Best New Breweries: St. Joseph

The heavenly architecture isn’t the only thing this taproom has going for it.

Built as a Catholic church in 1879, this gorgeous neo-Gothic building in Lockerbie Square found a higher calling as a brewery in 2015. Just inside St. Joseph today, a stained-glass window above the door reads “Bless, O Lord, This Creature Beer,” a traditional Catholic blessing for suds. Given its unique taproom, incredible location, and solid beers, though, this place needs very little help from the man upstairs.
Brewed by Alan Simons, who previously worked at the venerable Oaken Barrel, the four house beers here have churchy names and reliable flavor. The Benevolent Belgian Blond and the Confessional IPA are both Indiana Brewers’ Cup winners, but the Cornerstone Kolsch stands out as the crisp, dry beer you want on St. Joseph’s patio in the summer. As many as 12 seasonals also line the taps. On a recent visit, the surprisingly light Bohlen’s Java Brown Ale had us asking how soon that coffee-flavored elixir might return.
Inside the sanctuary-turned-taproom, the soaring arches, elongated windows, and brewing tanks where the altar once stood make it hard to concentrate on what’s on your table. But the food here deserves its own Hallelujah from the choir. The Viking Farms lamb burger—stacked high with feta, arugula, and harissa aioli—and the crab-and-goat-cheese-stuffed jalapeños typify the bold flavors on the ambitious menu.
Owned by the people behind Chatham Tap and Ralston’s DraftHouse, St. Joseph has a polish not all the new taprooms share. The floors are immaculate, and servers attend quickly to tables. When it comes to bringing in customers from tony Mass Ave, this place clearly isn’t relying on blind faith.
540 N. College Ave., 317-602-5670,