Best New Breweries: Metazoa

This small taproom serves some pretty wild beers.

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Like its animal kingdom theme, Metazoa has evolved. Owner Dave Worthington started Brewery Tours of Indianapolis just south of downtown a few years ago, then decided to open a nanobrewery focused on experimental beers in 2016. This spring, the taproom hired John J. Hall, former head brewer of the enormous Chicago brewery Goose Island. The place now seems destined for another evolutionary leap.

Of the four house beers, the Jackaroo English Dark Mild and the Frangipana IPA currently stand out. The former—a lightly malted, low-ABV session dark beer—earned a silver medal at the North American Brewers Association Competition. The latter entices with its floral, hoppy aroma and malty foundation. Seasonals occupy most of the beer list, and the place has made some pretty wild brews. Last Thanksgiving, they created a round of ales with sweet potato, cranberry, and dinner roll flavors to celebrate the holiday.

The space itself carries the beastly motif about as far as it can go. (Worthington is an animal lover.) Flight boards take the shape of rhinos and bears. Five percent of the profits go to animal charities such as the Humane Society of Indianapolis. Pets are welcome inside, making a kitchen impossible—the only snacks here are from the Broad Ripple Chip Company and My Pretty Little Pretzel. As the developments along South College Avenue open their doors, though, finding something to eat in the area shouldn’t be a problem. And we expect big things from Hall, one of the city’s marquee brewery hires.

140 S. College Ave., 317-522-0251, metazoa.beer

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