Escape Velocity Brewing is a 5bbl Brewpub in planning in Lafayette, Indiana which will serve vegetarian/vegan soups, sandwiches, and small plates. We will be Lafayette’s only all vegetarian restaurant as well as Indiana’s only all vegetarian brewpub. Escape Velocity Brewing is the labor of love of husband and wife Jason Behenna & Heather Howard.
Heather spent the first half of her working life in the food and restaurant industry, spending time as a produce clerk, server, bartender, and finally restaurant manager. She is now an academic librarian, but is excited to be back working in the industry. Heather is a huge fan of craft beer, and she and Jason have visited approximately 200 breweries around the world. She founded the Lafayette chapter of Girls Pint Out, and loves the community building that comes with local beer.
Roughly ten years ago I got the bright idea to make my own beer. After some confused looks, I was gifted a homebrewer starter kit and started making some beer. Bad beer. Instead of being grumpy about the bad beer, I instead thought, “Why is it bad? How can I make it better”? This has led me on an intensive journey leading up to this point. Escape Velocity Brewing Company is the culmination of a decade of learning everything I could about brewing, with some big help along the way.
I jumped to all grain brewing quickly, to have more control over my brew. I’ve read every brewing book I could get my hands on, listened to hundreds of hours of brewing podcasts and, of course, brewed my ass off. I was lucky enough to have support from friends and family when I needed equipment upgrades or honest feedback. I was also lucky to get a jump into the professional brewing world. I learned about commercial bottling and event planning in the three years I worked at Fountain Square Brewing in Indianapolis. Daredevil brewing company gave me the opportunity to expand my commercial brewing knowledge by letting me apprentice brew. I learned large scale brewing, proper cleaning and sanitation of commercial equipment, canning beer, kegging beer, cleaning kegs (lots of kegs), and the level of work it takes to make beer on the professional level. Most importantly, I learned how to make consistent, quality beer.
I started to enter competitions and fairly quickly saw results. In 2015, I placed 2nd in the Upland Brewery UpCup competition. In 2016, my stout placed 2nd in the first round of the national homebrew competition, and later in 2016, my stout took gold in the Indiana State Fair Brewer’s Cup, then went on to beat 349 other brewers who entered 849 other beers to take home Best in Show in the Brewer’s cup. In 2018, the stout took home the silver in the Indiana State Fair Brewer’s Cup.
I’m ready to start making beer for you and turn this love of the beer industry I have into my career.