Indiana’s craft brewing boom has brought a wealth of high-quality beer options to the county.

Local beer lovers looking to grab a fresh-brewed pint can choose not only the styles of ales, stouts and lagers they order but the atmosphere in which they drink them.

Try a java mint stout in the sleek, sci-fi adorned space at Planetary Brewing, or a Belgian tripel in the rustic chic setting of Taxman Brewing. Sip an Irish red ale in the homey confines of Hoosier Brewhouse, or settle into the traditional sports bar setting at Oaken Barrel Brewing.

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Johnson County is home to seven brewery tasting rooms, where patrons can drink beer brewed on site, or at most a few miles away. Each of the county’s tasting rooms offers something a little bit different.

Some offer food curated by area chefs, while others focus on pub staples. Take part in activities such as do-it-yourself art classes or yoga, or listen to live music from area bands.

Most of the area’s taprooms will allow you to bring the kids, giving a welcome night out for parents all over the county.

With so many options, it can be hard to pick what place you want to grab a pint. While beer lovers should visit all of the Johnson County brewers, here’s a guide to let you find the right fit for any situation.

Shale Creek Brewing Co.

Where: 178 W. Jefferson St., Franklin

Examples of their beer: Cherry Bomb Smoked Porter, Downtown Cocoa Brown and Without a Paddle IPA

Food? Full menu

Can you bring the kids? Yes

What’s it about? This downtown Franklin taproom features a full listing of 10 beers, table seating as well as a wooden bar with TVs showing sports. Sip on a Creekside Cream Ale or a Morning Wood Breakfast Stout while enjoying favorites such as cheese curds, jumbo wings and the Grizzly’s Brisket sandwich.


MashCraft Brewing Co.

Where: 1140 State Road 135, Greenwood

Examples of their beer: MashCraft Gold ale, Spice, Spice Baby spiced wheat ale, Ruze amber lager

Food? Small bites, but people can bring their own

Can you bring the kids? Yes

What’s it about? The flagship location of MashCraft’s three taprooms, the tasteful wooden interior with well-worn picnic table seating conveys an easy-going but homey atmosphere to relax. The taproom offers its own small bites, such as a soft pretzel and deep-fried peanuts, but patrons can bring in their own food. Local eateries also offer delivery right to MashCraft.


Hoosier Brewhouse

Where: 157 Holiday Place, Franklin

Examples of their beer: Choco-Wee Chocolate Stout, Sugar Daddy Double IPA, Jolly Rancher Sour

Food? Full menu.

Can you bring the kids? Yes

What’s it about? Warm, bright colors and funky decor define this Franklin brewery. Bring the whole family — the restaurant-taproom is all ages, featuring a full menu and beers such as Red Flyer Irish Red or a Snozzberry Cream Ale. An outdoor beer garden allows for fun in the sun when the weather is nice.


Big Woods Franklin

Where: 1800 E. King St.

Examples of their beer: Busted Knuckle Porter, Hare Trigger American IPA, Common Necessity Hazelnut Coffee Stout

Food? Full menu

Can you bring the kids? Yes

What’s it about? The Franklin location of Big Woods’ five area eateries features a variety of Quaff On! Brewing Co.’s quality craft beers. Relax in the modern hunting lodge-decorated space, overlooking the sprawling layout of Hillview Country Club. The restaurant and bar are open to the public, though it is located on the country club grounds.


Planetary Brewing Co.

Where: 188 S. Madison St., Greenwood

Examples of their beer: Red Leader Irish Red, Astro Combs Hefeweizen, Heliotropic Citra-hopped Amber

Food? No

Can you bring the kids? No

What’s it about? With space-age decor, low lighting and a massive mural of outer space on the wall, Planetary Brewing’s taproom turns a pint of beer into an interstellar excursion. The nanobrewery consistently mixes up its offerings on eight tap lines, choosing from a range of more than 50 recipes to keep beer drinkers on their toes.


Oaken Barrel Brewing Co.

Where: 50 Airport Parkway L., Greenwood

Examples of their beer: Gnaw Bone Pale Ale, Superfly IPA, Alabaster witbier

Food? Full menu

Can you bring the kids? Yes, to the restaurant

What’s it about? Johnson County’s original brewery has been serving up beloved beers and food such as their Razz Wheat, Indiana Amber, cowboy caviar and mesquite-smoked ribs for the past 23 years. A brewhouse section offers a cozy adults-only tables to watch sports or sit at the bar, while the adjoining restaurant is open to all guests.


Taxman Brewing Co.

Where: 13. S. Baldwin St., Bargersville

Examples of their beer: Hop Collector IPA, Exemption Belgian tripel, Gold Standard blonde ale

Food? Full menu

Can you bring the kids? Yes

What’s it about? This Bargersville mainstay is housed in the former Tri-State Bolt building, but the taproom and restaurant is more Belgian farmhouse rather than industrial space. Reclaimed wood and heavy beams add depth to the silver, gray and black color scheme. The L-shaped bar is for adults only, but the wide-open dining area is perfect for kids and their parents to nibble on frites or buffalo mac ‘n’ cheese.


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