Spots that create place without trying hard to do it: Upland Tasting Room

Bike Rack in front of Upland Tasting Room
Bike Rack in front of Upland Tasting Room

Consider this the first post in what I hope to be an ongoing series. Occasionally I am going to try to highlight areas of town where someone has created a little “place” that citizens, patrons or whomever can be proud of. Maybe that place will not transcend all demographics, but to a certain cross section, may be a pretty special looking place that makes them smile each time they go by.

Today, I want to shine the light on the Upland Tasting Room located at 49th & College Ave in midtown Indianapolis. This newly opened place is a breath of fresh air when compared to the normal bar scene that proliferates the area just north of here. I have been in twice now and it is a very calm, almost lounge like atmosphere. Since I live in this neighborhood, I get to pass by often, and what keeps me smiling about the Upland Tasting room, I mean besides $8 growler refills of Dragonfly IPA, is the custom bike rack that takes residence out front of the store on the sidewalk. It is a 100% custom made bike storage rack that is created from… older bikes. I had to make a few phone calls but the story I got was one that also made me smile.

It was constructed in Bloomington, IN by a welder who works for Upland and helps create various parts that the brewery may need from time to time. According to Bre at Upland, the idea for the bike racks was spawned by their president. He tasked them with locating parts for a rack made from other bikes.

As luck would have it, Bloomington is also home to the Bloomington Bike Project, a non-profit volunteer ran shop. They were able to come up with the parts that they needed free of charge. I spent a few moments poking around their website and they have some really nice programs based around volunteer work where you can earn a bike for 3 hours worth of donated time. The theme obviously surrounds a re-use type of intent and Upland has certainley done that! There is second rack that calls Bloomington home.

With this simple structure, Upland has created a unique looking face for the store that at least for me, makes me smile every time that I go by it. I can only think that it is working. I see bikes tied up to it often, and every time I go by and the place is open, there are people inside. I hope business is doing well for Upland here in Indianapolis.

Hoosier Beer Geek has a good write up about the services to be found inside, as well as hours and some pictures of the interior.

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