Meet the New Brewers 2014

According to Barney from HIMYM “New is always better!”, slightly dated reference but hey it’s still on the air, and in terms of the brewing scene in Indiana there are going to be plenty of new breweries opening up in 2014. Our friends at Hoosier Beer Geek posted a list of 36, yes you read that right thirty six, breweries planning on opening in 2014. Their list is really comprehensive, but one of my favorite things about local breweries is being able to talk to the brewers and find out more about their styles and their brewery. So I sent out a few questions to some of the Indy area breweries and some from other parts of the state to find out a little more about the brewery. Below you will find the first two responses I’ve receive from the Director of Brewing Shenanigans at Two Deep Brewing Company, and from Summit City Beer Works in Fort Wayne, only the second brewery in the state’s second largest city. I’m still waiting on replies from many other breweries, because of that this will most likely be a series of posts so check back often. Also if you or someone you know is opening a brewery, have them get in touch with me at Anyway onto the breweries!

TwoDEEP Brewing Company, Indianapolis, IN
Director of Brewing Shenanigans: Anonymous (for now)
Location: Capitol Avenue
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I have been working on this project since about 2008 – at least that’s when I really put pen to paper and started writing the business plan. Originally from Indianapolis, I lived in Chicago from ’03 to ’10 which is where I fell in love with craft beer. Embarrassingly, everything I knew about beer up until about 2006/2007 was what I had learned in college…there are three types: Miller, Coors & Bud (with the occasional Natty Light, etc. thrown into the mix). While I am not proud of admitting that fact, it was where a lot of us come from whether we admit or not. Anyways, I was introduced to craft beer by a friend of mine one day after work. He took me to a place called the The Map Room which is a MUST visit for anyone who loves craft beer. As we sat there and tried all kinds of beer I was blown away at how each one I had was completely different than the one before. It was love at first sip and I was amazed at how enjoyable drinking a beer could be vs. choking down stuff that we forced ourselves to “like” during our coming of age phase in life. Fast forward a couple months and I found out you could actually make this stuff at home! Thinking to myself this is too good to be true, I started grabbing every book I could get my hands on and researching everything about home brewing. Standing in line at Borders, the checkout attendant asked if I was starting a home brewing library. I stuttered a response and said, “Um, they are gifts for a few people that I know.” Having stack seven of books in my hand, I thought to myself, “these people are going to think I’m crazy!” Digesting about half of the literature I purchased, watching numerous videos (I even caught the Good Eats with Alton Brown episode on home brewing), I figured it was time to give this thing a whirl. Equipment in hand, hundreds of brewing book pages absorbed, rubber gloves on and one of the most sanitized kitchens you would have ever encountered, I was ready! I brewed two batches the first time – an English Brown and an American Amber (such a good use of the spectrum, I - in hopes that one of them was going to turn out right. Not sure where the logic was coming from at that point, I proceeded forward. Four weeks later, it was time to pop these suckers open and see how bad I was going to be at this. Drank a bottle from each and I was blown away that by taking ingredients and doing a couple different things to them, I am then treated to this amazing elixir. I was not instantly in love with the process behind it. The marriage of science and art. From here on, drinking craft beer became secondary, I couldn’t get enough of the process of brewing. Having drank both of those first two beers, I was two deep when I knew this was what I wanted to do in life.

As mentioned above, I started writing a business plan in ’08 in the midst of brewing every other week if not every week for some periods. I had more beer than I knew what to do with. Spring of ’09, I enrolled at at Seibel Institute in an effort to put some professional knowledge behind my crazy obsession. I continued writing a business plan – which ultimately started out as a Brew On Premise idea (wanted to share my love of the brewing art with everyone) - but eventually evolved into a full on production brewery plan. Early ’10 we relocated back to Indy which put things on pause as well as having our second child. In 2011, I started running full steam again in getting off the ground and have been at it ever since. With numerous real estate hurdles along the way, we have hopped from one place to the next and just as recent as last week, we hit ANOTHER major hurdle. While it looks as if we have crossed it with ease, I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag until later this week. I can say that we are still on Capital Ave., just can’t announce exactly where.

We are doing a 15 bbl NSI system of which we acquired from a brewery in Nebraska (only a year old!). We will be operating out of a 7,000 sq ft facility with distribution and a sizable TapRoom – roughly 3,000 sq ft. - bringing together the best of both worlds. Our location is strategic in that the area where we will be is relatively un-serviced right now. We have had goal all along of creating a brewery that encourages you to stay for a pint or two and then have the ability to get your to-go packaged beer. Heck, fire up your laptop, have a meeting or just sit back and relax with some friends. We love the age old idea of a public house in that its a place for people to converse, so why not do it at the brewery!? The beers we will be offering will cover a wide range – I have fun brewing everything. I have a passion for German lagers and ales, however, we will be brewing all kinds of styles (“19 Days” - a fusion bock, and “Jenny Wheat” - a Belgian Wit are the most popular right now). Experimenting with crazy brew ideas will definitely find its way into the mix – holding it off for later as I want to get our year round brews and specialties into the hands of the public first. But one recipe I am working on right now is a Dark Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Stout.

As for opening, we are about 4 months away (provided TTB does not slow down anymore).

Director of Brewing Shenanigans
TwoDEEP Brewing Company

If you’ve ever talked to anyone who recently opened a brewery you’ll understand the difficulties that Mr. Director is talking about above. I for one am excited to see another production brewery in Indy.

Anyway on to another production brewery, however this time in Fort Wayne. In my humble opinion Fort Wayne is a bit of a wasteland for local beer. Yes Mad Anthony is there, the long standing local brewpub chain which has 4 locations. But to be honest with Fort Wayne having 419k people in the metro area versus 359k people in the Evansville metro area (Indy has 1,756k) and only one brewery compared to Evansville’s three. Well the guys from the new Summit City Brewerks in Fort Wayne are looking to change that. Below is the response from Summit City’s Head Brewer David Tomaszewski.

Summit City Brewerks
Head Brewer: David Tomaszewski
Location: 1501 East Berry St. Fort Wayne, IN
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We plan to have a brewpub and will be inviting the local food trucks to park outside our space during dining hours. We have a 7 BBL system but will produce mostly 3BBL batches as we are striving to provide variety and new experiences first and foremost. As far as what types of beer we will be making, we tend to feature fusions of technique and flavor. We will have some barrel aged beers, some sours, and some no nonsense traditional styles. We are very experimental! We are forever in search of the next great beer! One beer that has had great critical success is our Scotch Strawberry. It is a traditional Scotch ale to start, but then we dose it with ripe strawberries! There is also a series of Bourbon barrel IPA's I have been working on...I am a hop head at heart!

Will and I have both been brewing for 3 1/2 years and have packed lots of batches into such a small amount of time. I have a Culinary Arts background so I am always in search of great flavor and interesting tastes/techniques. Our location choice had a few facets; it has all the power we need already, it has a great vintage/industrial feel, and the developer plans to promote creative business in the surrounding spaces! Our grand opening will be in March and we are kicking things off festival style. Patrons buy a ticket and receive memorabilia and complimentary sampling for 5 hours! We plan to have at least 25 Summit City Brewerks beers, up to 10 guest taps, and some local wine! It should prove to be a memorable if not nerve wracking experience!

David Tomaszewski, Head Brewer
Summit City Brewerks

I hope you enjoyed the brief preview of these two new breweries in Indiana. Get out there and support your local breweries. Cheers!

- Jake

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