Hoosier favorites open new locations in Indy 

Big Woods/Quaff ON! opens in Speedway and Scotty's has a new Butler U spot

Reflecting the sunny side of Mr. Rogers we’re in the heady midst of extensions of breweries into ‘new’ neighborhoods and brand new breweries poised to open. These are at locations where the people who live and work there are happy to have a gathering place —a throwback to when we were an emerging state and city and breweries not only supplied public houses and hotels with beer but also made home deliveries. Locally brewed beer was a healthful way of life (maybe it still is).

Over the next months we’ll be reporting on citywide and statewide openings and expansions, starting with two strategic May 9 greater Indianapolis events.

Scotty’s Dawghouse at Butler University

click to enlarge Scotty's Dawghouse at Butler University - BRUCE MCCLAIN
  • Scotty's Dawghouse at Butler University
  • Bruce McClain

Scotty’s Dawghouse hosted campus and the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood guests prior to their grand opening on May 9 on the Butler campus, .

May 4, VP of Operations David Hornak gave us a tour of the multi-purpose ground-up building, including the open-space garage-style main dining room with 70 TV screens facing every angle; a child-friendly family space replete with a TV with a loop of cartoons, toys and and yes, a concrete floor to welcome chalk-writing that moves beyond the wall-length chalkboard. The 16-seat-conference room and another 40-50 seat space are available for groups to reserve for meetings and small-group programming. This particular area will open at 9 a.m. for football game days with a special breakfast/brunch menu.

Dogs, accompanied by people, are welcome on the restaurant’s patio, which will have an outdoor gaming area with corn hole, ladder golf, giant jenga and ring toss. Four separate patio couch areas include built in fire pits.

Inside the main dining room Scotty’s Dawghouse general manager Richard Norris and bartender Justin Johnson walked us through the expansive menu of Scotty’s signature food and drink. The 32-tap bar reserves seven for Thr3e Wise Men brews, and shares the remainder between other Indiana and out-of-state craft breweries. Indiana craft in cans and bottles are also on the extensive beer menu. There’s a lot of attention to details to offer an “up-scale” pub experience. We chose tastes of Triton Milk Stout and Hometown Hero Golden Ale on NITRO, along with Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata, that offered a totally different experience. These accompanied Scotty’s signature appetizer of beer-battered dill pickles. Following cups of tomato basil and chicken rice soup, it only seemed right for Thr3e Wise Men Bulldog Brown to accompany my hamburger. My table mate chose Bell’s Oberon with his mac & cheese entree.
click to enlarge Inside the new Scotty's Dawghouse - BRUCE MCCLAIN
  • Inside the new Scotty's Dawghouse
  • Bruce McClain
Located between Hinkle and Clowes and Schrott, Scotty’s Dawghouse is open daily 11 a.m.-11.p.m., extended to midnight Friday and Saturday, with “the goal of offering extended hours following major arts and sports events.”

Scotty’s Dawghouse is part of owner Scott Wise’s 20th anniversary ‘give back to community’ commitment. More at www.Scottysbrewhouse.com

Big Woods Speedway

Big Woods Speedway also hosted open houses prior to their May 9 opening. Visiting on May 6 felt like someone had sprinkled magic dust on the original snug Nashville timberland structure, transforming it into this imposing 7,500-square-foot building anchoring the northeast corner of 10th and Main streets.

Breaking ground just about a year ago, construction moved right along to be in pace with Indy 500’s 100th Running celebratory events. A tour of the two-story building took us past Big Woods’ signature artisanal pizza kitchen adjacent to the main kitchen that equally recreates the Nashville and Bloomington locations’ upscale menu with ample choices for everyone’s dietary and taste preferences. QuaffON!’s roster of regulars, seasonal and specials here is capped by a newly minted “Quaff ON! 10th & Main Amber Ale.” It is an appropriate gateway offering that can pair well with anything on the menu.

Patrons can choose among multiple seating areas, including the main dining room with booths and tables, a cozy taproom section adjacent to the spacious outdoor deck and patio with picnic table or patio table seating options. An upper level private party space overlooks the main dining room. The live combo stage is strategically placed so as to be heard from all seating options.

Sharing a main dining room booth with NUVO friends, we were beneficiaries of the meticulous training for the wait staff. Old friends from the original Nashville location stopped by to make sure we felt welcome and we were introduced to Big Woods Speedway general managers Brian Hill and Jose Saurez, whose specialty is bar management.

  • Submitted Photo
Big Woods Speedway offers a large craft-beer selection, including brews from the company’s Quaff On! Brewing Co. in Bloomington, along with a full selection of cocktails, wine and spirits, including Big Woods brands. Indiana craft taps now are serving Daredevil Muse golden Ale, 18th Street Jade American Pale Ale, Bier Special “K” Kolsch, Taxman La Saison, Black Acre Rye IPA, Flat 12 Hinchtown Hammerdown Pilsner, Scarlet Lane Dorian Stout and a rotating choice from Three Floyds. Sun King Wee Mac is available in cans. One can choose to taste flights of 5 and 16, 12 and 5 ounce servings.

After an appetizer of Big Woods signature cheese nachos, we chose three different entrees to continue the sharing—Big Woods’ utterly delicious award-winning JB {James Beard] Hamburger, ahi tuna and catfish—each well-prepared and served with ample sides of seasonal vegetables.

At the groundbreaking April 2015, Big Woods co-owner Jeff McCabe said, “As we explored possible locations to expand into the central Indiana market, we were drawn to the iconic nature of the town of Speedway.” Speaking informally on May 6, he commented on how ‘at home’ he already feels at 10th & Main. Learn more at: bigwoodsbeer.com

Speedway’s plan to redevelop its Main Street started with a $10 million streetscape project. The $7 million Dallara chassis facility in was a jumpstart in 2011. Their partnership with Indianapolis Jazz Week helped to establish the new area as a destination site. In 2012 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing opened a $2.7 million, 37,000-square-foot headquarters and in 2013 AJ Foyt Racing renovated the building at 1180 Main St. and recently hosted the blockbuster inaugural Next HopModel event. Daredevil Brewing Company and Taproom opened at 1151 Main St. in 2015, as what is believed to be the first ground-up production brewery building since the early 1900s.

Walking the distance between Big Woods and Daredevil on a balmy Friday evening, along with a steady stream of other people, we marveled at the changes up and down the street. ‘Sleepy’ has morphed into ‘Jaunty’ as part of a city-wide rejuvenation effort.

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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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