Pubcast 361 – Chris Valleau of Exit Strategy Brewing

This is our Memorial Day weekend edition, and we’re happy to say it is ‘in memoriam’ of 2020, and how it affected one (and probably many) of the breweries in the Chicago area. We visit with brewmaster Chris Valleau, who together with his wife Katherine, is co-owner of Exit Strategy Brewing located in Forest Park, IL. The Brit and co-host Ken McMullen of Hopvine Brewing, sat down with Chris to look back at how the pandemic year affected them on a personal level, how it changed their business model so they survived to be open today, and how the future looks for them and the craft brewing industry.

As usual, we sample some of the brews on tap at ESBC, which are listed below. We recommend a visit as their patio is large and the beers are great. We’ve finally put 2020 to the back of our minds, and we move on stronger than ever! Cheers!!

Brews Sampled:

  • Nobody Reads The Copy, English Special Bitter, 5.5% ABV
  • Apologize, Witbier, 5.6% ABV
  • High Violet, Kettle Sour with Blackberry, Vanilla & Lactose, 6% ABV

Timings:

  • Part 1 – 00:00
  • Part 2 – 15:03
  • Part 3 – 30:38

Here’s a link to the YouTube channel video:

Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes for iPhone users, and Google Play for Android users below…

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Pubcast 360 – Ed Malnar of Pollyanna Distilling

It’s an early look at a new venture for Pollyanna Brewing, as we depart from craft beer to visit with podcast chum Ed Malnar and find out all about distilling spirits. The Brit and co-host Ken McMullen discover what all that shiny new equipment is being used to produce, ahead of the official launch date of May 20, which Ed is calling ‘Spirits Day’!

We did get to sample the American Gin, which is infused with botanicals and we find out how that is done also. No consumption of pints this time, but judging by some of the camera work there may have been some quality control sampling! Bottoms up!

Here’s a link to the YouTube channel video:

Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes for iPhone users, and Google Play for Android users below…

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Pubcast 359 – The 4th Annual Barleywine Classic – Parts 1-3

The Brit loves a good Barleywine, and since 2017, we’ve held an annual get-together to taste and chat about this classic style. Over each year, Barleywines are collected from any brewery that has one, with no particular connection other than we try to focus on Illinois. Our the last celebration was held back in January 2020 at Riverlands Brewing, and little did we know then that it might be a while before we held the next one, or for that matter got together as a group to chat and sample.

This year, The Brit had to come up with another approach so that social distancing protocols could be still observed. So instead of gathering together, Ken McMullen and The Brit headed out to 7 breweries and tasted one or two barleywines at each location. Luckily, as we recorded throughout March, restrictions were being lifted, people were getting vaxxed, and we were able to keep our mask wearing to a minimum.

These pubcasts are a collection of videos (or audio if you prefer to listen that way) which we recorded at the breweries listed below, and we split them up into a 3-part series. Thanks to all the brewers for joining us to make it happen. We’ve included the recording date just for a reference point in case there are some ‘dated’ comments!

PART ONE

3/1/2021 Ken McMullen, Hopvine Brewing – Crystal Lake Brewing, Boathouse Reserve Barrel Aged Barleywine

3/2/2021 Brandon Wright, Werk Force Brewing – P.A.L.E / Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration Bonus Brew: Werk Force Brewing / Inflatable Koelship Habitat

3/7/2021 Marc Wilson, Oswego Brewing Lagunitas, Olde Gnarlywine Bonus Brew: Oswego Brewing, That’s My Baby, BA Barleywine

PART TWO

We head to two more breweries for part 2 of our 4th Annual Barleywine Classic, to get the brewers to taste and comment on the brews we have selected. This time it’s Alex Drayer from D and G Brewing who gets to try a barrel-aged offering from The Forge Brewhouse, who he did a collaboration with last year. Then it’s back to Milk Money Brewing, where we present a ‘mystery’ barleywine to Erik Pizer, and only reveal it is from Black and Gray Brewing after he has tasted it. Did he like it? Tune in and find out!

3/8/21 Alex Drayer, D and G Brewing – The Forge Brewhouse, Long Haul Series, BA Heavy Hitter Barleywine

3/23/21 Erik Pizer, Milk MoneyBrewing – Black and Gray Brewing, Ye Olde Curmedgeon

PART THREE

It’s our final part of the 4th Annual Barleywine classic, and we head to Riverlands Brewing Company for an experiment in keeping beer, which with all due apologies to Riggs Beer Company did not stand the test of time. Luckily, the beer was so good we want it fresh now! Then it’s off to Church Street Brewing, and we have the full B&Y team back together for a couple of tastings, one from Karetas Brewing Co., and a wrap up where we feature a barleywine from Clairvoyant Brewing Company. This year was challenging, but we had a blast with all our awesome brewing chums! Cheers!

3/23/21 Eric Bramwell, Riverlands Brewing – Riggs Beer, American Barleywine

3/23/21 Chuck Fort, Church Street Brewing – Karetas Brewing, English Cardinal Summary Ken, Phil, Chuck – Clairvoyant Brewing, Barleywine

Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes for iPhone users, and Google Play for Android users below…

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Pubcast 358 – Erik Pizer of Milk Money Brewing

Milk Money Brewing was a victim of the Covid pandemic insomuch as it delayed their opening and when they did open, it wasn’t the ‘hurrah’ that normally accompanies a new brewery opening. Erik Pizer is the brewer at the LaGrange location, and in this episode we hear from him about his beers and what Milk Money is doing to set itself apart from other brewpubs.

Ken McMullen and The Brit sample some of his brews, and the great food that is being served up. Erik has managed to produce a great range of classic and new styles, and The Brit finds a pal who also doesn’t like coconut in beer! We recommend a trip to LaGrange for brews and dinner! Cheers!

Brews Sampled:

  • Queen Takes Pawn, English Bitter, 5% ABV
  • LaGrange Lager, American Lager, 4.2% ABV
  • Milk Money, Milk Stout, 7.5% ABV
  • Amai, Witbier, 4.9% ABV

Here’s a link to the YouTube channel video:  

Play the audio podcast on our player below…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes for iPhone users, and Google Play for Android users:

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