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Blog posts about the beer scene in Fort Wayne and NE Indiana

Chapman’s – a brand that’s about to come of age

In my experience, smart, successful, driven people usually give off a certain vibe. Whenever I meet someone who has earned the application of those adjectives, and who is exuding that energy, I usually find my internal voice muttering, "How the hell do these people have so many talents? Sickening, isn't it?" When - at 38 years old - the Indiana native, trained electrical engineer, MBA, stockbroker, software developer, business founder/owner, college Dean, vineyard owner and CEO Scott Fergusson...

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Two Bandits, Two States,
a ‘Regional’ Brewer

A few days ago I made the short drive from Fort Wayne across the Indiana/Ohio state line to meet with Mark Young of Two Bandits Brewing in Hicksville, OH. My mission was to chat with one half of the Bandit team about his story, and the story of beer that he distributes across the the region. Hicksville is a quintessential, northern Ohio one-horse town. To be fair, maybe a two-horse town. Either way, with a population of around three and half thousand, and a website that that describes the tiny...

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Purity, skin in the game, and when Capitalism spits on you

I recently had a brief conversation with a person who is intimately acquainted with a local brewery here in Fort Wayne, IN, and whose livelihood is dependent upon selling the beer that said brewery produces. That's a bit of an awkward way to describe this person I know, but it frames things in such a way that it maintains their anonymity. Nothing that follows is particularly controversial, but if I do things this way it simply means that people will keep talking openly to me about the local...

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Fortlandia – a true nano production in Fort Wayne

When five blokes get together to brew and drink beer, sometimes things don't exactly go to plan. There's quite a lot of potential for nonsense to be talked, and for fanciful plans to be made. However, on Spring St. in Fort Wayne's northwest quadrant you'll find an outstanding example of talk that was converted to very real accomplishment. Fortlandia Nano Brewery turned three years old* on August 9th 2022, the same day that I visited with co-owners Ken Daly and Jerry Glass. When Jerry, Ken, Dan...

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Birdboy Brewing Company – Phoenix Rising in Fort Wayne

If you're wondering what's been happening at Birdboy Brewing Co. of late, and you're a tad confused by some recent comings and goings, then you're not the only one. A lot has been going on both behind the scenes and out in public, and the current state of affairs takes a little unraveling. In an attempt to do just that, I recently sat down with the man whose hand is now firmly on the rudder at Birdboy, Mark Burton. Before we talked about the present and the immediate future, I wanted to get to...

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From Fort Collins, CO to Goshen, IN, beer promotes community

If you happen to feel an enhanced sense of community the next time that you visit the Goshen Brewing Co. (GBCo.) in Goshen, Indiana, it's not by accident. Founder and former head brewer Jesse Sensenig made it that way. I sat down with him a few days ago to ask him about the GBCo. story, and to hear how a vision of local purpose permeates all that he does. Jesse's beer journey is a somewhat familiar one in some ways, but perhaps driven by slightly different motivators in others. I asked him...

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Come Into My Parlor

When Parlor City Brewing opened in June of 2020, it wasn't exactly the ideal time to be launching a service business of any kind, let alone one in the food and drink sector. With the pandemic raging and a multitude of mask mandates and other restrictions whirling around, it’s fair to say that a new brewery that was determined to follow those rules in a small Indiana town where the politics associated with such things were hardly forgiving, faced a pretty hard start. No matter, Chris Bryant has...

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An Englishman and a Scotsman walk into an American brewery

There's an unusual beast prowling just to the east of the Wells Corridor, north of downtown Fort Wayne. He's a brewer working in a relatively small brewery, in a relatively obscure part of the United States, with a pedigree and résumé of experience that might not necessarily seem consummate with his current surroundings. In the latest of my chats with the brewers of Fort Wayne, I sat down with Iain Wilson in the taproom at Hop River Brewing on Harrison St. over a couple of his beers where we...

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The Trubble with Chad Hankee

When Chad Hankee says he's bored, you'd better get ready for some changes. Here's a man whose projects, and indeed life's journey, have been about bending in the wind and changing tack; and that's not just because he's a keen sailor. Chad and I sat down at Trubble Brewing Co.'s mothership on Broadway in Fort Wayne, for a natter about carpentry, web design, science and beer. As Trubble approaches their 6th anniversary in November of 2021, I asked Chad to reflect on what had gone before, and how...

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Todd Stone & Junk Ditch – Where Plato meets Plato

Todd Stone is a young man with an old head on his shoulders. Trust me, that's a huge compliment in my book. He and I sat down at Junk Ditch earlier this week to talk about his journey to become the head brewer at the Main Street brewpub, and - as it tuned out - our joint love of Saisons. When three guys from Joseph Decuis kicked off their new adventure in the shape of the Affiné food truck in 2012, it quickly became apparent that there was an seriously under-served sector evolving in Fort...

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From Prints to Pints

When one reads the draft list of a brewery that's found in a tucked-away corner of an industrial park north of Fort Wayne, one wouldn't expect the head-brewer and I to have much in common. Only 50% of the beer available (maybe even less than that) are things that I would likely ever drink. So on this, my third visit to Dot & Line Brewing Co., I enter with tempered expectations. It turns out that appearances can be deceptive, and that the charming Phil Comparet (said brewer) shares my love...

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A conversation with Tom Carpenter of 2Toms Brewing Co.

The resurrection of Ding's Beer Blog is going to be characterized by (at least at first) a focus on the local beer scene. That means Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana are in the crosshairs. I'm starting with a conversation with Tom Carpenter of 2Toms Brewing. Tom and I sat down at the brewery/taproom with a couple of beers a few days ago, to talk about contemporary brewing in Fort Wayne and how 2Toms fits into that landscape. 2Toms (and by extension Tom himself), was a natural place for me to...

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The past, the present, the six years between them, and the future

Here we all are. It's been six years since my last blog post on Ding's Beer Blog, but now I'm back. So where have I been? What happened in the period between January 2015 and today, May 26th 2021? The answer is life. Profound, right? However, nothing that you can't imagine, just the usual events, experiences and changes that sooner or later enter everyone's existence. Some good, some bad, and some indifferent, but none of which I'm going to detail here. Suffice to say things have changed; I...

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