Indy Brew BusOn a drizzly Saturday afternoon my team of three boarded a ride to explore some of Indy’s best brews. I had followed the Indy Brew Bus team since Andy and Megan Bulla took a chance and bought a single short bus back in 2012. Since then, I’ve spotted their bright green buses delivering happy groups of beer lovers to some of my favorite Indy breweries. It was finally my turn to experience the Brew Bus firsthand. As a bonus, the days adventure would net me five check ins on the Indy Craft Pass (four breweries plus the Brew Bus).

We were one of three groups on this particular tour. We were joined by a group of couples from all over the Midwest who had convened to celebrate anniversaries. Another group had a mom and dad from North Carolina in to share a weekend with their daughter. We’d be hitting four breweries. Each occupied a different neighborhood and the commute between stops gave riders a chance to explore the city while grooving to the DJ skills of our driver, Dan.

Speaking of Dan, the tour guide is key to the experience. Dan is a homebrewer originally from Milwaukee who knew the ins and outs of the process and was friendly with each brewery we visited. We asked a lot of questions and he always had an answer.

From our downtown tour (they offer several variations) here are a few of my highlights:

  • Indiana City Brewing: A historic building that had a previous life as a brewery, is a showcase of exposed brick and the work of Indy’s best illustrators.
    Must try: Tribute Pale Ale, brewed exclusively with Eureka hops
  • The Koelschip (operated by Central State Brewing): A fairly stark space whose art collection includes empty frames revealing titles like “Dogs Playing Poker” and “Melty Clocks.”
    Must try: Alastor, an imperial milk stout that was “Rising from the Underworld”
  • Centerpoint Brewing: The Circle City Industrial Complex is one of the city’s most interesting redevelopment projects and Centerpoint anchors and reflects the makerspace mindset of this area.
    Must try: Blood Orange, this IPA was named “Best Local IPA” by IndyStar readers 
  • Fountain Square Brewing: A neighborhood with this much personality deserves a brewery that mixes grit, art, and friendly faces. This place delivered.
    Must try: Hop Your Face, an imperial IPA with a limited annual release

Indiana City BrewingThe Indy Brew Bus has a fleet of buses these days and offer tours in Broad Ripple, Carmel, and the South Side. They offer cider-infused tours alongside beer and birdwatching tours (I’m not making that up). If you have a special occasion or are looking for any group activity, they can take care of the driving while you enjoy the tastes of Indy’s beer scene.