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North of 96th - Lindsey

Welcome to North of 96th, your source for business news from Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield and Zionsville. Your host, Lindsey Erdody, can be reached at lerdody@ibj.com.

Fishers / Hamilton County / Alcohol sales / Regional News

Home brewers plan to go pro in Fishers

September 25, 2014

After letting their dream ferment for a couple years, two Fishers entrepreneurs are moving forward with plans to open a brewpub in the fast-growing community.

Already friends, colleagues and neighbors, partners Keefe Pietri and George Garrison are working toward an early 2015 debut for Heady Hollow Brewing Co., slated to occupy leased space at 11069 Allisonville Road.

They envision a family-friendly establishment with about a dozen craft beers on tap—more than half their own concoctions. The men have been home brewers since Pietri discovered the hobby in 2008 and encouraged Garrison to give it a try.

The results were good enough that friends and family encouraged them to go pro, taking advantage of the growing popularity of microbreweries and beer-drinkers’ changing tastes.

Small brewers have multiplied nationwide, increasing their numbers by 73 percent in the past five years, according to the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association. Indiana’s 85 microbreweries represent a 162-percent increase in the same period of time.

Despite the explosion, the Heady Hollow partners think there’s plenty of room in the market for another microbrewery.

“I think we’re just at the beginning of the growth of the industry,” said Garrison, 47.

Heady Hollow, named for the low-lying area near 126th Street and Allisonville Road in Fishers, is expected to have a decidedly local flavor.

In addition to the house beers and a seasonal selection, Garrison and Pietri also want to feature products from their brewing brethren in Indiana—most of whom don’t have the widespread visibility enjoyed by industry darling Sun King Brewing.

As IBJ reported last month, Sun King plans to invest as much as $10 million to build a second production brewery, tasting room and outdoor beer garden in Fishers. That facility, located east of Interstate 69, is expected to open in July.

In the meantime, Fishers residents must head out of town—to Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield or Indianapolis—for locally produced beer, said Pietri, 42.

Heady Hollow will offer a limited menu, which is still being assembled by Pietri’s wife, Lauralee. She plans to leave a position at River Glen Country Club to oversee brewpub operations.

The men intend to keep their day jobs in international trading, at least for the time being, fulfilling their duties as Heady Hollow’s brewers after-hours. The five-barrel brewing system they’ve ordered to replace the five-gallon unit they use now should allow them to make beer once or twice a week.

In addition to pulling pints in the brewpub, Heady Hollow also will sell beer for carryout in 64-ounce growlers or 32-ounce “bullets.”

Heady Hollow’s landlord has agreed to build a patio beside the strip-mall space, the partners said, adding to the 40-50 seats expected inside.

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