Indiana became a state in 1816 and in that year our first two commercial breweries opened. Since then over 350 licensed breweries have offered cool, refreshing beer to Hoosiers, made by Hoosiers. 200 years of history.
Hoosier Beer chronicles, city by city, the rise from small family backyard breweries, breweries at religious orders, large factory breweries, two prohibition periods, massive mega-conglomerates, brewpubs, and back to small family-owned breweries that offer a wide variety of beers directly to customers fresh at the brewery.

256 pages

128 illustrations

 $21.99 publisher's suggested price

Available at Amazon and at most brick-and-mortar book stores in Indiana

Bob Ostrander & Derrick Morris have provided us a detailed journey through the rich heritage and tradition of brewing beer in Indiana.
The beer memorabilia including the fascinating pictures of actual cans and bottles displays the inherent pride these Hoosier brewers possessed in their brands.
The figures on number of breweries and their barrel production will surprise you and it all leads to the final chapter on the Modern Era with the current rebirth in Indiana-produced craft beer!
  - Jeff Eaton, Owner/Brewer, Barley Island Brewing Company and Board Member/Secretary, Brewer's of Indiana Guild


Hoosier Beer is a splendid overview of Indiana's brewing saga from the early 19th century settlement to the present. I reads like a conversation with the convivial Bob Ostrander and offers a peek into Derrick Morris' in-depth collection of beer memorabilia.
You can access information about the hundred-plus breweries that came and went, 1800s to 1990, in a variety of formats: by region and community; alphabetically by name of brewery; along a timeline; by breweries and brands. Ever on the trail of uncovering new data, Ostrander squeezes in an addenda - "Breweries We Have Uncovered Since This Book Went to the Publisher."
The modern era of brewpubs and production breweries 1990-2011 is arranged alphabetically by city, Aurora to Wilbur, with a chart of who is still in operation and which are in the process of opening. For the casual reader the first 206 pages will provide a pleasant journey with details about each brewery and introductions to the brewing method and collecting. For the more scholarly reader, the notes, bibliography and appendices entice further explorations.
(4 stars out of 5)
 - Rita Kohn, Nuvo, Indy's Alternative, Aug 10, 2011
Crack open a bottle of Champagne Velvet and dive into the first complete history of brewing in Indiana, where the beer history is as old as the state itself. Three-hundred-plus breweries have churned out the good stuff for thirsty Hoosiers, and this city-by-city guide gives readers a sample of every spot, allowing time to savor the flavor while sharing the hidden aspects, like the brave and hearty brewers who assisted the Underground Railroad and survived Prohibition.

The unmistakable Hoosier personality and spirit shine in the classic labels and advertisements, many of which are displayed here in vibrant color. Join Indiana beer enthusiasts Bob Ostrander and Derrick Morris on a pub crawl through this state's proud beer history.

Bob and Derrick

Here are some stories you'll read about in this history:

  • A farm brewery was part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War and a speakeasy and bordello during Prohibition (Hoham/Klinghammer in Plymouth).
  • A large brewery’s life was ended due to a labor strike (F.W. Cook’s in Evansville).
  • One brewery was part of a utopian colony (New Harmony), and one was part of an Archabbey (Saint Meinrad).
  • One brewery recovered from $3,000 debt in 1881 (Joseph Miller in Covington). Another brewery’s owner, when faced with a $5,000 debt in 1889, committed suicide (Main Street Brewery in New Albany).
  • Several were in the back rooms of inns and hotels—early examples of brewpubs.
  • One brewery bought the local newspaper in order to change its editorial stance during a temperance campaign (Indiana Brewing Association in Marion).
  • Some breweries were related to famous people, including Hew Ainslie, Tony Hulman, Richard Lieber, Cole Porter, Knute Rockne, Howard Hawks, Governor Robert Orr and Kurt Vonnegut.
  • A brewery and distillery company started a city’s fire department (Great Crescent in Aurora).
  • *Many breweries were taken over and managed by the widows of the owners, and some were started and operated by women.
  • One brewery paid its sales manager $108,000 per year during Prohibition (Kiley in Marion).
  • One brewery piped water from its spring to neighbors during the Civil War—and even built a bathhouse (Spring Brewery in Lafayette).
  • One came to an ignominious end when the president was arrested for income tax evasion after the ex-commissioner of the IRS got a $363,000 tax bill reduced to a $35,000 refund (Indianapolis Brewing Co.).
  • Many brewery buildings have gone on to other uses, including shopping malls, college classrooms, apartments and office buildings.
  • The first brewery in Fort Wayne, at the American Fur Trading Company post, was started by Alexis Coquillard, the founder of South Bend.
  • Brewery owners were jailed for selling bootleg beer during Prohibition. One was given probation because people would be put out of work (Huntington Brewery). One owner was jailed for bribing federal Prohibition agents (Southern Indiana Brewing Company in New Albany).
  • Breweries owned or sponsored minor-league and Negro League baseball teams. One sponsored the Notre Dame football team (Kamm’s in Mishawaka).
  • One brewery was built specifically to entice settlers in the 1850s to buy land in a new community (Cephas Hawks in Waterford).
  • One brewery closed three days before winning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival (Evansville Brewing Co.).
  • Many were started by immigrants to the United States from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Scotland and Switzerland.
  • One “Brew on Premises” was set up where anyone over twenty-one could brew his or her own beer.
  • Dozens of brewery owners served as mayors, bank presidents or congressmen.
  • A surprising number of breweries burned down—some multiple times. One man (Charles T. Doxey of Anderson) had a brewery, a barrel stave factory, an opera house, a handle factory, a music hall and a plate glass works destroyed by fire while he was a state senator, a U.S. representative and running for governor.
  • One brewery opened a famous restaurant in Chicago that is still operating (Berghoff in Fort Wayne).
  • One brewery was owned by a pipe organ builder (Louis van Dinter in Mishawaka).
  • Three modern-era breweries were opened by doctors.
  • Inventions from Indiana led to the modern CO2 regulator, beer line cleaning equipment and corn-adjunct beers.
  • The largest of the old-line breweries made over one million barrels (bbls) of beer annually (a barrel is sixty-one gallons; Sterling, Drewrys and Falstaff).
  • The largest of the modern-era breweries has a capacity of about fifteen thousand bbls (Three Floyds).

  There was a lot of information that didn't fit onto the printed pages of Hooser Beer. We've put it all in the Addenda here at the web site. How beer is made, Indiana Giants, Bottlers, Excise taxes, Patents, 1903 snapshot, 1910s wages, End of Prohibition and Trade Associations are all new chapters.

Cities covered in Hoosier Beer by chapter:

Northwest - Crown Point, Hammond, Hobart, La Porte, Michigan City, North Judson, Mishawaka, Valparaiso
Northeast - Auburn, Columbia City, Decatur, Elkhart, Goshen, Huntington, Kendallville, Ligonier, New Haven, Wabash, Waterloo, Vera Cruz
North Central - Argos, Bremen, Delphi, Logansport, Marion, Peru, Plymouth, Rochester, Warsaw
West Central - Attica, Bowling Green, Brazil, Covington, Crawfordsville, Greencastle, Harmony, Lebanon
East Central - Anderson, Cambridge City, Connersville, Muncie, New Castle, Noblesville, Richmond, Ridgeville, Shelbyville, Union City, Winchester
Southeast - Aurora, Batesville, Brookville, Columbus, Dover, Lawrenceburg, Madison, Napoleon, New Alsace, Newtown, North Vernon, Oldenburg, Osgood, St. Leon, St. Peters, Salem, Seymour, Sunman, West Harrison
Southwest - Cannelton, Ferdinand, Haysville, Huntingburg, Jasper, Mount Vernon, New Boston, New Harmony, Newburgh, Parker’s Settlement, Petersburg, Princeton, Rockport, St. Meinrad, Tell City, Troy, Vincennes