Pubcast 291 – Oh Porter, Where Art Thou?

We gather a panel of experts to review the other fall favorite, porters. Joining The Brit is Ken McMullen, head brewer at Hopvine, Chuck Fort brewer at Church Street, craft beer enthusiast Kevin Herbst, and national beer judge and font of beer knowledge, Mark Naski.

We find out about porters and their history, how to tell a porter from a stout, how the head helps determine the difference, and many other fun facts. Ken tells us how to add coffee to a brew, and why he likes to do it.  And we have an enormous amount of porters to get through, with one ringer that you might overlook on the shelf, and an extra from Chuck’s own brewery, which has a story behind it.  Then there’s the Wolfden Brewing beer that just didn’t get recorded…are they haunted?  It’s an extended show, but after this you’ll want to find a good porter for yourself!

Brews sampled:
Browar Zamkowy Cieszyn, Cieszyn, Poland, 1881, Baltic Porter, 9.5% ABV
Founders, Grand Rapids MI., Robust Porter, 6.5% ABV
Sockeye Brewing, Boise ID., Power House Porter, 6.0% ABV
Spiteful Brewing, Chicago IL., God Damn Pigeon Porter, 8.2% ABV
Crooked Fence Brewing, Boise ID., 3 Picket Porter, English Porter, 5.0% ABV
Miskatonic Brewing, Darien IL., Antsy Prole, Coffee Porter, 6.5% ABV
Barbarian Brewing, Boise ID., Persephone Porter, 5.5% ABV
Wolfden Brewing, Bloomingdale IL., Peanut Butter Nuzzle, baltic porter, 6.5% ABV
Church Street Brewing, Itasca IL., Cronenbier, BA imperial vanilla porter, 10.1% ABV

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Pubcast 290 – The Stout Show

Now the weather has turned a little cooler, it’s time to take our annual look at Stouts, which somehow seem to be more prevalent during the fall and winter months. Joining us on our dark and malty tasting trip are Church Street head brewer TJ Bachorz, with Church Street brewer Chuck Fort, and friend of the show and beer nerd, Tom Ryan.

This weeks episode was recorded back in the Brit and Yankee pub a couple of weeks ago when BJCP judge and brewing font of knowledge, Mark Naski, was in town, and of course he brought plenty of samples collected on his way from Boise ID., where he now resides.

Although we are focusing on Stouts, Mark starts off our show with an award-winning Altbier from Wyoming, and then we go dark and heavy.  Chuck talks about first time impressions of GABF, the panel tries to define pastry stouts, and what is a virgin barrel called – is it just a barrel? We also devise a new beer measurement scale to describe smoothness, the Chuck Scale – watch out for beers with 5 Chucks of smoothness! And our final beer has the pressure built up, and could be a gusher…find out if it was!

Stay tuned for our bonus beer review of Pepita from Scratch Brewing, and hear TJ’s experience of visiting the brewery in Ava, IL.

Brews sampled:
Altbier, Altitude Chophouse and Brewing, Laramie WY, Altbier, 5.5% ABV
Avery Brewing, Boulder CO., Vanilla Bean Stout, barrel-aged stout, 10.8% ABV
Buffalo Creek Brewing, Long Grove IL., Xerxes, chocolate bacon stout, 5.8% ABV
Crooked Fence Brewing, Sins of Our Father, barrel-aged Imperial Stout, 9.5% ABV
New Oberpfalz, Russian Imperial Stout with Coconut and Vanilla, 9.2% ABV
Sketchbook Brewing, Baby, There’s Cold Brew Inside, Milk Stout with cold-brewed coffee

Bonus BeerScratch Brewing, Pepita, Ale brewed with pumpkin seeds, 4.6% ABV

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Pubcast 289 – Pokro Brewing

It’s the last part of our trilogy focusing on the trinity of breweries, just over the Illinois border in Griffith IN. This time, the Brit and his wife the lovely Kimberlee, head to Pokro Brewing, and meet with man-of-many roles, Dave Gizynski. His formal business card says Sales & Distribution, but we found him cleaning the lines ahead of opening, and once they were ready for business the beer and conversation flowed. We hear he cooks and brews as well!

Pokro is one of those places you need to visit, and if you’re like us, wish you lived closer as the ambience, camaraderie, and especially the beers are ones you want to return to. Named for the founder and head brewer, Joe Pokropinski, and naturally with a name like that there’s a certain ‘Polish’ feel to the brews and food. Here you can find there grodziskie in a bottle, and you can pair it up with pierogie platter! But as we found out, there’s also a belgian-style to many of their offerings, and although a non-drinker, Kim found some Wookie Love…it’s their Russian Imperial Stout that apparently tickled her taste-buds!

Brews sampled:
Dirty Blonde, Blonde Ale, Belgian Blonde / Golden, 7.3% ABV
Grateful Brew, smoked brown porter, 6.5% ABV
Cold Taxi, English strong ale, 6.5% ABV
Wookiee Love, Russian Imperial Stout, 10.0% ABV

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Pubcast 288 – Wildrose Brewing

Continuing our trilogy of podcasts focusing on Griffith IN breweries, this edition reports from Wildrose Brewing Company, 1/2 mile from New Oberpfalz featured in show 287 and a different vibe completely. Brewer and co-owner Dave DeJong welcomed us down to the brewery ahead of opening time, and we talked to him about their roots, what a pole barn is, and many other topics, while sampling three of their offerings.

Many thanks to Dave for spending time with us, and for also being one of our stops on our annual brewbus tour, held Oct 20.

Brews sampled:
Saz Squash, spiced ale with butter nut squash (seasonal), 5.8% ABV
Hopside of the Moon, black rye IPA, 5.8% ABV
Theze Nutz, peanut butter porter, 7.0% ABV

Play the show from the Podbean player, or our player below…