Home(Town) Brew: New Beer Purveyors Raise a Glass to Local
Craft Beer Defined: Merriam-Webster defines craft beer as "specialty beer produced in limited quantities." Craft beer is known for having a distinctive flavor, being produced in small quantities and is generally distributed in a particular region. Craft beer is about local, it is about taste, it is about a community interested in how and where their beer was brewed. Craft beer is about reviving old traditional styles, and turning them on their head.
Craft beer is the new beer-drinking norm for a growing population. This population has a hunger for solid, well-made beers and trying new beers to appease their increasingly sophisticated palate. Summer's new crop of local breweries offers a variety of innovative styles that are bound to worm their way into the drinking rotation.
Just south of downtown Tow Yard Brewing Co. has opened at 501 E. Madison Avenue. Head Brewer Bradley Zimmerman was imported from the Pacific Northwest, where he has lived for the last decade. Zimmerman has also imported his brewing style from the Pacific Northwest, describing it as "unfiltered and heavyhanded with hops." Their Emerald Circle IPA demonstrates this style, as does Goldie Hops, an American-style golden ale. Tow Yard also offers a summery blend of Goldie Hops and locally made citrus-forward soda called the Hook Up.
Another Pacific Northwest–influenced brewery, Scarlet Lane Brewing Co., is opening this early summer at 7724 Depot St., McCordsville. After living in Oregon for seven years and falling in love with of Pacific Northwest style of beer, CEO and Brewer Eilise Lane decided to return home to Indiana bringing that love and inspiration with her. Scarlet Lane will be the first brewery in Indiana to be primarily women-owned and -operated.
"Our goals are focused around the respect for the history of beer, the role females have played and the collaborative spirit the industry inspires," said Lane. Scarlet Lane's core beers will be a saison, a red IPA and a stout.
From the other side of the globe, Taxman Brewing Co. was inspired by three of the owners living in Belgium. Their house line-up of all Belgian-style beers includes La Maison Farmhouse Ale, Standard Abbey Blonde, Deduction Dubbel, Exemption Tripel and Qualified Quadrupel. Taxman Brewing Co. is currently selfdistributing beer with plans to open in late July at 13 S. Baldwin St., Bargersville.
Brugge co-owner and brewer Ted Miller is no stranger to Belgian beer styles, but his new brewery, Outliers Brewing Co., focuses on a line of American craft beers. Recently opened downtown at 534 E. North St., Outliers' house lineup includes Buffalo Jacket IPA, Whitcomb Rye, Blau Machen Pilsner and County Brown. Miller believes that the Whitcomb Rye and County Brown are good examples of how Outliers distinguishes itself from other breweries.
"Most ryes on the market are rye-PAs [rye IPAs]. Not ours. It's a new American Rye." Miller's goal is "to produce the best beer we can and share it with people."
Rounding out the new breweries is a totally different concept: a used-book store and nanobrewery smashed into one location. Books & Brews, now open on the northside at 9402 Uptown Dr., Suite 1400, offers sustenance for both mind and palate. Each beer is cleverly named after a literary reference, such as Toil & Trouble Dark English Ale and Lord Byron's Breakfast Ale. Owner Jason Wuerfel wants to encourage patrons to put down their phones and start talking, providing discussion points throughout the brewery.