ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

Winter is awful, and usually, so are winter seasonal beers. So we’re surprised to have some great ones on this episode with a few standout locals. We share our New Year’s resolutions and then take a lot of strange diversions along the way. There’s also an announcement of an exciting home brew contest with Middle Brow. Then, Ryan eschews traditional “research” by “making stuff up” and Craig admits he doesn’t know smells from flavors. Grab a beer, turn us on, and join us on our polar bear rug by the fire. (Clothing optional.)

 

Ryan

1. Upland Bourbon Barrel Warmer

2. Anchor Winter Wheat

3. Middle Brow A Hundred Miles Off   

4. Slapshot White IPA

5. Anderson Valley Winter Solstice

6. Bell’s Winter White Ale

 

Craig

1. Slapshot White IPA

2. Anchor Winter Wheat

3. Upland Bourbon Barrel Warmer

4. Middle Brow A Hundred Miles Ooff

5. Anderson Valley Winter Solstice

6. Bell’s Winter White Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_49_Wintry_Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:44pm CST

As a gift to you, we brought back almost all of our guests from the first year for a holiday party recording. But since Ryan was absent, Craig took his one mic and brought people together to review some beers. In this episode, we sit down to share some of the audio from the party while tasting some new local stouts. There will be beer reviews and drunken talk of broken Prius locks, slash fiction, Kermit impressions, and Craig’s hatred of nature. The guest list includes Chris Betts (Transient Artisan Ales), Nick Burica (Middle Brow Beer Co.), Marie Cummins (Down the Hatch), David Sullivan (Supple Knuckles Massage Parlor), Matt LaFleur (LaFleur Illustration), Dennis Lee (ThePizzle), Kim Leshinski (Hail to the Ale), and Ken Getty (CHAOS Brew Club).

 

Beers Had By Craig and Ryan:

 

Une Annee Feats of ********

Half Acre Big Hugs (2014)

 

Holiday Party Beers:

 

Transient Whiskey Barrel Presque

Mystic Chardonnary Barrel Fermented Saison

de Garde Cran Bu

de Garde Kiwi Bu

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

Pipeworks Santa Vs. Unicorn

Oxbow Synthesis

Slapshot McLaughlin’s Red Eye Coffee Porter

Transient Sporadic #2 (Wine)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago__48_Holiday_Special.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:48am CST

We unbox five Firestone Walker anniversary ales and try to dissect these complex barrel-aged beer blends through our arbitrary reviews. We also experiment with our own beer blends and feel the effects of these potent potables before we even hit our third pour. Thus, at some point, we make it our mission to raise awareness of...something I’d rather not type (or Google image search). Prick up your ears!



Beer Rankings (with personal blend percentages)



Ryan

5. XVI (10%)

4. XVII (15%)

3. 14 (20%)

2. XV (20%)

1. XVIII (35%)



Craig

5. XVI (5%)

4. XVII (15%)

3. XV (20%)

2. 14 (25%)

1. XVIII (35%)

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_47_FW_Anniversary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10am CST

In this episode, we discuss the fine art of craft beer labels with artist and homebrewer Matt LaFleur. We each bring a few beers to taste based on their label art, and Matt shares the stories behind the labels he has created for Arcade, Transient, and Middle Brow. We hit other topics like marketing, the overlap of art and craft beer, and homebrewing as an excuse to make beer labels.  Our tastes in artwork and beer vary wildly, but by the end Craig gets mad about art and announces that he’s a lumbersexual. Just like always.

 

(Beer Rankings)

Craig

6. Arcade William Wallace Wrestle Fest

5. Solemn Oath Ravaged By Vikings

4. Pipeworks Cherry Truffle Abduction

3. Firestone Walker/Three Floyds Ol’ Leghorn

2. Off Color Le Predateur

1. Transient Wayward

 

Ryan

6. Solemn Oath Ravaged By Vikings

5. Firestone Walker/Three Floyds Ol’ Leghorn

4. Arcade William Wallace Wrestle Fest

3. Pipeworks Cherry Truffle Abduction

2. Off Color Le Predateur

1. Transient Wayward

 

Matt

6. Arcade William Wallace Wrestle Fest

5. Pipeworks Cherry Truffle Abduction

4. Solemn Oath Ravaged By Vikings

3. Off Color Le Predateur

2. Firestone Walker/Three Floyds Ol’ Leghorn

1. Transient Wayward

Direct download: ABV_Episode_46_Art_of_Beer3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:48am CST

It’s been a long, stupid week in craft beer thanks to Bourbon County madness, so we wanted to find some substitutes to feed those cravings on a budget and a whim. We review five bourbon barrel-aged beers that are pretty easy to find. It mostly doesn’t work out well. We talk about other barrel-aged beers that regularly inhabit shelves and whether or not length of aging makes a difference. Then the belligerence begins and we use bizarre aroma descriptors, discuss “Battletoads” erotica, and recklessly bash a few breweries in the process. There’s no substitute for our hilarity! Sorry.



Ryan

1. Hoppin’ Frog Barrel-Aged D.O.R.I.S.

2. New Holland Dragon’s Milk

3. FiftyFifty Eclipse Four Roses 2013

4. Central Waters Headless Heron

5. Abita Bourbon Street Imperial Stout



Craig

1. Hoppin’ Frog Barrel-Aged D.O.R.I.S.

2. FiftyFifty Eclipse Four Roses 2013

3. New Holland Dragon’s Milk

4. Central Waters Headless Heron

5. Abita Bourbon Street Imperial Stout

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_45_BCBS_Alt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am CST

Episode 44 - Bourbon County 2014

 

With another Black Friday approaching, we sat down to sample most of this year’s Bourbon County lineup, and things get soulful. If you’re looking for divisive opinions or a contrarian stance on the corporate-owned hype machine that is Bourbon County, then you’ll be disappointed. These beers are delicious. And Goose Island gave them to us for free. We share tales of Black Fridays past, and we divert briefly to talk barrel-aging temperatures, autobiographies, the Sad Reality of Baudoinia Fudgy, and Craig’s ideas on how to improve the BCBS label. There’s also five minutes of Brett Porter talking about this year’s Bourbon County Coffee variant, since Goose Island forgot to send us that beer. If loving Bourbon County is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.

 

Craig

1. Proprietor’s Bourbon County

2. Bourbon County Vanilla Rye

3. Bourbon County Brand Barleywine

4. Bourbon County Brand Stout

 

Ryan

1. Proprietor’s Bourbon County

2. Bourbon County Vanilla Rye

3. Bourbon County Brand Stout

4. Bourbon County Brand Barleywine

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_44_BCBS_2014.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:03pm CST

On the day after FoBAB, we muster up the strength to recap our night of sampling barrel-aged beers at one of the country’s premier beer events. We also load up on electrolytes and review some common hangover remedies. We’ll share some of the positives and negatives about the new venue and discuss our favorite beers of the night, including beers from Off Color, Temperance, Upland, Fremont, Goose Island, and more. Not only do you get to relive our FoBAB, but you’ll hear Ryan’s virgin coconut water experience, Craig’s surprising enthusiasm for Pedialyte, and the flavor nightmare that is V8 Original. Doctor, ain’t there nothing I can take?

 

Craig

1. Pedialyte Mixed Fruit

2. Gatorade Lemon Lime

3. Nice! Spring Water

4. Vita Coco Coconut Water

5. V8 Original

 

Ryan

1. Pedialyte Mixed Fruit

2. Nice! Spring Water

3. Gatorade Lemon Lime

4. Vita Coco Coconut Water

5. V8 Original

 

 

Direct download: Low_ABV_2_FOBAB_Hangover.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am CST

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Pipeworks has rolled out more barrel-aged beers, and we invite general public nuisance Dennis Lee to drink them with us. In addition to reviewing the beers, we let Dennis talk about his blog, depression food, black truffles, and the term “foodie.” There’s also a cogent discussion of how experimentation could be impacting Pipeworks brand loyalty and the general overvaluation of barrel-aged beers. Then Dennis sings as Korean Lorde after sous-viding us a poached egg. This is real life.

 



 

Craig

 

1. As You Wish

 

2. Murderous

 

3. Over the Line

 

4. The Coqui

 

5. The Delicatessen

 



 

Ryan

 

1. Murderous

 

2. As You Wish

 

3. The Coqui

 

4. Over the Line

 

5. The Delicatessen

 



 

Dannis Ree

 

1. As You Wish

 

2. Murderous

 

3. Over the Line

 

4. The Coqui

 

5. The Delicatessen

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_43_BA_Pipeworks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:16pm CST

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This compilation of appreciation for Russian River’s wild, sour, and funky “-tion” beers ends in much exultation. We drink eight different beers, many aged in wine barrels, and experience much elation, with some acidification. We share some listener feedback, Ryan gives tips for vegetarian craft beer drinkers, and Craig plays a few rounds of “Name That Russian!™” What a country!

 



 

Craig

 

1. Beatification

 

2. Framboise for a Cure (2013)

 

3. Sanctification

 

4. Supplication

 

5. Consecration

 

6. Temptation

 

7. Damnation

 

8. Redemption

 



 

Ryan

 

1. Beatification

 

2. Framboise for a Cure (2013)

 

3. Consecration

 

4. Sanctification

 

5. Supplication

 

6. Temptation

 

7. Damnation

 

8. Redemption

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_42_Russian_River_The_Tioning.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04am CST

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The brewers at the Goose Island Clybourn brewpub embrace experimentation, and they take on their riskiest one yet when they invite Ryan and Craig into the brewhouse to record. Brewmaster Nick Barron and brewers Jacob Sembrano and Jon Naghski share five of their incredible one-off beers and the inspiration, experimentation, and technique that went into each of them. They’ll also discuss their farmer’s market series, upcoming releases and FOBAB goodies, the world’s most obscure Simpsons reference (seriously), and what it’s like to make bourbon barrel-aged beers in the location where it all began. Pull up a stool, and remember to tip your bartender.

 



 

Beers Enjoyed and Discussed:

 



 

Pineapple Brettanomite

 

Gorman’s Biere de Garde

 

Vainglorious

 

Cran Bruin

 

Grimm Vicar

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_41_GI_Clybourn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am CST

Founders Brewing Company has been influencing the way Midwesterners drink for almost two decades, so we show our appreciation by drinking their beers to excess. We review eight diverse 12-ounce offerings from the Grand Rapids brewery, only pausing briefly to play a little Founding Fathers trivia. Well, actually, the beers are so good that we get obscenely inebriated and talk about Craig’s DJ name, fond Breakfast Stout memories, getting Hop Fades™ for FoBAB, and who’d win in a fight between us. It’s that kind of show, folks!

 

Ryan

1. Backwoods Bastard

2. Breakfast Stout

3. Imperial Stout

4. Mosaic Promise

5. Dark Penance

6. Devil Dancer (2012)

7. KBS

8. Harvest Ale

 

Craig

1. Breakfast Stout

2. Dark Penance

3. Imperial Stout

4. KBS

5. Backwoods Bastard

6. Devil Dancer (2012)

7. Mosaic Promise

8. Harvest Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_40_Founders.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:54am CST

We have five beers new to bottles from Chicago-area breweries and find that you don’t need a lot of experience to impress us. Five unique styles are up for our review, and we unsurprisingly get hammered in the process. There’s a few GABF remnants, Ryan consults his Urban Dictionary, and Craig talks about Mega Man for a while. Trust us - you won’t even need to use a continue.

 

Ryan

1. Middle Brow Robyn

2. Cahoots Brewing Barrel-Aged AmEn

3. 51st Ward The Krispy Karl

4. Arcade Brewing Mega Milk Stout

5. Forbidden Root Sublime Ginger

 

Craig

1. Middle Brow Robyn

2. Arcade Brewing Mega Milk Stout

3. Forbidden Root Sublime Ginger

4. Cahoots Brewing Barrel-Aged AmEn

5. 51st Ward The Krispy Karl

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_39_New_Chicago.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:46pm CST

After three straight days of drinking at the Great American Beer Festival, we open a few beers in the hotel and play back a bunch of interviews with brewers that all won gold medals (in our hearts.) You’ll hear interviews with brewers from Yazoo, Wicked Weed, Comrade, Almanac, Transient, River Dog, The Rare Barrel, and Melvin. There’s also a brief appearance by a well-lubricated Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head. We sift through our memory of the hundreds of beers we tried and deliver our top experiences, but we cover many other aspects of the fest as well. Craig recaps his What The Funk?!? experience, and Ryan makes fun of our terrible drunken interview questions. Wu! Tang! Wu! Tang!

 

Beers enjoyed on this episode:

 

Crooked Stave Mama Bear’s Sour Cherry Pie

Casey Brewing and Blending Saison First Blend

Avery Rufus Corvus

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_38_GABF.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:38pm CST

We try to have the most sincere show in hopes of a visit from The Great Pumpkin Beer, as we try 8 of them. Kim Leshinski of Hail to the Ale and Chicago Beer Gals is our guest. As a BJCP Judge and a homebrewer, she carves up some serious knowledge on the intricacies of the style and drops in a candle on what Chicago breweries have to offer. Kim also talks about her many beer-centric endeavors including her experience working on the branding for Alarmist Brewing and what it was like to collaborate on a shark-themed saison with Lake Effect. We also learn that Craig got kicked out of an all-female craft beer event. Good grief.

 



 

Craig

 

1. Stevens Point Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale

 

2. Ten Ninety De Ogen

 

3. Southern Tier Pumking

 

4. Schlafly Pumpkin Ale

 

5. Lakefront Imperial Pumpkin

 

6. Cigar City Good Gourd

 

7. Slapshot Gourd Damn

 

8. Dogfish Head Punkin

 



 

Kim

 

1. Stevens Point Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale

 

2. Ten Ninety De Ogen

 

3. Southern Tier Pumking

 

4. Lakefront Imperial Pumpkin

 

5. Dogfish Head Punkin

 

6. Slapshot Gourd Damn

 

7. Schlafly Pumpkin Ale

 

8. Cigar City Good Gourd

 



 

Ryan

 

1. Stevens Point Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale

 

2. Southern Tier Pumking

 

3. Ten Ninety De Ogen

 

4. Lakefront Imperial Pumpkin

 

5. Schlafly Pumpkin Ale

 

6. Cigar City Good Gourd

 

7. Slapshot Gourd Damn

8. Dogfish Head Punkin

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_37_Great_Pumpkin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38am CST

Episode 36 - Chicago After Dark

 

Turn the lights down low, because we’re drinking six dark Chicago beers of varying styles. We attempt to eloquently marvel at dark malts and their multiple applications, but then we play another filthy round of Beers Against Humanity. Aside from our usual reviews, topics include cat huffing, actresses named Emma, Robot Dong, proper cookie pairings, awkward sexy talk, and Randy Mosher. And we’ll be very pleasantly surprised by a few beers. (This episode is rated NC-17 for audio nipple.)

 

Ryan

1. Goose Island Night Stalker (2012)

2. Ale Syndicate Omega Midnight

3. Only Child Night Terrors

4. 5 Rabbit 5 Vulture

5. Metropolitan Arc Welder

6, Off Color Scurry

 

Craig

1. 5 Rabbit 5 Vulture

2. Goose Island Night Stalker (2012)

3. Ale Syndicate Omega Midnight

4. Only Child Night Terrors

5. Off Color Scurry

6. Metropolitan Arc Welder

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_36_Chicago_After_Dark.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:02pm CST

 

 

Perennial Artisan Ales’ Abraxas is Craig’s favorite beer, so we drink it four times. Actually, we have a mini-vertical and experience two variants - one far superior to the other. Our third different guest named Chris joins us to drink our beer and chat about 80’s “extreme sports” movies and Santana. We also pair the amazing beers with some Bee’s Knees Mexican Hot Chocolate Almonds, Ryan’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch cookies, and some Spicy Man Jam. And yes, we get a little emotional over Barrel-Aged Abraxas. Sexual chocolate!

 



 

Ryan & Craig

 



 

1. Barrel-Aged Abraxas

 

2. Abraxas (2012)

 

3. Abraxas (2013)

 

4. Coffee Abraxas (2013)

 



 

Chris

 



 

1. Barrel-Aged Abraxas

 

2. Abraxas (2013)

 

3. Abraxas (2012)

 

4. Coffee Abraxas (2013)

 

 

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_35_Abraxas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:32pm CST

Episode 34 - The Hoppening

 

This week, we resist the bacteria-born urge to kill ourselves by downing six random hoppy beers!  We’ll regale you with stories of our trip to Decorah, Iowa, and then get off topic a lot as the beer tastes better and better. Then we spend half of the time insulting each other, and Ryan explains to Craig why M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening” is so bad that it deserves tribute. Prepare for the TWISTTTTTTT.

 

Ryan

1. Toppling Goliath - Sosus

2. New Glarus - Scream IIPA

3. Toppling Goliath - King Sue

4. Bells - Mars: The Bringer of War

5. Bells - The Oracle

6. Modern Times - Fortunate Islands

 

Craig

1. Topplng Goliath - King Sue

2. Bells - Mars: The Bringer of War

3. Toppling Goliath - Sosus

4. New Glarus - Scream IIPA

5. Modern Times - Fortunate Islands

6. Bells - The Oracle

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_34_The__Hoppening.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am CST

Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse episode! We review five local takes on the style and try some with traditional raspberry and woodruff syrups. We start with a table-setting traditional Berliner Weisse and end with Ryan putting crushed-up Skittles in his beer. And there's the long-awaited meeting of Upton Sinclair and Nicki Minaj. For such a low-ABV show, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of spilling, squirting, and sexual dampness. Wait, come back!

 

Craig

1. DryHop Brewers - The World Needs Fewer DJs

2. Transient Artisan Ales - Blueberry Peach Maigre

3. Three Floyds - Deesko!

4. Marz Community Brewing - Bubbly Creek

5. Off Color - Fierce

 

Ryan

1. DryHop Brewers - The World Needs Fewer DJs

2. Three Floyds - Deesko!

3. Transient Artisan Ales - Blueberry Peach Maigre

4. Off Color - Fierce

5. Marz Community Brewing - Bubbly Creek

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_33_Ich_bin_ein_Berliner_Weisse.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53pm CST

Horse Thief Hollow is a South Side neighborhood brewpub that is churning out quality brews and delectable food, and we were invited to sample a whole lot of it. Head brewer Dave Williams and owner Neil Byers share a mic and their craft with us. Neil discusses some of the thoughtful choices made in distinguishing the business from the many nearby Irish pubs and how they manage to keep up with the considerable demand they’ve created. Dave educates us on yeast pitching, aging on oak spirals versus barrels, contracting hops and much more. They also stuff us full of delicious food and share the last bottle of their World Beer Cup Silver Medal-winning sweet potato beer. A post-episode nap is highly recommended.



Craig

1. Cheval Deux (2013)

2. Annexation (w/ Galaxy hops)

3. 6410

4. 773

5. The Caretaker



Ryan

1. Cheval Deux (2013)

2. Annexation (w/ Galaxy hops)

3. 6410

4. The Caretaker

5. 773

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_32_Horse_Thief_Hollow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am CST

Brewer Chris Betts brings some of his Transient Artisan Ales for us to sample, and we couldn’t be happier. Humble and soft-spoken, Chris is one of the only brewers in Chicago focused on handcrafted barrel-aged sours, and the buzz that has followed is rightfully earned. We’ll learn about Chris’ history at Witch’s Hat and One Trick Pony, his “barrel library”, how he manages wild yeasts and bacteria in his beers, and why staying small can be a good thing. There’s also pertinent news on the Reserve Society and what we can expect to drink from Transient in the near future. And there’s a puppy. So freakin’ cute.

 

Craig

1. Oud Bruin (Wild Turkey barrel)

2. Obelus Galaxy (Red wine barrel)

3. Salarium

4. Obelus Galaxy

 

Ryan

1. Obelus Galaxy (Red wine barrel)

2. Oud Bruin (Wild Turkey barrel)

3. Salarium

4. Obelus Galaxy

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_31_Transient_Artisan_Ales.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm CST

Craig spent a long, drunken weekend at the Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, Wisconsin, and he brought a microphone. So we’ve assembled a “Low ABV” show around a few clips from his experience, and we open two incredible New Glarus beers while wading through the alcohol-induced fog of Craig’s memory. Here’s what you’ll hear:

- Dan Caray from New Glarus discusses the Wild Peach release and a few upcoming (including the slightly-delayed Gueuze).

- Mike Saboe from Toppling Goliath shares barrel information on their 2014 Assassin and some exciting details regarding the upcoming batch of Kentucky Brunch.

- Where did Captain Adam Vavrick steer his ship? He’ll tell you.

- Michael Kiser from Good Beer Hunting talks long Polish last names and his personal drinking highlights, while Craig screams at him.

- Craig and some drunk fans talk favorite beers and get weird.

 ...and all at a sessionable 46 minutes!

Beers reviewed:

1. New Glarus R&D Wild Peach

2. New Glarus Oud Bruin

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_Low_ABV_1_GTMW.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:39pm CST

CHAOS reigns as we open five “Rustic Ales” from Sante Adairius in Capitola, California. We enlist the help of Ken Getty, president of the CHAOS Brew Club, and he drops knowledge bombs all over us about brewing techniques and why CHAOS is doing truly unique things for homebrewers. But we also talk about the Beer Futurists movement, invent Cosmic Beer Pong™, drink Ken’s incredible Kiwi Strawberry Berliner homebrew, and endure a Dennis cameo. Did we just become best friends? Yup.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_30_Sante_Adairius_Rustic_Ales.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm CST

For this show, we’re at Beermiscuous in Lakeview, and we “drink around” with owner Paul Leamon to review some great tap offerings and learn about his unique beer café concept. Paul gives us a thorough background on the business, from finding inspiration internationally to overcoming licensing headaches and finding the perfect location. We’ll learn about why proper glassware matters, the ordering habits of customers, and the many weekly events happening at Beermiscuous. We are also visited by head “beerista” Austin Bainard, and he talks about how his background in the Chicago craft beer industry helped fill the tap lines with so many delicious, local brews. Which we drink a lot of on this episode. Never has our drunkenness been so public.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_29_Beermiscuous.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:18pm CST

To celebrate St. Louis Craft Beer Week, we review six Missouri beers that aren’t distributed to Illinois. And they’re all mighty fine beers, we concur, but one totally blows us away. We try really hard to make Missouri our sister state, infusing this episode with tons of Missouri trivia and a MO-themed “Who said it?” game. There’s also Ryan’s Missouri Literary All-Stars batting lineup and lots of Michael McDonald. Yah Mo B there!

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_28_The_MO_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46pm CST

It’s Iowa or bust on this one, and we have the help of Marie Cummins to drink several Toppling Goliath brews. Once again, Marie brings the spot-on food pairings and superior research, we ruminate on how TG would fit in to the Chicago market if they ever expanded distribution, and Craig tortures us with some Biblical character/celebrity trivia. We also discuss the Templeton Rye, X-Men, Beyonce, and the depressing reality of a diabetic Cookie Monster. Yeah. Go Hawkeyes.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_27_Toppling_Goliath.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:27pm CST

Brewmaster Brett Porter sits down with us at the Goose Island Brewery to drink beer and discuss a variety of subjects, focusing on the exciting things happening at his rapidly expanding brewery. He talks about this year’s Pitchfork beer, why Madame Rose is the best wine barrel beer they’ve done, and the secrets behind why BCBS is so good and why this year’s variants will be even better. We’ll also talk about Lagunitas, Bob Mould, the genealogy of mulberries, FOBAB, the pastoral beauty of Idaho, meeting Killer Mike and El-P, the maybe returns of Baudoinia and BCBS Rare, AB-InBev’s impressive stable of endless resources at his disposal, and Craig’s suggestion of finally doing that Pear BCBS. And that’s just barely scratching the surface. Expect to learn a lot from this one, folks.

Direct download: ABV_Episode_26_Brett_Porter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:54pm CST

We’ve picked five different fruited beers from local breweries for this one, and then we went and tossed a bunch of fresh fruit in the beers just because we can. It doesn’t always work out. Craig shares a little BCBS news he got from Brett Porter, Ryan gives a bonus review of Coors’ Summer Brew, and we recap our experiences getting a tour of Une Année’s brewery and checking out Beermiscuous before its opening weekend. Juicy!

Direct download: ABV_Chicago__25_Chicago_Fruit_Basket.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:16pm CST

Cory King wasn’t satisfied with just brewing amazing beers at one brewery, so he opened another one. We craft an audio love letter (with moderate profanity) to five of his barrel-aged saisons and wild ales. To no one’s surprise, it’s one of the best tasting episodes we’ve done. David Sullivan joins us and vies for title of “best guest ever.” We discuss the best musical side projects, make Cantillon comparisons, expose the secrets of Craig’s successful kissing booth empire, compare a beer to the TV show “Sports Night” and make some tough decisions about our favorite member of the St. Lunatics. Bridges are burned!

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_24_Side_Project.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:20pm CST

Like everyone else, we love hoppy beers, especially when fresh and local! We have five young pales from area breweries while playing our newest game, Hop Bingo. (Play along at home by downloading the card from our website!) Craig talks about his CHAOS Homebrew event experience, Ryan tries to make “Chic-hop-go” happen (It’s not going to happen!), and we both talk comic book/beer pairings. We are floating in the most peculiar way.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago__23_Hoppy_Chicago.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm CST

The current demand for “session” IPAs is high, and breweries are practically tripping over themselves to release their version of the hoppy longdrinker. We make our way through nine beers under the 5% ABV cap from nine different breweries, tasting each blindly - without the benefit of knowing the brewery of origin. There are many surprise reveals and revelations, our most interesting smell descriptors yet, and a rousing edition of Ryan’s new favorite game, “Jam Band or Flim Flam?” Also, Craig would like to remind you that we’re not cicerones. No kidding.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago__22_Blind_Session_IPAs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:50pm CST

Some of Chicago’s best new breweries don’t bottle yet, so we went to five of them and brought back growlers! Marie Cummins joins us from the Down the Hatch beer blog and Chicago Craft Beer Enthusiasts. She comes through with much-needed food-pairing help, recaps her Kegs for Kidneys experience, talks about her favorite Chicago brewery, and explains why she’s so popular in the Ukraine. Craig and Ryan just try not to sound stupid. Someone’s gonna get punched in the stomach!

Direct download: ABV_Chicago__21_Chicago_Growlers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm CST

It’s a frenzy of 4 Hands beers as we tackle eight unique offerings from the St. Louis-based brewery. We have our first threeway (of beer) and we try not to make eye contact. We talk a little Pipeworks (of course), Craig rants about the Esquire network, and Ryan speaks ill about the sacred cow that is The Barenaked Ladies. We also drink lots of delicious beers. Let’s get handsy.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago__20_4_Hands.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36pm CST

Pipeworks does a lot of things well, and weird beers are near the top of that list. We try five of their unique brews with unusual ingredients or unexpected style crossovers and discover that they’re all pretty awesome. Relive our cautious whiffs and relieved sips! Craig gives us the highlights of his busy Chicago Craft Beer Week. We also bring back the game that has changed the world of podcast beer reviews as we know them, Beers Against Humanity. Oh, yes, this one is way out there. (Fun play at home game: drink along and try to keep up with our rapidly diminishing sobriety! You have 59 minutes!)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_19_Pipeworks_Gets_Weird.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01pm CST

Everyone loves a sequel! We drink 6 more double imperial pale ales in this episode, reaching new levels of palate destruction and inebriation. We jump in our own Mystery Machine and try to solve the hop secrets in some of these brews, Ryan unleashes a little Three Floyds rage, and Craig reveals to us all that he is, indeed, a God. (Because we’re busy celebrating Chicago Craft Beer Week, this episode was recorded two months ago. Enjoy!)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_18_DIPA2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:53pm CST

We kick off Chicago Craft Beer Week with Chris Ferguson from Bee’s Knees, a food company specializing in craft beer snacks. Along with five nut varieties, we open five local beers based on pairing suggestions provided by Bee’s Knees. Chris answers a lot of our questions about his business and helps us understand why his nuts are so damn good with beer. Intelligent dialogue ensues, until we all get drunk and Craig and Ryan bring it crashing back down. Also, we talk about what we’re looking forward to for Chicago Craft Beer Week. It’s a tasty one, so NUT UP.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_17_Bees_Knees_Chicago_Brews.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:50pm CST

We’re staying up late with four Tired Hands Brewing Company growlers, near-fresh from PA! After a day of drinking at the Mash Tun New Wave Brewer’s Bash - which we reminisce on throughout - we pull it together long enough to review and rank beers from RateBeer’s #2 top new brewery in 2013. We’ll talk Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen Tobolowsky, and our intentions to copyright “Hopularity.” I’m a horse.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_16_Tired_Hands.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:25pm CST

We give wheat a chance with six different Chicago-area breweries that feature warmer-weather friendly wheat! There are a variety of styles, an enlightening history of wheat, and even some lemon bars made with Off Color’s Troublesome. We also ruminate on the novelty-shirt-friendly question, “What Would Jesus Drink?” (It’s probably Three Floyds.) This episode features music from Chicago’s own Oblivion, because that’s what Ryan wants.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_15_Wheat_Home_Chicago.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:02pm CST

Episode 14 - Lawson’s Finest Liquids

 

There are pancakes on the table to compliment the five beers we drink from Lawson’s Finest Liquids, and we use some of their maple syrup beers in the cooking process. Dennis joins us to help choke down the flattest flapjacks ever made, and yes, there will be some harmonizing. Listen for a surprisingly apt comparison to Brendan Fraser, Dennis shilling for White Castle, and a shocking confession about pickles. World Star!

 

Ryan

1. Maple Tripple Ale

2. Double Sunshine IPA

3. Maple Barrel Aged Fayston Imperial Stout

4. Fayston Maple Imperial Stout

5. Maple Wheat Ale

 

Craig

1. Maple Tripple Ale

2. Double Sunshine IPA

3. Fayston Maple Imperial Stout

4. Maple Barrel Aged Fayston Imperial Stout

5. Maple Wheat Ale

 

Dennis

1. Maple Tripple Ale

2. Double Sunshine IPA

3. Maple Barrel Aged Fayston Imperial Stout

4. Fayston Maple Imperial Stout

5. Maple Wheat Ale

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_14_Lawsons_Finest_Liquids.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm CST

Spring has sprung and saisons are the beer of the season! We drink 6 different saisons from Chicago-area breweries and talk baseball and flowers and bunnies and shit. We also share some listener feedback and hold a little saison history lesson. And be prepared to be moved by Craig's delicate and beautiful singing voice. Taste the refreshment!

 

Ryan

1. Middle Brow The Life Pursuit

2. Une Année/Bangers and Lace Frères

3. Haymarket The Saison Also Rises

4. Only Child Le Perfectionniste

5. Pipeworks Catch of a Lifetime

6. Revolution Coup D’Etat

 

Craig

1. Une Année/Bangers and Lace Frères

2. Middle Brow The Life Pursuit

3. Haymarket The Saison Also Rises

4. Only Child Le Perfectionniste

5. Pipeworks Catch of a Lifetime

6. Revolution Coup D’Etat

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_13_Chicago_Saisons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm CST

Four hoppy delights from Alpine Beer Company star in this episode, as Craig and Ryan try to rank them from best to less-than-best. Also, Craig shares some tips for beer trading and other ways of acquiring hard-to-get releases. Ryan finds a way to get really drunk on four relatively lower alcohol beers. Join us as we do some Alpine skiing – and it ain’t snowin’!

 

Ryan

1. Duet

2. Nelson

3. Alpine Ale

4. Pure Hoppiness

 

Craig

1. Nelson

2. Duet

3. Pure Hoppiness

4. Alpine Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_12_Alpine_Beer_Co.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm CST

C'est une célébration de Une Année ! We drink 5 beers from one of Chicago’s best new breweries. Ryan tells his car accident story, and Craig drops some Remedial French 101 on us. There’s also a Bee’s Knees Food Company appearance as we snack on some of their Curry Curry Peanuts. Écouter avec joie!

 

Ryan

1. Sanguinaire

2. Austere

3. Sanguinaire Première

4. Maya

5. Life Beyond Death

Craig

1. Maya

2. Sanguinaire Première

3. Austere

4. Sanguinaire

5. Life Beyond Death

Direct download: ABV_Episode_11_Une_Annee.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05pm CST

Things get funky with Crooked Stave in our 10th episode. We try six of their barrel-aged offerings - many with that funky Brettanomyces leading the flavor train. Hear why Denver-based Crooked Stave is one of the best artisan breweries going, and let the funk take you over.

Big thanks to our friend Marek for the reserve society beers!

 

Ryan

1.      1.Raspberry Dark Origins

2.      2. Origins

3.      3.Vielle

4.      4. Bourbon Barrel Cherry Origins

5.      5. Persica Blend #1

6.      6. Persica Blend #2

 

Craig

1. Raspberry Dark Origins

2. Origins

3. Bourbon Barrel Cherry Origins

4. Persica Blend #1

5. Vielle

6. Persica Blend #2

 

Ryan’s Top 6 songs with “Funk” in the title from this episode

1.     1.  Funky President – James Brown

2.      2. Get the Funk Out Ma Face – Brothers Johnson

3.      3. Bad Motherfunker – Rose Royce

4.      4. Funky Stuff – Kool and the Gang

5.      5. Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky – Lee Dorsey

6.      6. Do You Wanna Funk? – Sylvester

Direct download: ABV_Chicago__10_Crooked__Stave.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:13pm CST

Half Acre Beer Company is a Chicago craft beer luminary, and we invite Dennis to try 6 of their beers with us. Dennis brings his experience as a food writer to the show and makes us eat a Subway Flatizza and drink Boone’s Farm Fuzzy Navel. It was horrible. But the show is great, and so are the beers. It gets so weird.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_9_Half_Acre.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm CST

In January, we sat down with Central Waters' Brewers Reserve beers to commemorate their 16th anniversary. No infections here! We fawn over 6 bourbon barrel aged beers, Craig shares his account of the 16th anniversary party, and we invent more band names. Hear our thoughts on 2014 Peruvian Morning and what should have been.

Rankings

Ryan

1. Peruvian Morning

2. 16

3. Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout (2013)

4. Bourbon Barrel Barleywine

5. Bourbon Barrel Stout

6. Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale


Craig

1. Peruvian Morning

2. Bourbon Barrel Barleywine

3. 16

4. Bourbon Barrel Stout

5. Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout (2013)

6. Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_8_Central_Waters_Reserve.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:09pm CST

We drink six German-style beers from Chicago-area breweries. Listen as we talk about local breweries, traditional German styles, lederhosen comfort, German drinking games, and our favorite albums by Robot Dong. Prost!

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_7_German_Style_Chicago.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:24pm CST

Craig just came back from San Francisco, and he brought some beer back with him!  Craig also spins yarns about his trip and we try to diversify our advertising porfolio with Nabisco and Tums.  Let our mouths take your ears to the wild, wild west.

Rankings

Ryan

1. Rare Barrel SKUs Me

2. Sante Adairius Maiden Fields

3. Hopocalypse Black Label TIPA

4. Russian River Blind Pig IPA

5. Hopocalypse White Label DIPA

6. Speakeasy Syndicate No. 1

Craig

1. Sante Adairius Maiden Fields

2. Rare Barrel SKUs Me

3. Russian River Blind Pig IPA

4. Hopocalypse Black Label TIPA

5. Speakeasy Syndicate No. 1

6. Hopocalypse White Label DIPA

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_6_West_Coast_Bias_San_Francisco.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24pm CST

We send off the Pipeworks Ninjas (in name) in style by throwing them a retirement party for the ages. To complement these massive double IPAs, we taste two varieties of delicious Bee’s Knees nuts. We also play the new beer reviewing game that we invented that’s rapidly going viral: Beers Against Humanity. 

Rankings:

Ryan

1. Australian Summer Ninja

2. Citra Ninja

3. Marilime Law Ninja

4. Centennial Ninja

5. Cascade Ninja

6. Simcoe Ninja   

Craig

1. Citra Ninja

2. Australian Summer Ninja

3. Simcoe Ninja

4. Marilime Law Ninja

5. Cascade Ninja

6. Centennial Ninja

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_5_Ninja_Retirement_Party.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm CST

Six of the most beloved double IPAs are on the menu for this show, and we drunkenly try to make sense of how to rank them. Also, we talk about Craig’s travelling philosophy, and Dennis stops by the microphone to do the only two impressions he can. Plus, Ryan gets really drunk and lets Craig know his true feelings about their friendship.

Rankings

Craig

1. Russian River Pliny the Elder

2. Surly Abrasive

3. The Alchemist Heady Topper

4. Pipeworks Citra

5. DC Brau On The Wings of Armageddon

6. Lagunitas Sucks

Ryan

1. Pipeworks Citra

2. Surly Abrasive

3. Lagunitas Sucks

4. The Alchemist Heady Topper

5. DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon

6. Russian River Pliny the Elder

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_4_DIPAs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:45pm CST

We put four Chicago barrel aged beers to the test.  Plus our first contest and the debut of our theme song!

Rankings


Ryan and Craig (same)

1. Haymarket Clare's Thirty Ale (crowler)

2. Revolution Deth's Tar

3. Local Option Morning Wood

4. Two Brothers/Solemn Oath Brotherhood of the Barrel

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_3_Chicago_Barrel_Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm CST

We take one for the team and imbibe five Hill Farmstead beers, plus one Grassroots brew.  Plus Craig talks about his trip up to Hill Farmstead during the summer and there's more male moaning than ever should be recorded.  Ever.

Beers

Clara

Sankt Hans (Grassroots)

Phenomenology of Spirit (2013)

Twilight of the Idols (2012)

Birth of Tragedy (2012)

Genealogy of Morals (2013)

Rankings

Ryan

1. Genealogy of Morals

2. Birth of Tragedy

3. Twilight of the Idols

4. Phenomenology of Spirit

5. Clara

6. Sankt Hans

Craig

1. Birth of Tragedy

2. Geneaolgy of Morals

3. Twilight of the Idols

4. Clara

5. Sankt Hans

6. Phenomenology of Spirit

This episode is dedicated to Craig's dad, who passed away right before the recording of this episode.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_2_Hill_Farmstead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:04pm CST

We try 5 Chicago Stouts (with Bee's Knees nuts) and rank 'em.  Simple.  Plus Ryan goes on a small rant and we air our grievances. 

The list:

Spiteful I Hate My Boss Coffee Stout

Solemn Oath Combat Marshmallow

Half Acre Big Hugs

Pipeworks Hey, Careful Man, There's a Beverage Here!

Une Annee Airing of Grievances

Rankings

Ryan:

1. Une Annee Airing of Grievances

2. Half Acre Big Hugs

3. Spiteful I Hate My Boss Coffee Stout

4. Solemn Oath Combat Marshmallow

5. Pipeworks Hey, Careful Man, There's a Beverage Here!

Craig:

1. Une Annee Airing of Grievances

2. Pipeworks Hey, Careful Man, There's a Beverage Here!

3. Half Acre Big Hugs

4. Spiteful I Hate My Boss Coffee Stout

5. Solemn Oath Combat Marshmallow

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_1_Chicago_Stouts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:24pm CST

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