Then came the tasting room model with the advent of food trucks pulling up with distinctive offerings. Black Acre, Chilly Water and TwoDEEP represent the model of a limited menu of small plates — which Daredevil Brewing Co. initially embraced in their production brewery taproom — but now Daredevil has created a wholly different aspect that’s a blending of house-prepared small plates, food truck offerings and “bring your own”—brown bag and carryout de jour.
Daredevil co-founder, Shane Pearson fills in the details:
“We always have had food options at the taproom, but now we also operate our own kitchen with rotating options of locally-sourced fare by working with companies like Smoking Goose, Tulip Tree Creamery, Amelia's Bakery and Piazza Produce. Typically we will have about four to five items on our taproom food menu, so it is quality over quantity, which is very much how we do everything at Daredevil.
“When we built the new brewery and taproom we included a dedicated pocket kitchen so that when we were ready we could add a small taproom menu. When we opened the taproom last summer we set up arrangements with local restaurants to deliver to the taproom and we still have those arrangements, as well as quality snacks available, like Just Pop In! popcorn.”
In December 2015 Daredevil started offering a limited menu with a rotating
selection of high quality items with a cheese and meat board that features products from Smoking Goose Meatery, Tulip Tree Creamery, Ameila's Bakery and other locally sourced items from Piazza Produce. The menu includes rotating daily soup offerings such as Gumbolaya, Broccoli & Cheese, White Chicken Chili and others. St. Patrick's Day week was their first test of a sandwich.
“The response has been very positive from our guests and we are excited about the options to do our own food pairings with our beers to further people's understanding of craft beer,” summarizes Pearson.
“Our guests can continue to bring in food from other commercial restaurants, or order from our neighbors that deliver to our taproom— Barbecue & Bourbon, Jimmy John's, Pizza Hut, Wing Stop, to name a few.”
On your own and not sure how to pair? Here are “the 5-C’s” for pairing to bring out the best elements of a food:
Complement with similar taste profiles—Cream Stout with creamy soup, Chocolate Stout with chocolate mousse;
Contrast with opposite taste profiles—smoky BBQ meats with Pale Ale;
Cut, as in cut or soften the impact of a rich dish—3-meat lasagna with a light, hoppy Pilsner;
Cleanse the palate without washing away the flavor—Belgian Blonde Ale or Lager are perfect with pomme frittes or French Fries;
Calm big tastes—a Sweet Stout mellows out a rich layer cake, a Sour Ale mitigates a greasy burger.
[Tips shared from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beer Tasting]
Fun-fact: Did you know the entrance to Daredevil’s brewing buildout area is paved with a yard of authentic Speedway bricks? Get the story when you stop in
Beer and food as a linked entity — a.k.a. “brewpub” — became the modern Indiana craft beer model with the founding of Broad Ripple Brewpub in 1990. In 1996 Chuck Krcolek founded Back Road Brewing as a production brewery, mainly to supply bars and restaurants in northwest Indiana with freshly brewed craft beer; no tours or food at Back Road. Meanwhile the brewpub model took hold across Indiana. The brewery and full service restaurant model surfaced in downtown Indianapolis with the now closed Alcatraz and the still very much open RAM and Rock Bottom. In 2009 Sun King Brewery became Indianapolis’ first production brewery since Prohibition closed down the vibrant breweries all around downtown.