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Red Collar brew pays tribute to working folk


Ronlewhorn Industries designed the label for Red Collar, a collaboration between Indiana City Brewing and United State of Indiana.
  • Ronlewhorn Industries designed the label for Red Collar, a collaboration between Indiana City Brewing and United State of Indiana.

Indiana City Brewery and United State of Indiana seemed destined to collaborate when both groups connected via social media.

"I posted a USI video on the Indiana City blog Spring 2012," recounts Ray Kamstra, founding brewer of Indiana City. "I thought their message encouraging Hoosiers to take pride in Indiana, to take ownership in its future and to fulfill their dreams embraced the same concept I had for the brewery."

Graham Brown, a founder of USI adds, "This led to conversations about how our companies could work together - the two brands seemed like too good of a fit to pass up a collaboration. This August all the necessary pieces fell into place. Our brand was growing, Ray's brand was growing, and we had made a connection with Three Hammers Farms in Knightstown, an Indiana hops farm, to help us create a beer that embraced local pride every step of the way."

USI already had a relationship with Ronlewhorn Industries for product development. With four like-minded organizations in the conversation (USI, Indiana City, Three Hammers and Ronlewhorn), continues Brown, "We kept coming back to certain characteristics that we feel Hoosiers embody - hard work, simplicity and loyalty. We realized all four of us, although in very different businesses, faced the similar situation of being both the owners and managers of our respective companies and also being the people who have to get our hands dirty, pick hops, fold shirts and scrub taproom floors each day."

Kamstra and his brewing crew visited Three Hammers Farms for a supply of Chinook hops to create an Imperial Amber Ale to honor Indiana workers whose diverse roles have expanded beyond the traditional "Blue Collar." Red Collar describes the beer's ruby red glow, explains Kamstra. "When we got local illustration artist Aaron Scamihorn in the mix, the story came full circle. In addition to making killer beer, celebrating artists is a top priority for our brewery," added Kamstra. "Each day we're following our dreams, riding out the highs and lows in pursuit of our passion. We want to spread local pride with this beer."

"I hope Red Collar makes people more aware of the wide variety of people engaged in interesting projects in their neighborhood, city and State," said Brown. "At the tapping party guests will be able to look around the room and see multiple individuals who have contributed to the finished product they're drinking. People should talk about how much more of each dollar spent [on products made] locally - as opposed to being spent on a national company - stays in the community. Projects like this are reminders of that."

Red Collar Imperial Amber Ale will be tapped at the Indiana City Taproom, 24 Shelby St., on Oct. 12 at a free community event from 4-10 p.m. Along with beer a limited edition of Red Collar pint glasses and other merchandise from Indiana City, USI and Ronlewhorn will be on sale. Local bands and DJs will be present, as will food trucks.


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