The craft beer scene has been through some tumultuous times in the last few months—okay, really the whole last year, factoring in the pandemic—but it’s nice to see that the occasional story does still come along that genuinely makes you excited about the creativity on display. This, in fact, is one of those times that leaves us saying “I wish I’d thought of this first.” Shout-out to Guys Drinking Beer for alerting us to this concept.
New Indianapolis, IN beer bar A Taproom is simply named, but that title belies a high-concept premise. Opening this spring, the bar is built around a concept that is as excellent as it is obvious in hindsight—a perpetually rotating gimmick that sees it transform at the start of each month into a different brewery taproom. Focusing entirely on breweries that have little-to-no distribution in the Indianapolis area, each month sees A Taproom forge a new connection with what are typically small Midwestern breweries, which take over all the taplines of A Taproom for the duration.
This isn’t just your typical “tap takeover,” though—the commitment to the theme continues on a much deeper level. Each month, the interior and walls of A Taproom are redecorated to match the aesthetic of its visiting brewery. A merch stand is stocked with tee-shirts, hats and glassware of that brewery. Coffee local to the brewery’s town is served. Even snacks served in the chosen brewery are shipped in and served at A Taproom. For example, this means that for current selection Windmill Brewing of Dyer, IN, the walls are decorated with images of Windmill’s taproom cat Luther, while the snacks include “Firesticks Pretzels, Smuggler’s Coffee and Epic Gourmet Popcorn,” according to Guys Drinking Beer. It’s a total immersion into the aesthetic of each month’s chosen brewery, including a collaboration beer that is only available at the brewery’s home site, and at A Taproom.
I mean really, how can you not love the concept? It’s so simple, but simultaneously so fresh, giving Indianapolis residents a chance to deep-dive the beer lineup of a new, previously unavailable brewery on a monthly basis, and these are likely breweries they’d never be able to access otherwise. And if you look at the upcoming breweries scheduled, you get a distinct impression that they dig the concept as well—Guys Drinking Beer reported that bookings have already stretched into 2022, and although most of the upcoming breweries have a lower profile, Oct. and Nov. of 2021 have been claimed by two high-profile St. Louis breweries in the form of Narrow Gauge Brewing and Perennial Artisan Ales.
And if you still needed some other reason to be on board with the concept, A Taproom is also going out of its way to support various charitable causes, as well as segments of the drinking population who don’t always get a lot of access to beer bars. Today, for instance, the bar is donating $1 for each beer sold to erect soccer goals for kids in the Indianapolis area. They also plan to host once-a-month events for medical industry professionals who work third shift hours, opening at 7 a.m. (the earliest alcohol can be sold in Indiana) to offer beers to hospital workers getting off their shift.
It’s just a damn cool concept, and one that deserves some exposure. Next time we’re in Indy, we’ll be certain to stop by.