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Beer Talk with IndyCar Driver James Hinchcliffe

Editor’s note: This interview was conducted last week, before James Hinchcliffe’s crash that resulted in injury. We wish him a speedy recovery.

The next best thing to going drinking with James Hinchcliffe is talking to him about going drinking. The IndyCar fan favorite just released a new can design for his three-year-old Hinchtown Hammer Down pilsner produced by Flat 12 Bierwerks. Turns out, this guy doesn’t need a few before loosening up.

What was your first beer?

My dad let me try a sip of his Heineken when I was 5, and that put me off of beer for a while. It didn’t really suit the palate.

How many is too many the night before a race?

Any. You’re so focused on hydrating, and beer has a counter-effect. It’s a Sunday-night, post-race kind of thing.

Who’s your drinking buddy?

Not one in particular. We’re fortunate that a lot of the guys get along like family.

Which driver can hold his liquor the best?

Marco [Andretti]’s not bad.

Hinchtown Hammer Down's new can design

Hinchtown Hammer Down’s new can design

When is too early in the day for a beer?

Depends on the day. If you’re up at the cottage, 11 a.m. But on Fast Friday or Carb Day, there’s nothing wrong with a beer at breakfast.

Have you ever sent someone a drink across a bar?

I’m sure that I have. It was probably at Road America in the famous Seibkens bar [in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin], and I was sending it to one of my racing heroes.

Ever bought the bar a round?

I have, yes. In Japan, in 2011. It was a shot of something. It wasn’t the first round, for sure.

Uber or taxi at the end of a long night?                    

Uber. Way more reliable.

 

Fernandez began writing for Indianapolis Monthly in 1995 while studying journalism at Indiana University. One of her freelance assignments required her to join a women's full-tackle football team for a season. She joined the staff in 2005 to edit IM's ancillary publications, including Indianapolis Monthly Home. In 2011, she became a senior editor responsible for the Circle City section as well as coverage of shopping, homes, and design-related topics. Now the director of editorial operations, she lives in Garfield Park.
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