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Donum Dei

How Richard Otey… seized the Dei!!

When Richard Otey’s electronics engineering job of twenty years decided it was time for him to transfer and leave his life behind, it was then he decided that he did not want to go to work for anyone else again. Feeling that people higher up on the food chain had made a calculated decision that it was time for him to move on, Otey decided that enough is enough. “I had a taste of owning my own business when I was younger and I never got over that, waking up in the morning doing my own thing, going to bed at night thinking about my own thing and being excited about it” said Otey, which lead him to open his own tap house in New Albany, In. Donum Dei brewery is the result of Otey’s love for brewing beer and a man seizing and opportunity to find happiness through beer and conversation.

Truly Home Grown

As the craft beer scene continues to expand in Southern Indiana, which has seen four local breweries open since 2015, Otey and Donum Dei are carving out a niche by keeping many of their operations local. They buy some of their hops from Eight One Two Hop Farms in Nashville, In, give their spent grain to a local farmer to feed his cows and buy their bread from a local bakery. The interior of Donum Dei is handmade, everything from tables to their hand crafted wooden bar. While taking a tour of the brewery Otey displayed his repurposed dairy tank that he now uses a fermenter and his home built cooler behind the scenes that he uses to store his finished products.


No Pressure to Compete
According to the Brewers Association, since 2015, the number of breweries that have opened in U.S is north of 4000, but Otey feels no pressure to compete with his fellow craft brewers. “We in the craft beer community, for the most, we all work together because we are at best twenty-percent market share” expressed Otey who knows that majority of the beer is controlled by mega conglomerates such as Anheuser-Busch who produce beers such as Budweiser and Stella Artois. Working with other craft brewers is important to Otey and his employees because he realizes that there is plenty of room for growth and it makes no sense to cannibalize other local establishments.

Feel Free to Talk

With a noticeable lack of televisions and no free wi-fi that you would find in your normal tap house, brewery or bar, Donum Dei aims to encourage conversation over a cold beer in society that has been over run with technology. Otey says “we want people to engage one another, talk, if nothing else… talk to us”. Going for a coffee shop feel, this tap house’s open setting makes you feel at ease while enjoying a hand crafted brew. Donum Dei also takes pride in teaching its employees how to brew the beer it serves so that if patrons ask, they are knowledgeable about the products. A student of Indiana University Southeast that works there by the name of Connor that works there expressed his love for the beer that Donum Dei offers and that he gets a chance to learn and brew under Otey. Recognizing the art and gift of brewing beer, Donum Dei aims to perfect each beer with carful and precise brewing.


The Specifics

The brewery is located in a small strip mall at 3211 Grant Line Rd New Albany, IN not far from Indiana University Southeast and offers anywhere from six to eight beers at any given time. While offering a light fare of sandwiches and soups, Donum Dei focuses mainly on its unique selection of ales. You can take advantage of some of their many specials such as two dollars off your pint on Tuesdays and enjoy live music on Saturday nights.

Beer is Life

Donum Dei is actually Latin for “Gift of God”, Otey believes that beer is just that. Back before brewers knew what made beer… beer, every time they got a successful fermentation they would thank god. Otey expressed that beer is much more than a social lubricant, but an essential to life. He believes that beer had its part in our learning about purifying water because of boiling it and the preservation of barley and wheat through the fermenting process. “A living breathing product” is what Otey said his beer is because his beer can taste different every time he brews it because of varying factors. With varying seasonal and permanent beers such as Red Ale and Enkel Belgium Gold, Donum Dei offers its customers a unique taste of Southern Indiana that is second to none.


Source Contact

Richard Otey (Donum Dei) – (502) 541-2950






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