I stopped in recently at the brewery, located in McCordsville at 7724 Depot St., to talk with CEO and brewer Eilise Lane and head brewer and production manager Chris Knott about their beers and the upcoming event.
How did the whole idea for the brewery come about?
Eilise Lane: It all started about seven years ago. I drank a beer, and I fell in love with it. I asked to speak to the brewer, and she wasn’t there that day, and I heard she, and I was just really amazed and excited about hearing a woman brewing. And I decided that I was going to go home and learn how to brew. And so I started brewing at home and became more and more involved, and then we finally came together and started asking friends and family if they’d be interested in starting a brewery with us. And now here we are.
How did it progress into a women-owned brewery?
Eilise: It started out with home brewing, and it moved into more training for me. I’m a bit of a nerd and so it did involve going back to school to learn about beer fermentation specifically. During that time, I was working with my partners to put together a business plan and then eventually asking for investors. It was kind of interesting and amazing that we were able to go to different investors and all but one of our investors are women. They were excited to support us and see that not only was craft beer making a big bang, but there would also be women working in the industry. We have a lot of strong women that are supporting us, and of course we have our gentlemen that work with us and that are very important as well.
What kinds of beer are you brewing?
Chris Knott: When we started talking about our lineup, probably about a year ago, really, we knew we had to come into the market doing something different. There’s a lot of breweries popping up around Indiana now. And we try to find places we can fit in, and luckily those were all beers that I love to drink. So we started out talking about a stout, and we want to keep stouts exciting. We love stouts, we love drinking stouts. But to try to keep it fresh, we’re going to do a rotating stout. This spring we’re doing a coconut stout, which has had really good reviews so far. We don’t really know what the next stout’s going to be, but it’s going to change. After that, we knew we had to have a light beer. I kind of brought the idea of a Belgian saison. I wanted it to be a low-alcohol saison, and it’s been pretty good so far. And we’ve got to have an IPA. We love hops, IPAs especially, West Coast, in-your-face hops. And we decided to do a red IPA, something a little different. Something with a little bit more malt flavor with the punch-in-your-face hops flavor. And we’re going to be debuting that next week at our tapping.
Tell me about the tapping.
Eilise: We’ll be hosting an event at Fire by the Monon in Broad Ripple on the 21st of this month, and we’re also partnering with Girls Pint Out. It’s a great organization. So we’re really excited to partner with a women’s group and also work with a local restaurant so we can debut our beer.
What will you have at the Fire by the Monon event?
Eilise: We’re going to be bringing three different beers of ours. Our coconut stout, which is the Dorian; we will also have our saison, which is called Silas, and we’ll also be debuting our northwest red IPA, which is Vivian. We’re very excited to have those three beers. And we’ll also be trying to to use some of the spent coconut from the beers to make some sweet treats for everybody. We’re looking at making some macaroons and some different cookies and things like that.
Tell me about your location in McCordsville.
Eilise: We’re incredibly excited to be a part of McCordsville. They have been so welcoming and had big open arms when we came in. We’re on a nice piece of property, and we have a nice, big building we can grow into. Our piece of property is about 5.3 acres, and I envision it being a bit of an adult playground where people can come around, and they can have a drink there and maybe have some outdoor bands and stages and a nice little fire they can sit by. And of course that’s all in the future, but it is something we’re envisioning, and it’s something we hope to do. We think McCordsville is going to be a perfect place for that.
Will you going to have a tap room there?
Chris: We hope to have the tap room open in a month. To start out it will just be samples and growlers to go. Eventually we’ll organize some events. Who knows? Maybe an Oktoberfest, something like that, where we can have a food truck and be able to sell pints and have a little party out here. We’ll certainly have an anniversary party in about a year with some very special brews that we’ll be saving. It’s going to be exciting.
What are some other plans for the future?
Chris: We’re starting out with our three house beers right now. The seasonals, we’re going to get into in the future. We’re definitely going to change it up quite a bit. I definitely want to get into the sour game. Sour beers are kind of taking the country by storm, and I love sour beers, and I want to try it. It’s a challenge and something not everybody does, and we’re going to learn a lot doing it. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a roller coaster, but it’ll be fun.
— Jolene Ketzenberger