Category Archives: IPA

Pubcast 310 – Dan Rosenberg from MyGrain Brewing

Joliet has a long and rich brewing history, but until recently it died away and most of the classic German-style breweries closed. Now, the industry is starting to creep back into the city center with not one, but two locations opening over the last 12 months. Ken McMullen from Hopvine accompanied me as we visited with MyGrain Brewing, located right by the Joliet Amtrak station. Head brewer there is Dan Rosenburg, and we sat down with him to hear about the brewery and sample some of his many offerings on tap.

It’s an impressive building, and a big space, and owners Vince and Greg have filled it with an impressive tap room and restaurant serving a wide range of food offerings. But it is the beer that we focus on and Dan does not disappoint, with up to 18 or 19 options on tap at any one time. We try to sample a range of them from his light and crisp Kolsch, to the signature stout which usually has a couple of variants available for comparison.

We also got a sneak preview of their first anniversary brew, the details of which we can’t reveal here, but suffice it to say it will be amazing, so keep and eye and an ear out for the announcement!

It’s worth the drive down here, and make sure your route takes you down 171 and past the Old Joliet Prison, and then head to the city center and MyGrain. You won’t be disappointed!

Brews sampled:

  • From PALE They Came, Collaboration with P.A.L.E. Home Brew club, IPA, 7.2%
  • FNL Kolsch, Kolsch, 5.7%
  • Ze Vorld’s Greatest Doppelbock, Doppelbock, 9.2%
  • City of Stone, Saison, 6.5%
  • Stateville Stout, Milk Stout, 7.4%

Play the episode from one of the players below, or subscribe on iTunes!

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 269 – Cut Price Craft Beer?

This week we have gathered our panel of usual suspects, co-host Chuck Fort from Church Street Brewing, ex-tavern owner John Karwoski, and craft beer nerd, Tom Ryan. They are press-ganged into a blind taste test, this time with brews from cut-price supermarket Aldi.
Their web site states “Brewed To Exceed Your Expectations”…so is it?

We collected 6 sample brews, a range of styles, and we use a very arbitrary rating system that covers Appearance, Smell, Taste, After Taste, and Drinkability, across a 100 point weighted rating system. We blind tasted the brews, then averaged the total scores to find out the beer we best liked.

Interestingly, a real micro-brewer produced the one we liked the most, but overall it seems that getting your fresh brews from a local craft brewer is the way to get good beer!

Stick around after the show for a bonus beer review of Noon Whistle‘s Dubbel Giggidy. Aged in Old Forester bourbon barrels, ABV 9.1% – we saved the evening with a decent local brew!

Tech Note:  this week we had a slight hitch where some sound was too loud. All I can say is sorry, live with it!

Below is the list of beers in the order we tasted them, with their final average score and their final standings –

Folded Mountains Pale Ale, ABV 5.3% (Brewed at Gennesse, Rochester, NY)
Average score 49 / 100 – #5

Wild Range IPA, ABV 6.9% (Brewed at Gennesse, Rochester, NY)
Average 37 / 100 – #6

Hoplift IPA, Third Street Brewing, Cold Spring, MN., ABV  6.2%
Average 76 / 100 – #1

Boot Tread, Belgian Amber Ale, Brouwerij Martens, ABV 5.0%
Average 69 / 100 – # 4

Feldschlossen Maibock, Feldschlossen Dresden, ABV 7.2%
Average 70 / 100 – #3

Wernesgruner Dark, Schwarzbier, Wernesgruner Brauerei, ABV 4.9%
Average 73 / 100 – #2

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


Pubcast 263 – Indiana Wants Me (to drink their beer!)

Friends of the show Deb and John took a trip to Indiana and ended up in Griffith where they discovered 2 of 3 great breweries in that town. Griffith is just over an hour from the Brit and Yankee pub here in the western suburbs, so very attainable as a day trip. Our friends visit Pokro Brewing and New Oberpfalz Brewing and return with 3 samples from each and report on the ambience to be found at each. Joining the pub crew and Deb and John, are listeners Big Dave and Big Nate for a final tasting panel of real consumers and craft beer fans.

Both of the breweries featured have a European flavor to their brews, Pokro specializing in Belgian, English and other European styles, and New Oberpfalz on German-influenced beers.  We also have included an American IPA from each just to entice those who prefer that style.

By way of introduction, and because our first love is Illinois brews, we take a local brew from Noon Whistle that is a European style and make it our ‘warm-up’ brew, their Face Smack Berliner Weiss.

There’s plenty of pub chat, and the panel all have their own tastes so we think we got a pretty good representation of these breweries and the overall opinion is they are well worth visiting!

Beers sampled:

Noon Whistle, Face Smack Berliner Weiss, 4.00% ABV

Pokro Brewing
Pokro’s Grodziskie, Gratzer/Grodziskie, 4.00% ABV
Sea of Cheese, New England IPA, 6.5% ABV. 51 IBU
Abbey-licious, Belgian Dubbel, 6.5%ABV, 25 IBU

New Oberpfalz Brewing
Helles Lager, 4.8%, 17 IBU
Hopwagen, American IPA, 6.0% ABV, 56 IBU
Russian Imperial Stout with Coconut and Vanilla, 9.2%, 50 IBU

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