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First Pour to Last Call: Epic Limo Brew Tour
It was a chilly Friday night in January, but everyone was pretty stoked to take the brand spankin’ new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter party bus out on its maiden voyage. All of us on the Epic Limo staff were taking the bus out on the first Brew Tour for “research”, from here on out to be held on the second Friday of every month. Brian, Epic’s down-to-earth owner, promised us pizza & craft beer and with that, we all piled in and headed to our first stop,The Devil’s Trumpet out in Merrillville.
Armed with our boxes of pizza, the Epic crew headed into the main area of Devil’s Trumpet. A cool, modern setting, The Devil’s Trumpet boasts a plethora of hoppy IPAs and full-bodied stouts. Overall, a vast range to satisfy all craft beer enthusiasts, from the newly curious to experienced. First things first, we dove into the pizza. From there, we had the option to order individual beers or flights. Some of us ordered beers, others ordered flights, but ultimately, we ended up trying everything that was brewing. Individual 13oz beers were $5, flights were $2 per sample glass. Personally, I thought it was pretty cool of the guys at The Devil’s Trumpet to allow us to bring in pizza, as they did not have food. After an hour of sampling the brewery’s finest, our chauffeur for the evening, Kian, herded us all like cats back on to the party bus.
Pokro Brewing up in Griffith was our next stop on the tour. By the way, it should probably be mentioned that Jason, Epic’s GM & resident craft beer aficionado, selected the breweries for this Brew Tour trial run. It should also be mentioned that if you opt to go on a private Brew Tour here at Epic, you can have our staff plan it for you or you can select the breweries yourself. Okay, back to our scheduled programming. We arrived at Pokro a few beers and several slices of pizza deep, ready to try Pokro’s best brews. The place had a quaint European feel, appropriate for a Polish joint, with low ceilings, rough hewn tables & benches, and a small bar. Like the Devil’s Trumpet, Pokro’s brews also catered to a vast palette, with plenty of IPAs, Ales, & Stouts. The place also boasted traditional Polish fare to order. Stuffed on pizza, we did not sample any, but their food looked like they could give grandma’s a run for her money. It would be wise to suggest sampling upon visiting. Upon ordering our poison ($6 per beer, or $3 for a 7oz “taster”), we all ventured to a back area that was slightly less traditional in its European decor and more modern-party-esque, complete with an area to play bags (or cornhole, depending on which side of Route 30 you fall on).
By the time we made it around the corner to Wild Rose Brewing, we were hungry again & ready to chow down. Brian indulged us with the Pulled Pork Nachos, which came highly recommended by our friendly neighborbood bartender. We all bellied up to the bar in the spacious, modern venue, which had an inviting feel for being so open & industrial. The place even had an outdoor patio perfect for summer day drinkin’. Very hipster meets contemporary. By far, Wild Rose had the largest & varied beer menu & tons of TVs to catch the Blackhawks on. One thing that set this place apart from the previous two was their American bar food menu & generous wine selection, great for those who choose not to indulge in beer. Kian really had to herd us out of Wild Rose, which was supposed to be our last stop. Of course, all of us rowdy Epic folk decided to make just one more stop (two, if you count the liquor store, because apparently no brew tour would be complete without a fifth of Maker’s).
Rounding out our, quite literally, Epic Brew Tour, we unloaded at Beer Geeks in Highland, where they don’t brew their own beer, but sport a ton of local & international brews all in one place. From Burn ‘Em in Michigan City to Upland in Bloomington, you can sample any of their 20 rotating beers on tap. Like Wild Rose, they also cater to Wine-os, but they also had cocktails as well. To top it off, there’s a Verona pizza next door offering pies to late night drinkers if you weren’t into the food off the Beer Geeks menu. Unfortunately, they were closing just as we pulled up, but luckily we still had some pizza left over from earlier that we demolished in between libations….along with our pitstop bourbon. The atmosphere in the place was very Rocker Geek meets Hipster & was pretty crowded.
By the time we (finally) headed back to Epic HQ (and the DDs…and some crew members residences…), the brew bus turned into a party bus, complete with all of us dancing & taking turns playing deejay/lighting expert. The brew-tour-turned-dance-party that was supposed to end at 10pm didn’t stop til nearly 1am, which was just fine with everyone on board.