Nothing against Chicago’s craft beer scene, but after you’ve downed Daisy Cutter at Half Acre and savored Revolution’s porter Eugene straight from the tap, you may crave some variety. And the next great brewing hot spot just might be northwestern Indiana. Don’t believe it? Jump into the car (bring a designated driver) and check out these brewpubs, listed by the drive time from the Loop.

Beer from 18th Street Brewery

18th Street Brewery

5725 Miller Ave., Gary

Photos: Jeff Marini

Time from Loop: 50 minutes

Perfect for: Bearded and tatted types curious about Gary nightlife

The story: In May, Food & Wine called two-year-old 18th Street—named for founder Drew Fox’s former Pilsen address—a “brewery to watch.”

The suds: Six edgy varieties on tap, including two sours and a potent coconut milk stout

The scene: Artsy 20- and 30-somethings sitting around low tables in an unadorned, dark space

Order: Temporal Purgatory, a 5.9 percent session pale ale (also available in 32-ounce howler)

  Outdoor seating
  Beers for sale


Beer from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

3 Floyds Brewing Co.

9750 Indiana Pkwy., Munster

Time from Loop: 55 minutes

Perfect for: Beer-loving foodies who have plenty of time to spare

The story: The influential 3 Floyds began brewing here in 1996, well before craft beer mania took hold.

The suds: About six year-round standbys and an admirable roster of barrel-aged brews.

The scene: Despite its location in an industrial park, this place teems with visitors. With a menu created by star chef Mike Sheerin (Embeya), scoring a seat can take hours.

Order: Zombie Dust, a hard-to-find 6.2 percent pale ale



Beer from Crown Brewing

Crown Brewing

211 S. East St., Crown Point

Time from Loop: One hour, 10 minutes

Perfect for: Just about anyone—even large families

The story: Tim Walsh and Dave Bryan opened this brewpub in their quaint hometown seven years ago.

The suds: Up to 20 draft options, which tend to stick to the basics (IPAs, cream ales) rather than tilt toward excess

The scene: Choose between the sunny patio with long tables, the attractive bar with a view of brewing equipment, or the homey restaurant. There’s even a video game room for the kids.

Order: Special Forces, a 6.4 percent American-style IPA

  Outdoor seating
  Beers for sale
  Growlers for sale


Beer from Shoreline Brewery

Shoreline Brewery

208 Wabash St., Michigan City

Time from Loop: One hour, 15 minutes

Perfect for: Shoppers and sports fans

The story: Brewing vet Sam Strupeck opened the place a decade ago near Michigan City’s popular outlet mall.

The suds: Always a dozen beers on tap, many of them twists on reliable favorites. (Think a lower-ABV take on a typically heavy IPA.)

The scene: This Revolution-style space has an expansive main room with tons of TVs, including two massive screens with sports on steady rotation.

Order: Seven Red, a rye ale with seven malts

  Outdoor seating
  Beers for sale
  Growlers for sale


Beer from Twisted K-8 Brewing

Twisted K-8 Brewing

610 Monroe St., La Porte

Time from Loop: One hour, 30 minutes

Perfect for: Those just discovering life beyond Budweiser

The story: The name (pronounced “Twisted Kate”) refers to co-owner Kate Boshaw, who opened the spot with her husband, Michael, in 2013.

The suds: Up to a dozen brews, many of which (cocoa stout, peach wheat ale) sound like dessert

The scene: This compact storefront brewery, adorned with flags and military paraphernalia, attracts a chill crowd by day and a lively one by night (thanks to frequent live music).

Order: Monroe Street, a 6.6 percent wheat IPA

  Beers for sale
  Growlers for sale