Indiana City Brewing Co. wasn’t immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses. However, owner and founder Ray Kamstra decided to get creative to boost sales during the lockdown in March 2020.
“We noticed all of our big fans on the far north side who worked at Salesforce or Angie’s List just weren’t coming in here anymore because of working from home,” said Kamstra, a Carmel resident.
As a solution, Indiana City Brewing Co. decided to offer free delivery within a 15-mile radius of the brewery in downtown Indianapolis. However, residents just outside that radius began making requests for the brewery to deliver to them, too.
“Now we deliver up to a 25-mile radius with free delivery,” Kamstra said. “We deliver all the way down to the south edge of Greenwood all the way up to the north edge of Carmel.”
To order beer for delivery, customers must place their orders before 2 p.m. on Friday. Then, the beer is delivered in the afternoon or evening that Friday.
“We actually have just over 300 accounts that sell our beer in Indianapolis, so the same guy who does all of our regular deliveries finishes his distribution at noon and gets all the orders together for home delivery and takes them out within three to four hours,” Kamstra said.
Between 12 and 24 customers opt for home delivery each week. The most popular beers are in the current Brew Doodle Crew series. The Brew Doodle Crew is a group of artists that collaborate monthly on an illustration to be displayed on one of the Indiana City Brewing Co.’s cans.
“Whatever they draw that month is the next month’s can,” Kamstra said. “They’re doing it virtually right now and not meeting around a table (at Indiana City Brewing Co.) like they normally would. They’re all on their iPads and are connected in drawing on the same canvas at the same time.”
Every Brew Doodle Crew can is a double dry-hopped hazy IPA.
“Everybody’s been affected,” Kamstra said of businesses and the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have maintained all of our accounts and kept our fans happy, but it’s definitely been a struggle. We found ways to get creative. We’ve never done online ordering and now it’s huge, half of our carryout sales. (COVID-19) made us look at our business model a little closer.”
Beer delivery is free for orders that are $50 or more within a 15-mile radius and for orders that are $100 or more within a 25-mile radius. In addition to cans, Indiana City Brewing Co. also sells crowlers, which are essentially 32 oz. cans and kegs.