Writer // Janelle Morrison Photos // Submitted
If you love craft beers, then you won’t want to miss out on the 3rd Annual Whitestown Brew Fest, on Saturday, September 16. The Whitestown Parks & Recreation Department and IndianaOnTap.com are excited to host on the expanded site of the Whitestown Municipal Complex.
This premium event will feature approximately 25 Indiana breweries and wineries and is expected to showcase hundreds of craft beer releases, making it one of the largest and most unique craft beer festivals in the central part of the state. The event will also again play host to a one-of-a-kind Indiana home brewer competition with an opportunity for attendees to sample pours and cast a vote for their favorite. Proceeds from this non-profit event will benefit the Whitestown Parks & Recreation Department.
The founder and president of Indiana On Tap, Justin Knepp, is the architect behind the home brewer competition that takes place at this festival.
“Moontown Brewing Company, who is opening up their brewery in Whitestown, was the first year’s home brewer competition winner,” Knepp explained. “After winning that competition, they decided to go professional and open a brewery in town. One of the reasons that the town approached us was to help them do an event that would draw attention to the area. I must credit the town of Whitestown who is impressive to work with.
“The festival was the brainchild of Nathan Messer [director of Parks and Recreation for the town of Whitestown]. He and I started talking about a year before the first festival, and he sold me on the idea that it was a great destination for a huge craft beer festival. He wanted to bring Indiana On Tap on as a partner because of our reputation for managing, organizing and marketing craft beer events, small or large. We marketed the event aggressively that first year and got a lot of interest as a result.”
Messer is pleased with the growth of the brew festival over the last couple of years and was excited to share what is new for this year’s event, including a brand-new event hosted at the same location the night before.
“We’ve been working with the Boone County Convention and Visitors Bureau for these events, and they are paying for the stage and Duke Tumatoe who will be performing at this year’s brew festival,” Messer said. “We wanted to bring more entertainment to the event and to step it up. From spring through fall, there is a brew fest somewhere every weekend. We wanted to find a way to make ours stand out even more. New this year is the first annual Boone Flavor Fest that will happen the Friday night before the brew festival. The featured band will be The Flying Toasters who are sponsored by Tom Wood Toyota who is opening behind the Cracker Barrel, and the event is geared for people of all ages and is family-friendly. Mike with Noble Order in Zionsville will be set up, selling beer and wine on Friday night.”
Some of the area’s favorite breweries will return or debut at the Whitestown Brew Fest later this month. Upland Brewery, Union Brewery and Danny Boy Beer Works from Carmel will be returning, and Deviate Brewery from Carmel will exhibit for the first time. Noble Order from Zionsville is a returning exhibitor, and Moontown Brewing Company will give people a sneak preview of what they will be offering at their brand-new brewery coming to Whitestown in a few months.
“I can guarantee that our beers will be something that deviates from the norm,” enthused Greg Ortwein, co-owner of Deviate. “We are a small-scale brewery and tasting room purpose-built to allow brewing flexibility with a dedication to deviation as well as offering eight constantly rotating taps of deviating hand-crafted beer. Our sales focus will be on pint, growler and special bottle release sales through an onsite tasting room to support our goal to be small, intimate and local. We support BYOF (Bring Your Own Food). We want to concentrate on making high- quality craft beers and leave food options to the customer. We support local restaurants that deliver to us or customers can bring their favorite food from their house.”
Their name reflects their fundamental brewing and business philosophy which revolves around the concept of deviating from the norm. Plus, their beer is just plain good on the palate and fun to consume.
A local favorite in Boone County, Noble Order will feature some of their latest brews for the season. Co-owner Mike Miller shared, “We are making a harvest vint beer. When we go through crush in our vineyard, we are taking the traminette juice and blending it with a Belgian wit beer. What will make this unique is that we are working with Earlham College’s Biochem department to extract yeast off the grape and grow it up and use for the fermentation. This will make for a true harvest beer.”
The first year’s home brewer winner and soon-to-be latest brewery on the map of brew tours is Moontown Brewing Company. “This year is particularly special in that we are on track to be selling beer out of our tap room by January 1,” expressed Robert Mattingly, owner. “We expect to open in three phases … Phase One will be our event space that will open up around October
Phase Two will be our taproom/bar with a small food menu around January 1. We’re extremely excited to bring people in. Phase Three will be our grand opening around March/April of 2018 that will include a full kitchen, 21+ bar area, family dining area and outside patio. We hope to be ambassadors for the Whitestown Beer Fest in coming years and host breweries/vendors for pre/post-beer fest festivities. For the brew fest, we should have four to five beers to sample. That will include our Oktoberfest, Breakfast Stout, Cream Ale, Red IPA and Citra Hopped Pale Ale. It should be a great time.”
For tickets and information on the Whitestown Brew Fest, visit whitestownbrewfest.com
Gates will open for exclusive VIP entry from 12-1 p.m. with General Admission beginning at 1
p.m. The festival will conclude at 4:30 p.m. with ‘last pour’ taking place at 4:15 p.m.
Designated Drivers will be admitted FREE upon ID check courtesy of Mike McKeever, State Farm Agent. VIP and GA tickets will include unlimited beer samples (with a complimentary and commemorative tasting glass) from all the breweries and free access to the live music entertainment.