their head brewer position as of this writing – anyone want to brew? Image credit: Tow Yard Brewing

These consulting and French brewing adventures might be enough for some brewers who have just left a head brewer job, but as Aaron says, “Brewers brew, and if I’m not brewing, I’m wishing I was.” As such, Aaron is one of two brewers in the running to be the head brewer at a new brewpub being planned in Carmel. It’s a bit too early to make plans, but Aaron should know something by January.

Aaron’s moves into new territories leaves Tow Yard Brewing with an open spot at the head brewer position. Chase Moser, the new manager at Tow Yard, has begun a concentrated effort to reorganize the brewery and restaurant, and has made significant progress. A new head brewer will find Chase to be a formidable asset. Efforts to reach Tow Yard owner Shawn Cannon as to how the search for a new head brewer have not been successful as of the time of this writing.

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