Category Archives: Craft Beer

Pubcast 245 – Travels with Mark and Bella

This episode is kinda like Part 2 of last weeks’ show, where Mark Naski has brought back more beers from Idaho, and we have 2 from his new favorite watering hole, Bella Brewing. Joining us for this tasting session is tavern owner John, and listener and friend of the show, Lisa. We also throw in an Instant Brew Review from one of our favorite breweries in Missouri, O’Fallon. In this session there is a Brit flavor to 2 of the beers, and The Brit learns a north country word he didn’t know.

Brews reviewed this week:
Bella Brewing Co., Garden City, ID, Wot’z It 2 Ya?! SMaSH IPA, 5.3% ABV, 47 IBU
Box Cars Oatmeal Stout, 7.8% ABV, 46 IBU
Uinta Brewing, Salt Lake City, UT, Croggy Brett Saison, 6.8%, 21 UBU
Payette Brewing Co., Boise ID, Imperial Pistolero Barrel-aged Porter, 8% ABV, 13 IBU

Instant Brew Review:
O’Fallon Brewery, St.Louis, MO, Big Walt Blonde Beer, 5% ABV, 12 IBUs\

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


Pubcast 244 – Fruitie Tootie and Sour

Mark Naski has returned from the wilds of Idaho, via Utah, and has brought a plethora of brews from established and new breweries for us to taste and review. In this episode, we will focus on 4 beers that are fruit-based sours. We recorded this show last weekend and enjoyed delightful 80 degree weather, outside on a friend’s deck. Mark spent time doing what he likes best – cooking on the BBQ and tasting beers – and The Brit was happy to join in. Together with friends of the show Deb, our hostess, The Brit’s other half, the lovely Kimberlee, and tavern owner John Karwoski, we find that fruited sours are a delightful match for late Fall sunshine and good food.

We also play in some on-brewery reports from listener Lisa who met up with Mark recently at the Uinta brewery in Salt Lake City. They report on several of the beers available on tap from there, so thanks to them!
Beers reviewed are:
Laughing Dog Brewing, Ponderay ID, De Achste Hond, Belgian Style Sour Ale, 7%
Uinta Brewing, Salt Lake City UT,  Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Blonde Ale, 6.2%
Sockeye Brewing, Boise ID, Barrel Aged Peach Creek Tripel, 7.5%
We found that all of these were highly drinkable, and would be worth seeking out through trade or visiting the breweries.

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


Pubcast 243 – Oktoberfest Challenge

Oktoberfest is the time when all craft beer drinkers turn to the stein, and fill it with a plethora of seasonal marzens, or as we probably refer to it, Oktoberfest Ale. The Brit headed to a a local store and selected a 6-pack of readily-available brews from 6 different breweries, and put them up against one another in a taste challenge. Providing their personal preferences to those beers are co-host Chuck Fort, Illinois beer historian John Bittermann, and tavern owner John Karwoski.

There was some thought to the matchups, but really this episode is to find out if there are any brews that standout based on what my local store had to offer. We have 3 preliminary rounds followed by a 3-way final tasting. Which comes out on top? You should listen to the  podcast to hear the conversation and reasoning behind our choices, but SPOILER ALERT, here are the results, with winners bolded:

Round 1
Erdinger  Oktoberfest, Germany 5.7% vs Schlafly Oktoberfest, St. Louis MO., 5.5%
Round 2
Left Hand Brewing, Oktoberfest Marsen Lager, 6.6% vs Sam Adams, Boston MA., Octoberfest, 5.3%
Round 3
Bells, Comstock MI., Octoberfest, 5.5% vs Pollyanna Brewing, Lemont IL., Fruhauf Oktoberfest Lager, 5.4%

Final Round Winner:  Schlafly Oktoberfest, St. Louis MO., 5.5%

Bonus Beers:
Schlafly Imperial Oktoberfest, 8.0%
Victory Brewing, Down

ington PA., Festbier, 5.6%

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


Pubcast 242 – Firkin Fest

This edition reports on the first Firkin Fest held on a sunny Saturday, September 9, at the CityGate Center in Naperville. The festival introduced many people to the firkin and the difference of the beer that was served from it. Over 30 breweries brought their offerings for people to try,  and The Brit headed out there to report on the event .  This edition is a sampling of the interviews with brewers, who talk about their brews and their approach to serving firkins.
The event was in aid of Project Help, and we hear from their President, about what they are trying to achieve with this organization.

Our interviews include Hopvine Brewing, Church Street, 3 Sheeps, Sketchbook Brewing, Blue Nose Brewing, Miskatonic Brewing, and finally Soundgrowler.
Apologies to Matt from Prairie Krafts Brewing and Shane Coombs from Rushford Meadery and Winery as we experienced technical difficulties with their recordings due to a high wind causing too much noise. We’ll catch up with them in another episode.  Shane experienced this visitor to his glass of cider – what’s that bee doing in my glass…literally the backstroke!

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