Hi everyone! As you know I accompany the pale and peckish one on most of her taste-ventures. Today, I will be writing about Black Acre Brewing Company, and I will warn you: this post is long. I highly suggest going to their website to get a feel for it, and I also recommend going there. It is the best, well alright, only spot I know of in Irvington.
Black Acre Brewing Company is a small batch artisan brewery and tap room located in the Historic Irvington neighborhood of Indianapolis with a focus on unique, specialty beers along with a few traditional favorites.
Small? Yes. Artisan? Yes. That word has been cheapened by people with marketing degrees – artisan wheat thins anyone?- but this place certainly lives up to the original meaning.
The first thing you will notice when walking into Black Acre is the size. It is not a hole in the wall, but it’s small enough that it could be filled very easily on a Friday or Saturday night.
There is a small wooden stage that doubles as an elevated seating area, and that is where we sat. We had a table with a love seat and two chairs, an odd and cool combination that worked out with our group.
The room was a pleasant volume when we ate, and there were sparingly few empty tables. Now on to the FOOD!
We had the Crostini Plate ($8), a plate of baguettes from a local bakery with tasty toppings. The toppings we opted for were the Capocollo with house tapenade, the Sun dried tomato and goat cheese spread. and a brie and sliced duck with arugula and fig preserves.
All of them were delicious, especially the goat cheese with sun dried tomatoes. Goat cheese tends to slap you around a bit with its pungent flavor, and the tomatoes dulled the punch of the cheese while adding in more tasty-ness. The Capocollo with house tapenade was okay, I am really not a fan of olives so I crossed it out of my mind before we even ate it. I love brie, so naturally that was tasty.
We also ordered sweet potato fries (1/2 off before 6 PM, $2.75!). Now let me tell you, you need to experience these for yourself. I know, I know, even fried bung will taste like calamari. But these fries, oh man, they were TAST-E.
I wish I could transmit fried potato texture to your mouth, but sadly the internet doesn’t allow for that yet. The fries were not extremely crispy, but had a good bite to them and were not soggy. They were just the right stiffness/meatiness ratio. We had all three aolis with the fries: garlic aioli, chipotle aoli, and apple butter. I stuck with the chipotle, being a fan of all things spicy, but the other two garnered rave reviews from the group.
On to the beer! We ordered 2 flights of 5 oz sampler sizes, with two extra glasses of other things and a barley wine beer on the side. Before you read the beer reviews, understand that nearly every beer here is above average. I don’t mean better than Bud Light, I mean better than other craft brews. I have been to some of the other breweries in Indy such as Flat 12 and Sun King. While they both have unique beers, it is not the same as this place. Nearly everything exudes quality and tastes so, so good.
Architect’s Breakfast (Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee Stout) – By far my favorite beer. This dark delicious beer has great spice to it. It is strong, tastes like coffee, and finishes smooth with a bite.Weighing in at 7.4% this is a fairly hefty beer, though not as much as other stouts I have drank. Which is good, cause I want more. The pale one, normally not a fan of hefty stouts, was a huge fan as well.
Fair Wind (Porter) – This beer is pretty delicious, with a nice dark burnt flavor. I like it, although if I personally would reach for the Architect’s breakfast before I got this. It’s definitely got a unique taste to it, some whisky comes through when drinking it.
Green Tea Pale Ale – Decent pale ale, but to be honest, I didn’t really catch much of the green tea taste. It was good, but if I were looking for something pale from here I would not reach for it first.
Hipster Bird (Black IPA) – I have no idea what makes an IPA dark, but it was pretty darn delicious. If I wanted an IPA and I was here, this is what I would get. It was not as bitter as many other IPA’s even though it has a high IBU (127) and a whopping 9.7% alcohol content!
Lunch Break (Pale) – This beer could definitely be a staple for me. With a name like “the lunch break” and a simple smooth, not too sweet or bitter taste, it delivers standard quality. This is something you could bring to any party or outing and be satisfied while exploring new brews.
Ol’ Fritz (Berliner Weisse) – This is my favorite non dark beer from here. When I drink this, it is like a delicious wheat beer with an awesome dryness/fruitiness that is kind of like a good dry white wine. The Berliner Weisse is refreshing like citrus drinks, and would be excellent for those that don’t drink beer often. This beer would go excellently with a summer BBQ, or anything in the summer, really.
Valve (California Common) – This beer was a bitter lager, and it was tasty. Good clean finish. It seems that it is really difficult to make a good lager, and I think Black Acre has hit a pretty sweet spot here. I just think they have such excellent beers that this does not stand out among the others.
Stone Brewery’s Old Guardian Barley Wine – This beer is a delicious barley wine, and apparently has been the reason for a lot of my friends getting into craft brews. As evidenced by the name,this is not a Black Acre brew but an illustrious guest tap. It’s wonderful getting it here instead of a liquor store – because it is a lot less expensive and it is fresh. It was great, sweet & smooth with not a lot of carbonation. It also packed a punch (as a style barley wines tend to do that.) Yum.
There was only one beer I did not like, and it was the blonde ale. It was a little skunky. This sentiment was echoed in the wrinkled noses of our entire group.
My overall experience here was excellent. Nearly everything I drank was not just ‘good’, but delicious. Honestly to have that many beers on tap that are that great is a feat. I would highly recommend this place to anyone. Cheers!
TL;DR: The beer here is delicious, best to try, IMO, are the Berliner Weisse and the Architect’s Breakfast. Get the sweet tater fries.