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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Pubcast 225 – Archive Show – Flesk Brewing

While both the Landlord and Brewmaster are away for a few days, we wanted to play again our interview with Flesk Brewing’s Will O’Brien, recorded back in June of 2013.  As the O’Brien brothers get ready to open up a full brewery / taproom in Barrington, we can hear about their roots and see how their brewing journey began.  As we said 4 years ago, we like their beer and we want to follow their story.

This show is truly a Brit and Yankee show as this was pre-Mark, and Lingo joins me from the Flesk original location in Lombard, IL.

We’ll be back in May with all new shows, and hopefully an update from Flesk 2017!

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Pubcast 224 – Fruit Beer and More!

A friend of mine went out to Iowa and brought me back a couple of fuit-based brews and this prompted us to track down a couple more and give us the theme for this edition.  Recorded down at Hopvine Brewing in Aurora, besides Mark and Phil, we welcome Chuck Fort from Church Street Brewing, and Hopvine’s very own head brewer, Ken McMullen. Rounding out this week’s guest is Alex Zapata from Fox Valley Homebrew and Wine Supplies, who has opened up their store right next to Hopvine.

We also try three varieties of Ken’s Ukranium Krusher, and while we taste and cogitate on these fine samples of Russian Imperial Stout, we have a somewhat confrontational discussion on beer can labels.

Our final segment focused on the new range of beers from Gun Craft Beer, which produce cans that feature guns on some of the labels. We discuss is this is a good thing, or perhaps it touches on the same area as some of the ‘sexist’ labels that have caused controversy.  It could be that this is the end of the night, or perhaps its just good old pub chat, but thank goodness we live in a country where we can express our opinions freely – and drink damn good beer at the same time!

Review Beers:

Green Tree Brewery, LeClaire, IA – Mango Me Hoppy, Mango IPA, 6.3%
Sierra Nevada, Chico, CA – Peach IPA, Fruit and Hop Ale, 5.8%
Edge Brewing Co., Boise, ID – Pug In the Sun Clementine IPA, 6.8%
21st Amendment, Blood Orange Brew Free! or Die IPA, 7.0%
Green Tree Brewery, LeClaire, IA – C3 Chocolate Cherry Coffee Stout, 5.9%

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