#IndianaCraftBeer – PorchDrinking.com
Summer has finally arrived, and in the Midwest, we only have a few short months of sunshine and warm weather. What better way to enjoy the summer than to take a quiet stroll away from the concrete jungle of Chicago? In honor of Indiana Dunes receiving National Park status, I decided to dust off my hiking boots and head to northwest Indiana to see what fun a craft beer nerd and nature lover can have in Porter County.
Burn ‘Em Brewing is located in Michigan City, Indiana, not far from the entrance of Indiana Dunes National Park. They have slowly made a name of themselves in the area as a brewery to be reckoned with, as the competition in the South Shore communities increases. The tourist destination in northwestern Indiana has quickly become a destination for nature lovers and craft beer enthusiasts alike. One of their most popular offerings is an easy-drinking cream ale with a uniquely Indiana twist. It should not come as a shock to you that the state of Indiana has a lot of corn, and Burn ‘Em Brewing found a very good use of the state’s abundant supply.
While I can’t say anything bad about the Chicago beer scene (we DO have the most breweries per capita), everything else about this city is exhausting, to say the least. From the rampant corruption, violent crime, high taxes and crumbling infrastructure, there is no shortage of issues that make a resident of Cook County want to drink. When I am in need for some fresh air, fresh ale and small-town charm, my day drinking location of choice has always been my hometown: Griffith, IN, located right over the border, 30 minutes south of Chicago.
Griffith’s downtown has the charm of a small town, but also the amenities of some of Chicago’s most sought-after neighborhoods. It’s no wonder people are leaving Illinois in record numbers; many of them are moving here. Real estate is hot and the secret is out—Griffith is a pretty hip(ster) place to be. The town of 17,000 now boasts a small but bustling downtown complete with a bowling alley (with a large outdoor patio area), gourmet popcorn shop, meat market, coffee house, arcade bar, vegan hair salon and three microbreweries. All of the three microbreweries are within a short walking distance from one another with plenty of cool local businesses between to browse, shop or grab a snack to soak up some of Griffith’s fine local beer. On a personal note, I grew up here (my most of my family still lives here) so this small town and its breweries have a special place in my liver. It’s my pleasure to bring you a drinker’s walking guide of downtown Griffith, IN.
“As a startup, you have the opportunity to self-distribute since nobody knows who you are,” said distributors to Sun King Brewery co-founder, Clay Robinson in 2009. Now, as Indiana’s second largest brewery and with numerous, prestigious brewing medals to its name, plenty of people know about Sun King Brewing.