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Planting New Roots

Ash & Elm Cider Co. Opens New Location

Writer / Seth Johnson
Photographer / Robby Berry

Ash & Elm

The owners of Ash & Elm Cider Co. have found a new space in Indy’s Near Eastside neighborhood that fits them just right.

“At this new space we have huge windows,” says Co-owner Andréa Homoya. “It’s airy and open with bright colors. It feels much more aesthetically like what our brand has always been to us.”

Located in the restored Assembly Building, the new Ash & Elm Cider Co. location features a full-service restaurant, with a food menu curated by Chef Tracey Couillard. In tandem with their cuisine, Ash & Elm provides a rotating selection of cider, beer and wine across 14 draft lines, offering up something for everyone.

Homoya and her husband Aaron were first fascinated by cider while traveling in Ireland.

“We were driving from Dublin area to Belfast, and we stopped for lunch somewhere out in the middle of nowhere,” Homoya says. “They had a cider on their menu that was made around the corner, so we were like, ‘That’s really cool! Guinness is neat, but let’s try this thing that was made around the corner.’ It was really good in a way that surprised us. We hadn’t had cider that had tasted like that before, or had even known it could.”

Ash & Elm

With experience in home-brewing beer and wine, Aaron got the itch to start making his own hard ciders. As one thing led to the next, the couple decided to start their own craft cider company in Indianapolis.

“It felt like an interesting opportunity to both brew something new, and get involved early on in the beginning of a new beverage movement – then also to bring something new to Indianapolis that we hadn’t experienced here,” Homoya says.

After doing their fair share of market research, the Homoyas opened their original Ash & Elm Cider Co. tasting room in the Neidhammer building in June of 2016. While operating out of this location, they were able to gain traction within the community while also revving up their distribution – a task that took a bit of patience due to state legislation.

“Legally, cider is considered a wine, and in Indiana, wineries are not allowed to self-distribute,” Homoya says. “From the get-go, our hands were tied.”

Today, however, Ash & Elm can be found statewide at various bars, restaurants and liquor stores. Beginning this fall, Ash & Elm will also be sold at Kroger and Meijer grocery stores. Homoya says local breweries are currently their biggest customers.

“Breweries don’t want to put each other on tap because they’re all kind of competitors,” Homoya says. “They all want one non-gluten beverage, and they all pick us. Almost every local brewery that carries a cider is carrying Ash & Elm.”

Similarly, those visiting the new Ash & Elm location in the Assembly Building will find alcoholic beverages that are not cider.

“We do carry beer and wine as well, so it is a full-service restaurant,” Homoya says. “If people come in, of course we want them to try cider. But if they’re really certain they aren’t going to find something they like, then that’s fine. They still have options.”

When it comes to food at the new location, customers can expect a more robust menu than the previous location, expertly curated by Couillard, a highly revered local chef.

Ash & Elm

“Indianapolis has their 10 or 15 chefs where everyone knows their names,” Homoya says. “She’s not at that level, but she’s at the next tier where all those chefs know about her because she’s doing great stuff. We’re not trying to be the number-one restaurant in the state, but if you’re a foodie, we want you to come here and try our stuff.”

Specifically, Couillard specializes in making homemade pasta, which is now something visitors can always expect to find on the Ash & Elm menu. Additionally, some old favorites from the previous location will stick around.

“We’ll have a bigger menu with everything made from scratch – a few pastas, several entrees, and then some of the crowd-pleasing, new-American cuisine,” Homoya says.

Since opening their new restaurant and cider bar on August 10, Homoya says the reception has been great.

“The feedback has been really positive,” she says. “People love the space.”

When it comes to places where people can find Ash & Elm in the Broad Ripple neighborhood, Homoya says they’re just about everywhere.

“Some of our biggest accounts are Kahn’s Fine Wines and Spirits and SoBro Spirits,” Homoya says. “Both go through a lot of our cider. We’re also at the Broad Ripple Farmers Market every Saturday and the Binford Farmers Market. A lot of the locally owned restaurants in Broad Ripple will also have our stuff.”

Ash & Elm Cider Co. is located at 1301 East Washington Street in Indianapolis. For more info, call 317-600-3164 or visit ashandelmcider.com.

Ash & Elm Cider Co. strives to make quality ciders using apples from around the Midwest and to help cultivate the market for craft cider in Indianapolis. Each cider we make – from traditional heirloom-apple blends to more modern and esoteric styles – uses fresh-pressed apple juice that is never from concentrate and uses all-natural ingredients. We hand-peel every lemon that goes into Fleeting Youth; we use real fruit infusions in our fruited ciders instead of syrups or fruit concentrates; we crush, toast, and blend whole spices into our spiced ciders like Autumntide and Marigold. Though we release a wide range of styles, you’ll know you’re drinking an Ash & Elm Cider Co. cider by our focus on making complex, drinkable, apple-forward ciders.

Checkout Ash & Elm Cider Co. – Indianpolis Watch Video

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