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Homemade Brews in the Heartland

There is arguably nothing better than beer to complement a sporting outing. Whether the group is cheering on the sidelines or getting in on the game, there are plenty of local microbrews in Northern Indiana where attendees can grab a cold one after play.

In South Bend is South Bend Brew Werks, which according to Meghan Huff, sports sales manager for Visit South Bend/Mishawaka, is a quaint, recently opened brewery that accommodates groups of varying sizes for tastings and meal functions.

House brews here include 9 Aye, a black IPA; Colonel Eddy, an oatmeal stout; and 1865, an amber ale. The brewpub menu features everything from a loaf of rye bread served with butter to specialty pasta dishes made with house-made brew noodles.

The Fort Wayne-based Summit City Brewerks is quickly becoming the go-to brewery near downtown, as it features about 40 beers on tap in a fun environment.

“Fort Wayne is starting to feel the brewery trend,” says John Felts, marketing and communications specialist at Visit Fort Wayne, citing two new entrants opening this year: Trubble Brewing and Olde School Brauhaus.

With several locations in Northeast Indiana, including in Fort Wayne, Mad Anthony Brewing Company has become a local favorite.

Mad Anthony’s microbrews include Ol’ Woody Pale Ale, Gabby Blonde Lager and Good Karma IPA, any of which pair well with menu items such as Scooby Snacks (a.k.a. crispy potato wedges), dill pickle fries, jambalaya pasta and bangers and mash.

Historic downtown Lafayette is home to Lafayette Brewing Company (LBC), which, according to Ashley Gregory, group tours and meeting manager for Visit Lafayette–West Lafayette, is Indiana’s second-oldest operating brewery.

“It is a family restaurant offering a variety of pub fare, and several different handcrafted ales, lagers and sodas made on-site,” she says. “For those who aren’t beer drinkers, their root beer is fantastic!”

LBC has a banquet room and often welcomes groups of up to 120 people for meal functions, and up to 340 people for live entertainment.

“LBC has become a Lafayette tradition,” Gregory adds.

And in Muncie is Heorot Pub & Draught House, a leader in the area’s craft beer industry for 20 years.

Heorot, which features 70 different draft taps and more than 400 different bottle selections at any one time, also has its own brewery, Wolves’ Head Brewing.

“Next door to Heorot’s is Valhalla, where guests will find a fine selection of quality bourbons and other liquors, along with a large selection of domestic and craft beers,” says Shonda L. Kane, marketing and sales manager for the Muncie Visitors Bureau.

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About the author
Carolyn Blackburn