Wednesday, May 11, 2016

(1 of 4) 18th Street's Sex and Candy, but first, the story of 18th Street Brewery.

My next few posts are going to be about the 18th Street Brewery, which came into existence a few short years ago in Gary, quickly exploded, and now has opened a production facility in Hammond.

Hardcore beer geeks already know about 18th Street and its founder/brewer, Drew Fox. More casual observers may not be familiar with the brewery, and this isn't unexpected considering the 120+ breweries currently operating in Indiana.

I've neither met Drew Fox nor visited his brewery's locations. I can attest to the quality of those 18th Street beers I've tasted.

What recently brought 18th Street Brewery into the spotlight wasn't its beer, but what some have perceived as sexism, as manifested by the label for Sex and Candy.

The backstory is, I saw the cans at Whole Foods, snapped a pic and sent it to Carla. She questioned the brewery. They stood by the label and called her a piece of garbage and a troll while doubling down with their social imaging. I've asked Whole Foods to consider moving the display to an interior shelf where kids might be less prone to asking what it is.

First, the brewery's story.

18th Street Brewery: Our Story

Sometimes things happen for a reason. Starting to feel burnt out from the wear and tear of the hospitality game, Drew Fox took a trip to Belgium. The hostel he was staying at had a phenomanal wheat beer with which he fell in love. Upon returning to Chicago, Drew found it difficult to get beers that sparked that same feeling he had in Europe. It was around this time that Blue Moon started circulating and it- along with Chicago's Half Acre, started to put Drew's wheels in motion ...

... In 2012 a Kickstarter campaign was begun to get money to open a brewery and taproom for 18th Street Brewery to call their own. The campaign was well recieved and exceeeded its initial goal. In the midst of brewing and bottling six different beers, 18th was able to find a home in the Miller Beach community of Gary, Indiana.

A very detailed brewery profile at Good Beer Hunting: GBH HYPE — 18th Street Brewery Secures an Independent Future in NW Indiana.

18th Street Brewery, lead by entrepreneur and brewer, Drew Fox, has earned local and international standing as a start-up in Gary, Indiana. Initially built through crowd funding on Kickstarter, the brewery has gone on to win “Best New Brewery in Indiana” from, collaborated with some of the world’s most creative brewers, and appealed to a local audience that stretches from downstate Indiana, to Chicago and the NW Indiana corridor, and audiences as far away as Denmark. Now, Fox and his team have found themselves on the verge of an incredible new chapter in the future of the business.

The new Hammond brewery opened in February, 2016.

18th Street Brewery opens Hammond brewpub Saturday, by Joseph S. Pete (NWI Times)

On Saturday, 18th Street Brewery will become Northwest Indiana’s first craft brewery to open a second brewpub.

The award-winning craft brewery, which was named the best newcomer in the state by RateBeer when it opened in Gary’s Miller neighborhood in late 2013, is now opening a new brewpub and production facility at 5417 Oakley Ave., in downtown Hammond.

18th Street is moving its brewing operations to the much larger former furniture store warehouse in Hammond, but will keep its Miller brewpub open. In the larger space, 18th Street will now be able to expand its distribution throughout Northwest Indiana and the rest of the state, including in South Bend and Elkhart.

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