HOBART | The new Devil's Trumpet Brewing Co. has an India pale ale that's known as My Ghetto because the brewers spent so much time in the brewhouse they consider it their personal ghetto.
One of Northwest Indiana's newest craft breweries boasts several creatively named beers, including the Make It A Cheeseburger IPA, which alludes to a T-shirt for the heavy metal band The Melvins, in which a gun-toting bunny orders an unseen cashier or cook to make it a cheeseburger. Heavy metal often blares in the background while brew masters Chris Pearson and Bob Lusin make beers with ingredients such as piloncillo brown sugar cones, Mexican Chocolate from El Popular in East Chicago and coffee from Dark Matter Coffee in Chicago, which Three Floyds also now uses in its wildly popular Dark Lord Imperial Russian Stout.
"They were excited at El Popular that someone was using one of their products in a different way," Pearson said. "People think of just chorizo when they think El Popular, but they make other products too. Their chocolate is amazing."
Pearson and Lusin, who met in a homebrewing club more than five years ago and co-own the brewery with attorney George Brasovan and businessman Steve Carter, liken brewing to writing songs. They have to play around with the recipe and come up with a good title. They have influences, including Three Floyds, Stone Brewing Co. and Belgium-based Cantillon Brewery.
Despite the brewers' mutual fondness for the Danish speed metal band Iron Fire, the brewery's namesake Devil's Trumpet is not a metal reference. It's actually a rare type of flower that Lusin's mom used to plant outside his childhood home. A picture of the dark violet nocturnal flower hangs on the wall at the brand new brewery at 8250 Utah St., in a warehouse building next to a Carpet Liquidator's Outlet off of U.S. 30, just two minutes east of Interstate 65. Several Devil's Trumpet flowers also are planted in a garden in the outdoor patio.
Pearson, Lusin, Carter and Brasovan, who was also in the home brew club in Crown Point, have been planning to open the 80-seat taproom for around three years, after the subject came up during a chance encounter at a Home Depot.
"It costs three times as much as you think it will and takes twice as long," Carter said.
Craft brewing has lately been described as the hottest industry in Northwest Indiana. Several new craft breweries have recently opened, such as Hunter's Brewing in Chesterton and Ironwood Brewing in Valparaiso. Northwest Indiana now has so many brewers that they started getting together for local Brewers Guild of Indiana meetings, rather than venture down to Indianapolis to meet with the larger group.
Several more microbreweries are planned, including Craft 41 Brewery in Schererville and New Oberpfalz Brewing Co., Pokro Brewing Co. and Wildrose Brewing Co., all in Griffith.
The Devil's Trumpet stands out from the pack by focusing more on sours and barrel-conditioned beers, which it ages in Four Roses Bourbon barrels.
"We don't want to just make hop bombs," Lusin said.
The craft brewery, which currently has a 3.5-barrel system, focuses on making clean, flavorful and aromatic craft beers. A neat, modern tasting room with faux brass ornamentation reflects that philosophy. Seven beers are on tap, including rotating seasonals such as an Oktoberfest lager.
"We put a lot of thought into our tasting room," Pearson said. "We take pride in our beers. When someone comes in here to drink our beer for the first time, we want to create an atmosphere for them that would help them enjoy our beers to the fullest extent. You know, warm, inviting. I can't tell you how many times we've walked through that front door saying, 'Yeah, that's the feeling.'"
Food trucks, including Rolling Stonebaker Pizza, Welch's Stop & Shop, and Hungry Inc., supply food, including skirt steak tacos and bratwurst cooked with Devil's Trumpet beer.
Currently, the brewery is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, from 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays, from noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Takeout beer is available is 64-ounce growlers and 32-ounce stainless wingtops.
A guided beer/cheese paring with Fair Oaks Farm will take place at 7 p.m. Friday. The event will include free samples of cheese, beer and menus items from Fair Oaks's new Farmhouse Restaurant.