Winterfest! (Indianapolis Brewfest)

Waiting in line for Winterfest!

Waiting in line for Winterfest!


Saturday was Winterfest in Indianapolis, where 70 breweries from all over the country joined at the Indiana State Fair Grounds to pour out unlimited 3oz samplings of their most cherished brews. It is 3 hours of all-you-can-taste beer sampling.

Sounds like heaven, am I right?

This event was entirely sold out weeks ago, with the VIP tickets selling out extremely quickly. Knowing this fact, we set out for the fairgrounds donning our pretzel necklaces, aiming to get there early, get a good place in line, and be in the doors with a beer in our hands at 4:00 on the dot.

Oy Vey.

About a half mile of excited beer enthusiasts in front of us, about another half mile behind us. Envy doesn’t describe our feelings for those who had purchased VIP tickets who were already warm inside enjoying their larger glasses and early access. (We will definitely pay the extra for VIP next year)

Once inside, it was like thousands of adults in an adult candy store.

Sea of beer enthusiasts.

Sea of beer enthusiasts.

Hopping brewery to brewery, trying to sample everything, from everyone.

With each brewery offering an average of four options, this was just not humanly possible, but you could pick and choose those that sounded most delicious or interesting to you, and trust me there was something there for everyone.

From the Imperial Stout infused with Ghost Peppers from Zwanzigz, to the firkin tent, to the Komodo Drangonfly Black IPA from Upland, to the Double 574 Double IPA from Bare Hands Brewery, any beer lover would not have any trouble finding their new favorite beverage.

The trouble is always remembering it the next day ūüôā

The classics such as Sum Nug from Shoreline Brewery, Alpha King from Three Floyds, Superfly from Oaken Barrel, and Amazon Princess from People’s did not disappoint when stacked against the other offerings.

To be expected it was intensely crowded, verging on uncomfortable at times, with lines for the bathrooms extending into the common area (for both sexes). However, the lines for samples were never too long and usually gave you just enough time to enjoy your previous sample before asking for another… and another… and another…

The breweries in attendance included:

Breweries from Indiana:

Fountain Square
Thr3e Wise Men
Rock Bottom
New Day

A little blurry, but here we are at Winterfest!

A little blurry, but here we are at Winterfest!

Iechyd Da
450 South
Flat 12 
New Albanian
Three Pints
Evil Czech
Back Road
Black Acre
Sun King
Mad Anthony
Turoni’s Main St.
Tin Man
Half Moon
Figure 8
Broad Ripple
Bare Hands
Three Floyds
Barley Island
Twisted Crew
Oaken Barrel
Great Crescent
Four Horsemen
Big Woods
Big Dawg

Out of State Breweries:

Ace Hard Ciders
Sampling some fine brews.

Sampling some fine brews.

New Holland

North Coast
Falls City
Country Boy
Against the Grain
New Belgium
Sierra Nevada
New Albion

It was a great time with great people, and I don’t think there was a guest in attendance that walked away disappointed.

Next year, the VIP pass will be a must!

… and our pretzel necklaces will be more creative… I’m thinking a mini pretzel version of my¬†Soft Pretzels¬†recipe…….



Photo taken at Crown Brewing, Crown Point, IN

Photo taken at Crown Brewing, Crown Point, IN

It was about a year and a half ago when Wills and I discovered that we love craft beer… like we really really really LOVE craft beer.

North Peak Brewing Company, Traverse City, MI

North Peak Brewing Company, Traverse City, MI

For our 6 year anniversary we rented a cabin up in Traverse City, Michigan and while exploring the little downtown area, we decided to have lunch at North Peak Brewing Company.

We shared our first flight, a sample of five different brews, and we fell madly and deeply in love (with craft beer of course).

We had never heard of a flight or a snifter, a growler or a bomber, cask conditioned or bourbon barrel aged… we were seriously sheltered from this community of breweries and beer enthusiasts and we had a lot of ground to make up.




Wills decided last summer to make it a mission to visit as many Indiana breweries as possible or reasonable (though sometimes ‘reasonable’ was not a factor ).

His goal is to collect a growler from every brewery in Indiana so that when he has his ‘man cave’, or his own bar in our future home, he can adorn the walls with shelves of growlers from his home state.

The map below features all of the breweries we have visited thus far, and collected growlers from.Brewery Map 

People’s Brewing, Lafayette
Lafayette Brewing Company, Lafayette
Half Moon Brewery, Kokomo
Upland Brewing, Bloomington
Bloomington Brewing Company, Bloomington
Oaken Barrel Brewing, Greenwood
Crown Brewing, Crown Point
Powerhouse Brewing Company, Columbus
Big Woods Brewing, Nashville
Three Floyds Brewpub, Munster
Salt Creek Brewery, Bedford
Sun King Brewing Co., Indianapolis
Flat 12 Bierwerks, Indianapolis
Broadripple Brewpub, Indianapolis
Fountain Square Brewing Co., Indianapolis
Bier Brewery, Indianapolis
Shoreline Brewing, Michigan City
Figure 8 Brewery, Valparaiso


We also visited Greenbush Brewing Company in Sawyer, Michigan, and Northwoods Brewpub in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Greenbush Brewing Company, Sawyer, MI

Greenbush Brewing Company, Sawyer, MI

Not bad for one summer! It was like going on a mini adventure every weekend, and gave us something to look forward to!

Some were fantastic and worth the trip (Half Moon Brewery, Oaken Barrel Brewing), and others… hate to say it… but not so much (Bloomington Brewing Company, Broadripple Brewpub- like seriously is anyone here passionate about beer?).



Now, we have sampled brews from many Indiana breweries that are not on our list at the Beers Across the Wabash Brewfest and the Valpo Brewfest! Who doesn’t love a brewfest! All you can sample for three hours or so. Best. Idea. Ever. Can’t wait for¬†Winterfest¬†in a couple of weeks in Indianapolis!

Beers Across the Wabash

Beers Across the Wabash

There are about 50 breweries in Indiana according to the Brewers of Indiana Guild, and we will post as we continue to check breweries off the list, attend brewfests, and as Wills begins his own homebrewing adventure!

We’d love to hear about your experiences at Indiana Breweries as well!