Popular Southern Indiana brewpub expected to open before 100th running of Indianapolis 500
Speedway, Ind. – The Speedway Redevelopment Commission gathered today with owners of Big Woods Brewing Co. to break ground on the construction of Big Woods Speedway at the corner of 10th and Main streets.
As part of the celebration, the four co-owners put up the iconic 15- by 10-foot Big Woods sign, toasted the beginning of construction and gave away gift cards as a parting gift for those who attended. In addition, guests enjoyed samples of Big Woods’ most popular menu items and craft beers, which will be featured at the new restaurant.
Big Woods Speedway, which will feature a 7,500-square-foot restaurant and 10,000-square-foot beer garden, is the third Big Woods location in Indiana. Co-owner Jeff McCabe says it will take the best of what it has developed in its Nashville and Bloomington locations to create a destination experience for residents and the millions of visitors who come to Speedway annually.
“Big Woods Speedway serves as an impressive anchor to Main Street’s south end,” said Vince Noblet, president of the Speedway Redevelopment Commission. “The opening of its award-winning restaurant will result in positive growth for the Town of Speedway. We also really appreciate their commitment to creating a festive customer experience and believe that will play very well in Speedway.”
Town Council President David Lindsey said Big Woods Speedway will offer further diversity to Main Street businesses and increase visitors to the area.
“Big Woods’ craft beer and inspired menu will add a new layer of fine dining and entertainment options to our growing list of Main Street businesses and restaurants – all of which will encourage even more families to visit Speedway,” he said.
Big Woods Speedway expects to create 75 jobs when it opens next year. Its goal is to be fully operational just in time for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
“We were drawn to the iconic nature and historic destination of the Town of Speedway, which is well-placed in the Big Woods/Quaff ON! distribution area,” said McCabe. “We could immediately see the vision for community revitalization and wanted to be a part of it.”
The new location will serve a full menu, including artisanal pizza and smoked pork nachos made famous at Big Woods’ Nashville restaurant. New to Speedway will be Chef Dan Nichols’ Triple B Burger, the winner in the James Beard Foundation’s Better Burger Project, which featured chefs from across the nation. The part beef/part mushroom burger can be paired with Big Woods’ best-in-class craft beer selection, including brews from the group’s Quaff ON! brewery in Bloomington, as well as with Foyt Family Wines and other spirits.
Customers can keep track of the project by watching a live construction video feed on bigwoodsspeedway.com and follow @BWSpeedway. To get a better taste of what’s to come, Big Woods beer school is offered every Saturday at 11 a.m. in Nashville. The group meets in front of the Big Woods Brewing Company, located at the corner of Honeysuckle and Molly’s Lane. Admission is $5, or $10 including a pint glass.
About Speedway Redevelopment Commission
The SRC consists of five volunteers appointed by the Speedway Town Council. Using input from the entire community, the commission is charged with developing a plan to revitalize a 700-acre area, including Speedway’s Main Street and the large area to the northwest termed Area 2. More information about the SRC is available at www.speedwayindiana.com.
Race cars aren’t the only vehicles hitting the world-famous oval track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. For the first time, the Racing Capital of the World welcomes the 23rd annual national motor scooter rally, Amerivespa, from June 11-14.
Hundreds of scooter enthusiasts, or scooterists, from across the country and around the world will be racing to Speedway for a weekend of events sponsored by the Vespa Club of America (VCOA), The North American Racing Association (NASRA) and the Indy Scooter Club (Indy SC) to promote scooter culture here in Indianapolis.
“We’re really excited to show off Indianapolis,” says Chris Sublett, president of Indy SC. “Indianapolis has a strong scooter culture and we’ve been working really hard to plan an event that will show off the best of our city. Also, we would like to give a special thank you to the dedicated employees and officials of Speedway, IN. They’ve made Main Street the perfect place to hold so many of our amazing activities.”
The event kicks off at 9 a.m. Thursday morning with a scenic ride through the hills of southern Indiana. Participants will mingle at a meet-and-greet inside the Dallara IndyCar Factory at Lino’s Italian Café Thursday evening. Then, on Friday, the riders will take part in a Poker Run leading them to the IMS for a lap on the famous track and will conclude the evening with a party at Radio Radio & Revolucion. On Saturday, the scooterists will make an appearance in the Indiana Pride Parade. While crossing the finish line on Main Street in Speedway, riders can compete in a gymkhana course to showcase their scooter skills.
“A ride around the Indy 500 Track is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Jac Carolan, president of VCOA. “Indy SC’s passion for riding and raising scooter awareness was also very evident in their proposal.”
“NASRA looks forward to having the opportunity to showcase scooter racing in a gymkhana format,” says Jeremy Hall, president of NASRA. “It allows us to try some new things and expand on the traditional layout. We’re stoked to have the opportunity!”
In addition to riding on the track, activities will include organized tours of the city, a vendor marketplace, evening hangouts and a formal banquet.
“It is a complete privilege to bring such a popular, long-standing national event to Speedway,” said David Lindsey, Speedway Town Council president. “This is an iconic location for Vespa racing because of our rich sense of racing pride and history and strong ties with Italy – with Italian companies Lino’s Coffee and OMR Automotive having their only U.S. locations in Speedway. Large events like Amerivespa coming to Main Street further demonstrates that our community’s economic development is creating a place where people want to gather year round.”
For a full list of events and registration information, visit the Amerivespa event website,http://amerivespa.org/.
Forget the days when you bypassed Speedway’s Main Street during the month of May. Cool new places to eat and drink populate the avenue and more are coming soon. You’ll be visiting these spots even when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is quiet.
Pasta, cookies, scones, pizza, bread and pie. If it has to do with dough, this is the place to find it. All of it is made fresh, whether spaghetti to accompany meatballs in the cozy cafe or grab-and-go dough from the market to take home and use for your own culinary creations.
Liz’s pick: Chipotle spaghetti. A little smoke, a little heat, especially nice with Cajun-spiced shrimp.
Doors opened in 2006, but the place feels like an old standard. The stylish yet comfortable dining room reflects the menu. Steaks and seafood are hot tickets, but pasta, pot roast and old-fashioned meatloaf are options, too. Find salads and sandwiches at lunch.
Liz’s pick: The Friday and Saturday prime rib special. The 12-ounce cut costs $18.99. Pay $21.99 for the 14-ounce king cut.
Amy’s pick: Half-priced bottles of wine on Tuesday or half-priced martinis on Thursday. The Main Street martini seems fitting — Captain Morgan, Malibu Rum, Melon Schnapps, blue curacao and pineapple juice.
All wood all the time. Hickory, oak and cherry fill the cooker out back. Ribs, wings, brisket, sausage, pulled pork, pulled beef — the list is long. Meat cooked Memphis-style (meaning no sauce) lands on everything from nachos to sandwiches to platters complete with two sides. Three sauces on the table range from mild to pow!
Liz’s pick: Smoked and then deep-fried whole wings. Just-right smoke, crispy skin and a mere $1 each on Wednesday. These are my new favorite wings in Indy.
Amy’s pick: Whatever you want. Seriously. They have 61 bourbons, but co-owner David Huff told me that if they don’t have it, just ask and they’ll get it. “We have some bottles in here that only one person drinks.” He prefers Angel’s Envy or Blanton’s.
A true Italian coffee shop experience. It has to be. Lino’s is next door to the Italian Dallara Car Factory, and Italians are notoriously fussy about their coffee. They like more than just espresso. The menu defines and pictures each coffee drink, and the baristas are happy to help you pronounce names like “ciocchino.” Pizza, panini, pasta, Italian meat and cheese platters, gelato and cannoli are on the menu.
Liz’s pick: The Parma sandwich, mainly because that’s what Mario Andretti ordered when he ate here. Prosciutto, parmigiano-reggiano, lettuce and tomato fill crisp chewy Italian bread.
Amy’s pick: Morocco in the morning. Back on Friday for the tap takeover of local breweries — I’ll likely find something I haven’t tried before.
They don’t depend on the family name, A.J. Foyt IV told me. He’s right. These wines are good. Different product lines means there are options for everyone — and for every price point. Nibbles include select cheeses from Tulip Tree Creamery, meats from Smoking Goose and of course, chocolate from The Best Chocolate in Town. Not snooty here, ask the servers to help you with pairings.
Liz’s pick: I am going halfies with Amy on the 2010 No. 77 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. Mighty but smooth. Maybe I can talk her into a case.
Amy’s pick: Money is no object? Hello 2010 No. 77 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. At more than $80 a bottle, this is a special occasion red, but it’s worth it. It won the Double Gold Medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition two years in a row.
The Shelbyville production brewery is moving its operations to a 10,000-square-foot space on 2 acres. This time, they are adding a tasting room. Once open, stop in for a 4-pack, a growler, or the newest craft beer trend — a crowler, a monster 32-ounce can filled on the spot.
Liz’s pick: Vacation Kolsch. After a hot day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this crisp refresher is perfect. I like it with a little sprinkle of salt.
Amy’s pick: The original — and semi-finalist in the Star’s Malt Madness beer bracket tournament — I’ll take the Lift Off IPA. The West Coast style IPA is hoppy with a bit of sweetness.
Named for the year of the inaugural Indy 500, 1911’s some 300 seats will overlook two kart tracks, one for fun and one for serious drivers. Think neighborhood grill and family dining with an American menu, plus a few Irish, Italian and Mexican touches. Nine-time Indianapolis 500 starter and IndyCar Series veteran Sarah Fisher and her husband, Andy O’Gara, are behind the project.
Liz’s pick: I’m a kart nut, so looking forward to some friendly competition against Amy — and her buying the beer and burgers when I win.
Amy’s pick: Actually when I whip by Liz in my kart, she’ll be buying me an O’Gara’s Pub favorite, a twist on a Screwdriver. Normally just vodka and orange juice, theirs adds a splash of Sprite and grenadine.
An old-school diner awash in IndyCar memorabilia. See IndyCar drivers in photos on the walls and sitting in booths and chairs. Just about all of them visit at some point but don’t ask for autographs while they’re eating their bacon and eggs. House rules require drivers be left to enjoy meals in peace.
Liz’s pick: Pancakes, of course. Malt in the flour gently sweetens the fluffy disks topped with plenty of butter.
Dish out your favorite flavor — or two or three or more. Load on the toppings. Add a generous squeeze of caramel, chocolate or marshmallow sauce — better yet, hot fudge — and then head to the scale, the frozen yogurt scale that is. You pay by the ounce here, and it’s OK to go big. Someone’s sundae once weighed in at 2 1/2 pounds. Need a pick-me-up after? No problem. Hit the full-service coffee bar.
Liz’s pick: Pistachio frozen yogurt with hot fudge and a shot of espresso poured over it all.
Amy’s pick: I’m a sucker for peanut butter. I’m a minimalist when it comes to toppings — just some sprinkles or M&Ms.
Big Woods is known for its Quaff ON! craft brews including the porter-like Busted Knuckle and easy-drinking Six Foot Blonde. The restaurant’s pulled pork nachos are famous, too. Huge timbers will mark the entryway. A 10,000-square-foot beer garden is also planned.
Big Woods bringing its beer, BBQ nachos to Speedway
Liz’s pick: Pulled pork on anything. A smoky accent and mild pepper spice puts the tender pork’s flavor forward.
Amy’s pick: The Yellow Dwarf Dry Hopped American Wheat is my favorite. At 4.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), it’s light enough to sip on all day, but flavorful enough to keep my taste buds awake.
Follow Amy Haneline on Twitter and Instagram @amybhaneline and Facebook. Call her at (317) 444-6281. Follow Liz Biro on Twitter @lizbiro, Instagram @lizbirodish and Facebook. Call her at (317) 444-6264.
Big Woods Brewing Co. in Nashville, Ind., is known for its pulled pork nachos. Of the 900 pounds of pork the place blows through each week, 75 percent lands on tortilla chips, head chef Steve Beauchamp said. About 400 orders leave the kitchen over weekends.
When Indy Star beverage reporter Amy Hanelinewent to Big Woods to talk about the company’s Speedway location opening in spring 2016, I tagged along to find out what the nacho fuss was all about.
I grew up in eastern North Carolina, where pulled pork was born. I’ve seen fights break out and friendships ruined over botched “barbecue,” which is what North Carolinians call pulled pork. Most of what I find outside the state hardly matches the real thing. I usually politely decline the overseasoned, oversauced rag piles I’m offered.
Beauchamp surprised me.
A smoky accent and mild pepper spice puts the tender pork’s flavor forward, making me think Beauchamp might have a N.C. pedigree. Turns out, he’s from Detroit. Lots of pork, ribs and turkey smoking went on in his family’s backyard. “I started cooking for my parents when I was about 6,” Beauchamp said.
Here’s the effort he puts into all those nachos.
1. Pork butts, around 10 pounds each, are scored on the top and bottom ends.
2. Big Woods seasoning blend is rubbed all over the meat. The 12-ingredient recipe is a secret, but prominent flavors include garlic, onion, paprika and pepper.
3. The butts rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours, allowing the rub flavors to tenderize and permeate the meat.
4. Seasoned butts are loaded into a rotisserie, hardwood smoker that holds up to 300 pounds of pork butts. Hickory, cherry and sometimes pear wood goes into the smoker. The ratio is two parts hickory, one part cherry. The cherry and pear lend a little sweetness to the meat, Beauchamp said.
The pork butts cook at 275 degrees for 12 to 14 hours. “The crucial part is to evolve that smoke flavor. The key to low-and-slow cooking is you melt the fat so that the fat melts back into the meat, but you still get the spice blend. You’re not going to get a super-crunchy outside; it just kind of melts in your mouth,” Beauchamp said.
5. Cooks “enhance” Big Woods favorite barbecue sauce and prepare their own garlicky peppercorn Ranch-style dressing for the nachos’ garnish. Recipes are exact and never altered. Diners know when something is off, Big Woods co-owner Jeff McCabe said. When a past chef subbed in Hidden Valley Ranch, McCabe heard complaints. The chef found work elsewhere.
6. Cooked pork butts are removed from the smoker and pulled, not chopped, by hand while they’re hot. “We throw gloves on and just start pulling it, shredding it.” A single cook can pull a 300-pound batch in about an hour, Beauchamp said.
7. The shredded meat is refrigerated. For service, portions are gently reheated and seasoned with a little more of the dry rub before going on a bed of red, blue and yellow corn chips. You may also order a pulled pork sandwich or taco.
Amy Haneline, email@example.com:33 a.m. EDT April 23, 2015
Speedway is about to get its “quaff on.”
The town’s redevelopment committee has announced that a Big Woods Brewing Company will be built at the corner of 10th and Main streets. The 7,500 square-foot restaurant and beer garden is slated to open next spring.
It joins Daredevil Brewing and the Foyt Family Wine Vault as the latest to tap into the racing capital of the world.
Big Woods is known for its series of Quaff ON! craft brews including the porter-like Busted Knuckle and easy-drinking Six Foot Blonde. Others swear by the restaurant’s famous pulled pork BBQ nachos.
Whether its the beer — or nachos or bourbon or pizza — the atmosphere is meant for quaffing.
“Quaff means to drink heartily and with gusto,” said Jim Dunbar, customer advocate for Big Woods. “It has been used around here since Day One.”
Day One for Big Woods was in 2009, when a group of friends opened the tiny brew pub in Nashville. Since then, the company has steadily expanded, turning an old bowling alley into a production brewery and opening another location in Bloomington.
“The first day we opened, it was crazy,” said co-owner Jeff McCabe. “And it has never stopped.”
Big Woods Speedway will mimic the look of the original brewpub, but bigger, McCabe said. This includes the the rustic timber entryway and reclaimed barn wood interior.
Head brewer Mark Havens — a three-peat Indiana Brewer of the Year winner — will continue to make the beer in Nashville. Eight Quaff ON! beers will be on tap in Speedway, and another 16 taps will host a selection of guest beers.
Construction for Big Woods Speedway begins this summer. The commission expects it to create 75 new jobs, as well as become a destination for residents and the millions of visitors to the area each year. Like the Nashville location, Big Woods Speedway will have kid- and adult-friendly areas.
Five fun facts
1. A play on words, the brewery sells “Six Foot Blonde” tees that say “I Tapped That.”
2. The beer name “Busted Knuckles” came during the brewing process when a brewer literally busted his knuckles while making it.
3. Fancy yourself a craft beer expert? Ask to try to Blind Flight Challenge. If you guess correctly, you win a whole lot of bragging rights.
4. Quaff ON! did a collaboration brew with Upland where the hops flew in on a drone. Kid you not.
5. The Nashville location hosts “Beer School” every Saturday at 11 a.m. Learn about the brewing process — with samples.
Italian automotive suppliers OMR Automotive and Sirmax say they’re bringing operations to Indiana.
The announcement came Thursday during Gov. Mike Pence’s visit to the International Auto Show in Detroit.
OMR Automotive will invest $10 million into a new 43,000 square-foot facility on its 2.5-acre campus in Speedway.
“Indiana stands out as the ideal place for our North American home base, situated in Speedway, a town known the world over for its legacy in auto racing,” OMR chairman Marco Bonometti said. “Our team looked across the region for a place that would maximize growth opportunities for our world-class manufacturing operations, building parts in cars on roads all around the world today.”
Bonometti says OMR was impressed by the state’s tax structure and business climate. The company plans to begin hiring by the end of the year, creating up to 60 jobs by 2016.
Company Sirmax says it will bring its first North American production facility to Anderson, investing nearly $26 million into the new operation, which will sit on a portion of the former General Motors property.
Sirmax says it plans to invest $25 million in the project and wants to begin hiring beginning in September. The company hopes to add 50 jobs to the area by 2020.
Two Italian firms with strong ties to the automotive industry plan to start production operations in central Indiana with separate projects totaling more than $35 million and creating up to 110 jobs over the next several years, state officials announced Thursday morning.Joining Indiana Gov. Mike Pence at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, executives from both firms said Thursday they chose the locations in Speedway and Anderson for their proximity to the heart of the nation’s automotive sector.
OMR Automotive, a Brescia, Italy-based supplier for the Fiat Group, plans to locate its North American headquarters in Speedway, creating up to 60 jobs by 2016. And Cittadella, Italy-based Sirmax, a global supplier of plastic compounds and resins, intends to create a facility in Anderson, hiring up to 50 workers by 2020.
OMR said that it will spend $10 million to build and equip a 43,000-square-foot facility on a 2.5-acre campus located at 4355 Gillman St. The company also purchased an additional 2.5-acre parcel at 4743 Gillman St. for future expansion, according to state officials.
“Indiana stands out as the ideal place for our North American home base, situated in Speedway, a town known the world over for its legacy in auto racing,” said Marco Bonometti, chairman of OMR, in a prepared release. “Our team looked across the region for a place that would maximize growth opportunities for our world-class manufacturing operations, building parts in cars on roads all around the world today.”
In the new facility, OMR intends to machine and assemble automotive components for engines, transmissions and chassis. OMR will begin construction by April, and begin hiring employees by the end of the year for engineering, administration, production, quality control, and equipment mechanics positions.
OMR has 10 locations in Italy, as well as operations in India, China, Brazil and Morocco. The firm is a worldwide supplier for original equipment manufacturers in the Fiat Chrysler Group, including Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Jeep, Ferrari and Maserati. The company also serves automotive customers, including General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford and Toyota.
In Anderson, Sirmax plans to invest $25.6 million to build and equip a 140,000-square-foot facility on a 26.3-acre portion of property that formerly housed facilities for General Motors.
Expected to be operational by October, the plant will serve Sirmax’s automotive and appliance customers. Sirmax expects to produce 20,000 tons of plastic compounds and resins per year at the plant. It will begin hiring employees for engineering, administration, mechanics and production positions in September.
“My wish … is that this is only the first of many steps to increase the productive capacity of the Anderson plant,” said Massimo Pavin, chief executive officer of Sirmax.
Sirmax’s products include polypropylene compounds used in automobile interiors and exteriors, as well as in household appliances, including components for washing machines, dishwashers, dryers, refrigerators and freezers. Its customers include Whirlpool, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Siemens.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has agreed to support infrastructure improvements for both projects.
For the OMR facility, IEDC will provide the Speedway Redevelopment Commission with up to $1 million in infrastructure assistance from the state’s Industrial Development Grant Fund. For the Sirmax plant, it has offered up to $600,000 to the city of Anderson from the same fund.
Italy-based OMR Automotive, a tier 1 automotive supplier for the Fiat Group, will locate its North American headquarters in Speedway, Indiana, creating up to 60 new jobs by 2016.
OMR Automotive will invest $10 million to construct a 43,000 square-foot facility on its 2.5-acre campus located at 4755 Gillman Street in Speedway, which includes the installation of new equipment and advanced manufacturingtechnologies.
The company also purchased an additional 2.5 acres located at 4743 Gillman Street for future expansion. As OMR’s fifth location outside of Italy, the company expects to begin construction on its Speedway facility by April, with operations launching by the end of the year. The operation will house the company’s machining and assembling of automotive components for engines, transmissions and chassis.
“Indiana stands out as the ideal place for our North American home base, situated in Speedway, a town known the world over for its legacy in auto racing,” said Marco Bonometti, Chairman of OMR. “Our team looked across the region for a place that would maximize growth opportunities for our world-class manufacturing operations, building parts in cars on roads all around the world today. We were impressed with the tax structure and affordable business climate in Indiana, and look forward to a long future here.”
“OMR’s North American headquarters will be in great hands with Hoosiers in the driver’s seat,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Indiana’smotor vehicle industry is prominent around the world. Japanese companies like Toyota, Honda and Subaru helped launch the international automotive presence in Indiana that has multiplied in recent years to now include Italian companies like OMR, proving Indiana is a state that works for the automotive industry.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation will provide the Speedway Redevelopment Commission with up to $1 million in infrastructure assistance from the state’s Industrial Development Grant Fund. In addition, the town of Speedway and Speedway Redevelopment Commission will consider additional tax abatement.
“Given the town of Speedway’s racing history and automotive roots, it is a complete privilege to welcome such a well-known and successful international industry leader to open its first and only headquarters in North America,” said David Lindsey, Speedway Town Council President.