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Best of Craft Beer and Brewery Tours in Indianapolis

With small breweries and brewpubs popping up all over the place, it's a good time to be a craft beer enthusiast in America and particularly right here in Indianapolis. We have a great beer scene in Indy, but before we get to that let's talk about the numbers. 

In 2012 there were 409 new breweries openings (310 microbreweries and 99 brewpubs) according to the Brewers Association. This is part of an upward trend in breweries and brewpubs over the last few decades, which this chart below illustrates (from Brewers Association).

126 Brewery Count HR

Now, onto the best of the local breweries and brewpubs in Indianapolis.

Brewery Tours

If you're interested in sampling a wide variety of tasty brews across Indianapolis and you have a free afternoon, you may wish to take a guided brew tour.

1. Indy Brew Bus

The Indy Brew Bus is Indianapolis's original brewery tour. Sign-up for a tour in the little green bus with a friend, a group of friends, or you can even go solo. This tour group makes it very easy to register for a time slot online, in the afternoon or evening, Thursday through Sunday.

The Indy Brew Bus wil pick you up from one of many locations in Downtown Indianapolis. Each bus holds 14 passengers, so if you go alone you may not know anyone on the bus, but by the end of the night you'll have several new best friends. The Bus takes you to four different Indianapolis breweries over the span of 3.5 hours and you'll get samples from each one. The fee includes samples, the ride, water on the bus, and a lot of fun stories from your tour guide.

The cost is $30 per person.

The Indy Brew Bus visits these breweries, and you'll get to visit four of these five:

Sun King Brewery

Flat 12 Bierwerks

Fountain Square Brewing Co.

Bier Brewery and Taproom

Indiana City Brewing Company


2. Brewery Tours of Indianapolis

Brewery Tours of Indianapolis is similar to Indy Brew Bus, but they offer a few different breweries, so why not take both tours (but probably not on the same day!).

The tour includes transportation to and from your downtown location to four local breweries on a tour, 15-20 samples of local beer, bottles of water on the bus, coolers on board to keep your purchased growlers cold, and a swag bag with a pint glass, koozie, a coaster and stickers. You'll have a great time being chauffeured around to some of the best spots in Indianapolis.

Breweries on the route (remember, they'll offer just four stops out of this list):

Black Acre Brewing Co.

Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company

Bier Brewery

Flat 12 Bierwerks

Triton Brewing Company

Fountain Square Brewing Company

Sun King Brewery

Indiana City Brewing Company


3. Self-Guided Walking Tour in Broadripple

If you want to spend the day enjoying the outdoors, walking from pub to pub, eating and drinking deliciousness for an entire lazy afternoon, you might enjoy creating your own self-guided walking brew tour. Broadripple has several great stops all within walking distance of each other. 

Brugge Brasserie - start here with a charcuterie appetizer to split among friends, and a flight of their original, delicious Belgians and sours.

Broad Ripple Brew Pub - visit Broad Ripple's first brewpub for Scotch Eggs and one of their famous browns, or the Lawnmower Pale Ale if you need to slow down a bit.

Three Wise Men - if you're still hungry, or hungry again, split a gourmet pizza and a flight of tasty brews. Or try the elephant ear!
Let us know what your favorite local Indianapolis breweries are in the comments, and share your stories if you've ever taken one of these tours. 

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