During these extraordinary times, where we are all in self-isolation or enforced lockdown, The Brit has got together with some craft beer industry chums to share some stories of the industry in the Chicago area. Jay Rosicky of Malted Tales, and Ken McMullen, brewer from Hopvine Brewing in Aurora fought their way through the technicalities of recording Skype video, and we are producing short, ad-hoc videos focusing on positivity from local breweries. Not essential in the light of the serious situation, but we hope it lightens the load for some.
That’s it, no hidden agenda, just folks getting together for a beer! Cheers!
NOTE:We will be suspending audio podcasts until we can figure out how to record with a widely dispersed audience.
Brother Chimp Brewing is in the House! Steve Newman, owner/brewer of Brother Chimp suggested to The Brit that he bring in two of his beers which will be on tap when they open in a few weeks, and joining him in the pub was his taproom manager, Jessica Voigt.
Never one to turn down donations, The Brit agreed and invited a couple of other chums to join the panel for this recording, so Chuck Fort from Church Street brought his offering. Also on hand was the original ‘Yankee’, Mike ‘Lingo’ Lingafelter and beer-nerd Tom Ryan.
Steve is currently contract brewing out of Logan Square’s Pilot Project, so is able to self-distribute out to selected locations to get his beer out there, and two of these are his Irish Red and dry Irish Stout. He brought in samples of these for our review and we also found a couple more locally produced Reds, and then put Steve’s stout up against a couple of classics. And we try to pour a black and tan using Steve’s brews with mixed results!
As usual we have plenty of craft beer conversation and pub chat on many unrelated topics, including the best way to beat your eggs for an omelette! Listen in and then get ready to head out to the brewery to drink it fresh from the taps!
The podcast team of Phil ‘The Brit’ Clark, and Hopvine Brewing’s Ken McMullen headed west on I-88 to the small town of Rochelle IL. Located in the old Hub Theater is Kennay Farms Distilling. Doris and Rick Kennay have restored the old theater and turned it into a thriving distillery that includes a small brewing operation to ensure all tastes are accommodated.
This episode takes The Brit into uncharted territory as ‘hard’ liquor isn’t usually something the podcast focuses on, so understanding how the process is the same, or differs, from the brewing process is enlightening. We talk about how the long-established farming family began this endeavor, and how it fits into their agricultural business. There is talk of the barrels, where they come from and the rules associated with using them. It’s a crash course in the basics of running a distillery and how you need patience for this long-term project.
Rick and Doris have a fascinating story to tell, so if you’d like to take a weekend drive this is a great place to head out to and take one of their tours. And if you don’t drink spirits, we’ve sampled their brews and they are also worth the trip! Cheers!
The Fox River valley has become something of ‘destination’ for craft beer fans, with 5 current breweries (and a soon to be sixth in the Spring), all open and doing good business. Add in a nano-brewery restaurant, a craft beer bar, a craft bottle and taproom, and a small cider and winery, all within a 4 mile radius, then the western suburbs are doing OK if you want to enjoy a decent pint of local craft brew.
The most recent addition to open their doors is 93 Octane Brewery, located in the south-west corner of St.Charles on the Lincoln Highway, Rt.38. Opening in late 2019, this brewery is uniquely positioned as the corner building of a strip mall that hosts an Urban Counter restaurant, a liquor store, all associated with the Pride stores brand.
Only a few miles from the Brit & Yankee Pub studio, The Brit went solo and headed out on a snowy Thursday and set up the mics in the small tap room. Joining him were head brewer, Nick ‘The Wiz’ Wisniewski, and Brewery Director/Owner, Chris Peckat. We find out that not only does Nick have a great brewing pedigree, but also extends his hand out to podcasting with a golfing podcast called ‘Cart Path Only‘!
Brews are sampled as we find out about Nick’s history in brewing, and how 93 Octane will be looking to increase their barrel aging program and produce classic styles. There’s a definite seasonal aspect to some of the brews on tap now, but overall you will find something for everyone, and for only being open just over 2 months, the output is of a high standard. The Brit’s favorite was the Alt beer which proved to hit all the right flavor and style buttons!
Pride Piper, NE IPA, 7.5% ABV
Hockenheim, Cologne Kolsch-style, 5.3% ABV
Deuce Coupe, Dusseldorf-style Alt Beer, 5.5% ABV
Doppelapfelstrudelweiss, Imperial Berliner Weiss, 9.1% ABV
0W-50 Stout, 9.5% ABV
Oatmeal Raisin 0W-50 Stout
20W-50 Stout, 10% ABV
Play the show from the PodBean player, or our player below…