18th Street Brewery has been racking up awards and accolades since 2013, when RateBeer ranked it as the best new brewery in Indiana.
Earlier this year, Men's Journal named 18th Street's Hunter Vanilla Double Milk Stout as one of the 50 best beers in America.
Now Drew Fox's craft brewery — which has locations in downtown Hammond and Gary's Miller neighborhood, as well as a distillery and the spin-off Sour Note Brewing — is up for another honor. It's one of 20 finalists for USA Today's Best Brewpub in America and is the only representative from Northwest Indiana or the state at large.
"Indiana's 18th Street Brewery brews up several varieties of beer in their Hammond brewpub, including Imperial Blud Imperial Russian stout, Temporal Purgatory pale ale, Here Comes the Wolf old ale and Sex and Candy American IPA," according to USA Today. "The brewpub also serves pub grub and dinner menus with house-baked bread and pastries."
The top 20 brewpubs in the country were named by a panel of experts, including the award-winning critic Gary Monterosso, The Hop Review co-founder Jack Muldowney, Bon Beer Voyage CEO Ruth Berman, and world-renowned beer authority and award-winning journalist Dennis Malcolm Byron, who's also known as Ale Sharpton.
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The public will narrow it down by voting online for USA Today's 10 Best in the People's Choice Award.
18th Street Brewery stands in prestigious company that mainly hail from much larger cities or are nationally distributed. The other finalists include Root Down Brewing Co. from Pennsylvania, Orono Brewing Co. from Maine, Old Irving Brewing Co. from Chicago, Urban Village Brewing Co. from Philadelphia, Wayfinder Beer from Portland, Oregon, Wrecking Bar Brewpub from Atlanta, Ballast Point Little Italy from San Diego, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. from San Diego, Torched Hop from Atlanta, Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery from Chicago, Hopstix from George, Brink Brewing Co. from Cincinnati, Russian River Brewing Company from California, Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company from Texas, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats from Delaware, Brewery Bhavana from Raleigh, Edmund's Oast from Charleston, Ocean Beach Brewery from San Diego, and HighSide Brewing from Colorado.
"This is really hard for us to put this into words, with a field of so many great brewpubs on the list it’s mind-blowing," Fox said. "We have two small brewpubs in Northwest Indiana, each unique in their own way and servicing a need for craft beer and food. At the end of the day, we want to have fun and take care of not only the people but the communities that we do business in. This is truly an honor and shows that the hard work we do every day is paying off."
People are allowed to vote once per day through March 25 at 10best.com/awards/travel/best-brewpub-2019.
The winners will be announced April 5.