Taproom Creation Tips from 18th Street Brewery

​For the last two years, ​Drew Fox and his staff of 18th Street Brewery have hit ​brewery ​taprooms in ​the Indianapolis​ area​, ​along with stops in ​South Bend and Lafayette to put together a list of things ​they liked and disliked about each of them.

​Taking what they gathered, the brewery took that info and poured it into a new taproom located about 160 miles southeast of the brewery’s home to the state capital of Indianapolis.​

​”Once we settled on Indy, we had to choose a location that would not only work best for our brand but one that we could also grow with,” said Fox, the brewery’s founder.

18th Street picked the Near East Side of Indy for those two reasons, and because Fox said they believe in the changes that are happening there now.

“It will take more hard-hitting motherfuckers like us who want to get down and dirty to showcase his or her talents in the area,” he said. “We want to see more wins for the East side of town.”

Adding a taproom in Indianapolis allows 18th Street to spend more time with its fan base and retail vendors instead of just being a label on a shelf or a tap handle.

“It also gives our longtime supporters down here a place to come and enjoy the freshest 18th Street and Sour Note beers possible,” Fox added. “Our beer has done extremely well in retail and on-premise in this market for six years and we’re thrilled to provide a space that speaks to who we are.

“It’s one thing to have your beer in an area, but with our own taproom here we can provide an authentic 18th Street experience to our fan base. We believe this will further increase our brand recognition throughout the city at other bars and stores as well.”

​This isn’t 18th Street first foray into adding taprooms. The brewery runs two locations now, a brewpub in Hammond, Indiana and the original brewery/taproom in Gary, Indiana.​

​Fox said the new space will feel much more intimate than ​the brewpub​.

“The overall aesthetic is more similar to our distillery site than our other taprooms​,” he said​. ​”​We built it that way because the space will evolve over the next six months to include our spirit brands as well as the beautiful cocktails that we are known for at our distillery.

​”​We’ll have more beer on tap than any of our other locations but also a smaller food menu that we can play with every month.​”​

​18th Street avoided some major pitfalls by asking a lot of questions from friends who have been down ​the road ​of taprooms expansions ​before.

​”​What we learned over the years is to find a space that needs very little work and to use what’s already there to fit your plans​,” Fox said​. ​”​We used to demo locations and throw away good stuff like tile, drywall lights, etc. Now we look at what can be saved or reused in any new project that we take on.​”

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