Category Archives: Craft Beer

Pubcast 255 – Michigan Makers Trail

Following the closing of our local tavern, ex-tavern owner John Karwoski, long-time friend of the show and now retired, is making up for all those long hours behind the bar, and visiting many of our local area breweries as he travels around Illinois and the Midwest area. Happily, we are the benefactors of those travel as he returns with beer samples for us to try.

In this episode, we are tasting offerings from 3 breweries that are part of SW Michigan’s Makers Trail, and 2 offerings from each, making out SW six-pack.  Check out the Makers Trail app available for both iPhone and Android.

First up is North Pier Brewing, located in Benton Harbor, and we have 2 brews with mythical connections, one of which we question as to the origin …
The Conjurer, Belgian Golden Strong, 8.7% ABV
Old Schuck, London Porter, 5.0% ABV

Next, we stay in Benton Harbor and head to The Livery, in the center of the downtown art area, and we have a couple of ‘prowlers’ containing a BBA brew, and we learn what a ‘maillot’ is, but question if it really is a biere de garde …
Bourbon Barrel-aged Wee Heavy, Scotch Ale, 12% ABV
Maillot Rouge, Sour/Wild Biere de Garde, 8.5% ABV

Our final stop is in St. Joseph, and the Silver Harbor Brewing Co. ,ad we contrast another sour ale, this time aged in red wine barrels, and we finish up with another big beer, barrel-aged …
Wot ‘n’ Tarnation, Sour Ale w/ raspberries & blueberries aged in a red wine barrel, 5% ABV
Barrel-aged Bride Order Male, Russian Imperial Stout, 11.8% ABV

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

Pubcast 254 – Corridor 55 Special Release – Pollyanna Brewing

We’re back after our end of year break, and we’re excited to present our first podcast in our Corridor 55 Special Release series and we feature and record it LIVE from Pollyanna Brewing in Lemont, IL.

In this series of podcasts we are going to visit the 9 breweries in the stretch of I-55 between Plainfield and Lyons, all no more than 4 miles from an exit. We have asked the guest(s) to select at least 3 brews they want to feature and have us taste, and we get the stories behind the brews and the brewery.

Our guests for this show are VP of Operations and co-founder of Pollyanna, Ed Malnar, and brewer Chris Koentz.  And joining us for our final brew to link, or ‘chain’, the next Corridor 55 show, is co-founder and brewer Grant Hamilton from Imperial Oak. This is an evening of conversation about beer, the brewery, and good old pub chat!

The selected beers are as follows:

Flagship Beer – a brew that represents a mainstay, and something you should always try when you visit
The Full Lemonty, Golden Ale, 5% ABV, 20 IBU

Showcase Beer – a brew that the guests want to highlight as something special
Ed’s choice – Acclamation, Belgian-style Golden Ale with Apricots, 7.7% ABV, 25 IBU
Chris’s choice – Fun Size, Milk Stout with Peanut, Vanilla Bean, Cocoa Nib, and Sea Salt, 6.1% ABV, 25 IBU

Inspiration Beer – a brew that has some type of inspirational aspect or personal sentiment to our guests
Ed’s choice – Ruffled Feathers, Hopvine Brewing, Aurora IL – Hoppy Brown Ale, 8% ABV, 75 IBU.  With which Ed’s inspiration  is brewer Ken McMullen.
Chris’s choice – Biere Du Pays, Side Project Brewing, St. Louis MO., Table Saison aged in Chardonnay barrels with Oude Fermier cultures, 4% ABV.  Chris’s inspiration is the brewery Side Project and their approach to brewing wild and sour ales.

Chain Beer – the brew that links our focus brewery to the next podcast release
Grant Hamilton, Imperial Oak, Prediction?…Pain!– Imperial IPA- 8.5% ABV

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

Pubcast 253 – ‘Tis the Season

This episode has a bittersweet air about it, as we record out Christmas Show at John’s Tavern in Winfield, but alas for the last time. After 96 years of serving good beer, John’s is closing their doors for good on Dec 23.

We have assembled a cast of friends, listeners, brewers and craft beer afficienados to celebrate the last remote podcast recording at our favorite tavern meeting place, and what better timing than our annual Christmas party.
The Brit and Yankee is bringing their usual Magnums of Anchor Steam Christmas Ale, and we asked our guests to bring their own choices for a seasonal brew.

Tom Ryan brings Bells Christmas Ale, Ken McMullen supplies a bomber of Three Floyds Alpha Klaus, Kevin Herbst brings a local brew from Metal Monkey, and our good friend and listener Tim Stephenson surprises us with an antique bottle of Hoppin’ Frog Frosted Frog. Joining the fun is Lisa Gregor, co-owner of Church Street Brewing, and Chet Brett, the tallest man in craft brewing slips in right at the end!

Brews we sample and enjoy:
Bells Christmas Ale, Scotch Ale, 7.5%
Three Floyds Alpha Klaus, American Christmas Porter, 6% ABV
Metal Monkey, Asmodeus Maple Syrup Variant, 12% ABV
Hopping Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale, 8.6%
Anchor Steam Christmas Ale 2017, 6.7%

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

Pubcast 252- Nevin’s Midnight Pig

In this episode, we sit down with Nevin’s Brewing‘s Marc Wilson, the day after they hold a re-branding event where the Midnight Pig Beer line is introduced. We explore a different side of running a brewery, that of marketing and branding, and when is it the right time to make that big step.

We’re also joined by assistant brewer, Cory Davidson, for a conversation punctuated by tasting some sample brews from the new range. We discuss their packaging approach and like all good pub chats, we throw in a few other topics for Marc and Cory to opine on. And finally, co-host Chuck Fort manages to show up to join in – better late than never!

Stick around at the end of the podcast for a bonus review by The Brit and the 2 John’s, John Bitterman and John Karwoski, as they open a bottle of Midnight Pig Imperial Stout, and we give it the true consumer test.

Brews sampled in this edition:
Apocalyptinator, German-style Doppelbock, 8.4%
Snitches Get Stiches, Robust Porter, 6.0%
Tumultuous, Imperial IPA, 8.8%
Barrel Project #1, Dark American Wild with Blueberries, 6.9%