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Indiana - One Year

Just a little more than one year ago, my family and I relocated to Indianapolis from New Jersey due to some changes in my full-time job.  It was a tough, yet exciting, move for us.  We quickly had to put our small, 2nd floor condo up for sale, and at the same time travel to Indianapolis to house hunt and find a neighborhood that would suit us.

The prospect of moving to an area with a completely new to me beer landscape was intriguing.  As soon as I knew for sure that my family and I were making the move to Indiana, I performed some online searches to compile a list of the breweries that were local to our new area.  A Google Map was created just for the breweries.  Facebook pages and Instagram pages were followed.

Sun King, Founders, joppy lager
Sun King and Founders collab, Riding the Rails

I quickly learned that Indiana isn't quite like other states I've visited where alcohol is involved.  Some of these laws astonished me!

First things first, any minor (under 21 years old) is not allowed to step foot in a liquor store.  Not even accompanied by an adult.  My 2 year old son and I found this out firsthand shortly after we relocated.

Brew Link, Plainfield, stout, mint
Brew Link Double O Mint Chocolate Stout

Second, minors are not permitted in bar areas, even if they're not drinking.  This includes bars at breweries, brewpubs, or the local Applebee's.  The law is a bit vague, but restaurants that have bars and brewery taprooms have found ways to circumvent this law.  If a taproom wishes to allow minors, they can have a barrier installed between a general seating areas and the actual bar.  But, that general seating area needs access to a bathroom that doesn't involve crossing the bar area!

Brew Link, Plainfield, IPA
Brew Link Insert Hop Reference IPA

So small brewery taprooms need to have this planned out ahead of time if they are considering allow minors on premise.  Some go forth with the extra effort involved, and some make the decision to stay 21+ only.

This post isn't meant to suggest one business model is superior to the other, but just to highlight big differences between Indiana and New Jersey.

A saving grace is that grocery stores and convenience stores sell alcohol, and it doesn't matter how many kids you have in tow.  The only catch is these stores are not allowed to sell cold beer!  It must be kept at ambient temperature.  Unless you are looking to buy white wine.  For some reason they can keep that in a refrigerated case.

Sun King, Indiana, IPA
Sun King SKB IPA

Most grocery stores don't have an awful selection either.  The Super Target near me has a local section where they sell Sun King, Taxman, Bells, Central State, 3 Floyds, etc.  Kroger and Meijer have mix your own 4 pack or 6 pack shelves, so that comes in handy.

So yea, it's hard to believe my family and I have already spent more than 1 year in Indiana.  In that time we've been settling into our new home, getting used to my new job, and exploring our new surroundings.  We've also welcomed a new daughter into our family!  Things have definitely been busy, but I'm looking forward to checking out more of what Indiana beer had to offer!


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