Pubcast 212 – ‘Tis the Season…

As we head into the rush of the holiday season, the pubcast crew decided we should highlight some seasonal ales and winter warmers that we think would be good for experienced and new craft beer drinkers to try. It seems to be the spiced ales that come in for most of the attention, but we are trying to look at a couple of other brews that could be good alternatives to those heavy stouts we looked at last week.

This edition is what we consider our Brit and Yankee Christmas party, and joining Phil and Mark is friend of the pubcast and certified consumer,Tom Ryan, Chuck Fort, assistant brewer at Church Street, and as we are recording live at John’s Tavern in Winfield, publican and owner John Karwoski rounds out our trinity of tasters. It’s a seasonal six-pack and we chose our top 2 at the conclusion on our tasting session.

We sample the following beers for your consideration:
Church Street Brewing, Itasca IL – Pontificator, Doppelbock, 7.0%
Sam Smiths Yorkshire, England – Winter Warmer, 6.0%
Noon Whistle Brewing, Lombard IL – Bog Theory, Cranberry Mint Saison, 4.8%
Pipeworks Brewing, Chicago IL – Santa vs Unicorn, American Barley-wine Style Ale, 10%
Cahoots Brewing – AMeN!, Barrel-Aged Barleywine, 10.1%
Anchor Brewing Co., San Francisco CA – Christmas Ale 2016, 6.5%

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Pubcast 211 – Stout Brews, Stout Fellas

As we missed a week for Thanksgiving, we are back with a bumper edition.

Heading into the dark winter days, we select 6 hearty stouts that we think are good selections for either go-to or treat beers from the dark side.  Joining Mark and Phil is Chuck Fort, assistant brewer from Church Street. As all the beers are great in their own right, we won’t be rating them, but instead we select our top 2, based solely on personal preference.  Chuck brings their Holy Cow! Milk Stout as our starter brew.

To break up the Stout session, we cleanse our palate with a short interview with Brandon Wright, head brewer at Plainfield’s Werk Force Brewing. He won a gold medal at FOBAB 2016 for his Beautifully Broken, in the Fruit Beer category, and we caught up with him to find out all about his win and the beer.

Here are the stouts we reviewed, plus the timings if you want to skip around:

2:41 Holy Cow! – Church Street Brewing, Itasca, IL – Milk Stout, 6%
13:51 Double Cream Stout – Bells Brewing, Kalamazoo, MI – Sweet Stout, 6.1%
21:40 Dark Truth – Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City, MO – Imperial Stout, 9.7%
32:34 Black Note – Bells Brewing, Kalamazoo, MI- Bourbon Barrel-aged Stout, 10.8%
51:41 Turbulence – Sketchbook Brewing – Imperial Stout, 9.7%
63:06 Ten Fidy – Oskar Blues, Longmont, CO – Imperial Stout, 10.5%
73:33 2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout – Pollyanna Brewing, Lemont, CO – 10.5%

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Pubcast 210 – Adjunctivitis: A Brewer Panel Discussion

This episode sees Mark and Phil heading down to Blue Nose Brewery in Hodgkins, IL, to join up with Tim Hoerman from 51st Ward Beer Company and Andrew Nordman from Cademon Brewery, for an intense discussion on beer adjuncts.
What is an adjunct?  How do consumers see them, or even know them?  Are they good for craft beers?

Tim threw down the brewing gauntlet to Andrew at a brewfest one day to have him come and discuss his love for brewing with adjuncts. They made it interesting by each of them brewing an opposite beer – Andrew had to provide a base beer, and Tim one with adjuncts.  Andrew brought ‘Too Broke For Adjuncts’, his porter which forms the base for ‘Eve’s Tuition’, his Peanut Butter Porter.  Tim responded by adding coconut and almond to his Krispy Karl Imperial Stout, producing ‘Almond Joy’.
Joining these four are host brewers from Blue Nose, Jordan Isenberg and Justin Martin.  And to provide a publican view, John Karwoski from John’s Tavern in Winfield gives us his insight into what sells.  Mark gives technical moderation, and Phil consumes the beer.

It’s a lively and interesting insight into how brewers think, and we hope you enjoy it despite a slight amount of echo provided by the cavernous environs of Blue Nose.

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Pubcast 209 – Nevin’s Brewing Co.

This edition focuses on a conversation with NBC Brewmaster Marc Wilson.

Phil and Mark visited with Marc on ‘National Learn to Homebrew’ day, when Marc was entertaining the Spent Grain Society at Nevin’s brewery in Plainfield.  We arrived in time for a firkin of porter being tapped and then sat down to talk with the GABF Bronze medal winner to find out more about Marc the brewer, and to taste some of his flagship beers.

Our samples included:
Hook and Hatchet, Vienna lager, 5.0%
Red in the Face, American Red, 7.2%
Apocalyptinator, Doppelbock, 8.4% (GABF Bronze medal winner)
Wishful Thinking, Belgian Dark Ale, 11.0%

Listen in following this for a bonus interview with Ian Webster, president of the Spent Grain Society, who with some of the members was brewing up a batch of porter for ‘Learn to Homebrew’ day.

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