Pubcast 206 – Yeeha! Cowboy Beers!

Following GABF, Mark took a road trip out to the West, and visited Laramie Wyoming and Boise Idaho, and discovered that those cowboys have pretty good breweries and beers! He brings back samples from 4 breweries on this show, and we get a good sampling across the styles.  Guest John Karwoski joins us as we record live from John’s Tavern in Winfield.

First stop in Laramie, is Altitude Brewing, or to give them their full title, Altitude Chophouse and Brewery.  We have a crowler of their Imperial Stout, 7200′ Stout, clocking in at 7%.  Three weeks old, Mark wasn’t sure it would stand up but boy, it sure did!

Next we head to Boise, for the first of three brewery stops.  We sample the opposite end of the beer spectrum, an American lager called North Fork, from Payette Brewing.  This one is a great lager, and probably sells pretty well as a transition craft beer, and a light 4.4%.

Next, the oldest brewery in Boise, we sample Highlands Hollow Brewhouse, and a growler of a mystery beer.  Why mystery?  Mark forgot what he ordered and the cap wasn’t marked! We think it is either the Fiegwild English pale ale, or the Thunder Monkey Best Bitter.  Apologies to brewer Chris Compton, but we liked it a lot.

Finally, 2 cans of brewing goodness from the Sockeye Grill & Brewery, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.  Our first can is Hell-Diver Pale Ale, 5.5%. Lastly, a brown porter called Powerhouse, 6.0%, which proved to be very drinkable and John’s favorite.

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Pubcast 205 – Ram On Shaun Berns!

We love putting shows together, but this one was a particular pleasure and a treat for both of us. Following GABF 2016, Mark and Phil sit down with one of the Illinois medal winning brewers, Shaun Berns from Ram Brewery (Schaumburg) to chat about his passion, and taste some of his beers including the Gold Medal winning, Chaos.

We taste his Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Beer, Saison, and the legendary Juicy DIPA ahead of completely luxuriating in Chaos, Chocolate Beer.

Head out to Schaumburg and try his beers – you won’t be disappointed!
Check out all the GABF winners – here

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Pubcast 204 – Rocky Mountain High!

To coincide with the 2016 GABF, we are tasting some Colorado brews that were provided to the pubcast earlier this year, and need to be tasted! Joining Phil this week is John Bitterman, Chuck and Mimi Fort, and John Karwoski. Mark is roughing it at GABF this week, so we should have a ‘on-the-floor’ report from him next time!

The brews we have selected are ones that we think appeal to the novice who visits Colorado through to the seasoned craft beer drinker.  Our panel is a cross-section of palates, so we hope they represent for the average craft beer drinker!

Brews reviewed are:
Wynkoop Brewing Co – Mile High Pale Ale, 5.5%
– Colorojo, Imperial Red Ale, 8.2%
Funkwerks, Tropic King, Imperial Saison, 8.0%
Odell Brewing, Friek, Lambic/Sour, 6.9%
Crooked Stave, Serenata Notturna, mixed fermentation Belgian Golden Ale, 12%
Breckenridge Brewing, 72 Imperial Barrel-aged, Chocolate Cream Stout, 7.2%

We also get a bonus beer, a test brew from Chuck Fort, an English bitter!

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Pubcast 203 – Exit Strategy Brewing Co

Chris Valleau is the owner/brewer for ESBC, and together with his wife Katherine, he brought craft beer and great food to Forest Park. The brewery sits on the northern boundary of Madison St, with River Forest on the other side of the road (so look for the even numbers on the south side when you head out there!), and presents a very comfortable environment to try Chris’s brews.

In this episode, Phil flies solo (while Mark is out on one of his trips), and chats with Chris about his 18-month old venture, and how he produces such solid, to-style beers, including the legendary-named DIPA, Judgmental Dick.
Topics and samples are free-flowing, and we definitely recommend a visit, plus keep your eyes open for locations carrying their lineup.  Check out the brew lineup on their website.

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