A new brewery with a historic name, Beech Bank Brewing Co., has opened at 301 Main St. in downtown Beech Grove.
The establishment, which opened Sept. 12, occupies the building that formerly housed the Southside Times newspaper. The 3,200-square-foot space includes an eight-barrel brew house and 16 fermenter barrels, plus public and administrative space.
The brewery also plans to sell its beers wholesale.
Owners are longtime friends Dave Farris of Beech Grove and John Solmos of Lebanon, Ohio, along with Micah Wilder of Noblesville, one of Farris' former coworkers.
The current beer lineup includes five brews—including an India pale ale named Southside Python. The beer’s name references the 14-foot Burmese python that escaped from its owner this spring in Beech Grove, roaming free for several days before someone found it.
Eventually, Farris said, Beech Bank plans to offer between eight and 12 beers on tap, including a handful of permanent selections along with a rotating selection of others.
The brewery has no kitchen and does not intend to sell food, Farris said, but it does have delivery partnerships with local restaurants and plans to bring in food trucks. Patrons are also welcome to carry in their own food.
Perry and Franklin townships are not known as brewery hot spots, but Farris said he is optimistic Beech Bank will do well.
“Our first five days, we made enough money to keep us running for another month,” Farris said.
The establishment opened during Beech Grove’s downtown Fall Festival, which undoubtedly boosted the brewery’s business in its opening days, Farris acknowledged.
Now, the brewery is trying to gauge what business will be like on a day-to-day basis. “We’re waiting to see where our baseline actually is,” he said.
The brewery’s name pays homage to poet and women’s rights activist Sarah Bolton (1814-1893), who lived in the area from 1871 until her death. Her home at 1300 Churchman Ave., known as Beech Bank, was later purchased by the city of Beech Grove. Today, that property is known as Sarah Bolton Park.
In another tribute to Bolton, the brewery’s website includes a copy of one of the poet’s best-known works, “Paddle Your Own Canoe.”
Hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.