The town of Fairmount is synonymous with Hollywood legend James Dean. But a father and his two sons are determined to be another reason for people to stop in the Grant County community. Brothers Patrick and Derek Howard, along with their father Barry Howard, created Bad Dad Brewing Co. after Barry began brewing beer at home. The brewery has since garnered recognition both statewide and internationally, and the owners say they want to make Fairmount an even greater destination.
Patrick Howard says his father taught him and his brother how to make the beer, which led to the decision to start their own brewery. It’s been a recipe for success ever since.
Earlier this year, Visit Indiana voted Bad Dad as the best brewery in the state.
“It’s been incredible,” said Patrick. “Our beers, especially our core four, we can hardly keep them in stock.”
Perhaps it’s the “dad-isms” on the cans themselves that make them stand out, with titles such as “Tapestry of Obscenity,” a reference to “A Christmas Story,” as well as bad dad jokes.
It’s actually the pizzeria part of the business that’s boosted Bad Dad’s beer sales, even earning them some international love.
“We got recognized in Pizza Today, which is the largest pizza magazine in the United States and it is distributed internationally,” said Derek. “And we were put in there as one of the featured destinations, which was a really big honor for us. (It’s) fun to get the name out there from such a small town.”
Barry Howard says pizza and beer are the perfect combination and it’s because of the combination, the brewery has taken off as a destination location, which has been the Howards’ goal.
“We want to be a state player, specifically in the central Indiana to northern Indiana market,” said Patrick. “We want to be known for great beer and great pizza all in one stop.”