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Home » Featured Trip

Planning a beer road trip to the Final Four

Submitted by on March 31, 2010 – 10:00 amOne Comment

Courtesy of visitindy.comIf you are a beer-loving basketball fan or an alumni taking a road trip to this weekend’s Final Four games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, you’d best pack your cooler and plan to tailgate – no beer will be sold in the arena. NCAA rules prohibit it.

Alumni who want to stay true to their schools can ice down some beer locally produced near the colleges’ homes. Here are some suggestions, for those of legal drinking age.

If you’re fan of the Butler Bulldogs:

The homer in this tournament, Butler University is based in Indianapolis, home of many brewpubs and breweries such as Alcatraz Brewing Company, Barley Island Brewing,  and Sun King Brewery.  There’s a more complete list at the bottom of this post.

If you’re a fan of the Michigan State Spartans:

Michigan State University calls East Lansing, Michigan, home. jeffwilcox's photostream The state boasts dozens of microbreweries and brewpubs. Among them, Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo distributes throughout the Southeast and Midwest (and Arizona!) making it one of the biggest microbreweries east of the Rockies. Other popular Michigan brewers include Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, based in Traverse City; New Holland Brewing in the city of Holland; and Michigan Brewing Co. in Webberville.

If you’re fan of the West Virginia Mountaineers:

West Virginia University fans and alumni can pack some brews from Mountain State Brewing Co.,  based in Thomas, which distributes throughout the state; or Mountaineer Brewing Co. in Martinsburg. Morgantown Brewing Co., which operates a brewpub in Morgantown – WVU’s home city – sells its beer for carry-out, but only in half-gallon growlers.

If you’re fan of Duke:

Duke University is in Durham, North Carolina. The Tarheel State is in the midst of a craft-brewing boom, especially in such hotspots as Asheville, the home base for brands from Highland Brewing Co., which distributes in several Southern states; and French Broad Brewing Co.

WHEN YOU’RE IN INDY …

It appears there are still hotel rooms available. The good folks at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association have posted a convenient list of available area lodging. .

The main parking lots for Lucas Oil Stadium will be mostly reserved for NCAA personnel, media, university officials and other such folks. But fear not, tailgaters! There are more than 50 garages and lots within just a six-block walk of Lucas Oil Stadium. You can find links and contact info here if you want to call ahead of time to make sure the facility is tailgate-friendly.

A quartet of brew-friendly restaurants has each adopted a team for fans to meet and gather before and after the games.

FAN ACTIVITIES

Outside of the arena, Indianapolis will offer a plethora of activities for visiting fans. You can check them out here.

A host of local attractions are offering discounted admissions during the festivities. Check it out here.

THE ‘HOOSIERS’ CONNECTION

Courtesy of visitindy.comThe final scenes in the movie “Hoosiers,” starring Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper, were filmed at Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse — the site of the famous 1954 Indiana high school state championship game on which the movie is modeled (pitting tiny Milan High School against the powerhouse Muncie Central).  A few minutes away from the Fieldhouse, there’s a small mom and pop type bar/restaurant called Plump’s Last Shot, owned by Bobby Plump, the man who actually hit the last-second shot featured in the movie.  The cool thing is you can usually find him out back one or two nights a week shooting baskets with his patrons during nice weather!

THE INDIANAPOLIS BEER SCENE

Thanks to the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association for this list of breweries, brewpubs and other beer-friendly restaurants. As always, drink responsibly. Take a taxi, choose a designated driver or take advantage of Indianapolis’ public transportation system.

Alcatraz Brewing Co.

Circle Centre Mall

49 W. Maryland St. Suite 104

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 488-1230

Barley Island

701 Broad Ripple Ave

Indianapolis, IN 46220

(317)257-5600

The Broad Ripple Brewpub

840 E 65th St
Indianapolis, IN 46220

(317) 253-2739

Brugge Brasserie

1011 E Westfield Blvd # A

Indianapolis, IN 46220

(317) 255-0978

Claddagh Irish Pub

234 S Meridian St

Indianapolis, IN 46225

(317) 838-6274

Ram Restaurant & Brewery

140 South Illinois St.

Indianapolis, IN 43225

(317) 955-9900

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery

10 West Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 681-8180

Sun King Brewing

135 N. College Ave

Indianapolis, IN 46202

(317) 602-3702

Upland Tasting Room

4842 N. College Ave

Indianapolis, IN

(317) 602-3931

Ale Emporium

8617 Allisonville Rd

Indianapolis, IN 46250

(317) 842-1333

Beer Sellar

6466 East 82nd St.

Indianapolis, IN 46250

(317) 849-2739

Buffalo Wild Wings

7 East Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 951-9464

Chumley’s Beer House

838 Broad Ripple Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46220

(317) 466-1555

MacNiven’s Restaurant and Bar

339 Massachusetts Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 632-7268

The Rathskeller

401 East Michigan St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 636-0396

Shallos Restaurant and Brewhouse

8811 Hardegan St.

Indianapolis, IN 46227

(317) 882-7997

Disclaimer: In no way, shape or form is the National Collegiate Athletic Association involved with or a sponsor of this post or its contents.

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