By Caitlin Poe – Preserve Greater Indy
In 2015, Preserve Greater Indy kicked off Preservation Month with a whirlwind tour of Indiana craft breweries, highlighting how their commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization has transformed Indiana’s urban landscape and breathed new life into rural communities. Indiana craft beer is driven by a creative, dedicated, and collaborative group of small business owners who are, without a doubt, passionate about their trade as well as their impact on their local communities. Most importantly, they’re saving authentic places and revitalizing communities. Check out these examples that span our state from north to south and we think you’ll agree.
Crown Brewing – Crown Point
Crown Brewing takes its name and imagery from a regional brewery that called Crown Point home during pre-prohibition times. This craft brewery is located in the former Lake County Jail’s boiler and mechanical building (hence the smokestack). The jail, built in three separate stages, dates back to 1882. The site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes the former sheriff’s county residence, prisoner cell blocks, jail staff quarters, warden’s residence, prisoner cell blocks, and jail yard. One of the FBI’s most wanted gangsters, John Dillinger, escaped from this jail when he was jailed there in 1934. Crown Brewing has won numerous accolades, including two World Beer Cup awards, and hosts many annual events, including their Crown Beer Festival which attracts brewers and attendees from three states. Cheers to Crown Brewing for their dedication to preserving our past, community revitalization, and crafting outstanding local beer.
Indiana City Brewing Company – Indianapolis
During and after prohibition, Indiana (and America) lost a great number of breweries and brewery buildings. Indianapolis is lucky to have Indiana City Brewing Company, whose dedication to historic preservation led the team to repurpose this late 1880’s building, which was originally home to The Home Brewing Company. Owner Ray Kamstra was quoted as saying, “Opening Indiana City Brewing in The Home Brewing Co. Bottling House brought beer back to one of Indy’s few remaining pre-prohibition era brewery buildings and provides the best atmosphere for fulfilling our mission of adding to Indy’s craft beer culture by celebrating the creative community within.” This is a must-see preservation story and something we in Indianapolis are proud to call our own.
Tin Man Brewing Company – Evansville
Located in an 1869 beauty, Tin Man Brewing Company repurposed a historic building and revitalized an entire section of Franklin Street. Tin Man Brewing is known locally for their robot themed logo and canned beer, and credited nationally for their dedication to environmentally sound business practices and as the third brewery in the country to use a mash filter. This is an essential stop for anyone visiting Evansville.
Join the celebration and recognize local craft breweries that have saved authentic places and revitalized your community by tagging #beersavesplaces. Cheers!