24 Feb Three brews, one stone: Where to get great Indiana beer, wine and cider in one location
I love visiting local breweries, sampling great beer, talking to the staff, and in general supporting these great Indiana establishments. My wife enjoys supporting Indiana small business just as much as I do, but she absolutely hates beer. Like a lot of people who enjoy Indiana craft beverages, she’s a wine and cider kind of person. For a long time, we had to dedicate a visit to either a winery or a brewery. That all changed in July of 2015 thanks to House Enrolled Act No. 1053. After the law changes took effect, a brewery and winery could exist in a single establishment.
Through a series of articles, I’ve set out to find, visit, and report on all the Indiana establishments that are now producing both a beer and wine/cider. At the time of this publication, I found 4 establishments that have expanded into both markets:
- Simmons Winery – 450 North Brewery – Gnarly Grove Hard Cider
- Noble Order Brewery – J&J Winery
- Chateau de Pique Winery and Brewery
- Cedar Creek Winery and Brew Co
All of the above establishments started out as wineries and expanded into brewing. Simmons actually started 450 North a few years ago, but until July 2015 it was a separate entity, meaning they couldn’t sell beer and wine in the same room. Since 450 North has been open the longest, makes beer, wine, and cider, and is part of the Tasting Society, it seemed like the logical place to start.
We sat close to the bar counter on the beer side so we could easily see the board with current offerings. We shared a flight of 6 samples: 3 beers and 3 ciders. Obviously I handled the beer side of things and she judged the cider. They only had 3 beers on tap that you can’t get in cans right now, so I went with those. They only offer 3 ciders right now, so that rounded out our flight perfectly.
- Beam Me Up Scotty – Scottish Ale – 4.7% ABV – 20 IBU
- True to its descriptions as “a 60 shilling Scottish Ale that can be enjoyed all day.” Light and mild, as intended. Something I would appreciate more in the summer rather than the winter.
- Petrov the Hitchhiker – Russian Imperial Stout – 12.5% ABV – 45 IBU. Rich, dark, chocolate, and roasted coffee flavor. A damn good take on a Russian Imperial.
- Farmer’s Daughter – Farmhouse Ale – 6.1% ABV – 20 IBU. Again this beer feels more appropriate for summer than winter. Described as fruity and spicy, it was light and crisp as promised.
- Original Hard Cider – Semi-Dry Hard Apple – 6.9% ABV. Made from fresh apples and no artificial flavoring, this is a good standard cider with medium sweetness and perfect crispness
- Legendberry – Semi-Sweet Hard Berry Cider – 6.9% ABV. A bit misleading by name, this is not a berry wine. It is an apple cider which has various berries added. It is much sweeter than original, so go for this one if you prefer you cider on the sweeter side.
- Emerald Elixir – Dry Hopped Hard Apple Cider – 6.9% ABV. This was definitely the standout cider, and lead to my wife taking home a growler for the amazing price of $8. The hops nicely calm the typical extreme sweetness found on cider.
Since we were there for a long valentines lunch, we decided to try a little bit of every thing, so we had the nachos appetizer, the grilled cheese special of the day, and the pulled pork sandwich. Of course, I had to have a Barn Yeti, which is my personal favorite beer from 450 North. The food was all delicious, but the grilled cheese and Barn Yeti stole the spotlight.
Up next in the series: Chateau De Pique. Look for that coverage some time early in the spring.