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Nicole Oesch Gets Tapped In

Purdue grad and longtime hospitality staffer Nicole Oesch changes course with a funky 1970s-inspired taproom where she’s brewing an open approach to beer culture.
Nicole Oesch smiling holding a beer

A TWIN AIRE art studio on South Rural Street may seem an unlikely spot for a new, retro-chic, woman-owned brewery. But for Nicole Oesch, who worked in the craft beer industry for several years and witnessed some major pushback in a culture long dominated by men, breaking new ground is exactly what she aims to do.

In truth, living life to a script has never been her thing. A 2008 Purdue grad in public relations, she moved to California to pursue a career related to her degree but ended up in hotels and hospitality with a stint in sales before moving back to Indy a decade ago and finally breaking from the corporate world in 2015. While she has enjoyed working in taprooms and event planning for breweries, she felt it was time to forge her own path. “I just realized that not all of the aspects of the culture were a good fit for me,” Oesch says. “I wanted a spot that was more accommodating to women—and really anyone who stops in.”

That spot is an ultra-comfy throwback pad dressed in vibrant fabrics and funky tiles that she operates with her husband, Ryan. Some of the couple’s commitments include hiring as many women on staff as possible and engaging the local homebrewing community with competitions and by featuring contestants’ beers. And with an emphasis on dark beers with a lighter body and such fresh flavors as a Lemon Cream Earl Grey American Wheat, Oesch’s Kismetic Beer Company, a portmanteau of “kismet” and “kinetic,” is a place where just about anyone can find their flavor and their vibe. 

A photo of a bar, a bowl of Pho, a restaurant sign, beer, bread

FAVORITE THINGS
➊ Thunderbird. “It’s got a great atmosphere for hanging out, and the food’s always amazing.” ➋ Pho. “Egg Roll No. 1 is our local go-to.” ➌ Schwarzbiers. “I like how this traditional German beer style combines the roasted qualities of a stout or porter with the lighter body of a lager.” ➍ Rooster’s Kitchen. “This is the one place we know with a beer list, so we can always pair a great one with our food.” 

For Nicole Oesch’s easy beer bread recipe, click here
Terry Kirts joined Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in journals and anthologies including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the 2011 collection To the Refrigerator Gods.
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