The occasion: Completion of a big project at work
The desire: To celebrate
The place: Fountain Square Brewing Co.
I’d never been there before. You may not have either, since Fountain Square Brewing Co. just had it’s grand opening last weekend (although they’ve been quietly open since December 2, 2011 and brewing since September). My co-worker suggested the location for the free tasting opportunities. That sounded good to me.
I can’t believe I hadn’t even noticed the building before. It’s hard to miss — a bright golden color facing Shelby Street. I’d describe the interior as warehouse chic. Some nice couches. Great original paintings depicting the names of some of the house brews and using Fountain Square locals as models. And a bar big enough to seat maybe a dozen people. I ‘fessed up right away to my lack of knowledge when it comes to beer and the bartender was instantly happy to help me find something I liked. He taught me what the ABV (alcohol by volume) and IBU (international bitterness units) listed on the menu boards meant. And before he handed over anything to taste, he carded me. I know it’s the law, but I’m telling myself it’s because I look so darn young.
My first taste was the Winter Warmer, a darker beer with a bit of nutmeg and raspberry served in a cup about the size that comes with cough medicine. Surprisingly, I really liked the it. I’m not much of a beer girl and when I do drink it, I generally go for the more pale stuff. Next up, I tried the Preacher’s Daughter — one of the brewery’s standard offerings. I liked it, too, but not as much as the Winter Warmer. Then the bartender suggested I try the Backyard Porter. Whoa! He should have warned me it tastes kind of like coffee. Got any beer that tastes like a Diet Coke, man?
My final taste of the afternoon was the Workingman’s Pilsner. Kind of an amateur’s beer, I suppose. Most sophisticated beer drinkers would probably make fun of me for drinking that, but I enjoyed it. My co-workers each had a pint — which sounds big, but is just 16 ounces. I decided the tasting was enough for me for this trip. But I’ll be back. The atmosphere was casual and fun. Some people enjoying pints. Others doing the tasting. Some people dropping in to have their growlers refilled. My single friend particularly liked the odds — there were only three women there, but I don’t think it’s always that way.
If you go, plan to eat at one of the terrific Fountain Square restaurants either before or after your visit, as the Brewing Co. doesn’t have much in the way of food, although you can order food from The Brass Ring across the street and they will deliver it. If you want to give Fountain Square Brewing Co. a try, but aren’t near Fountain Square, ask your local watering hole if they have any on tap. The brewery’s beer, which is brewed on-site, is available in over 40 venues around Indianapolis.
Fountain Square Brewing Co. is open Thursdays and Fridays from 4-9 p.m., Saturdays 2 – 9 p.m. and Sundays noon – 6 p.m. They will be open daily from Monday, January 30 – Sunday, February 5 from noon – 11 p.m. On Friday, February 3, local cover band Project 19 will be playing at the brewery. You can keep up with other events by visiting the brewery’s Facebook page.