Category Archives: Craft Beer

Pubcast 335 – Cam Horn and Fraser Donaldson of Elmhurst Brewing Co.

On a previous visit, The Brit met co-owner Pete Dolan, who kindly donated a bottle of Professor Plum for later review on the show. We sampled that beer last week, and in this episode we formally visited Elmhurst Brewing Co., and chatted with the other co-owner, Fraser Donaldson and brewer Cam Horn.
The Brit was joined by both of his co-hosts, Chuck Fort from Church Street and Ken McMullen from Hopvine and we setup in the brewery to chat and sample brews. Lisa Gregor from Church also stopped by…something about keeping an eye on Chuck we think!

In this conversation, we hear how Cam and Fraser both got into craft beer and brewing, and how Cam brewed the strongest beer in Texas. EBC also submitted 2 beers to the recent FOBAB festival (but alas did not win any medals), and Cam talks about both of these and barrel-aging, and Fraser lets us know which beers they liked at the festival. We also discuss what a zwickel is and if there really is a ‘zwickel-helles’, if an Imperial Berliner Weisse is a real style, what different styles of wood add new flavors to beers, and Cam waxes lyrical on his hopes for the craft brewing industry. Plus we discover that Cam does NOT know the phone number of the brewery! A great conversation held in the brewhouse with plenty o’ samples!

Brews Sampled:

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Pubcast 334 – Mark’s Bottle Share

When a friend comes to town and brings beer, then it’s time to get a panel together and have a bottle share. Joining The Brit down in thee pub this week is ex-co-host and beer consultant, Mark Naski. Now living in Boise ID., it’s amazing how many great breweries are springing up there, many of which are medal winners from GABF and WBC. Bringing their offerings this show are current co-hosts, Ken McMullen from Hopvine Brewing and Chuck Fort from Church Street. And along for the ride, but also bringing brews are consumer ‘crafties’ and friends of the show, Tom Ryan and John Karwoski.

It’s quite a line-up of brews we are tasting, reviewing, and passing our arbitrary opinions upon, once again showing that everybody’s palate is different but that there is a world of great flavor and styles out there. As usual there is plenty of pub chat, including a discussion as  to what absinthe is all about.

As this is an extended edition, feel free to play the  show at fast speed and then you can listen to all our chipmunk voices. The timings of the tastings are listed below…

Brews Sampled:

00:00- 11:02     Calibration beer:   Emancipation Brewing, Fairbury IL., Farm Fresh Pale Ale, 6.5% ABV

  • 11:02 – 22:03   Geaux Brewing, Auburn WA, Poydras, Robust Porter, 6.5% ABV
  • 22:03 – 34:28   Elmhurst Brewing Co., Elmhurst IL, Professor Plum in the Brewhouse with the Mashpaddle, Belgian Style Ale aged in Rye Barrels with Plum Puree Added, 11% ABV
  • 34:28 – 44:59   Transient Ales, Bridgman MI, 2017 Vacillate, Oak Fermented Saison Aged in Letherbee Absinthe Barrels, 6.5% ABV
  • 44:59 – 54:38   Ike & Oak, Woodridge IL, Class V, Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Stout, 8% ABV
  • 54:38 – 67:15   Three Floyds, Munster IN, Argues for Sport Grand Cru, wild ale brewed with Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus

67:15 – end   De-calibration beer:    Church Street Brewing, Itasca IL,Sister Abigail, Belgian Dubbel, 6.7% ABV

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Pubcast 333 – Lincoln Slagel is Emancipated!

Continuing our theme of farm-to-beer breweries, we head about 90 minutes south on I55 and Rt 47 to Emancipation Brewing situated just north of Fairbury and Forrest, literally on a farm and in an old dairy shed. Hopvine’s brewer, Ken McMullen is The Brit’s co-host of this visit with a young brewer who seems to know how to brew great beers, and uses local ingredients, some grown onsite.

Lincoln Slagel is our guest this week, and early one morning we sat down with him to chat about why he started a brewery, why he sited it in rural Illinois, and how he is trying to make sure the brewery becomes an important part of the community as well as appealing to craft beer aficionado looking for a nice drive in the country.

We talk how he likes to showcase local hops, for example Illinois-grown Comet hops, and Ken talks about hazy IPAs after tasting what Lincoln loosely calls his nod to hazy. We then hear about his craft beer epiphany, and this led to home brewing. Another topic up for discussion is how the water profile differs in this area and how it affects the beer flavor. But overall, there is a sense of community in the ‘friendly confines’ of the taproom that Lincoln enjoys, and certainly his patrons do as well…very refreshing!

The Brit’s microphone gave out, but luckily Lincoln is who we wanted to hear, so please bear with us!

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Pubcast 332 – Jay’s 6-Pack

Jay Rosicky has been around the craft beer industry in several capacities but is now joining the ranks of invested craft people with his involvement in Milk Money Brewing, which will open early next year in La Grange. Jay takes regular trips to Florida and states down that east coast, and brings back many brews for ‘personal consumption ‘. We are the benefactors of this, as Jay now provides a sample 6-pack of brews that he thinks we should try and comment upon.

Joining Jay, and another first-time to the pub studios, is Facebook group founder, and well-known Chicago beer nerd, Don Hardy. Don is the responsible for the FB group, Chicago-area Micro-breweries (CAMB), which is almost 7000 members strong. And rounding out the panel is friend of the show and beer nerd, Tom Ryan.

Join us for a session of beer tasting and general pub chat as we sample Jay’s beers and we hit a couple of bonus beers courtesy of Don Hardy and Whiskey Hill. This makes it a long podcast, so feel free to skip out for another brew whenever you need to! Cheers!

Jay’s 6-Pack:
Coppertail Brewing, Tampa FL., Oktoberfest, Marzen Lager, 5.8% ABV
Yuengling, Pottsville PA., Oktoberfest, 5.4% ABV
Motor Works Brewing, Bradenton FL., Oktoberfest 2019, 5.6% ABV
Gate City Brewing, Roswell GA., Gourd Vibrations, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, 7.8% ABV
New Glarus, Staghorn Octoberfest, Bavarian Octoberfest, 6.3% ABV
Pinellas Ale Works, 1888, Russian Imperial Stout, 11.5% ABV

Bonus Beers:

Whiskey Hill Brewing, BLNDR (Pink Lemonade), smoothie style Berliner Weisse, 5.3% ABV
Ike & Oak, Skellington’s Gourd, Farmhouse Ale-Pumpkin Saison, 5.8% ABV
Hopvine Brewing, Aurora IL., Floyd Morningside, Sour Old Ale, 11% ABV

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