A Farmhouse Brewery That Keeps It Crafty

In a world where people are becoming more conscious about the sources of their food, one local business grows its own ingredients or buys locally to produce a variety of craft beers and foods.

E Brewing Company is a destination craft micro-brewery located on Esterline Farms, a four-acre all-natural family farm at 8324 W. State Road, South Whitley.
It’s a new concept in Indiana.

“It’s the first farmhouse brewery in the state,” says Jennifer Esterline, CEO and co-owner of E Brewing with her husband, Jason. “We are giving our customers more than just having a beer at a bar. People enjoy knowing who is making the beer and how we are making it, and learning what we’ve done to make the experience special for them.”

An Indiana native, Jason joined a home brew club in Kosciusko County that was active in community service. There, he met talented brewer Justin Ebey, who is now a partner in the local brewery. From California, Jennifer says farmhouse breweries on working farms have been growing in popularity in the past decade, mainly in western states. There are some in the Midwest, but not in Indiana.

She moved to Indiana five years ago when she married Jason, who had bought the farm in 2017. She saw great potential in the land and building, and so they refurbished the barn, created gardens and areas for animals, developed picnic areas, and opened an Airbnb.
Since E Brewing opened in July of 2023, it has been a place for enjoyment and learning.

“We wanted to do something no one has done before,” Jennifer says. “We want to celebrate and strengthen our community, support small agriculture, and interest residents and visitors in what we do.”

People who live more than 100 miles away have come to E Brewing for the special experience that brings many of them back again and again, she adds. Residents in Warsaw, Fort Wayne, Columbia City and other communities 10 to 25 miles away frequent the brewery.

“People get the feeling they are far away from home, without having to travel a long distance. We are in a great location,” Jennifer says.

When E Brewing first opened, they were making eight to 10 craft beers with seating for about 70 people. Within four months, the business tripled in size and seating expanded to indoors and outdoors.

There’s constantly new beers, and oftentimes custom creations. The company distributes to tap houses, restaurants and wherever alcohol is served. Future plans include expanding educational offerings, opening up new distribution sites, and making other improvements to show people how family farms used to operate.

By producing small batches of craft beer, E Brewing controls the ingredients, the creativity, and the standard of quality. They look for local ingredients such as honey, maple syrup and roasted coffees from Whitley County. For the barrel-aged beers, they use Artisan Distillery Edwin Coe, Three Rivers Distillery and Indiana Whiskey.

“You never get the same beer twice,” Jennifer says. “Even if you order the same beer all the time, there is something different about it each time.”

E Brewing is also known for its high-quality seltzers, using locally grown fruits and other ingredients. Esterline Farms and local growers work together to share in each other’s harvests and promote each other in the community. People who visit the farm can learn about the process of making beer, buy local artisan products and food, take tours, buy popcorn grown on the farm, and purchase items from a local produce farm stand.

E Brewing is open from 4 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. The eatery offers a limited menu of selections that pair well with the current offerings of craft beers. Homemade breads, salads, gluten-free items and desserts are on the menu.

“I have a passion for treating the earth and all its inhabitants well – and for people to know why that is important,” Jennifer says.