ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

The third show in our own Jersey Trilogy (thanks to listener Mike Bobal), we finally get to try more from a brewery that’s blown us away at festivals in the past - Kane Brewing. We have three hoppy cans, two potent bottles, and two irreverent trivia games on this episode as we spiral towards a drunken blackout. Craig extols the majesty of bunting, Ryan works on his interview technique, and we both do a little ghost hop hunting. And don’t listen to this one alone in a room with your vacuum because it could be pretty awkward.

Beers Reviewed

Sneakbox (American Pale Ale)

Head High (IPA)

Overhead (Double IPA)

Morning Bell (Imperial Coffee Porter)

Vengeful Heart (American Barleywine)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_191_Kane.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47am CDT

We’ve been smitten with The Mitten for as long as we’ve loved beer, because Michigan just might be the best beer state in the Midwest. We stick to the western coast of MI as Craig gathered four interviews and five beers for this 11th stop in our ongoing State Show series. You’ll hear from John Lustina from Beer Church about how sometimes a good concept needs to be rushed; David Coyle from Arclight on their hopes for Chicago distribution; David Cockell from Watermark on how his biochemistry degree helps him keep yeast happy; and Mitch Ermatinger from Speciation on deriving character from patience. We also do our best to review these beers before Ryan succumbs to death by heartburn and before the new Pudgy Craig gets audibly winded. There’s also talk of communion wafer smells, cheesecake love, and an update on Ryan’s brewery concept. If you seek a pleasant state show, listen about you.

Beers Reviewed


Beer Church Brewing - Crooked Cross (Cream Ale)

Arclight Brewing - Soursmith Strawberry (Sour Ale aged w/ strawberries)

Watermark Brewing - Wild Vibes (Sour Imperial Stout)

Speciation Artisan Ales - Incipient (Tequila barrel-aged American Wild Ale w/ blood orange, guava, limes, and salt)

Perrin Brewing - No Rules Vietnamese Porter (Imperial Porter aged in bourbon barrels w/ coconut and turbinado sugar)

Interview Segments

Beer Church’s John Lustina (00:09:08 - 00:23:37)

Arclight’s David Coyle (00:30:46 - 00:38:00)

Watermark’s David Cockell (00:47:16 - 00:57:00)

Speciation’s Mitch Ermatinger (01:10:38 - 01:23:23)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_190_The_MI_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am CDT

This episode will, once and for all, determine which state is the greatest on Earth: Wisconsin or Illinois? We find sort-of equivalent beers in pretty specific styles from each state to vie for our arbitrary love. This episode is soft dystopia for soft adults, with mentions of FroBAB, the ReinheitsgeBot, and drunken Cinnabon. One beer leaves us almost completely speechless, and another blurs style lines unlike any we’ve ever experienced. We also drop some advice on must-hit beer stops on a Chicago visit, and get confused over popular songs from like 4 years ago. It’s brats vs. Polish sausages; cheese curds vs. deep dish; cheese heads vs. ....Ditka mustaches? Whatever it is, it’ll be interesting.

Beers Faced

Buckledown Fritzicuffs vs. New Glarus Hometown Blonde

Hubbard’s Cave El Zacatón vs. Untitled Art/3 Sons Oaxacan Stout

Goose Island Brasserie Blanc vs. Funk Factory Cervino

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_189_Face_Off_WI_v_IL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44am CDT

Taking a much-needed vacation from hops, we let our taste buds travel to five different continents to sample beers from around the world. In addition to an interview with Pete from Garage Project, this episode contains a valuable lesson about getting out of America every once in awhile. How long can we keep up a shaky plane metaphor? What do we have to say about esophageal displeasure, hotshipping with a volcano, and carbonated gravy? Well, grab your passport, hop on the Turbulence, and find out with us!

Beers Reviewed

Garage Project [New Zealand] - Bastard Rye (Imperial Rye Blond aged in bourbon barrels)

Ölvisholt Brewery [Iceland] - Lava (Smoked Imperial Stout)

Kiuchi Brewery [Japan] - Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale (Belgian Strong Pale Ale)

Way Beer [Brazil] - Sour Me Not Caju (Sour Ale)

Tusker [Africa] - Lager

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_188_Around_the_World.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53am CDT

While many of their friends were starting breweries and gaining notoriety, Brent Banks and Ryan Jacobs were honing their craft as home brewers while juggling jobs in finance and the medical field. At the urging of their comrades, the pair finally decided to go pro and start Saint Errant Brewing. Currently, they contract brew out of the Mikerphone space in Elk Grove Village, and as of mid-August, they released their first (solo) offering, Strange Loops, in bottles and kegs. We sat down with Brent and Ryan to taste through several recent brews and test batches to discover that starting a brewery in 2017 isn’t so crazy when the beers taste this excellent. We cover a lot here including the difficulties of beer names, the significance of yeast variables, Chicago’s perplexing lack of love for sours, where to shop for the best peaches, and how those Vermont trips with Fitz helped them dial in their New England style IPA recipes. (Shout out to Julio Rosenstein!)

Beers Sampled

Get It Together (Double IPA with mangos/collaboration with Mikerphone)
Strange Loops (Double IPA)
Mr. Hanalei (Berliner-style sour ale with guava, passionfruit, and naranjilla)
Pitseleh (Sour saison with peaches)
Between Waves (Milkshake IPA with apricot, lactose, and vanilla)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_187_Saint_Errant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm CDT

From the tip of New Jersey’s elbow, Carton Brewing makes beers sometimes born of unusual inspiration that combine culinary artistry with just the right amount of whimsy. Listener Mike Bobal sent us six Carton beers for this one, and the flavors are as big as the alcohol content. We talk about Carton’s namesake leader Augie and his prolific internet presence while tasting through beers that steeply rise in ABV pretty early in the show. Naturally, this leads to asides about drunken oaring, Chupa Chups, sex stuff with oranges, proper nachos, and Craig’s monogamous cereal life. We also hop on the CanniBus to Weed Church before everything goes all orange on us. Don’t put this one in a box! (Because that would be physically impossible as this is a digital medium.)

Beers Reviewed

Wit Whale (Hoppy Wit Beer)
077XX (East Coast Double IPA)
Cosmonaut (Russian Imperial Stout with Freeze-Dried Ice Cream and Spices)
All Orange Everything (Triple IPA - Collaboration with Other Half Brewing)
Regular Coffee (Imperial Cream Ale with Coffee)
Café Y' Churro (Imperial Cream Ale with Coffee, Vanilla, and Cinnamon)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_186_Carton_Brewing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:59am CDT

Ignoring the fact that there are plenty of beers out there that relegate hops to a simple supporting ingredient, we again indulge our insatiable appetites for chronic hop-led tonics by tasting out five super fresh local IPAs and DIPAs. Are we getting too old for this sh*t? Not likely! We do have a hell of a time trying to find critical points that separate these all-hazy all-juicy hop cocktails before they disappear from our glasses. And because our usually-rich lexicon of descriptors (ha!) is limited to a few keywords again and again, we bring back the fan-favorite episode-spanning game Beers Against Humanity to force us to shoehorn dirty and terrible phrases into our normally pristine and knowledgeable beer analysis (HA!) Give in to your temptations, and let the hops take over. (And tell ‘em Bruce Candles sent you.)

Beers Reviewed

Forbidden Root - Radio Swan (Rye IPA)
Hop Butcher for the World - Skrap Metal (DIPA)
Pipeworks/Run the Jewels/Interboro - Stay G-O-L-D (IPA)
More Brewing - Loose Candies (DIPA)
Corridor Brewery & Provisions - SqueezeIt OG (DIPA)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_185_Cant_Stop_the_Hops.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20pm CDT

We love hops - and more importantly, our listening audience loves hops too. So to keep pushing those download numbers higher, we take our palates to the limit with six random hoppy beers. We talk about the wacky world of beer pricing, the shelf life of hazy beers, and the best brewery that Chicagoans aren’t talking about. If those hot takes aren’t enough to get your download fingers twitching with anticipation, then we also tackle the important issues like which deli meat is the stickiest, and why Joey Pants is the best, and what are the most lethal Slip N’ Slides? Plus, Craig trademarks his beer gym idea, and we set straight something very important about Gushy. Thanks for the clicks! #hazybeer #hazyipa #KregTightjacket #LilTeashat #BobUecker

Beers Reviewed

Marz Community Brewing Co. - Jungle Boogie (pale wheat ale w/ rooibos tea)
Haymarket Brewery - Oscar’s Pardon (Dry-hopped Belgian pale ale)
Sun King Brewing - Fistful of Hops (IPA)
Triptych Brewing - Wake Up Neo (New England-style DIPA)
Transient Artisan Ales - Mind to Devour (DIPA)
Untitled Art - Hazy IIPA

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_184_Hops_For_Downloads.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:19pm CDT

It’s been a year and some months since Chris Betts made Transient Artisan Ales not-so transient by opening up a brewery and taproom in Bridgman, Michigan. We take the short jaunt around the tip of Lake Michigan to catch up with Chris over some of his world-class beers and talk about some of the big things coming for the brewery. We learn about the brewery’s expansion plans, the truth about the shelf life of hazy IPAs, what he’s doing with a barleywine, why people criticising some of his prices are dead wrong, and how being surrounded by wineries has helped his transition into Michigan. There’s also talk of the future of contract brewing, the odd parameters people use to evaluate beer, the secret to conditioning hazy hoppy beers, the way he avoids lambic faux pas, the odd charm of the Norway beer scene, the influence of local flora on his Michigan Wild Ales, and the possibility of more Transient meads. And stay until the very end for some exciting news about the future of Transient in Chicago. Just don’t mind all the bungholes.

Beers Sampled

Czech Yourself (Czech-style Pilsner)
Big Rip (IPA with Michigan-grown hops)
Ardent (wine barrel-fermented mixed grain and mixed culture saison)
Anachronism (Michigan Wild Ale)
Foeder #2 w/ Black Currants (Michigan Wild Ale)
Purest Expression (Mead made with blueberries in collaboration with Four Fires Meadery)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_183_Transient_Artisan_Ales.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am CDT

Two Illinois brewing traditionalists inspired us to dig deeper into lagers and hefeweizens, so we pitted a bunch against each other in a goofy Crossfire showdown. Riggs Beer Co. out of Urbana and Dovetail Brewery out of Chicago know the German way and have expertly paid homage to tradition at their year-old breweries. But that wasn’t enough as we brought in other examples of each style, either American or Bavarian. We get caught up in the crossfire as we also lagerjam our way into another potpourri of pop culture word association that you would expect from a typical episode of this show. Tradition, y’all.

 

Beer Combatants //

 

Lagergeddon:

 

Riggs Beer Co. - American Lager

Surly Brewing Co. - #Merica!

Dovetail Brewery - Lager

Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan - Weihenstephaner Original

 

Hefeweight Championship/HefeRock:

 

Riggs Beer Co. - Hefeweizen

New Glarus Brewing Co. - Bubbler

Dovetail Brewery - Hefeweizen

Ayinger Privatbrauerei - Ayinger Bräuweisse

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_182_Dovetail_and_Riggs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am CDT