Beer enthusiast are are on a never ending voyage to sample what the world has to offer. As we stumble along the path of micro-brew enlightenment we must share what we find with others.
My quest has brought me to Munster, IN and Three Floyds Brewing Company LLC. Located in an industrial park at 9750 Indiana Pkwy the Three Floyds’ property consist of a brewery and a brew-pub. Upon our arrival we put our name on the waiting list for the brew-pub and waited in line for the tour. Nick, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable about the process of making beer. I can honestly say I learned more about the process of making beer in a half an hour than I had previously gathered in my life. Our group consisted of hipsters, nerds, and couples of all ages. Essentially the crowd with us was as diverse as the brew we came to sample. With this variety came multiple types of questions.
There were a few questions that stuck with me as actually “good” questions. If you have ever sipped a Three Floyd brew you are probably familiar with the unique artwork on the packaging. The brew master conceptualizes an idea and then the artwork is outsourced to local comic/tattoo artist. One such artist is Chicago’s Tim Seeley who did the artwork for Zombie Dust IPA. The last and in my opinion the best question(mine) was about Nick’s opinion about micro-brew culture in the country compared to the Midwest and where he felt micro-brew culture was the strongest. He responded, “I feel everything in the Midwest is on par(when compared to each other) but I am excited about the growth of micro-breweries in the Midwest compared to other parts of the country.”
Now that the tour was over it was our turn to enter the brew-pub. The total waiting time for a seat was nearly one hour, which we found out was well worth it. During the tour we were informed that the brew-pub used to be an office, this is what contribute to the tight quarters. But that is part of the appeal, you are close to everyone and there is something familiar and Midwestern about being that close to others. Aside from the space, the interior of the building is what one would expect. The walls were light blue and purple, the spots that were not filled with drinking paraphernalia that is. Another interesting feature was how one part of the wall was lined with old Three Floyd taps. One last note about the ambiance, the music. The music was playing off of an employees iPod, which can be hit or miss depending on how your tastes vary with the bartenders. My eyes, ears, and brain were satisfied, now all I wanted was a hot burger and a cold beer.
The menu, perfected by a Food and Wine ranked 4 star ranked chef, consists of typical pub grub meals of burgers, pizza, and fish and chips to trout and roasted chicken. Also, if you forgot your appetite there were appetizers of frog legs, scotched eggs, and a collection of house cured meats. I had a Swiss burger on a pretzel roll. First thing first, this burger was awesome. I believe that the ground beef was mixed with chorizo, which provided a unique spice to the burger. Second, this burger did not need a sauce, really I was joined with two friends and none of use needed to add any kind of condiment. The side order of fries were fried perfectly to complete the meal.
Oh sure gourmet food (burgers with goat cheese, chilled corn bisque…to name a few) are great but my main objective on this quest was the beer. What made Three Floyds unique was how they served their beers. Each beer was served in specially selected glassware to bring out each beers unique flavor. Three Floyds has 6 year round beers and can be found in most stores in Indiana and Illinois. It is also possible to find these in select stores in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. As per usual I sampled more than my share of beers. Now I have had many Three Floyds beer before, these were just the ones I sampled at the brew-pub.
Zombie Dust IPA- This was a very unique IPA, it provided a little more depth of flavor than usually found in an IPA
Arctic Panzer IPA- Usually released for winter, and after sampling it in a snifter I could tell that this slightly dark, crisp IPA would be perfect to help keep someone warm in the middle of a Midwestern winter.
Region Riot- This beer does something I have never experienced. Using corn as an ingredient this beer brought to this drinker a light crisp almost tortilla tasting beer.
Munster Fest- A traditional and legally acceptable(as per the German Purity Law is concerned) this Bavarian style beer, served in a stein, was full flavored with malt and very crisp.
Behemoth- This beer will get you drunk. High alcohol volume combined with generous hopping, barley wine, and hints of caramel malts make this a rich and another weapon in your battle against winter’s harshness.
In addition with the beers listed above the brew-pub serves out a whopping total of 21 styles of Three Floyds beer, as well as, 15 guest beers. It is safe to say that if you truly want to try them all you better not be the designated driver, as I was. Three Floyds Brewing Company LLC does everything right. With a marketing budget of zero dollars they rely only on word of mouth. With their combination of Midwestern values and ingredients, unique artwork for the product, and a menu of food and beer that truly define excellence Three Floyds has a bright future ahead of them.