Category Archives: Craft Beer

Pubcast 373 – UK Special – Firebird Brewing

The Brit is on vacation visiting family in the UK, so what better opportunity than to visit a few pubs and a brewery! The southern county of Sussex is home to Harvey’s Brewing, originating in 1745, but it also boasts plenty of new craft breweries including the one we visited, Firebird Brewing, located in an old brickworks factory in Rudgwick, Sussex.

Co-founder / brewer Richard Peters was kind enough to allow us to sit down with him at the end of the day’s operations, in the brewery taproom. Firebird was started by Richard and his business partner, Bill King around 8 years ago. Both of them have long brewing pedigrees with Bill coming from the legendary Sussex brewery, King & Barnes, and Richard from Courage. As we chatted, there were cleaning operations going on for kegs and their bottler, so we get plenty of atmospheric banging as the bungs were hammered back in!

That said we were able to chat with Richard and find out some of the differences between  the US and UK craft scene, plus sample a couple of their excellent brews. And to keep their employees happy, a perk to working at Firebird is haircuts on a Monday after work in the taproom!!

Tune in to this episode to get a great insight into modern British brewing!  Cheers!

Firebird Beers Sampled:

  • Heritage, Sussex Best Bitter, 4.0% ABV
  • Work Ethic, New England IPA, 5.0% ABV
  • Bohemia,  Unfiltered Pilsner, 4.8% ABV
  • Vice, Hefeweizen, 5.0% ABV

Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app. We have a direct link to iTunes and Spotify below…and lots of other links on the sidebar!

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Behind The Pint – Episode 4: The Lager Resurrection?

In this bumper episode of Behind The Pint we are exploring why lagers have experienced a new surge in popularity, even though they have been the backbone of the beer industry for hundreds of years. The Brit and his Yankee co-host, Chuck Fort from Church Street Brewing, took a road trip downstate to Urbana IL, and met up at Riggs Beer Company with the two brewing Riggs brothers, Matt and Darin.

Both Church and Riggs have been making lagers for many years, and doing so very successfully. We dive into lager styles, what the secret to making a great lager is, and Matt talks to his experiences brewing in Germany. Of course the conversation takes a few diversions along the way and we sample the Riggs lagers, including their new 6-Row Pils. Cheers!

Riggs Beer Sampled:

  • American Lager, 4.4% ABV
  • 6-Row Pils, 5.0% ABV
  • Helles,  5.3% ABV
  • Doppelbock, 8.0% ABV

Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app. We have a direct link to iTunes and Spotify below…and lots of other links on the sidebar!

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Pubcast 372 – The 5th Barleywine Classic

Every year in the January/February time period, the pub staff and a lineup of guests sample a selection of that outlier style, the barleywine. For 2022, we had set a couple of dates but had to postpone them due to some life stuff happening. Then it got to be summer when a young beer drinker’s fancy turns to lighter styles. Well, not us!

Gathering in the air conditioned climate of our favorite winery and meadery, Broken Brix in St. Charles IL, The Brit and his co-hosts faced the challenge of six high-ABV barleywines, most of which were barrel-aged, and brewed in several states, including our home state of Illinois.

The guest lineup was a local who’s who of the craft beer industry, and in the photo below, left to right; Ed Seaman from Broken Brix, Chuck Fort from Church Street Brewing, Steve Newman from Brother Chimp Brewing, Tom & Cindy Rau from Art History Brewing, Ken McMullen from Hopvine Brewing, and craft beer consumer, Tom Ryan.

This year, we had a barrel-aged theme, with 2 entrants from Illinois, and one each from Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, and Oregon. Which ones did the panel prefer? Listen in and hear our comments and conversation! Plus, there’s bonus brews at the end supplied by our host Ed and one from Steve.

Our Barleywine Lineup:

  • Around the Bend Brewing, Chicago IL – Proximal, Barrel aged barleywine September 2019, 13% ABV
  • Platform Beer Co., Cleveland OH – Panic Switch, Barrel aged rye barleywine, 11%
  • Dry Dock Brewing Co., Aurora CO – Hazelnut Bligh’s Barleywine ale aged in bourbon barrels for 10 months, 11.5% ABV
  • Sedona Brewing Co., Sedona AZ – Barleywine, 15% ABV
  • AleSong Brewing and Blending, Eugene OR – Maestro, Barley wine aged in a combination of whiskey (bourbon, wheat and rye) and red wine barrels, 13.2% ABV
  • Flossmoor Brewery, Flossmoor IL – 2017 Wooden Hell barleywine aged in bourbon barrels, 9.1% ABV
  • Flossmoor Brewery, Flossmoor IL – 2021 Wooden Hell barleywine aged for 25 months in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, 25th anniversary edition, 11% ABV

Our ‘Bonus’ Barleywines:

  • Brother Chimp Brewing, North Aurora IL – Samson, Barleywine, 10.2% ABV
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing, Chico CA – 2000 Bigfoot Barleywine, 9.6% ABV

Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app. We have a direct link to iTunes and Spotify below…and lots of other links on the sidebar!

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Pubcast 371 – Reeve Joseph of Odious Cellars

This week we are excited to be talking to Reeve Joseph who is bringing mixed culture and sour ales to Chicago with his project called Odious Cellars. He is currently brewing out of Duneyrr Fermenta Brewery in Chicago’s Motor Row, while working on their taproom in west Logan Square. That said, you can obtain their brews at various outlets across the area, and we highly encourage you to do so!

This episode was recorded via Zoom, but joining The Brit in the pub studio are the pubcast’s co-hosts, Chuck Fort from Church Street Brewing, and Ken McMullen from Hopvine Brewing. We have a couple of shout-outs for this edition; first to Marge Wright who first opined on the marvels of OC styles, and secondly to Beer On The Wall in Park Ridge for opening their doors on a ‘closed’ day to allow me to purchase some additional cans.

We covered the obligatory topics of Reeve’s start in brewing, but wanted to focus on the 5 beers we had to drink. Each had a unique profile, plus the can art is magnificent – it’s worth buying just for that! So, listen in and hear what Reeve and the lads have to say about his beers!

Our Odious Cellars Sampler:

  • Physis Nomos, Brett IPA, 5.5% ABV
  • Novo Terrano, Wet-hopped Brett IPA, 5.5% ABV
  • The Secret History of Things, Mixed-culture Saison, 4.2% ABV
  • Divination, Sour Ale with Raspberries, Blueberries, Meyer Lemon, & Yuzu, 5.6% ABV
  • Everywhere and Everywhen, Mixed-culture sour Ale, 6.1% ABV

And Reeve is drinking:

  • Ode To Whimsy, Brett Witbier with Indian & Moroccan coriander, Satsuma mandarins, & Meyer lemons, 5.0% ABV

Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes and Spotify below…and lots of other links on the sidebar!

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EXTRA!

Here’s a link to our YouTube channel video which has the first part of our interview…