By Emily Laborde Hines – Preserve Greater Indy
In Indiana, we’re spoiled, as we have no shortage of tasty local beer. Even better, many of the homegrown breweries have made their home in historic buildings throughout the state. Besides breweries, there is a plethora of cool beer bars and brewpubs too. Here are a few of my favorites…
The Tomlinson Tap Room is located on the second story of the Indianapolis City Market in the heart of downtown Indy. This place is a prime stop for beer lovers, especially if you’re visiting and don’t have time to make the rounds to all of the breweries in Indiana (we have over 120). They only serve Indiana beer (awesome) and there are plenty of local vendors to get a bite from downstairs. The tamale stand is the jam. The bar is a gorgeous period piece salvaged specifically for the tap room.
Located inside the 1893 Athenaeum on Mass Ave, the Rathskeller is an experience. The Rathskeller is an Indy favorite for the huge outdoor beer garden, but the interior is also very unique. This is not your hipster beer bar with a careful juxtaposition of industrial cool and wooden farm tables. It’s got an old school, almost Hogwarts-like vibe, transporting you to old Bavaria for a few hours. They serve German fare and beer, of course, but they have a small rotation of other craft beers as well.
One of my favorite Indiana breweries, 18th Street Brewery of Gary, Indiana, opened up their second brewpub in Hammond, Indiana earlier this year. Located in an old furniture warehouse, the brewery was able to grow their brewing capacity to approximately 7,000 bbls per year while offering a tasty menu featuring locally-sourced foods. While en route to Chicago, I stopped by the brewpub to grab a snack and a beer. The building is enormous with the brew house, kitchen, and tasting room on the ground floor. If you’re in Chicago or on your way there, make sure you stop at 18th Street. Get the chili rubbed chicharrónes and a walking taco. Doesn’t matter the beer; they’re all great.
Upland Brewing Co. is an Indiana institution with its headquarters located in downtown Bloomington, Indiana. They produce excellent ales and lagers and excel at unique sour ales like their Persimmon sour ale aged on whole Indiana persimmons. Upland is opening their latest pub in Columbus, Indiana inside the historic Columbus Pump House on July 1 and I can’t wait! The Pump House was built in the 1880s and was once home to the city’s water works and a hydroelectric plant. The brewery has spent many months renovating the interior adding a kitchen, stone fired pizza oven and an outdoor patio overlooking the river. It’s going to be the perfect place to grab a pint after the Columbus Architecture Tour.
Bio of the author: Raised in the South with a love of Spanish moss, craftsman bungalows and front porches, I am Emily Hines, writer, dreamer and beer drinker. You can find me strolling down a century old city block snapping iPhone photos of colorful facades and searching for flea market treasures. Check out more of Emily’s adventures at emsontheroad.com.