Situated in a building that originally housed a butcher shop operated by Frank Erath well over a hundred years ago, Cannon Ball Brewing Company has made excellent use of the space. Conveniently located just a couple of blocks east of College Avenue at the corner of 17th Street and Bellefontaine, this gastro-pub offers up some truly amazing offerings. Anchored by the tasty selection of craft beer brewed by Brewer/Owner Mark Swartz and enhanced by the rotating menu selections created by Chef Erin Kem, the experience here is a gourmet’s delight.
Located in the Kennedy King neighborhood of Indianapolis, the pub finds itself nestled I an area that is seeing significant residential restoration as well as new construction. Having just passed their one year anniversary, Cannon Ball is one of the pioneers of the recent revitalization of the area. Across the street to the south, the brand new West Fork Whiskey Company tasting room is offering food from Cannon Ball to their customers.
Kem studied at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and was the chef at R Bistro for twelve years until it closed. The timing of that closing was serendipitous as it resulted in this very cool combination on Bellefontaine Street. Swartz and Kem do not make their delicious creations to pair directly with each other. However, they often play off of one another. For example, when Swartz recently brewed up a persimmon Saison, Kem whipped up a persimmon pudding to go with it.
While the brewing all takes place in the basement, Kem’s cooking space is in a limited area behind the bar that she calls a “tiny kitchen.” She has a lot of cooking equipment neatly arranged in a “tiny” space, like the convection oven much like a giant toaster oven, a Panini press that doubles as a warming plate, and, wasting no space, the area below the counter is all refrigerated drawers. Her menus are put together specifically with this “tiny” space in mind. She is so well recognized for this “tiny kitchen” expertise that she is a consultant to two other local operations that are similarly situated.
The short rib tacos are the bestselling item on the Cannon Ball menu. However, other starters, salads, sandwiches, entrées, and deserts are all inviting selections like the deviled egg tacos, the lamb samosas, and the Cannon Ball Cuban. Kem rotates the menu quarterly and vegan dishes and regular specials are part of her repertoire.
Conveniently located near Broad Ripple, Mass Ave, downtown, midtown, and other Indianapolis neighborhoods, Cannon Ball Brewing Company is a must visit for anyone who loves craft beer and craft cuisine. They have a small parking lot and ample street parking, all of which is free.
Be sure to check out their web site at cannonballbrewingindy.com, or visit them on Facebook for the latest beer and food listings.