Part 1: Near and beer to our hearts–Indy microbreweries

6 months since our last visit to Indy and 3 reasons to celebrate:

1. The last time we were here, I narrowly escaped having my head severed by a huge herniated disc. I’m now five months into my recovery from neck surgery. Yea!

2. Temps in the 40s are beginning to melt snow from Chicago’s “snowmageddon.” I smell spring.

3. Valentine’s Day!

What to do, what to do? we ask ourselves when we check into our hotel. TravelHost magazine answers our question with the feature article “Ales That Cure, Local Microbreweries to Belly Up to.” We get out our handy map of the city and chart a course.

My Brief History of Beer

The first time I tasted beer was at a family gathering in the summer. My grandfather let me take a sip from the sweating can of Budweiser sitting in the grass beside his lawn chair. It reminded me of the raw Pillsbury bread dough my grandmother used to let me eat, each time warning me that my stomach might blow up. Then years later came a beer from Japan at a joint in Chicago. And just a few years ago, Double Chocolate Stout from Trader Joe’s. Chocolate. In beer.  

BELOW is 1 of the 3 places we tried, all listed in the TravelHost article. One north of the city and the other two right in Broad Ripple, one of our fave areas of Indy. (See the very popular post about 3 Sisters Cafe.)

The Bier Brewery & Taproom, 5133 E. 65th St.

So unassuming, I assumed we were in the wrong place, the Bier Brewery shocked us when we walked in. It’s a man cave: garage-like room, leather couch, golf channel on the flat screen, stereo in one corner blasting “American Woman,” and, in the corner, a ledge to belly up to with a big chalkboard on the wall listing that week’s brews.

We stand hesitantly a few feet away until the guy states the obvious. “Is this your first time here?” Then he takes us on a beer “journey,” beginning with the lighter beers until we reach the dark Dred Brown. One of the first is the Belgian Blonde.

Me to my husband: “You better not like blondes.”

Beer guy: “What? He doesn’t like blondes?”

Good husband: “She cured me of blondes.”

But I have to admit I’m loving the Belgian Blonde. In fact, every sample we try, each served in a small disposable cup not unlike the kind you use for cough medicine, is delicious. One almost more so than the next.

What we’d go back for: The congenial and knowledgeable guy behind the ledge. Free samples, every single one delicious. A “growler” (jug o’ beer) for my son. A refill of Oatmeal Stout.

What we wouldn’t go back for: The food. There isn’t any.

Check out…

Part 2: THR3E Wise Men Brewing Co., in which the journey almost ends!

Part 3: Barley Island Brewing Company, in which we discover beer can be dessert and Dirty Helen is not the chick at the end of the bar.

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