This is the first podcast of 2019, and we have a cavalcade of brewers and friends of the show, who were all at Skeleton Key Brewing for a cask real ale event. The Firkery crew comprises Hopvine brewer Ken McMullen, Ugly Trucking‘s Travis Beard, and craft beer nerd Kevin Herbst, and it is their mission to bring back cask ales, and they’ve got beer engines to distribute it from.
In this edition, we talk with some of the craft celebrities who were present, including my co-host and brewer at Church Street, Chuck Fort. And in order of appearance we have –
Chuck Fort, Church Street, Itasca – who tells us where to point your bung when casking real ale
Oliver Bulley, Dry City Brew Works, Wheaton – who has exciting news about the next Firkery event
John Karwoski, ex-tavern owner and friend of the show – who just likes to drink good beer
Bruce Dir, Tighthead Brewing, Mundelein – who has Boxcar Porter on tap tonight, and damn fine beer it is too
Dan Burr and Matt Molitor, Scallywag Brewing, Downers Grove – who give us an update on how their new brewery is coming along and when to look for an opening date
Mark Hedrick, Alter Brewing, Downers Grove – who really likes cask ale and has interesting ‘expansion’ news about Alter
Don Hardy, breweriana collector and Big Guy for the Chicago Area Microbreweries FB group – who if you don’t join the group you should do, and if you don’t know Don you should. Thanks to him for supplying a few of the photos while The Brit was rushing around interviewing folks!
AJ, Miskatonic Brewing, Darien – who happened to horn in on our chat with Mark, but was able to tell us about their cask offering
Steve from Bradford – who is a regular at Skeleton Key, and am ex-pat Brit, so he should know real ale
John Schopa, Skeleton Key Brewing, Woodridge – who tells us about their cask offering, plus a collaboration release now probably all gone as you read/listen to this, but the backstory is interesting
Matt Lakota, 25 West Brewing, Bloomingdale – who provides an update on how they are doing and where they are going
And finally, the tables are turned on The Brit as the guys from Midwest Brew Review, interview him on the origin of the tap handles used for this Firkery event. They have a great video YouTube channel, so please head over and subscribe!
This week we have part 2 of our show reviewing Central Illinois brews, and as with last week, we have a distinguished panel comprising 2 brewers and 2 consumers. From Church Street Brewing we welcome FOBAB medal winning brewers TJ Bachorz and Chuck Fort, and from Hopvine, Ken McMullen. Then we have ex-tavern owner, John Karwoski, and last but certainly not least, is friend of the show and supplier of tonight’s brews, Deb Piscola.
We continue our trip and visit Savoy and Bloomington, and then take a detour to southern Illinois and Murphysboro. Listen in and hear the panel’s thoughts on the brews, plus comments on why milkshake IPAs are good business, if it is a beer for the millenial generation, how The Brit can’t figure out the French word for cinnamon even though it is on the label of the bottle, and why the SIU Saluki dog isn’t a wimpy dog at all!
Our final segment sees the panel sampling the FOBAB medal winning Holy Moly! and hear about how it was produced from TJ and Chuck. Plus we round up which of the brews we enjoyed the most from our two shows.
Then The Brit actually heads over to Church Street in Itasca for the traditional Christmas toast with Anchor Steam’s 2018 Christmas Ale offering. This is the 44th year it has been produced so they should know what they are doing by now!
And finally, as we always do, we add on the Brit and Yankee’s rendition of The Night Before Christmas, just to get you all into the Christmas spirit. We’ll see you after our holiday break with more craft beer and brewery episodes. Happy Christmas and New Year to all our listeners! Cheers!
Triptych Brewing, Savoy IL, Not Giants But Windmills, DDHIPA, Tangerine Vanilla Milkshake IPA, 6.4% ABV
Lil Beaver Brewery, Cannelle a la Vanille, Imperial Stout with cinnamon and vanilla, 10% ABV
This week we are back in the Brit and Yankee pub, and we have part 1 of a bumper show, which recorded so long we decided to break it up into 2 shows…that and it’s the holidays and the pub staff are swamped with revelers and holiday parties!
Joining The Brit for these two shows is a distinguished panel comprising 2 brewers and 2 consumers. From Church Street Brewing we welcome FOBAB medal winning brewers TJ Bachorz and Chuck Fort, plus Ken McMullen from Hopvine. Then we have ex-tavern owner, John Karwoski, and last but certainly not least is friend of the show and supplier of tonight’s brews, Deb Piscola.
Our theme for this edition is brews from some of the perhaps lessor-known Illinois breweries that can be found in the Bloomington and Champaign areas of the state, but we also slip in one from southern Illinois just as we had it in the pub fridge!
We are tasting brews from Georgetown, Savoy, Champaign, Bloomington, and finally Murphysboro and the samples run the gamut of styles. Listen in and here the panel’s thoughts on them, plus we get some technical information on the brewing side from TJ and Chuck. We try to figure out how one brewery uses wood in their fermentation process, the different ways to add coffee to beers, and why Sorachi Ace hops make a good food pairing beer.
Next week we will round out the trip with the other great Illinois beers, plus some Christmas cheer!
This week’s episode is something a little different as we’re not at a brewery or down in the pub, but we are visiting with Joe Tota, owner and founder of the Red Arrow Taprooms. Ken McMullen from Hopvine joins The Brit at the Naperville location, where we sat down with Joe to find out how this self-serve taproom works, and what people can expect if they stop by to try it out. Apparently The Brit had some problems with his microphone, but Joe and Ken’s are fine, so that’s all that matters!
As we sit and chat, we cover a lot of topics, and how these establishments are impacting the craft beer scene, and making it easy for new breweries to self-distribute and get their beers to people outside of their own brewery taprooms. Check out our podcast and then take a trip to one of their locations and try it for yourself. Cheers!
Play the show from the Podbean player, or our player below…