Look out, Wabash River. There’s a new body of water in town — or an old one. Well, sort of.
Confused yet? It’s pretty simple: Without the Teays River, there’s no Wabash River. In the Pleistocene Era, the Teays was eastern North America’s dominant waterway. But not even a mighty river can withstand the destructive power of glaciers, which laid waste to the original river and rendered it a valley. Now, it’s an aquifer that provides water with which Teays River Brewing and Public House pours a copious craft beer selection on Lafayette’s south side.
With signature selections available every day and rotating small batches, there’s a pint for all palates. I prefer the lighter side — like the Camelop cream ale or Golden Years, a British Golden Ale with a bit of a citrusy finish. Whatever your preference, there are enough flavors to keep you guessing … and going back for another round. You can find a full list of Teays’ current beers on their website, and they have a full complement of craft cocktails. (There’s also tasty water for canine companions on a dog-friendly patio, which you still have a few more days to enjoy.)
Teays’ food menu is also a force to be reckoned with, a slew of selections ranging from Southern heat to vegetarian treats — nearly all choices available with substitutions for those with food sensitivities. The smoked wings are perfectly crispy, with the Hell Fire Reaper rub variety creating a near-panko crust of potent, pungent heat. (Avoiding meat? Try the Cauliflower Wings.) Short-Faced Bear Fries, the Teays River rendition of poutine, are a can’t-miss appetizer — served with your choice of potato and meat and slathered in cheese. (Pro tip: Go for the sweet-potato fries to add a sweet texture to this stupendous appetizer.)
Teays offers a dozen “handhelds,” including pulled pork, grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, burgers (with Impossible Burger swaps available) and a sandwich with jackfruit, a fruit often used as a meat substitute. The Ultimate Beer Burger infuses Teays’ bread and butter into a burger through a stout bun, beer bacon and onion jam, hop mayo, and beer cheese on a beer-infused steak burger. There are also plenty of flat pizzas, with gluten-free crusts available. Loaded with mozzarella, fontina and parmigiana reggiano, the Pesto Chicken Pizza is a gooey, zesty delight.
Last but definitely not least, Teays offers a handful of entrées. The Jambalaya is a smart, searing choice — particularly when paired with Brussels sprouts with bacon, asiago cheese, balsamic glaze and an unadvertised, but mighty-fine horseradish kick. The loaded potato salad is decent, but with so many additional flavor options available at Teays, the mere addition of bacon and cheese almost seems quaint by comparison.
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.