Introduction by Anita Johnson, owner of Great Fermentations, serving as moderator:

The reason for this first annual Indiana Craft Beer Roundtable is that 18 years ago NUVO Newsweekly and Broad Ripple Brewpub [BRBP] started quietly without much fanfare and both have had an impact on the community. NUVO has influenced arts and culture and what’s going on in the community as a whole and BRBP has influenced a lot of people who had their first taste of good beer at the brewpub. Now we have brewpubs all across the state. But it all goes back to BRBP.

Over the past 18 years both NUVO and the craft beer industry as a whole have engaged us with their philanthropy and civic responsibility and the love of craft.

We’ll talk today about the love of craft.

Let’s start by introducing the panel of brewers:

Eileen Martin, Upland Brewing Company, Bloomington
Jon Myers, Power House Brewing Company, Columbus
Ted Miller, Brugge Brasserie, Broad Ripple & Production Facility, Terre Haute
Greg Emig, Lafayette Brewing Company
Kevin Matalucci, Broad Ripple Brewpub
Paul Edwards, home brewer, member of Foam Blowers of Indiana and Central Indiana Alliance of Beer Judges
Clay Robinson, Ram Restaurant & Brewery
Omar Castrellon, Alcatraz Brewing Company
Jim Matt, home brewer, member of MECA

Johnson: Let’s go back to the beginning. John Hill started this with the BRBP. We have three brewers from BRBP, two former brewers and one current. Talk about the beginning of the brewpub.

Emig: I went down and met John Hill. I’d heard rumors of him starting a brewpub in Indianapolis. I got on board as fast as I could. I was a home brewer. I wanted to be part of the first brewpub in Indiana.
Unfortunately, John had hired a brewer the day before I met him. So I went ahead and worked with John as a laborer doing construction at the brewpub and then worked as a manager and bartender when BRBP first opened up. After a while I started up my own brewpub project.

Then John called me back. The brewer he’d hired took a job in Germany, so I quit my job the next day and started working with John. It was great being at the first place in Indiana where people could come in and order a pint of beer and sit across the bar from you and you could see them enjoying a craft beer, and being able to educate the public about the different styles and how good fresh beer can be.
John had an innate taste for what he liked to drink and had enough basic brewing knowledge so between us we could put together a top-quality product.

Miller: My personal story of this is I lived and grew up about five blocks away from Broad Ripple Brewpub. I was at school at IUPUI. I drove by the building one day and saw there was a brewery open so I drove home as fast as I could and said to my mom, “There’s a brewery five blocks away. I’m going to work there.” I had one problem. I was 20. I went over there day after day. Finally, one day John [Hill] said to me, “If you don’t come back until October, you’ll have a job.”

I was fascinated by this whole idea of a tiny brewery in my neighborhood. Greg [Emig] started me into the craft. Then Paul Edwards got me into the scientific aspects and ... into the idea of a career. I think BRBP changed a lot of people’s lives.

Matalucci: It was a love of craft. I started working there as a server and after four or five months I was bartending and once Ted had left John hired me as a brewer and I’ve been there ever since.

I remember when it [BRBP] was Broad Ripple Auto Parts. It’s a mile from my house. And now I have two brewpubs. The other one is Brugge. It’s three-quarters of a mile from my house. Now I can walk up the street and have the good fortune to drink with these two guys [indicating Kevin and Ted]. Let me tell you, it’s a lot of work. I would not want to be a pub owner because I don’t have the back for it. It’s a lot of work and a lot of dedication year ’round. I’d been hoping for it for a long time. And now it’s like I could quit home brewing.


Johnson: There’s a lot of status for being a brewer. People come into my store and say, “Well, Ted said ...” There’s a lot of technology and it takes being able to fix things. You can’t make many mistakes in brewing beer and make it profitable. You might want to talk about that?

Matalucci: Besides what else you’ve got going on any brew day, you have to be an electrician and a plumber so you definitely have to be hands-on.

Emig: You know, John didn’t have someone come in and install the brewery. It was very much John hands-on. It was hodge-podge equipment putting things together and making it flow. Engineering. Get into a rhythm. Not spend a lot of time. I learned a lot from John. When I started my own business I didn’t have to spend a lot of capital. I didn’t have assets to order brewery equipment so I could put things together. You have to be able to fix things.

I’ve known a lot of brewers starting like that and I’ve seen a lot of brewers using other people’s money for a really fancy brewery. I was in China. You get that fancy equipment. They don’t know how to fix it.

Johnson: Jon, talk about being a home brewer to being one of Indiana’s smaller brewpubs.

Myers: I want to add to what Kevin was talking about being a jack-of-all-trades. The equipment we put together we’ve had to figure out how to use it over the past nine months. On top of that I’m bartending, brewing, mopping floors.


Part of what’s true about all brewers that I know is that it’s the whole workload. Everyone working together. When people ask, “What do you do all day?” Sure it’s a craft and you make things but that’s only part of it.

The best brewers that I’ve met have enthusiasm for what they do. One of the things John offered me — he was so enthusiastic about the whole craft beer industry — call it microbrewery or craft brewery. We’d drive out to the Great American Beer Festival. It was 20 hours to Denver, but he’d talk to other brewers about equipment, what works, what doesn’t, interact with a lot of people. John loved to travel. He went to Denver; he went to Boston, Madison, Wis. We had a great time traveling around the country, being able to interact with all the small brewers, exploring the system, going to other places.

One of the things that impresses me about the industry is you are all kind of competitors, you are what you are, yet you share information between each other and support each other. You might want to talk about that, how you all share.

Miller: Here’s a great story. Not everyone knows about the hops shortage right now. Two weeks ago, Samuel Adams, the biggest craft brewer, sent an e-mail, “We have some extra hops. You guys tell us what you want. If there’s too many who want to buy we’ll have a lottery.”

Emig: They’ve had requests for over 100,000 pounds and they’re still coming in. The story is generosity to help competitors at cost.

Matalucci: At $20 per pound that’s a pretty good sport.


Martin: Considering supply and demand they could ask for a lot more. To offer that up at cost, that’s generosity.

Matalucci: For us here it’s interacting with one another. Talking amongst each other, sharing recipes, ideas.

Downtown we’ve got Alcatraz, Rock Bottom down the street. People come over to The Ram, you start talking to them about beer. They ask about pale ale, and if I don’t have any I can say, “Look you need to go over to Alcatraz or Rock Bottom.” We send people to other places. Hey, it’s collaboration. Say you come in and start brewing and you think you’ve got 150 pounds of malt and find you don’t so you can call down the street and get what you need. It’s a pretty small club. When you talk about brewers you see what kind of camaraderie you have to have.
We’re not competitors. We have to help each other. It’s a relationship.

Johnson: That brings up a great point. That is, when you find you have several brewpubs in one area you draw tourism to that area.

Robinson: In each area — downtown, Broad Ripple — there’s so much variety of beers, Belgian-style brewpub, American-style brewpub, English-style brewpub. People travel for that type of thing. Downtown we have different style pubs along Massachusetts Avenue and Fountain Square where you have unique places like Rathskeller. You get a synergy.

Audience question:
Is there a profile of a craft beer consumer?

Emig: We looked at our customer base. We’re talking about people who are university-related; we’re talking students, faculty, staff; we’re talking about downtown business people, local Lafayette workers and construction guys. We’re talking job diversity, age diversity. It’s still a niche thing but I don’t think it has any real definable parameters.

It’s a wide demographic.

I didn’t think of craft beer as being important to people who are traveling but travelers who come here like to taste different craft beer. It’s important to them that we have this diversity here.

One thing I realized when you stick to the same pub, when you’ve got a neighborhood pub, you see the same people. When the BRBP was brand new people were unsure about the beer they were drinking. When you see the same people, over a time they would start talking about the beer and they would say, “Oh, I think this week the beer is ...” They could detect differences that a year ago they couldn’t even think about. They’ve become much more educated beer consumers. They were first attracted because it was a new idea but then they became regulars.

I think the beer consumers now are a lot smarter than they were 20 years ago. They can now go to a pub and know the difference between a Belgian ale and an English ale. They know when you get a factory beer everything is measured out exactly the same every time. But when you go to a brewpub there are variations. For instance, I can go to Brugge and notice a difference from time to time. The Tripel is a little different today from last time. It’s still a great beer.


Martin: That’s the difference between macro breweries and brewpubs — you don’t expect the same.

Macro breweries are expected to be the same, but because of the economic environment of brewpubs, from the time you first brew to the next time there are differences. It definitely changes.

Audience question: What is the percentage beer to food?

Miller: It’s close to 50-50 for me, food to beer. It’s different for everybody.

Robinson: I’m interested in the camaraderie that’s part of food and beer. I like sitting down with somebody at a brewpub. I go to Brugge and notice what they’re serving. You put those things together. You like good beer, good food. You like to link those up.

We use a lot of our beer in our food. You mix together onions and tomatoes with an IPA; you use beer to tenderize meat. You try to pair things for good beer and good food.

Emig: One time you could have one or the other but you can’t get away with that anymore. Now you better have both sides, good food and good beer.

Robinson: For profitability you need the balance.

Matt: For me it’s great that with Terre Haute Brewing, Brugge now can have four to five beers on tap all the time.


Johnson: Let’s talk about beer and food in restaurants. I’ve been to restaurants where if they don’t have good beer and good food I won’t go.


Martin: That makes for a lot of us.

Miller: I’m going for a tie-in. I talked with a distributor who said high-end restaurants don’t have good beer. It’s like molecular disarmament to ask high-end restaurants to offer craft beer. I’m going to get together with a distributor and do one and prove people who go to high-end restaurants will drink craft beer.

Emig: We have the palate for beer. It’s working with your chef to put a menu together. You get a better combination, a better presence, better pairing working together than just one person saying you need craft beer in high end restaurants.

Matt: The thing that is misunderstood about beer is its complexity. With wine you just have grapes. With beer you have the water, malt, yeast, hops. It’s phenomenal what you can do with it. People pair wine and food but when you look at the number of beers there’s a lot more you can do to pair food with beer.

Audience question: Can you talk about the water?

Matt: From a home brewer’s point of view it’s a lot more economical for me to start with the water we have.

At The Ram, Dave [Colt] and I, we look at the water — we live in a world where the water is really hard. There’s styles you can make with what you have. Others you have to make adjustments, treat it per style of beer.

Matt: You take out, add in, according to the style.

Emig: Bottom line, with modern chemistry you add to your water what you want it to be. What’s different here is we try to brew beer styles from all around the world. We learned how to make them, adapt them. I think that’s why we’re making some of the best beers in the world right now. We make American-style ale, American-style lager. Most places had their styles of beer before the craft-brewing boom.

Audience question: Are we getting gimmicky with water?

Castrellon: I took a water sample to a lab but that water changes every day. Levels will be different wherever you go. You manage the best way you can.

Myers: You work with what you have. We do not alter our water at Power House Brewing.

Robinson: When I started brewing at Rock Bottom I had a hands-on education. Over four to five years I didn’t treat water.

People come in with beer they’re brewing and you taste mineral deposits and you say, “This is really bad beer.” They’re using well water for Kolsch, pilsners and the light beers.

You notice less with dark beers.

At The Ram we send to corporate to test at least once a year. One thing we find, because of our water, our porter and our amber are recognized at the Great American Beer Festival.

Audience question: Do you break down to a base line and then build up?

Edwards: I live in Broad Ripple. I know the water is good for darker beers. I run my tap water through a charcoal filter to remove chlorine. For lighter colored beers I’ll mix it with reverse osmosis water. I had to learn that I can build it up. It’s different for home brewers brewing five gallons; for a brewpub’s multibarrel system it’s a whole different scenario.

Robinson: We boil our water beforehand.

Edwards: Without a chemistry background you can be overwhelmed by water pretty quick. There are water profiles out, but water profiles need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Audience question: What’s the profile of a brewer?

Robinson: It takes a lot of different people to brew. Some, like MECA members, are scientists, engineers. Some are pushing it for bigger beers. Some brew classic styles. Some hands-on guys who like to fix cars get into mechanics of brewing.

Let’s talk about the percentage of craft beer consumption in Indiana.

Jim Schembre can answer that.

Jim Schembre [an audience member, who is head of World Class Beverages]: Indiana is the third worst state in the nation for craft beer.

Comment from audience: Is it because we have all those races? I learned the largest Budweiser account was the Speedway account in May.

: We’ve not done a good job with the education process for craft beer. You travel, and other places provide tons of information about craft beer styles. We have to do a better job.

Miller: The point is we have an opportunity. Meeting at the Brewers Guild recently, we said, “We’re all brewers, what’s the most important thing collectively as a guild?” The answer: “We’re neglecting the consumer collectively.” We have a new initiative to get out there and reach consumers. Get away from brewpub. Get out and reach thousands of people at a time.

Johnson: [sharing a flyer] Here is a new education program for consumers: Master of Beer Appreciation. Log on to

Emig: To educate consumers about different products, aside from big beer festivals there are opportunities for people to educate themselves about craft beer. There are a lot of small festivals going on. I do a class every year at Purdue. We started with 20 students and now there are 114.

Robinson: Omar is teaching a class at IUPUI.

I’m teaching 10-12 students. It’s a very small moment for the craft industry. I don’t teach it per se; I manage it. I’m not a great speaker so I get others to teach. Every year I get more people involved. Sensory evaluation taught by Bob Ostrander. I pass on the Beginning Brewing section to Dave [Colt] and Clay — they do a great job — refrigeration, laws pertaining to brewpubs, etc. Students get an overview of several things. Of course we taste and evaluate plenty of beers.
The students receive extensive information on the brewing process. They learn how style guidelines work. They do a final project on a brewpub concept, complete with beer styles, a menu, a location and most of the suppliers they need for the business.
Most students who take the course are simply interested in beer. A few need it for a certificate program the school provides. Most students honestly expect a rather easy go, but it is a 300 level class so the work is a bit overwhelming. They are surprised at the amount of information, but once they realize the work involved and that a grade is at stake, they usually do pretty well. Their eyes are certainly opened to a new industry.

I enjoy managing the class because they get to learn from different people who are experts in their fields. That is, refrigeration technicians, water specialists and people who have studied certain aspects of the industry in more detail. Also we get to share many styles of beers. One message that emerges by itself is that drinking fresh local beer, if made responsibly, is almost always the way to go.

Robinson: There’s education from different sources people don’t know about. World Class Beverages teaches classes. There’s the Purdue class. My own staff at The Ram will ask me where I’m going and I’ll say, “I’m going to teach at Omar’s beer class at IUPUI,” and they’ll say, “There’s a beer class at IUPUI?”


Robinson: Everyone who hears about it wants to take it.

Audience question: Is it a regular class?

Castrellon: It’s an elective class offered in the spring and fall semesters, 6-8:40 p.m. on Thursdays. [Call Dr. Sotiris Hji-Avgoustis at 317-274-7649 for more information.]

Miller: Brewers Guild authorized a scholarship.

Schembre: How do we get that message on a consistent basis to consumers?


I like to do tappings to introduce people to new experiences. A lot of people out there don’t like beer because they think all there is is yellow and fizzy. You get these people in and they say, “I like vodka and pineapple.” I say, “Why don’t you try a heffeweizen.” They taste the cloves and they say, “This is terrific.” I’ll ask, “Do you like chocolate? Try porter or stout.” They were somebody who didn’t like beer and now they say, “I had no idea.” It’s like their minds are suddenly opened. Most people drink the same beer. They don’t go out and seek.

Robinson: We have to train our staff to talk with them: “Try this. What tastes do you like?” Blow minds open.

Martin: Since we have seven different beers on tap at Upland there should be something. It does take an open mind for a customer to be willing to try something. Samplers are great to be able to try different styles. We’ll give him a sample of something compatible with what they normally drink.

Emig: One of the most successful events was a wine tasting at the Lafayette Museum of Art. I invited myself into it. We took a Scottish Ale. We were completely snubbed for the first hour and a half. We finally got a couple of people to try it. We said, “This might be a little different from beer you’ve usually had.” By the end of the evening we had a line. It was a big impact on people. They came to the realization that there’s more to beer than yellow and fizzy.

Audience question: Do you use ingredients grown in Indiana? Is anyone growing hops?

Martin: Upland grows hops on the front of the building. In the spring we put the trellis up for them. We harvest them in August. We used them last year in our Limbic.

In Indianapolis it’s a climate and space issue. We won’t have the varieties. But mainly it takes dedication. It takes a lot of hops to pulverize down into the packages we use. You need this huge amount to crush down into an 11-pound bundle. Hops have a short shelf life. A couple of guys will come in with fresh hops they’ve grown and we’ll use them but it’s not consistent. Ethanol is playing a part in Indiana agriculture. Farmers are plowing under hops fields to plant corn. Ethanol is playing havoc with our hops crops commercially worldwide.

There are still wild hops growing along the Monon.

Emig: Hops were undervalued. Fifty percent of worldwide hop acreage is gone. It was a perfect storm. All things came to a head this year. Hop weather conditions in Europe made a poor harvest — they lost 60 percent of the harvest. There was a fire out West. On top of that hop usage is up.

Prices are up. If you can’t get hops you make adjustments. There’s a pinch on barley as well. It takes capital investment to keep costs down. Six-pack cost has gone up slightly.

Let’s talk about the philanthropic impact of the craft beer industry.

Miller: We have given $350,000 for philanthropy [annual Brewfest sponsored by the Brewers of Indiana Guild].


Emig: We have an annual Winter Festival. In 2007 we had 250 people. We’ve raised over $30,000 in scholarship money for Purdue. We participate in a lot of community events. If someone wants to do a fundraiser we’ll have a community night in our place and we’ll give a percentage of our gross sales that day. We’ve got to be involved in the community. It’s giving back to the community, to the people who support us every day.

Brewpubs have solidified community. They’ve become synergy for community. Since Rock Bottom came to downtown Indianapolis, we’ve done a lot of corporate sponsorships, like annually with the Fire Chiefs.

Let’s talk about the effects of brewpubs and home brewers.

Edwards: Well, brewpubs have taken brewing to a different level. We’re all at different levels. There were a lot of styles dying out. They were European styles; beers in England like a Porter. You couldn’t get a good Porter in the USA. These styles were being neglected by the larger commercial breweries. They were going out for that yellow fizzy stuff. Home brewers 25 years ago were brewing stuff you couldn’t buy anywhere. Now you can. A lot of small breweries saw the value. They took home brew recipes and scaled them up and started brewing them commercially. Now you can find a Porter at a lot of places. [Speaking to Kevin] You guys have a really great Porter. We do a lot of whacky things that would never be commercially viable like Pumpkin-Coriander-Raspberry Dunkleweizenbock.


Miller: I think the best thing about home brewers is that they are immensely proud people. They bring their brews over. They are so proud of their products. They are ambassadors of quality. We have a lot of home brewers talking it, teaching it, going for quality.

Schembre: Home brewers initiate the other consumers.

Edwards: When I traveled for work I liked to go to towns I knew had good brewpubs. The owner is there. The brewer is there. I give away a lot of my homebrew. We’re not allowed to sell our home brews but I’ll have a party and invite people and they’ll have a chance to taste different brews and we’ll talk about them and they’ll say, “Oh, we didn’t know beer could taste like this.” Then they’ll go try a commercial craft beer.

Emig: I got into home brewing the opposite way.
I was a bartender at a beer bar with people coming in bringing their beer and they inspired me to go to the Great American Beer Festival. They were passing on the passion of what they were brewing.

Edwards: It used to be home brewers in Indiana couldn’t take homebrews off their property. It was an old Indiana prohibition law that didn’t get changed. I could make it at home. I could drink it at home. But with a strong lobbying effort by our club [Foam Blowers of Indiana] at the Statehouse, we finally got the law changed so we could have things like beer competitions for commercial and home brewing. We got judges in here. We got people interested in craft beers. I was off in the woods by myself 20 years ago. Now how many brew clubs do we have?

Johnson: Let’s talk about professional and amateur brewers brewing together as catalysts.

Matt: The 2006 Pro-Am competition solidified relationships between home brewers and professional brewers. There was always a good relationship but this gave them a chance to brew together. It’s a great experience for home brewers.

Robinson: I didn’t start out as a home brewer. I started out as a professional brewer but I have a fascination for creating things.

MECA club members come in a lot and they bring their brews. It’s nice to come up with different things. About 10 years ago I tasted rye beer and wasn’t interested in it but now I like to come up with something new. I’ll ask, what can I use this for? Can I use a different hop? With the hop shortage, breweries with good beer will start to create. Even with the hops shortage, we will have to stay consistent so we’ll use rye to accentuate hopiness. We’ll put different things together. Stylistically, Omar is an awesome brewer

Johnson: Omar, how do you address that situation where not everyone looks for big craft brews?

Castrellon: I have been at Alcatraz since 2002. Most of the beer made at that time was on the light side. Not many of our customers were drinking true craft beer, I believe. So I had to proceed slowly. At Alcatraz we are sort of stuck in time, not many craft beer drinkers even now, but I manage to make some bigger beers that do sell well. Then Ted started making Belgians and I got interested.


I make a Belgian here and there and they do move. But our top sellers are still the light and the wheat. The pale is up there since that is the style that is growing fastest in the craft industry. I heard this from Jim [Schembre] from World Class. I continue to make mostly light beers because we have to make money, serve the clientele we have. It would be suicidal to do otherwise. We tried a gastro pub menu and almost went out of business. It just does not work at that location.

Johnson: Let’s talk about brewing Indiana beer to increase taste awareness of categories.

Schembre: Indiana is so behind. Indiana does not produce enough beer. We have to grow categories for our consumers to drink a variety that includes domestic and import styles. It’s a struggle to get Indiana brewers to produce enough beer to grow consumers. If the category grows everyone grows.

Robinson: Belgian is impacting our business. People are starting to pay attention.

Schembre: How do you get from Miller Lite to an IPA?

Johnson: Macro drinkers drink only one beer. Craft beer drinkers don’t drink the same beer all of the time.

The beer I remember from my parents’ refrigerator was Schlitz, Pabst. I started as a server at an English pub and could drink a variety. I started with brown ale and moved to beer with hops.

Audience question: What about gateway beers?

Martin: They’re great to get people interested in trying microbrews. The wheat is our crossover beer. It’s about getting people into quality drinking as opposed to quantity drinking.

Robinson: Gateway beers are super-important. “No Budweiser here? What is the lightest that you’ve got?” They try it and say, “That’s good. I like it.”

Miller: When we opened Brugge we opened with Dubbel, Tripel and a Pilsner. My gateway beer is Pilsner. Still, why are you drinking Pilsner when you can have a Tripel?

Schembre: It’s important to have a local brew with a local personality. You have to put your story on the bottle. You have to put a face on the name of the beer, clearly define your difference.

Indiana can get a bigger share of the market.

April 7, 1933: President Franklin D. Roosevelt served newly brewed 3.2 percent beer in the White House, thus fulfilling a campaign promise to end a nationwide ban on alcoholic beverages while making beer the only legal libation for nine months.

Dec. 5, 1933: 21st Amendment was fully ratified, revoking the 18th Amendment ratified in 1919.

According to Brewers Association data between April 7-8, 1933, “More than 1.5 million gallons of beer flowed as Americans celebrated.” Since then, despite the merging of independent breweries into a conglomerate industry, there are now about 1,400 breweries accounting for almost 13,000 labels of beer. Despite the push for a “one beer fits all,” the categories within the basic styles of ales, lagers and hybrids continues to grow.

Reflecting on the craft beer industry over the past 75 years during a recent open house at Alcatraz Brewing Company, members of the Brewers Guild of Indiana emphasized the importance of consumer education in Indiana along with legislation to open distribution and marketing opportunities for national recognition of the creativity and innovation of Indiana’s craft home and commercial brewers.

Since the Nov. 14, 1990, opening of the Broad Ripple Brewpub, Indiana’s first brewpub, the number has grown to 27 statewide. All will host celebrations throughout from April to December. Log on to;; www.

75 Years of Craft Beer

Significant dates in beer history 

Over 1,500 breweries exist across the United States.

Indianapolis high-points:

1834: William Wernweg, a contractor for the National Road bridges, and John L. Young established the first brewery in Indianapolis, producing “strong beer” (neither ale nor lager).

1859: Schmidt Brewery established on Wyoming Street at High; produced lager beer, and during Civil War supplied beer to troops stationed in Indianapolis. By 1886, Schmidt had agencies in Terre Haute, Crawfordsville, Columbus, Brazil and Shelbyville, Ind., and Danville, Ill.

1863: Peter Lieber, Kurt Vonnegut’s maternal grandfather, with Herman Lieber and Charles Mayer bought the Gagg & Company Brewery (founded in 1859).

1871: Lieber Brewery located to Madison Avenue, just south of Morris Street, and was bottled by Jacob Metzger and Company. Prior to 1890 the Internal Revenue Department required bottling be separated from the brewery proper by a street. The brew had to be barreled and a tax stamp applied before being transported to the bottler.

1889: Indianapolis Brewing Company formed from mergers with Schmidt, Lieber and Maus. IBC’s Dusseldorfer beer won a gold medal at the 1990 Paris Exposition; grand prize at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition; a gold medal at Liege, Belgium in 1906.

1897: American Brewing Company founded at the corner of Ohio and Missouri streets. They sponsored The Indianapolis ABCs, one of the founding baseball teams of the 1920 Negro National League.


Jan. 16, 1919: The 18th Amendment is ratified.

Jan. 16, 1920: National Prohibition is implemented.

April 7, 1933: The modification of the Volstead Act allows beer to be sold once again. The modification changed the allowed alcohol percentage of a beverage from .05 to 3.2 allowing beer to be served once again. Over 1.5 million barrels of beer were consumed during the first 24 hours after the modification of the act.

Dec. 5, 1933: The 21st Amendment is ratified. Only half of the U.S. breweries survive Prohibition.

1978: Only 42 breweries exist in the United States due to consolidation.

February 1979: President Jimmy Carter signs a bill that removes the restrictions on home brewers. This allowed beer to be made in small quantities at home and allowed many of the craft brewers of today to get their start.

September 1982: First ever Great American Beer Festival held in Boulder, Colo.

Nov. 14, 1990: Broad Ripple Brewpub opened as the first Indiana brewpub.

April 1996: World Beer Cup® makes its debut in Vail, Colo.

May 2007: Three hundred and eighty-nine craft breweries are reported operating in the United States by the Brewers Association.

April 2008: Twenty-two craft breweries are operating in Indiana; three are bottles only and 19 are brewpubs, seven of which also bottle their beer.

Six new brewpubs are expected to open during 2008.

If you want to find out how much beer contributes to the American economy, visit

Brewers Association, 736 Pearl St., Boulder, Colo., 80302 1-303-447-0816, 1-888-822-6273 (U.S. and Canada only)

For information on Indiana craft beer, log on to;

Calendar of selected craft beer events

Log on to for a comprehensive calendar including free craft beer tastings and brewpub, pub and restaurant craft beer release events.

For craft beer brewing classes log on to
For consumer craft beer style classes log on to 

Through April 13: Rock Bottom, 10 W. Washington St., is serving their special Firechief Ale in conjunction with the International Fire Department Instructors Conference held annually in Indianapolis. Firechief Ale won the Silver Award at the 2001 Indiana State Fair Brewers Cup. Stop to look at the Bowen-Merrill Fire Memorial Historic Marker in front of Rock Bottom.

May 12: Opens “American Craft Beer Week”:

May 19: Tentative opening of BJ’s Restaurant Brewhouse, Greenwood Park Mall.

May 23-24: Grand opening of Brass Monkey Brewpub, 115 E. Sycamore St., Kokomo, Ind., 46901; 765-437-3993, The Brass Monkey Brewing Co. is Indiana’s newest and smallest craft brewer.

June 7: Ten-year anniversary of Upland Brewing Company, 350 W. 11th St., Bloomington, Ind.,

June 7: BrewBQ Indiana Homebrew Club Convention at Great Fermentations, 5127 E. 65th St., Indianapolis,

June 14: Hops for Pops, charity event for Dads Inc. at outlots of The Hop Shop, 1855 E. 96th St., Indianapolis. E-mail to volunteer and for specifics.

June 19: Ales for Adoptable Tails, charity event for Humane Society of Indianapolis at Agio Restaurant on Massachusetts Avenue. E-mail

June 21: Brew-Ha-Ha, benefit for the Phoenix Theatre, 700 block of North Park Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and St. Clair Street. or
July 12: Indiana State Fair Brewers Cup Judging & Award Ceremony, open to the public.

July 13-19: Indiana Beer Week

July 19: Brewers of Indiana Guild Microbrewers Festival, charity event for Indiana Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Optimists International and Indianapolis Art Center, at Opti Park in Broad Ripple.

Aug. 6-17: Indiana State Fair. Visit Brewers of Indiana Guild exhibit in the Agriculture Building.

Aug. 23: Festiv-Ale, charity event for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at Scotty’s Brewhouse, Carmel.

Sept. 13: Indy Craft Beer Festival 2008, Homebrewing Competition & Beer Festival, a charity event for Indiana Downs Syndrome Foundation at Hot Shotz a Gastropub parking lot, 4705 E. 96th St., Indianapolis.

Oct. 4: Taste of Germany in Indianapolis, charity event for Indianapolis-Cologne Sister City Committee and Firefighters Survive Alive program.

Oct. 14: 30th  anniversary of legal U.S. home brewing

Oct. 16-17: Big Red Beer Fest, Bloomington

Nov. 1: Teach a Friend to Home Brew Day

Dec. 5: 75th anniversary of repeal of Prohibition

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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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