The recent tapping at Twenty Tap from the not quite year old Carson's Brewery brought to mind Evansville's once-storied brewing industry. The past two years have brought renewed craft beer vigor to Indiana's third largest city and one of its oldest, settled in 1812 and incorporated in 1819. An important Ohio River town from the outset, the Wabash and Erie Canal connecting the Great Lakes with the Ohio River helped Evansville build a diverse economy, including commercial brewing with an international reputation.
However, following Prohibition, not until the 1996 opening of the brewery at Turoni's Pizzary did Evansville regain a hint of its brewing significance — and not until the 2012 opening of Tin Man Brewing has Evansville beer regained international attention.
Within the past year Tin Man, built as a model of sustainability, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year from The Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana and has won Bronze for their Circuit Bohemian Pilsner at Canada's Calgary Beerfest. Other first year wins include Brew Haven Craft Beer Festival 2013 People's Choice award and Indiana State Fair BIG 2013 Silver for Positron Belgian Blonde and Bronze for Black IPA.
Tin Man's marketing team earned a National Gold ADDY Advertising award for packing and design which also earned mention on the website "Oh Beautiful Beer" citing Tin Man's "remarkable graphic design."
Tin Man and Carson's are production breweries, leaving Turoni's as the sole brewpub noted for its décor and its German, English and Belgian-style brews, including Ol' 23 Stout, an homage to Yankee great Don Mattingly, who is the co-owner's brother.
News of brews
Bier Brewery marked its third anniversary Dec. 13 with the return of Silver Medal Belgian Quad Sanitarium and a lineup of new and favorite "old" brews. The Yard Line in Castleton is the newest among 34 other bars and restaurants offering Bier brews on tap.
Half Moon and Lafayette Brewing Company are doing a "keg swap" to bring new experiences to their regular patrons. On tap at Half Moon is LBC's Lederhosen Dunkel Roggen dark rye beer brewed with Weihenstephaner hefewiezen yeast. LBC will pour Half Moon's Better Day IPA.
Oaken Barrel's Undead Red Ale, created in collaboration with Dill Hero of Strange Brew Coffee, is a malty red ale infused with roasted coffee.
Indiana City's Cratchit's Winter Olde Ale is now in 750ml bottles at the brewery during regular taproom hours. It's brewed in the style of a sweet, malty English Strong Ale with the addition of allspice and cinnamon.
Flat 12 Beers of Christmas tappings continue Dec. 19-22.