This summer my family vacationed at Folly Beach, just outside of Charleston, SC (it was lovely). As I was planning the drive home, I lobbied for a one-night stay in Asheville, NC. Why? Because I had heard about a destination brewery that Sierra Nevada recently opened. For me, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was my gateway into the world of craft beer, and I needed to see and taste this place for myself.
My stopover is an example of beer tourism, and Asheville is an example of a destination that is benefiting from this phenomenon. One study revealed that the city’s beer scene was the primary trip driver for 14% of their visitors. More than ¼ of their visitors stop by at least one brewery. For Asheville, and other hot beer destinations from Grand Rapids to Denver to Portland, this equates to spending at hotels, restaurants, tour companies, and more. It is time for Indy to get in on the act.
Introducing the Indy Craft Pass. This mobile passport is designed to a give a visitor, or a local, an incentive to get out and explore the flavors that define our city. The concept is simple:
- Go to explore.visitindy.com on your mobile device and register your pass.
Tip: Add the Indy Craft Pass icon to your home screen for easy access.
- Visit participating breweries, distilleries, and craft beverage producers. Check-in with your server/bartender at each location.
- Check-in at eight locations and qualify for an Indy Craft Pass t-shirt. Visit every participating location and earn the ultimate Indy Craft Pass prize package.
Tip: Shirts are only available for pick up at certain locations so plan accordingly.
Use this as an excuse to try something new. With over 30 locations (and more coming), there is no shortage of tasty destinations. A few considerations:
- Cluster: Plan an outing to hit multiple locations within close proximity. For example, a mile stretch of College Avenue rewards you with St. Joseph Public House, Metazoa Brewing, and Sun King’s downtown flagship.Or, jump down to Fountain Square for a four-pack including Fountain Square Brewery, New Day Craft, Upland FSQ, and the new BrewDog Indianapolis.
- Get on the Bus: From IndyGo’s new Red Line rapid transit line you can easily access the Upland College Avenue Tasting Room and TwoDEEP Brewing. Better yet, book a tour with the Indy Brew Bus which actually counts as a check-in.
- Pedal to Pubs: The Monon Trail connects riders to Sun King Spirits, Big Lug, and Half Liter/Liter House. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail delivers Rock Bottom Brewery, locations in Fletcher Place and Fountain Square, and is only a short jump from Centerpoint Brewing and 8th Day Distillery in the Circle City Industrial Complex.
- Beyond Beer: The craft beverage industry stretches well beyond hops and barley. Enjoy local spirits at Hotel Tango and West Fork Whiskey or sip on ciders at Ash & Elm.
- Road Trip: Fall is a great time for a drive. Journey to Bargersville or Fortville to visit Taxman. Visit the north side for a pint at Four Day Ray Brewing or Bier Brewery. The south side rewards visitors with Mashcraft in Greenwood. Journey west to discover one of the city’s newest breweries, Guggman Haus, or hit Daredevil on Main Street in Speedway.
Please note that new brewery and distillery locations will be added moving forward. Please enjoy responsibly. Cheers!