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New microbrewery opens in Indianapolis with a 'humble heart and Midwest attitude'

Kismetic stands out as a woman-owned and -led brew bar in a male-dominated field. But perhaps what makes Kismetic stand out even more is its intention—from conception to completion—to be as welcoming as possible.
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Posted at 3:35 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 19:18:45-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A new microbrewery with a speakeasy vibe and '70s style has opened on the near east side of Indianapolis.

"Kismetic Beer Company" is situated inside the 201 Studios, located at 201 S. Rural St., in the Twin Aire neighborhood.

Kismetic is almost like a cocktail bar—just with beer.

Their groovy kismet purple and turquoise blue brand colors surround the wide-open brew bar, providing a warm welcome. The various seating options include long booths with velvet royal blue exterior, single black leather chairs, and plenty of high-top options.

It's definitely all in the details for Kismetic's owners, Nicole and Ryan Oesch.

"[It's] a curated experience, from the beer to the brand name to the interior decor," Nicole told WRTV ahead of its grand opening event over the weekend. "I just wanted somewhere that I felt was really comfortable with really great beer that I felt I could sit there for hours with my friends and just like, hang out, listen to great music, and have some great beers."

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A new microbrewery with a speakeasy vibe and 70's style opened on the near east side of Indianapolis in April 2022.

Kismetic is a microbrewery Nicole has wanted to open for a while. She and her husband Ryan have been in the craft beer industry for years, and the last two years of the pandemic allowed them to "take stock and reevaluate their lives."

"For us, it was, if we're going to keep doing this, we really just want to do it for ourselves; do it our way, and have it be exactly what we want it to be," Nicole said.

The business and life partners say they struggled to find a brewery in Indianapolis that offered the experience they were looking for as consumers.

As a long-time brewer, Ryan told WRTV he was ready to go all-in on his own craft beer. But, perhaps the most crucial for Ryan, was the need to brew in a space he knew was inclusive.

"Our ethos is that we are literally a female-owned brewery. And that is in response to, again, maybe some long-standing issues in the craft beer industry," Ryan said. "We actively wanted to create the place that we wanted to be in. A place where we wanted to spend our time."

On Tap: Inclusive Balance

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Patrons of Kismetic Beer Company will not see beers above 7% ABV. As bar owners who live responsible lifestyles, Nicole and Ryan Oesch want to foster a place that can also be a possibility for folks who visit Kistmetic.

Kismetic stands out as a woman-owned and -led brew bar in a male-dominated field.

But perhaps what makes Kismetic stand out even more is its intention—from conception to completion—to be as welcoming as possible. Something that hasn't always been the case in the craft beer business.

This follows the sweeping wave of sexism and assault accusations that sprouted up in the craft beer industry last spring after a production manager in Massachusetts asked women in beer about their experiences. The response revealed a high level of discrimination.

"It definitely shined a light on just just how the craft beer industry treats women in general. How we treat pretty much anybody that's not a white guy in craft beer," Nicole said.

The revelation sparked a revolution of sorts and led to the creation of "Brave Noise," an organization working to hold breweries accountable and provide resources.

The movement inspired Nicole, and she says Kismetic is "certainly keeping it as diverse as possible."

Nicole acknowledges that Ryan, a white man, is also an owner even though they've titled themselves a woman-owned establishment. She shares that Ryan is not only an ally in the movement for gender equality in beer but also is teaching her how to brew and plans to teach their future female employees to brew as well if they are interested.

"Ryan's a super talented brewer. And he's also always been really supportive of me and other women in the industry and has spoken up on our behalf in previous instances and has left organizations because he felt people weren't being treated appropriately," Nicole shared.

The attention to every detail of the decor and Kismetic's branding is meant to be a little less masculine-presenting, fostering a more inviting place for women, people of color, LGBTQ-identified people, and even the alcohol-free community.

"We're trying to do something that's perhaps unique for Indianapolis and create waves in that sense. We're doing it though with a humble heart and a very Midwestern attitude. We don't feel that we're throwing elbows at anyone else. We're just trying to do the things that make us happy," Ryan said.

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Ryan (left) and Nicole (right) Oesch are the owners of Kismetic Beer Company.

Patrons of Kismetic will not see beers above 6.5% ABV. As bar owners who live responsible lifestyles, the Oesches want to foster a place where consumers can do the same.

"We want to be able to have multiple beverages but still be cognizant of the fact that we have to drive home," Ryan said of how he and Nicole are as consumers.

"There's a lot of places that make very high-gravity beers, high-ABV beers right now—and there's nothing wrong with that—but we generally don't want to go and have one or two beers and be done," he continued. "It ties into the aesthetic that we tried to create, which is the beers that we want to drink and the place we want to drink them."

Other menu offerings include craft non-alcoholic beer, CBD water, a beer made in collaboration with Nelson's Tea, an Italian pilsner, and lagers.

But keep your head on a swivel, as Kismetic plans to switch up their menu often.

"We just really wanted to pair the beers we want to drink with a place where we wanted to relax. So hopefully, people find that their tastes run in parallel to ours. If nothing else, we've created something where we're super comfortable," Ryan said, laughing.

Kismetic Beer Company is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday 12 to 10 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 6 p.m. You can follow them on Instagram.

WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at shakkira.harris@wrtv.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.