Category Archives: Craft Beer

Pubcast 284 – Oktoberfest Brew Review from Dry City Brew Works

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.

Brews Reviewed:
Dry City, Oktonaught, Autumn Ale, 6.1% ABV

All of the following are Marzen-style lagers:

Church Street, Itasca IL, Itascafest, 5.1% ABV
Bells,  Comstock MI, Octoberfest, 5.5% ABV
Odell Brewing, Fort Collins CO, Oktoberfest, 6.1% ABV
Sierra Nevada, Chico CA, 2018 Oktoberfest, collaboration with Weihenstephan, 6.0% ABV
Payette Brewing, Boise ID, Oktoberfest, 5.9% ABV
Edge Brewing, Boise ID, Oktoberfest, 5.6% ABV
Ram Brewing, Boise ID, Oktoberfest, 5.8% ABV

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


Pubcast Video-cast Special – Barrel of Monks Brewing

We’ve added this edition where we did our first video tasting. During the World Cup 2018, England played a couple of games against Belgium. Barrel of Monks Brewing in Boca Raton brew predominantly Belgium-style brews, so we had a small bet with them on the victor.

Alas, England did not prevail, so The Brit had to send some brews down to the crew at BoM, and tried to select some personal favorites that also showcased Illinois craft beer. The BoM folks recorded a video of their impressions and comments, which can be viewed here by clicking this link.

Then BoM, after some knee-dropping begging, sent us a selection of their brews, which we decided to take up to Church Street (as they really liked Devil’s Playground), and attempt to reciprocate our tasting notes. Luckily their beers are freaking delish, so we didn’t need to put on a brave face while we sipped – they are all fabbo! We recommend visiting them next time you head down to Florida.  Here’s the video, which includes The Brit, brewers TJ and Chuck, and beer consultant Mark Naski.  Cheers!

 

 

Pubcast 283 – Corridor 55 Special Release #7 – Metal Monkey

We finally got down to Romeoville for a mid-week recording of our Corridor 55 podcast recordings, and we sat down with Metal Monkey owner/brewers Dan Camp and Jason Janes. They selected their choices for our categories of beers and we talked past, present and future with these metal rock stars of the brewing world.

Joining me as co-host this time round was series producer and craft beer promoter, Kevin Herbst, and we enjoyed an evening of brewery chat with the lads. We also sampled our Chain Beer to link to the next brewery in our series, Werk Force, but alas Brandon Wright could not be with us. But not to worry, Kevin came up with the beer from there and we get Dan and Jason to sample and provide their comments on that brew.

Get ready for some heavy doom metal interludes from The Skull, plus the Inspiration Beer floors The Brit and he is at a loss for words as to if he loves or hates it!

Sorry the sound quality is not as crisp as we’d like but we had some onsite technical issues!

The beers we sampled were –
Flagship Beer: 
Fonkey Mucker, Chocalate Peanut Butter Imperial Stout, ABV 8.8%
Showcase Beer:
Till The Sun Turns Black, Green Tea IPA. 6.6% ABV, collaboration with  The Skull
Inspiration Beer:
Rick, Dill Pickle Sour Gose, 4.2% ABV
Chain Beer:
Werk Force Brewing, Plainfield IL
Sleepy Bear, German Chocolate Cake Russian Imperial Stout, 9.6% ABV

Musical Interludes:
The Skull, The Endless Road Turns Dark – 2018
The Skull – Trapped Inside My Mind  – 2014
Rick and Morty Theme

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


Pubcast 282 – Beer Fought the Law, and the Beer Won!

We’ve been off on our vacation for a couple of weeks, but we’re back with a bumper show, and we’ve gathered together a rather special panel of brewers and consumers on this edition of the pubcast.

We have Ken McMullen, hosting our podcast at Hopvine, with Marc Wilson from Oswego, Chuck Fort from Church Street, and Brandon Wright from WerkForce, plus Pollyanna’s VP of Operations Ed Malnar, Kevin Herbst, and last but not least the original Yankee, Mike ‘Lingo’ Lingafelter.

We’re talking about the implications of recently passed HB 4897 (what!) that affects our Illinois brewing industry, and we hear what this really means to breweries and brewpubs. As we chat, we’re tasting beers from Tennessee that Ken collected during his May trip to the Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, in May this year.  We also touch on 360 tabs, ICBG, craft beer demographics and politicians, IMBIBE, Brewer’s Association (BA), the price of beer, adjuncts, and much, much more.

It’s a bumper edition and an evening of ‘raw’ brewer talk, and backroom chat, so listen in and here from the guys who make the beer we love! And because Brandon and Ken love bluegrass, we’re playing segues from that genre!

Brews Tasted:
Hopvine, Bodacious Blonde Infusion, 5.9% ABV
Symposium beer for CBC Mockingbird Maibock, ABV 7.2%
Yazoo Brewing, Saison du Bois, ABV  5.7%
Blackstone Brewing, St. Charles Porter, ABV 5.8%
Wiseacre Brewing, Gotta Get Up To Get Down, Coffee Milk Stout, ABV  5%
Quaff On! Brewing,  Busted Knuckle, Ale, ABV 7.2%
Strawberry Blonde, American Blonde Ale, ABV 4.2%
Against The Grain, The Brown Note, Brown Ale,  ABV 5%

Bluegrass Music Segues:
The Joydrops, Not Drunk
Black Twig Pickers, Bushey Fork of John’s Creek
Shake That Little Foot, Turkey in the Straw
Sam Hill, Tennesee Mine
M Shanghai String Band, Same Old Moon

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