24 Aug The Tap Brewery Adds West Lafayette to their Bloomington and Indianapolis Locations
The Lafayette area has steadily been gaining craft beer breweries and taprooms over the past 3-4 years, so that now it has a good presence in the state. People looking for a day of good taproom hopping could do worse than to drive west to Lafayette and West Lafayette, they even have several nice festivals throughout the year, including the Winter Warmer hosted by Lafayette Brewing and Beers Across the Wabash in summer.
The original craft beer outlet was of course Lafayette Brewing, being the 4th brewery to open in Indiana after Prohibition. It would be another 15 years before People’s Brewing would become the 2nd craft brewery in the area, but this was followed in short succession by several places in the 2017-2019 period. This year we saw the opening of Escape Velocity Brewing during the shutdown, and now comes The Tap Brewery, who will open their third location, this one in West Lafayette on August 31.
The Tap first opened as a bar and restaurant in Bloomington in 2012, and added the brewery in 2014. They put out successful beer from day one, including Kill the Lights, a multi-medal winning Russian Imperial Stout. The brewpub has always focused on a strong food menu and 18-20 house brewed beers, but many people know them for their selection of over 400 craft and international bottles/cans of beer. In late 2015 they transported that winning formula to the base of Mass Ave. in Indianapolis to additional success. Furthering this trend, later this month they will open up at 100 S. Chauncey Avenue in West Lafayette, just three blocks east and around to the south from the Purdue Student Union.
I talked to Head Brewer Jarrod May of The Tap Brewery and Chris Martin of Finney Hospitality to get their thoughts on the new location and how it will grow The Tap even further.
Indiana On Tap: Why West Lafayette for the new location?
The Tap: We have had such great success in Bloomington that opening a location in West Lafayette near the campus of Purdue just made logical and good business sense.
Indiana On Tap: What do you particularly like about the Chauncey Avenue location?
The Tap: The location itself lends itself to being a great destination for students and for people visiting Purdue and the greater Lafayette area. With all of the work being done on Chauncey Hill we were just very excited to be a part of it.
Indiana On Tap: What is your timeline for opening the new location?
The Tap: We planned on being open late March in time for students returning from Spring Break and before the big end of year campus activities, but we all know what happened. Now we are set to open on the 31st of this month with initial hours daily from 11am-midnight. Look for trivia on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8pm and live music on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm.
Indiana On Tap: Do you have any celebration planned for the opening?
The Tap:We were planning on opening Monday March 30th to the public, but then the bottom fell out due to the pandemic. We will most likely have some soft opening events the weekend before inviting local area dignitaries, friends, and local business as well as Purdue contacts. No special events or beers are being planned at this time. But we will have some things planned for when Purdue students return in the fall.
Indiana On Tap: Will having the two locations in addition to the original location and the beer that you distribute tax your brewhouse capacity? Can we count on finding just as much The Tap Brewery beer as before?
The Tap: We will be working at close to 85% capacity for our brewery when supplying the new location. This is around a 36% increase in our overall production, but there will be no need to add to our current fermentation cellar in order to accommodate.
Indiana On Tap: Will you offer a similar number of taps and bottled/canned beer in West Lafayette? How about the food menu?
The Tap: Yes, we will have the same outstanding selection of draft and packaged beer, as well a similar menu at the new location.
Indiana On Tap: Do you have more plans to expand? Is West Lafayette one more part of a long-term expansion plan?
The Tap: Our expansion plans are fluid and really depend on the market and location. We are not out aggressively looking for locations to expand to, rather waiting for amazing opportunities to find us. But we do want to continue to bring the craft beer experience to more people and feel The Tap and our Craft Beer Bar concept has more growth potential for sure.
Indiana On Tap: With Escape Velocity opening, Maxson’s & Me in planning, and all the current breweries (5), the Lafayette area will have a lot of beer. Was this a reason to embrace West Lafayette or did it give you pause?
The Tap: We embraced it and feel their businesses and our business are complementary to each other and we can help each other within the Lafayette market.
Indiana On Tap: How has the reception been from the local breweries? Are you looking to do some collaborations?
The Tap: The vibe we got from other breweries last summer at the Beers Across the Wabash festival was very positive. As a community of brewers we are generally all friends and respect each other on a personal and industry level. We love the beer coming out of this market and are excited to contribute and we have the feeling others feel the same about us. We love doing collaborations and hope to work with some of the breweries in the area soon!
Indiana On Tap: What haven’t I asked you about that you would like people to know?
The Tap: This will be a great Purdue hangout and we’re excited to be a part of the Lafayette & West Lafayette communities.
Stay tuned for more details about the opening; The Tap will be a good addition to an already very nice lineup of local beer. If you’re out and about in Indiana looking for a place to spend the day with great craft beer, check out the Lafayette/West Lafayette area, including Backstep Brewing to the south in Crawfordsville and Crasian Brewing (Brookston) and Kopacetic Beer Factory (Monticello) to the northeast.