ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

As Metal Monkey Brewing in Romeoville gears up for the largest release in their almost two-year history, they decided that we should spread the word on the four barrel-aged versions of their huge Asmodeus stout. Was it a wise idea? For us, it certainly was as the beers are damn enjoyable and lead us to the worst game we’ve ever played on this show. There’s also a 15-minute chat with brewers Dan Camp and Jason Janes about the history of Metal Monkey and how the base stout for this beer was almost deemed completely cursed. Within the rest of this audio word cuvée, you’ll hear some talk of kids shows, Ray Romano, lip smacking, coffee roasting, IHOP, and the wall of Mexican chocolate. Also, screw Bon Jovi.

 

Beers Reviewed

 

Barrel Aged Asmodeus (2017)

Barrel Aged Asmodeus - Coffee

Barrel Aged Asmodeus - Maple

Barrel Aged Asmodeus - Mexican Chocolate

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_199_Metal_Monkey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:24pm CST

Each fall, Chicago holds one of the best beer fests in the country, so don’t blame us for getting all giddy about it. We talk a lot about what we’re excited for at the 15th Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers and review beers from some of the better breweries set to pour. Yes, a lot of the FoBAB talk has a bit of a relevancy expiration date, but there’s a lot more general beer and festival discussion as we sip five impressive barrel-aged beers. But also, we answer humanity’s best question, take sides on two late 90s teen movies, reveal Craig’s jelly aversion, and get ready for some hot Jeff-on-Jeff action.

Beers Reviewed // FoBABlin’ Segments

pFriem Family Brewers - Pruim (Lambic-inspired ale w/ plums aged in French Oak) // Festival Tips

Atom Brewing Company - Raspberry Harvest (Oak barrel-aged raspberry ale) // Little known breweries to try

Fremont Brewing - Bourbon Barrel Dark Star Coffee Edition (Imperial oatmeal stout) // Known breweries not to miss

Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery - Wooden Hell 2017 (Bourbon barrel-aged barleywine) // Locals & potpourri

Off Color Brewing - Papillon (Gin barrel-aged wild ale) // Festiquette

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_198_FoBABlin_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47am CST

Be cautious beer audio traveler, there’s a dense fog advisory covering this episode as we blindly taste through six New England-style hoppy beers. We pit murky IPAs and DIPAs from Illinois against the opaque juice bombs from other states in a blind faceoff-matchup-tasting thing, because we’ve run out of original ideas. Despite our presumptuous hazy expertise, we are still shocked by a few of the results. Beyond that, we talk about around-the-house jeans, beard tips, prospective beer names, Rummikub, and papayneapples. Now I just kind of want some Jamba Juice.

 

Beers Tasted Blindly (in order tasted) 

  1. Old Nation Brewing - M-43 (IPA)
  2. Forbidden Root - Night Moth (IPA w/ oak spirals)
  3. Mikerphone Brewing - Super Special Sauce (DIPA)
  4. Weldwerks Brewing - Extra Extra Juicy Bits (DIPA)
  5. Tree House Brewing - Doppelgänger (DIPA)
  6. Corridor Brewery & Provisions - SqueezIt (DIPA)
Direct download: ABV_Chicago_197_Blinded_by_the_Haze.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:55am CST

In what will surely become a Hellish yearly tradition, we get gruesome on this show by trying to break each other by pouring the worst beers we could find. It’s a contest of depravity as we each selected three beers for the other to experience blind, and the results are horrifying. There’s a game aspect to the whole show, wherein punishment points are gathered for a final rankings drinking of The Punishment Cuvée™ (aka The Cuvée of Doom™). If you don’t like two guys being disgusted by a diverse range of terrible beers, then proceed with caution. But if you want to hear us suffer at each other’s hands (kinky!), this will be your favorite episode of this show. Either way, I’m pretty sure we have violated the Geneva Conventions and will be going to forever prison.

The Tortuous Collection

Craig’s Choices

Half Acre Beer Co. - Beer Hates Astronauts (IPA - 2013)

Pipeworks Brewing - A Couple Two Tree (Scotch Ale w/ spruce tips and oak spirals)

Bell’s Brewery - Eccentric Ale (Herb/Spice Beer - 2011)

Ryan’s Choices

Founder Brewing Co. - Mango Magnifico (Fruit Beer - 2013)

Camo Beer Co. - Camo Black Extra (Malt Liquor)

Rinkuškiai - Hell on High (Quad Bock)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_196_The_Torture_Test.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:49am CST

For many years now, vanilla has been the adjunct that takes a beer’s status from gold to platinum, instantly raising its secondary value to ridiculous levels. Not wanting to waste a drop, we invited a bunch of our friends - who brought a whole lot more beer - to taste 15 (!!) vanilla adjunct beers that are mostly stouts. We are joined by MC Johnsen (Worth a Thousand Beers), Matt Johnsen (Horse Thief Hollow), Brent Banks (Saint Errant Brewing), and two loyal listeners and friends - Randy and Daniel. Although some of the beers aren’t solely enhanced by vanilla, we do learn from real brewers how to extract the best vanilla flavor in a brew. But in our long quest to find the best vanilla adjunct beer, we take some diversions to discuss micropancakeries, Craig stink, ice cream safe zones, Tootsie Roll songs, Wafflehouses, sad fruits, and whether or not Ryan should trade a “Prop” for a Nintendo 64 with Goldeneye. (He should.) #VSBS

Beers Sampled

Avery Brewing - Vanilla Bean Stout

4 Hands Brewing - Madagascar (2015)

FiftyFifty Brewing - Eclipse - Vanilla (2016)

Hill Farmstead Brewery - Twilight of the Idols (2015)

Saint Errant Brewing - Tepoztecatl

Transient Artisan Ales - Bark Lord (2017)

Mikerphone Brewing - Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit Vanilla

Pipeworks Brewing - The Hyper Dog (Elijah Craig barrels)

Transient Artisan Ales - Neckbeard Nectar (2016)

Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery - Bourbon Barrel Vanilla and Coffee Bean Dark Apparition (2017)

Pipeworks Brewing - The Jones Dog (Bourbon barrel aged)

The Bruery - White Chocolate

Cycle Brewing - Rare Dos Double Barrel (Vanilla)

Goose Island Brewery - Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout (2010)

Bottle Logic Brewing - Fundamental Observation (2017)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_195_VSBS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57am CST

Our Fourth Annual GABF Recap Spectacular is bursting with content, as we gathered more interviews and drank more beer than ever before! Recorded from our Denver hotel room, this show - featuring MC Johnsen - serves as our recap of the 36th Great American Beer Festival, as we share our overall highlights, favorite beers, and many interviews from the floor. We also drink two area beers - one from Cerebral and the other from Wiley Roots - to help us hold on to the glory days a little longer. We also recap a few of the related events, with focus on the weekend-long Melvin bacchanalia that penetrated the whole city. Also, hear about the Illinois medal winners while hearing from two of them, including Matt Johnsen, who stayed awake for part of this one. Relive the greatest weekend in beer and get mile high with us.

 

Beers Reviewed

 

Cerebral Brewing - DDH Rare Trait (New England IPA)

Wiley Roots Brewing & Outer Range Brewing - Neature Walk (Double IPA)

 

Interviews

 

Great Notion Brewing (Portland, OR) - Paul Reiter & James Dugan (00:08:39 - 00:11:30)

pFriem Family Brewers (Hood River, OR) - Gavin Lord (00:17:00 - 00:24:07)

Hi-Wire Brewing (Asheville, NC) - Chris Frosaker (00:33:19 - 00:37:55)

Green Cheek Beer Co. (Orange, CA) - Evan Price (00:43:08 - 00:52:41)

Prison City Pub and Brewery (Auburn, NY) - Marc Schulz & Ben Maeso (00:57:57 - 01:03:53)

Randy Mosher (01:10:43 - 01:22:46)

Forager Brewery (Rochester, MN) - Zack Dunbar (01:27:36 - 01:33:20)

On Tour Brewing (Chicago, IL) - Mark Legenza & Mark Poffenberger (01:39:14 - 0:1:41:32)

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing (Columbus, OH) - Chris Davison (01:45:11 - 01:50:20)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_194_GABF_2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:16pm CST

We broke our self-imposed hop hiatus in spectacular fashion, thanks to listener Mike Rousseau. Five super sexy hoppy cans from the Golden State don’t even stand a chance here, as no drop is left undrank. Thus begins a journey of pure inebriation, as we explore Craig’s doppelgangers, draw up some sick face tattoos, get largely aromatic, and perseverate on label fonts and kerning. There’s a game called “Rap Songs All White Guys Know the Lyrics To”, and we try to hold on to the memory of Pudgy Craig. Long live Pudgy Craig.

 

Beers Reviewed

 

Fieldwork Brewing - Sea Farmer (IPA with sea salt and grapefruit)

Fieldwork Brewing - Pulp (IPA)

Fieldwork Brewing - King Citra (Double IPA)

Monkish Brewing/The Answer - Red Beans and Rice Didn’t Miss Her (Double IPA)

Bottle Logic Brewing - START: Konami Code (Double IPA)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_193_Cali_Cans.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:46am CST

There is a ridiculous amount of options for the Chicagoland beer buyer, but that won’t stop five more established breweries from carving out some shelf space! We try five beers from these new arrivals to try and determine how they will play to the Chicagoland consumer - and some are going to be hard to overlook. We also try to be a beaming light of beer positivity despite our cynical proclivities, talk at length about the proper definition of a New England IPA, discuss the power of the mixed six pack advantage, and play a game called Know Your SKUs! There’s some prognostication about Twenty Kuitteen (and Twenty Schwarty), Craig’s problem with yogurt, and Ryan’s joy-diverting beer-clickbait article rant. Grab a new beer, and let us eat that slime ham for you.

Beers Reviewed

Alaskan Brewing Amber

Sun King Wee Mac Scottish Ale

Trinity Brewing Seven Day Sour

Epic Brewing Citralush New England Style IPA

Perrin Brewing Unfinished Business (Barrel-Aged Japanese Emperor Stout)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_192_Too_Many_SKUs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:51am CST

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 CST

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 CST