Cannonball brewing is one of the newer brew pubs in Indy located at 1702 Bellefontaine St. just north of 16th and 2 blocks east of College Avenue. Cannonball is the inspiration of Mark Swartz and his wife Tania, who have been living about a mile west of the brewpub for 15 years. Mark told me he wants Cannonball to be a ‘little neighborhood brewpub’ as a place to hang out within the local neighborhoods or as a stop along the Monon Trail which is two blocks away. After visiting twice I made it on opening day, Nov. 12, and it seems the number one factor that will make the success is the congeniality of Mark and Tania as well as chef Erin Kem. They greeted me with great hospitality for sneak peaks earlier. The opening day clearly showed the personality of the three as they greeted friends, relatives, and neighbors! For the opening there were 3 beers on tap, but expect between 1 and 8.
For opening, Mark served up a unique golden ale infused with ginger and Thai basil called One Night in Bangkok, a 2-speed IPA which was quickly devoured by locals, and a rye saison which became my favorite that was called 17th Street Saison. He’s moved on to a black IPA called Baker’s Black and is expecting a stout to be ready soon.
Mark says, “I’ve been home brewing for 12 years and I love it… it’s was the only other thing that i wanted to do for a living.” Mark was a long-time commercial airline pilot and loves flying but moved on. “I’ve entered (beer) competitions, had good scores, gotten good feedback, and I’ve served samples at many places and gotten good feedback.” Mark may not brew to classic styles and loves to play around with recipes. Using a small, 2 barrel brewing system, he can switch to new beers as needed. His desire is to have unique food as well as unique beers.
Erin Kem is the chef, yes, the chef. Erin has been classically trained, including in Europe, and was most recently at R Bistro where Tania Swartz has also been in the kitchen. Erin says, “I get bored if the food tastes the same for too long.” She hopes to change things up frequently. There will be some smaller entrees as well as some shareable options. I’m looking forward to a lamb taco but some will like the Tunisian rabbit curry when available. Expect popcorn with spices! Note the photo of the deviled egg taco with beet flavor salsa. For guests who come looking for deep fried pub food, Erin hopes to educate them on good,flavorful food.
Back to the beer, expect variety. Don’t expect a flagship. Take in the cool vibe which is a cross between industrial and historic, with beautiful exposed brick, modern wood bar, and a partial garage door that on warm days let’s the outside in.
Mark and Tania want Cannonball to be a really cool place to hang out. They want the cozy 40-seat space to be part of the neighborhood. It seems they are off to a tremendous start.
Posted hours (check Facebook to confirm) are: Wed. & Thurs. 4-9pm, Friday 4-10, Saturday 2-10, and Sunday 2-7 except on Colt’s game Sundays they may open early or stay open later for the game.