One of the great things about breweries, is their willingness to integrate into the community with which they belong. There may be no better example of that than Orthocity Brewery and Smokehouse in Warsaw.
History: The family-friendly brewery opened in February of 2018 after starting as small cafe in 2015 in nearby Winona Lake, filling a niche for comfort food and craft beers needed in the area and playing off the orthopedic reputation with which Warsaw is known for.
Beer: Orthocity usually has 14 different beers on tap, with several integrated into the rotation as necessary.
You may notice that there are a couple different IPAs available. Don’t be alarmed, as the hops are incorporated after the mash is boiled, which pulls some of the “hoppiness” that can turn people off of that particular style of beer. To that, you may also notice in the picture above that IBUs are not listed in the description of the beers. That is a conscious decision on the part of Brewmaster Chuck Bowlds, who believes that number can give people a false sense of what the beer may actually taste like.
If you are absolutely convinced that IPAs are not for you, there is a wide variety of styles available nonetheless. From the Bonehealer Stout to Choo Choo Boi (Pale Ale) to their Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. The BBA sits in barrels purchased from O.Z. Tyler Distillery, based out of Owensboro, Ky. The scent of bourbon hits you immediately on that one, but like the rest of their beers, is a relatively easy drink.
Most of the beers on tap are in and out of the rotation. Bowlds said that he has a couple of unique brews in the works, so it is almost inevitable that there will be something available in any given time that will pique your interest.
Grab a Growler of…the SIAP Liason.
Striking the perfect balance between light and dark is the Session Ale. The fact that it was probably the favorite beer I sampled goes against my general palate. The beer has almost a pear or apple aroma, which triggers a crispness response in my brain. But Bowlds said that no fruit was actually used in the beer. Definitely works as a Daily Drinker.
Having said that, if you ever stop in and Warning Letter – a BBA Stout with cinnamon and vanilla – happens to be on tap, get two growlers.
Food: As a smokehouse, food is an integral part of what Orthocity has to offer. They deliver on that front in spades. Obviously they specialize in things like brisket and pulled pork, but those are merely a blank canvas with which they use on a grander scale. Take for example their BBQ parfait, or one of Saturday’s specials, the brisket poutine. A bed of french fries, layered with housemade gravy (incorporating their oatmeal stout no less), a pile of brisket and cheese curds to top it all off.
(For the record, I didn’t taste the oatmeal stout in the gravy itself, as there is a lot going on with this poutine, and I added 2 of their 3 barbecue sauces on top of all that. So don’t let the existence of the oatmeal stout be a deterrent if you don’t think you are a fan of that particular style of brew.)
If that is not your speed, they also make an Indiana staple, the tenderloin, and various other comfort food items. (Strong recommendation to check out their Instagram page if you are hungry, as their food photos are literally mouth-watering.) They also cater events, so check their social media for more information on that. (All listed below.)
Events: Orthocity hosts a Trivia Night each Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m., but the impact they are making in Kosciusko County goes far beyond beers and barbecue.
Currently, they are participating in a fundraiser called Beer 4 Good, a collaborative effort with fellow Northern Indiana breweries Auburn Brewing Company and South Bend Brew Werks. For every pint, flight or growler purchase, a bottle cap is provided, which can be dropped in a bucket mounted along one of the restaurant’s walls. Each bottle cap represents 25 cents to go toward the local non-profit listed above the respective bucket.
Distribution/Carry-Out: Growlers and howlers of their brews are available for purchase. (Prices listed in the first photo.) Thursday and Sundays they offer $4 off of a Growler fill. Sunday is also “half price flight” day. They also have a Mug Club that people can join.
Overall, I absolutely loved Orthocity! I have had their stuff before at a couple beerfests, so I knew what I was getting into, but going to their home base honestly exceeded my expectations. It’s a little tucked away on the west side of Warsaw (975 Warren St.) and parking is not exactly at a premium (I hope the people at Dollar General next door didn’t mind me parking there on Saturday) but well worth the effort to find.
Hours are Wednesday & Thursday 11 – 10, Friday & Saturday 11 – 11, and Sunday 11 – 8 (closed Monday & Tuesday).