Downtown Indianapolis is dominated by sports facilities – a stadium, fieldhouse, and baseball field exist within a half mile of eachother. Indiana also seems to embrace the midwestern spirit of Working Hard. Also, who knows anything about Indianapolis? On the basis of these variables, I expected to find little other than Coors or Bud Light for beer. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised by the pubs of downtown.
As I walked through downtown, every fancy-ish restaurant was packed with people. Businesspeople, people dressed up on dates, etc. The restaurants were clearly swanky and not to my liking, so I assumed the brewpubs would be packed to the gills. The brewpubs were the quietest places in all of downtown. While this was good for me, it’s also a little sad- why are you people patronizing the swanky places and not the good beer places?!?
Loughmiller’s Pub and Eatery was a decently quiet Irish pub, although the sports had obviously invaded, as they have in many American Irish pubs. The beer and food were both good, though, and rain poured outside while I refreshed myself en route to more beer greatness.
Taps and Dolls was virtually abandoned, and had a decent- if not stellar- beer lineup. Tow Yard Brewing had two fellows at the bar and myself on a Saturday night. It was weird. The beer was too hop-centered for my taste, but the bartender was talkative and clearly interested in beer.
It’s difficult to say if I would recommend Indianapolis or not. On the one hand, it was safe, easily walked, and had a decent selection of beer-focused establishments which were quiet. On the other hand, it was eerily empty in those establishments and the beer was only passable- not exceptional. Like Indiana itself, I support.