Switchyard Brewing, Bloomington, opened May 28 at 419 N. Walnut Street, Bloomington. After a few adventures with possible locations not only have they settled into, but they have greatly restored a former ‘old-school’ car dealership (and previous tractor/equipment garage) into a beautiful brewery space. This major renovation includes a public meeting space which has already attracted the interest of several local groups for board meetings. That ‘boardroom’ has a whiteboard, there is ample Wi-Fi, and will easily accommodate local meetings or planning sessions, and even personal events.
The public space of Switchyard has a cafe atmosphere similar to a cafe in Europe where many cafes open in the morning with coffee then switch to serving beer later in the day. That is the current plan for Switchyard. Founder Kurtis Cummings told us they plan for the space to be very community oriented, a place for local folks to gather and to perhaps chat about business or to socialize. The building certainly provides a feeling that goes way beyond most local brewery spaces. Switchyard gets its name from the community.
Although the rail line that ran through the heart of Bloomington has been replaced by the B-Line hiking and biking trail, there was once a railroad switchyard on the south side of town that will be converted into Switchyard Park. The new park with pavilion, stage, gardens, dog and skate parks and playground will be partly functional and open by late 2019 or early 2020 according to the City of Bloomington and should be completed with Splash Pad and fitness facilities by end of 2020. After considering several locations closer to the new park, eventually the space at 419 N. Walnut became the place chosen for the brewery since it is at the heart of Bloomington’s social scene and still less than a third of a mile to the historic B-Line trail.
Cummings and co-founder Jeff Hall started brewing in Kurtis’ garage like many homebrewers, but with a desire from the start to open a commercial brewery. Both Cummings and Hall (pictured) worked together with Kurtis an EMT and Hall a paramedic. Until just a month ago both continued at those jobs. Clearly, Switchyard has been a family venture for Kurtis since I’ve seen his wife at every step and I get the feeling somehow their new baby has been either helping or sending positive vibes!
Opening on Memorial Day they plan to have a pale, a saison, a lavender blonde, and an oatmeal IPA. Their ribbon cutting will be on Tuesday, May 29, at 4 pm with city and Chamber of Commerce officials. They have plenty of taps to fill up with future beer and some guests taps. Current Hours 8 am to 11 pm daily. There is the Big Cheese food truck serving daily from 11:00 am
Mind Over Mash Brewing Co. of Brownsburg, had their Grand Opening on May 12, 2018. Mind Over Mash is at 486 Southpoint Circle (106), Brownsburg. Just 1 1/2 miles from the Starbucks at the I-74 Exit using N. Northfield Drive. The brewery is in an industrial complex with a few racing companies (think Indy Car) nearby. The brewery is the conception of Brewer/owner Bobby Klene who had been a homebrewer. Their tap list includes an American IPA called Covetous. Bobby’s Brown Ale, Mom’s Red Ale as a hoppy red ale, the Lazy Saturday Blond Ale, Donegal dry Irish stout, and a few rotating taps of their own that currently includes an IPA, a pale ale, and an English brown ale. We’ve not made it to the brewery yet but I salute them on their initial success. Mind Over Mash (MOM) is open Wednesday – Thursday 5-9 pm, Friday 5-11, Saturday 11-11, and Sunday 11-6 pm.
Feed Store Beer Company, Bloomfield, IN, gets closer to opening each day while renovating an actual former feed store and gasoline station at 750 W Main St, Bloomfield, IN. Meanwhile founder Steve and Stacey Corbin (pictured) have been exhibiting at the Mercantile at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Steve collaborated with Steve Llewellyn of Function Brewery for a Bloomington Craft Beer Week (BCBW) brew called Standard Deviation, a delightful Jalapeno Cream Ale that offered flavor from the pepper but very little burn. Steve and Stacy were on hand for the BCBW event at Danny Boy Beer Werks IU, Bloomington, on April 14.
We appreciate the hard work the Corbin’s are putting in to bring craft beer to the town of Bloomfield, the heart of Greene County, about 30 miles south and west of Bloomington.
While breweries continue to open and many differentiate by tying to the local community, some have recently closed. Tow Yard Brewing of Indianapolis struggled to differentiate despite a beautiful location. Recently Tin Man Brewing, Evansville, closed the tap room for a second time after the purchase of the brewery by a Louisville firm. You won’t likely find nicer beer people than the Davidson family who opened and have continued to operate Tin Man.
We cheer on the brewery owners and find those with a sense of community are the ones beer lovers bond with. We are anxious to see Mind Over Mash, Switchyard, and Feed Store prosper and to try their beers!