Friday, November 29, 2013

Icy Hiking in Indy

Indianapolis, IN

While I'm trying to figure out exactly how to tell you about our long, exhausting week hiking around Chicago, here's a bit about my recent VERY FUCKING COLD visit to Indianapolis. (Note: we didn't encounter any actual ice, but it was below freezing much of the time.)

After landing in Chicago and doing a quick night hike in Wicker Park, Chris and I hopped on a MegaBus the next morning and took a short trip southeast. Neither of us was at all familiar with the Indianapolis beer scene, so we figured it was worth the $5 ride to check it out.

Chris freezing his middle finger off at the bus stop

Despite the bus breaking down, its supremely dickish driver, some very poorly behaved teenagers, and the coldest weather since February, we still managed to have a lot of fun. We were only in Indy for about 28 hours, but we walked and drank more than enough to easily qualify for an urban beer hike (or two) -- even going as far as making a 6 mile, non-stop death march back Downtown from Broad Ripple after a solid night of drinking. That was brutal, but probably helped us to feel well enough to fuck around town a little more before leaving the next evening.

I don't really have proper beer hike routes to log here like I usually do. However, here's an overview map of the places we visited:

South Broad Ripple (RED):
  1. The Sinking Ship
  2. Upland Brewing Taproom 
  3. Twenty Tap
Fall Creek Place (TEAL):
  1. Goose, The Market 
Downtown (BLUE):
  1. Tomlinson's Tap Room
  2. Tow Yard Brewing
  3. Slippery Noodle
  4. MacNiven's
  5. Sun King Brewing

View Icy in Indy in a larger map

There are any number of routes you can plan. Downtown is flat and easy -- you can choose your own route between bars. You'll find good beer at all of them (except Maxine's Chicken & Waffles and Shapiro's Deli -- those are good places to eat on your hike.) If you're going to make the trek up to Broad Ripple, College Ave. is a good way. It's a straight shot north (see the green line on the map), but I recommend veering west a bit for a pit stop at Goose along the way.

Here's more shit to know:
  • As of this post, Tow Yard Brewing is not open yet, but should be soon. It's a big, beautiful space very close to Lucas Oil Field and the brewer, Bradley Zimmerman, is a friend of ours from Big Time Brewing. He really knows his shit. No doubt there are good things to come and we can't wait to visit again. 
Not far from Shapiro's Deli
  • Sun King Brewing doesn't really have a tap room, per se, but if you go to their Friday samplings, you'll be able to taste all of their beers for free. That's really kind of them to do that, so be sure to grab a growlers and a maybe a t-shirt -- then go get drunk at home. Also, check out the room where science happens:
Sun King Brewery
  • Tomlinson Tap Room is inside the City Market complex, upstairs. It is a very unique space for a beer bar and we wished we'd had a chance to visit a second time. 
Tomlinson Tap Room
  • Do not leave Indy without a visit to the historic Slippery Noodle, Indiana's oldest bar. (It looks small when you first arrive, but keep going toward the back of the place and you'll see how big it really is.) If you can, try to get a tour of the catacombs below. We weren't able because it was a busy Friday night (live blues music, in case you care), but heard it's really fun and creepy. Even without the tour, it was one of our favorite places of the trip. 
Slippery Noodle
  • Goose is also deceiving at first. Grab a sandwich at the counter and then look for the wall that says, "CELLAR" and go down the stairs. That's where the small, but good beer selection is. You can drink anything off the shelf or look at the list of chilled bottles they have available. (No taps.) 
Goose, The Market
  • The hike between Downtown and Broad Ripple is quite long (especially in sub-freezing temps, like we did.) It's flat, but there are not a lot of places to stop along the way (Goose being an excellent choice). I still encourage you to do it though, because getting your ass out there and seeing the city is what we do, right?
The City
That's about it. I'll finish here and spare you the usual mundane details of the rest of our visit. It was cold as fuck, we explored the city a bit, and I clogged the toilet in the motel room. Other than that it was just the usual mix of great bars, great beer, and a lot of walking. There's a lot going on in the beer scene here -- I look forward to visiting Indianapolis again and trying to hit some of the spots we didn't have time to visit.

Thanks again for reading. Here's the usual lame phone pics from our adventure. I think you can click on some photos for more details:

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