Forty-five years after introducing the pizza pub to Indiana, Noble Roman’s is re-introducing itself to Hoosier pizza and beer lovers. Noble Roman’s Craft Pizza and Pub opened this past spring in a brand, spanking new development in Westfield, and when they team with Upland Brewing for a beer and pizza pairing, magic is made.
Just on the edge of the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, “Pizza Pub” opened in 1972, later to be named “Noble Roman’s Pizza”. As a child, you probably remember peering into the kitchen through the large dining room window, watching as your pizza was being made. This might have given you a connection of sorts, seeing your handmade pie come to life.
After the pizza world changed to the to-your-door type of business, Noble Roman’s carried on with a different model of its own.
But today, together with its emphasis on craft beer, Noble Roman’s reached back to their history to see their future. Executive Chairman, Paul Mobley, and CEO, Scott Mobley, looked through a large window themselves in overseeing company market analyzation and in 2015, they began crafting a return-to-your-roots, fresh and modern sit-down pizzeria.
Located at the southwest corner of U.S. 31 and S.R. 32, the new pizza pub is just an errant throw away from Grand Park and Westfield High School. Noble Roman’s Director of Operations, Terry Farabaugh, was kind enough to walk me through a tour of the new store.
As you walk into the restaurant, you are encouraged to pick a mini, wooden pizza tray to check out the menu that’s filled with pizza and pasta options, subs, salads and of course, their famous breadsticks.
You then come face-to-face with the glass-enclosed “Dough Room” that closely resembles a brewery’s yeast lab. Here you can watch the white-coated dough masters at work where there is no pre-made dough from somewhere else, nuh-uh; the room’s strictly controlled ambient and water temperatures help ensure scratch-only quality.
Your homemade pizza then has its choice of over 40 ingredients before entering the industry’s most efficient ovens, faster than even those delivery guys. And when you receive your piping hot pizza, you can add some extra accompaniments at the Dust and Dribble bar.
Apart from other pizza establishments, Noble Roman’s offers bar seating where the cool, metal bar top has been artistically scarred by a power saw. As the name suggests, craft beer is important here so nearly twenty lines of draft beer is offered along with other wine and beer options. Most important are the handful of taps dedicated to Indiana beer, as well as root beer for the kiddos. A couple dozen TV’s throughout the pub show sports, news and throwback black-and-white animation.
For their first ever beer and pizza pairing recently, it’s only fitting that Noble Roman’s would team up with another Bloomington icon, Upland Brewing, who just three years ago did its own rebranding. Dusty Howe, Upland’s sour beer brand manager, walked about forty of us through the lineup.
Your taste buds play a little cat and mouse with the sweet, tart and salty flavors before they finally figure it out.
To start the night, we were all given Champagne Velvet in a beautiful take-home pilsner glass. First up was the the Upland Wheat Ale with a chicken basil, pesto pizza. Skipping ahead to the third pairing was the Big Daddy BBQ pizza and Bad Elmer’s Porter, followed by Yucatan Sunset Pizza and Coastbuster Imperial IPA.
An early encore came in the second pairing with the Pig In The Apple Tree pizza, which featured candied walnuts, diced apples and bacon. Your taste buds play a little cat and mouse with the sweet, tart and salty flavors before they finally figure it out. This was absolutely delicious!
Upland’s newly distributed Free Time Vienna-style lager was the beer that was paired with this pizza, and for myself and several of the guests who commented, this was best pairing of the night. It was also a great opportunity for Upland to introduce Free Time to those who have not yet had it.
Something else worth mentioning, the pizza samples provided were straight from Noble Roman’s menu and not specially prepared for the evening. For a special treat, or dessert, Dusty poured samples from several of Upland’s nationally-renowned sours.
With room large enough to host teams of any size, all the way down to a team of one, Noble Roman’s Craft Pizza and Pub is perfect for business meetings and corporate bonding, as well. May I also suggest that this should be your new home for fantasy drafts.
Terry Farabaugh hinted that ground may break soon on another north Indianapolis restaurant, with plans for several more around Indy. If you appreciate “local” and regularly seek it out, this updated venture of Noble Roman’s will leave you loving quality, authentic pizza and beer in a cozy environment. Again.
Noble Roman’s Craft Pizza and Pub is located at 17409 Wheeler Rd., Westfield, In.