My Top Five Local Brews

By Jesse Sensenig / Photography By Grant Beachy | December 15, 2014
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Jesse and Amanda Sensenig, shown with their daughter, Carly, age 3, will open Goshen Brewing Company in 2015
Jesse and Amanda Sensenig, shown with their daughter, Carly, age 3, will open Goshen Brewing Company in 2015— a family-friendly brewpub with farm-to-table food and beer in Goshen, Indiana.

A few years ago, while living in Fort Collins, Colorado, my wife and I found ourselves in the heart of the craft beer revolution. We visited plenty of breweries in the region and saw that the craft beer culture was one that valued quality beer, a love for outdoor life, collaboration and community. After moving back to the Midwest, we began to imagine establishing a brewery and contributing to the blossoming craft beer culture in Goshen. We are now well on our way to recycling and renovating the old NIPSCO building into Goshen Brewing Company, a family-friendly brewpub focusing on farm-to-table craft beer and food. Since moving back, we’ve found that others in the region have the same mindset of collaboration and community—and are also making some great beer.

Here are a few of my favorite local brews:

1. Gumption Double Amber Ale, 8.8% ABV

Iechyd Da Brewing Company
317 N. Main St.
Elkhart, Indiana
574.293.0506
IechydDaBrewingCompany.com

This big beer pours a deep reddish brown that is brilliantly clear and leaves a small, lacy head. The aroma has strong notes of lemon and orange citrus. The carbonation is perfect and has a soft mouthfeel. It has plenty of the same citrus flavors and is backed by the caramel malt to balance it out. Although this beer is loaded with hops, the finish does not include a palate-wrecking
bitterness. Owners Chip and Summer Lewis are as good as it gets in
the business.

2. Chucky Imperial India Pale Ale, 8% ABV

Evil Czech Brewing Company
370 N. Main St.
Mishawaka, Indiana
574.855.3070
Mishawaka.EvilCzechBrewing.com

This beer pours a lacy head and has a great orange color. Th ere is stone fruit with soft biscuit and caramel undertones in the aroma. The same flavors develop nicely throughout with a finish that has a hefty amount of bitterness but is balanced really well. Order me another round.

3. Mail Order Bride Russian Imperial stout, 10.2% ABV

Bare Hands Brewery
12804 Sandy Ct.
Granger, Indiana
574.277.2258
BareHandsBrewery.com

This beer pours pitch black and tastes of dark chocolate, has hints of roasted coffee and a subtle smokiness on the back end. It packs a hefty amount of alcohol, but you won’t find a harsh alcohol presence like you might find in other big beers. If you show up in the taproom, you’ll be greeted by friendly locals.

4. Emptiness Fruit Beer, 6.6% ABV

Greenbush Brewery
5885 Sawyer Rd.
Sawyer, Michigan
269.405.1076
GreenbushBrewing.com

This is the color that I want to see when drinking a beer with fruit additions: a little hazy and a nice golden-orange
hue. My taste buds are already prepped for what is to follow: I smell lemon, stone fruit and a bit of wheat. The taste is citrus, apricot mid-palate and apple, with some wheat and a tart finish. This is one refreshing beer.

5. Boomerango India Pale Ale, 7.7% ABV

Burn ’Em Brewing
718 Freyer Rd.
Michigan City, Indiana
219.210.3784
BurnEmBrewing.com

Boomerango pours hazy golden and reeks of tropical fruits and malt in the background with a nice, lacy head. It has a medium body and tastes of mango, pineapple and a bit of caramel. The finish is pleasant with a moderate bitterness. This India pale ale has additions of puréed mango! If you don’t already know of them … you will.

Find it

317 N Main
Elkhart , IN 46516
574.293.0506

Find it

530 S Ohio St
Culver , IN 46511
574.842.2663

Find it

3703 N. Main St.
Mishawaka , IN 46545
574.855.3070

Find it

12804 Sandy Court
Granger , IN 46530
574.277.2258

Find it

5885 Sawyer Road
Sawyer , MI 49125
269.405.1076

Find it

718 Freyer Rd.
Michigan City , IN 46360
219.210.3784

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