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Best New Breweries: Chilly Water

Owner Skip DuVall decided on a rock ’n roll theme for his taproom, and like a good rock song, there’s not much to Chilly Water—a small patio along the Cultural Trail, a simple dining area inside with a mostly rotating selection of beers on a chalkboard. But those beers swept the top prizes at the Indiana Brewers’ Cup in 2015, and that Fletcher Place location turned out to be as golden as its flagship Built to Last Pilsner.
Just about everything here carries some reference to music. The establishment takes its name from a Widespread Panic tune. Flight boards are shaped like guitars. But DuVall (who previously manned the Fountain Square Brewing tanks) has partnered with Dan Krzywicki (who started his career at Alcatraz Brewing) to serve craft beers that are no gimmick. Everyone seems to be doing a blood orange IPA lately, but Chilly Water’s Blood on the Tracks incorporates the sweet citrus without stuffing an orange in your mouth. And that pilsner? Someone should write a song about such refreshment on a hot summer day.
Although the food menu is small, the grilled paninis—particularly the spicy Cuban—make the lineup considerably better than the occasional food-truck offerings at many of the new taprooms. And while most of those places have pioneered still-developing neighborhoods, Chilly Water enjoys a spot in one of the city’s coolest restaurant districts. Let’s face it: You’re probably heading this direction anyway.
719 Virginia Ave., 317-964-0518,

Comiskey joined the magazine in 2006, shortly after completing an MA in journalism at Indiana University. During graduate school, he served as arts & culture editor of the Indiana Alumni Magazine and wrote for newspapers throughout the state. Comiskey’s long-form features have won a number of Society of Professional Journalists Awards, and have taken him inside sperm banks, across the country in a semi, and to the home of the world’s smallest books. He lives in Zionsville with his wife and three children.

Email him at [email protected]