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INDIANAPOLIS — It may be a federal holiday Monday with many businesses closed in observance of Independence Day, but that didn’t stop Goodwood Brewing from celebrating their grand opening in downtown Indianapolis.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based brewery, which moved into the old Ram Restaurant and Brewery location along Illinois Street, says the pandemic was bad for some but not all breweries. 

“We all bring something different to the table,” said Ted Mitzlaff, chairman & CEO of Goodwood Brewing Co. “Indy’s always been near and dear to our heart. We’ve been looking for opportunities during COVID, and this one was unfortunate that they didn’t survive. To our blessing, we we’re able to find it and got a great.”

Don’t let the RAM sign out front fool you. There’s a new brew bar at 140 S. Illinois Street. 

Goodwood Brewing is paying homage to Ram in several ways. They’ve kept the wooden barstools with rams cut out of them, brought back their most popular beer and even hired several of their brewers. 

“We really want to do a tip of the hat to Ram, you know. We are sorry to see them go, but they’re not totally gone,” Mitzlaff said. “A lot of the folks here are not only craft beer fans but also fans of our brewer. We’ve hired several of the old Ram brewers. We are bringing back the Indy Blonde, which was a Ram beer, so our brewer is really excited to redo that one.”

Ram didn’t make it through COVID, but Goodwood thinks their odds of success are pretty good rising from their ashes. 

“We’re really excited. I think the beer community in Indianapolis is terrific. There are a lot of great craft breweries in Indiana, so we’re very honored to be joining that crowd,” Mitzlaff said. “We’ve been looking at Indianapolis for years. I’ve been trying to get in.”

Todd Kaminski is part of the brew scene. 

“We’re really excited to be here because, hopefully, reopening downtown, enjoying trying the different beers that they put on tap,” Kaminski said. “It’s fun to be down here.”

Kaminski also owns Crazy Horse Hops. He knows how much businesses have struggled through the pandemic. It’s why he’s encouraged to see Goodwood open with a healthy crowd.

“Extremely encouraging because I think we have to get some degree of normalcy and some confidence that we can come back to being normal and enjoying the downtown and breweries and the restaurants,” Kaminski said. “I think it’ll take a little time for that confidence to come back, especially with what the last year has brought in to play.”

Goodwood Brewing gave out free burgers for a year for the first 25 people at their grand opening at 3 p.m. Monday. 

They’ll have several specials running day-to-day until July 11.

You can purchase Ram merchandise from Goodwood, including mugs, growlers and t-shirts with all proceeds going to Women4Change