The podcast is starting out 2020 with a bang with the year’s first brewery recording and what a superstar bumper edition we have in store!!
One of the brewery teams that we’ve long admired are the husband and wife team of Brandon and Amanda Wright, and the excellent brewing powerhouse that is Werk Force. This week, Ken McMullen and The Brit headed to the Plainfield taproom for an afternoon of conversation. And we get a bonus from Brandon’s Banjo picking, as he plays the music for our segment breaks…an exclusive first for this podcast that is sure to have record producers cocking an ear once they hear the tunes, but we’re not sure if it will be toward or away!!
We talked about how the couple met, and the challenges of balancing family life and running a brewery. We find out how Brandon got into home brewing as one of the early members of PALE, along with Ken McMullen and a plethora of other names who have gone on to be stars of the Chicago craft beer scene. There’s a guest appearance by Erik Pizer, who has time on his hands while his new brewery, Milk Money, is in the build-out phase. Erik and Brandon are part of a bunch of founding brewers who are part of a collaboration group called The Idiots, who have produced a series of never-to-be-repeated brews.
Brandon talks about his barrel program, and how he starts with a blank canvas and from there how he creates the final ‘masterpiece’, many of which have received awards and medals at several prestigious competitions. He relates the story of his World Beer Cup medal win, which Ken actually accepted on his behalf, and we see the box the award is still in, autographed by many of his peers, plus a mustard stain!
Parts 3 and 4 of the podcast are extended discussions on 2019 styles, what 2020 may bring, the hard seltzer craze, the pricing of beer and adding CBD etc. into beers. Fascinating stuff!
Of course, we sample Werk Force brews as we chat and these were:
- Hillbilly Haiku, Pre-Prohibition Lager, 5.6% ABV
- Double Dry Hopped Formerly Known As.., IPA, 7.2% ABV
- 2019 Barrel Aged Stupid Sticky Fingers, Bourbon BA S’Mores Stout, 10.8% ABV
- Up The Junction, ESB, 6.3% ABV
Play the show from the PodBean player, or our player below…