Flat12 Bierwerks changing its name under new ownership

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Flat12 Bierwerks is changing its name to Rad Brewing Co. seven years after its founding in Indianapolis, its owner announced Monday.

Jason Wuerfel, CEO of Books & Brews, which acquired Flat12 in January, said the new name is part of a “mission to support and promote alternative ways of getting active, with a portion of the profits going to youth sports in Indianapolis.”

Wuerfel said he will donate sports equipment to local youth organizations for every purchase at Rad.

Flat12 was founded in 2012 at 414 Dorman St. in the Holy Cross neighborhood east of downtown. It previously operated a taproom in Jeffersonville in southern Indiana. The brewery derived its name from a 12-cylinder racing engine developed in Indianapolis in the early 1900s and later used in European sports cars.

The company found some early success and notoriety with its Hinchtown Hammer Down beer, which was named for popular IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe. But the company ran into financial trouble in 2016.

Its original shareholders lost their entire investment and a new investor recapitalized the business, court records show.

Andy Teed purchased the local Flat12 location in 2016, and Sean O’Conner, one of three cofounders, took over the Jeffersonville taproom.

Flat12 renovated its Indianapolis location last year by removing the bar from its former growler room and converting that room into an all-ages space for its in-house restaurant, Hoagies & Hops.

Flat12 had been brewing all of Books & Brews’ flagship and seasonal beers for two years when the bookstore chain acquired the brewery business. The chain has nine locations in central Indiana and one in Oxford, Ohio.

Wuerfel said the transition to the new brand will begin immediately. A launch party is scheduled for Nov. 29 at the Dorman St. location. Old merchandise will be cleared out and new merchandise featuring the Rad brand, including apparel for dogs, outdoor gear and athletic accessories, will be introduced. The overhaul will include a new menu item, the Rad Burger.

The brewery plans to offer community-based activities include walking and running groups, yoga, and cornhole, ladder golf and spikeball leagues.

“We hope to become a gathering place in the community for groups and individuals of all ages looking for alternative ways to stay active within a social environment,” Wuerfel said.

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