Something’s in the air at Birdboy Brewing

There’s something in the air in Fort Wayne – something new and exciting in the local beer scene. Birdboy Brewing is coming and hopes Fort Wayne is ready for a taste of something new.

The local craft brewery is starting up production of kegged craft beer for distribution to select bars and restaurants in the Fort Wayne market.

“It’s a small brewery,” said founder Ben Thompson. “It’s going to be Fort Wayne’s only production brewery right now.”

In naming his brewery, Thompson was inspired by Fort Wayne’s own “birdboy,” pilot Art Smith, who Fort Wayne’s Smith Field Airport is also named for.

Thompson himself has been a pilot since the age of 17 and went on to study aviation maintenance in college, which is when he started experimenting with homebrewing.

Art Smith, Fort Wayne’s original “Birdboy.” (Public domain image via

With assistance from the Fort Wayne Arts Incubator Co-Starters program at ArtLink Fort Wayne, Thompson was able to pivot and refine an already existing business plan he originally had for a brew pub and decided to go the distribution route.

Working independently with only a contractor, Thompson is balancing working a full-time job while pursuing his dream.

“It definitely doesn’t leave time for much else, but it’s manageable,” said Thompson.

The first brews on tap are going to be a Belgian pale ale followed by an American wheat.

“The Belgian pale ale is not real hoppy, but it has a nice kind of spicy yeast character,” said Thompson. “The American wheat is pretty hoppy with some soft wheat flavors.”

With construction just wrapping up and the first batch of craft beer completed, Thompson is now meeting with bar and restaurant owners and managers to get his special brew on tap.

“It’s going to be such a small brewery,” said Thompson. “I’m going to have a hard time keeping up with just Fort Wayne.”

That’s good to hear, and great for the community to see new things, which add to the culture of Fort Wayne while also reminding us a little bit about Fort Wayne’s rich history. Look for Birdboy Brewing beers at a local pub near you.

For more information and to get updates on when and where to find Birdboy Brewing products, please visit them online at and on social media on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tim Zink

Author: Tim Zink

Director-at-Large of Communications for Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. Adviser to current Living Fort Wayne leadership team. Contributor to Living Fort Wayne since April 2014.

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