Evil Czech Brewery and Public House is located at 3703 N. Main Street in Mishawaka. Owned by the same family as Corndance Tavern, Evil Czech is a casual gastro pub with in-house brewed craft beers, high quality ingredients and an innovative menu. Assistant General Manager Thomas O’Hara describes how Evil Czech got its start, the menu and his personal favorite dishes.
Q: What was the inspiration behind Evil Czech?
A: George Pesek [owner] was born in the Czech Republic and spent much of his early life traveling through Europe, enjoying their unique style of hospitality and trying beers from different countries, different localities and different cultures. When the time came to open his own brewery, Pesek went back to his roots, creating a space that is warm and inviting, while at the same time being stylish and innovative. We still harken back to Czech culture, from the PIVO (loosely translated from Czech as “to drink,” “beer” or “anything drinkable”) sign over our bar to the salute to General George Patton, who liberated the Czech town of Pilsen, where the Pilsner style of beer originated. At the same time, we use new equipment and modern techniques to design food and beer that raises the bar constantly. We are a combination of old world and new.
Q: How did you get into the brewing business?
A: Just over two years ago, Pesek decided that he wanted to brew beer to serve in his own restaurants. So he obtained his Master Brewer Certification at UC Davis, and soon after Evil Czech Brewery [ECB] Culver was born, with a seven-barrel production system. Then, more and more people started to find out about our beers. Orders for kegs started flooding in, and we quickly realized we needed much more brewing capacity. Last October, George purchased the old Mishawaka Brewing Company building on Main Street in Mishawaka, and ECB Mishawaka was born, with a 20-barrel production facility.
Q: How would you describe the menu?
A: The menu is an eclectic mix of traditional European gastro pub foods and Midwestern-themed dishes. We believe in quality food served in very satisfying portions, using locally sourced food whenever possible. During the spring and summer seasons, we shop extensively at the Wakarusa Produce Auction, buying fresh produce directly from farmers within a 100 mile radius of our restaurants. Our proteins are also sourced locally whenever possible, including bison raised on our own farm (Rooster Hill Farm, Argos Ind.), which is where the Pesek family lives. We buy only Midwestern beef and locally raised chickens and duck. Indiana is the number one duck-producing state in the United States, after all.
Q: Personal recommendations?
A: If I had to pick a few, I’d go with our Pork Carnitas Poutine with a fried farm egg on top, our house-smoked pork pastrami sandwich or our PB&J Burger (available in beef, bison or chicken, topped with peanut butter, roasted jalapenos and a bourbon bacon jam). I’m also partial to our Scottish Eggs which are hard boiled eggs wrapped in spicy chorizo sausage and crushed tortilla flake, served with our sriracha aioli and our house-smoked chicken wings.
Q: What should students know about Evil Czech?
A: Students should know that just because we’re a brewery doesn’t mean we don’t have room for those under the legal drinking age. We have a full service dining room with space for people of all ages, where they can enjoy craft root beer and cream soda from the Sprecher Brewery in Wisconsin, or our house-made milkshakes. Also, keeping in mind how many students are on a tight budget, they should definitely know about our Taco-Tastic Tuesday, when we feature pork, chicken, shrimp and vegetarian tacos for as little as $2.
O’Hara recommends ECB’s other weekly specials including Geeks who Drink trivia (7 p.m. on Mondays), Wild Wednesdays with live entertainment and Hangover Brunch Sundays at 11 a.m. Additionally, ECB is able to sell 64-ounce growlers on Sundays, so it’s a local option for buying beer on a Sunday. Check out their website for more information at evilczechbrewery.com.