#IndianaCraftBeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
January 2021 is here. Finally.
A time-honored tradition among many craft-beer drinkers every January is Dryanuary or, a month without alcohol. But this January, craft breweries need our help more than ever. And, let’s face it, we all need a beer more than ever. So what’s a good compromise between cutting out drinking altogether for a month and giving craft breweries our support? Let’s go with drinking more low-ABV beers. If you indulged in a lot of high-ABV beers over the holidays like we did, it’s time to cleanse the palate anyway.
Bad Dad Brewing Co. isn’t the sort of brewery you’re likely to stumble across accidentally. Barry Howard has no qualms saying that the brewery he and his sons founded in Fairmount, Indiana, isn’t in a location people generally think of as a destination. Instead, he’s proud of the fact that he made the brewery and its associated restaurant and brewpub into the destination.
To mark this year’s pandemic-extended July 15 Tax Day, we talked with Bargersville, IN-based Taxman Brewing Company‘s co-owner and chief production officer, Colin McCloy. Normally the brewery hosts an annual Death & Taxes Day festival around April 15. However, much like the IRS, the brewery had to delay the festival. This year’s festival is planned for August 29, 2020.
Taxman’s Belgian-style Ales and farm-to-table restaurant menu reflect the owners’ love and passion for Belgian culture. Their enthusiasm for beer also extends into American Farmhouse Ales and Midwest Saisons, along with a strong barrel-aging program. The brewery operates a 20-barrel brewhouse plus several satellite restaurant/taprooms in central Indiana.
My hometown of Griffith, Indiana is lucky enough to have two breweries that have seen strong support from the locals during the quarantine period. While other states have seen a spike in reported cases, the Chicagoland area and northwest Indiana have seen a much needed, steady decline in recent weeks. Many of the area’s smaller towns are starting to bustle with an activity that feels reminiscent of the days before a pandemic disrupted our lives. New Oberpfalz is a quintessential small-town brewery with a twist. Located in an old 1930s Main Street storefront building that has been renovated, the small taproom and patio is a cozy and comfortable place to spend an afternoon. While the main focus continues to be old-world German-Style Ales and Lagers, they do offer a variety of American style varieties as well.
Zombie Dust, Gumball Head, Alpha King and the rest of the 3 Floyds lineup of beers will still be available to-go from the brewery in Munster, IN. But, the ability to sit down and have a drink or a bite to eat won’t be around for the foreseeable future; the 3 Floyds Brewpub is closed indefinitely.
As winter turns to spring, the weather can be pretty deceptive—particularly in the Midwest. Depending on what the weather has decided to do each day, it can go anywhere from warm and sunny to a bit chilly to downright cold. If you’re the type of beer drinker who enjoys matching the beer you’re drinking to the weather outside, what are you supposed to do? This is where a beer like Robert the Bruce from Munster, Indiana’s Three Floyds Brewing comes in. A full-bodied Scottish-style ale with an IBU of 24 and an ABV of 6.5%, it’s warming and malty, yet just light enough to sip while lounging on the porch as the evening turns from warm to chilly.
In honor of what would have been Tax Day, April 15, it seemed appropriate to chat with co-owner and chief production officer Colin McCloy of Taxman Brewing Company in Bargersville, Indiana. This is normally a celebratory time for the brewery as it hosts the annual Death & Taxes Day festival. However, much like the IRS has extended Tax Day to July, the brewery had to reschedule the festival for late August.
Taxman’s Belgian-style Ales and farm-to-table restaurant menu reflect the owners’ love and passion for Belgian culture. Their enthusiasm for beer also extends into American farmhouse Ales and Midwest Saisons, along with a strong barrel-aging program. The brewery operates a 20-barrel brewhouse plus several satellite restaurant/taprooms in central Indiana.
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.