Every year the podcast arranges a brewbus tour where we visit 3-4 craft breweries we feel should be on people’s radar. This year we are heading just over the border to Griffith, Indiana, where there are 3 breweries that are receiving some attention in the craft media. The Brit took a trip down there ahead of the scheduled bus trip, joined by his wife, the lovely Kimberlee, and they recorded interviews with three of the brewer/owners for each location.
In this edition, we speak with New Oberpfalz’s Dan Lehnerer, who talked about his roots, how he came to start the brewery, and what the future holds for his brand, and why he doesn’t like cans. And of course we sample some of his brews, just so we can tell you if they’re good…and they are!
Play the show from the Podbean player, or our player below…
This year sees the 25th Anniversary of one of the larger craft brewers, Avery Brewing from Boulder , Colorado. The Brit visited their location back in January and brought back 3 of their ‘Brewery Only’ barrel-aged brews, and when they released their anniversary offering, he knew that we had to gather together a panel and record an Avery show.
Our panel of tasters includes 2 brewers, Ken McMullen from Hopvine, and Chuck Fort from Church Street. John Karwoski, ex-tavern owner joins The Brit, Phil Clark, and The Yankee, Mike Lingafelter for the consumer perspective.
We learn about Avery and how it started, but of course there’s plenty of other pub chat on a variety of topics, including whether the stake that Modelo has in their brewery is a good thing or a bad thing. We conclude that their beers are pretty good, but the brewery-only brews, whereas being unusual and well-made, are not always taste-stunners. We’ve avoided the ‘big beers’ that Avery is known for in this show, and tried to focus on the smaller ABV offerings, but alas a couple of big boys have crept in!
A slight correction to a statement we made on the podcast: It is not Modelo that has a stake in Avery Brewing, it is Mahou San Miguel. We apologize but really don’t care!!
The Brit and Yankee take a short trip west along North Avenue, Rt 64, and into St. Charles where one of the latest suburban breweries to open is located. Tucked away a block or two north of 64, up 4th street, there is a small brewery that opened up on a shoestring budget, but has still managed to produce some really solid brews.
Alex Drayer and his wife Brittany, are the brewer / co-owners of D and G Brewing, the first brewpub to open in St. Charles, IL. With only up to 5 or 6 brews on tap at any one time, they opened up some 8 weeks ago and are starting to make an impact on the craft scene up and down the Fox river.
We sat down in the brewery one Saturday afternoon and talked with Alex about the challenges he faced to get beers into the tanks, his approach to brewing, and what lies in the future as he processes the response he has received to date.
It’s our annual round-up of those fall favorites, Oktoberfest-style lagers, picked from a vast selection available at this time of year. We taste them and rate them with an educated palate from our experts, and a consumer palate from The Brit and The Yankee.
Ex co-host, and beer consultant to the stars, Mark Naski, was back in town last week and he brought us offerings from Boise, Idaho where he now resides. Sone of these brews were Oktoberfest styles, so we thought we’d put them up against a couple from Illinois, plus a few others randomly sampled from across the USA. To help us in this task, we headed over to Dry City Brew Works in Wheaton, and met up with brewer/tap manager Oliver Bulley, who provided their fall offering, ‘Oktonaught’, which is the only ale, slipped into the group of lagers.
We chatted to Oliver about how DCBW has changed since we were last there in November of 2014, and what has changed to ensure that this small nano-brewery is now well worth a visit. We intersperse our conversation by cracking open a variety of brews, and arbitrarily passing judgement on each, finally picking the ones we liked the best. We talk about what Oktoberfest is all about and how melanoidins figure into their style characteristics, libraries, BBQing, and lots of other topics, all with good beer! Also, a guest appearance from Mike McCandless who is the other half of the brewing duo, and had to run the tap while Oliver made his audio appearance.
Dry City, Oktonaught, Autumn Ale, 6.1% ABV