What happens when two Indianapolis entrepreneurs team up with three brewers who were out west and start up in an old commercial structure on the near south side of Indianapolis? Well, if you are talking of Metazoa Brewing, once called Sanctuary but that did not stick, you end up with a large number of beers, support for animals (hence the name, Metazoa – look up Metazoan for your hint) and a patio with a great view of downtown Indianapolis. Metazoa Brewing Co. 140 S. College Ave. Indianapolis, two long blocks south of Washington St. at Georgia St. is in a former industrial building that for awhile held a sports and uniform shop. All of this is in the neighborhood of the 82-year-old Milano Inn and the owners of that property have been developing others in the area. However, Dave Worthington, owner of Metazoa and Brewery Tours of Indianapolis, is a serial entrepreneur with a vision. Metazoa is donating five percent of profits to animal causes, with two-thirds of those being local. Since the African Wildlife Foundation is in Kenya, we can’t call that local but we can call all donations ‘caring’ to help Indy animals as well as endangered ones. And you can bring your dog to Metazoa!
As we visited with head brewer Aaron Koerner we sipped on some very interesting and tasty beers that were under 5%. While there is a wide range of beer, Aaron is dedicated to having some beers that don’t knock you over quickly. I found Jackaroo Dark Mild English Ale at 4.4%, Nap in the Hammock cream ale at 4.7%, Giraffe Dance American pale at 4.7%, Patagonia 3 Threads historical British-style porter at 3.6%, and Anonymous Lemur Rye Pale with Mango at 4.7%. The Patagonia 3 Threads is a deliciously roasty and full flavored porter to be only 3.6%. The Jackaroo is all English ingredients, under 5% alcohol, and still offers solid malt flavor. Oh and there were eleven other beers on tap the day I stopped there! If you wanted bigger you could have a very tasty Dormouse dubbel at 6.5%.
Aaron heads a brew team that all have west coast experience. Koerner became interested in brewing through a German high school exchange student who told Aaron, “you should make your own beer.” Aaron ended up volunteering to learn brewing at Oaken Barrel Brewing in Greenwood. He put together a series of Ivy Tech classes to help him learn various skills needed in a brewery. Koerner ultimately worked under several brewers at Oaken Barrel, got some Siebel Institute training and headed west to Oregon to broaden his brewing horizons. A vacation to the U.K. taught him to truly appreciate British session beers, some types of which you will always find on tap at Metazoa. Assistant Brewer Zach Holtzknecht originally hails from Louisville but got experience in San Diego before heading back to the midwest to join up with Aaron. The team is rounded out by female Assistant Brewer Tori Luksha with a lot of background in Portland and in a homebrew shop.
Metazoa has been open since April and was drawing in a good crowd the times we’ve been there.
Hours: Mon through Thurs. 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm; Fri 1:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Sat 11:00 am – 11:00 pm; Sun 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm