Four Day Ray
's Oct. 20 official grand opening topped their Oct. 9 and 16 VIP 'soft openings' that “raised over $11,000 to benefit our owners Brian Graham, Matt Troyer, Chris Welsh and Mitch Ackerman's favorite organizations: Down Syndrome Indiana
, Saint Louis De Montfort School
and Geist Lake Coalition
,” reported marketing director Brooke Killey.
The FDR acronym establishes the globally-inspired gastropub’s civic-related business model. Co-owner Brian Graham made this point during NUVO’s initial visit on Sept. 7 when the buildout was in process and we sampled four brews in process.
Now on their way to filling 24 taps with brewmaster Mitch Ackerman’s roster of beers— paired with, and included in, the recipes by executive chef Andrew Miller’s menu —Four Day Ray is adding services and events incrementally over the following weeks.
Currently on tap are seven “approachable beers” with an ABV range from 4 to 6.8% and IBUs from 1 to 82, starting with Doonright Scottish Ale
, “double boiled to caramelize proteins that add complexity to the malt flavor and subtle smokiness, very smooth.”
Ackerman’s preference toward malt as the star of a beer is finding a balance with Miller’s tilt towards hops that you’ll find in the West Coast Track Jumper IPA
imparting “big citrus and pine, with a Smarties candy tartness in the finish.”
Moving up the ladder are: Laplander Blonde
, “dryer than most Blondes with a crisp finish;” Coffee Blonde
with “big coffee aroma [pairing] with the citrus of the hops;” Inauguration Day Stout has a “toasty forward character with hints of chocolate and coffee with a dry and refreshing finish;” Brick Arch Porter
is “velvety smooth with chocolate, toffee, caramel and slight roast with a kiss of smoke in the finish.”
introduces a track between a brown ale and a dark mild that starts with “a complex malt forward profile [layering] caramel, nutty and fruitiness toward a dry finish.”
Dinner service in the restaurant adjacent to the brewery runs 4 - 11 p.m. Lunch service is slated to begin on Oct. 31, starting at 11:30 a.m. and the brewery will be open 4 - 7 p.m. for pints and carry-out growlers.
“The next big event is the patio opening,” said Killey. “It’s a huge space with a retractable awning, grand heated table, a fire burning fire pit with lounge chairs. It’s probably one of the best patios I have seen in Indiana. The patio is currently under construction but should be opening in two to four weeks. It seats around 80 people or 100 standing.”
A soaring openness is the general feel of the two-story brick building at the corner of Lantern Road and North Street. Nickel Plate Development, LLC principals, Chris Welsh and Matt Troyer, partnered with Brian Graham and Mitch Ackerman to gain the City of Fishers’ approval in 2015 for a mixed-use footprint that adds rental space for three other companies. StediServe, a craft beer service company, is already headquartered on the second floor.
“Four Day Ray Brewing is a nod to the area’s rich railroad history,” explained Killey. “We do not have ties with the railroad organizations in Indiana, however we want to honor the history of the Nickel Plate District by becoming a central hub in the Fishers community. We see our craft brewery, scratch kitchen and public house as a place where we can create beer and food we love for the community we love. Our name is a railroad team that refers to a railway employee who habitually calls off work one day a week; therefore we want everyone to have the experience of a “three-day weekend” every day. We also raise a pint to FDR, our thirty-second president, for ending Prohibition.”
FDR’s 15 barrel brewing system, complete with DME equipment, was built out by Ackerman, who began professional brewing at Thirsty Dog Brewing Company in Akron, Ohio prior to moving to Lake Havasu City in Arizona as brewmaster of Mudshark Brewery. The restaurant side buildout has been guided by Miller, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and Ball State University with degrees in Culinary Arts, Biology/Bio Chemistry and Nutrition. “A recipient of ten gold, silver and bronze medals from his participation in American Culinary Federation competitions, Andrew brings his vast knowledge of nutrition and extreme passion for food to Four Day Ray Brewing,” said Killey. Miller’s 20-year culinary career includes stints at the Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis and Makers Mark Steakhouse at Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville.
Killey added, “Our menu will use locally sourced ingredients using local producers. There has been a discussion of having a roof top garden that Andrew will use to grow ingredients for our dishes. In addition to craft beer and global cuisine we will also offer a creative cocktail menu and carefully selected wines that will pair with our food.”
Graham, a homebrewer who won the 2000 Indiana State Fair Homebrewer Best of Show for his Belgian Wit, said the wait staff will be Cicerone-trained.
Four Day Ray at 11671 Lantern Road joins four already established craft beer sites in Fishers: The RAM, Sun King Brewing Tap Room and Small Batch Brewing, Heady Hollow and Sahm’s 116 Restaurant/Pub.
Learn about Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
and Indiana Transportation Museum and Nickel Plate Railroad