With craft beer and local breweries on the rise, here’s a brief guide to some of the best breweries — and what they offer — in Hamilton County.
Where to go: Union Brewing Company
Address: 622 S Range Line Rd., Carmel
Hours: Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, 4 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and noon to 1 a.m. Saturday
Best beer: Java Diffie
Review: I typically am not a dark beer drinker, but this collaboration of Union Brewing Company and Java Coffeehouse really hit my taste buds right. Union Brewing Company serves cask beers, which means the beer’s carbonation occurs naturally. The beer is stored in a cask with sugar, which the beer yeast consumes and then turns the product into a carbonated brew. Cask-brewed beers have a creamier mouthfeel and not as much bit from the carbonation. Since UBC’s brews are so unique, I suggest ordering a flight so you can try several at a time. UBC’s samples are sold separately, at $2.50 each, and are 5 oz. pours. I sampled the Java Diffie (my favorite), the Triple Zeroes (very dry, but delicious), Under the Table (a Beligan strong beer, which owner Nathan Doyle describes as “big and boozy”) and Fred’s Red Ale.
I also love UBC’s atmosphere, which feels like a traditional brewery. It’s conveniently positioned next to Jamaican Reggae Grill, which offers some exceptional food options.
Where to go: Upland Carmel Tap House
Address: 820 E. 116th St., Carmel
Hours: Noon to midnight Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Best beer: Champagne Velvet, a pilsner.
Review: Upland’s best deal is definitely its flight of seven 6 oz. beers for $9.95. Five are from Upland’s year-round menu: Dragonfly IPA, Upland Wheat, Champagne Velvet, Campside Pale Ale and Bad Elmer’s Porter. The person ordering gets to pick the other two from the seasonal menu. If its available, definitely check out the Latitude Adjustment. Upland has a quiet, beautiful patio that is the best environment to enjoy its excellent beers.
Where to go: Four Day Ray
Address: 11671 Lantern Rd., Fishers
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Best beer: Blood Orange Blonde, an American Blonde Ale
Review: Four Day Ray is spacious and an excellent place to go if you want to pair a hearty dinner with your locally brewed beer.