Don’t touch anything and ask lots of questions. Those were the two rules we had to follow on our tour of the 3 Floyds Brewery in Munster, Indiana. In case we forgot, general manager Dan Tompkins repeated it every time a straggler joined the tour. The brewery is a working factory and while Dan wanted us to learn, he also didn’t want us to get hurt and sue.
Dan covers the ingredients — grain, water, yeast and hops, where 3 Floyds gets each and how they’re handled at the brewery and what happens after they’re done. Notably, the used grains are sold to the beef producers that supply their brewpub with hamburger.
The entire brew process was discussed in great detail, along with packaging, shipping and distribution of their products. What’s most interesting about the brewery is the piecemeal way they’ve acquired equipment and how it’s limited and shaped the growth of 3 Floyds. Almost everything — from the fermentation tanks to the bottling assembly — has been purchased second hand from other breweries. It’s shockingly expensive to run a world-class brewery.
The other interesting part of the tour was the culture of 3 Floyds and how it’s reflected in everything from the offices (shipping containers decorated with a Death to False Prophets mural) to the labels on the bottles. These folks are about living their lifestyle, not about becoming the next Anheuser-Busch. As long as they continue making great beer and distributing it within reach of their fans, I say more power to them.
Tours are typically held at 2pm on Saturdays. Call in advance to confirm that a tour will be held. Tours are $1 per person and each tour lasts about 1 hour and 15 minutes, and you should be prepared to stand on the hard concrete and to deal with the heat. A visit to the next door brewpub after the tour would be an excellent way to recover.
9750 Indiana Parkway
Munster, IN 46321-4004