Monthly Archives: May 2018

Pubcast 271 – 3 Guys In A State: Illinois

It’s Illinois Craft Beer Week, and after last week’s show where we celebrated a brand new Illinois brewery, we have returned to a quieter home turf location and we are tasting some Illinois beers. This is the first of 2 shorter shows (making up for missing a couple) where beer consultant to the stars, Mark Naski, joins The Brit and friend of the show, John Karwoski, and we talk about and taste some brews from two of our favorite states, Illinois and Idaho.

In this edition, we recognize our home state with three brews from Afterthought, Church Street, and Dovetail. Arbitrarily selected beers, we pair these up with some charcuterie and Italian cheese, which turns out to one of the best munchies you can have with good beers. The selections range from a flowery adjunct, through a well-done style, to a journey through 2 styles you would not expect.

Beers Reviewed:

Afterthought, Saison Meer: Lilac, brewed with Lombard lilac flowers, ABV 5%
Church Street Brewing, Devil’s Advocate, Belgian Golden Strong Ale, 8.8% ABV
Dovetail Brewing, X01 Flanders Rauch, Flanders Oud Bruin, 5.3% ABV

Beers paired with Jamon De Bellata Spanish Ham and Canestrato cheese

Play the show from the Podbean player, or our player below…


Pubcast 270 – Oswego Brewing – Ribbon Cutting

The Brit headed down the Fox River for a follow-up visit to Oswego Brewing Co., and he sat down with head brewer Marc Wilson ahead of the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, and found out what he had been doing in the past 6 weeks.  Co-host Chuck Fort also makes it down after a heavy day of brewing at Church Street.

The official opening will be Friday, May 18, co-coinciding with the start of Illinois Craft Beer Week, and it promises to be a VERY busy weekend for the crew here at the brewery.

Also stopping by are co-owners Chris Heinen and Panit Patel, and we taste all of their initial offerings which turn out to have something for everyone, and they are all solid brews. The Brit also corners the Village President of Oswego, Gail Johnson, who turns out to be a craft beer promoter for events like Brew at the Bridge.

We talk first about Marc’s Gold Medal for his recipe at his previous brewery, Nevin’s, and his Hook and Hatchet Vienna lager. Then we move on to the focus brews that he has produced at OBC. All that and the ribbon cutting hub-bub makes it a busy night in Oswego!

Brews on Tap for the Opening Weekend:

Ska Music from Peg & The Rejecteds

Play the show from the Podbean player, or our player below…


Pubcast 269 – Cut Price Craft Beer?

This week we have gathered our panel of usual suspects, co-host Chuck Fort from Church Street Brewing, ex-tavern owner John Karwoski, and craft beer nerd, Tom Ryan. They are press-ganged into a blind taste test, this time with brews from cut-price supermarket Aldi.
Their web site states “Brewed To Exceed Your Expectations”…so is it?

We collected 6 sample brews, a range of styles, and we use a very arbitrary rating system that covers Appearance, Smell, Taste, After Taste, and Drinkability, across a 100 point weighted rating system. We blind tasted the brews, then averaged the total scores to find out the beer we best liked.

Interestingly, a real micro-brewer produced the one we liked the most, but overall it seems that getting your fresh brews from a local craft brewer is the way to get good beer!

Stick around after the show for a bonus beer review of Noon Whistle‘s Dubbel Giggidy. Aged in Old Forester bourbon barrels, ABV 9.1% – we saved the evening with a decent local brew!

Tech Note:  this week we had a slight hitch where some sound was too loud. All I can say is sorry, live with it!

Below is the list of beers in the order we tasted them, with their final average score and their final standings –

Folded Mountains Pale Ale, ABV 5.3% (Brewed at Gennesse, Rochester, NY)
Average score 49 / 100 – #5

Wild Range IPA, ABV 6.9% (Brewed at Gennesse, Rochester, NY)
Average 37 / 100 – #6

Hoplift IPA, Third Street Brewing, Cold Spring, MN., ABV  6.2%
Average 76 / 100 – #1

Boot Tread, Belgian Amber Ale, Brouwerij Martens, ABV 5.0%
Average 69 / 100 – # 4

Feldschlossen Maibock, Feldschlossen Dresden, ABV 7.2%
Average 70 / 100 – #3

Wernesgruner Dark, Schwarzbier, Wernesgruner Brauerei, ABV 4.9%
Average 73 / 100 – #2

Play the show from our player below, or from the Podbean player…