Writer / Matt Keating
Kurt Sundling, co-owner of the new Wooden Bear Brewing at Geist, 10150 Brooks School Road, believes in keeping things simple. So far, it’s been a great recipe for success.
“We have stressed having a casual, laid back atmosphere at both our Greenfield and Geist locations,” Sundling says. “We aren’t fancy or trendy. Those places are great too, but our guests love things the way they are here, and they know they are going to get a great beer and good food.”
The Geist location opened in early April and has been embraced positively by their guests.
John Dexter, Indianapolis, said he loves Wooden Bear’s Growl at the Moon witbier and their pizza.
“I was a big fan of the Greenfield location, and I was thrilled when I heard they were opening a location in Geist,” Dexter says. “I love their wide selection of beers and their food is also outstanding. The owners and staff knew how to do everything right in their original location, and they have done the same thing here.”
Wooden Bear’s first location at 21 W. North St., Greenfield, opened in September, 2014. It’s located in the former Gant Opera House and is the first-ever brewery in Greenfield.
“We found what worked at our first location, and we thought there was a real need for a new brewery in the Geist area,” Sundling says. All of their beers are “hand-crafted with a lot of love, a little hops and the hope of making fellow craft beer lovers smile.”
Sundling added that he and the other co-owners, Jason Swift, Dan Noah, and Brent Sandquist, all work full-time IT jobs and wanted to keep things simple to lower costs, knowing they would keep themselves busy at both locations.
“Each of us has our own strengths,” Sundling says. “I handle the financial side and the human resources. Jason is the front man. Brent handles the brewing side, and Dan handles the distribution. All of us have had to be a jack of all trades, and we will all fill in any gaps that are needed. We all focus on having outstanding beer.”
“I enjoy their Maize Runner beer, (a cream ale), and their Mediterranean Salad,” Campbell says. “Their Hoppy Bear IPA is also really good. It has a very distinct and delicious taste.”
Sundling says Wooden Bear Brewing at Geist also features another one of their house beers, Cougar Town Brown, and three rotating seasonal beers.
You can check out their Wooden Bear Brewing at Geist Facebook page for the full menu and where beer is currently on tap.
Popular pizzas include a new Margherita pizza, with Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano, garlic and a three-cheese blend, a Meat Lovers Pizza with sausage, pepperoni, bacon, ham and a three chess blend, and The Hawaiian, with ham, bacon, chicken, pineapple, Parmesan and a three-cheese blend.
Other popular pizzas are The Summer, with Roma tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, green and red peppers and a three-cheese blend and The Unmatched, with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, onions, green and red peppers and mozzarella.
“We have had a lot of guests tell us they love our pizza, which we make with all local ingredients,” Sundling says. “We use all fresh ingredients, with homemade sauces, fresh basil and oregano, and we also buy high-end flour.”
Their starters include their signature char-grilled wings, which are grilled to order and tossed in your choice of sauce: house, spicy-BBQ, Buffalo, or served plain, and Bear Bites, eight crispy bites of pizza dough seasons with choice of garlic or Parmesan, oregano/garlic or plain, served with a choice of one sauce.
Desserts include Kiki’s Kookie, a warm chocolate cookie served with vanilla ice cream, named after Sundling’s daughter, Kiki, and Cinnamon Bear Bites, cinnamon and brown sugar bear bites, served with warm maple syrup or cream cheese icing.
Sundling says that Wooden Bear has retained four of the employees of the former Apezza Pizza restaurant that was previously at 10150 Brooks School Road.
“The kids are all Hamilton Southeastern students,” Sundling says. “We were also able to keep the pizza oven. That was very convenient.”
Sundling and his co-owners are also planning to offer growlers of beer for purchase with their pizza deliveries soon.
“This has been an exciting and busy time,” Sundling says. “We have had a lot of people tell us they are excited about having us here, and we want to make sure they have a great experience.”