Once a booming manufacturing town in the Rust Belt, Fort Wayne is shedding that moniker and taking on a new one – hipster hotpot. With a craft beer trail, a brew-and-bottle-your-own-beer brewery and a locally-sourced craft distillery, it’s not hard to see why.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best craft beers and beverages Fort Wayne has to offer:
- GnomeTown Brewing Co: Just one of the many funky places transforming the Fort Wayne, you can be your own brewer at GnomeTown’s Brew Sessions. GnomeTown is the state’s first brewery where visitors can create, ferment and bottle their own beer. After the yeast does its thing on-site, you receive 40 22-ounce longnecks with custom labels or a keg of your own creation!
- Three Rivers Distilling Co: Northeast Indiana’s first craft distillery concocts gin, moonshine, whiskey and vodka – all of which are distilled with organic, non-GMO wheat and corn sourced from within 30 miles of the city.
- Junk Ditch Brewing Company: At Junk Ditch Brewing Company, craft beer meets creative food in the century old Korte Paper Company manufacturing warehouse. They employ an “everything from scratch” philosophy and take pride in sourcing local ingredients.
- Ambrosia Orchards: The new kid on the craft beverage scene is mead and Ambrosia Orchards does it right. The 12-acre apple orchard sources local ingredients and all of their cider and mead is fermented on site. With five meads currently on tapand three fermenting, why not try them all!
- BirdBoy Brewing Company: Locally owned and operated, this Fort Wayne brewery is named after Art Smith of Fort Wayne, who at 16 decided in 1910 he was going to build his own plane and be the first person in the city to fly on his own – which he did! Birdboy Brewing Company dedicates their beer selection to Birdboy, offering an adventurous, unique and award-winning selection.
- Chapman’s Brewing: Brewing since 2012 in the lakes region of Steuben County, Chapman’s Brewing has gone from single brewery to four taprooms in Angola, Fort Wayne, Columbia City and Wabash. In Fort Wayne, they partner with FortezzaCoffee to serve craft coffee in the morning and craft beer in the afternoon.
As Fort Wayne continues to draw craft beverage lovers, the city is creating spaces for people to gather and enjoy life in Northeast Indiana, including a $35 million redevelopment called The Landing that is turning a historic block into an art district, and a $100 million Riverfront revitalization project that aims to make the city’s rivers a year-round destination.