Beer & Bluegrass

Lovers of good locally made beer won’t have any problems finding a sample or a pint this weekend in Franklin.

The Beer and Bluegrass Festival will feature pints of cream ale, Belgian dubbels and honey kolsch. From the hoppiest India pale ale to the driest stout, local breweries will be serving creations to sate any palate.

So the biggest issue might be deciding which brews to try.

Downtown Franklin again will host its Beer and Bluegrass celebration on the courthouse square Saturday. The multi-focused event will bring a dozen of the area’s best small breweries together to offer samples of their products, while visitors enjoy the music of The Indiana Boys and Birch Creek Bluegrass Band.

With Franklin welcoming the addition of new tap rooms and breweries to the downtown area, the event will only help bolster a growing craft beer presence in the city.

“We have potentially three breweries coming to town,” said Tara Payne, executive director of Discover Downtown Franklin, which organizes the event. “For them to rally around and come to this festival, I hope to see that kind of camaraderie and community participation to support craft beer and drinking local.”

After four years of hosting the event, downtown Franklin officials have changed the format of the festival. Previous inceptions have allowed people to enter the tasting area for free.

This time around, drinkers will pay $5 for entrance into the cordoned-off beer garden. People will purchase tickets to try out the different beers, with samples costing visitors $1 apiece, and pints of their favorites costing $5.

This system will simplify the process of collecting money and checking identification, Payne said.

But at the same time, attendees will have greater access to breweries than they ever have in the past. New participants, such as Indiana City Brewing and Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co., will provide greater variety and styles to sample.

Simmons Winery, which is owned by the same company as participant 450 North Brewing Co., will be providing beverages for those who need a change-of-pace from beer.

“We’ll have wine there if you’re not a beer drinker,” Payne said.

The concerts, held on two separate stages on the courthouse square, will be open to the public at no cost. A classic car show on Main Street will also be free, Payne said.

If you go

Beer and Bluegrass Festival

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Downtown Franklin, courthouse square

What: A gathering of area breweries offering samples and pints of their craft beers, along with a car show and two bluegrass bands playing down-home hits.

Cost: Entrance to the beer garden is $5, with samples costing $1 apiece and pints costing $5; all other activities are free.

Bands: 6 to 10 p.m., The Indiana Boys; 7 to 10 p.m., Birch Creek Bluegrass Band


Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.