In this July 4th-edition of our virtual happy hour series “Hops Outside”, Ken McMullen and The Brit visit with 3 Chicago-area breweries, who have just released an intriguingly named brew. Seeing this as an opportunity to get them altogether, we have gathered Mik Dempsey and Ben Sampson from Dry City Brew Works, Alex Drayer from D and G Brewing, and JD Heinrich for The Forge Brewhouse for some socially distanced beers and chat!
Their new release, “Grumpy, Stoned and Here For Looks“, is perfect drinking for the summer if you are looking for something with a little bite, a classic profile, and a touch of sweetness. This is a farmhouse ale with honey, and we talk to the lads about the making of it. We learn about JD’s background, and how each of them doing in this phase-4 period, and their expectations for the future.
We had some technical challenges when the Zoom connection drops, and we had to finish the recording from a different device! We persevered and got through it for a fun time with this ‘ménage à brew’!
This edition is video only, and please check out our YouTube channel for more episodes. Cheers!
Church Street Brewing in Itasca had long been a friend of the podcast almost since it’s inception nearly 6 years ago. We have been lucky enough to have Chuck Fort, their head brewer, come onboard as one of the podcast co-hosts and we’ve had many recording sessions at the Brit & Yankee studios…up until March of 2020! Then the Covid-19 virus hit, and we had to lockdown along with the rest of the country. The Brit checked in with Chuck on a curbside beer run, but the conversation was short. So, we thought it might be time to check in with him for an extended look at what’s new at CSB!
Joining us in this virtual happy hour Zoom chat is the podcast’s other co-host, Ken McMullen from Hopvine Brewing, and the ‘band’ is back together again! CSB’s marketing manager and all-around whirlwind personality, Jace Rhea joins us later in the videocast and we find out what was more important than drinking a brew with us!
We are all drinking CSB brews, and checkout 4 of the newest additions to the CSB line-up, which are departures from the ‘classic’ styles they are known for. Chuck tells us what area of the market they are targeting with their fruited styles, and shows why he isn’t in sales! Plus we get the story on Chuck’s beer can collection as he shows off some of his collection.
This edition is another video/audio extended edition, so check out our YouTube channel, and then look for the extended audio podcast later this week. Cheers!
This episode marks a change to our lock-down status as of Friday, May 29, Illinois has opened up for outside dining, including service in brewery patios and beer gardens. So, the crew at the Brit and Yankee decided we should change our name from Hops At Home to Hops Outside in celebration of better times to come! We also made this edition a video-cast AND extended out our interview for an audio podcast…the first one since the beginning of March. And to celebrate this, what better than to make a visit to the newest brewery in the Fox River valley area, Art History Brewing in Geneva, IL.
Opened only 2 weeks ago at the time of recording, we checked in with owner Tom Rau, and head brewer Greg Browne to find out what you can expect if head out to pay them a visit. What we found was that they really like the classic styles and are going to be trying to show the Western suburbs how a great Czech-style brew is made, and served. It’s all about wet foam folks!
Brewer Greg has a great pedigree and has been part of the Midwest craft beer scene since the early nineties. An ex-pat Aussie, he seems to know his way around a mash tun! Tom Rau takes us on a tour of AHB which is included in the video version of our show, and then we continue the conversation in our audio podcast.
Good Morning Munich, Bavarian-style Helles, 5.2% ABV
Avenue of Giants, West Coast IPA, 7.3% ABV
Lincoln Highway, APA, 5.8% ABV
Our YouTube video…
Play the audio podcast on our player below…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes for iPhone users, and GooglePlay for Android users:
We couldn’t let our lock-down video series go by without talking to our friends over at Pollyanna Brewing, and in this edition we check in with VP of Operations, Ed Malnar at the end of a busy day in the brewery. Pollyanna opened over 5 years ago, so can be considered one of the ‘senior’ craft breweries in the Chicago area, and has now expanded to two additional locations. With the shutdown in March, they had to resort to curbside pickup and a reliance on their can distribution to ensure that they maintained a supply of beer to their fans.
Ed talks to us about how they did this, the stories behind a couple of their beers, and how each location can accommodate the new outside opening rules set to implement on May 29. Also, he shows us his technical expertise with a hotspot as he shows us the beer fridge at the Lemont taproom.