Long before opening Primeval Brewing in downtown Noblesville, co-founders Nathan Compton and Tim Palmer were hard at work mastering their craft.
“We’re both longtime home-brewers who just kind of struck out on the dream of trying to go out and start our own breweries,” says Compton, adding that he and his co-partner had a combined 20 years of homebrewing experience prior to starting Primeval.
Located at 960 Logan Street Ste. 100, Primeval Brewing specializes in classic, easy-drinking European beer styles that are sometimes overlooked in the heavily hopped, high-alcohol world of American craft brewing. Housed in a historic downtown Noblesville building, Primeval also provides a humble food menu of sandwiches and shareables, although their primary focus is on making delicious craft beer.
When the Primeval co-partners first began plotting a potential brewery concept, Compton admits to being lukewarm on the idea, primarily due to the oversaturation of breweries in the Central Indiana area.
“We started planning this three years ago,” Compton says. “Even then, I was telling Tim that there were too many breweries, which I still 100% believe even despite the fact that we opened.”
For this reason, the pair of Primeval co-founders decided to find their own unique niche by brewing European-style beers.
“German, British and Belgian were the big beers we loved to brew,” Compton says. “So we had this vision of crafting an old-world European beer hall-type place.”
In order to properly pull off the concept, Compton and Palmer knew they needed to find the right home. Upon brainstorming possible locations, downtown Noblesville stood atop the list.
“We targeted certain areas, and downtown Noblesville was pretty much the first place we looked at,” Compton says. “The type of atmosphere we tried to create here is something that’s not easy to replicate in a strip mall.
“We’re in a building that was built in 1908,” Compton continues. “We’ve got the old brick walls exposed and the old ceiling tile back up. What we’re doing just fits a building like this.”
When it comes to their beer selection, Primeval Brewing has five “core beers” to choose from, as well as an ever-changing selection of seasonal and specialty brews. In the “core beer” category, the brewery’s most palatable option is their Welcome to Helles German lager.
“It’s a very nice, everyday easy-drinking beer, and it’s kind of our answer to people who are a little more used to the macro domestic products,” Compton says of Welcome to Helles.
In addition to this German lager, other Primeval Brewing core beers include the Edelweiss hefeweizen, the Maxwell Euro IPA, the Sacred Seduction English porter and the Rauch My World rauchbier.
“Our most unique core beer is the German rauchbier style,” Compton says. “It’s a smoked German lager. It uses about 70% smoked malt and pretty much has the aroma and flavor of a campfire. It’s a style that we personally love and not a lot of people do it.”
In addition to their other seasonal and specialty beers, Primeval Brewing will also always carry a cider on tap from Indy’s own Ash & Elm Cider Co.
“There’s a certain part of the customer base that’s going to come in and isn’t necessarily a huge beer fan or might want something a little different,” Compton says. “The cider is just something a little different that we can put up there.”
Primeval Brewing patrons also have the option to order food with their beer. According to Compton, the decision to serve food was primarily strategic.
“We didn’t want to be the kind of place where somebody goes, has one beer, and says, ‘I’d like a second, but I need food. And since they don’t have food, I’m gonna go.’” Compton says.
On the Primeval Brewing food menu, visitors will find things like a charcuterie board, a turkey Reuben panini and a soup of the day. In reflecting on their food selection, however, Compton emphasizes that Primeval Brewing is a brewery above all else.
“We are a brewery first, and all the priority is on being a brewery,” he says. “We wanted the food menu to be small and simple. We’re not trying to compete with full-service restaurants — that’s not who we are.”
In reflecting on the brewery’s downtown Noblesville locale, Compton believes Primeval Brewing is right where they belong.
“You don’t have a lot of chains around here, and I think we fit in pretty well with that,” he says. “This is our first and only location.”
Primeval Brewing is located at 960 Logan Street Ste. 100 in historic downtown Noblesville. You can call them at 317-678-8193 or visit them online at PrimevalBrewCo.com.