Centerpoint Brewing in Indy Impresses With Fantastic Beers I Normally Wouldn't Like
Updated: Feb 2, 2019
This is an archived copy of what was originally posted on Facebook.
The Great Brewery Tour rolled into Indianapolis last night, for a show at Centerpoint Brewing. Centerpoint has a quite sizable brewing operation in a converted industrial space, big brewery in the back, roomy long bar/taproom space up front, another big room (not pictured) that is off to the left of the bar area which also has a large garage door that opens to a patio area. I'm not up on my interior design terms, but if I had to guess: modern rustic, industrial chic <eyeroll... I have no idea...> Also pooch friendly, which I love.
Centerpoint Brewing Company - Indianapolis, IN
Beers are available to go in cans, growlers, and kegs at the taproom and locally.
Played: 8/24/18, 2/1/19
My first brew upon arrival was the Center Perk Coffee Porter (6.5 ABV, 34 IBU). A pretty dark pour, smooth and full flavored, quite delicious porter, although I didn't really detect a lot of coffee in there... I might have even guessed more of a cocoa overtone than coffee, but regardless it was quite good. I would caveat that by saying I have had some rather robust coffee themed ales, stouts, and lagers latety where the coffee was quite dominant, so it's possible that this one was just much more subtle than the others, but isn't that what we usually want anyway? Either way, it was a very enjoyable pint.
I then asked Amanda, Centerpoint's bar manager/taproom guru, for her recommendations, and she pointed me to the Centerpoint Gold, Black, and Orange series, which are their big sellers (Orange being the most popular, then Gold, etc.). As previously noted, I am not much for fruity beers, but I had to try the Orange, which is actually a Blood Orange session IPA (4.2 ABV, 49 IBU). Wow, this brew is popular for good reason! First, the aroma was heavenly. The orange is possibly my favorite fruit, and on the flip side few things are worse than artificial fruit flavors... but a whiff of this pint delivered just the most beautiful natural citrusy orange aroma. I literally said "oh, wow..." upon smelling it. After that, the flavor did not disappoint. If all fruited brews were done this well I'd be a big fan of the genre, but most unfortunately taste perfumy or sappy and overdone to me.... but not this one. Perfectly well balanced, and using the blood orange in a somewhat mild session IPA as opposed to an overly hoppy IPA was a wise move.... the IPA flavor came through, and the blood orange intermingled with it perfectly (and it tasted like a real, natural blood orange, which it is.... not fake or syrupy). Fantastic beer. Anyone else who aspires to mix fruit with their brews should use the Centerpoint (Blood) Orange as the standard. No joke.
I should note I drank the pint of Blood Orange during my set break, and it went down fast and easy. I then sampled A Thyme To Kill... which is a pale ale w/thyme, as you may have guessed (5.5 ABV, 40 IBU). This one was just a small sample, and while it was well balanced and quite tasty, at the time I wasn't sure I would enjoy a whole pint of that thyme flavor.... but that's part of the risk of this game... enjoyment and drinkability can be so impacted by setting... on another night, or perhaps with a meal, the thyme probably would be great... but after playing and sweating for 2 hours, and then crushing a refreshing blood orange session IPA, the thyme was nice for a sip but probably not the right pick for a whole pint at that particular time. But that doesn't detract from the quality of the beer... bourbon stouts can be fantastic, but I wouldn't want a six pack of them after cutting the grass.
My last pint of the night, which I enjoyed throughout my 2nd set, was recommended by a nice young lady at the bar... the Centerpoint Gold Kolsch (4.2 ABV, 24 IBU). Again, their #2 seller for good reason. Crisp, smooth, refreshing and thirst-quenching, it was a very easy drink, and again quite delicious. If you are a fan of the Kolsch style (which is kinda a hybrid between ale and lager, from Germany), this is a fine specimen. Appealing yellow/gold hue, enough body and flavor to be better than your average "American lager" beers, but not too much to handle if you don't like "heavy" beers. I'd call it the perfect pint to end the evening, but now I'm having flashbacks of that Blood Orange session IPA..... I should have brought a 6 pack home!
You can take home Centerpoint's goods via growler, keg, and some in 6 packs, BTW. I'll be back!!! Nice surroundings, friendly people, and a wide variety of interesting and highly enjoyable beers.
Next stop.... DogBerry Brewing in West Chester, OH....