Hop River Brewing Company – Creating an inclusive environment
Apr19

Hop River Brewing Company – Creating an inclusive environment

This story was originally published in the April 4, 2018 issue of Input Fort Wayne as Creating an inclusive environment.    With a fifteen-barrel brew house, Hop River Brewing Company has seven to nine beers on tap with plans to grow that number by this summer. But what they are building is more than a brewery and taproom. They have relationships with other local breweries, like Junk Ditch Brewing Company and Mad Anthony Brewing Company. Both are currently available on guest taps. On top of that, the taproom is open to all ages—not just ages 21 and over. It’s not uncommon to see kids and high schoolers sitting at the community tables, playing board games. In many ways, the brewery has built an inclusive environment on Fort Wayne’s Historic Wells Street Corridor that is not only a welcoming place for guests, but also for the staff. With 13 employees, the brewery puts as much emphasis on its team members, its relationships, and its community as it does the quality of its beer. It’s this emphasis that is paying off. A brewing family The 1515 N. Harrison Street location is home to the Hop River Brewing Company staff, and it is clear that their love for each other is as great as their love for beer. The brewery started as a dream in 2015 by co-founders Ben Jackson, President, and Paris McFarthing, Vice President. Hard work by these founders and their team members lead to a grand opening on January 29. Team members include Kevin Debs, Mary Corinne Lowenstein-DeGood, Amanda Wendt, and Zach Croy. Watching them interact is like watching siblings with a long history. They get along, and there is an easy camaraderie among them. Debs, the Head Brewer, moved to Fort Wayne from Detroit to join the Hop River Brewing Company family. “I moved here for the job, and to be able to share beer with people,” he says. “I wanted to be able to develop recipes and a beer culture. To turn people on to different beer styles they didn’t know about is what this is all about.” Lowenstein-DeGood, Director of Marketing, came on board in January, 2017, and is equally excited about being part of the team. She says the opportunity to be part of a community and a business focused on staff culture was what she signed on for. “We have learned each other’s dynamic, and we grew close during the process of opening the brewery,” Lowenstein-DeGood says. “We rocked the grand opening because we learned to trust each other.” A longtime local resident and previous employee at downtown hangouts like Dash-In, Wendt is the Head...

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Getting into the St. Patrick’s Day Spirit
Mar15

Getting into the St. Patrick’s Day Spirit

Saturday, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day and we are hoping to bring a little luck o’ the Irish to you when it comes to finding somewhere to celebrate. While the rivers run green and the Irish pubs are full, many of local establishments are serving up some great deals, festive treats, and awesome entertainment to keep you in good spirits. Three Rivers Distilling Company St. Patty’s Day at the Distillery March 17, 12pm-11pm What to expect: Drinks $5 – Emerald Isle: Summit City Gin and crème de menthe $7 – Pot of Gold: Harvester Vodka with a touch of elderflower, splash of ginger beer $6 – Irish Eyes: 122 Unaged Corn Whiskey, crème de menthe, and heavy cream $6 – Irish Lady: melon infused Harvester Vodka with OJ and sparkling grape juice on draft $7 – Sparkling Shamrock: Cucumber and pear infused Harvester Vodka, touch of elderflower, lemon juice and simple syrup served on draft Food Corn beef and cabbage Shepherd’s pie Irish stew All of their other amazing food options. Pedal City Starting at 8am for Mad Ant’s Pub Crawl Pedal City is having live music and a free tasting on St Patrick’s day! The tasting starts at 8 am with a free Irish whiskey sampling and lots of giveaways! The live music starts at 1 pm with Blake Blurry until 5 pm then again with Dan Smyth starting at 10 pm!! What to expect: Drinks $3 Paddy’s Irish Whiskey $4 large (22 oz) Green Beer $4 Irish coffee $4 Coffee with Irish Cream Food Shepherd’s pie Twice baked potatoes Reuben sandwich Corn beef and cabbage HT2 March 17, 3pm-12am While they aren’t having a party like other local bars, they are sticking to their signature craft drink charms! What to expect: HT2 will be serving a special drink called Magic Milks. This drink is a Lucky Charm Marshmallow infused vodka with almond milk Hamilton Public House March 17, 8pm to 11pm Hamilton Public House is hosting the Summit City Saints among other wonderful things tonight to celebrate that little Irishman in us all. What to expect: Green beer Live music Various food and drink specials “The Black Stuff” Guinness 16oz Cans. We’ll have the patio open to those ages 21 and older. Two EE’s Winery March 13-21st While most people are out looking for green beer, Two EE’s is putting a green spin on one of their popular items! What to Expect: $7 Green, vanilla slushies! Hop River Brewing Company March 17, noon – 12:30am Great, Not Green: Know What’s in Your Glass! Learn about beer on the day you enjoy it most. Interactive brewhouse tours...

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Release – Savor Fort Wayne 2018 to run until January 21
Jan10

Release – Savor Fort Wayne 2018 to run until January 21

Press release from Visit Fort Wayne Starting today, 48 Fort Wayne restaurants are offering three-course, value-priced menus during the fifth annual Savor Fort Wayne from Wednesday, January 10 – Sunday, January 21. Participating Fort Wayne area restaurants will feature specially crafted menus including appetizers, salads, steaks, sandwiches, seafood, pasta, ethnic delights, dessert and more in addition to vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. Savor Fort Wayne restaurants include: 07 Pub Asakusa Bandidos- Aboite Bandidos- Glenbrook Bandidos- Georgetown Bandidos- Waynedale Black Canyon Bourbon Street Hideaway Casa Grille Casa Ristorante Italiano Casa Grille Italiano Casa! Ristorante Champions Chappell’s Coral Grill Chop’s Wine Bar Club Soda DeBrand Fine Chocolates Don Hall’s Tavern at Coventry Don Hall’s Takaoka Don Hall’s Factory Don Hall’s Guesthouse Grill Don Hall’s Gas House Don Hall’s Triangle Park Eddie Merlot’s el Azteca Mexican Restaurant Features Bar and Restaurant HT2 J.K. O’Donnell’s Junk Ditch Mad Anthony Brewing Co. Naked Tchopstix Nawa Nick’s Martini & Wine Bar Nori Asian Fusion Cuisine The Oyster Bar Park Place on Main Street Rack and Helen’s Red River Steakhouse Shigs In Pit – Fairfield Shigs in Pit – Maplecrest Shoccu Sweet Lou’s Pizza Tolon Trolley Steaks & Seafood Trubble Brewing Tucanos Brazilian Grill Wine Down Wu’s Diners can also make an evening out during Savor Fort Wayne by taking advantage of a special ticket offers from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Komets, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, First Presbyterian Theatre, Fort Wayne Mastadon Basketball and more. Learn more at SavorFortWayne.com! For a list of participating restaurants, menus and special offers, visit...

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Kekionga Cider Company is booming in its first year
Nov24

Kekionga Cider Company is booming in its first year

Logan Barger and Tyler Butcher stumbled into something wonderful one Saturday afternoon three years ago, which ultimately led to the creation of the Kekiogna Cider Company, which has been producing hard cider on Fort Wayne’s northeast side since earlier this year. “Tyler called me up and asked if I wanted to make some cider,” said Barger. “His cousin had an old basket press – my brother had an apple tree – so we just decided to go for it.” It was a learning experience at first for the pair. “Our first batch was very vinegar-like…we didn’t wash the apples, we used every worm apple…it was pretty bad,” he laughed. “We didn’t even know the type of apples we were working with, but we kept tweaking things from there.” At first, Barger and Butcher enjoyed making cider, because it was a chance to get together and have fun. But then they got to a point where they wanted to make good cider. Barger says, “I did a lot of reading, checked out YouTube videos, just did a bunch of research. The goal was to keep learning more and getting better.” In the beginning, Tyler’s “Busch Light fan” father acted as a sort of tongue-in-cheek cider sommelier. “We gave it to him and he was surprised! He said, ‘I can drink this!’” said Barger. “We gave it to more and more people, and they liked it, too. We realized maybe we were actually making something people will enjoy and we can market.” Barger has been in alcohol distribution since the age of 21. With cider making, he’s enjoyed the opportunity to transition to the supplier side of the industry. Kekionga’s building, the Goeglein Mill, is owned by the Goeglein family, and it was originally an apple mill. When Barger and Butcher heard that Don and Greg Goeglein were thinking of making a hard cider, they jumped at the chance to become business partners instead of competitors. “Fort Wayne is really growing, and it supports multiple breweries now. We weren’t sure about multiple cideries, and it made sense to work together,” said Barger. As the only cidery in town, Kekionga’s business is booming. They started with one fermentation tank at the end of June and by October they upgraded to three. Demand is high and they plan to add more tanks in the near future. “People have been really receptive! More and more newbie’s show up, and we’ve got a die-hard loyal fan base already, too. It’s exciting!” said Barger. What makes Kekionga’s cider unique? “Kekionga” (meaning “blackberry patch”) was the name of the Miami tribe settlement located in what is now Fort...

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07 Pub – Your New Favorite Place to Hang Out!
Jul26

07 Pub – Your New Favorite Place to Hang Out!

When I first moved to Fort Wayne, I found it interesting that people refer to their neighborhoods by zip code. The ’05, the ’07, etc. It was one of those quirky things like “going to the lake” (which I assumed was one massive lake considering how many people went there) that I never truly understood until I became a fellow “Citizen Wayne” myself! The pride and passion with which people identify their neighborhoods is remarkable to see and as Fort Wayne starts to witness a revitalization of the downtown area, the residents of the ’07 are certainly a huge part of that.   If you live, work, or drive through the ’07 you will have noticed a recent addition that graces the streets of Broadway. The new, aptly named 07 Pub opened with little fanfare in early June and has been hopping ever since!   I popped into the pub to chat with owner Marcus Spillson to get the scoop on the Pub. Marcus grew up in Fort Wayne, his parents both went to South Side High School, and he was a ’99 graduate of Bishop Luers, where he played football with his co-owner and partner in the pub, Clancy Shank (’97 graduate of Bishop Luers).  Marcus has always had a passion for the south side of Fort Wayne and although he left for ten years, when he came back for a wedding in town, he was drawn to a bar (the former Lombardo’s Lounge) that was for sale. The oil and gas company he worked for in Houston had just been sold and he was intrigued by this new possible venture. “I kept thinking about it and the next day I went and put an offer in. They countered, and the next think I knew, I owned a bar!”   The food and drink industry is in Marcus Spillson’s DNA. His great-grandfather, Nick Spillson, owned Berghoff Gardens, and was the proud holder of Fort Wayne’s very first liquor license after prohibition ended. A cut out from the newspaper article from April 6, 1933 is prominently on display at the pub. Marcus’ grandfather owned Fort Wayne’s famous 4 star French restaurant, Café Johnell, and his father ran the kitchen at Johnelli’s Pizza. Marcus’ first job was washing dishes at Café Johnell. With his family history, it is easy to see how Marcus came to be the owner of the bar, but he was quick to point out that this wasn’t just any bar. “I wanted a neighborhood bar. I wouldn’t have done this anywhere else but here in the south side of Fort Wayne. We live in this neighborhood,...

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LFW — Weekly Fun File
May04

LFW — Weekly Fun File

Looking for fun things to do in Fort Wayne? Living Fort Wayne compiles a list of events and activities happening every week! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you don’t quite see what you’re looking for, check out our events calendar. If you’d like to see your event featured in the Weekly Fun File, or added to our events calendar, let us know! Email us at info@livingfortwayne.com or you can go ahead and submit your event to our calendar! Click on the event for more information about times, locations, cost, etc. Food truck Thursdays Thursday, May 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Yay! Stop by teds for some delicious dinner! BikeFusion Friday, May 5 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food, beer and bikes. Kick off the season with some fun! The Mersey Beatles at C2G Music Hall, Fort Wayne, Indiana Friday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. We love the Mersey Beatles. It’s a show you definitely don’t want to miss! For details on last years performance, check out this post. NAMI Fort Wayne 5K Run & Walk Saturday, May 6 at 8:30 a.m. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is hosting a 5K run/walk to support mental health services. There’s something for all ages, join them in breaking the stigma and making sure people get the support they need. It’s Been A Magical Year! Saturday, May 6 at 11 a.m. The Narwhal and the Manatee has been in business for an entire YEAR! Celebrate with them and leave with some goodies, too. Grand Opening Party — Masters Hand BBQ Saturday, May 6 at 11 a.m. Do you like BBQ sauce? Stop by their grand opening and give them a try! Melinda Howe’s Snow White Saturday, May 6 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Enjoy the New American Youth Ballet’s rendition of Snow White this weekend, and bring your kiddos! Cinderella’s Ball Sunday, May 7 from 3 p.m. to 6 p..m. The annual princess tea party is here! This fundraiser supports Destiny Rescue, a non-profit dedicated to protecting children from human trafficking and exploitation. It’s a great event for a great cause, and your kids will have SO MUCH fun. Cherry Blossom Festival Fort Wayne, Indiana Sunday, May 7 at 12 p.m. It’s the 11th year for this fun festival. Learn all about Japanese culture this weekend. Fort Wayne Music Festival Wednesday, May 10 through May 14 Sweetwater’s hosting another music festival this year! You can check out the lineup on the event page. Remember, this isn’t all Fort Wayne has to offer. Get out and have some fun this weekend! We can’t wait to see you around our...

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