Indianapolis is home to some of the best breweries in Indiana. With a thriving craft beer scene, visitors and locals alike can enjoy a variety of unique ales and stouts. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just looking for a fun night out, there is something for everyone in Indianapolis.
The Craft Beer Scene in Indianapolis
Understanding Craft Beer
Craft beer has been on the rise in Indianapolis for the past decade. According to Visit Indy, the city was recently voted a Top Five Beer City by readers of USA Today. But what exactly is craft beer? Craft beer is a beer that is produced by small, independent breweries using traditional brewing methods and high-quality ingredients. These breweries often specialize in unique and experimental flavors that you won’t find in mass-produced beers.
In Indianapolis, there are a variety of local craft breweries that offer ales, stouts, IPAs, lagers, and more. Some breweries even specialize in German-style or artisan beer. The craft beer scene in Indianapolis is constantly evolving, with new breweries and flavors popping up all the time.
Variety of Beers in Indianapolis
One of the great things about the craft beer scene in Indianapolis is the variety of beers available. Whether you prefer a traditional ale or an experimental flavor, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste.
Sun King Brewing, one of the OG breweries in Indianapolis, offers a wide range of beers, including their popular Sunlight Cream Ale and Wee Mac Scottish Ale. Other popular breweries include Metazoa Brewing Co., which specializes in animal-inspired beers, and Bier Brewery & Tap Room, which offers a variety of German-style beers.
If you’re a fan of IPAs, be sure to check out Indiana City Brewing Co. Their Shadow Boxer IPA is a fan favorite. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, try the Belgian-style beers at Brugge Brasserie.
Top Breweries in Indianapolis
Daredevil Brewing Co
Daredevil Brewing Co is a popular brewery located in Speedway, a town just outside Indianapolis. Known for its award-winning beers, Daredevil Brewing Co offers a wide range of brews, from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts. Visitors can enjoy a pint in the taproom or take a brewery tour to learn more about the brewing process.
Address: 1151 N Main St, Indianapolis, IN 46224, USA
Bier Brewery is a family-owned and operated brewery located in the historic neighborhood of Broad Ripple. The brewery offers a variety of German-style beers, including lagers, pilsners, and hefeweizens. Visitors can enjoy a pint in the taproom or take a tour of the brewery to learn more about the brewing process.
Address: 5133 E 65th St, Indianapolis, IN 46220
Sun King Brewery
Sun King Brewery is one of the largest breweries in Indianapolis, with three locations throughout the city. Known for its flagship beer, Sunlight Cream Ale, the brewery offers a wide range of beers, from hoppy IPAs to barrel-aged stouts. Visitors can enjoy a pint in one of the taprooms or take a tour of the production facility to learn more about the brewing process.
Address: 135 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202, United States
Metazoa Brewing Company
Metazoa Brewing Company is a brewery with a mission to support animal welfare organizations. The brewery offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and sours. Visitors can enjoy a pint in the taproom or take a tour of the brewery to learn more about the brewing process.
Address: 140 S College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
Guggman Haus Brewing Co
Guggman Haus Brewing Co is a small brewery located in the Garfield Park neighborhood. The brewery offers a variety of beers, from traditional German-style lagers to hoppy IPAs. Visitors can enjoy a pint in the taproom or take a tour of the brewery to learn more about the brewing process.
These breweries are just a few of the many great options in Indianapolis. Other notable breweries include Big Lug Canteen, Deviate Brewing, Scarlet Lane Brewing, and Fountain Square Brewery. With so many great options to choose from, visitors are sure to find a beer that suits their taste at one of Indianapolis’s many breweries.
Address: 1701 Gent Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
Unique Brewpub Experiences
When it comes to enjoying a good beer, the experience can be just as important as the brew itself. Indianapolis is home to a variety of breweries that offer unique experiences for visitors. Here are a few of the best:
The Taproom Experience
Many of Indianapolis’ breweries offer taprooms where visitors can sample a variety of beers and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. Some taprooms, such as those at Sun King Brewery and Bier Brewery & Taproom, are designed with dark wood paneling and vintage arcade games for a cozy and nostalgic feel. Others, like Indiana City Brewing Co., have outdoor bars and food trucks for a more casual vibe.
Live Music and Breweries
For those who love live music, several Indianapolis breweries offer regular performances. Broad Ripple Brewpub, for example, has been a staple of the local music scene for over 25 years, featuring local bands and musicians every week. Sun King Brewery also hosts regular concerts and events, including their annual CANvitational beer festival.
Indianapolis’ breweries aren’t just limited to indoor spaces. Many offer outdoor patios where visitors can enjoy their beer in the sunshine. Metazoa Brewing Co., for example, has a spacious patio that’s perfect for enjoying a cold brew and some comfort food. Flat12 Bierwerks also has a large outdoor space that’s great for socializing with friends.
Whether you’re looking for a cozy taproom, live music, or an outdoor patio, Indianapolis breweries have something to offer. With so many unique experiences to choose from, it’s no wonder that the city’s microbrewery scene is thriving.
Brewery Tours and Events
Indianapolis is home to a variety of breweries that offer tours for visitors to learn about the brewing process and sample their beers. Indy Joy Rides offers brewery tours that take guests to some of the best craft breweries in the city, including Sun King Brewery, Indiana City Brewing Co., and Black Acre Brewing Co. Visitors can also book a tour with Indy Taps and Tastes, which offers tours of local breweries and distilleries.
Major Brewing Events
The Great American Beer Festival is a major event for beer lovers and brewers alike. Held annually in Denver, Colorado, the festival features over 4,000 beers from more than 800 breweries across the country. Indiana breweries have won awards at the festival in the past, including Sun King Brewery, which won a gold medal for its Pachanga Mexican-style lager in 2019.
The Indiana State Fair Brewers Cup is another major event for Indiana breweries. The competition is open to all Indiana breweries and awards are given in a variety of categories, including Best of Show and Grand Champion Brewery of the Year. Chilly Water Brewing Company has won multiple awards at the competition, including Best in Show and Indiana Brewery of the Year.
Beer and Food Pairings
When it comes to enjoying a cold beer, pairing it with the right food can bring out the best flavors and make for a more satisfying experience. Here are some popular beer and food pairings to try out at the best breweries in Indianapolis, IN.
Pizza and Beer Pairings
Pizza and beer are a classic combination that never gets old. At Fountain Square Brew Co., they recommend pairing their cream ale with a slice of pepperoni pizza. The light and crisp cream ale complements the savory flavors of the pizza perfectly.
For those who prefer a wheat beer, try pairing Weizengoot from Bier Brewery & Tap Room with a margherita pizza. The refreshing citrus notes in the beer balance out the acidic tomato sauce and fresh basil.
Traditional Ale and Food Pairings
If you’re in the mood for something heartier, try pairing a traditional ale with a sandwich. At Indiana City Brewing Co., they recommend pairing their Pennsylvania Day Sammie with their Backyard Porter. The robust flavors of the porter complement the rich, savory flavors of the sandwich.
For those who prefer a hoppy beer, try pairing the Enjoy a Lift-Off IPA from Daredevil Brewing Co. with a spicy chicken sandwich. The bold flavors of the IPA cut through the heat of the chicken and bring out the flavors of the spices.
Whether you’re a beer lover or a foodie, these beer and food pairings are sure to satisfy you. Be sure to check out the best breweries in Indianapolis, IN to try them out for yourself.