Category Archives: Craft Beer

Pubcast 229 – Illinois Brews for CCBW 2017

In this show, recorded live at the Church Street Brewing tap room, Phil and Mark select 4 brews from Illinois to celebrate Chicago Craft Beer Week which runs from May 18th through May 25th. Joining them once again are CSB’s head brewer, T.J. Bacholz, assistant brewer Chuck Fort, beer historian John Bittermann, and CSB owner, Lisa Gregor who keeps us all in check!

We have selected 4 brews we think you should try, all from Illinois breweries, near and far, new and well-established. In order of sampling we have Hailstorm, Noon Whistle, newcomer White Rooster, and finally old-timer Two Brothers.

This will be the last episode for a while as the staff are heading out in vacation, but stay tuned for new episodes later in June.

Brews Sampled:

Noon Whistle, Lombard – Mr. Nice Gummy, HopHash NE IPA, 6.8% (Crowler)
Two Brothers, Warrenville – Sour Beer #2, Sour/Wild Ale, 5.5%
Hailstorm Brewing, Tinley Park – English Gentleman, Imperial Milk Stout w/Hazelnut, 13%
White Rooster, Sparta – Solitude, Dark Farmhouse Ale, fermented and aged in Used Bourbon Barrels for 12 months, 8%

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Pubcast 228 – Church Street and Tasty Brews

In this episode, we return to Church Street Brewing in Itasca, nearly 4 years after we first talked to them (Pubcast 107, July 6, 2013), and find out what’s changed and taste some of their new brews. Joining Mark and Phil today are head brewer, T.J. Bachorz, assistant brewer Chuck Fort, and halfway through the show Illinois beer glass collector and historian, John Bittermann stops by.

Join us for friendly conversation and a sampling session, including what makes white stout white and how it differs from a regular stout. For the comparison, we throw in another can of UK brew from Harvey’s, their Black Stout. Big thanks to owner Lisa Gregor who also stopped by, and T.J allowing us to record our show in the taproom.

Church Street Brews:
Head in the Clouds, Zwickelbier – 5.4% ABV 30 IBU
Magisterium Maibock, Maibock / Heller (Helles) Bock – 6.5% ABV 22 IBU

Other Brew Reviews:
Crooked Stave, Denver CO., Hop Savant, Brettanomyces IPA, 7%

Byway Brewing, Hammond IN., Bean White, White Stout w/coffee beans & cocoa, 7.5%

Harvey’s Black Stout, authentic porter stout, 4.8%

Schlafly (The Saint Louis Brewery), Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy, 35th Anniversary of The Wine &Cheese Place, 6.2%

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Pubcast 227 – Beautiful Belgium and Bonus Brit Brews

This week’s episode takes another international focus with a quartet of beers from Belgium, and some classic breweries with tough-to-pronounce names, and classic styles we should all be aware of. If you haven’t tried these, we recommend seeking them out.  As a bonus, Phil crack’s open a a couple of cans of Brit craft beer he ‘imported’ from his recent trip to the UK. Plus, Mark surprises us with a ‘bonus bonus’ beer from Florida, to represent the good ol’ USA. It’s a 7-pack this week!

Joining Mark and Phil this week, are podcast regulars, tavern-owner John Karwoski, and assistant brewer from Church Street, Chuck Fort.

0:0 – 15:00  We start with a Kriek beer from Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste, Kriek Des Jacobins. This beer is a blend of 12 month old oak aged beer and fresh cherry juice. Offering big sweet candied cherry aromas, it is very fruity yet features an artful balance between sweetness and acidity. The finish is bright with notes of cherry liqueur and almonds.

15:00 – 25:00  Next up is Ichtegem’s Grand Cru, a Flemish Red Ale (Oud Bruin) matured in oak barrels, 6.5% ABV. This unique style of beer is brewed as two separate beers, that are blended together to form the final product.

25:00 – 37:00  Our third bottle comes from Danish brewery, Mikkellar, but it was produced at De Proef Brouwerji, a commercial experimental brewery in northern Belgium, NE of Ghent. Black Imperial Stout, this is the strongest of the collection with an ABV of 16.7%.

37:00 – 50:00  The final bottle of the Belgium quartet comes from Brasserie de Silly, and is one of their annual Scotch Silly variants, a Cognac barrel-aged scotch ale, 11% ABV. Silly is a town in central Belgium, south of Ghent, east of Brussels.  This beer is a limited edition, no longer produced, but if you can seek out a bottle it certainly is worth the effort.

50:00 71:00 As a bonus, we have a higher ABV brew from the UK, Gun Brewery Whiskey Imperial Stout which was a one-off and no longer produced, and a southern standard from Harvey’s called Malt Brown.

71:00 – 80:00  The ‘bonus bonus’ beer is a saison from Copperpoint Brewery, Boynton Beach, FL., called Trula. This is a 6.3% ABV, rustic farmhouse Belgian ale, and proves the perfect end to our session.

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Pubcast 226 – Arundel Brewery, West Sussex, UK

This edition is a report from the UK that Phil recorded on his recent trip to his homeland. Being a ‘southerner’, he visited a couple of breweries located in the counties of West and East Sussex, on the off-chance that the brewer may be able to chat.  Arundel Brewery came up trumps!

Arundel Brewery, is located in the village of Ford, adjacent to the town of Arundel.   This quaint, historical town is famous for having an archetypal English castle and is quite the tourist destination in the summer.  Ford was a WWII air-base at one time and is now an industrial park, which has become the home for Arundel Brewery.I was lucky enough to get some of heard brewer Branden Quinn’s time, while in the background his assistant brewer’s slaved over a brew cycle. Branden gives us a fascinating insight into the new UK craft beer scene, and talks about the history of Arundel Brewery and some of the styles they are producing now. He talks collabs, and we sample a smoked porter which is an exceptional brew having subtle smokiness to start, and finishing with a true porter flavor and mouth-feel.

We will be trying a few samples from the UK in future shows and comparing their flavors and characteristics, so watch out for those shows.

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