Even though monks have proven they can live through Lent and other times of fasting on beer alone, Indiana breweries and brewpubs are increasingly offering artisanal food in tandem with their usual wares. However, it's good to recall that when the Hoosier state returned to the craft beer movement, beginning in 1990, it was all about food and beer, starting with the Broad Ripple Brewpub.
Garrett Oliver, with his 2003 benchmark The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food, made the case for sitting down in a convivial setting to enjoy good food and good beer. Julia Herz has since made "food, beer and lifestyle" the mantra of the national Brewers Association.
Indiana brewers are taking up the banner. Noblesville-based Barley Island recently sharpened its menu to match to match its long-popular brews. Owner/brewer Jeff Eaton entices with dishes such as Noble Flatbread and Smashed Burger and promises monthly specials.
Special fixed menu dinners with brewers and chefs present have been the norm at brewpubs. New to the epicurean scene are production breweries partnering with off-site restaurants for weekly and monthly-paired dinners. Bier at Sahm's is now a regular Thursday date.
New on tap
Indiana City: The much admired Red Collar Imperial Amber Ale and Beast of Laureys, "a bold beer with dark fruit flavor and aroma that cloaks its strength at 9.8 percent ABV," according to promo materials.
Flat 12: Bleeding Heart IPA, with its balanced layers of taste.
Half Moon: K-Town Brown, a English-style rich, malty, chocolaty ale.
RateBeer 90-plus beer tasting at Kahn's Fine Wines, 5341 N. Keystone, 6-8 p.m. For more info and to register, call 251-9463.
Heart of the Brews benefiting Riley Heart Research Center at Omni Severin, 40 W Jackson Place, 7-10 p.m. $45 advance, $60 door, $15 designated driver.
Third annual Fishers on Tap at Forum Conference and Event Center, 11313 USA Pkwy, Fishers, 4-7 p.m. $40 general admission, $20 designated driver.
Girls Pint Out "Know Your Beer Glassware" event at Shoefly Public House, 122 E. 22nd St. Call 317-283-5007 to reserve.