I love the Rural Inn commercial -- it's so delightfully local! If you've never been to the Rural Inn, it's quite an experience. You might say that the commercial glosses over some of the finer details. For starters, it's at the corner of Michigan and Rural on the eastside, one of 27 intersections in the city deemed worthy of a remote surveillance camera from the Indy Metro Police. On Friday afternoons, it turns into a paycheck-cashing depot. There's also a bar directly connected to the liquor store by a small doorway. But my favorite detail? The porn selection in the glass counters while you're checking out.
Still, despite their location, they have a very impressive selection of beer. They've pretty much got a monopoly on east-side craft brew sales, though I'm not sure how large that market really is. No one has ever come into the "Big Beer Cooler" while I've been there. They probably depend a bit on people like me coming over from downtown. With due respect to Idyllic Indy's interesting idea, if it weren't so convenient to take one-way New York out and one-way Michigan back to downtown, I probably wouldn't go to the Rural Inn at all.
It's almost exclusively 6-packs, so if you're looking for bombers, shop elsewhere. Aside from the very most exotic 6-packs, I'd say that they've got everything you can expect to see in the midwest. And the management has always made it clear that they're very happy to have my business. They really want to court the beer geeks of Indy, asking me on multiple occassions what beers I'd like to see them stock.
On my most recent trip there, I picked up a 6-pack of Founders Centennial IPA. I had a serious relationship with this beer about 6 to 9 months ago, but other than maybe at the Indiana Microbrewers Festival, I don't think I've had it since then. I love this IPA. It's probably not my favoite of the style, but it's up there in the top 4 or 5. This IPA is brewed and dry-hopped primarily with centennial hops, hence the name. The dry-hopping leads it to be VERY hoppy, but it's balanced with a good amount of malt. Rural Inn happens to have a great price on this beer: $8.99. If you consider yourself a hop head, this is a must-try.
Other Quick Beer News:
- Psych! Apparently The Goose isn't ready for prime time yet. A sign on their door yesterday indicates they'll be open on October 23rd now. Of course, their webpage still says October 20th in multiple spots....
- UPDATE: Commenter Indy Steve points out that Feed Me/Drink Me has a review of Goose The Market (looks like this is the official name) and wondered if maybe they're open. I had a little extra time after lunch today so I briefly stopped by. A very personable person answered the door, introduced himself as Chris and said that they're currently fixing everything up from the opening party on Saturday and will officially be open for business tomorrow at 10am. (When I got back to a computer I noticed that their webpage says they're closed on Mondays, so they wouldn't have been open in any case.)