After being born in Greencastle, Indiana, Eilise Lane moved with her family to Los Angeles, attending school there before moving back to Indiana and graduating from North Putnam High School. She went on to take a degree from Butler University and then refined her brewing skills at the American Brewers Guild in Vermont. Working a
corporate gig in Oregon was less than fulfilling for her, but she enjoyed drinking the wonderful Oregon craft beer. She started home brewing with her then boyfriend (now husband). He lasted for one batch and then abandoned the craft to her. Subsequently, her entire family noticed that she was happiest when she was brewing. She b
egan her professional brewing career at Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon. Lane says that Oregon is a great place to learn brewing as they are always on the cusp of a new style. Conversely, Indiana brewers are now taking some of their craft out to Oregon. She recently returned to the Beaver State to brew with Tonya Cornett, the Brewmaster at Ten Barrel Brewing. They collaborated on a Braggot with which Cornett had not yet had any experience. In addition to the requisite honey, the brew includes lavender, tangerine, and chamomile. Scarlet Lane should be receiving some of this soon.
Lane moved back to Indiana to start her own brewery and settled on the McCordsville location. The plan was to brew and distribute. However, people started showing up with empty growlers which eventuated in the tap room.
Lane’s favorite steps in the brewing process are the smell of the grain after she is mashed in and sitting down with someone to share a beer knowing the labor of love that the brew involved. Her favorite brew that she ever made was the Dorian Coconut Stout which was the first brew done at Scarlet Lane. This brew was something she had brewed at home when living in Oregon. The big batches of this stout done in McCordsville require 300 – 400 pounds of toasted coconut which they toast themselves in the ovens of local restaurants. Lenore Pale Ale and Eirik Bloodaxe (a rotating Braggot) are tap room’s best sellers. Lane’s favorite brew currently on tap is the collaboration she just did with Jonathon Mullens of the Broad Ripple Brew Pub. The brew is an oatmeal pale ale dubbed Hangin’ Tough and was brewed to honor local beer icon, Rita Kohn. The proceeds from the sale of the 22 oz. bottles of Hangin’ Tough as well as the two release parties (one at each brewery) will go to help fund a play Kohn has written about children who have been lost in the shuffle of life. Subsequently, the proceeds of the play itself will go to a youth center that will provide opportunity for these young people.
Lane is looking forward to a brand new IPA that she just dry hopped to be released in conjunction with Scarlet Lane’s third anniversary party on April 29th. She says that this is a brew that will make her both nervous and excited as she sits down to share it with someone. The trepidation of the potential reaction of the taster of her craft will be her focus. This is a characteristic that one will find in many a talented artist.
When asked what advice she would give someone wanting to get into brewing, Lane says “ask somebody professional questions, don’t ever be scared to contact somebody and ask questions; read everything.” Reading selections might include crop reports and newest techniques on how to kettle sour.
Lane’s brews are on tap in over 250 bars, restaurants, and brew pubs in the greater Indianapolis area with further distribution to South Bend, Ft. Wayne, Muncie, Lafayette, and the southeast side of Indiana. Her beer recently travelled to Ohio for the first time in order to support the HorrorHound Conventions (http://www.horrorhound.com) in Cincinnati and Columbus. It is rapidly becoming difficult to avoid Eilise Lane’s brews in Indiana which is a very good thing.