Hop On Brew Tour!
Sep20

Hop On Brew Tour!

  Fort Wayne Hop On Brew Tour – September 24th, 2016 Midwest microbreweries have been recognized as some of the best in the country and even best in the world for years now. With Fort Wayne’s beer history and Mad Anthony Brewing Co’s presence along with a few other local breweries that have come and gone, Fort Wayne is no stranger to the concept of ‘drinking local’, but in recent years it has become clear that Fort Wayne natives have a real thirst for the innovation and local flair found with this resurgence of microbrewing. Lucky for us, there are local entrepreneurs putting themselves out there to bring us our a number of new Fort Wayne brands. While many of us microbrew enthusiasts have developed a taste for established microbrews that we are now able to buy at almost any local bar or liquor store, the spirit of supporting our own local startup microbreweries is evident with the quick success the newest breweries are experiencing here in Fort Wayne. In this spirit of supporting our local microbreweries and a bonus of supporting the local charity CTN, YLNI and CTN have come together to put on the Fort Wayne Hop On Brew Tour partnering with four of our local microbreweries : · Junk Ditch Brewing Company · Mad Anthony Brewing Company · Summit City Brewerks · Trubble Brewing Tickets can be purchased here and all proceeds go towards Community Transportation Network. Register now and get a free T-Shirt while supplies last. Check-in will be 1:45pm at Parkview Field’s Silver Lot, and we’ll return to the Silver Lot about...

Read More
GnomeTown Brewing Co. – Custom Beer Coming Soon to Downtown Fort Wayne
Jun10

GnomeTown Brewing Co. – Custom Beer Coming Soon to Downtown Fort Wayne

If you’ve visited the Hoppy Gnome on the ground floor of the Anthony Wayne building downtown recently, you might have noticed some construction in progress across the hallway. I am excited to report that Fort Wayne will be home to its very own brewery – GnomeTown Brewing Co. – brought to us by partners James Khan, Pete Shuey, and Lysa Pelkington. It will be a “Brew on Premise” concept and will be the first commercial brewery to offer its guests the opportunity to create their own beer with the added expertise of a professional brewing instructor.   I sat down with Khan, who I’m pretty certain never sleeps as he is also involved with The Hoppy Gnome and BakerStreet Steakhouse, to ask him about this new addition to downtown Fort Wayne. Khan stated that the vision was to create something unique to Fort Wayne that would draw people downtown. Khan’s partner Pete Shuey lived in Southern California for 15 years and experienced first hand the explosion of the craft beer scene. The popularity of craft beer naturally progressed into an increase in home brewing.  While home brewing is incredibly popular, it takes up an inordinate amount of space and uses quite a bit of specialized equipment…not to mention the weird smells and mess. This is where the “brew-on-premise” idea has come into play, which will allow Gnometown’s guests the opportunity to customize and brew their own beer without any of the hassle.   Khan mentioned that brewing beer is an artistic science. While there is the creative piece of what notes, flavor and color you wish your beer to have, there is a distinct science to it, such as the timing of steeping the grain, adding the hops, and even the temperature for the mash.  There are many chemical and technical reactions that must take place within a degree of perfection. In designing their facility and process, a tour was made of the Saugatuck Brewing Company to determine best practices to ensure quality beer craftsmanship, while still providing the guest-centered focus that Hoppy Gnome and BakerStreet are famous for.   GnomeTown Brewing Co. will have a brewing instructor on staff to help you craft your beer as well as the ability to create custom labels for your beer bottles. While you will need reservations to brew you can also choose to rent a room or rent the whole brewery if you wish to accommodate more people for a brewing party. You can brew anything from 5 gallons to a full keg of beer. There will be multiple options for brewing depending on your skill level. If you know nothing (raises hand),...

Read More
Ditch the junk and taste “Homemade Everything” at Junk Ditch
Nov20

Ditch the junk and taste “Homemade Everything” at Junk Ditch

One day, just maybe, Fort Wayne will have a “brewery on wheels.” But until then, you can look forward to the next best thing: a brick-and-mortar brewery launched by the talented team who brought you the Affiné food truck. Sometime soon (in the first half of 2016, fingers crossed), Dan Campbell, Andrew Smith and Jack May will launch Junk Ditch Brewing Company. Located off of Main Street, the Junk Ditch building is tucked away, east of Leesburg Road and west of O’Sullivan’s. It takes its name from the actual Junk Ditch, which winds behind the brewery on its meandering path from Waynedale to Swinney Park.   Junk Ditch Brewing Company will be another entrepreneurial adventure for Dan, Andrew and Jack, but it won’t replace the food truck. While Affiné continues to supply duck confit tacos and pork belly bahn mis along its usual route, Junk Ditch will have its own unique menu. But just as they did with Affiné, the passions of the three chefs – handcrafted beer, seasonal flavors, locally sourced ingredients, and a “from scratch” philosophy – will shine through. “Ultimately we enjoy beer and we enjoy creating,” says Jack. “Food and drink go hand in hand, and we wanted to bring the ‘everything local and in-house’ philosophy to Junk Ditch. For Andrew, the idea for Junk Ditch had been brewing for quite awhile. “When I was on a vacation in Seattle I saw some local neighborhood breweries, and was very intrigued by the concept of a brewery in a city neighborhood. When I returned we started working on finding a building that would work.” While the inspiration happened 2,000+ miles away, Andrew says they intend to keep the flavors close to home. “We will change menu items to showcase our Indiana farms. We want to be known for fresh ideas that are always changing.” To wash down all the homegrown deliciousness, the Junk Ditch taps will feature a variety of beers, ready to drink by the pint or take home in kegs or growlers. The tap list will include an even mix of house-made brews and taps from the team’s favorite guest breweries. Whether they’re making their own beer, featuring another brewery, or creating a new dish – quality and variety will drive the Junk Ditch approach. “The focus of in-house beers will to produce very high quality product,” says Andrew. In addition to featuring the best brews, that approach also means continuing what they started with Affiné – including from-scratch breads, house-cured and processed meats, and fresh herbs and produce from a garden behind the Junk Ditch building. “The menu and beer list will be continually...

Read More
Something’s in the air at Birdboy Brewing
Jul28

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. 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 birdboybrewing.com and on social media on Facebook and...

Read More
Summit City Brewerks Settles in as a Staple in Fort Wayne
Jan20

Summit City Brewerks Settles in as a Staple in Fort Wayne

By now many of you have made it out to Summit City Brewerks. Positioned as one of the few true microbreweries in our area, Brewerks is quickly accumulating fans. Their presence here is all thanks to the vision of owners, David Tomaszewski and Will Long. Summit City Brewerks is located in the old Wayne Candies building near the corner of Anthony Blvd. and Berry Street. David and Will had their space stripped down to its nearly 100 year old framework. The result is beautiful and cozy, yet truly reminiscent of the vintage industrial era it represents. And, in line with their vision, character-building additions like chalkboard table tops, rich wooden benches and a sprawling granite bar (complete with 40 taps) make the space easy to kick back and enjoy with friends and some outstanding craft beers. Speaking of beers, these guys are beer lovers. You don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate the brews on tap at Summit City Brewerks, but those who are will know the kind of work put into making this brewery a success. Anywhere between 10 and 20 of these crafted beverages are brewed in house, with some becoming staples. Carl’s Creamy Ale has quickly become a favorite and promises to be a recurring feature on tap. Others come and go…and come back again. David and Will aren’t just beer lovers, I’ve come to learn they’re perfectionists as well. They’ll work their recipe till it’s just right. And you’ll find it all at the same price, an easy $3.75 per glass. Despite the warm vintage atmosphere and lengthy brew menu, these guys like to keep things simple. It’s easy, this is a place to drink beer and take a load off. You don’t have to worry about which fork to use and there are no cloth napkins on the table. But that doesn’t mean you won’t eat well. If you’ve been here before, you probably noticed a food truck parked out front. And while the food trucks will still make their occasional appearance, Brewerks has added their own menu. David has an eye for good food, and has constructed a varying menu that you can bet is spot on with items like Bavarian and sweet soft pretzels, panini options and Korean pulled pork tacos or gourmet Angus dogs. Yum. Also new to Summit City Brewerks is the addition of live music on Friday and Saturday nights. This was something the guys knew they wanted to do, but needed to be sure the music wouldn’t drown out the guests’ experience. Now, acoustic sets (most recently Adam Strack) located in the east corner of the pub seem to make the nights...

Read More