Category Archives: Craft Beer

Pubcast 277 – Blowing Raspberries!

We’ve had a short break but we’re back and this edition is recorded at Pollyanna’s Roselare tap room in Roselle. It features a panel of likely lads including Roselare’s very own VP of Operations Ed Malnar, taproom manager Jay Rosicky, Hopvine head brewer Ken McMullen, and craft beer aficionados Kevin Herbst and Tom Ryan. Everyone got together to sample brews on a single theme, that being raspberry adjuncts.

We did a mini world tour, starting in Illinois with Pollyanna’s very own Summerly, and headed to Belgium, England, back to USA and Wisconsin, Colorado, and back to Illinois. We tried a variety of styles, discovered one brew that we know was not up to par (no fault of the brewery we feel), and all of us felt that these were beers all readily available that should be tasted by those new to craft beer. We feel these are great suggestions for people hosting their own tasting parties during these hot, dog-days of summer.

There’s also updates on Pollyanna TV, and what Hopvine will be bringing to Naperville Ale Fest (July 14), we encounter a really skunky bottle that surely is not the fault of the brewery, and one of our beers hits a 10 on the pucker list, and finally the panel picks their top 2 out of our 6-pack.  Ed and Jay tell how Pollyanna will be on WGN Around Town tomorrow morning, and here’s a link to that segment…we just like to think we were there first!

Here’s our list of brews we think you try:

Pollyanna Brewing, Lemont & Roselle IL, Summerly,  Raspberry Wheat Ale / ABV – 4.8% / IBU – 13 / SRM – 3
Lindeman’s, Vlezenbeek Belgium, Framboise Lambic,  ABV: 2.5% – OG: 1.050 – IBU: 12
Samuel Smith’s, Tadcaster Yorkshire, Organic Raspberry Ale, 5.1% ABV
New Glarus, Wisconsin, Raspberry Tart, Wisconsin Framboise Ale, ABV 4.0%
Epic Brewing Co., Utah and Colorado, Brainless on Raspberries – We got a skunky bottle, so apologies to Epic!
Substitute brew:  Transient Ales, Bridgman MI, Raspberry Maigre, Raspberry Berliner Weisse, 3.1% ABV
Une Anne, Niles IL, Framboise, Lambic, 6.5% ABV

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


Pubcast 276 – Illinois World Beer Cup Winners

This week, The Brit headed down to Nevin’s Brewing in Plainfield to meet up with several of Illinois star brewers who won medals at the 2018 World Beer Cup. Held in Nashville this past May as part of the Craft Brewers Conference, this biennial event produced 6 medals, comprising 3 Golds, 2 Silvers, and 1 or 2 Bronze medals, depending on if you include Hamms from Chicago.

We chat first to Marty Nachel who organized the event, and get his perspective on why he decided to get everyone together.

Up next is Half Acre, and beer engineer Matt Gallagher, who tells us about their extra pale ale winner, Tuna.

Nevin’s brewers, Eric Dante Plata and Cory Davidson are the new guard, but Marc Wilson (now Oswego Brewing), is also on hand as it was his original recipe for Hook And Hatchet, but brewed by the lads, got a gold medal.

Craft beer podcaster, Joe Bobbe, presenter of Average Joe’s Above Average Beer Podcast, is also hanging out and we chat about putting together a craft beer podcast.

Finally we talk with Brandon Wright, the head honcho behind Werk Force Brewing, and he tells us about his historical beer, and silver medal winner. What’s a historical beer? Brandon reveals the story behind this unusual style, and then tells us how we can get this brew!

Gold Medals
Hook & Hatchet
Brewery: Nevin’s Brewing Co., Plainfield, IL.
Category43: Vienna-Style Lager

Biere de Voleur
Brewery: Horse Thief Hollow, Chicago, IL
Category 62: Belgian- and French-Style Ale

Draíocht
Brewery: Galena Brewing Co., Galena, IL
Category 88: Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
Silver Medals
Subtilus
Brewery: Werk Force Brewing Co., Plainfield, IL
Category 21: Historical Beer
Domaine DuPage
Brewery: Two Brothers Brewing Co., Warrenville, IL
Category 62: Belgian- and French-Style Ale
Bronze Medal
Tuna Extra Pale Ale
Brewery:
 Half Acre Beer Co., Chicago
Category 17: Session India Pale Ale

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Music credits:
Barilicious by Dan Lebowitz
The Hunter and Heavy Hunter by Audionautix are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Good for Nothing Safety by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Turkey in the Straw by Shake That Foot

Pubcast 275 – Flesk Brewing 2.0+1

We’ve had this thing with the O’Brian lads where they keep brewing, and we keep up-to-speed on their progress. It started in Lombard at the location that is now AfterThought, and then they moved up north and the Flesk Brewing brewpub was born. Our last visit was back at the end of June 2017, and Will gave the Brit as special bottle of their 1st Anniversary Imperial Porter. The Brit said let’s crack it open on your 1st anniversary of the brewpub. And so that’s what we did.

The Brit is joined on this edition by ex-tavern owner John Karwoski, and they headed up to Barrington, where among the hub-bub of the FleskFest, we chatted with Will and James O’Brian about their first year, and sampled the three collaborations they have on tap for this event and ongoing until they’re gone!

We celebrate with them by opening a bottle of Flesk 1.0, !st Anniversary Imperial Porter from 2013, which turned out to have mellowed into a VERY tasty brew.  Our photos below also show our two pre-show brews, left Moro Blood Orange IPA, and right Patio Party Raspberry Sour…both tasty!

Beers Sampled:

You’re Larping Wrong – Farmhouse IPA – 5.5% ABV
Brewed in collaboration with Werk Force Brewing.
Heir Apparent – Dreamsicle wheat ale – 7% ABV
Brewed in collaboration with Rock Bottom Warrenville.
Awesome Brownie – Stout – 5.6% ABV
Brewed in collaboration with Hailstorm Brewing.
Flesk 2013 1st Anniversary Imperial Porter, 9.5% ABV

The Bruery, Rueuze (Retired), Sour Blonde Ale, 6.0% ABV
Now brewed under Bruery Terreaux

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


Music from Slainte.

Pubcast 274 – We say Zumbier!

This week we head up north to Waukegan, and discover that up there is a nice, cozy brewpub with a lot of heart! Larry and Talea Bloom are the force behind this addition to the Chicago-land brewing scene, and traditional styles meet new styles here.

As we stepped through the doors we saw something different to the usual brewery taprooms, and it turned into a a really nice experience, where the beers, the people and the ambiance just exudes ‘old school’, and we mean that as a compliment.

Zumbier has a small system, and they are constantly trying to keep up with the demand of their regulars. We discovers how they got into this venture, and the background to how they like to brew their beers. We also go to taste Talea’s cooking, and their generosity and welcoming approach to their brewpub just says this is the friendly confines of nano-brewing….we love it!

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