The craft beer boom has made oatmeal stout, India pale ale and kolsch into the common language of beer drinkers throughout Indiana.
Starting this month, local enthusiasts will have a common place to gather and create their own beer.
Brew-By-U will be Indiana’s first brew-on-premises shop, inviting people in to spend three hours to make their own batches of beer. The Center Grove-area business opens Dec. 13 and will provide the recipes, grains, hops and equipment to make up to 14 gallons of beer.
With the popularity of craft beer at an all-time high, owner Jeremy Hough hopes to appeal to residents who would love to brew their own but don’t have the supplies, space or time to do it at home.
“Our goal is to make homebrewing simple, educational and enjoyable,” he said. “This is an extension of homebrewing. It’s a way to get into homebrewing without the commitment.”
Hough, 42, lives in the Center Grove area, so locating his business in Johnson County was a natural fit, he said. He works full time as director of business operations for the Franciscan Physician Network, so Brew-By-U will be a side project for him.
“I live here, and I work here, so it makes sense,” he said. “I’ve always lived on the southside and didn’t want to drive 45 minutes up north to go to my business.”
During the past decade, beer has gone through a renaissance. More and more people are trying more robust creations than the domestic brews that dominate the market.
In 2013, craft beer was responsible for $14.3 billion of the
$100 billion overall beer sales market, according to the Brewers Association, a beer trade organization.
Craft beer production was up 18 percent last year, the association said. That is evident in Indiana, where the state now boasts 88 microbreweries.
Johnson County opened two in 2014, doubling the number of existing breweries in the past year.
But Brew-By-U will be a different addition to the beer scene. Just as craft beer production and consumption is rising, so are the number of people who want to make their own beer.
According to the American Homebrewers Association, more than 80 percent of all supply stores in the U.S reported an increase in homebrew equipment sales last year.
But for those getting into it, purchasing the tanks, coolers, tubing, grain and other supplies can cost $100 or more.
A faithful homebrewer himself, Hough wanted to create a place where people could play with different flavors and recipes of beer without sinking that cost into it.
Brew-By-U will feature a six-kettle brewing room where people can create their beers. Hough has assembled a recipe book of 16 beers, including cream ale, Irish red ale, porter and extra-special bitter.
Customers will receive the grains, extracts and other supplies they need, and walk through the brewing steps, from steeping to boiling to fermenting.
A staff of professional brewers will be on hand to provide guidance and assistance.
The process takes about three hours, at which time Brew-By-U will put the beer in a finishing tank for two weeks. After that, it’s time to come back and bottle.
“We’ll do all of the cleanup, oversee fermentation and help with the bottling and capping,” he said.
Depending on the type of beer brewed, pricing starts at $160 and goes up to $200.
Once the brew-on-premises operation is running, Hough plans to open a tasting room in March. People can try the different recipes before they make them. Samples of six beers, pints and carry-out growlers will be available.
“You like to try different things, but you also have your favorites that you can pick up,”
A supply shop will cater to established homebrewers with malt, grains and hops.
Since announcing his plans to open Brew-By-U, Hough has been encouraged by the interest his idea has received. He’s updated his progress on Facebook, and has nearly 500 likes.
His hope is that the project will fill a void in the homebrewing market here on the southside.
“I’ve been really pleasantly surprised about the excitement around the business,” Hough said. “Once they find out what we’re doing it, say they’re really interested and want to stop by.”
What: A beer-brewing business that allows people to create their own beer on the premises.
Where: 3021 Meridian Meadows Road, Greenwood
Owner: Jeremy Hough
Opening: Dec. 13; a tasting room is slated to open in March.
Hours: 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Reservations: Accepted for small groups or individuals. Walk-in brewers are welcome, but reservations are encouraged.