Barley Island extends to "Deer Creek Brewery" 

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New in Noblesville

Barley Island Brewing Company, established in 1999 at 639 Conner St. (Noblesville) retains its iconic family friendly atmosphere in the heart of historic downtown N-ville, while owner Jeff Eaton now teams up with Eric Smith to launch Deer Creek Brewery LLC, a new production brewery and tasting room for those 21 and older adjacent to Noble Corner at 17661 Cumberland Road.

“Once all government inspections and approvals are complete, the Deer Creek production brewery will be fully operational and the cozy tasting room will be open to the public for samples, pints and carryout in 32-ounce can Crowlers,” said Eaton.

“Barley Island will continue on as a brewpub,” informed Eaton in an email interview exchange with NUVO. “The BI brands in bottles will be filled at Deer Creek and sold only at Barley Island.”

Along with its established year-round beers, Barley Island has offered Deer Creek American Porter, and it stays as a Barley Island brand, as will seasonals including Oktoberfest, Java Stout and the Imperial Series. Eaton said Deer Creek Brewery will establish its own brands with four year-round beers: a German-style Pils, American IPA, Red Cream Ale and Rye IPA, all available in 16-ounce cans and draft.


"The marketplace is getting crowded certainly but by doing some unique year-round beers and rotating in seasonals we believe we can establish and grow our brands," said Eaton. “The Deer Creek offerings will be distributed in Indiana and Illinois beginning in the fourth quarter 2015.”

Eaton said new, larger tanks at Deer Creek will significantly expand capacity beyond what Barley Island could do, and although some of the larger brewery tanks and packaging equipment from Barley Island will move to Deer Creek, Eaton plans to brew at Barley Island as well as at Deer Creek.

"With the new company name and a much larger production space for Deer Creek Brewery we will be able to focus on obtaining draft business with bars & restaurants, add 16 oz cans to the product mix, and expand our bourbon barrel-aging and sour ale program," said Eaton. "Year round and seasonal beers will be packaged in 16-ounce four-pack cans, while our imperial beers will be packaged in 12-ounce four-pack bottles."

Eaton said, “While no kitchen will be on-site, patrons will be able to order food for delivery [to the taproom] from adjacent restaurants specializing in Mexican, Chinese and Sushi cuisine.”

Annual special events are in planning stages.

Out and about

Flat 12’s Penrod 22 made its debut in 2013 as a “charitable brew” and a paean to the 22 founders of an organization that has been intimately tied to the full spectrum of greater Indianapolis arts organizations. Penrod 22’s welcome return proved its original recipe endures with a fragrant, fruit nose and smooth finish while the deep gold color sparkles in the sunshine of the annual “nicest day.”

Beers I tasted during Jazz Fest Pub Creep include a aromatic Twenty Below Farmhouse Ale at Twenty Tap; Flat 12’s flavor full Langston’s Irish Red available only at Flat 12 Taproom and Langston’ Irish Pub; tropical fruity-spicy bread Rock-A-Rye-Baby at BRBP; crisp, clean Blau Machen Pilsner at Outliers.

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Oktoberfest officially kicked off on Sept. 16

Indiana’s brewers are in the fray with the traditionally tasty, easy to drink amber brews that are low in alcohol and low in hops bitternes. Here’s a sampling of the newest:

Sun King Oktoberfest, crafted with choice German malts and Noble hops, has a clean malty start with a slightly earthy hop character and a crisp, dry finish.

Upland says their Oktoberfest Bavarian Lager is a Märzen-style lager whose body, maltiness and subtle caramel and toffee flavor and blend of three German hop varieties (for a slightly higher ABV) set it apart.

Oaken Barrel named their traditional malty German lager “Oaktoberfest.” It is very drinkable with complex flavors and a light hoppy finish, claims Kwang Casey.

Blind Owl’s Phantom Forest Oktoberfest has made a comeback.

Thr3e Wise Men Antonius 1742 Oktoberfest is a crisp, bready German lager. If you’re not a pumpkin beer fan, this is a close cousin to the spicy tastes and aroma of Autumn.

If pumpkin is your thing, head to Tow Yard for Orange is the New Black O’Lantern Pumpkin/Yam beer, built upon their Scottish style ale with over 100 pounds of locally grown roasted pie pumpkins added to the boil and a generous amount of kettle carmelization for notes of burnt orange and smoke; lightly spiced wit cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom .
Bier is releasing their Pumpkin Ale at a free party at the brewery on Sept. 26, 3-9 p.m.

Union Jack Broad Ripple 3rd Annual Pumpkin Beer Fest on Oct. 3, 2-6 p.m. offers a swath of tastes and this year adds a pumpkin costume contest. Tickets can be found here.


Other new brews

Thr3e Wise Men’s Centennial Martyr Double IPA features clover honey from Hunter's honey farm in Martinsville and Cascade and Falconers flight hops for 8 percent ABV and 92 IBUs.

Blind Owl’s newest seasonal is an English ESB.

Crown Liquors is featuring Taxman’s first line of brews in 22 oz bottles. You’ll find Deduction Dubbel, Exemption Tripel, La Maison Saison and Qualified Quad at these Crown locations: Avon, Southport Rd & I-65; Downtown; 106th & Michigan Rd; 146th & Olio Rd.

Chilly Water’s newest is Indy High Bines Fresh Hop Pale and Peter Paul Chocolate Coconut Porter (think Mounds bar in a beer) made a comback.

Indiana City’s Double Tribute is a bigger take on their year-round Tribute Pale Ale. It is single-hopped with the “mighty Eureka hop for huge dank hop aroma and aggressive bitterness that’s perfectly balanced out by its higher ABV and smooth malt sweetness,” reads the description.

“We filled one bourbon barrel with Irish Hill, our award winning Irish Red Ale. After a long rest in the cellar, Irish Hill slowly evolved into Hellcat Maggie, a sweet, mellow, light-bodied beer, full of delicate vanilla and oak character, mildly tart with slight wild earthiness,” reads an email notice from Indiana City.

Upland’s Cauldron Sour Ale is now on tap at their Bloomington Brewpub.


Half Moon’s golden hued Heavenly Hefeweizen is a 50/50 blend of wheat malt and barley malt, with a special strain of yeast that adds the flavors and aromas of bananas and cloves.

Bloomington Brewing /Lennie’s has a Sept. 23 tapping for Rye IPA made with locally grown rye from Sugar Creek Malt in Lebanon, IN. Red-hued with spicy undertones and a delicious bite, the hoppy profile comes from Nugget, Falconer's Flight, dry-hopped Tettnanger.

Side note: Show your ticket to an IU Opera and Ballet performance at the MAC to a server at Lennie’s/Bloomington Brewing and you’ll get a complimentary mini-indulgence treat.


Oops, we got a bit over eager with the tapping of BRBP’s special 25th brew. It will be tapped on the anniversary celebration date: It's Nov. 14, reminds brewer Jonathon Mullens. The Oct. 14 countdown day will feature another roster of brews.

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About The Author

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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