It wasn’t too long ago that Hamilton County only had one or two breweries on tap, but Boone County is a different story.
Ben Worrell, business development manager with the Boone County Economic Development Corporation, recently told the Zionsville Redevelopment Commission that the county hasn’t been home to a brewery since 1874.
Not surprisingly, he said they’d like to see that change.
The overall beer market is worth $101.5 billion, according to the Brewers Association, and the craft beer industry accounts for $19.6 billion of that. In Indiana, craft beer sales generate more than $1 million in economic impact.
Boone County economic development officials aren’t being picky—they would welcome a tasting room, a full brewery or some combination of the two, Worrell said.
Funny thing is, Worrell said, Boone County has the ingredients brewers need. Sugar Creek Malt Co. produces malt, the main ingredient in beer after water, and Sugar Creek Hops LLC is a hops farm.
According to Worrell, it’s the only county in the state that has both operations.
Local officials are trying to lure breweries into the area. Whitestown recently partnered with IndianaOnTap.com to host its first brewfest with about 30 breweries participating and providing beer samples.
When I spoke with Adam Schick, managing editor at IndianaOnTap.com, about the growth of breweries in the suburbs, he said that Zionsville or Whitestown could be the next place a brewery opens.
“I’m surprised no one in the Zionsville area has jumped on this yet,” Schick said.
In the meantime, if you’re thirsty you can check out these breweries in Hamilton County.