Kicking Off A Long Hoosier Weekend At Indy's Mashcraft Brewing Company
After returning from the late July run through coastal Virginia my next string of shows was in Indiana. I've played a handful of breweries in Indiana before, but always enroute to some other destination... Indy on the way to Chicago, South Bend or Fort Wayne on the way to Michigan, and so on. This trip was a long weekend in Indiana, starting on Thursday night in an Indianapolis suburb called Greenwood, at Mashcraft Brewing.
Mashcraft has more than one location in the Indianapolis area, and this was my second time playing here. It's a cozy taproom in a retail development, tucked into the corner. In addition to the beers they also have a light kitchen where you can get sandwiches and wraps and such. Their food seems to be as popular as their beers, as I think everyone I've ever seen there is eating while they drink.
MashCraft Brewing Co. - Greenwood, IN (and 2 other Indianapolis area locations)
The brewery's beers are available on tap and growlers to go at the taprooms, and you can find them on tap at restaurants and pubsthroughout the greater Indy area. No bottles or cans at this time.
Played: 2/28/19, 8/6/20
Playing in such hot conditions in Virginia caused me to drink mostly lighter beers and fruited sours, so I told myself that on this trip it would be nice to return to more robust and heavier beers, if reasonable. It was still hot here, so I started on a lighter beer, but then I came to my senses and got back on my game.
Indiana breweries seem to have a knack for exceptional blood orange brews, so I started with the refreshing and quenching Last Light (6.7%) Blood Orange IPA. A rich amber hue, slightly hazy with a quality IPA at it's root and just the right amount of blood orange to make it juicy (but not too juicy) and orangey (but not too orangey), Mashcraft's offering is right up there with the best of them. One of these days it might be interesting to do a blind taste test of Blood Orange IPAs, as it seems most of them are pretty damn good.
Living up to my goal, I then took my overdue turn towards darker beers, and Mashcraft has quite the selection there. I started with the Jamaica Joe (5.5%) Coffee Infused Red Ale, with the coffee provided by local merchant Strange Brew. Obviously being a red ale it wasn't as dark, heavy, or full bodied as a coffee stout, but it never claimed to be. Medium bodied and rather crisp on the carbonation, it drank like a good ale but with a trace of dark coffee in the aroma and initial sip. The coffee wasn't as dominant as I often prefer, but it was sufficient enough that I could taste it and overall the mix was well balanced.
My nightcap was the Coco D (5.2%) Chocolate Stout, which was obviously a step up in richness and body from the red all, delivering the implied caramel and coffee overtones of a stout, with a little extra mocha richness in there. Not terribly heavy in body, it was a nice way to cap off the night without feeling like I immediately a nap.
I don't normally eat at the breweries just due to timing and logistics, but on this night I got a grilled buffalo chicken wrap to take with me, served with some nice fresh saratoga chips. It hit the spot and sent me off to a goodnight's sleep in preperation for the next morning's drive an hour or two southeast to the Ohio River town of Madison for my following gig.
The crowd and staff once again were friendly and enthusiastic about the music, and we discussed that I will definitely be back again sometime soon, hopefully on my way to Chicago when C19 allows me to reschedule canceled shows from earlier in the year.
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