05 Jun Indy Eleven Scores Hat Trick of Soccer, Craft Beer, and (Almost) Good Weather
Mother nature did her best. She really did. She huffed and she puffed, but she couldn’t seem to spoil the day. Not a chance.
You see sports fans, there is a new player in the craft beer festival game: the Indy Eleven.
That’s right, the new kids on the pitch.
You keep hearing about them from your “younger” or “hipper” friends, but you are set in your ways and think that craft beer only belongs at America’s pastimes such as baseball and football. Think again: the most in-touch craft beer sports organization in Indy belongs to the Eleven. On Saturday May 30th, the boys in blue opened their doors to some of Indiana’s craft beer royalty to come down and pour some suds before their game against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Now I feel that it is my duty as a reporter to inform you that I am an Indy Eleven season ticket holder, and a card carrying member of the Brickyard Battalion and while I feel that some of you readers out there might think that this makes me bias, I feel that it simply shows that I am educated in the ways of futbol. With that said, this event was excellent, and showcases why the Indy Eleven have such a rabid fan base.
The event was set to start at 5:30pm and run right up to game time at 7:30pm, but thanks to the aforementioned matriarch of nature, the event was delayed until 6:30pm due to lightning in the area. As you can imagine, this had some fans upset and begging for a refund, but leave it to the Eleven to push the event’s end time back to 8:30pm ensuring that the fans got their money’s worth. This is how the Indy Eleven have managed to rise to the top of the fanbase mountain in this town. They listen. They listen to the twitter posts from fans asking for refunds, and do everything in their power to ensure they earn the money they are given. They listen to craft brewers likeFlat12 who want to partner up and bring a new spin on the classic “a beer and a brat at the game” legacy by teaming up and creating their Full 90 Pale Ale.
Instead of keeping their fans at a safe distance, they invite them in to be a part of the spectacle. They seem to provide Indianapolis with its “every man” band of misfit toys that we all love. They have connected to Indianapolis and its people, and now they are connecting with some of the city’s hardworking breweries. It’s a match made in heaven.
Once the rain died down, my girlfriend and I made it to the event and were immediately hit with one of Indy’s new summer staples: Triton Brewing’s Wit or Witout You. I am not a huge fan of the wit category, but Triton have nailed this beer. It’s a little light, a little sweet, and a lot worth a try. It’s perfect for those warm days at the pool or the lake. Throw out your Miller Lights and head to Triton to get your hands on some of this tasty brew. Next, we moved on to my favorite beer in the Indiana craft beer scene right now: Scarlet Lane’s Dorian Coconut Stout. It is the top dog for me anytime it’s on tap, and if you are lucky enough to have tried the barrel aged version, you probably agree with me that it is one of the finest craft beers in the country right now. If you haven’t had it, well, what the hell are you waiting for? McCordsville isn’t that far away people.
Lastly, I would like to tip my hat to a brewery that I don’t drink enough of: Three Pints Brewing. They brought a couple of fantastic brews to the event, and once again proved that Indiana’s craft beer scene doesn’t just revolve around the Indianapolis market. It has reach and diversity that rivals any state out there.
With all that said, the brightest star was the Indy Eleven organization itself. They have clearly decided to invest their time and energy in the burgeoning craft beer market here in Indy, and have yet again proved that they want to be a friend to Indianapolis and it’s businesses. We can debate all we want about whether they deserve a new stadium (they do), or whether soccer is a sport for Indiana (it is), but the one thing that we cant debate anymore is that the Indy Eleven are here to stay, and that is good news for Hoosier sports fans, and Hoosier craft beer.