When walking in the door of Wedgewood Brewing, I saw a sign that described them to a T. Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph the sign, so I may be getting the quote wrong, but it said something like…
Wedgewood Brewing: The Biggest Little Secret in Northern Indiana (or something like that).
Regardless of the actual words on the sign, the sentiment is spot on. This place is a hidden gem.
History: This nano-brewery opened in May of 2016 by Chris Higgins and his son Cody, who were doing home brewing at the time. Named after a street in Higgins’s hometown of Elkhart, the brewery is located in Middlebury, a pretty standard Northern Indiana town probably more well-known for RV manufacturers and the Amish than anything else. The downtown building used to serve as (among other things) a barbershop.
A word of advice though, put the address into your GPS. If you are just looking for the building, you are likely to miss it.
The atmosphere is probably reminiscent of your parent’s basement in the 70s. While there was no marijuana use (it is in Indiana after all), there were posters and album covers of musicians such as The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley all over the walls to set the somewhat psychedelic theme.
On warm summer days, there is a beer garden behind the building with a couple tables for people to sit and enjoy the weather, or any live music that may be playing during a given Saturday night.
Beer: The tap list typically consists of 7 of their own brews and a guest tap, typically a cider. As the Indianapolis readers will notice, last week’s guest tap happened to be a cider from Ash and Elm.
A couple of those names will strike a chord for music fans from a certain generation (See what I did there?) “Janis” is obviously named after Janis Joplin, “Pale and Oats” obviously named after Hall and Oates, “Electric Leaf” is probably named after something too. I was born in the 80s, I don’t know.
The beers cover a wide spectrum from “tastes like it should” to “amazing”. Janis, Rock-A-Rye Boogie and Electric Leaf are all what you would expect to taste from a Session IPA, a porter and an IPA. But the Pale and Oats, an oatmeal pale ale, definitely intrigued me. I have had many an oatmeal stout, but never a pale ale. It was simple, with no bitterness, almost like an unsweetened iced tea. It would be great for someone who likes light tasting beers. Passionfruit is tough to highlight without complimenting it with another fruit, but the Milkshake IPA was terrific if you are a fan of that style.
Grab a Growler of… Yippie IPA (whatever variant happens to be on tap).
This is a bit of an open-ended shout-out, as Yippie IPA MF (think of the movie Die Hard) is their series of IPAs. They do an East Coast IPA, a West Coast IPA, a coconut version, an orange cream version, a pineapple version, a bubble gum version, a cotton candy version, and (my personal favorite) a lemon meringue version. I may have missed other variants as well, they had me at lemon meringue. The smell is absolutely phenomenal, as they absolutely nail the scent of a lemon meringue pie. The beer definitely has some lemon flavor to it, but it is far from sour. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what they use to get that flavor, but frankly, I don’t need to. Just inject it directly into my veins and I won’t complain.
During the colder months, Wedgewood has a stout series called Midnight Rambler that offers several variants as well. While I haven’t had any myself, I will most certainly be keeping an eye out for the tiramisu and carrot cake variants that I have heard exist.
Food: The food options are somewhat limited, as they specialize in the type of cuisine that one might want if they are sitting around drinking at their own home. Pizza, chips, meat and cheese are basically the menu, which makes sense because due to limited space, there is no kitchen space to speak of. Only a small pizza oven in the corner. But having said that, the pizza menu is pretty extensive and absolutely hits the spot.
Events/Specials: The event they are probably best known for is hosting the annual Wedgestock, a Middlebury block party. This year’s will be held on Saturday, August 3. (Check their social media for more information.) Beyond that, every day they are open, they have a special of some sort going on. Wednesday is $1 off all their draft beers, Thursday is $1 off pizza, Friday is $1 off a flight and Saturday is $1 off a crowler and $2 off a growler.
Distribution/Carry-Out: Growlers and crowlers are available to be filled, and that is about the extent of their distribution. No 4-packs are available for purchase currently. However, they also have some unique canned cocktails available for purchased through Cardinal Spirits, a craft distillery out of Bloomington. There is also plenty of swag to buy if you are into that sort of thing.
Overall, I absolutely love everything about this place. The vibe, the food, the beer. As you can probably tell, it’s tiny, but they are definitely doing big things inside. Make the trip to Middlebury, you will be glad you did.