Let me start by saying I promised myself I’d never return to Terre Haute, IN after a traffic issue years ago. However after receiving an invitation to join the Terre Haute Brewing Company staff for the revival of their canning program during their St. Patrick’s Day festivities, I might have had a change of heart. Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed. Although it may be a bit off the beaten path it is certainly worth the trip.
In an unassuming neighborhood, in the downtown area, in a white brick building, sits a hidden gem, Terre Haute Brewing Co. Though the taproom has only been reopened since 2016, they introduced a game changer by bringing in brewer, Dave Porter. In the last 18 months since he has come on board he has shaken up the brewery and the town around them. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Upon arriving at the brewery we found ourselves in a speak-easy styled tap room, with memorabilia from the brewery’s long standing history as one of the oldest breweries in the country, dark stained hard wood, Edison bulb lighting fixtures, and an elevated seating area adorned with leather armchairs adds to the warm and inviting atmosphere. The tap room consisted of two areas, the main bar area and a large banquet room off to the side that can be used as an event space. Both areas have bars and tons of seating.
After being shown through the front of house we met Dave. A former home brewer turned Head Brewer, who gave us an amazing tour of the entire brewing facility. By craft beer standards, the brewing floor is massive, holding an impressive 20 BBL system in addition to a small pilot system for experimental brews. Further into the building we found his reverse osmosis water treatment system and self made loft that houses his grain mill set up. This loft utilizes a system of hoses to work smarter not harder and saving his back from lugging heavy bags of grain up the stairs of the brew deck. After talking about the process of brewing and what he has been working on you can only imagine how thirsty we became, so we made our way to the private seating area above the entrance.
Dave introduced us to the cans that where being released later that day as we got an eagle’s eye view of the main taproom. Up first, was the Americana Lager, and this beer is just what THBC needs to get the community on board with their beer. It is classic, crisp, and clean with a sweet corn finish. It quite literally is your 4th of July beer and a good entry level craft beer. Dave spoke with us about how they have been incorporating these into the local American Legion and how great the response has been. Next we sampled Stiffy Green IPA, which gets it name from a local legend about a stuffed dog in a graveyard. This is a great example of a classic American style IPA, the hops are not overbearing and don’t invade your palette allowing you to savor the other aspects of the beer. It has an herbal finish, almost reminiscent of oregano making it a great food pairing beer.
Next, we moved on to Wango Tango, another IPA. This IPA hosted Apollo and Citra hops and really harnessed a solid malt and oats base. It was surprisingly bright with a citrus and grapefruit flavor followed by the classic piney flavor. Last but certainly not least was my personal favorite, Velvet Cream Stout. This milk stout is packed full of flavor, the lactose really adds to the complexity of this stout. There were several more delicious house beers on tap including a nitro coffee stout that is in my opinion, a must try.
Before driving home we had to have something to fill our stomachs and boy did THBC nail the food. We tried their house named burger and fries, it was seasoned and cooked to perfection.
The menu is what I would considered elevated craft brewery food. It included pub pretzels, maple bacon, cheese curds, pulled pork as well many more delicious items. I would like to just take a second to speak on the staff as well. I know this isn’t something most blogs touch on but in the scenario I think they deserve a shout out. During our visit everyone on staff from investors to waitresses checked on us to ensure we were taken care of. Sitting on the overlook gave is the unique ability to watch them interact with their patrons as well, and they were cared for in the same manner. Great service makes or breaks a brewery and they have a solid team at THBC.
Though THBC may be a bit out of the way, let’s just say it is definitely worth a trip. The friendly staff, amazing food and delicious beer make a great experience. I, for one, am anxious to see how their canning and brewery grow, and can’t wait to come back! I’m so glad I now have something great to make me want to visit Terre Haute again.