While in the Elkhart area, we had the opportunity to visit four different breweries. All were a bit different from each other, but they all had good beer according to Al. We visited these over a couple of days, so I’ll just give them to you to in the order that we visited.
This is a very relaxed place with friendly staff. You order your drinks at the bar and take them to your table. We were there at 4:00 on a spring Thursday, and we got the last table in the place. When we left, people were outside drinking their beers since there were no tables available.
Al tried two different beers (Soup of the Day and 7 of 9) and was very pleased with both. He picked up a couple of crowlers of the 7 of 9 to take home.
For the water drinkers among us, they offer a self-serve purified water tap and glasses well away from the busy bar area.
If you want food, you order from a spot just off the end of the bar, they give you a stand with a number on it, and your food is delivered to your table. We ordered the cheese and pepper dip as a snack. It was delicious with just the right amount of heat. To us, just the right amount of heat means not too hot for me but still hot enough for Al.
This is a pretty small place, but they are currently working on an addition.
The beer tanks are all visible from the restaurant area. Each one has the name of a local company on it. One of the servers explained that it was one of the ways that were used for fundraising when they were building the bar.
Location: 315 West Washington Street, Goshen
Evil Czech Brewery Public House
We went for lunch to check out their “Lightning Lunch” as well as the beer. This is a far size restaurant in Mishawaka with a funky graffiti-covered wall surrounding the outdoor area. Since it was not quite patio weather, we didn’t get an opportunity to check out the outdoor patio.
The Lightning Lunch is a small plate buffet when includes a variety of items from their menu but in a smaller size. All the dishes are lined up along the kitchen area, and you just help yourself to whatever plates you want. My favourites were the Buffalo Curds and the Carne Asada Tacos. Al’s preference was the pizza which I agree was very very good. I didn’t see it on the menu but the day we were there they were serving a bone marrow appetizer. I’ve never had bone marrow before so had to try it. It wasn’t bad but not something I would go out of my way to order.
Al’s choices of beer to try were the Evil Czechmunk and the Hawaii 5-0 Tropical IPA. He wasn’t a fan of the Hawaii 5-0 as he thought it was too fruity. So, cans of Evil Czechmunk were added to the collection to take home with us.
Location: 3703 N. Main Street, Mishawaka
I have to say that this nano-brewery was my favourite beer stop for this trip. It’s tiny. Tiny as in a capacity of 15 people. There are just the seats at the bar and a couple at tall tables. Because it’s so small, there is no such thing as a private conversation. At one point, we had everyone in the bar engaged in a discussion about where to find the best apple fritters in the area. Theresa, our bartender, kept the conversation and beer flowing.
They are only open Thursday through Saturday because of low production capacity. By summer, they hope to open a patio area at the back of the bar. They are also looking at moving the brewing off-site, so they can expand their seating area and increase production.
Food is just a couple pre-packaged snack items. This is a place you are going to go for the beer and atmosphere, not the food.
This time Al ordered a flight which included Tap That Ale (New England Style IPA), Union Jack IPA (from Firestone Walker), Luponic Distortion 009 IPA (from Firestone Walker), and Pale & Oats (oatmeal pale ale). Funny enough, it was the Luponic from Firestone Walker in California that Al decided to bring home. Nothing like going to Indiana and bringing home craft beer from California.
This time, though, we added a “bullet” to our collection of beers. I only added the term “crowler” to my vocabulary a few months ago, and now “bullet” (1/2 size growler) is another new word for me.
Location: 106 South Main Street, Middlebury
The other customers at Wedgewood suggested a couple of breweries to us so we could continue our tour. As we were on our final night in the area, we decided to try this one right in Elkhart.
It’s relatively large and very noisy. Lots of seating indoors and out. A big bar area. There were several large tables where you could see that different parties were sharing the tables.
Like Goshen, if you want food, you order it at the bar and its delivery to your table. We didn’t eat at this spot, but the pizza looked and smelled great; it seemed to the most popular item ordered at the tables around us.
For us water drinkers, they offered small water containers with glasses in a refrigerated area. I didn’t realize until we were leaving that they also make their own sodas.
Keeping with his IPA habit, Al tried and approved of the Revolution IPA. Again, crowlers came home.
Location: 317 North Main Street, Elkhart
Enjoy your beers! Enjoy your travels!