Powered by than more 5 score of collective experience, the staff members at Great Fermentations share their technical know-how with the public through classes and an intimate knowledge of the store's merchandise. Beginner-friendly beer and wine courses teach fundamentals of tasty beverage creation, overviewing the process, ingredients, sanitation, and how to do a proper keg stand. A huge selection of beer and wine making supplies makes it easy for alumni to go forth and prosper with all the appropriate equipment and ingredients. Great Fermentations also stocks provisions for creating homemade sodas, wines, and a variety of cheeses.
A car comes to life with a blanket of animatronic fish. An engineer pours a computer casing from liquid resin. Pedal-powered creations fly across a stretch of asphalt. Rather than let the processes of invention and tinkering stay confined to basements and workshops, the annual Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire, powered by TekVenture, thrusts them into Headwaters Park for a family-friendly outdoor event. Up to 100 "makers"—artists, scientists, and tinkerers who invent, experiment, and create—showcase their crafts through live demonstrations and hands-on interactive experiences. These displays cover the spectrum of technology, using materials ranging from wood and fabric to electronics. Beyond the exhibits, the annual event features engineering challenges, live sets from local musicians, and stunt-filled BMX demonstrations. Locally produced food is also available for purchase.
In an interior that blends the aura of a club with that of a good friend’s living room, minimalist geometric paintings reminiscent of Rothko’s work hang alongside classical portraiture on the walls. Beneath the swaths of color, patrons direct their own tasting experiences with self-serve Enomatic machines, which draw from dozens of bottles to dispense servings of 1–6 ounces of red or white wines. More than 30 domestic and international wines star on the wine list, from sweet rieslings to cabernet sauvignons to the deep red of a rebellious bull’s Camaro. Sharable plates, including baked brie with apricot compote and flatbreads topped with steak and Stilton blue cheese, fuel conversation.
When Harmony Winery co-owner Kevin Croak was a teenager growing up on Long Island, he experimented with making wines from sugar and the juice of wild berries. "I used to hide them in the cemetery behind my house, hoping my dad wouldn't find them," Croak told the Indianapolis Star. "But I didn't understand about fermentation, and the bottles blew up." Luckily for visitors to the cozy tasting room and winemaking studio, Harmony Winery has mastered all aspects of the vino-crafting process. Now, they invite their guests to do the same through fun, informative classes and you-make-it bottling sessions.
Clients stop in to sample some of Harmony's 35 different vintages amid luxurious leather sofas, a warm fireplace, and friendly company, pairing their wines with fine chocolates and seasonal dinner selections. Guests can cozy up to a tasting bar or commune in an event space outfitted with a big-screen TV and surround sound. Aspiring vintners hone their crafts with the winery's extensive selection of supplies, which includes custom labels for weddings or holidays, bohemian-crystal decanters for letting wine breathe, and vacuum pumps for trapping wine-spoiling poltergeists. Harmony Winery also demonstrates how cost-effective and healthy homemade wine can be, and how self-crafted vino can have lower levels of tannin and sulfites.
The story of Mallow Run Winery reads like a Steinbeck novel with a happy ending—a tale of romance, music, and farm life. John Richardson grew up on the 600-acre plot where Mallow Run now resides, but left for 35 years to become a teacher. During this time, he raised his son, Bill, whose dream of following the pastoral path of his ancestors led him to pursue a degree in Agriculture at Purdue University. After he graduated and his father retired, they both returned to John’s stomping ground with the intent of growing grapes for various Indiana wineries. Bill would meet his wife, Laura, while playing music locally in the Carmel Symphony—the former on French horn and the latter on clarinet—and thus, the triumvirate behind Mallow Run Winery was born.
Between the bushels of corn and soybeans that spring from the verdant fields, eight acres of grapevines produce the plump fruit that goes into bottles of Chardonel, Traminette, Seyval Blanc, and other varietals, and the tailpipes of any double-parked cars on the estate. The winery has become a destination to listen to live music in addition to sipping wine with friends and family, as the winery’s spacious lawn is often used for concerts from local artists.
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.