BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Josh Hambright steps away from Central State Brewing. A job well done, sir.


Last week Josh Hambright, co-founder of Central State Brewing in Indianapolis, used his personal Facebook portal to announce his forthcoming transition from brewing to civilian life. Brief excerpts are below.

I made Josh’s acquaintance at some forgotten juncture during the past decade and have become very fond of him, as well as respectful of Central State’s progress. The brewery is innovative and singular, and I’m a fan. I’ll continue to be.

Being good at any job is hard work. Combining this learning curve with long hours of indie business ownership and the daily showmanship expected of craft beer purveyors, and it’s very possible at some point that you look in the mirror and wonder what it would be like to have your life back.

Eight years ago while sitting on my porch with Jake (Koeneman), we hatched the idea to start a brewery that would produce all the styles of beer we were seeking out from other parts of the planet that we couldn’t get right here in Indianapolis.

Four and a half years ago that dream became a reality as we started selling what would become Table, a simple farmhouse table beer that lead the way for what Central State would become. A bit after that we started playing around with Gose, another favorite style of ours, and eventually launched Garden into the market. Both of these beers are shining examples of simple yet complex beers that are accessible and easy to drink, something we’d always sought to create.

Beyond those two flagships we’ve created over 100 other beers, all of them a labor of love on our part. Along the way we convinced other folks to join our dream. We built a team of like minded lunatics, hell bent on creating the best beers we could, and delivering those to the masses. Always rooted in pushing boundaries and improving on the last batch, we’ve brewed close to eight thousand barrels of beer. Most of those batches were brewed by myself personally.

I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best breweries in the world, more than I could ever list here, and along with that I’ve made some of my closest and dearest friends because of the opportunities afforded to me because of the brewery. We’ve sent beer to 16 different states and 2 other continents, we’ve poured at some of the most prestigious events in beer, had our beers on taps at some of the best bars in the world, shared pints with countless friends and family members along the way …

But at some point, we all need to take care of ourselves. I completely understand Josh’s decision, perhaps more than many do. I wish him all the best.

… I have decided to step away from Central State Brewing and retire my title of Head Brewer. My last day with the company will be Sept 28th. I will continue to help the crew out a bit behind the scenes and offer them advice and guidance when and where I can but I will be stepping away from all day to day operations of the brewery. Central State will live on without me, which means the world to me. CSB will keep pushing boundaries, keep innovating and keep making some of the best beer in the state of Indiana and I know that it’s in the good hands of folks who care about it just as much as I do.