Why You (Yes, You) Need to Get Behind Bloomington Brewing Company

Why You (Yes, You) Need to Get Behind Bloomington Brewing Company


By Cory Huffman of Indiana On Tap

If you don’t know, don’t feel bad. It’s easy to overlook. After all, it sits in a small plaza across 10th Street from one of America’s most iconic collegiate campuses. But turn the car around and travel back up 10th Street and look the other way this time. Now you’ve noticed Lennie’s and Bloomington Brewing Company.

Turn in and park. You’re going to like it here.

You see, BBC has been a longtime favorite of my own. I relish each time I’m able to visit the eccentric city of Bloomington and the outstanding brewery that eloquently brands its name. And on a recent visit, I found myself settled up to the bar gazing admiringly at a pint of Ruby Bloom remembering the first time I visited BBC, almost missing it myself (which I recounted for you above).

There are a lot of Hoosiers who have never had the privilege of enjoying a beer from Bloomington Brewing Company. Some haven’t had the already-mentioned, wonderfully enchanting Ruby Bloom (a rich amber brew that, with every sip, is a gratifying reminder that you’re able to live this life) or a hop-licious Rooftop IPA (which may just be the best IPA in the state). It wasn’t until recently that they (BBC) began packaging a few of their beers (Rooftop, 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat (spring/summer seasonal) and Persimmon Ale are now available in 22 oz. bombers). For those Hoosiers who have never found their way into Lennie’s or tried any of BBC’s offerings, this has to change! Make this your goal in 2015!

Because at Bloomington Brewing Company the goal is simple: To create finely crafted ales that we love to drink while helping serve our community in the process.

You can get behind that right?

Yes. Yes you can.

I recently spoke with business manager Mark Cady and he kindly answered a few questions about the always wonderful Bloomington brewery. Mark has been with Bloomington Brewing Company since 2002, where he started out as a host at the brewpub. Since then he has worked his way up the ladder to where, in 2012, owner Jeff Mease promoted Cady to his current position.

Give a brief story of how BBC was “born”.

“We began as Lennie’s restaurant that opened in 1989.  Our owner, Jeff Mease, is a craft beer lover who had helped craft legislation to help brewpubs operate as they do today.  His vision of a brewpub was helped, in part, from his travels west.  During his visit he tasted a New Belgium beer called Fat Tire and came back to the Midwest with the hopes of opening a brewery that could make beer that the community could enjoy.  We opened our doors in late 1994.  So, we are celebrating 20 years of brewing, but plan on a 21st anniversary party.  You know, being legal and all.”

How has the city of Bloomington had an impact/influence on your beers?

“Our community of Bloomington is a part of not just our jobs/careers, but our lives as well.  We live here.  In my case, I have lived here for over 30 years.  We love our town and its impact on BBC is immense.  Beers are named after landmarks, streets, and even secret swimming holes (Rooftop IPA).  Our Kirkwood Cream tap handle is a cream handle with red pinstripes as an homage to our local university.  The southern Indiana limestone aquifers give a mineral composition that is highly suited to the beer characteristics we create.  We have fantastic relationships with local establishments that serve our beer.  I could go on and on.  Such a high percentage of each pint purchased goes back into the local economy.  And we are thankful for the support we receive from Bloomington for what we do.”

What should beer drinkers/geeks know about BBC if they’ve never been?

“First of all, that we are the fourth oldest microbrewery in the state and the first brewpub in Southern Indiana.  Some outside of Bloomington don’t know much about our brewery since we have only just gotten into a bottle last spring or distributing outside of Bloomington for only 4 years.  They should also be aware that the beers we create are award-winning.  Our Rooftop IPA is a gold medal winner at the Brewer’s Cup of Indiana.  And that the Big Stone Stout has also won a gold medal.  Our spring/summer seasonal 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat has been reviewed by Beer Advocate, receiving a 90 score as well as posting a 95 rating from the drinking public.  We create only ales and not lagers and enjoy having a slight haze to some of our styles.  We do not filter our beer.  Our brewpub has fantastic food, and is known for our Pizzas, big bowl salads and strombolis.”  

I hope you enjoy your time. Try the smoked coconut Java Porter on hand pull if you get the chance.  Fantastic stuff.”  

I did enjoy my time. I always do when visiting Bloomington Brewing. I also took Mark’s advice and tried the smoked coconut Java Porter. Fantastic was an understatement. 

No Comments
  • Donovan Wheeler
    Posted at 13:00h, 07 January Reply

    Great piece, Cory. My son works at BBC, and loves it there. I always look forward to his visits because I know he’s bring some Ten Speed or Rooftop with him.

    • Cory
      Posted at 01:18h, 08 January Reply

      Thanks Donovan! I am always amazed at how many people have never been or had any of their offerings…including friends IN Bloomington (this must change)! It’s probably my favorite brewery in the state and I am officially jealous of you 🙂 but it sounds like you have a smart son!

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