This is our Illinois Craft Beer Week edition, and we’re doing a Zoom call with Jamie Albert from Will County Brewing. Head directly south down Rt.59 from the Brit and Yankee pub studios, and just before you get to I-55 you will find Shorewood IL, home to Will County Brewing. March 2022 saw the 4th Anniversary for WCB, and head brewer/owner Jamie has seen the location grow in reputation and barrels produced, plus several medal successes for brews with some unusual adjuncts.
We first talked with Jamie in an episode of our Covid-induced series, Hops at Home (Ep. 10, April 18 2020), and just over a year later we check back in with Jamie to see how things are shaping up now we are getting back to relative normality. Of course, we’re drinking some of their brews selected from an extensive tap list that currently has classics and new styles. Jamie talks about how they are doing since Covid, expansion plans, and upcoming beer fests, one of which is coming this weekend and is benefiting the Will County Habitat for Humanity organization. Listen in to find out what makes this one unique!
What We’re Drinking:
Ken & Phil – A Lot of Fight, Red IPA, 6.7% ABV
– Eradicator Bock, Doppelbock, 8% ABV
Jamie – Brennus, Irish Red Ale, 5.9% ABV
Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes and Spotify below…and lots of other links on the sidebar!
Church Street Brewing is celebrating their 10 year anniversary! We have always had a great relationship with these fine folks, and we have enjoyed their brews for many years and followed their changes and expansion with interest. There was a social media post asking for memories of the brewery, so we thought we would replay our first visit to them back in July of 2013, when The Brit sat down with the owners Lisa and Joe (who was also then the head brewer) Gregor. Their classic approach and styles have long server the palates of their faithful customers, and today we see this family business stronger than ever with Sean Gregor taking the reins of head brewer. Take a listen down memory lane and hear how it all started. Cheers!
Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes for iPhone users below…and lots of other links on the sidebar, including Spotify!
Today we examine the craft style phenomenon which seems to be highly divisive, Hazy or New England IPAs. You either love ’em or hate ’em!
We assembled a panel of local expert brewers from the Chicagoland area who join Phil ‘The Brit’ Clark to examine this relatively new style. They include my co-host Chuck Fort, Sr. Brewing Consultant at Church Street Brewing, head brewer Eric Bramwell from Riverlands Brewing, and Steve Kamp from Evil Horse Brewing.
We dive into what the style is, the differences between NEIPA and West Coast IPAs, what hops are used, how the boil process goes, and we even talk about hop and pint pricing and how the costs are rising these days, and also if you should add lactose or not. All this and more as The Brit gets educated in an effort to get a better appreciation for the style.
We begin a new series of podcasts where we try to delve a little deeper into the business of craft beer. We want to go Behind the Pint. To kick us off, we’re asking if Craft Beer is really just beer, or if it’s a marketing ploy that has exploded into an industry.
We have three local Chicago industry experts, 2 brewers and one craft beer guru, on hand to pass opinions and talk about the topic in general. First up is my co-host for this episode. brewmaster at Hopvine Brewing in Aurora IL, Ken McMullen. Supporting the brewing side is owner/brewer Chris Valleau from Forest Park’s Exit Strategy Brewing. And finally, beer consultant, educator and writer, and international beer judge, Marty Nachel who helps provide the bridge between the brewers and the consumer. Phil ‘The Brit’ Clark asks the questions, and of course we all have something good to drink while we chat, which we list below.
What’s the final verdict on ‘craft beer’ – listen in and find out! Cheers!!
What We Are Drinking:
The Brit – Orenda Vol 2, Orenda – Volume 2 (Grape Brandy 2017-2021), 11.0% ABV, Pollyanna Brewing
Ken – Double BBA Vlad the Second Mexican Chocolate, Russian Imperial Stout, 14.1% ABV, Hailstorm Brewing
Chris – Corazón, Mexican hot chocolate-inspired Milk Stout, 7.2% ABV, Exit Strategy Brewing