The Midwestern states are not necessarily known for being “hot spots” for really anything, except maybe corn. However, a recent article in the IndyStar is calling attention to Indiana and its booming craft beer scene. The writer notes that Indiana “is in its infancy compared to many craft-beer states” and that it ranks 22nd in the number of breweries per person – but it looks like things are changing for the state and brewers are trying to carve out their own niches.
Sun King Brewing is credited with getting Indiana involved in the craft beer boom almost five years ago. They made sure they were serving up a great product, but they also focused heavily on clever slogans, colorful branding, special events, promotions and more. They are now the largest brewer in Indianapolis and the second largest in Indiana. A couple other breweries, including Fountain Square Brewery and Triton Brewing, have become large local forces as well. There are at least 13 brewers planning to open in the metro area this year, and a lot of that is in response to that growing demand for better quality and more choices when it comes to beer.
Some people feel Indiana’s craft beer market is already saturated, but there are also many other people that feel there’s still a ton of opportunity for brewers to unleash something new. Those who feel the market is saturated argue that some breweries haven’t survived and have had to close their doors, however, Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers’ Guild, feels saturation isn’t the reason. He told the IndyStar “the breweries that have closed seem to be the ones unprepared to operate a business. To succeed, business plans needs to be more extensive than a homebrewer with a dream.”
The big goal for brewers in the growing Indiana marketplace is to figure out why their company is different and what they are going to do to stand out from the rest of the pack. They are targeting niches by location, mixing beer with other product and getting customers involved in the brewing process.
We can’t wait to see how craft beer grows in Indiana and whether or not they’re able to become a major force in the industry.