Downtown Indianapolis craft brewery raises tribute to the Motor City and a famous racing engine that inspired many generations of racing fans.
Anyone living around Indianapolis, Indiana is aware that a flat-12 is a 12-cylinder internal combustion engine in a flat configuration that has been widely used by the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. It is also a most appropriate name for an industrious craft beer company that happened to be located in downtown Indianapolis.
Owner Sean O’Connor (his partner is Andrew Teed) left a lucrative job in the audio business to open Flat12 Bierwerks back in 2010. The first year’s production was less than 1,000 barrels but has steadily risen to this year’s level of around 8,000 barrels, a level O’Connor says is perfectly suited to his hometown entity.
“We are more interested in quality than quantity,” offered O’Connor. “We’ve even recently scaled back our operation to allow us to see our customers and always have fresh beer to offer them.”
The story of just how Sean O’Connor found his way into the beer business is a story unto itself.
“My wife and I lived in Europe for three years - in both Holland and Denmark,” he explained. “While we were there we were exposed to a great many beers and not just the major brands we were used to. There were some really great beers and we realized the scope of the beer industry. When we returned home my wife gave me the go ahead to try my dream and Flat12 Bierwerks is the result.”
The Indianapolis concern draws its inspiration from the famous Indianapolis Speedway and its influence on the city. The Flat12 aspect comes from the period around the turn of the 20th Century when the new engine set the standard for it racers. Many racing insiders point to the great engine as the start of the Golden Era of motorcar racing.
Flat12 Bierwerks is proud that it is able to strike a good balance between having consistent core and seasonal beers while always on the lookout for innovative specialty beers. One such offering, aptly named Dan Patch WIT (after Indiana’s fastest standard-bred racehorse circa 1900) recently won a heated competition and will be available from April through October in Indiana’s Casinos, a gigantic honor for the small craft brewery that also features a sandwich shop with authentic Philadelphia Hoagies.