ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

It’s sweaters and stouts season again, and we bask in the warmth of five dark beers on this episode. We also look back on the year in beer by reminiscing on some of our favorites beers and events of 2015. There’s a lot of love for local favorites like Middle Brow, Temperance, Transient, Imperial Oak, Spiteful, Pipeworks, Pollyanna, and Une Annee; but some of the best beers of the year came from out East thanks to Tree House, Trillium, and Voodoo. Also experience a magically truncated rant on bottle release lines, weird homophone problems, a baby dinosaur Craig (awwww!), and a generally unpleasant walk-up we’ll call Fart Wars. No, Star Farts. No, Star Wars: The Farts Awaken. Yeah, that’s the one.

 

Ryan

  1. Transient/The Beer Cellar Neckbeard Nectar (imperial stout w/vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, and molasses)
  2. Brickstone Barrel-Aged Dark Secret (imperial stout aged in 12-year Elijah Craig barrels)
  3. Half Acre Big Hugs (imperial coffee stout)
  4. Ballast Point Peppermint Victory at Sea (porter w/coffee, vanilla, and peppermint)
  5. Funky Buddha Last Snow (porter w/coffee and coconut)

 

Craig

  1. Brickstone Barrel-Aged Dark Secret (imperial stout aged in 12-year Elijah Craig barrels)
  2. Transient/The Beer Cellar Neckbeard Nectar (imperial stout w/vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, and molasses)
  3. Funky Buddha Last Snow (porter w/coffee and coconut)
  4. Half Acre Big Hugs (imperial coffee stout)
  5. Ballast Point Peppermint Victory at Sea (porter w/coffee, vanilla, and peppermint)
Direct download: ABV_Chicago_101_Winter_Warm_Up.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am CST

For the big 100, we threw a little holiday party and invited our friends - and to our delight, they came bearing gifts of beer! On the show, we drink with them and give our usual reviews while catching up with them and taking many topical detours. Joining us are Kim Leshinski (Hail to the Ale), Ken Getty (from CHAOS Homebrew Club), Nick Burica (of Middle Brow Beer Co.), Chris Betts (of Transient Artisan Ales), Marie Cummins (Down the Hatch beer blog), Dennis Lee (of The Pizzle), MC Johnsen (Worth 1000 Beers) and Matt Johnsen (of Horse Thief Hollow and The Beer Cellar). In addition to thrilling excerpts from Secret Agent Santa (Harlequin 2015), we talk about kettle sours, sensuous languor, the troubles with opening a brewery, fingerless gloves, and much more. Thanks for listening and happy holidays!

 

Beers Reviewed:

 

Kane Brewing - Cortijo (Agave Nectar Saison Aged in Tequila Barrels)

OEC Brewing - Malefactus (Wine Barrel-Aged Stout)

Transient Artisan Ales - Black Raspberry Maigre (Berlinner Weisse)

Lake Effect Brewing - Imperial Stout (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)

BrainDead Brewing - Bent De Garde (Wine Barrel-Aged Biere de Garde)

de Garde Brewing - L’Hiver Melange No. 2

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_100_Holiday_Party_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:21pm CST

On this episode, we sit in the sticky lap of luxury and sip on some premium barrel-aged offerings from Spiteful Brewing. We review four beers: two of which rightfully won gold medals at FOBAB, and one that leaves us speechless (and hallucinating). In addition to all the beer and brewery talk, we audit Craig’s purchases, preview Ryan’s “Goonies 2” script, and drink some semi-legal absinthe. It’s gross. But it’s all worth it in the end, trust us.

 

Craig

  1. Barrel-Aged Malevolence Chocolate Caliente
  2. Barrel-Aged Malevolence (2014)
  3. Barrel-Aged Belligerent Bob Barleywine
  4. Absinthe Barrel-Aged G.F.Y. Stout

 

Ryan

  1. Barrel-Aged Malevolence Chocolate Caliente
  2. Barrel-Aged Belligerent Bob Barleywine
  3. Barrel-Aged Malevolence (2014)

4. Absinthe Barrel-Aged G.F.Y. Stout

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_99_BA_Spiteful.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am CST

2015 might as well be deemed “The Year Pipeworks Came to Cans”, because as this show proves, it’s one of the best things to happen to Chicago beer in a while. We review the five currently available canned beers from Pipeworks because we were too impatient to wait for the sixth. Additionally, we unveil a new game (temporarily) titled “Beer Carnac,” and it goes off better than expected. We also give advice about Beer of the Month clubs, Ryan joins the “Smells Creamy” movement, and Craig is terrible at animals. And we tell a story about the Worst Trivia Prize ever. Caw-caw!

Craig

  1. Lizard King Pale Ale
  2. Ninja vs. Unicorn Double IPA
  3. War Bird Session Ale
  4. Close Encounter Stout
  5. Blood of the Unicorn Red Ale

Ryan

  1. Ninja vs. Unicorn Double IPA
  2. Lizard King Pale Ale
  3. War Bird Session Ale
  4. Blood of the Unicorn Red Ale
  5. Close Encounter Stout

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_98_Pipeworks_Cans.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am CST

No tents were pitched in the making of this episode as we review the 2015 lineup of Goose Island’s signature special release stout. And we went extravagant on this one, pairing all six Bourbon County beers with special chocolates and the scandalous commentary of one Dennis Lee from The Pizzle. Find out if we think if these were worth waiting in line for on a cold Black Friday morning. In addition to our unique take on these most-desired beers, you’ll get to sup upon our sordid stew of nail polish remover, Charo, porns, Juggalos, David Lynch, Arby’s, salt sticks, and banjos. We also do some crappy improv, talk about Dennis’ tiny hands and Craig’s muppet voice, and spoil some movies. Thanks to Goose Island for providing a few of the beers to help make this vulgar trainwreck possible.

 

Rankings

 

Ryan

  1. Bourbon County Brand Stout
  2. Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
  3. Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout
  4. Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
  5. Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout
  6. Proprietors’ Bourbon County Brand Stout

 

Craig

  1. Bourbon County Brand Stout
  2. Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
  3. Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout
  4. Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout
  5. Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
  6. Proprietors’ Bourbon County Brand Stout

 

Dennis

  1. Bourbon County Brand Stout
  2. Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout
  3. Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
  4. Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
  5. Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout
  6. Proprietors’ Bourbon County Brand Stout

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_97_BCBS_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35am CST

For our brief, annual sabbatical, we drink ten different craft sodas while recapping our experience at this year’s Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers. We attempt to review the sodas, with five produced locally, but spend a lot of time reliving our favorite FoBAB moments. Our highlights include beers from Perennial, Off Color, 2nd Shift, Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub, Spiteful, Brickstone, The Lost Abbey, Metropolitan, Moody Tongue, August Schell, Half Acre, Temperance, Hardywood, and more. But there’s a lot of craft soda information packed in here too, and you’ll learn why we’re so grateful for Prohibition. We also work on Craig’s arts-and-crafts-based standup routine. Come for the FoBAB, stay for the sodas, leave with a gut full of sugar.

 

FoBAB Moments:

 

(00:11:30 - 00:18:18) Overall festival talk: organization, glassware gripes, expedited lines, strip club music, and more.

(00:26:20 - 00:32:27) Ryan’s top five beers of FoBAB, plus a drunk volunteer story

(00:34:44 - 00:38:22) Craig’s top five beers of FoBAB

(00:42:10 - 00:50:16) Other beer highlights

(00:54:29 - 00:59:19), (01:00:38 - 01:04:14) The beer lowlights

(01:06:59 - 01:11:02) What we missed

(01:14:12 - 01:15:45) Ranking previous FoBABs


Craft Sodas Reviewed:

 

WBC Chicago-Style Root Beer

Virgil’s Black Cherry Cream Soda

Green River

Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola

Deadworld Slow Decay Vanilla Root Beer

Cicero Beverage Co. Salted Caramel Root Beer

Berghoff Orange

Sioux City Orange Cream

Filbert’s Strawberry

Boylan Creamy Red Birch Beer

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_96_FoBAB_Sodas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm CST

On Craig’s day off, he went due south to central and southern Illinois to check out their burgeoning beer scene. He brought back five beers for us to review, and we’re all over them like Abe Lincoln on a steamin’ stack of corn cakes. Amidst the beer talk, we touch on such provincial topics as adhesive, hand growlering, the Kennedys, spray shields, penguin movies, Charleston Chews, service ducks, and Paul Walker. And stay tuned to the end when we pay tribute to the late Jonathan Taylor Thomas. We’re never getting out of this one-stoplight town.

Ryan

  1. Brickstone Brewery APA
  2. Rolling Meadows Brewery Lincoln Lager
  3. JT Walker’s Barrel Series #2
  4. Triptych Brewing You Don’t Win Friends with Sours #004
  5. Big Muddy Brewing Vanilla Stout

Craig

  1. JT Walker’s Barrel Series #2
  2. Brickstone Brewery APA
  3. Triptych Brewing You Don’t Win Friends with Sours #004
  4. Rolling Meadows Brewery Lincoln Lager
  5. Big Muddy Brewing Vanilla Stout

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_95_The_Other_Illinois.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm CST

Man, it’s a hot one. We try five West Coast beers that have started popping up on Chicagoland shelves to determine if they’re worth your all-important dollar with our arbitrary reviews. Learn about these new entries to the Chicago market while we pay tribute to a song that defined a generation. Plus, we rant about beer pricing, brewery buyouts, the Better Business Bureau, the Rule 34 of beer, doing the Haka, and using “Mambo #5” for terrorism. We’ll be your Drunken Holiday Uncle. Or else forget about it.

Craig

  1. Cascade Kriek (2013)
  2. Logsdon Seizoen Bretta
  3. Almanac Wakatu Sour
  4. AleSmith Anvil ESB
  5. Alpine Hoppy Birthday Session IPA

Ryan

  1. Logsdon Seizoen Bretta
  2. Cascade Kriek (2013)
  3. Almanac Wakatu Sour
  4. AleSmith Anvil ESB
  5. Alpine Hoppy Birthday Session IPA
Direct download: ABV_Chicago_94_West_Coast_Shelf.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:43am CST

Listener Keef Debonzo sent us a box of treats from Wicked Weed Brewing, and we sat down on Halloween night to taste ‘em. We’re downright giddy to find out that this Asheville brewery is doing just about everything right. To add to the wickedness of this show, we play our favorite game, Beers Against Humanity, and it elicits talk about Cialis, Nickelback, orgies, Def Leppard, and more. We also talk craft beer Halloween costumes, shelf life on hoppy beers, herbaciousness, and naming your brewery. Check out Keef’s band The Debonzo Brothers on their website and iTunes!

Ryan

  1. Black Angel Cherry Sour
  2. Freak of Nature Double IPA
  3. Pernicious IPA
  4. Oblivion Sour Red (w/blackberries and dates)
  5. Silencio Dark Sour (w/coffee and vanilla bean)


Craig

  1. Black Angel Cherry Sour
  2. Pernicious IPA
  3. Oblivion Sour Red (w/blackberries and dates)
  4. Silencio Dark Sour (w/coffee and vanilla bean)
  5. Freak of Nature Double IPA

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_93_Wicked_Weed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:37am CST

For this episode, we blend with the Johnsens - MC and Matt - for this special trip on the Gueuze Crueuze™. We taste-tour five Belgian gueuzes and attempt to rank them, which is mixed in with some lambic education, brewery history, Belgium travel stories, and more diversions than usual. Here’s a small sampling of non-beer topics: Nazi ghosts, Eddie Bauer, peanut butter tapeworms, wine bongs, home coolshipping, DMX, pipe-aging, Magic Eye puzzles, Belgian motorcycle gangs, and dangerous roadside Limburger. We also add a few to the Great Band Names List, and Craig continues to smell weird. Check out MC’s excellent visual beer blog Worth A Thousand Beers and buy her kickass art!


Matt & Ryan

  1. Cantillon Gueuze
  2. 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze
  3. Oude Gueuze Tilquin à l'Ancienne
  4. Girardin Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)
  5. Boon Oude Geuze


MC

  1. 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze
  2. Cantillon Gueuze
  3. Oude Gueuze Tilquin à l'Ancienne
  4. Girardin Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)
  5. Boon Oude Geuze


Craig

  1. 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze
  2. Oude Gueuze Tilquin à l'Ancienne
  3. Cantillon Gueuze
  4. Girardin Gueuze 1882 (Black Label)
  5. Boon Oude Geuze

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_92_Gueuze_Crueuze.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm CST