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Evil Czech's Dorm Daze Beer Dinner a sign of what's to come

Hey slacker, you missed Dorm Daze, Mishawaka-based brewpub Evil Czech’s experimental multi-course meal inspired by college cuisine. But don’t give up on the whole semester just yet.

For one thing, there’s still beer left. The dinner marked the release of brewmaster Simon O’Keeffe’s latest creation, an all in-state sourced brew known as the Indiana Pale Ale. The mash-up of Hoosier ingredients — grain from Lafayette’s Heneghan Farms, processed by Lebanon’s Sugar Creek Malting Company, and Columbus hops from Indy High Bines—produces a fresh, piney IPA. 

“The barley was malted to an English standard, giving it more body and mouth feel than an American style malting,” O’Keeffe said. The “InPA” will be on tap at the Mishawaka brewpub until the kegs are kicked.

Then there’s the prospect of future events featuring the musings of chef Drew Sachau and Evil Czech owner George Pesek. No, you won’t be trying Sachau’s macaroni and cheese stuffed jalapeno popper, deconstructed PB&J with Wonderbread mousse, Asian pizza puff, house made ramen or naked Snickers bar anytime soon. But if Dorm Daze was any indication, more head-of-the-class cookery is on the horizon.

“It’s really nice to work in an environment where someone [like Pesek] does allow you to push the culinary envelope and knows the value of keeping himself relevant,” Sachau said. “You don’t want to go completely off the edge, but you want to push that edge.”

The goal of Dorm Daze was to elevate the meager gastronomical ambitions of college kids. Where the culinary cram sessions will take Pesek and Sachau’s imaginations in the future is anyone’s guess, but diners will start to find out. Evil Czech also hosted a Michiana Cork and Fork dinner. According to Sachau, it’s going to push the boundaries of foodie-ism.

“We’re really pulling out all the stops as far as there being no comfort zone,” he said. That means taking a nose-to-tail mentality with the restaurant’s Cuban sandwich and delivering whole roasted pig heads to the table.

Beyond those events, look for Evil Czech to go big for its beer garden closing the day before Thanksgiving and then again when it reopens next spring. Sachau said the closing would feature “oysters, pork and beer” but offered few details on the opening. Another beer release and dinner will coincide with Josef Stalin’s death next spring, when the brewery drops its bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout, Stalin’s Darkside.

As with the Dorm Daze dinner, Evil Czech will put the beer pairings for future special event meals in the hands of O’Keeffe, who said he likes to think outside the box when dreaming up combinations.

“When you pair beer with food, you want to do something that either complements the food or contrasts with it,” he said. For Dorm Daze, that meant picking a bready pilsner to go with Sachau’s take on the PB&J, rather than the big stout or barleywine you’d typically find with a sweet dish.

Evil Czech’s special dinners run in the $30-45 range and are less expensive for Mug Club members. Reservations are required.

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