Rita Kohn, “Grand Dame of Indiana Beer,” honored by beer collaboration!

Rita and I, in Bloomington


There is no female in Indiana and likely none in the Midwest as well known on the beer scene as author Rita Kohn.   While most people know Rita as writer for Nuvo in Indianapolis and as author of True Brew, A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana, many do not realize that Rita has written 19 books including many on history and giving voice to American natives as well as authored many plays.  However, you’ve likely not missed Rita at beer festivals or in videos where she constantly encourages brewers and supports local beer.

There is a special collaboration beer brewed in Kohn’s honor by The Broad Ripple Brew Pub and The Broad Ripple Brew Pub.  The beer is appropriately called, Hangin Tough!  It’s an oatmeal pale ale described as having  a hint of sweetness from passion fruit yet balanced with lemon. Hangin Tough certainly describes Rita.   Those who know Rita know she’s faced a number of tribulations including illness.  She is currently recovering quite nicely from hip replacement surgery still while writing, prodding, gathering information, and moving multiple projects forward.

Thanks to Scarlet Lane Brewing for the label — all rites reserved by SLB

The beer will be lauded at a tapping on March 22, at The Broad Ripple Brew Pub and featured on tap at other special craft beer locations and in the bombers at selected Big Red Liquors stores.  There was already an event hosted at Scarlet Lane brewery with a screening of a documentary “Hoosier Brew” including Her Majesty Rita.

I am personally bummed to be missing the by being out of town. Rita has been so gracious and encouraging.  We often share information.

The naming of a beer in honor of Rita is very much deserved and the fact that this beer is brewed by  Indiana’s oldest continuously operating brewpub in collaboration with a woman-owned brewery is quite fitting!


Cheers to Rita!


Greg Kitz