You can’t shake a stick these days without knocking over someone’s glass of locally brewed beer. The microbrewery scene has simply exploded all over Indianapolis in recent years, leaving plenty of grateful aficionados to enjoy the tasty fallout. If you appreciate local beer, you need to grab your empty growlers ($10 fills on Thursdays – woo hoo!) and get yourself down to Tomlinson Tap Room pronto.
Located in downtown Indy’s historic City Market, Tomlinson Tap is, I believe, the only place in town that exclusively serves Indiana beers from a number of brewing establishments. And I’m not talking about just beers from here in Indianapolis (although there are certainly plenty to choose from in the Circle City). I mean from throughout the state. Don’t come in here thinking you can order any old bottle of Bud or Miller Lite. Tomlinson shows off 16 rotating taps of flavorful, full-bodied beers made fresh by Hoosiers for other Hoosiers. Nice.
The décor is reason enough to visit. I’ve always loved City Market and sadly, don’t get down there very often now that I’m no longer working downtown. The market dates back to 1886 and the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside the brick façade is a soaring marketplace filled with all sorts of distinctive food vendors and retail booths. Add in the bustling weekly Wednesday farmers market that lines Market Street outside, and you’ve got all the makings of a darn cool downtown destination.
Tomlinson Tap Room nestles into a sunny southwest corner on the mezzanine level of the building, offering a bird’s eye view of the marketplace below. You may not even know it’s here unless you’re looking for it specifically, which makes it feel like you’re in on a well-kept secret. It’s not big, just a nice long bar and a scattering of tables. The hours have been a little limited, but I see on the Tap Room web site that they are now open Monday through Saturday. If you work downtown, this would make a fabulous happy hour stop.
Tomlinson doesn’t serve food, but during the day of course, you have your pick of the City Market vendors for everything from ethnic food items to soups to pizza to sweet treats. Several even stay open into the evening to satisfy the tap room patrons with various munchies.
Hubby and I recently met a couple of new friends here for a beer, and it was a great, pub-style spot to hang out and relax. The servers and employees really know their stuff and if you ask nicely, may even let you taste a beer to see if you like it before committing to a full pint. You never know what you might find on tap any given week. During our visit, drinking options included offerings from Sun King, Flat 12, Three Floyds, Oaken Barrel, Crown, New Albanian and Big Woods (which we recently hit up in Nashville), to name a few.
The bottom line? You won’t go thirsty here. Cheers.
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