Super Bowl beer guide: Indianapolis

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 29, 2007



By Cold, Hard Football Facts sud stud Lew Bryson
 
Better than Miami, but falling far short of Chicago, Indy has a couple very nice spots for the beer lover in your life. 
 
One place you'll definitely want to hit is The Rathskeller (401 E. Michigan St., 317-636-0396), in the big, old, beautiful Athenaeum building with a big, old list of German beers (and not just the usual suspects, either). Just the thing for quaffing before, during and after the game. There's German/American food, too: Try the deep-fried Brat 'n' Kraut Balls or the authentic Frikadelle (a kind of meatloaf burger).
 
If you prefer U.K. beer, head over to MacNiven's, (339 Massachusetts Ave., 317-632-7268), where they do the Scottish thing (right down to the Bond-themed men's room). No fear – the food's actually good.
 
The Brit/Scot beers are kind of mainstreamy (Tennant's, fergodssake), but they also have some great Midwest micros, and if you want to go really authentic, MacNiven's has a good selection of single malts, too. Slainte!
 
There's a Buffalo Wild Wings in town (15 E. Maryland St., 317-916-9464) that most folk agree has the best beer selection ... and, if you want good wings, Buffalo Wild Wings will fit the bill. We love any restaurant where they have no dishes or utensils. But...oh, yawn, who cares? They've got BWW all over the place: Don't you want some Indy flavor?
 
You can get that at the town's oldest brewpub, the Broad Ripple (840 E 65th St., 317-253-2739), named for the Broad Ripple section of town. As you would expect from an established place, the Broad Ripple is comfortable, solid on their beer selection, and has the whole hospitality thing down. A great place to spend hours and hours. Brewpubs – gotta love 'em.
 
The town's newest brewpub is a Belgian-type, the Brugge Brasserie (1011A East Westfield Blvd., 317-255-0978). I haven't visited, but I did have some of their beers at the Great American Beer Festival back in October: nice stuff, very well-done.
 
I've heard that the atmosphere is laid-back and conversation-friendly, and that the menu is well-executed Belgian – and "Everyone Eats Well in Belgium" (a fantastic cookbook that I use often).
 
Rock Bottom is a brewpub chain, and while I'm generally down on chains, I do like this one. Great food (the salmon fish & chips is excellent), friendly service (the Mug Club is a real good deal), and beer that rarely disappoints and often astounds. There are two Rock Bottoms in Indianapolis: Downtown (10 W. Washington, 317-681-8180) and College (2801 Lake Circle Dr., 317-471-8840). Check 'em out.
 
 
CHICAGO – A world-class beer city. Watch the Super Bowl here if you can!

MIAMI – Hey, at least they have hot broads to make up for the lack of good brew.

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