Pubcast 266 – Mark’s U.S. Tour

We have a full pub for this show, including 3 co-hosts and a brewer!

Ex-cohost, BJCP judge and brewing consultant, Mark Naski has returned to Illinois after a trip via Kentucky and Florida, and brings us some interesting offerings from breweries he has visited. Joining him is the Yankee, Lingo, and Chuck Fort, brewer at Church Street, plus VIP guest Ken McMullen, head brewer at Hopvine Brewing in Aurora.

It’s a fun time with many excellent brews, one of which is a li’l bugger to get opened! And of course as Mark is here, you’ll learn about the styles and other fun brewing facts.

Beers Reviewed:

Covington, Kentucky, Braxton Brewing
Ignitor, Maibock, 7.2% ABV, 26 IBU – 5 thumbs up
Union Saison Blanc, 6.2% ABV, 25 IBU – 5 thumbs up
Union Saison Bleu, 6.2% ABV, 25 IBU – 4 thumbs up, 1 sideways
Braxton Labs (Braxton Brewing)
Galaxy Dry Hopped Saison, 5.3% ABV, 25 IBU , released Dec 2017 – 3 thumbs up, 2 sideways

Marietta, Georgia, Ironmonger Brewing
German Hefe, 6.5% ABV – 5 thumbs up

Boca Raton, Florida, Barrel of Monks
Nuance, Saison, 6.5% ABV – 5 thumbs up
Quandrum, Belgian Quadrupel aged in rum barrels, 10.5% ABV – 5 double-thumbs up

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Pubcast 265 – Oswego Brewing Co

New craft breweries continue to open across the Chicago suburban area with amazing regularity. In this edition we’ve headed south-west to Oswego, where head brewer Marc Wilson is putting in the hours to ready the Oswego Brewing Company for opening in late April to mid-May.

Marc is a friend of the show from his former brewery, so of course we immediately gave him a shout to see if we could come down and get a progress report from him.  The first half of this show presents that report where we get a flavor for some of the aspects of opening a new brewery and tap room, and what to expect from OBC as they make their mark on the Illinois brewing scene.  Watch their build-out in pictures here

Joining me for the second half, which we recorded up at Church Street Brewing in Itasca, is ex-co host and brewing expert, Mark Naski. Together with CSB head brewer TJ Bachorz and current co-host Chuck Fort, we do the unthinkable by comparing a helles lager from Six Ten Brewing in Tampa FL., to CSB’s own Heavenly Helles.

And finally, because growlers don’t last long, Mark has brought a couple along for tasting, and we go from Tampa to Nampa, Idaho. Crescent Brewing is a small brewery “out in the woods” as Mark says, and he brings their Tilted Kilt Pale Ale, and the Skullsplitter IPA, and we debate whether they are open for copyright issues, but finally decide that the beer speaks for itself!

Beers Reviewed in this episode:

Six Ten Brewing, Tampa, FLA., Tent Beer, Dortmunder/Helles, 5.2% ABV
Crescent Brewing, Nampa ID., Tilted Kilt Pale Ale, 5.2% ABV
Crescent Brewing, Skullsplitter DIPA, American Double/Imperial IPA, 9.00% ABV

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Pubcast 264 – Bicentennial Illinois 6-Pack

Our friend of the show, Deb, or as she now prefers to be known ‘Hop Mama’, has returned from travels in Illinois and brings a selection of brewery offerings that may not have been on most folks tasting lists. Joining us is Illinois beer historian, John Bittermann and he brings a couple of cans of the Illinois Bicentennial beer. John Karwoski is on hand, and last but certainly not least is head brewer at Hopvine Brewing, Ken McMullen to provide our technical expertise. (Sorry about the two John’s sound quality – technical difficulties!)

The first Europeans to visit Illinois were the French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette in 1673, but the region was ceded to Britain after the French and Indian War. After the American Revolution, Illinois became a territory of the United States, and achieved statehood in 1818, so this is a celebratory year.

We have a six-pack of beers that culminate with the winning beer from the Illinois Bicentennial Craft Beer Competition. There’s plenty of controversy over one brewery, and plenty of thumbs in all positions when we rate each one, going to prove that everyone has a different palate and you should always try new beers, then drink what you like! It’s a while since we did an extended show, but we were having a good time tasting and chatting, and what better topic than Illinois brews. So stick around and hear what we think of beers from the heart of Illinois, and some interesting facts about Illinois.

We also did a live Facebook feed while we reviewed the Wee Heavenly Scotch Ale, so here’s a link to that video. And also, The Brit extends an invitation to Governor Rauner to come on down and visit the Brit and Yankee Pub and have a beer with us!

And right at the end an announcement about a beer we’ll be brewing with Ken at Hopvine to celebrate the Royal Wedding!

Beers Reviewed:

Destihl Brewing, Bloomington, Normal Pils, ABV 5%, IBU 38 (Thumbs – 2 Up, 3 Sideways)       Main Street Brewing, Belleville IL, Vanilla Bean Coffee Juele, Blond Ale, ABV 4.5%, IBU 10 (Thumbs – 3 Up 2 Sideways)
Lionstone Brewing, Geneseo IL, Peanut Butter Back 40 Wheat Ale, ABV 4% (Thumbs – 1 Up, 2 Down, 2 Sideways)
Rolling Meadows Farm Brewery, Cantrall IL, Abe’s Ale, Maple Brown Ale, 8.5% (Thumbs – 4 Up, 1 Sideways)
Hand of Fate Brewing, Petersburg IL, Wee Heavenly, Scotch Ale,  ABV 9.8%, IBU 22 (Thumbs – 5 Up)
1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale, Saison, ABV 5.5%, IBU 28 (Thumbs – 4 Up, 1 Sideways)

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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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