The Best Downtown Breweries in Indianapolis

  • Matt McLaughlin & Associates
  • 02/25/22


Beer may have been around since ancient times, but that hasn’t eroded its popularity among the masses one bit. If anything, beer is more versatile, accessible, and abundant than ever before – thanks to the craft beer trend that’s revolutionized the industry.

Gone are the days when you walked into a brewery or bar and just got whatever they happened to have on tap or in a bottle (which probably wasn’t that different from what the next brewery or bar had on hand). Today, variety is the rule when it comes to all the best brews, and people want to experience flavors both subtle and bold. Breweries that offer a wide range of craft beers are absolutely thriving.

Craft beers appeal to the young (and young-at-heart), the brave, and the adventurous souls out there – which may be why there are so many great breweries located in the heart of Indy. In fact, Indy’s beer scene is so prolific and popular that USA Today recently named us one of the Top Five Beer Cities in the entire nation.

With that in mind, let us introduce you to some of the must-visit breweries in the city:

Fountain Square Brew Co. – 1301 Barth Ave.

Fountain Square Brew Co. says, “Every town has a fountain square. A place to gather and connect. To birth memories. A beacon of unity and inclusion. It’s where everyone rallies together to celebrate life’s greatest moments.” Check out their year-round brews, like the Workingman’s Pilsner or Preacher Daughter, or go for something special, like one of their seasonal craft ales.

Taxman Brewing Co. – 310 S. Delaware St.

Ever dream of saying goodbye to your dull-but-steady corporate job to follow your passion? Well, that’s exactly what these guys did – and their passion just happened to be Belgian-style craft beers and tasty, sustainable food. It’s honestly hard to say whether the food or the beer is better at Taxman Brewing – but since we’re talking about beer, we suggest you try a premium blend, like Coffee-Vanilla Qualified, or one of their exciting seasonal brews, like Frozen Assets.

St. Joseph’s Brewery & Public House – 540 N. College Ave.

Like a place that knows how to carry out a theme? Then you’ll love trying both the house beers at St. Joseph’s Brewery, like their Confessional IPA or Benevolent Belgian Blond. Don’t forget to check out their seasonal offerings, including Testament Triple or the Hops and Prayers Cryo Mosaic IPA, either. While you’re there, check out the historic architecture of the building and enjoy the cool neighborhood vibes.

Brew Link Brewpub – 714. N. Capitol Ave.

A relative newcomer on Indy’s beer scene, Brew Link Brewpub is still a place that shouldn’t be overlooked. This small brewery focuses on freshness, sustainability, and local flare. They pride themselves on getting to know their regulars, so if you’re looking for the kind of place where nobody remains a stranger very long, this is it!

Upland Brewing Co. – 1201 Prospect St.

If pints, pitchers, and flights of beer alongside a seasonal menu filled with locally sourced ingredients and an artisanal approach to everything is your thing, you don’t want to skip Upland Brewing. They have several locations throughout Indiana, but their downtown location really puts the “heart” into the heart of the city.

Daredevil Brewing Co. – 1151 N. Main St.

These are the folks who brought us Enjoy a Lift Off IPA, Indiana’s favorite home-grown ale. Opened by two brothers, Daredevil Brewing bills its hand-crafted creations as “aggressively fun,” and we believe them! Their Muse, a Belgian-style ale, and Beautiful Dreams, an English mild ale, both took bronze medals in the 2020 U.S. Open Beer Championship.

Chilly Water Brewing Co. – 719 Virginia Ave.

Chilly Water Brewing has a host of medals to its name, including two new ones they earned in the 2021 International Beer/Cider Awards (one for “Smoke on the Lager” and another for “Dark Side of the Munich”). This is a great spot to go if you like live music, good food, good fun, and great beer – and its success is all the more remarkable because the brewery was founded by a hobbyist who really got into the craft brew process.

Sun King Brewing – 135 N. College Ave.

Sun King is the brewery that started the big trend in Indy, ever since they tapped their first keg back in 2009. It’s the city’s largest brewery, and its beers have won acclaim all over the nation – they have a list of gold, silver, and bronze medals from all over and are ranked among the top five breweries worldwide by the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and the World Beer Cup (WBC).

New Day Craft – 1102 Prospect St.

Technically, New Day is a meadery, not a brewery, but we think it would be remiss not to include it on our list. These folks have tapped into the modern market for mead, and they produce unique hard ciders and meads that use real fruit, hops, herbs, honey, and spices. If you want to visit a place that knows how to make an ancient craft seem new again, don’t miss this one!

Bier Brewery – 5133 E. 65th St.

Putting the “bier” in Beer, this Brewery focuses on Belgian-style and German brews that speak to Old World craftsmanship and refined tastes. They’ve won numerous medals in beer competitions, and their Roggenschnizzle Rye took a silver medal in that 2020 U.S. Open Beer Championship we talked about before.

If you have a thirst for adventure (or, maybe just a serious thirst for beer), grab a friend or two and go tasting! Indy’s beer scene is constantly changing, and there’s a perfectly crafted brew out there for everyone.

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