Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beer: Fireside Brewhouse

While we intended to get some wings at Shallos on the southside last night, instead we ended up at Fireside Brewhouse, a locally-owned independent restaurant that just opened a little over a month ago (they also own Blu and The Pub). Getting off I-65 at County Line Rd., my wife pointed across the road and said, "what's that place?" The name immediately jogged my memory of a post Matt put up a while back and we decided to pull in and give it a whirl.

Their beer list is pretty safe, if you can call 16 taps and over 100 different bottled beers safe. The hard-core craft beer fan is not going to find the more exotic selections that you might see at Hot Shotz, J. Gumbo's or Shallos, but it's very solid and you're sure to find something to enjoy. Lots of Bell's, Three Floyds, Upland, Samuel Smith, Brooklyn, etc. The bottles are generally $4-5, though some are a bit more. Some of the more adventurous beers available include 22s of Hoppin' Frog IPA ($13) and Double IPA ($14), Anchor Old Foghorn ($7) and Lindemans Framboise. I'm having a hard time remembering many of the taps, but I know they had Bell's Two Hearted and Oberon and that 16oz pours are generally $5, with 22oz for $6.50.

The entres are mostly in the $10 range, with standard brew pub fare like thin crust pizzas, burgers, and steaks. I think the most expensive item on the menu was a fish special for $15 (there may have been a more expensive steak). We ordered a Luca Brazzi pizza (sausage with peppers and an asiago/mozza blend) and a bowl of chili. The pizza ($9.95) was pretty tasty, while the chili ($4.50) lacked much of a punch. Could have been an off night or still working out the kinks, who knows.

The restaurant has ample seating in multiple different spaces with an interestingly shaped bar that would allow several friends to gather for close conversation around one of the points (sorry, I didn't bring my camera or I could have shown you). There are also quite a few large, well-placed HDTVs for sports viewing. If we lived closer, I could see us hitting this restaurant fairly regularly. With as many bottled beers as they have, I'd expect the selection to switch up frequently. Relative to downtown, however, Shallos is just a hop, skip and a jump from there and I'd be hard pressed to pull off at Fireside over Shallos, especially when we've got a craving for Shallos wings. . . .


Erik Huntoon said...

Unfortunately for the same reason I will probably never get to Shallos, it is waaaay to far for me to drive to get a few beers. The downside of living in Brownsburg I guess.. All in all though, sounds like a nice addition to the south side of Indy.

A little off topic, but am I the only one getting a little bummed that the average pint price officially seems to be $5 now everywhere?

Matt said...

I still haven't been there yet. I need to make it over that way.


5 bucks is pretty much now the standard in Indy, and sometimes you are getting short poured these days.
When I was just in Michigan it was a rarity to see beer over 5 bucks. 3.25 to 4.75 for the most expensive drink.

Erik Huntoon said...

Yeah I hate to say it, but I am starting to think some of these places are jumping on the bandwagon with their prices. I find it curious that you can walk into the Brugge and get a good pour of great beer for less then you can get a pint at most other bars. And you are absolutely correct about the short pouring. As long as the industry uses those shaker pint glasses, the consumer is never going to get the full pint they paid for.. Anyway, not trying to make a blanket statement about everywhere.. but I am starting to get sticker shock when I go out anymore.

CorrND said...

Yeah, getting a "pint" at a bar is really a scam. I've come to assume that a pint is not that much different than a 12oz bottle.

The main reason it's a scam is that a pint glass is only a 16oz right to the very top of the rim (try it at home with a measuring cup). Take off a little bit because it's impossible for a server to transport a full pint glass and you're at 15oz. Take off a little bit more because a beer should really be served with a head and you're at 14oz. Get a slight underpour and you're probably only getting 12-13oz.

I think J. Gumbo's is pretty reasonable for $4.25 per "pint" at a downtown address. And you can't beat their $2.50 u-call-it pints through the end of the month.

Erik Huntoon said...

You are dead on! In fact the shape of the standard shaker pint glass is perfect for underpouring. Since it is most flaired at the top, just a milimeter or so of head and space adds up to ounces of lost beer. The place that really rocks my socks when it comes to generous pours is the Broad Ripple Brew Pub. Those guys pour 20oz Imperial pints right to the rim of the glass, and are in the $4ish range.

Anonymous said...

Just went tonight. I was impressed with the beer selection, despite the regular "pint" glasses but c'mon, and the quality of the three food items I had was very, very good. I had the M-80's, the bacon and cheese-wrapped chicken fingers, and the BBQ pizza - all awesome. The portions of the entrees (I tried 5 of those that were with me) were HUGE. Bell's on tap, including Oberon, and Dogfish Head, Hopping Frog (bottles) were my selections tonight. Prices for drink and food comparable to Scotty's, Shallo's, and any restaurant downtown. If you want cheaper there's plenty of great liquor stores in Indy. Manager Paul was super-cool and accommodating. I will go back.