What is Indiana City Beer?

Honestly, there can really never be enough beer nor breweries. Every style is different, every brewery is different  and every brewer has a personality of their own.  

Welcome to Indiana City Beer. 
A new nano-brewery is in the works currently hoping to revive The Home Brewing Company's bottling house by fall of 2012. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Ray Kamstra, the founder of Indiana City Beer, during a tasting at Tomlinson Tap Room and tried their Oatmeal Stout along with their Pale Ale. Both were very well received by myself and my fellow bloggers. It has definitely left me curious with what else Ray will produce. 

To help fellow IndianaBeer readers know more about Indiana City Beer, I sent Ray a few questions which I hope will give curious minds a glance at what I hope will become one of Indianapolis' top nano-breweries. 

A side note before the Q&A --  Indiana City Beer is still looking for pledges for their kickstarter program . If you want to help please click the link  - How You Can Help!

Home Brewing Co 
And if you are wanting to try some of their beer -- Pop down to Fountain Square and see them tonight (8/3) at Red Lion Grog House - at 7pm. 

Q&A -- 
Answered by Ray Kamstra, Founder
How long have you been brewing?
I’ve been homebrewing for a few years now. I really dove into it head-first back when my wife and I were living in Chicago. I got started after reading Charlie Papazian’s “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing.” After my first two batches I was ready to go all-grain. The first all-grain batch I brewed was an American Pale Ale and it rocked! At that point I was hooked, and you could say that’s when I became a full-on student of brewing. I began studying text-books on brewing. After about a year of developing a solid understanding of the traditional processes and the science behind making beer, I started sending my beer off to homebrew competitions. My beer consistently receives high scores and my Wheat Ale is my blue ribbon winner.
What are your favorite styles of beer?
I’m a big fan of aromatic, hop-forward India Pale Ale. Like most beer drinkers, my tastes change with the seasons. Give me a Kolsch in the summer, a Porter in the fall and a rich Imperial Stout in the winter, but a well-balanced IPA is always in season in my opinion.

What made you decide to go from home brewing to becoming a nanobrewery?
There was a point in my brewing early on that I knew I was up to the challenge of starting my own brewery. A couple years ago I read “Starting Your Own Brewery” a publication of the Brewer’s Association, and I began reading probrewer.com to learn all I could about commercial brewing. I found real inspiration for taking my brewing to the next level by visiting microbreweries where I met guys like me with a true passion for making beer, who also got their start as homebrewers. I learned about how they put a solid plan together, perfected their craft and successfully made the leap towards going pro. That’s when I knew I had to take my passion for making great beer, along with my professional experience in graphic design and marketing to build my own brewery. I continued reading all I could about beer and brewing. Each concept I developed was reworked over and over, until I had a solid strategy in mind. Then, last winter I took two months to develop the business plan, met with advisors and revised every aspect of the plan until I had a clear roadmap for building Indiana City.

We made the decision to start off small for a couple of reasons. The main reason being, starting small keeps us close to our homebrewing roots so we can focus on brewing quality beer and being more experimental.

What was the inspiration behind the name of your brewery?
The name, Indiana City, is the literal definition of “Indianapolis” and it also highlights a sentiment of mine. Indianapolis is the major city in Indiana and I take pride in the growing arts scene and beer culture found here. The creative energy in Indy is truly comparable to what you find in bigger cities. It’s on a smaller scale, but the work ethic and artistic talent found in the community here is second to none. I want Indiana City to grow in this community as the community grows along with it.

How is Indiana City Beer going to define and separate themselves from current breweries?
First of all, we will be much smaller than all of our neighbors. Being small allows us to take a hand-crafted approach to brewing beer that celebrates the art of craft brewing. Our beers are a little different from what other brewers are doing. We start on the foundation of traditional styles and take it up a notch with specialty spices, aromatic hops and increased alcohol. For example, our Pale Ale is a Belgian style with aromatic hops common to American style Pale Ale and slightly spiced with an ingredient rarely used in beer. The result is a fresh, aromatic beer that doesn’t really fit into a traditional style category. To us, that’s what craft beer is all about.

It’s our mission to brew innovative beers for craft beer lovers in Indy. And that is that. We’re focused on Indy. We’re doing all we can to add to the beer culture right here. We’ll be filling growlers at our taproom near downtown, and we’ll be on tap at select craft beer bars in Indy.

Indiana City will be an outlet for local artists to display their work, perform, collaborate and expand local creative expression. We have an affinity for breweries that understand the important role visual arts play in the craft beer experience. When you smell and taste a beer you're experiencing the artistry of the brewer who made it. The visual aesthetic of the label on the bottle or the taphandle it was poured from effects that experience too. Done well, we believe visual art can heighten that experience and lead to an even greater respect for beer. Though we have no plans to bottle or can in the first couple years, the visual arts will be woven into every beer we brew.

When is your estimated date for opening the taproom?
We’re shooting for opening later this year. It’s nearly impossible to give an exact date at this time. There are just way too many variables, but we are on track for getting it all put together by the end of this year. We post regular updates on our website at indianacitybeer.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Anyone who follows our progress there will be among the first to know.

Please help welcome Indiana City Beer; support your local breweries so that we can continue to grow Indiana's beer presence to the nation. 

- Kathleen

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