When “Old World Style meets New World Spirit,” you get the Heavenly Goat in Granger.
History: The phrase above is more than just a catchy sentence, it is a mission statement that serves as the theme behind the brewery as soon as you walk into the enormous front doors. The exterior almost conjures up images of a castle, while the interior does the same.
According to their website,”The ‘Heavenly Goat’ origin story takes place in Valhalla of Norse Mythology. Heiðrún the Goat, stands on it’s hind legs biting the buds that grow on the ‘Tree of Life’. From her teats runs the mead that fills a cauldron so large that all of the Nordic Warriors that have fallen, and are carried to Valhalla on the wings of the valkyries are able to drink.” That Nordic theme carries throughout the brewery.
The brewery itself opened in April of 2017 inside Granger’s Heritage Square as a vision by fellow Elkhart County resident Joel Miller. He began as a homebrewer and sought out a way to use his love of brewing and his past experiences travelling to Europe to create a passion project. After some time at South Bend Brew Werks, he opened up The Heavenly Goat.
(I’ll be honest, I don’t have a lot of knowledge in that particular field, but in an industry where it is not always easy to stand out, that is an effective way to do so. All I ask of a brewery is to have a hook, and they definitely do.)
Beer: Miller uses a process called step mashing in the brewing process, a part of traditional all-grain brewing which uses multiple mash rests to help enzymes in the malted grains to convert starches into fermentable sugars. The end result is a dry finish to Miller’s brews. Keep that in mind when you sample his beers (with a few exceptions that I will mention later).
As per usual, I tried to get a variety in my flight.
The European influence is prominent in the styles of beers on the menu. Lagers, maibocks and pilsners are seen throughout the menu, but you will also find two double IPAs, a rum barrel aged beer AND a bourbon barrel aged beer, fulfilling the “New World Spirit” part of the mission statement.
You may find two Double IPAs a bit redundant, but trust me, they are very different. Mothership Power Plant (below on the left) is your traditional, hop-forward DIPA, while Fresh Leaves (below on the right) is a bit more juicy.
Grab a Growler of… Caretaker.
Caretaker is their spin on a “sour”, but it is far from it. With notes of lemongrass, stone fruit and watermelon, the word that truly comes to mind is “refreshing”. It’s super light, and all 3 of those flavors marry really well together.
If you are not the stone fruit type, their Death By Porter is the very definition of a malty porter, like drinking a cup of dark roasted coffee. They do a Bourbon Barrel Aged beer using Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels if you are a fan of such things. I am admittedly a bit burnt out on BBAs, but they had a rum barrel aged beer that absolutely rocked. They also have a beer called Pentavirate, an imperial stout fermented in a red wine puncheon. While I am not a red wine drinker, the coffee and chocolate flavors marry well with it.
Keep an eye out for changes to the list weekly on their website. (I am patiently waiting for the release of the Kumquat sour they are currently working on.)
Food: The Heavenly Goat prides themselves on using organic, locally sourced products, with everything made from scratch. But their menu definitely follows the “Old World” theme.
I happened to go on Wednesday, promoted as BBQ Wednesday. There were specials highlighting brisket, pulled pork and wings.
So to borrow a European-based phrase…”When in Rome”…
Now, while the pulled pork was good, and the brisket was VERY good, I want to talk about the wings. I have had many a chicken wing in my day, and I say without hyperbole, that the wings I had Wednesday night are in the conversation for best wings I have ever had. The meat was smoked, which definitely helped them stand apart from traditional wings. The super-top-secret rub provided a crust that was absolutely loaded with flavor. Not spicy at all, perfectly tender, just phenomenal. I am bummed there were only 3 on the plate.
(Oh, there is a potato salad too just to cleanse the palate.)
DISCLAIMER: I can’t confirm that the wings I described are what is on their regular menu or if it was part of the BBQ Wednesday menu, so if they don’t live up to the lofty standard that I set, then sorry.
Events/Specials: While BBQ was the attraction on Wednesday, live music is the theme for Thursdays. Beyond that, annual events include an exclusive party for Mug Club members held in April.
Distribution/Carry-Out: Some of their beers can be found throughout local restaurants. (Which are listed here.) A couple of their staples are also available for carry-out or in 22 oz. bottle.
Overall, I really enjoyed what Heavenly Goat had to offer. If you are going expecting the latest trendy Milkshake IPA or a pastry stout, that’s not quite how they roll. But if you want no frills, “beer that taste like beer”, then they have your hook up.
They are open Wednesday-Thursday from 4-10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m.-Midnight, Saturdays from 11 a.m.-Midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. They are closed Monday-Tuesday. They can be found on Facebook and Instagram.