Out on the Road: Stouthward Bound

Stouthward Bound!

Indianapolis and Huntsville Breweries

Welcome back to another edition of Out on the Road, the Queer Beer Travel blog! El and I took another long trip south, this time stopping at a whopping seven breweries! I have a lot of thoughts to share with you all on both the drive and the brews, but that’s just far too many things to fit into one post. So, I’m going to divide this little saga into four parts. 

The first three will detail the breweries we hit on each distinct part of our trip, while the last one will be a general account of the cool non-beer part of the trip. That post will also have a wrap-up where we rank this trips’ top three breweries!

Also, Out on the Road now has an UnTappd! This was our inaugural trip using the app (don’t worry, El and I share the account. I didn’t drink all those beers on my own!). If you ever want to get a sneak peak at the beers I’ll be talking about in future posts, give us a follow!

In today’s post, Stouthward Bound!, we’re gonna explore some awesome Indianapolis and Huntsville breweries!

Barreling toward Nashville

I’ve never really been to the South. I went to Dallas twice when I was 13 to visit a friend, and to Orlando a handful of times for Disney World, but since I’ve been a legally-drinking adult I haven’t spent much time at all south of D.C. 

El, on the other hand, has family in the South — in fact, they were born there, which was the reason for our trip. Some logistical mix-ups that needed fixing were drawing us down to El’s birthplace of Huntsville, Alabama, so we decided to make a trip of it and crash with El’s family in nearby Nashville. We figured that it would give us a great chance to try out some Huntsville breweries, as well as do some cool things in Nashville!

On our way south we stopped in Indianapolis at Indiana City Brewing, a great brewery that set the bar high for the rest of the trip!

The brewery’s taproom sported eclectic seating options, creative tables in the form of barrels and old chests, and plenty of room to spread out and relax. Garage doors and window to brewing equipment combine nicely with exposed brick and splashes of artwork to give it an industrial-chic vibe without becoming too warehousey, and the larger venue off the main taproom that looked like it would be cool when it’s open. 

Their standard list of brews was itself awesomely varied, and their rotating list included plenty of seasonals and barrel-aged options to make it seem like the sort of spot you could stop in on again and again! In the end, we settled on the following beers:

Our two beers at Indiana City Brewing!
Peaches N Cream and Utter Annihilation!
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      • Rum Barrel Utter Annihilation

El’s order, of course, was an extremely rum-forward stout. Sweet and Boozy without being sickly, it was El’s favorite combination of heavy, full bodied, delicious.

      • Peaches’N’Cream Sour

I, on the other hand, went for a particularly tasty sour. This beer was punchy, juicy, and flavorful, with lots of tartness right up front but almost no unpleasant aftertaste. It was absolutely the sort of beer I’d love to have in my fridge

 

 

After our stop in Indianapolis, we continued on to spend the night in Nashville. Early the next morning we headed toward the ultimate goal of our trip: Huntsville, Alabama.

A lovely day in Ale-abama

One of the things we were really excited about for this trip was checking out the local Huntsville breweries. When El’s parents lived here, there were no breweries — not there are eight nearby! We unfortunately didn’t have time to visit all 8 of them, but that just gives us an excuse to come back again!

The first brewery we went to was Straight to Ale brewing, which was in a reclaimed middle school! Their taproom is in what was once the school’s cafeteria, complete with white cinder block walls and a blue tile backsplash near the bathrooms. The brick accent walls and label art around the taproom, though, keep the space from feeling sterile. You can even venture beyond the taproom into the halls upstairs to find a Tattoo Parlor, an Arcade, and an Art Studio in the old classrooms, with the lockers still present!

Their standard beer list was pretty, well, standard, but they’ve got a nice rotating line and they don’t rely too heavily on IPAs. While there, we settled on these two:

Els beer, Stout at the Devil
Stout at the Devil!
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        • Blood Orange Brother Joseph:

My beer was the brewery’s standard Brother Joseph’s Belgian-Style Dubbel, brewed with Blood Orange. It was sweet and well-balanced, though it did have a bit of a bitter hang and I didn’t get much of the blood orange flavor.

        • Stout at the Devil:

El’s beer, as is tradition, was a stout. Its heavy body and sweet caramel flavor make this a great beer, especially for one that sits on the brewery’s standard draft list.

 

 

Straight to Ale was a solid start to our tour of Huntsville breweries, and certainly boded well for the rest of our day. After a stop at an amazing local burrito shop, we went on to visit InnerSpace Brewing, a space-themed brewery that celebrates Huntsville’s Space and Rocket Center. The taproom had the feel of a repurposed hangar, punched up with sci-fi and space travel memorabilia. They had a plethora of sci-fi books and nerdy board games, with old Trek playing on the TVs behind the bar and a screen that hinted at movie nights. The bartender even hyped up a fondue station that he was going to set up later! It wasn’t a standard brewery layout, but their authenticity and welcoming atmosphere made it feel cozy.

Their beer list was relatively varied, with many creative brews. Their standard list doesn’t even appear to include IPAs — a welcome reprieve for those of us who don’t particularly love super-hoppy beers! El and I ended up ordering the following:

My Blueberry Milkshake beer
Blueberry Milkshake!
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        • Blueberry Milkshake

I ordered this delicious, sweet, and just-tart-enough brew, and I’m happy I did! The blueberry comes through beautifully, and is reflected in the gorgeous color of the beer. It was light on the palate and perfectly balanced.

        • Salted Caramel Stout

El’s order ended up being a pretty standard stout — but a very well done standard. It had a sweet and dark caramel flavor, with just the right amount of heaviness for a stout, but unfortunately the salt didn’t come through.

 

Once we’d finished up at InnerSpace, El and I turned around and hauled up the road back to Nashville! Though we were done exploring Huntsville breweries for the time being, there was still plenty of time in the trip! We visited a couple awesome breweries in Nashville the next day, which you’ll be able to read all about in next week’s Out on the Road!

Let me know what you think of the post in the comments, and be sure to follow us on UnTappd. And, until next time, Cheers!

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