Category Archives: Craft Beer

Pubcast 263 – Indiana Wants Me (to drink their beer!)

Friends of the show Deb and John took a trip to Indiana and ended up in Griffith where they discovered 2 of 3 great breweries in that town. Griffith is just over an hour from the Brit and Yankee pub here in the western suburbs, so very attainable as a day trip. Our friends visit Pokro Brewing and New Oberpfalz Brewing and return with 3 samples from each and report on the ambience to be found at each. Joining the pub crew and Deb and John, are listeners Big Dave and Big Nate for a final tasting panel of real consumers and craft beer fans.

Both of the breweries featured have a European flavor to their brews, Pokro specializing in Belgian, English and other European styles, and New Oberpfalz on German-influenced beers.  We also have included an American IPA from each just to entice those who prefer that style.

By way of introduction, and because our first love is Illinois brews, we take a local brew from Noon Whistle that is a European style and make it our ‘warm-up’ brew, their Face Smack Berliner Weiss.

There’s plenty of pub chat, and the panel all have their own tastes so we think we got a pretty good representation of these breweries and the overall opinion is they are well worth visiting!

Beers sampled:

Noon Whistle, Face Smack Berliner Weiss, 4.00% ABV

Pokro Brewing
Pokro’s Grodziskie, Gratzer/Grodziskie, 4.00% ABV
Sea of Cheese, New England IPA, 6.5% ABV. 51 IBU
Abbey-licious, Belgian Dubbel, 6.5%ABV, 25 IBU

New Oberpfalz Brewing
Helles Lager, 4.8%, 17 IBU
Hopwagen, American IPA, 6.0% ABV, 56 IBU
Russian Imperial Stout with Coconut and Vanilla, 9.2%, 50 IBU

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Pubcast 262 – Blind ‘State’ Taste Test – APAs

This week we are back in the Brit and Yankee studios and we welcome 2 co-hosts, the Yankee Mike ‘Lingo’ Lingafelter and Church Street’s Chuck Fort, and Hopvine Brewing head brewer, Ken McMullen.

We also have a guest appearance by BJCP judge and ex-co-host, Mark Naski, who provides some technical perspective on pale ale brewing and the style, and while he chats to us, Phil is downing a Cigar City Invasive Pale Ale.

The Landlord has selected a brewing style, this time American Pale Ale, and arbitrarily chooses six beers from six states in the Midwest, namely Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. We want to see which state may come out on top, and so each of the beers were provided to the panel under the same conditions and they marked down their impressions and ratings for each of  the following categories – Appearance, Smell, Taste, Finish, Drinkability.

There’s a surprise ringer in the collection that Ken is familiar with, and we find out if he can spot it, plus it generates some discussion on a hot topic in the news.

What came out on top? Indiana’s 18th Street Brewing and their Velvet Cashmere, which was the overriding favorite of the panel.  Do you agree? Why not go out and try them and let us know!

There’s bonus beers at the end where we taste the new Church Street offering, Pils, and as an addendum Lingo has brought a real treat beer from 10 years ago, Stone’s 07-07-07.

The beers were as follows in order of presentation to the panel, followed by their final rating:

1. Indiana, 18th Street Brewing, Velvet Cashmere APA 4.5% – ranked #1
2. Michigan, Odd Side Ales, Hopgobbler, Session Pale Ale, 5% – ranked equal #5
3. Missouri, O’Fallon Brewing, Zekes Pale Ale, 5.1% – ranked #5
4. Minnesota, Surly Brewing, Xtra Citra Pale Ale, 4.5% – ranked #2
5. Illinois,  2nd Amendment Brewing, Gun Craft Tactical APA 5.5% – ranked equal #4

6. Wisconsin, Ale Asylum, Hopalicious APA, 5.7% – ranked #3

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Pubcast 261 – Corridor 55 Release #3 – Blue Nose Brewery

It’s a visit to our friends at Blue Nose where we settle in and talk about their brewery, the beers, and we get to know the brewers a little.  Center stage is owner/brewer Jordan Isenberg and head brewer Justin Rigoni, as they sit down with the podcast team for some real pub chat.

As usual, we’ve got the 3  categories that the brewers get to choose their beers from, and then the fourth one, our chain beer connects the next brewery to the next podcast.

This time round we have a classic style selected as the Flagship brew, and one of the new Millennial styles as the Showcase beer. Moving on to the Inspiration beers, Justin has taken the selection and provides what on first glance could be 2 diametrically opposed  beers, but we find out why these brews inspired him. We also learn what our brewers are viewing on TV and listening to while they brew. And finally what’s in store for BNB? Hammerschalger!

Miskatonic is our ‘chain’ brewery, but the brewers couldn’t make our recording so they sent along a six-pack of the chain beer, Shield Maiden.

Flagship Beer: 
Blinkenleitz, Pilsner, 5.3% ABV
Showcase Beer:
Feed My Eyes, Hazy IPA, 6.6% ABV
Inspiration Beers:
Shiner Bock, American-style dark lager, 4.4% ABV
Bell’s Cherry Stout, Stout brewed with cherry juice, 7.0% ABV

Chain Beer:
Miskatonic Brewing, Darien IL, Shield Maiden, American Pale Ale, 5.5% ABV

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Pubcast 260 – Archive: Beer Judge?

We are taking a week off to take care of some personal things, so this episode is from our archives, broadcast in March 2012, the early days of the craft beer explosion.

This show was one of the first to feature Mark Naski who was to become co-host later in the year, and one of the first to be recorded at the now-closed John’s Tavern in Winfield.

Mark talks about being a fully-certified BJCP judge, what it takes to achieve this, and we pick up some tips on how to taste beer and identify the characteristics. Then we test our skills on a home brew. The tips in this show are still valuable today so tune in and learn the basics with USBrit, Lingo, and their guests.

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