Last week, after a last minute trip to Mishawaka for rain pants, my family and I stopped at Evil Czech Brewery for dinner. I’m glad to have finally made it over to the brewery, and after looking at the weather forecast for Colorado, my daughter is probably pretty happy to have some good rain pants.
If you are a vegetarian, this probably won’t be the most likely place to stop for dinner; however, my family and I were able to find some very tasty choices on the menu. Evil Czech Brewery is located in the same building that was once occupied by Mishawaka Brewing Company, one of the state’s first brewpubs. After remodeling, the appearance is quite different. First, one will notice the entrance is now on the side of the building (closer to the parking lot) instead of the front of the building. The atmosphere inside has a very comfortable, industrial feel, with exposed brick and brightly polished steel. The staff is friendly, and there is an open kitchen where you can watch your food being prepared.
Eric Strader writes about the craft beer scene in Indiana and Michigan. He’s a dad, husband, potter, soccer coach and special education paraprofessional who likes to read, bike, hike and canoe. You can read more from him in his community blog
for The Elkhart Truth, Hop Notes
My wife ordered a Greek salad; my daughter ordered Mushroom Truffle Mac with smoked gouda, balsamic syrup glazed mushrooms, white truffle butter and a garlic pretzel crust; and I ordered a vegetable pizza with a roasted garlic base, olives, grape tomatoes, balsamic glazed mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, fresh spinach, mozzarella and provolone. My not-so-adventurous son ordered a cheese pizza from the Evil Czicklets kids menu. All were very delicious, and I think that next time I would choose the Mushroom Truffle Mac for myself.
So – on to the beers. It was a lucky trip for me, since the restaurant had just tapped a firkin of Lucky Dog (pale ale, 5.2 percent ABV, IBUs 38). Because of being from a firkin, the low carbonation allowed plenty of good flavor to shine through – definitely one of the better cask ales that I’ve tasted. The hop flavor was mild, with a hint of citrus, followed by a good fruity flavor and a mild bitter finish.
I also ordered a flight that consisted of five glasses of five ounce samples served on a board in the shape of the trademark Evil Czech horn.
Two Fingers English Toffee IPA (7 percent ABV, IBUs 67): The mosaic hops give this an earthiness, starting with a sweet, malty flavor and a bitter finish. With a medium body and medium carbonation level, it paired nicely with my pizza.
Blackbeards’ Delight (7 percent ABV, IBUs 69): This rye IPA combines Eldorado, Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin hops to create a dry, bitter flavor, with some spiciness from the rye.
Voodoo Vanilla Rye Porter (4.6 percent ABV, IBUs 30): I love vanilla beers, and this one showcases Madagascar vanilla beans quite nicely. Vanilla is the prominent flavor here, but there are some hints of chocolate and dark malt. It’s a bit light for a porter, but it paired well with the rich Mushroom Truffle Mac.
7 AM Oatmeal Milk Stout (7.5 percent ABV, IBUs 25): This combines three of my favorite stout styles all in one – coffee, sweet stout and oatmeal stout. I didn’t get as much coffee as I expected, given the name, but it did have very good flavors of roasted malt and chocolate. Again, I would have appreciated a bit more body for the style, but the flavor was very nice.
Rasta’s Smokey Esspress Jamaican Coffee Stout (5.5 percent ABV, IBUs 48): This was my favorite beer after the firkin. This beer is created with cold brewed Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, and it is evident in the flavor. In addition, there is a complexity of flavors including coffee, chocolate and toffee, with a solid malt base and just a hint of nuttiness. Again – and this is just my personal preference – I would have enjoyed a bit fuller body for this style, but very tasty just the same.
The brewhouse is visible behind glass, with fermenters at one end of the dinning room and the brite tanks behind glass separating the dinning area from the bar area. For families with children, it is nice to know the dining room is family friendly. Overall, I had a very enjoyable experience, and the beer was quite good. I would not hesitate to stop in again next time I’m over that way.
If you go...
Address: 3703 N Main St, Mishawaka, IN 46545
Hours: Open daily at 11 a.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m., and I was told the bar generally closes when people start to thin out around midnight.
Beer is available to go in growlers.
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