Indian Wells Brewing Company is located along CA State Highway 14, about half way between San Bernardino and the eastern Sierra playground for "Angelenos" and anybody who appreciates the great outdoors. Indian Wells is a great place to stop, as they have a great patio, they're dog friendly, sell souvenirs, in-house made soda pop, condiments, and a lot more. There's something for everybody at this amazing microbrewery and showroom, especially if you love unique, delicious craft beer, served by friendly staff.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: I was heading north on State Route 14 to spend the night at Olancha, when I noticed signs advertising Indian Wells Brewing Company. Since it was early afternoon on Thursday, October 24, 2019, and I had some time to spare, I decided to pay a visit. There aren't many more things in life that I love better than a microbrewery, especially one like this one, that is located in the middle of the desert.
Although the brewery has an Inyokern address, it's a long, long way from Inyokern, which is the nearest town of any size for miles around. Indian Wells Brewing Company is located at Indian Wells Spring, where the brewery gets it's water, which is steeped in history, as the springs were discovered back in 1849 by the pioneering Manley-Jawhawker parties. Later, in the 1860's the springs became the site of a stage and freight station, which served commerce traveling between Los Angeles and the Cerro Gordo and Coso mines. Today, we have an amazing microbrewery that offers something for everybody.
Photo: Just outside the brewery this is a collection of vintage trucks, including this Dodge Power Wagon fire truck that looks like it's being driven by a grinning fireman, well past his prime.
Photo: As you enter the showroom, the first thing you'll notice is the bar, which is the only place in the taproom where you can sit down and enjoy a beer, ale or a flight. After you feast your eyes on the bar, you'll easily become overwhelmed at the crazy, funky decor, and the amazing amount of products sold. So, this is more of a showroom than a taproom...
Photo: If you're not a beer drinker, no worries, as you can find saltwater taffy, other candy, "Rocket Fizz" soda pop, and practically every variety of souvenir that you could imagine. The showroom is HUGE, but all activity centers around the bar.
Photo: Looking at cases of soft drinks for sale, along with plaques. This large showroom is interesting, and you could spend an hour just wandering around and looking at the "funky" beauty. Don't you love the galvanized steel panels that line the walls? If you look to the right rear of the photo, you'll see a window, where you can look into the microbrewery machines, and see your micro brew being made.
Photo: All varieties of soft drinks are sold, by the six-pack, or by the bottle, and some are kept in coolers. We're looking toward the bar from the saltwater taffy counter, that offers a wide array of saltwater taffy flavors. To add to the ambiance, 1960's oldies are playing in the background.
Photo: Stuffed olives, also known as "Frog Balls," are for sale, along with locally-produced jars of honey. Although Indian Wells Brewing Company sells a variety of snacks, it doesn't include a restaurant, but if you're hungry, there is a restaurant located next door that specializes in steaks. However, they don't open until late afternoon, so I had to wait until I visited Olancha Cafe, later in the day, for something to eat.
Photo: Just one of the many plaques hung on the walls for sale as souvenirs. I found this one especially infesting, since it pretty much describes everything about a fine microbrewery.
Photo: At the rear of the showroom, there's a window where you can look into the microbrewery, and watch the brewers plying their craft.
Photo: A peek through the window gives a great look at what it takes to make a microbrewery operate.
Photo: The menus occasionally change, so they're posted on "old school" blackboards on the side of the bar. Today, printed menus were also offered.
Photo: Since today was my first visit to Indian Wells Brewing Company, I ordered a flight of five beers for the very reasonable price of $10, considering each glass contains 5-oz of product. Rose, the friendly bartender, is filling my flights from the tap. All varieties of beer and ale the microbrewery sells are on tap, and bottles of beer or ale are for sale for your off-site enjoyment.
Photo: Meet Rose, the friendly bartender, who presented my flight in a truly artful way. So you know what you're drinking, each 5-oz glass is set on the name, along with a short description, on a printed menu, and then it's placed on a wooden tray, for your convenience. Note that I ordered the first five beers on the menu, as they're all line up, perfectly.
Too bad I had to drive, as I would have ordered a full tray, with each variety of beer and ale the microbrewery offers.
Photo: I'm a happy beer drinker, as I smile as Rose takes my photo, as I'm ready to enjoy my flight of five, from the "top" of the menu.
Photo: Since today was my first visit to Indian Wells Brewing Company, I ordered a flight of the first five beers/listed on the menu. From left to right, Indian Wells ale, Amnesia I.P.A., Lobotomy Bock, Blackout Stout, and Mojave Gold. Each glass contains 5-oz of pure serendipity along with a lot of joy, and Rose had each one of them on tap.
I slowly tasted and savored each glass, and took notes of my impressions, in order to make a semi-intelligent post. Please keep in mind that it's just my personal taste, and since everybody's taste is different, the guy sitting next to me most likely have a vastly different opinion of each brew. Anyway...
The Indian Wells ale tasted on the "fruity" side, with a touch of cinnamon, and I must admit that I'm not a fan of cinnamon. Amnesia I.P.A. is quite a bit on the "hoppy" side - when I was a kid, I was a fan of Hopalong Cassidy - and is a delicious, pale ale. Lobotomy Bock is dark, sour and very much "continental" in taste, and is the kind of dark beer that you'd expect to find in an Amsterdam pub. Blackout Stout is a great name for this beer, as it's dark, "wheaty" with a touch of fruit. Finally, the Mojave Gold... ah yes... such a fine lager, with a bold taste.
Five very fine beers, each a champion in it's own way, but my favorite was Mojave Gold, and Amnesia I.P.A. came in second. But, that's just me...
Photo: Indian Wells Brewing Company offers a real deal for all beer lovers, in that if you order a second flight, it, and any additional flights are only $5.00, which is a outstanding deal. I was tempted, boy was I tempted, but there was only one minor problem: I had to drive. No second or third flights for me!
However since it was October, I just "had" to order one more 5-oz sample for only $1.00, and the sample was, naturally, an Oktoberfest. My friendly bartender, Rose, was only too happy to provide me with a delicious glass of Oktoberfest, and she also gave me a free sample of Whiskey Barrel Brew.
Photo: My glass of Oktoberfest, to the left, along with my complimentary sample of Whiskey Barrel Brew.
Oktoberfest, as the name implies, is a pure lager, with a rather bold taste. I loved it! I could drink it all day. On the other hand, I've never drank anything like Whiskey Barrel Brew before, which is ale aged in whiskey barrels. It is a delicious ale, with a taste that I really can't even describe, except to say it's delicious, except to say that the next time I visit Indian Wells, it will definitely be on my list.
For lovers of micro breweries, and delicious beer, Indian Wells Brewing Company is a paradise, but if you don't care for beer or ale, there is something for everybody at this fine oasis in the desert. During your next trip to the eastern Sierra, plan of stopping at Indian Wells Brewing Company for great beer and good times.
Indian Wells Brewing Company
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