Bars, Drink, Eat, USA, Brewery

Three Floyds, Munster, IN

By Michael Mackie

9750 Indiana Parkway Munster, IN 46321

The Three Floyds Bew Pub in Munster, Indiana / photo courtesy of the Three Floyds Facebook page

The Three Floyds Bew Pub in Munster, Indiana / photo courtesy of the Three Floyds Facebook page

There’s Chicago. There’s outside Chicago. And then there’s way the heck past that – so far east you’re now relegated to Indiana. Think there’s nothing to do out in the sticks? Think again. One of the Midwest’s most buzz-worthy beer joints is located just a couple ‘burbs inside the Indiana state line.

Three Floyds' famous brew / photo courtesy of planetdenken via Instagram

Three Floyds' famous brew / photo courtesy of planetdenken via Instagram

Plopped down smack dab in the middle of an industrial area in Munster, Indiana – and under a water tower no less – you’ll find Three Floyds Brewing Company. Since 1996, they’ve proudly been crafting – as they call it – “not normal beer”. Once inside, you’ll find a wildly eclectic mix of hipstered-out college students, bawdy bikers and bespectacled businessmen commiserating in kind and pounding back Floyd’s famed homemade brews.  

From the minute you step out of your car and into the parking lot, you can smell the barley and hops from across the street. (Watch where you park, however – the joint is notorious for towing.) If you’re lucky enough to get a table without a wait, consider yourself blessed.  “There’s always a line out the door,” said our server Brandon. “People go crazy.”

Bartender Steve Meinke enjoying his long awaited Three Floyds beer / Photo by Michael Mackie

Bartender Steve Meinke enjoying his long awaited Three Floyds beer / Photo by Michael Mackie

Chicago bartender and self-proclaimed beer aficionado Steve Meinke picked a random Wednesday night to make an impromptu appearance. With less than an hour until they closed, he still had to wait patiently for a bar table to open up. “Our bar will order ten cases of their beer from this place at a time,” he mentioned. “We’re lucky to get one – maybe two. And when they arrive, they’re gone.”

What makes Three Floyds’ beer so impossibly popular? For one, the loyalty of their clientele. “It’s almost like a cult here,” said Meinke. “Plus, the alcohol content of their beer is exponentially higher than most people are used to. It ain’t your grandma’s craft beer.”

Visual overload awaits any new patron. There’s not one square inch of this place that doesn’t have some sort of kitschy beer motif decoratively placed. Tap handles adorn the walls and there’s plenty of cartoon artwork which pay homage to their most popular lines of beer.  Reruns of “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” were playing (loudly) on all the TVs … because of course it was. And if you’re looking for sustenance – Three Floyds offers a hearty menu of savory small plates.

A Three Floyds bartender and his many brews / Photo by Michael Mackie

A Three Floyds bartender and his many brews / Photo by Michael Mackie

But people don’t visit the pub for the ambience … they come for the frothy adult beverages awaiting them.  Three Floyds is known for several home-brewed beers that put them on the proverbial malty and/or hoppy map.  Just dropping any of the following names is bound to make any Floyd-ite start drooling – Zombie Dust, Gumball Head, Alpha King, Robert the Bruce, YumYum.

Server Brandon serving up some magical adult elixirs / photo by Michale Mackie

Server Brandon serving up some magical adult elixirs / photo by Michale Mackie

In the meantime, start looking at your 2016 calendar. You’ll want to get the fourth weekend in April on your calendar now. It’s the Three Floyd’s infamous (legendary? epic?) Darklord Day where they feature a Russian Imperial Stout beer for $30 a bottle. Only problem is – over 15,000 folks line up for a chance to purchase the pub’s extremely limited supply. If you’re lucky to get your mitts on one (via a lottery-type system) – perhaps you should actually consider playing the lottery. Bottles of Darklord have been known to go for $200+ on the web.

For more information on Three Floyds’ limited lagers or exclusive ales, visit them on FB, Twitter or online at www.3Floyds.com.  If you want to join their ravenous fan base, it’s probably best to start now. Remember – supply barely scratches the surface of demand. Good thing it only takes a couple of their really strong beers to get blitzkrieged.