As a craft beer enthusiast, Xavier Randall has put a lot of effort into discovering new brews.
“I’ve spent countless hours, money, time traveling to breweries all over the country,” Randall said.
Now, Randall is opening A Taproom, a new Fall Creek Place business at 2505 N. Delaware St., where customers can sample unfamiliar beers without ever leaving town.
A Taproom officially opens Friday in a 1,700-square-foot space that formerly housed The Koelschip. That establishment, which served as a tasting room for Indianapolis-based Central State Brewing, closed last year after more than four years in business.
Each month, A Taproom will feature the beers and related merchandise—glassware, apparel and the like—from a different selected brewery. Special events at the venue will feature representatives of that month’s guest brewery. Randall said he and his staff will learn about each month’s brewery and its beers so they can knowledgeably represent the product.
Randall said he and his silent business partner have invested between $40,000 and $45,000 to open A Taproom, which included the cost of interior renovations to give the place a fresh look.
The taproom has already lined up its guest breweries for most of this year, beginning with Granger-based Bare Hands Brewery this month and Dyer-based Windmill Brewing in May. The rest of this year’s lineup includes Fort Wayne-based 2Toms Brewing; Cincinnati breweries Streetside Brewery and Listermann Brewing Co.; and two Missouri breweries, Narrow Gauge Brewing of Florissant and Perennial Artisan Ales of St. Louis.
As a way to build A Taproom’s reputation and customer base, Randall said he started out with breweries that local beer fans may already know about, but whose beers are not widely available here. He also selected breweries that he’s personally familiar with.
Over time, Randall said, he expects to cast a wider net, bringing in breweries from all over the country and beers that may be totally unfamiliar to Indianapolis. He said he’s already in talks with breweries in Oregon and California.
Owning a beer-oriented business has long been a dream for Randall.
He has a retail background and worked as an area manager for the retail chain Gamestop, leaving that job in 2017. From there he joined Irvington-based Black Acre Brewing, where he worked as a server, bartender and manager until 2020.
Randall said he and his partner scouted several locations, but liked the former Koeschip space because of the neighborhood, and because it was already outfitted with a tap system.
Central State Brewing’s website is no longer functioning, and IBJ was unable to contact anyone with the business for details about exactly when and why The Koelschip closed or whether Central State was still in operation.
Randall said A Taproom’s planned opening has been well-received by its Fall Creek Place neighbors, and he’s not bothered by The Koelschip’s closure. If anything, he said, that business helped pave the way.
“It didn’t give us pause. If anything, it gave us hope because they did business here for five years.”