Try 1 month for 99¢

Devil's Trumpet Brewing Co., the Hobart craft brewery named after a flower, has been blossoming of late.

The craft brewery at 8250 Utah St. recently signed a distribution deal with Valparaiso-based Indiana Beverage that will make its beer available across Northern Indiana and is in talks with distributors in Indianapolis. It recently added 10 times the production capacity and plans to brew three times as much beer this year.

"We started distributing privately within the state, but as our distribution footprint grew we needed to keep up with the volume of beer we sell in the tasting room and through outside sales," said Steve Carter, one of the owners. "We've increased our capacity and are now working with distributors to further increase our distribution."

Devil's Trumpet expects the retail price of its craft beer will come down by $1 or $2 per six-pack now that it no longer has to self-distribute, and since it's greatly grown its production capacity.

Last year, Devil's Trumpet replaced its three-barrel brewing system with a 25-barrel brewing system and a seven-barrel brewing system. The largest system is to mass produce its most popular beers, including the My Ghetto India Pale Ale, the Night Goat Stout and the Make It a Cheeseburger IPA. The smaller system will be used to make one-off beers in smaller quantities and seasonal beers, such as Make it a Double Cheeseburger, Chocolate Taco and Vanilla Bean Night Goat.

The brewery hopes to score a success with its new Devil's Trumpet Classic Pils, the idea for which emerged after the brewery opened a concession stand at U.S. Steel Yard last summer.

"We're searching for a gateway beer for domestic beer drinkers that's familiar and recognizable, yet more full-bodied and with the flavor of craft beer," he said. "Being at the RailCats stadium taught us we could expand the beer market. It's 5 percent ABV, easy-drinking, light, high, clarity, but with the flavor that would appeal to a craft beer drinker."

Devil's Trumpet currently distributes to more than 500 liquor stores, restaurants, bars and supermarkets, including Strack & Van Til, Jewel-Osco and Al's Supermarket. It's also available in the Family Express chain of convenience stores.

"Last year, we did 1,000 barrels," Carter said. "This year, we'll be able to triple that, if not more. We're right on our business plan, where we thought we would be."

Its beers will soon be available in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Kankakee and the greater Chicago area, but it plans to keep its focus on Northwest Indiana.

"We want to convey that we're a grassroots brewery that grew up in Northwest Indiana," Carter said. "We're a blue-collar, hard-working brewery."

In the long-term, Devil's Trumpet hopes to distribute to all the states neighboring Indiana.

"It helps that we've been well-reviewed," he said. "We have good word-of-mouth. We just focus on quality, and keeping it consistent."

50 craft beers of the South Shore


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.