Indiana Wine and Beer to Fall In Love With
Being a Hoosier, when I do this math it inspires me to go local. And don't think it has to be chewable or crunchable or be served on a plate if it's locally produced. In fact, some of the most exciting and innovative examples of Indiana cuisine are in bottles, glasses and growlers.
The craft beer craze continues, and Indianapolis breweries have many seasonal styles to make you "hoppy" in the upcoming months. Do you know what else is on tap? Wine. New Day Meadery in Fountain Square pumps it up with a selection of fizzy, fruity, fresh mead (honey-based) wines on tap.
"It's the best of both worlds," says Brett Canaday, who along with wife Tia Agnew owns and makes mead wine and hard cider at New Day Meadery. "The product is on tap like a brewery, but tastes like wine served at a winery."
Here's a look at fall beers, wines and hard ciders made locally that can be sampled and purchased at tasting rooms, sipped in Indy bars and restaurants and found at retailers. For up-to-date availability, check with the producers.
GOLD RUSH AND JOHNNY CHAPMAN CIDERS
New Day Meadery's hard apple ciders are a don't miss for the season. Gold Rush is crisp, refreshing and dry with aromas of Golden Delicious apple. Meanwhile, Johnny Chapman cider has a bit more body and a sweetness that comes from Indiana sorghum.
Another can't-miss from New Day is the Free Thinker, a draftstyle blueberry honey wine with delicate and enticing aromas and flavors of wild blueberry. Dry, crisp, with just enough fizzy bubbles to make you go back for a second glass.
Details: New Day Meadery, 1102 E. Prospect St., Indianapolis; 888-632-3379; newdaymeadery.com
This semi-sweet blend of Chambourcin, Cayuga and Vidal Blanc from Columbus' Simmons Winery is a year-round favorite but perfect for fall foods. This especially great companion for Thanksgiving feasting will complement the juicy moisture of turkey, be it smoked, roasted or fried. The rosé's subtle sweetness and spice will pair with sweet potatoes done in the marshmallow bake style or roasted and drizzled with Cajun butter.
Details: Simmons Winery, 8111 E. 450 N., Columbus; 812-546- 0091; simmonswinery.com
Mallow Run Winery makes this tart, fresh wine that is a wonderful addition to a pre-game tailgate party. Pair it with fried chicken and potato salad and enjoy an Indiana fall picnic.
Details: Mallow Run Winery, 6964 W. Whiteland Rd., Bargersville; 317-422-1556; mallowrun. com
Chambourcin is a grape that Easley grows in its vineyards along the Ohio River. The new 2010 American Chambourcin release was aged in oak barrels, adding more depth to this bold, dry red that pairs well with beef and game.
Details: Easley Winery, 205 N. College Ave; 317-636- 4516; easleywinery.com
FLAT JACK ALE
Head into Flat12 Bierwerks' downtown Indy tasting room to taste fall in a glass (or bring it home in a growler). Flat Jack Ale has notes of pumpkin, which we can't help but crave this time of year.
Details: Flat12 Bierwerks, 414 N. Dorman Street, Indianapolis; 317-635-2337; flat12.me
Upland Brewing Company takes us to Munich via the Midwest with this Bavarian-style lager made from German malts and rare German hops. Sweet and malty, crisp and hoppy, and just right to drink when the weather turns the corner.
In October, keep an eye out for Upland's Komodo Dragonfly Black India Pale Ale, a dark, bitter beer with a touch of lavender, and Teddy Bear Kisses Imperial Stout, a dark beer made with fair-trade cocoa nibs (try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the glass).
Details: Upland Brewing Company, Indianapolis Tasting Room, 4842 N. College Ave., Indianapolis; 317-602-3931; uplandbeer.com
Sun King Brewing rolls out Rattlesnake IPA in October, fresh hop beer with hops from Rattlesnake Hollow Hop Farm in French Lick. Dark-beer lovers will covet late-fall releases like Cowbell Porter and El Gallo Negro, a black IPA. Like apple pie? Try Malus Pi, Sun Kin's wheat beer infused with local crab apples, cinnamon and oats.
Details: Sun King Brewing, 135 N. College Ave., Indianapolis; 317- 602-3702; sunkingbrewing.com