Back Road – In business since 1996, Back Road is today much as it ever was, brewing from the ground floor of a century-old warehouse tucked just off the main strip in LaPorte. This production brewery doesn’t have a taproom per se, but does open its doors to the public on Thursday and Saturday afternoons. Back Road brews a variety of styles depending on the season, all served fresh from the brewery taps without pasteurization or preservatives.

Bulldog – Nestled on 119th Street in the heart of Whiting, Bulldog features a family-friendly taproom and restaurant that’s open seven days a week, with a full food menu for lunch and dinner. Celebrating the blue collar worker (the brewmaster and owner is a full-time steelworker), the brewery offers a variety of year-round and seasonal offerings, along with guest taps. If your better half isn’t a fan of craft beer, the bar serves cocktails and wine in addition to their beer offerings.

Burn ‘Em – Burn ‘Em was established in 2013, and initially was only available on tap in restaurants and bars. This changed in May 2015, when they opened a small tasting room at the brewery located on the east side of Michigan City. Now open seven days a week, the to-go shop sells cans and growlers, and features an adjacent beer patio set under the trees. Not kid friendly, however, and with only limited food offerings. Burn ‘Em’s brews are creative, and often include non-traditional ingredients covering the spectrum of beer styles.

Byway – The newest entrant to the Region craft beer scene, Byway opened in February 2016. It’s hard to miss this brewery, with an easily-accessible location just off the Borman at Kennedy Avenue. Brewing from a state-of-the-art 20 barrel brewhouse, Byway initially focused on true-to-style ales, but has recently began to expand their offerings to include more aggressively-hopped brews. Byway has a family-friendly atmosphere, with a full food menu ranging from finger food to full-on entrées. Wine is also available for the craft beer challenged.

Crown – Located just off the square in Crown Point, the brewery opened in 2008. The tap room is attached to the adjacent Carriage Court Pizza restaurant, and food and drink are available from one to the other. Open seven days, and family friendly, although family seating is limited to the Carriage Court dining room. Crown brews a variety of styles year round, but also dabbles in the dark arts of higher abv and barrel aged brews, most notably their Grand Poobah Russian Imperial Stout.

Figure Eight – Starting in 2010 with a simple tasting room / brewery operation located on the outskirts of Valparaiso, Figure Eight (aka F8, see what they did there?) soon made the jump to a prominent location on the southeast corner of the square downtown. Brewing six year-round brews, Figure 8 also offers a variety of 30 seasonal offerings, including some barrel-aged specialties. The family friendly brewpub offers a variety of flatbreads, burgers, and sandwiches, but no wine or cocktails. The brewpub is closed Monday and Tuesday.

Four Fathers – Taking over the former home (and brewhouse) of Figure Eight, Four Fathers opened in 2014. With limited seating and a snack-only food menu, Four Fathers is all about the beer, delivering a variety of styles, including harder-to-find Belgian styles like gose, among others, as well as annual limited releases of bottles of their barrel-aged stouts Vikings Funeral and Wheelhouse. Taking the next step, Four Fathers is now offering limited releases of their beers in cans. The taproom is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Hunter’s – A small-batch or “nano” brewery, Hunter’s creates their beers in one-barrel batches. With this small scale comes rapid-change variety, as the brews are constantly rotating. Small batch brewing also allows them the freedom to try unique styles and ingredients, so you never know what they’ll have on tap. Their friendly taproom is located just off of Route 49 in Chesterton, and is open seven days a week. The vegan-friendly kitchen offers a limited menu of appetizers and sandwiches, but alas, the taproom is not child friendly.

Ironwood – located just east of downtown Valparaiso, Ironwood opened their doors in August 2013. This small-batch brewery (3 barrel system) primarily features true-to-style malt-forward beers, but with the occasional barrel-aged or Belgian-style thrown in for variety. The tasting room is just that – no food is offered, and the room is not child-friendly, with the focus on enjoying the brews and conversation. Open seven days, though!

New Oberpfalz – Just celebrating their two year anniversary in December, New Oberpfalz in Griffith has made their mark by offering a selection of German ales and lagers, including their flagship Helles lager (and most popular beer), a black lager (Schwarzbier), and even a smoked lager (Rauchbier). Hopheads need worry not, though, as the brewery typically also has a handful of hop-forward IPA or DIPA brews on tap. Food is available in a cozy family-friendly pub room, and children are welcome. The brewpub doesn’t offer wine or cocktails, and is closed on Mondays.

Pokro – Also located in Griffith, Pokro opened in February 2015, and specializes in Belgian, English, and other European beer styles. The brewpub is 21 and over only, and serves a small food menu focusing on Polish food such as pierogi and golabki. Closed on Monday, the large brewpub features a cozy front bar room, with a large game room in the rear, where you can get throw bags, throw darts, and listen to the jukebox.

Route 2 – Filling a void in the south Lake County beer universe, Route 2 opened in November 2014, taking shape in a downtown Lowell warehouse. The small batch brewery has year-round offerings including a hefeweizen, English bitter, and several IPAs. The tasting room is 21 and over, and does not offer food. The tasting room is not open on Tuesday and Wednesday.

St. John Malt Brothers – Opening in February 2015, St. John Malt Brothers (let’s just say STJB for short, ok?) operates a small tasting room adjacent to their 15-barrel production brewery on US 41 in St. John. The tap room offers a wide variety of SJMB beer, as well as appetizers, sandwiches and panini. SJMB brews a wide variety of creative beer styles, and their brews are available in cans and bottles throughout the Region. Closed on Monday, and 21 and over only.

Shoreline – With a location proximate to the Lake Michigan beachfront, Shoreline is a popular destination in Michigan City. The family-friendly restaurant and brewery is open seven days a week, and opened in 2005, serving year-round favorites such as their Beltaine Scottish ale, as well as one-time and seasonal brews. Shoreline also has an extensive barrel aging program. An expansion of the kitchen and outdoor beer garden is underway, and is anticipated to have a summer-2017 opening.

The Devil’s Trumpet – Located in an industrial park just east of the mall on US 30, Devil’s Trumpet opened in 2014. The brewery offers a variety of ales, porters, and stouts, with several very-seasonable brews under 6.0-% abv usually available. The brewery taproom is a comfortable and large space, with an adjacent outdoor beer garden. The tap room is 21 and over, and is open seven days a week. Food is not currently being served, but plans are in the works for food to be available in the future.

Three Floyds – Since its founding in 1996, Three Floyds has focused on being “not normal” and they’ve succeeded by any measure. Consistently ranked as one of the best craft brewers in America, their beers have been on the forefront of the craft beer explosion since day 1. Their Munster brewpub is a gastronauts delight, serving a unique and changing menu of appetizers and entrees, paired with twenty taps of always-changing craft beer. The pub is open seven days a week, and is family friendly, but does not serve cocktails. Because of its national popularity, oftentimes there’s a queue of folks waiting to get in – but it’s worth the wait!

Wildrose – Opening in March 2015, Wildrose grew from five friends who got their start brewing with and for each other in their garages, to a seven barrel brewhouse and taproom located in Griffith. Not bad! Recently adding in-house made sandwiches and burgers, Wildrose is now also open seven days a week. The brewery is 21 and over only, and features a 1,000 square foot covered outdoor patio that is an in-season destination for fun. Featuring straight-ahead American pales and IPAs, Wildrose also offers full-bodied stouts and the occasional seasonal.

Windmill – Opening in August 2015, Windmill operates from a warehouse / taproom located just south of US 30 in Dyer. Brewing from a small batch system, Windmill offers a variety of styles, and while they offer the traditional pales and IPAs, they are also willing to try their hand at most anything, from a sour to a saison to a Belgian-style. Food is not available, but you’re free to bring in food from outside. Their 21-and-over tasting room is open six days, but is closed on Sundays.
18th Street – Opening their doors in December 2013, 18th Street started out brewing on a three barrel system out of a storefront in the Miller section of Gary. Receiving critical acclaim and popular demand for their beer, 18th Street has now expanded to a 32,000 sf warehouse building in downtown Hammond, which features a new 15-barrel brewhouse, along with a restaurant featuring appetizers, sandwiches, and burgers. Both locations are family-friendly, although food service is no longer offered at the Gary location. The Hammond location is open seven days; Gary is currently closed on Monday.