Sometimes the fastest route to your “happy place” is to follow your palate. You can stow away on warm, soft pretzels or homemade biscuits. Take a ride on a spoonful of cheese dip or a forkful of flaky pie. Buy a ticket to Baconland, or for a more adventurous journey, score a spicy pickle and a steaming bowl of Vietnamese noodles (with an egg, for good measure). Combine any one of those comfort foods with a cold pint of craft beer, and you might find yourself tripping on warm fuzzies – in the best way possible.
If that sounds enticing, I have good news. You and your taste buds can soon take a comfort food vacation via a quick trip to Trubble Brewing. The new brewery/gastropub – located on Broadway in the old Chappell’s building – is set to open before just before Thanksgiving. Initially, Trubble’s menu and hours will limited, with plans to ramp up brewing, solidify the menu and and extend the hours as time goes on.
The beer menu will likely feature the staff’s favorite regional craft brews, while owner Chad Hankee and the rest of the crew wait for the checkers of checkboxes to check the right boxes. (My dear readers, in case you don’t already know – the bureaucracy of Indiana’s bar and brewery regulations is ridiculous enough to require several stiff drinks. Every day. For months on end.)
While the home-brewed “barley pops” may have to wait, the house-made food will be palate pleasing from day one. Head chef and pastry chef John and Lindsay Cheesebrew have plans for inspired dishes that are guaranteed to make Trubble a double indulgence for beer snobs and foodies alike.
John and Lindsay are the brains, elbow grease, photographers and taste-testers behind the Bird + Cleaver food blog, whose mouthwatering recipes have been featured on BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and The Kitchn. Lindsay’s specialty is in heavenly pastries and desserts. John has a way with Southeast Asian condiments and cured pork. They both have a soft spot for beer, bourbon and taquerias. Together, their recipes are locally inspired and cross-culturally infused. Or as they say, “like your southern Granny came to visit, and she brought fish sauce and craft beer.” (I’ve eaten some of John and Lindsay’s edible inventions, and I’d invite their kind of Granny to any potluck.)
No official confirmation from the kitchen staff, but rumor has it you may be able to enjoy your favorite brew with a side of freshly baked pull-apart pretzels and homemade cheese dip. [Photo by Bird+Cleaver]
Instead of setting the Trubble menu from the start, John and Lindsay hope to let it evolve with the seasons and reflect their customers’ requests. “What makes our menu so exciting to us is the fact that it will be constantly changing,” says John. “There will be a small static menu that will go mostly unchanged, aside from seasonal garnishes. We intend to utilize as many local products as we can, with a big emphasis on truly seasonal dishes.”
The pair is mum about specific details. But for them, a flexible menu will mean plenty of vegetarian and vegan options – as well as dishes that will satisfy hungry (and thirsty) carnivores. “There will be plenty of pub favorites, but perhaps done in a way you aren’t used to.”
With seasonal flexibility in mind, the Cheesebrews will focus on crafting crave-worthy features that taste best when washed down with a cold draught. “Our approach to the Trubble menu is about being balanced and thoughtful,” says John. “We are a brewery, first and foremost – so the food has to compliment the beer, and vice versa. While we do want to set ourselves apart with our offerings, we don’t plan to go so far off the map that our food is inaccessible.”
The classically trained culinary couple has spent the last several months planning, testing and tweaking recipes. But for all the time spent considering complex flavor profiles, the Cheesebrews’ approach to food and beer pairing is pretty straightforward. John sums it up in six simple steps: “Make good beer. Make good food. Hire people that really love both. Try everything. Decide which things taste the best together. Pass this info on to our customers. It’s a pretty solid system.”
Sounds like a solid system, indeed – with or without a golden glass of liquid indulgence. But when it comes down to it, what wins the “most anticipated” menu item award? As John admits, “If you twisted our arm… we might say pickles.”
Meet the Cheesebrews. (Yes, that’s their real surname.)
Trubble Brewing is tentatively scheduled to open during the second week of November, 2015.
Tentative hours will be 4 – 11 pm, Thursday through Sunday.