TASTE TEST: 18th Street Brewery may have Northwest Indiana's best salad

The mixed green salad is served at 18th Street Brewery in Hammond.

Earlier this year, 18th Street Brewery in Hammond brought in chef Andrew Dering, who has worked at the Michelin Star-winning Longman & Eagle in Logan Square and Dusek's Board and Beer in Pilsen.

He reinvented the menu at the hip, artsy brewpub at 5417 Oakley Ave. in downtown Hammond, adding elegance and sophistication to pub favorites like burgers and poutine. 18th Street now offers many standouts like steak frites, beef tenderloin tartare and a selection of meats that are cured and smoked in house.

The brewery, which also operates a taproom in Gary's Miller neighborhood, is revered for beers like it's Ed-PA extra-dimensional English India Pale Ale, Candi Crushable Pale Ale and Hunter Stout vertical series, but the food is so fantastic you'd be remiss not to try it during a visit, even if you just planned to grab a beer. 

The Mixed Green Salad, an elegantly plated affair like you'd see at a fine dining restaurant, may arguably be the best salad in Northwest Indiana. 

Fresh mixed greens are lightly dressed in Green Goddess dressing and blanketed with a sprinkling of lemon zest. Shaved fennel and shaved radish provide crunch and texture in every bite. Parmesan crisps add an airy, flavorful crispiness with just the right hint of saltiness.

You can drag the lettuce through refined dollops of honey infused with 18th Street's Boujee Juice, a Double Dry Hopped New England Style Double India Pale Ale with juicy, tropical flavors. 

It's a sublime salad that costs $8, and the only drawback is there's not an entree version with chicken or some other protein.

For more information, visit 18thstreetbrewery.com or call (219) 803-0820.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.