Offsite Taprooms Are All The Rage in Indiana

Offsite Taprooms Are All The Rage in Indiana

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

The magazine VinePair recently had an article which discussed a supposed new trend wherein breweries are forsaking traditional taprooms for space inside food halls (link here). This trend has been seen to a small degree in Indiana, including with Sun King Brewing, which was a participant in the VinePair article.

The thrust of the article wasn’t ground breaking – this is just another way of bringing in a food partner, a crucial mechanism for selling more beer. However, two things occurred to me while reading this piece. One, I wondered if this holds true when talking about additional offsite taprooms for existing breweries. And two – oh my gosh, does Indiana have a lot of breweries with secondary taprooms! The answer to the first question is “yes” to a small degree, and a much bigger yes for offsite taprooms finding food partners.

New offsite taprooms located in food halls numbered exactly two until 2022 (Sun King Small Batch Brewery – Fishers, the Fishers Test Kitchen, and Quaff On! Brewing/Hard Truth Spirits at The Garage Food Hall at The Bottleworks). This year has been a big year in general for opening offsite taprooms, but not so much for those in food halls. In fact, there are too many to mention in one article. Let’s just focus on the ones that have or will open in 2022-23 (or late 2021).

image credit: Kekionga Craft

The one new taproom in a food hall has a late 2022 open date, Kekionga Craft’s second location at the Union Street Market on the Electric Works campus in Fort Wayne. Union Market will have 10 food vendors when it opens in November of this year, so finding some food to go with your cider and wine from Kekionga Craft won’t be a problem. Plus, there will be a gourmet coffee vendor in the market and Lunar Infusions Kombucha will have a tasting room there as well.

So indeed, this one example is in a food hall, which supports the conclusions of the VinePair article. But now let’s look at the upcoming or recently opened offsite taprooms in Indiana that either have a single food partner or just focus on the beverages – it’s a much bigger number. I’ll list those with a food partner first, and then list those that will be focusing on the drinks, but will have food trucks or food delivery.

2Toms Brewing from Fort Wayne now has a taproom in Indy/Fishers, in the space that used to be Redemption Alewerks (E. 96th St). The taproom has the look and feel of the space in Fort Wayne, which is a good thing, and all the 2Toms beers you know and love are available, including all the new innovations – like all the beers for Cereal Killer Week starting on Oct. 23. They are utilizing the old Redemption kitchen space as well, with Rami Lazarus running an offsite version of the award-winning Rusted Silo BBQ joint. However, there are also sliders and tacos, so there are things for everyone.

Bier Brewery – Noblesville – Owner Jerry Connor told me that the new place on the south side of Noblesville (S. 10th Street/Allisonville Rd.), will be opening in the summer of 2023. They will have all the Bier beverages, and they will have a full kitchen and be family friendly, much like what they do at their Carmel location. This will be their largest location, with a 6000 sq. ft. taproom, a dog park, a kid’s playground, and a large greenspace with access to the coming Allisonville Rd. Trail.

The Cereal Killer Beer Week is coming to both 2Toms locations. image credit: 2Toms Brewing

Chapman’s Brewing at Electric Works is slated for an early 2023 opening in Fort Wayne. Electric Works is a large development with a beautiful campus in downtown, and the Chapman’s location will be in a different building than the Union Street Market that will house Kekionga Craft’s offsite tasting room. The new Chapman’s will serve as the corporate headquarters for the brewery and will include offices, a 10 bbl brewhouse, and a 13,000 sq. ft. taproom which will include a family-friendly dining room and some retail space.

Chapman’s Brewing – Huntington also did major overhaul of its space and has reopened (has a kitchen), and Chapman’s Brewing – Wabash is in the midst of looking for new downtown (sent Zach an email 10/14).

Elm Street Brewing in Muncie is getting closer to opening their new production facility and tasting room, just a block from their original brewpub. I’ve taken a look inside the space and I have to say that I’m really looking forward to having everyone else see it. There is a large brewhouse located behind glass and down half a story, so everyone can see what’s going on – always a plus. There is a rustic taproom, two patio spaces, and perhaps most exciting, great potential as an indoor/outdoor music venue. Look for more announcements about the opening as soon as our government agencies manage to get the paperwork done.

Goodwood Brewing – Columbus, OH: Well OK, Goodwood is at heart a Kentucky brewery and distillery, but they do have a brewpub in Indianapolis with a brewhouse of its own. That makes it an Indiana brewery, and now the entity as a whole has expanded again, this time to Ohio. Opened in March of this year, Goodwood-Columbus has its own brewhouse and regularly has four of its own beers on at any one time. The menu is large and features some southern specialties, just like in Indy.

Junk Ditch Brewing – Huntington just opened this past week on Warren Street, just two blocks from Chapman’s Brewing – Huntington. I always like to point out what other breweries are nearby because it promotes beer tourism and pub crawls, which helps everyone involved. Junk Ditch – Huntington is family friendly and has a full menu. I sure hope they have the mushroom aranchini rice bowls 100% of the time; they’re at least as important as any core beer that is served all the time.

image credit: North High Brewing

North High Brewing from Columbus, OH is an established brewery that started operations more than 11 years ago and has no fewer than ten locations throughout Ohio and now in Indiana. North High Brewing – Zionsville opened in May of 2022, and now they opened North High Brewing – Circle Center just three weeks ago (Sept. 29). While the beers are very good at North High, I am a bigger fan of the food they have at all their locations, overseen by Executive Chef Ryan Oldham.

Pax Verum Brewing has a new taproom in the old Flat12/Rad Brewing building on Dorman Street in downtown Indy. Natural State Provisions has a large portion of the building and is the food partner for the taproom, serving smash burgers, salads, appetizers, fried chicken, etc. The building was drastically renovated before the opening three weeks ago, and the taproom, called the Pax Public Saloon, is a slick looking space with 14-16 Pax beers on draft and in package.

People’s Brewing Company is opening the Krug Corner Pub in very late 2022, with things moving faster now as they are starting to hire for the location. Located at Kossuth and South 9th Street (between the breweries just to the north on Main Street and Teays River Brewing further south on 9th). Look for a full menu and great décor at this new location, including some wonderful murals.

St. Benedict Brew Works opened new brand at a different location in June of 2022, called Santa Claus Brewing. Located directly across the street from Holiday World Amusement Park, I can’t think of many better places to have a brewery. This is a family-friendly restaurant/brewery with menu and beer names that follow the theme of the name. Look for an expanded menu soon to include steaks and chops on weekend nights.

image credit: Santa Claus Brewing

Sun King Brewery – Mishawaka opened earlier this year, just about the same time as Sun King opened their brewery in Florida (Sarasota). Located in the development called Ironworks Plaza, Sun King – Mishawaka is the concession partner (meaning food) for the gorgeous Ball Band Biergarten. What’s even better, Sun King is located just half a mile from Hop Station Craft Beer Bar, one of the great beer bars in the state.

Upland Brewing recently announced that they will be opening a new location on the north side of Indy, in the space that used to be the MacKenzie River Pizza restaurant just west of Castleton on 82nd Street. Upland Brewing – Castleton is now hiring, and will join the Upland brewery locations in Carmel, Fountain Square, Southport, and SoBro (as well as in Columbus, Jeffersonville and three locations in Bloomington). All of these locations have fantastic food except for Upland Brewing – Southport, which opened this year as a small taproom in the Gray Goat Bicycling Company, with just four taps and some can selections.

That’s the list of recently opened/opening offsite taprooms with their own food or food partners, now here is the shirt list of recently opened offsite taprooms that focus on the drinks and atmosphere, and let you bring in food or have food trucks.

Cedar Creek Brewery – Nashville has been going through a slow open just northeast of the main drag in town at 124 Locust Lane. This location is serving pints and cans at tables and outside tables as the leaves change this year and they get the final details done on the bar area. As of late September they were having weekend hours, and look for those to expand in the weeks to come.

image credit: Myriad Brewing

Myriad Brewing – Newburgh opened in May, 2022 about 13 miles due east of their original location downtown. They function as a coffee house in the morning and then as a taproom with 16 taps in the afternoon and evening. Like the downtown location, Myriad Newburgh is excellent at getting good food trucks and having food events that complement their beer.

That makes 14 recently opened or coming taprooms with food and two more that focus on the beer. Add in the other breweries that already had offsite taprooms, and you come up with more than 32 – that’s 18% of all the breweries in the state! Having so many second (and 3rd and 4th….) locations must indicate that it’s easier to expand than it is to open (already have capital in the bank). I’d like to see the number of new breweries keep pace with the offsite taproom openings, but I’m glad that many breweries are growing their footprints and fan bases.

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