What is Indiana City Beer?

Honestly, there can really never be enough beer nor breweries. Every style is different, every brewery is different 
and every brewer has a personality of their own.  
Welcome to Indiana City Beer. 
A new nano-brewery is in the works, 
currently hoping to revive The Home Brewing Company’s bottling house by fall of 2012. 
I had the pleasure of meeting Ray Kamstra, the founder of Indiana City Beer, during a tasting at Tomlinson Tap Room and tried their Oatmeal Stout along with their Pale Ale. Both were very well received by myself and my fellow bloggers. It has definitely left me curious with what else Ray will produce. 
To help fellow IndianaBeer readers know more about Indiana City Beer, I sent Ray a few questions which I hope will give curious minds a glance at what I hope will become one of Indianapolis’ top nano-breweries. 
A side note before the Q&A — 
Indiana City Beer is still looking for pledges for their kickstarter program . If you want to help please click the link  – How You Can Help!
Home Brewing Co 

And if you are wanting to try some of their beer — Pop down to Fountain Square and see them tonight (8/3) at Red Lion Grog House – at 7pm. 

Q&A — 
Answered by Ray Kamstra, Founder
How long have you been
brewing?
I’ve been homebrewing for a few
years now. I really dove into it head-first back when my wife and I were living
in Chicago. I got started after reading Charlie Papazian’s “The Complete Joy of
Homebrewing.” After my first two batches I was ready to go all-grain. The first
all-grain batch I brewed was an American Pale Ale and it rocked! At that point
I was hooked, and you could say that’s when I became a full-on student of
brewing. I began studying text-books on brewing. After about a year of
developing a solid understanding of the traditional processes and the science
behind making beer, I started sending my beer off to homebrew competitions. My
beer consistently receives high scores and my Wheat Ale is my blue ribbon
winner.
What are your favorite styles
of beer?
I’m a big fan of aromatic,
hop-forward India Pale Ale. Like most beer drinkers, my tastes change with the
seasons. Give me a Kolsch in the summer, a Porter in the fall and a rich
Imperial Stout in the winter, but a well-balanced IPA is always in season in my
opinion.
What made you decide to go
from home brewing to becoming a nanobrewery?
There was a point in my brewing
early on that I knew I was up to the challenge of starting my own brewery. A
couple years ago I read “Starting Your Own Brewery” a publication of the
Brewer’s Association, and I began reading probrewer.com to learn all I could
about commercial brewing. I found real inspiration for taking my brewing to the
next level by visiting microbreweries where I met guys like me with a true
passion for making beer, who also got their start as homebrewers. I learned
about how they put a solid plan together, perfected their craft and
successfully made the leap towards going pro. That’s when I knew I had to take
my passion for making great beer, along with my professional experience in
graphic design and marketing to build my own brewery. I continued reading all I
could about beer and brewing. Each concept I developed was reworked over and
over, until I had a solid strategy in mind. Then, last winter I took two months
to develop the business plan, met with advisors and revised every aspect of the
plan until I had a clear roadmap for building Indiana City.
We made the decision to start off
small for a couple of reasons. The main reason being, starting small keeps us
close to our homebrewing roots so we can focus on brewing quality beer and
being more experimental.
What was the inspiration
behind the name of your brewery?
The name, Indiana City, is the
literal definition of “Indianapolis” and it also highlights a sentiment of
mine. Indianapolis is the major city in Indiana and I take pride in the growing
arts scene and beer culture found here. The creative energy in Indy is truly
comparable to what you find in bigger cities. It’s on a smaller scale, but the
work ethic and artistic talent found in the community here is second to none. I
want Indiana City to grow in this community as the community grows along with
it.
How is Indiana City Beer going
to define and separate themselves from current breweries?
First of all, we will be much
smaller than all of our neighbors. Being small allows us to take a hand-crafted
approach to brewing beer that celebrates the art of craft brewing. Our beers
are a little different from what other brewers are doing. We start on the
foundation of traditional styles and take it up a notch with specialty spices,
aromatic hops and increased alcohol. For example, our Pale Ale is a Belgian
style with aromatic hops common to American style Pale Ale and slightly spiced
with an ingredient rarely used in beer. The result is a fresh, aromatic beer
that doesn’t really fit into a traditional style category. To us, that’s what
craft beer is all about.
It’s our mission to brew
innovative beers for craft beer lovers in Indy. And that is that. We’re focused
on Indy. We’re doing all we can to add to the beer culture right here. We’ll be
filling growlers at our taproom near downtown, and we’ll be on tap at select
craft beer bars in Indy.
Indiana City will be an outlet
for local artists to display their work, perform, collaborate and expand local
creative expression. We have an affinity for breweries that understand the
important role visual arts play in the craft beer experience. When you smell
and taste a beer you’re experiencing the artistry of the brewer who made it.
The visual aesthetic of the label on the bottle or the taphandle it was poured
from effects that experience too. Done well, we believe visual art can heighten
that experience and lead to an even greater respect for beer. Though we have no
plans to bottle or can in the first couple years, the visual arts will be woven
into every beer we brew.
When is your estimated date
for opening the taproom?
We’re shooting for opening later
this year. It’s nearly impossible to give an exact date at this time. There are
just way too many variables, but we are on track for getting it all put
together by the end of this year. We post regular updates on our website at
indianacitybeer.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Anyone who follows our
progress there will be among the first to know.

Please help welcome Indiana City Beer; support your local breweries so that we can continue to grow Indiana’s beer presence to the nation. 

– Kathleen