The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Brew Pubs
Indiana

 

 

 

 

St. Joseph Brewery
540 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 602-5670

St. Joseph Brewery in downtown Indianapolis is a converted Catholic church with a nice brewpub and restaurant.
St. Joseph church, which is Gothic in style, opened with it first mass in 1880.
Masses were said here until 1954, when it was deconsecrated.
The brewing equipment is stationed in the area where the altar once stood.
I ordered the small sampler flight of 4, including Sanctuary Saison, Sneaking Deacon Zwickel, Bohlen's Java Brown and Two & Two Belgian Quad.
The zwickel was true to German style, very smooth and earthy.
The saison was mild but flavorful.
The java brown had a really aggressive coffee backbone and was slightly thin, but otherwise a solid brown ale.
I've never had a German-style Belgian quad before, but I would certainly try others after tasting this one. It had more earthy than fleshy fruitiness – very different and tasty.
There is always something going on at St. Joseph, from tap takeovers, to beer dinners in the choir loft.
The loft can also be booked for private events.
Any Questor who worships heavenly beer should attend St. Joseph while in the Indianapolis area.

 

 

 

 

Granite City Food & Brewery
150 W. 96th St.
Carmel, Indiana 46290
317.218.7185

 

Granite City has several locations in the Indianapolis area, and I understand it can be found in multiple cities across the mid-West.
Having tried a number of their beers during several visits, I have yet to be disappointed with the flavor and drinkability.
On my last visit, I took a tour of their “back room” to see how the beer is made. I was surprised to only find fermenting tanks, with not a brew kettle in sight!
Their resident brewer (and microbiologist) explained that the wort is shipped in from Granite City's central facility in Iowa. He takes it from there to finish the process locally.
The owners are very particular about maintaining consistency in flavor across their multiple locations, but understand that finishing the process in the restaurant has a certain appeal and gives their beer freshness.
My favorite was “the Bennie”, a German bock that tastes like it came right from Deutschland.
The food at Granite City is better than most bar grub and the knowledgeable waitresses are very happy to recommend an appropriate pairing with the beer of your choice.

 

 

 

Books & Brews
9402 Uptown Dr
Suite 1400
Indianapolis, IN 46256
(317) 288-5136

Books & Brews is relatively new to the Indianapolis microbrew scene. It is located in a warehouse next to the local Lowe's Home Improvement Store, so it is fairly convenient for anyone out to do a little afternoon shopping
(I can see husbands staggering home after a “manly shopping trip.”)
Coming in the front door, it looks like a small library with shelves of books for sale
(my daughter picked up a 10-volume Star Wars set at a relatively cheap price.)
You have to wander through the bookstore to arrive in the back room where the brew kettles, fermentation tanks and a small bar filled with quiet little tables are hidden.
(...where lots of people were enjoying their books and a beer, hence the name)
All of the beers at Books & Brews are named along literary themes, such as One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Brew Fish, and Cream and Punishment.
I tried the 4-beer sampler tray, with two nice hoppy ones (Three Hopsketeers IPA and Hop's Cradle DIPA), a delightful scotch ale (Sir Walter Scotch) and an imperial blonde (A Blonde of Brothers).
I was quite satisfied with the variety of flavors and great mouthfeel each had to offer.
We will be going back to try some of their seasonal beers on our next trip to Indy.