INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Nearly one year ago, locally-based Sahm Restaurant Group took over the space formerly occupied by Bent Rail Brewery at 5301 Winthrop Avenue in SoBro and transformed it into Liter House.
The space serves as the production facility for Big Lug and as a must-visit German food and beer hall.
“Eddie and Ed [Sahm] were really inspired by German food and they just wanted to bring that here and create a big event destination space,” said Steve Simon, beverage director for Liter House.
And thanks to the addition of Half Liter Beer and BBQ Hall earlier this year, you can order your favorite Texas style brisket or bushwhacker or your go-to German currywurst or schnitzel all under the same roof.
Here, there’s literally a little something for everyone.
So how did they get the idea to fuse German food and beer with Texas-style barbecue?
"I think that they really had a lot of talent in Blake [Ellis] as the pit master and wanted two very different concepts,” said Simon. “We wanted to be something where you can come to Liter House three times a week, have German food once, have barbecue twice, something that would still get you to come out that was drastically different.”
On the Liter House side, you’ll find traditional German favorites with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients.
“It’s very farm to fork, really focused on local ingredients and [we] give it a German spin,” he explained.
And of course, there’s the beer.
“German inspired beers, really clean easy drinking stuff,” Simon said. “A lot of styles that people aren’t super familiar with: dunkels, dunkelweiss and dunkelweizen”
On the other side of the building, Half Liter is all about doing things the Texas way, from the décor to the menu.
“We cook, we smoke every day,” said pit master Blake Ellis, “That’s the trick of it. If you want good barbecue, it’s the stuff that came off the smoker that day.”
Their brisket, baby back ribs, collard greens and green beans are some of their top-selling items.
Ellis left the IT field almost 12 years ago to pursue his passion for cooking and has been smoking meat professionally ever since. So it’s no wonder he has smoking down to an art.
“Man, the brisket over here is so good,” Simon said. “The chicken wings, too, I think are the best in the city and the Johann pilsner we have on right now is my favorite beer in town.”
If you’ve got a big appetite, you’ll want to drop by on a Saturday for their beef rib.
“It’s a little over a pound beef rib, so it pretty much looks like a dinosaur bone,” explained Ellis.
But if you can’t decide, just ask for the SoBro smorgasbord.
Then top it off with your choice of sauce. And, yes, there are plenty of options.
“[We have] the Carolina Gold one, a bourbon and cola one and then we have the Texas style which is more of a mop,” Ellis explained. “It’s [got] a lot of poblanos and a lot of beer.”
They also have a options for the more adventurous sauce connoisseurs.
“We have a morita one which has the chipotle peppers and it’s not too spicy but it’s real smoky,” he said. “Then we have a rum habanero one that will melt your face.”
Fortunately, you can cool off with one of their cocktails on tap like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, frozen drinks and milk punches (which Simon says are essentially clarified citrus beverages).
Four Things You Need to Know About Half Liter Beer & BBQ Hall:
- Half Liter Beer and BBQ Hall is a Texas style BBQ joint with house made beers, a deep whiskey list and professionally assembled bar program. They are family friendly with a 21 and over lounge upstairs. Plus, they offer catering!
- Under the same roof-- just on the other side of the building—is Liter House: a traditional German food and beer hall and the production facility for Big Lug. When it comes to food, they are very farm to fork focused and work with local vendors like Fischer Farms and Silverthorne Farm.
- Not only is the interior space huge with plenty of seating, but Half Liter also offers an awesome dog-friendly and family-friendly patio outside. On any given weekend, you can expect to see people playing games like corn-hole, Hammerschlagen and other fun activities.
- They have plenty of variety when it comes to their beverages. They have plenty of German inspired beer on the Liter House side, as well as two craft cocktail bars, a great wine list and sommelier, and plenty of popular drinks on tap like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, milk punches and the ever-popular adult milkshake called a “bushwhacker.”
Just like a real Texas barbecue joint, the focus here is all about speed.
“If he’s just slicing brisket and handing it to you, that cocktail has got to come out really fast,” said Simon. “So we do cocktails on tap like Manhattans, Old Fashioned and then the milk punches and frozen drinks.”
Other popular summertime cocktails include the New Orleans classic frozen ramos gin fizz and the frozen thin mint white Russian.
“It comes with cookies crumbled over the top of it. It’s fantastic,” he added.
But their best seller is known as the “bushwhacker.”
“It’s like an adult frosty with whiskey in it and everybody loves that,” said Simon.
For more information about Half Liter Beer and BBQ Hall, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also keep up with their latest events and other happenings by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
While in the neighborhood, check out some of SoBro’s other top rated hot-spots: