Month: July 2019

The Ultimate Getaway Weekend | Rensselaer, Indiana

We’re all looking for that diamond in the rough, you know, that secret little gem where we can hideaway for the weekend and disconnect from our normal everyday life. We’re all looking for that ultimate getaway weekend.

Well, look no further because I have a small little town named Rensselaer that has an immense amount of character, cute little shops and restaurants and fun things to do for the entire family.

We have 10 of the best places to visit in Rensselaer to create the ultimate getaway weekend for you and your family.

Here is the Ultimate Getaway Weekend in Rensselaer, IN:

1. Amber Waves Brew Fest

This brew fest (in its second year) was first created in 2018 and is jam-packed with several breweries, music, and food.  Sample and try brews that you may have never had before!  This exciting festival takes place on August 17, so get your tickets now!  Choose August 17, 2019 for your getaway weekend and enjoy this great festival!

2. Comfort Inn Suites

Hurry up and book your hotel room for the weekend of August 17, 2019.  With the brew fest happening, this is a busy weekend for the hotel, so rooms go fast!  This hotel is only a couple of years old and so the rooms are neat, clean and affordable.  Take advantage of the free wifi, free hot breakfast, and an outdoor swimming pool.  Get a special rate during Amber Waves Brew Fest!

3. Wire Whisk Bakery

Recently opened, the Wire Whisk Bakery in downtown Rensselaer in a must in the mornings!  Walk into this quaint little bakery and take in the aroma of sweets and baked goods.  My go-to is always the cream-filled fresh donuts but whatever you choose, your taste buds are sure to thank you.

4. Fenwick Farms Brewing Company

Stop by this family-friendly brewery for a bite to eat during lunch.  With a pet-friendly patio, you and your whole family can enjoy lunch together.  Try any of their seasonal brews like the Will You Be My Neighbor blueberry ale or the ever so popular, Bravo Four.  Pair those with a juicy hamburger and some ranch fries.


5. The Ritz Theater

Built back in 1928, the Ritz Theater (originally named the Palace Theater) was home to some of the earliest films.  It’s retro-styled entryway and seating area takes you back in time to simpler days.  The theater plays new movies and occasionally even has live shows! This theater is a gem and a must-see.


Commissioned in Summer 2019, the RENARTWLK is a new feature of downtown Rensselaer.  It’s a collection of amazing art pieces created by international street artists.  Walk through the alleys to see beautiful pieces such as sea turtles and Korean beauties.  There are numerous picture opportunities along the way including walking the famous cat of The Station, Stout or protecting yourself from a colorful rain of paint with an umbrella.  Post your pictures online with the hashtag #renartwlk to join the community.


7. Busy Bee

No trip to Rensselaer is complete without a trip to the famous ice cream shop, Busy Bee.  Nestled up against the Iroquois River, Busy Bee has been a long-time tradition for Rensselaer residents and visitors.  It’s soft-serve ice cream and daily flavors that please everyone!  Busy Bee is a seasonal experience in Rensselaer so be sure to visit this little town between Memorial Day and Labor Day for a delicious sweet treat!

8. Shopping

What trip is complete without a little shopping?  Rensselaer’s downtown is jam-packed with several shops.  One of the most popular little shops is Willow Switch, a cute store full of rustic décor.  Not only is this a cute shopping spot but you can grab a coffee while you shop.  Definitely a must!  Along with Willow Switch, check out Country Bumpkin, Unique Finds and more!

9. eMbers/The Station

This unique business is located on the main strip in downtown Rensselaer.  eMbers was the first of the two businesses to open which boasts more of an event venue with occasional special events like concerts, shows, and whiskey tastings.  The Station is a small restaurant connected to eMbers that has the COOLEST pizza oven, a full bar, and a gorgeous patio.  Kids and dogs are welcome on the patio but not inside because of the bar.


10. The Little Coffee Shop on 231

This coffee shop lives up to its name.  Nestled in the strip of shops across from the courthouse, this coffee shop boasts a big personality in a small space.  They have expanded their seating to the outdoor sidewalk.  You will find seasonal coffee flavors and delicious smoothies.  And fun fact…pets are welcome!

As you can see, you can make a great little trip out of Rensselaer, Indiana.  It’s a gem in the corner of Northwest Indiana.  If you want to extend your stay in Rensselaer but are looking for more activities around the area, this little town is a great central hub to Indiana Beach, the Indiana Dunes National Park, and France Park.  It’s also a midway point between Indianapolis and Chicago on I65.

To get your tickets to Amber Waves, visit here.

Breweries at the Festival

See a list of the 30+ breweries pouring at Amber Waves Brewfest. Attendees will be able to sample more than 50 regional craft beers.

18th Street Brewing

Just awarded USA Today’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Brewpub, 18th Street is currently the second largest brewery in Northwest Indiana. Their beers range from saisons to double India Pale Ales to double milk stouts to pilsners and lagers. 18th Street is comprised of hard working, motivated individuals who strive to be the best.

Three Floyds

From their humble beginnings in 1996—armed with only a few hundred dollars, a five-barrel Frankenstein wok-burner-fired brew kettle, repurposed open Swiss cheese fermenters (Hammond Squares) and an old Canfield’s Cola tank—”It’s Not Normal” ales and lagers were born. Three Floyds refuses to compromise “Not Normal” quality and flavor for their incredibly loyal following.


At Upland, their brewers are always experimenting, and putting their own spin on traditional brewing recipes with unique local ingredients. Their beers—from wood-aged sour ales to traditional ales and lagers—are as complex, interesting and approachable as the people who make and enjoy them.

Revolution Brewing

Revolution is Illinois largest independently-owned brewery. The change in the U.S. beer scene has undoubtedly been revolutionary. The evolving tastes of beer drinkers has demanded bigger flavors, more variety, and better beer. That’s exactly what they give you at Revolution Brewing. Between the brewery and brewpub, Revolution produces dozens of different beer styles every year. IPAs, porters, pilsners, Belgian-style ales, pale ales, barrel-aged beers—the list goes on!

Fenwick Farms Brewing Co.

Fenwick Farms Brewing Company is extremely proud to be Rensselaer’s first brewery sharing a lot of the same values as the little town that they call home. They believe in hard work and taking pride in everything they put our name on. A genuine smile, a firm handshake, and an honest day’s work. They work hard to keep all these values at their core – every day, every beer.

New Holland Brewing Co.

New Holland Brewing Company’s deep roots in the craft industry go back to 1997. Their role as an integral member of the artisan approach is something they take seriously, yet engage lightheartedly.

New Holland Brewing believes the art of craft lives in fostering rich experiences for their customers, through creating authentic beer, spirits and food while providing great service. Recognized for their creativity and artistry, New Holland’s mission to improve the lives of craft consumers everywhere is seen in their diverse, balanced collection of beer and spirits.

The Devil’s Trumpet Brewing Co.

At The Devil’s Trumpet Brewing Co., they take pride in brewing quality hand crafted beers. Their mission is to produce aromatic, clean and full flavor craft beer. Brewed with old world tradition and new world imagination.


Their passionate staff brew classic American ales, German lagers, and more with the hope of bringing people together around fresh local beer. Beer for the People… who enjoy hand crafted full-flavored beers.

Greenbush Brewing Co.

Greenbush Brewing Co. is nestled in the historic downtown of Sawyer, MI. Specializing in robust & inspired beers, southern-style barbeque, from-scratch cuisine, artisan meats & a DIY mentality, Greenbush is a haven for both beer and food enthusiasts alike.


The legacy began back in 1871, when Bavarian immigrant Philip Zorn Jr —the son of a signature brewer—migrated to Michigan City to start his own microbrew venture. Today they introduce a new series of exceptional craft beers to rival any of the past. Michigan City’s oldest microbrewery is now its newest.

Crasian Brewing Co.

Not just another craft brewing start up, but a venture of quality, flavor and taste. Tom and Michele Bulington’s family-owned micro brewery is ready to bring Brookston, Monticello and the greater Lafayette area some of the tastiest unfiltered ales, seasonals and one-offs. Crasian’s Brewing philosophy is simple, they want their customers to enjoy that classic old brewery feel combined with small town comfort where one feels at home, no matter where home may be.


Shoreline Brewery has been serving handcrafted beers at the edge of Lake Michigan since it’s opening in August of 2005. To this day Shoreline is family-owned and independently run by its original founder and Head Brewer, Sam Strupeck. With twelve beers always on tap, everyone will find a beer to fall in love with, whether it be the award-winning Beltaine Scottish Ale, the fan-favorite Curse the Goat, or the seasonal Stellar Blue blueberry ale.

St John Malt Bros.

St. John Malt Brothers Craft Brewers offers a broad beer lineup keeping over 17 original beers on tap. On tap you will find a combination of traditional styles, beers with a Malt Brothers twist, some more esoteric pilot batches and barrel-aged special releases.

Evil Czech Brewery

Founded by George Pesek using the same philosophy he’s employed throughout his career as a chef and restaruanteur; use only the highest quality ingredients, surround yourself with people who are as passionate about your product as you are, improve your technique each and every day, and give your customers what they want! The result is a line of fantastic hand-crafted brews that will match any mood you’re in, and enhance any occasion you’re celebrating.


Tony Magee started brewing on a stovetop homebrew kit and, after a couple batches, some stray wort had spilled down the back. When Thanksgiving night came, and the wort caught fire and burned the turkey to a crisp, Tony’s wife Carissa kindly asked him to move his new hobby elsewhere.  

He moved into an old storage shed in the town of Forest Knolls, Calif. (next to the town of Lagunitas, which Tony thought had a cool-sounding name…) and he started brewing more. The beers ranged from vile and repugnant, to delicate and exceptional. Tony grew out of that space and moved just down the road to Petaluma, bringing his recipes and the Lagunitas name with him. Whether supporting local communities by turning beer into money for the cause, or simply fueling stories and songs with IPA and other fine ales, they’ve learned one thing (aside for how to cook a turkey)… Wherever you go: beer speaks, people mumble.


In May 1867, the Leinenkugel family brewery was founded in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin by Jacob Leinenkugel. He was a family man driven by an iron work ethic, and he knew that his German family heritage would play an integral part of his brewery’s success. Today, the sixth generation of Leinenkugels continues to brew some of the same family-inspired recipes that Jacob poured his heart and soul into.

Ballast Point

The perfect balance of taste and aroma. An obsession with ingredients. An exploration of techniques. And while they savor the result, they’re just as fascinated by the process to get there. What started as a small group of home brewers, who simply wanted to make a better beer, evolved into the adventurers known today as Ballast Point.

New Oberpfalz Brewing

Taking their name from a district in Bavaria called the Oberpfalz (“Upper Palatinate”). The Oberpfalz is located in the northeast corner of Bavaria and is comprised of the frontier between Nürnberg, Germany and the German/Czech border. It is a rugged landscape, rich in brewing history, and home to many great beers. The brewery was commissioned in Dec. 2014 and released their first beers in Jan. 2015.

They produce a variety of beer styles, but specialize in classic German beer.

Teays River

At Teays River Brewing & Public House, their focus is always on quality, innovation, creativity, and fostering memorable experiences in a fun, comfortable, and casual environment. Whether it’s a quick stop for a pint or a growler refill on the way home from work, a casual evening with friends, date night, or family dinner with the kids.

Bell’s Brewery

It started with a 15-gallon soup kettle, a quest for better beer and countless batches of homebrew. The passion and personality that began Bell’s continues today through their breweries and Eccentric Café. They continue to grow and evolve, dedicated to their mission; to be fiercely independent, 100% family owned, deeply rooted to our community, committed to the environment and brewers of inspired beer.

10-56 Brewing

Owner/Brewer Erica Hemphill is on a mission to brew mindful, tasteful ales for your enjoyment. She focuses on consistent basics with recipes from Light Pilsners to the darkest of Stouts and many in between.

Firestone Walker

Beer runs deeper than blood. Funny how brothers settle things the old fashioned way. Try brothers-in-law who own a brewery together. David, AKA The Lion, and Adam, AKA The Bear, may battle, epically at times, but at least neither ever forget it’s for the love of beer.

Black Dragon Meadery

Black Dragon Meadery produces the traditional and unique meads of our award-winning Meadmaster rediscovering the lost art of meadmaking as an authentic discipline from the Olde World, dating back to the ancients and producing their motto, “Return to the Olde Ways”. What you get is as close today to what the ancients drank using real natural ingredients (raw honey, real fruit), and natural processes to achieve maximum flavor with maximum clarity without filtration, a flavor-removing process.

And more!…

If you don’t have tickets to Amber Waves Brewfest, now is the time! We are only days away!!

For tickets Click Here

How to Prepare for Your First Brew Fest | Amber Waves Brewfest

Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned professional, we could all use a little help preparing for your first or the next brew fest of the summer.  We’re here to help.  We are about to give you some great tips on how to prepare for your first brew fest.

Purchase Amber Waves Brewfest tickets

Step #1:  Bring a Bag

Trust me, this one has got to be at the top of your list.  Typically, when you go to a brew fest you are going to get so much kick ass swag that you’ll want something to carry it in.  Besides, you need your hands free to sample all of the beer!  We suggest a drawstring bag or something lightweight.

Step #2:  Wear Comfortable Shoes.

Yeah, we get it hot stuff, you want to look cute. But, if you don’t want your little piggies aching by the end of the day, you will want to wear some comfortable shoes.  We’re not saying you have to strap on some Velcro trainers with arch support (although not a bad idea) but you may want to skip the high heels for this type of event.

Step #3: Pace Yourself

Look, we know that once you arrive you feel like a kid in a candy store.  There are so many breweries and so many varieties that your heart starts racing and you start salivating like no other.  However, pace yourself.   This isn’t a race; this is a chance to familiarize yourself with new beer and varieties to widen your horizon.  Besides, you don’t want to be the first one carried out.

Step #4: Deodorant

I can’t stress this enough.  Brew fests happen right in the dead of summer and you will be sweating in places you didn’t realize you could sweat.  Protect your dignity and your neighbors and wear deodorant.  We are all going to be crowded around one another and you want to feel fresh and smell fresh.  Use deodorant!

Step #5: Enjoy Your First Brew Fest

This step is the easiest.  Just enjoy yourself.  Meet new people, talk with brewers, dance to the music and toast to a great summer. 

We hope that these tips help you prepare for your first brew fest.  Don’t forget to grab your tickets to Amber Waves Brew Fest that is scheduled for August 17, 2019!

To purchase tickets click here.

Copyright 2019 Amber Waves. All rights reserved