Category Archives: Brewery

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 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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Pubcast 198 – HMQ90 Collaboration

What defines a collaboration brew?  And what occasion could spark such an effort?
Phil Clark, ex-pat Englishman, wanted to brew a traditional English Pale ale to commemorate the 90th birthday celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II, that took place this past June in the UK.

We asked our good friends at Hopvine Brewing in Aurora, IL if they might like to participate.  Ken McMullen, head brewer, said sure and so the project was born.  Using a recipe from co-host Mark Naski, this beer used English ingredients – Maris Otter malt and East Kent Golding hops.  Phil went down to the brewery and spent the day with Ken, understanding the process in detail and providing labor as needed.
The result is a beer that has all the maltiness required, and with a lovely mild hoppiness.

This edition of the pubcast records the brew day, the pre-release tasting, and the release day of July 8.  We hope you were there, and hope you liked the beer.
Here’s to you Your Majesty, Happy Birthday!

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Pubcast 197 – Lena and Generations Brewing

Phil and the lovely Kimberlee recently headed out to north-west Illinois to visit the Galena Territory area. On the way they stopped by Lena Brewing and got an interview with brewers Tim and Andy, tasted some  samples and brought a selection of bombers back for show tastings.

With John Karwoski’s help, Mark and I try their 38° Hefe — 5.8% ABV 13 IBU, one of their most popular summer brews. This is followed by Póg Mo Thóin, Amber Ale – 4.5% ABV, 20 IBU.  We will have reviews of some of their other offerings in another show.

We then head to Generations Brewing, in Freeport IL, and bring back a couple of howlers of their special offerings.  Ken McMullen from Hopvine Brewing is on-hand to help us taste these and we start with Cherry Czar, a Russian Imperial Stout with cherry puree, 10.4% ABV, 58 IBU.
Last up is Tawny Ale, an oak-aged Irish strong ale, 6.9%, 22 IBU.
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