These days, technology makes it easy to do most things quickly, and with little effort. But more often than not, quality requires a human touch, and that's exactly what the brewers at Union Brewing Company are doing. They create a slew of beers just two barrels at a time, rendering each of them with old-school methods and natural ingredients. Each of the ales are cask-conditioned, unfiltered, and never force carbonated. At the brewery, visitors can sample the hand-pulled ales at their ideal temperature—the exact temperature of a Snowman's frosted beer stein—check out the equipment, or sign up for a membership for discounts on pours.
As a student at Ball State University, Scott Wise spent many a night at Mugly's Pub & Eatery, a local dive known for its burgers and trio of draft beers. After some time away, Scott returned to his college town of Muncie only to discover that Mugly's was for sale. Rechristened Scotty's Brewhouse, the former dive now sports a handmade oak bar and old-fashioned gas-burning lanterns, not to mention more than 30 beers on tap.
Scotty's now has six locations throughout Indiana as well as sister pub, Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co, and each has its own menu of brews, wines, cocktails, and alcohol-repellent sodas. Though the libations change, the food menu remains the same at each award-winning eatery. The brew houses' cooks pair beer-spiked marinara sauce with gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches full of cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack, as well as crown half-pound burgers with peanut butter and jalapeños. Bison burgers are available on a low-calorie menu, and gluten-free options include chicken sandwiches smothered in thai peanut sauce. All venues welcome scores of families and kids, who feast on homemade pizzas, salads, and subs--especially on Sundays and Tuesday, when kids eat free with the purchase of adult entrees.
With its street-level location beneath a downtown Indianapolis parking garage, adjacent to the multi-level Circle Centre Mall, Ram Restaurant and Brewery is an easily-accessible lunch and dinner option for shoppers and business professionals alike. The facility’s red-brick exterior, which holds an oversized mock brewery kettle drum, makes Ram easy to find at its South Illinois Street location. An obvious focus on the craft beer industry and locally-created seasonal brews can be found on the menu, making Ram a popular after-work stop, where visitors can even sit outside and enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life. Tucked inside, menu options vary from steaks, ribs and seafood to fire-grilled burgers, unique sandwiches and various gluten-free selections. Child-friendly items are also available.
Three Pints Brewpub inspires satiated smiles with a selection of Indiana craft brews and other suds paired with an expansive menu of nonliquid tooth polish. Soak up a glass of house-brewed American Brown Ale or Blonde Wheat ($4.75/pint) with the 8-ounce Angus sponge of The Big One burger, flanked by red onion, tomato, lettuce, pickle, and mayo ($8.95). Chicken alfredo ($12.95) and the spicy rattlesnake shrimp pasta ($14.95)—both served with a side salad and two garlic breadsticks—can be spooled into chompers with forks or wrapped around the necks of Three Pints’ domestic beer bottles ($3). The exquisitely marbled 12-ounce New York strip comprehensively quells carnivorous cravings ($21.95), a d the chocolate swiss-chalet cake sates sweet teeth with white chocolate mousse, dark chocolate cake, and tiny scintillas of platinum Swiss watches ($5.95).
The knowledgeable winemakers at Hops & Harvest delight in teaching customers how to transmute grapes in varietals such as chardonnay and pinot noir into nuanced wines. Hops & Harvest stocks the tools and resources that beginning and veteran home-brewers need to concoct fresh, delicious organic wines from the comforts of their homes as well as the hops and malts needed to bottle, keg, and barrel homemade brews. Live displays, samples, and classes keep the spacious store abuzz. Most wines and beers can be made indoors at any time of year, eliminating the final reason to leave the house during January.
Granite City Food & Brewery, a casual family restaurant founded by hospitality experts, has an on-site brewery and a menu stuffed with more steak, seafood, pasta, flatbread pizza, burger, and sandwich options than Abe Lincoln had dollar bills stuffed in his top hat. Gourmet pub-grub appetizers and many other generously portioned dishes are listed alongside the beers that bring out their flavors. The intoxicating taste of the inebriated vodka mussels ($12.99) is suggested alongside Northern Light––a light creamy beer––and the juicy, tender meatiness of a 14-ounce New York strip ($25.99) is advised along with Brother Benedict’s bock––a brownish German-style lager. Others among Granite City Food & Brewery's six specialty brews are the Irish-style Broad Axe stout, known for its nose of roasted chocolate and coffee notes, and Duke Of Wellington, an IPA with muscle-bound malt character and a deep-seated dislike of Napoleon.