Where to Drink in Indiana Right Now

Indiana may be known for craft beer, but it's got hip craft cocktail bars and wineries too. From Indianapolis to Franklin, here's where to drink right now.

When you picture Indiana and drinks, I’m betting the first thing that comes to mind is ice cold beer, especially on sweltering summer days. You’re not totally wrong: this Midwestern state is home to over 130 craft breweries and counting. (Emphasis on the “counting” part — I swear that by the time you read this, three more will have popped up.)

While the Hoosier state may be known for its craft beer, it’s got some hip craft cocktail bars and wineries as well. From Indianapolis to Franklin and back, here’s our list of hot spots to drink in Indiana right now.

Bluebeard

Three Vonnegut-inspired cocktails at Bluebeard: Jailbird, Galapagos, Monkey House 2.0

Good For: Craft cocktails lovers and Kurt Vonnegut aficionados
Drink You Need To Order: Galapagos ($11), featuring mezcal, tequila, chili arbol syrup, Bluebeard orgeat, cucumber, and lime.

Why You Need To Visit: This spot just might be the Holy Grail of Indy’s cocktail scene, and that’s not just because Kurt Vonnegut is my favorite author. Yes, the restaurant is named after one of Vonnegut’s books, and yes, there are Vonnegut-inspired drinks on the menu. But what I loved was their diverse liquid offerings that pleased multiple palettes.

Erin of 10 Miles Behind Me enjoyed the Galapagos cocktail, whereas I opted for the Monkey House 2.0 ($10), which included bourbon, Cappelletti, Cocchi Americano, Jagermeister, lemon, orange, and cane sugar. We also shared the Jailbird ($11), which contained rum, orange liqueur, applejack, Bluebeard orgeat, and 5-spice bitters. The cocktails were well balanced and had complex flavors, and staff were helpful in steering us toward drinks that we liked. Without a doubt, reserve a spot for Bluebeard on your drinks list in Indiana.

Special shout out to the staff for making us cocktails after midnight!

Bluebeard, 653 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203
Connect via their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Metazoa Brewing Co.

Drink Beer, Help Animals!

Good For: Boozehounds who like to enjoy a pint while chillin’ with Fido and his furry friends
Drinks You Need To Order: Chocolate Charlie (decadent stout with chocolate and cherry notes, 9.5% ABV); Kinkajou (wheat beer with honey flavors, 5.2% ABV)

Why You Need To Visit: “Drink beer. Help animals.” Pretty simple, right? Metazoa Brewing Co.’s philosophy really says it all. In addition to being pet-friendly and serving a delicious chocolate cherry imperial stout, Metazoa donates 5% of its profits to animal and wildlife organizations. This means you can absolutely feel good about your booze purchase, since you’re saving the world by helping racehorses and chimpanzees. Also, word on the street is that they have a pig who’s a regular. You’ve gotta love a place where even Wilbur feels like part of the family!

Metazoa Brewing Co., 140 S. College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Connect via their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

The Ball & Biscuit

The craft cocktails here are dynamite!

Good For: Classics and original creations; second or third dates; that out-of-town friend you want to impress
Drink You Need To Order: Juan Another? ($11), featuring tequila, Huana Guanabana liqueur, cilantro, simple syrup, lime juice, and a pinch of salt.

Why You Need To Visit: This craft cocktail joint is “Indy’s original cocktail bar.” Open since June 2010, its name was inspired by an unusually-shaped microphone made in the 1930s. Our bartender, Keegan, was an entertaining show in and of itself: his mixing and shaking skills behind the bar were mesmerizing to watch. He made us a dynamic cocktail with bourbon in it — an excellent bartender’s choice cocktail — but truth be told, we didn’t write down all the ingredients because we were watching his mad skills we just wanted to enjoy our drinks, dammit. In sum: go to this speakeasy not only because I say so, but because Esquire does, too.

The Ball & Biscuit, 331 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Connect via their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Revolucion

Down the tropical rabbit hole we go…

Good For: Late-night taco binges and tiki drinks
Drink You Need To Order: Any mai tai or daiquiri will do, though they often have specials

Why You Need To Visit: If you want a really trippy, “secret” bar experience, look no further than Revolucion. We originally stopped by to satisfy our intense taco cravings, and were greeted by funky folk art decor (imagine Day of the Dead) and strong margaritas in this Mexican cantina. But the party really started when I went to the restroom and made a wrong turn coming back. OK, OK, that sounds more dramatic than it was. But seriously, it was like I fell down a tropical rabbit hole and wound up in the coolest tiki bar ever. The change in theme gave me cocktail whiplash, but whatever, the mai tai was divine. Plus, it opened out onto a relaxed outdoor patio space — perfect for warm summer nights.

Revolucion, 1132 E. Prospect St., Indianapolis, IN 46203
Connect via Facebook and Instagram!

Taxman Brewing Company

See if you can spot my reflection in the beer. #BloggingLife

Good For: Craft beer enthusiasts seeking the next “it” brewery
Drink You Need To Order: Evasion, a 14.5% ABV barrel-aged Belgian-style stout.

Why You Need To Visit: Turns out that three of Taxman’s founders are, in fact, tax professionals. Their tax consulting work took them to Belgium, where it is mandated by law that you must drink beer and eat frites at all times and by no means continue crunching numbers, and thus Taxman was born. With the industrial feel of its interior and its extensive selection of brews, Taxman — which opened in 2014 — would be right at home next to any Seattle or Portland craft brewery. Plus, they’ve got my favorite beer that I’ve tasted in the past six months — which is seriously saying a lot.

Taxman Brewing Company, 13 S Baldwin St, Bargersville, IN 46106
Connect with them via their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Untappd!

Planetary Brewing Company

They take their pours seriously at Planetary

Good For: Craft beer lovers; wannabe astronauts; people who actually get obscure Star Wars references
Drink You Need To Order: Parallax Vanilla Porter (5.6% ABV), a delectable porter that’s sanitized in bourbon

Why You Need To Visit: Three words: Space-themed brewery. Launched into orbit in March 2013, Planetary Brewing was the second brewery established in Johnson County and the 63rd in Indiana. Planetary’s mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help consumers cruise through the “Universe of Beer” and check out all the different planets beers. So go have fun checking them all out — I’ll be hanging out on Planet IPA.

Planetary Brewing Co., 188 S Madison Ave, Greenwood, IN 46142 
Connect with them via their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Mallow Run Winery

Wine in a can? Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it

Good For: People with a sweet tooth and beer lovers who are getting into wine
Wine You Need To Taste: Finale, a port-style dessert wine; 2016 Estate Red (Chambourcin, Leon Millot and Chancellor grapes, similar in body to Pinot Noir); 500 Canned Traminette

Why You Need To Visit: If canned wine is the “Drink of Summer 2017,” then Mallow Run is way ahead of the curve. They’ve been serving up canned wine like the 500 Canned Traminette (see above) for a while now, and they’re perfect gateway wines if you’ve only ever been into drinking beer. Mallow Run is known for their sweet wines: their top seller is actually the Rhubarb ($13), though they make non-dessert wines as well. They also hosts events at a gorgeous property called the Sycamore nearby, and their lively Picnic Concert Series runs throughout the summer.

Mallow Run Winery, 6964 West Whiteland Road, Bargersville, IN 46106
Connect with them via their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

It’s wine time!

Honorable Mentions… Plus A (3-Hour) Tour

This post is definitely not an exhaustive list of where to drink in Indiana, where new breweries seem to be popping up daily. Folks at the spots above recommended the following places to enjoy your liquid journeys:

If you wanna imbibe but don’t want to drive, Indy Brew Bus has you covered. Each of their tours visit four local breweries, and they spend roughly 35 minutes at each location. (It’s not a three-hour tour, as Gilligan would say, but close enough, all right?) Tickets start at $30 per person. While we didn’t get to try one of their tours while we were there, we saw lots of the buses around town with hilarity ensuing (read: lots of people having a grand ol’ time!).

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Indiana may be known for craft beer, but it's got hip craft cocktail bars and wineries too. From Indianapolis to Franklin, here's where to drink right now.

Essential Info:
Looking for lodging in Indiana? Check here.
And what should you do in Indiana after hitting the bars? This book has some good ideas.
Can’t get enough of Kurt Vonnegut’s books? We love Slaughterhouse-Five, Bluebeard, and Galapagos.
What else have I written about Indiana? Check it out here, here, and here.

Did I miss any essential drinking spots in Indianapolis and beyond? Sound off in the comments below!


Nearly all of these drinks were paid for by me, with the exception of Planetary Brewing and Mallow Run. Thank you to Journey Johnson County for hosting me there, and to Visit Indiana for connecting us. Thank you to Visit Indy for suggesting Revolucion. As always, all opinions are my own; no perfectly-made cocktail will ever change that.

Also, some of the above are affiliate links. This means I will earn a tiny percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting It’s Five O’Clock Here!

17 thoughts on “Where to Drink in Indiana Right Now

  1. Lia Garcia

    This is such a great guide! Although NGL it pains me that Bloomington only made it on the list as an honorable mention 🙁 You totally need to visit Upland and Olive Winery! They’re SO GOOD THOUGH. Can we just go to Bloomington and hang out with Emily together? 😀

    1. Julianne

      Haha yes, would love to hang with you and Emily and drink lots of beer and wine in Bloomington! To be fair, I spent most of my time in Indianapolis and Johnson County, so I’ll have to visit again and update this guide. Perhaps we can plan a trip to Bloomington…? 🙂

  2. Justin

    A well organized and comprehensive list, Julianne. I for one am all about taking care of animals and wildlife, so you’ll find me hunched over a chocolate cherry imperial stout. That’s just how I roll. 😉

    1. Julianne

      That chocolate cherry imperial stout was insanely good, but pretty potent. We actually split it four ways… 🙂 I love bars and breweries that emphasize social good!

    1. Julianne

      Before visiting, Indiana wasn’t on my bucket list either, but it’s surprisingly great for food and drink options 🙂 Hope you make it there!

  3. Kelly

    So nice to know that Indiana has a vibrant nightlife that consists of something other than beer and brats. Lol. Looks like a lot of fun and debauchery.

  4. Cory

    Such great good. If someone wants me to join them for cocktails, I’m there! haha I absolutely love a drinking guide and would love to join you next time.

    1. Julianne

      Will do! Lia and I were talking about making a trip out to Indiana to visit you and drink some beer in Bloomington, haha! 🙂

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