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Black Swan Brewpub
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Active Beers: 13
Beer Ratings: 45
Beer Avg: 4.01
Taps: 14 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
2067 E Hadley Rd.
phone: (317) 838-7444
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vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$
Visited 5/21/2011 Returned 8/6/2011 for house beer.
A newer brewpub in the area, black swan was still in the process of getting their house brews going when I first visited, but had a nice offering of local and regional taps. Second visit was for their beer, which after that visit, caused their overall rating to drop.
The atmosphere is nothing special, just your normal brewpub in a stripmall. There's separate dining, bar, and patio areas, with the patio situated off to the side basically in the parking lot.
As mentioned, they have a good selection of Indy, Indiana, and regional brews on tap. I believe they rotate some new taps in every week, so the selection should stay fresh and interesting. I hope in the future they pull kegs from wider afar. Ours beers tasted fresh, so there were no issues there. My only issue was the glassware, and it's nitpicking, but our beers were either served in pints or samplers and not appropriate for what we ordered. Like I said, nitpicking, but to me black swan is trying to position itself as an intelligent upscale brewpub and should execute things like this. Maybe when they start brewing they'll fix this.
House beers 8/6/201- Came in to try a growler of their house beer and was pretty disappointed. I sampled 4 of their beers: ESB, Hefeweizen, dry-hopped pale ale, and the IPA. The IPA and pale ale had no balance at all and were overly bitter with no flavor, the ESB was okay, and the hefe was a bit thin and off on the mouthfeel- the flavors were there, but just not strong enough. Hopefully they fix these things as the brewpub matures. While it's great they have started brewing their own beer, it means that it takes away from what was an excellent on-tap offering of local/regional beers.
Service was good. Our waiter was attentive, but not annoying. He was knowledgable about their beers and food, and was educated enough to make informed suggestions.
The menu at black swan is kind of a notch above typical brewpub fare. I had the stuffed burger, which tasted good, but seemed skimpy: bun, burger, pico de gallo. I would've preferred the salsa be replaced by lettuce, tomato, and onion. My gf's tropical salad was "disgusting" in her words and I can't say it looked that great and it seemed to have an odd combo of items.
The food and beer are a little overpriced. Paid $6 for a pint and $3 for a sample sized beer. I don't mind paying that price for something that came a long way, but not for local stuff.
Some small complaints aside, I would likely visit again depending on what they currently had on tap or when they finally start brewing their own. For now I'm going to keep exploring the scene.
05-22-2011 16:41:15 |
More by Luckytiki
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5 | $$$
Edit July 1, 2011
The black swan tapped their first beers today. Double pale ale and Scottish ale. The beers were simply not ready. Carbonation had not finished, sort of like my home brew before it gets a dose of priming sugar. Both beers were very cloudy, very worty, and just plain flat. That being said I look forward retrying these on the next batch. Really the taste was there but they were rushed to the tap. If you have never had 'raw' beer, it might be worth the trip. Sorta like raw peanuts though, much better fully roasted with a pinch of salt.
My overall rating of the Black Swan takes a slight hit. Still waiting on the first batch.
Best beer selection on the west side. Simply great! Seriously, Hopslam, Brugge Brasserie Quad, Elector Imperial Red Ale and on and on. I am hoping that they will keep a couple of the best guest beers after they start to brew their own. My only compliant is that the beer is served on the cold side.
Atmosphere - not fancy but serviceable, the actual service bar is a bit on the small side. I think 8 seats. Room for improvement but lets spend our capital on the beer end of the business.
Serving staff - good. Mostly on the young side, still learning about "real" beer.
Food can be hit or miss. Fries are one of their main appetizers. Taste like Dairy Queens fries with fancy spices to me. Send the cook up to Brugge Brasserie to see how its done! Stuffed peppadew peppers were outstanding but pricey. Buffalo burger was good, but again, the crappy fries. Also all of the breads have a cheap quality to them, right off the supermarket shelf. . Meatloaf was good but on the dry side the night I had it.. Locally sourced food where possible, which translates into better ingredients and a higher price.
You want good beer go to the Black Swan.
You want a chicken sandwich, tenderloin, hamburger, or other typical pub fare, go on to Three Pints up the road.
01-30-2011 04:34:32 |
More by w22011
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
The Black Swan is located near the airport in a strip mall. It is walking distance from a bunch of hotels, which makes it a great fit for a person traveling through the area.
The bar area is small, while the regular food area is probably 80% of the space. I sat at the bar and enjoyed some soccer and basketball while chatting it up with the clientle.
The staff is nice, but all the ladies (waitstaff) seemed to be having a tiff that night. The bartender was very happy to offer a sample before I tried anything. However, I noticed most of the glassware was dirty/greasy which detracted and kept the head to a minimum.
The brewer obviously knows what he is doing. The lines were clean and the beers were well done. I would have liked to see them a bit clearer as all the beers I had were cloudy. (minor point)
The food was EXCELLENT! The rueben was maybe the best I'ver ever had. Everything else I had was great and other plates looked and smelled great as well.
Overall, this is a place to hit if you have a flight the next morning and are looking for a nice pint and great food. However, I can't say it is the best place to hit in Indy. Since they are relatively new, I'm guessing they will smooth out the rough edges in the months and years to come.
05-21-2012 02:32:56 |
More by ndolover
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I have been to the Black Swan on three other occasions. That was before they started selling their own brews. I was able to sample some of their beers and food tonight.
The atmosphere is relaxing and typical of a brew pub. It is a comfortable place to drink and eat. The wait staff has generally been attentive and knowledgeable about their offerings.
I had one of their Old Ales and a cream stout tonight. I enjoyed both and will review them separately. I sampled a few other beers and was pleased with their offerings. Prior to the availability of their own brews they had been offering a very good selection of local and regional beers. The choices are not as broad as they were, but are still good choices.
The food is another matter. I have had some disappointments and some very agreeable dishes. Tonight, I had the house salad, frites, and a mushroom tart. It was good. I felt the mushrooms were a little tough, but the rest of the dinner was toothsome.
This place is developing its own character. I will be returning.
09-04-2011 03:35:24 |
More by Badbobx
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This is a very hopeful review. As of this writing this is THE PLACE to go on the west side of Indianapolis if you want Indiana beer on tap - no place else closeby has more than one local tap - Black Swan has more than ten. As the other reviewer wrote they are currently not brewing on site - licensing is pending and according to the brewer they hope to be serving their own beer by April to June of next year.
We visited late on their opening day and were lucky enough to have good conversations with both the chef and head brewer/owner. The menu is definitely different from most brewpubs. You won't find nacos, burgers or fish and chips - typical beer drinking comfort foods. They do have some creative alternatives. The stuffed mini-pepper appetizer was creative and tasty, but the portion was small. I found the "frites" dissapointing in execution. The entree selection was interesting and I do look forward to trying a couple after I save up a little cash. I hope the menu doesn't outpace the audience.
I really want to see this place succeed and I am looking forward to tasting the results of their brewing when the time comes. In the meantime I will be stopping in every chance I get to enjoy some of my favorite Indiana beers that are sure nice to have on tap in the Indy West/Hendricks County/Airport neighborhood.
10-21-2010 00:20:06 |
More by treepaul
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
As soon as I walked in the very nice bartender greeted me and she said to sit anywhere I wanted. I sat at the bar and looked at what they had on tap a couple highlights Hopslam, Sun King Grapefruit Jungle, BBC bourbon barrel stout. I ordered a SK Grapefruit Jungle and the Italian Beef sandwich w/fries. The sandwich was good but IMO it was a little overpriced. One nice thing I didn't even ask for it but when my sandwich was brought out the waitress brought me a side of pepper dew aioli. The thing that I would like for them to do is to keep an updated list of what they have on tap. On the website it just gives what breweries they sometimes have on tap. I cant wait for them to start brewing.
01-31-2011 16:07:41 |
More by phisigben
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I have been holding off my review of Black Swan until their house brews were on tap, and now that I have been there and tried them, I am happy to report how good a brewpub it is!
Decent atmosphere, fairly open with nearly comfortable seating. Seems to try and balance an upscale eatery with a beer bar. I would pick one. While the atmosphere is the pub's worst attribute, it's still a nice and wonderfully clean place.
Good quality, everything I had was tasty and as it should be; beer and food.
Excellent service! My server/bartender did an excellent job, even though she was slammed. One of the cooks stopped and talked Terry Pratchet for a moment ( I was reading Reaper Man.) other servers did come on and all were friendly and prompt.
Beer selection was great, too! Between house and guest brews, you were set. House old ale and guest cider, which I have never seen before. All of good or better rating.
All in all it is a very nice brewpub. Definitely worth a stop. Food is a little pricy, but everything I have had (salad, desert, and jerk pulled chicken) has been very tasty.
10-04-2011 22:02:08 |
More by JamesS
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The beer was a real eye opener for me. I was antcipating it after seeing the owner/brewmaster on the PBS show Hoosier Craft Beer. You have to go to New Albanian in New Albany, IN, Three Floyds in Munster or Rock Bottom, W 86th St, Indianapolis to get a comparable craft brew. Now finally I have what I want on the west side Indianapolis.
I tried 7 different ales and they were all very good to excellent. The do have a unique beer that is brewed with maple syrup and it was very good. Here is my overall review:
A - All the beers had good color and good lacing especially the double IPA.
S - From the Stout to the Belgium Tripple, they all had a nice aroma and I believe this is due to the quality malt ingredients from the UK and Belgium.
T - Once the flavors hit the palate it you knew that the brewmaster is on his "A" game.
O - Great beer and good pricing is always a good thing. Try this place out and you will not be disappointed.
10-24-2011 19:08:16 |
More by btaylorgtr
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Holy crap Batman!!!! They don't have their own beers going yet but the beer selection was awesome! I'm in from Texas visiting, and most of the other patrons as we got to talking were from out of town too, softball tournament, funeral, someone looking for the winery across the highway. Didn't try the food, but did the sampler, $3.50 for 5 beers, $7 for 10, bartender was great, very attentitve. This is one of the only places I have seen that actually do half-pints which is really nice when drink barrel aged strong ales! Highly recommend, can't wait to come back and try the house beer.
04-08-2011 21:50:25 |
More by schoolcb
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$$
The first two things we ordered from the menu were not available, but the chef came out to the table, apologized, and we had a nice chat about the philosophy behind the place. Stuffed pepper appetizer was phenomenal, and the meatloaf was a revelation. Good service. Food is locally sourced, and the pub prides itself on being family friendly.
Gastro-pub is probably the best label: great food, excellent regional and national beer, as well as a carefully selected collection of Scotch whiskies, American bourbons, and other micro- and nano- distilled rare spirits available in generous drinks or 1oz taster flights of multiple distillations.
If you are headed out of Indianapolis Airport or traveling west along I-70 (exit 22 to IN-267), this is well worth a stop. I think it will become a destination in its own right, particularly when it starts brewing. Highly recommended.
Sixteen taps; the list for April 5-15 included: Tyranena Bitter Woman IPA, Founder's Dirty Bastard, Mad Anthony's Auburn Lager, Singlewide IPA, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Brugge's Bokken Ryder, Goose Island Matilda, and Flat12 Blonde (the newest Indiana craft brewer: their IPA is next to be tapped). Beer available in pints (20oz), half-pints (10oz), 3oz flights of 5 or 10, and 1oz teasers.
My only quibble is that it's a new place, so there's no patina, no history in this strip mall gastro-pub. Dark stained wood moves in the right direction, but it's all so -new- and shiny. Highly recommended.
04-10-2011 00:14:24 |
More by salvo
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