5 panels. First 4 show the progression of a full glass of beer to an empty glass of beer. Last panel is a bathroom door.
Microbrew Bathroom Guide
Part One

We don't know where you start your Friday night, but we are pretty sure we know where you will end up. You probably don't think about them, but they are the inevitable conclusion. That's right, we are talking about bathrooms.

As true fans of our local brews, we wanted to give you a guide to the Indianapolis microbreweries. We looked and saw that many people have already written great guides to lead you to masterfully crafted beer, but no had followed through with what we all know comes after trying all those pints. So we took it upon ourselves and have done all the dirty research for you. We have picked the top 8 local microbrew bathrooms and the countdown begins today. We hope you will follow along and vist all eight.

Looking into the bathroom, the photo frames sink, shower, mirror and water softner at Sun King Brewery Tasting Room.

#8 Sun King Brewery

A lovely painting of a lily flower, done in a style reminiscent of the French impressionists, hangs on a diamond shaped canvas above a classic white toilet.

The Sun King tasting room is more than warehouse-chic. It really is the warehouse where the brewers work all day brewing, bottling, and shipping their award-winning beers across the country. But during tasting hours, the machinery is still and the main floor is filled shoulder to shoulder with people holding tickets in one hand and sample shots in the other. An ever-popular corner is, of course, the bathroom, which does not break from the industrial theme. An overly wide metal door covered in flyers about current Sun King happenings opens to reveal a square white sink bolted to the wall on your left and a full-length mirror leaning haphazardly against the far wall by the water softener. Around the corner is a typical white toilet, but the surprise is the shower with a tasteful silver shower curtain. “The shower curtain is actually mine from home,” says Judi, mother of co-owner Clay and Sun King MOM (Manager of Merchandise).

Judi is actually the force behind all the stylish touches to the Sun King bathrooms. Unbeknownst to some, there is another bathroom at Sun King. In the little hallway out front by the office is another unisex, single-person bathroom, but this one is a bit classier than the one on the tasting room floor. Faux wood flooring, stylized sink with cabinet doors, purse hooks, and original artwork all add up to make a very pleasant bathroom experience. “But you know I had to fight all the men around here to get that in here,” says Judi of the flower painting, hand-done in Alaska by Clay’s future mother-in-law.

Now, in truth, it is hard to write a fair review of the Sun King facilities because as you read, huge renovations are underway at the brewery, including plans for the bathroom. So we wait with bated breath, Sun King Bathrooms, for the grand unveiling of your transformation.

Looking into the bathroom, the photo frames sink, toilet and lovely black end table in a very bright orange room at Flat 12 Bierwerks.

#7 Flat 12 Bierwerks

Orange. Bright, bold orange. You may think you walked into a fresh-squeezed Tropicana commercial, but actually you just walked into the bathrooms at Flat12 Bierwerks. Bob Weaver, Vice President of Marketing, can’t quite recall who made the call on that color choice. “The paint must have been on sale,” he says. But really the orange isn’t that bad of a mix with the reds, purples, and raw lumber around the rest of place. There is a bit of urban mystique in the mix of contrasting colors, blonde wood and steel that just seems to fit this downtown brewery tucked away on Dorman Street.

Roomy and well-lit, the bathrooms themselves are minimalist with no real wall décor aside from a couple bulletin boards to keep you updated on the latest Bierwerks business while you are doing your business. The women’s bathroom sports a lovely black-stained table and a cloth basket at the insistence of a co-owner’s wife to add “a touch of humanity.” It is a convenient place to leave your purse, but hopefully not forget it. There are separate bathrooms for men and women, but only one person can fit per bathroom. (unless you are a very open sort of person) So you may need to strategize your trip to the loo on busy Friday nights at the tasting room.

Looking into the bathroom, the photo frames sink, toilet, vacuum, and extra paper products stacked in the corner at Upland Indianapolis Tasting Room.

#6 Upland Tasting Room

Pass through the doors of Upland Brewing Company’s Indianapolis tasting room, and you may get the feeling you never actually left home. Located just south of Broad Ripple on College Avenue, Upland’s inviting interior blends coffee house comfort, earthy funkiness and grandma’s 1973 front room all in one.

And that includes the restroom.

A close up on the paper towel dispenser at Upland Brewery that says Save a Tree Use a T-Shirt!

Upland’s single, unisex washroom has earned almost as many kudos with visitors as its hand-crafted brews thanks in large part to a clever eco-friendly touch contributed by a former employee. Upon completion of hand washing inside the tiny restroom, the Upland guest has a choice when it comes to materials for drying damp hands: paper towel or t-shirt. Old t-shirts in various shades of gray, blue and green have been cut to size, folded and tucked into a shelf just to the left of the sizeable, rectangular white sink. If you find yourself at Upland, hands dripping with soapy water, and realize you’ve yet to perform your good deed for the day simply select a t-shirt towel. When those hands are good and dry, drop the soggy t-shirt square into a special bin and exit that restroom, chin up, feeling a bit better about the world, and yourself.

Besides the t-shirt hand towels, Upland’s restroom fits in with the overall character of the tasting room quite nicely. A warm shade of orange-brown covers the walls and small bulletin boards share information without overwhelming. “We try to keep it cozy,” says Megan Fonde, Assistant Manager. “And a lot of people do tell us our restroom is really clean, which is cool. We’re proud of that.”

SoBro local Sherri Abbett stops in often at the brewery with Cooper, her golden retriever companion and enjoys the charm of the tiny bathroom complete with extra paper products and vacuum cleaner stored in the corner. “It’s like they’re letting you go in there,” she says. “The storage is part of all of it. They keep the supplies neat and orderly. It makes it cool. I’m not as comfortable any place else but here.”

Ready for Part Two? Read it here.

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