The Northern Indiana Beer Trail began as an idea among local breweries as a way to support one another and encourage beer enthusiasts and newbies alike to visit.
When it debuted last year, there was a passport that participants could download to take to the nearly 20 breweries on the list. Participants collect stamps and earn swag for reaching different tiers.
The trail will expand soon with two new breweries set to open in Fort Wayne – Fortlandia Brewing Co. and Dot & Line Brewing Co.
Fortlandia is a nano brewery that was created by four award-winning home brewers. Operating off a one-barrel system, co-owner Dan Voors says, will allow the brewery to create small batches that push the limits of craft beer. Voors says the team hopes to open its doors at 1010 Spring St. this spring.
Dot & Line has been taking the craft beer circuit by storm, bringing its beer to events such as Brewed IN the Fort and the recent Bluffton BRRR Fest.
Josh Volz, marketing director for Mad Anthony Brewing Co., says the beer trail will do a second printing of its passports this spring as the program continues to gain traction.
For wine lovers, there's also an Indiana Grown Wine Trail that continues to expand.
Plans were announced in May, and it was created as a way to connect local wine enthusiasts with Indiana wineries.
There are more than 30 participating locations, with each winery offering a unique experience and putting a local twist on an assortment of wine varieties.
Free trail maps are available on the Indiana Grown website or at participating vineyards. Each time an enthusiast visits one of the locations, a stamp will be added to their map. Once the map is complete, it can be mailed to Indiana Grown for a free wooden wine stopper. There is no time limit for completion.
Area participants include Satek Winery in Fremont, Two EE's Winery in Huntington and Country Heritage Winery in LaOtto.
Mardi Gras events
Calling it one of the biggest parties of the year, Mad Anthony Brewing Co. is preparing for its Mardi Gras celebration March 5.
The Fat Tuesday party will be 6 to 9 p.m. at all Mad Anthony locations, featuring a crawfish and shrimp boil, cajun and creole menu and live blues music.
Mad Anthony is not alone in celebrating excess and debauchery before the start of Lent.
Hop River Brewing Co., 1515 N. Harrison St., is opening at 7 a.m. and will have traditional New Orleans fare until 3 p.m. – beignets and king cake – as well as Polish paēzki. The baked sweet treats will be made by the team at Zinnia's Bakehouse. Live music will begin at 7 a.m. The kitchen menu will not be available until regular business hours.
The Rotary Club of Fort Wayne will host a Big Easy Feast from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. at Parkview Field. The cost is $30, and tickets are available on Eventbrite. Among the menu items are Kale & Quinoa Salad, chicken and andouille gumbo, corn and crab chowder, chicken Fricassee, vegetarian jambalaya, red beans and rice and creole hash. Dessert includes creme brulee and beignets.
Waynedale Bakery also has Mardi Gras favorites, including king cake and paēzki, available for order. Call the 2610 Lower Huntington Road shop at 747-2992.
SCAN Inc. will host its 34th annual Brown Bag Lunch fundraiser March 6.
Casa chefs, along with community volunteers and SCAN employees, will prepare, package and deliver 2,900 lunches in two hours. SCAN anticipates the lunches will sell out, and community members are encouraged to pre-order lunches.
Meal options include an individual portion of pasta with meatballs and a side of Casaburo salad, dinner roll and sweet treat for $9; an individual salad meal with a dinner roll and sweet treat for $7; and a family-style meal, serving up to 20 people, including pasta with meatballs, Casaburo salad, and a sheet cake donated by Walnut Hill Catering and Events for $180.
Lunches will be available for pickup from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 6 at The Summit, 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd. Free delivery is also available with a minimum of seven individual orders or one family-style order. Delivery must be within one mile of the Interstate 69 and 469 boundaries or no farther north than Huntertown.
Proceeds from the event support SCAN's mission to protect children, prepare parents, strengthen families and educate our community to Stop Child Abuse and Neglect.
The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 461-8304 at least two weeks before the event or desired publication date.