Fish Moon Brewing Co. is scheduled to open by the end of the year in the former Taff Building located at 309 N. Main Street in downtown Rushville.
Owner of Fish Moon Brewing Co. Thomas Tetrault said a good brewery attracts people to the town it serves.
“We are kind of going back to that pre-prohibition era where you are starting to see more and more local breweries pop up that serve that local community,” Tetrault said. “I think communities really love having their own local brew house, having their own local beer. It’s like a trademark. I hope I can create something the City of Rushville is proud of and can rally behind.”
Tetrault recently moved to the Rushville area with his wife and four children. His goal is to brew unique beers which can’t be found anywhere, but Rushville.
“I want to make beers that are really drinkable,” Tetrault said. “That’s one of the things I really focus on when I craft my beer. I’m not going to risk the drinkability for the experimentation of just making some crazy concoction.”
He hopes people attend the 2nd Annual Libations by the Levee on Saturday at Riverside Park to sample his beer.
There will be four different Fish Moon beers available to sample at the event. Tetrault will bring his signature Fish Moon IPA, a chocolate stout, blonde ale and double IPA. He described the Fish Moon IPA (5.5 percent ABV, 35 IBU) as a crisp, easy drinking IPA.
“I brewed this with the sense people might not be familiar with craft beer,” Tetrault said. “This would be, what I would say, the introductory step into that craft beer taste. I kind of made this with the idea of giving a crisp, clean taste but you don’t get the strong bitterness people get with a traditional IPA.”
He invites everyone to try his beer and apologizes in advance if he runs out of samples. Discounted tickets to the event are available online before July 13 at www.RushvilleLibations.com.
Tickets will be available the day of the event if they’re not sold out.
“I’m just excited to share this with a lot of people,” Tetrault said. “I think they will like it.”
Tetrault is focused on making Fish Moon Brewing Co. a place of community. He wants his brewery to be a place where friends and families can gather for a drink, play a board game and enjoy a quality meal.
He says he already envisions the citizens of Rushville making lifelong memories in his brewery’s beer garden over a game of Cornhole.
The Taff Building is currently being renovated. Tetrault wants the building to have a rustic yet classy look and feel when completed.
The brewery will be equipped with garage doors which can be opened or closed depending on the weather. Tetrault said there may be rooftop seating as well.
The brewery will be non-smoking and family friendly.
It will also be budget friendly with beers costing $3 to $4 on average. Beers with higher ABV’s will cost around $5.
Tetrault has received a lot of positive feedback about his beers from family, friends and investors.
“I’ve went to breweries with friends and they are like, why aren’t you doing this? Your beer is so much better,” Tetrault said.
Tetrault’s dream of owning a brewery stems from his time as a student at Ball State University. He often hosted international students while attending the university.
He became close friends with a student he hosted whose family owned and operated a winery in Spain. Tetrault started to think how cool it would be to own a brewery.
He began trying a number of different beers and eventually started to brew his own. He has been honing his craft ever since.
Tetrault was introduced to organic chemistry while studying pre-dentistry at Ball State. He developed a fascination with the field of study, which also plays a huge role in brewing beer.
“When you get to the science behind making great beer it’s really intriguing,” Tetrault said. “There are so many components to crafting great beer. That’s really what I’m trying to do.”
Tetrault has been brewing in his home the past two and a half years. He started looking to brew on a commercial scale with the increase in positive comments he’d received.
“When you start seeing that kind of reaction where people just really love your beer, you think maybe there’s something to this,” Tetrault said. “Throughout that I just keep trying to hone in on that craft.”
The young brewer is eager to start brewing on a larger scale with the new equipment he recently purchased for the brewery.
Tetrault plans to have eight beers on tap by opening. He eventually wants to double that to 16 beers.
“I want to appeal to different palates. If you’re a dark beer drinker, when you drink the stout, you’re going to love it,” Tetrault said. “I have four beers I’ve brewed multiple times that people really like. Like the stout, the blonde, the IPA and Double IPA. Those I know will be staples running through.”
He isn’t quite ready to become Indiana’s next Sun King, but he isn’t selling himself short.
Tetrault insists a good beer starts with good water chemistry. He only uses high quality water and he knows how to craft it to draw out a desired taste.
“Water content is super important as far as how it affects everything, how it affects the hops,” Tetrault said. “You can make water to highlight the malt or hops. If you want to get the fruity flavor out of the yeast you can kind of tweak your water and temperature.”
Tetrault doesn’t take short cuts when he brews his beer. He wants every beer he serves to be of the highest possible quality.
“How I make my beer is not an automated process,” Tetrault said. “It is hand mashing. It is loitering. It is lifting out the mash tun. It’s kind of like old school craft.”
Fish Moon Brewing Co.’s connection to Rushville began last summer when Tetrault met Executive Director of the Rush County Economic and Community Development Corporation John McCane at Rushville’s first Libations by the Levee. Tetrault was looking to open a brewery and city officials wanted to bring a brewery to Rushville.
Tetrault and the representatives from Rushville had their first official meeting last October. The process moved rather quick as Tetrault hopes to begin brewing beer in some capacity by the end of August.
Tetrault said he wants community members to know they are a part of Fish Moon Brewing Co. He would like to offer the citizens of Rushville a piece of his business though he hasn’t worked through his plan to do so just yet.
Tetrault is looking to sell 25 percent of the company to Rushville locals. He plans to have all the details of this idea solidified by the Libations by the Levee.
Those who invest in the company could possibly brew their own beer with Tetrault, receive discounts at the brewery or share in the brewery’s revenue.
“Not only is it a cool way to bring the public in and give them their buy in, but it would also let the community know they are a part of this brewery,” Tetrault said.
For now Tetrault is focused on establishing his brewery, but he would like to have a carry-out and canning facility in the future. He says he would even like to serve local craft spirits.
Tetrault said he is proud and excited to soon operate the only brewery in Rushville.
“Rushville will be served great, unique beer that won’t be served anywhere else. I think it is going to be a place of community where you can have a great time and a great meal,” Tetrault said. “My focus is making amazing beer. I think if I continue doing that it’ll be something people love and brag about. I hope to put out the best product I possibly can.”