Tourists come to central Indiana for craft beer

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When you think Indiana, do you think breweries?

Visit Indy and local brewery owners hope so.

The owners at Black Acre Brewing Co. in Indianapolis’ Irvington neighborhood said people are pouring in from all over for Indy’s craft beer.

“They’re hungry and thirsty for our craft beer scene. It’s helped us market us as a place to visit,” Visit Indy Vice President Chris Gahl said.

Gahl said, just a few years ago, only a handful of breweries were in the area. Now, there are more than 30 in Central Indiana.

“We market Indianapolis as a place you can come taste a lot of original craft beers,” Gahl said.

In fact, according to Visit Indy, those suds have helped pour more than $1 million into our economy within the last year. Over the summer months and into the fall, Indy hotels have had 80 percent weekend occupancy, with visitors bubbling in from across the Midwest.

“Yes, beer is motivating travel, in addition to festivals, and certainly our food scene,” Gahl said.

Justin Miller agrees. He is the co-owner and founder of Black Acre Brewing. They’ve had visitors from as far away as Sweden and Germany.

“I think it’s great! I think every local town or neighborhood should have their own brewery,” Miller said.

About five years ago, Black Acre brought in $300,000. Today, their beer is pouring in more than $1.5 million.

“You’re selling a sense of community, a sense of place. You can get suggestions [and] brew beers based on feedback you get from the community,” Miller said

It’s that sense of community, that shot in the arm for the economy, that has Miller and others hoping more local suds are born right here in central Indiana.