Come to Broad Ripple for the Thr3e Wise Men, stay for Brugge! This was definitely the centerpiece of the day. The metallic art deco entrance makes the warm atmosphere inside a pleasant surprise. Before I can even get to the beer, I gotta highlight the food.
Let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t fill up before the brasserie. The food all has french names, so I felt smart when my friends and I ordered the ‘Charcuterie Medley’ (a selection of cheeses, pâté (see?) and sausages). But I don’t care what conglomerate calls me pretentious when the food is this good. The platter was a spectrum of tastes from sweet veggies to spicy mustards and sausages, and it all complemented itself and the beer in a delicious lattice. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to order mayo with my fries (pardon me, frites). I know it’s the norm in Belgium but I…I just can’t.
Even so, the beer is the real reason to visit Brugge. Tripel de Ripple is their staple (you’ll find it at most every beer fest they attend), and it only gets better from there. Belgian styles of course dominate the menu but if that gives you pause, it shouldn’t. This is the place you visit to make sure it’s your preferences that are turning you away, and not just some iffy beers you tried before.
Dark saison with cherry? Check.
Flanders brown ale with raspberry? Check.
Patersbier, a more ‘sessionable’ approach to belgian brewing that I may or may not have had to look up? Check.
But my favorite was definitely Pooka, an American sour with boysenberry. It seemed to hit the sweet spot between sour beers that are basically Warheads (Three Floyds, I’m looking at you) and the weak stuff.
Indianapolis has a lot of great beer, but Brugge Brasserie currently reigns supreme in my book. Even so, my day wasn’t over yet.