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

18th Street Brewery from Gary, Indiana is just over halfway through their Hunter variant series, and we round up five beers to review for this one. Colin Joliat from Boozist joins us to knock back this vertical of Hunter beers and to help us not end up horizontal. Craig is the game master on this episode with several “hunter”-themed trivia segments. We also discuss the Neo and Ne-Yo conundrum, Rare Day, sun tan lotion, blue licorice, and androgynous vampires. This episode is brought to you by Lions Gate Entertainment's “The Last Witch Hunter” starring Vin Diesel, opening October 23rd.* Hunt forever. Live forever.

Ryan

  1. Hunter Cherry
  2. Hunter Coffee
  3. Hunter Vanilla
  4. Hunter Double Milk Stout
  5. Hunter Coconut

Colin

  1. Hunter Cherry
  2. Hunter Vanilla
  3. Hunter Double Milk Stout
  4. Hunter Coffee
  5. Hunter Coconut

Craig

  1. Hunter Coffee
  2. Hunter Cherry
  3. Hunter Coconut
  4. Hunter Double Milk Stout
  5. Hunter Vanilla

*We’re really not sponsored by this. Please don’t sue us, fine people at Lions Gate Entertainment. Without you, we’d have no Madea.

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_91_Night_of_the_Hunter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38am CST

Before the weather all goes to shit, we look to the north for a flavor vacation with beers from Door County Brewing Co. We try almost everything they make while helping you plan your next vay-cay on Wisconsin’s Prehensile TailⓇ (Segway Tours are highly recommended.) We talk about beers with an eco-conscience, the Doors, fish boils, bottle dating, Shebobs N’ Such, and, of course, Kevin Bacon. Thanks to Sarah Rehmer and Danny McMahon for the beers for this episode!

 

Craig

  1. L’Automne Farmhouse
  2. Silurian Stout w/Vanilla
  3. Pastoral Saison
  4. Biere De Seigle Rye Farmhouse
  5. Little Sister Witbier
  6. Polka King Porter
  7. Big Sister Hibiscus Witbier

 

Ryan

  1. Biere De Seigle Rye Farmhouse
  2. Silurian Stout w/Vanilla
  3. L’Automne Farmhouse
  4. Pastoral Saison
  5. Polka King Porter
  6. Big Sister Hibiscus Witbier
  7. Little Sister Witbier
Direct download: ABV_Chicago_90_Door_County.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13am CST

We load up the wagon for a cross-country tour of saisons, and we go all ‘Murica on you anyways despite drinking delicate Belgian-style beers. On this episode, we review five saisons from five different states all over this great land. You’ll hear some talk of serving temperatures, food pairings, and off flavors as we lazily audition for a freebie Cicerone certification. There’s also some creepy man-crush talk about Cory King and Troy Casey, a digression about the hyper-religious 90’s, some dangerous note-taking, and a few gushing saison problems. We also try hard not to turn it into one giant lemon party. God Bless America.

Craig

  1. Hill Farmstead Anna
  2. Side Project Saison du Blé
  3. Casey Brewing and Blending Saison (Batch 3)
  4. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales Saison Bernice
  5. Jester King/Crooked Stave/Trois Dames Sin Frontera

Ryan

  1. Side Project Saison du Blé
  2. Hill Farmstead Anna
  3. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales Saison Bernice
  4. Casey Brewing and Blending Saison (Batch 3)
  5. Jester King/Crooked Stave/Trois Dames Sin Frontera
Direct download: ABV_Chicago_89_Saisons_Across_America.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:45am CST

Once again, we concluded our extended weekend of drinking and chafing in Denver at the Great American Beer Festival by recording an episode chock full of interviews and arbitrary beer reviews. You’ll hear interviews with Jonathan Wakefield (J. Wakefield Brewing, Miami, FL); Sean Lawson (Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Warren, VT); James Howat (Black Project Spontaneous and Wild Ales, Denver, CO); Paul Kreiner (Noon Whistle Brewing, Lombard, IL); Craig Mycoskie (Rahr & Sons Brewing, Fort Worth, TX); Jason zumBrunnen (Ratio Beerworks, Denver, CO); Jay Goodwin (The Rare Barrel, Berkley, CA); and the lunatics from Melvin Brewing (Jackson, WY). We cover many highlights and aspects of the fest, while still allowing time for our usual random digressions. Craig discusses his weekend spent stalking Troy Casey, and Ryan shares his numerical observations about babies, dreadlocks, and sandals. When you get this high, coming down is the hardest part.

 

Beers Reviewed/Mutual Rankings

  1. Casey Brewing and Blending Cherry Fruit Stand
  2. Crooked Stave Flor D’Lees
  3. AC Golden Hidden Barrel Kriek (Batch #3)

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_88_GABF2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13am CST

 

Prost! This week, we put nine Oktoberfest/Märzen-style beers into an ultraviolent cage match of arbitrary opinions. Beers from Germany, the U.S., and Chicago all enter, and a lot of them are kind of the same, but it’s the small differences that are amplified. We give a real informal history of the style, ponder what Germany smells like, and talk about the common problem with reviewing beers from Europe. But also, we smell creamy, maintain the cage, talk about goalie fights, and discover why we don’t let Craig do the walk-up. How high have we raised the discourse with this episode? So high.

 

Rankings

 

Ryan

  1. New Glarus Staghorn
  2. Metropolitan Afterburner
  3. Surly SurlyFest
  4. Revolution Oktoberfest
  5. Two Brothers Atom Smasher
  6. Great Lakes Oktoberfest
  7. Spaten Oktoberfest ur-Märzen
  8. Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen
  9. Hofbräru Oktoberfestbier

 

Craig

  1. Metropolitan Afterburner
  2. New Glarus Staghorn
  3. Revolution Oktoberfest
  4. Two Brothers Atom Smasher
  5. Spaten Oktoberfest ur-Märzen
  6. Surly SurlyFest
  7. Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen
  8. Hofbräru Oktoberfestbier
  9. Great Lakes Oktoberfest
Direct download: ABV_Episode_87_Oktoberfest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:24pm CST

The brewers from Oregon’s de Garde Brewing use a coolship to ferment their beers year-round before aging them in oak, and we taste five of the resulting beers. Despite moments of oppressive heartburn, we find that the Oregonian Coast is blowing some sweet pixie farts into these wonderful beers. We try not to be too self-gratifying, but clutch tightly as this episode includes a touch of French speak, a rub of new band names, and a gentle caress of sensual GoGurt. Craig also loses control of his spittle. And Ryan pleases himself with a very satisfying musical theme. Bu.

 

Ryan

1. Imperial Cherry Marion Bu Berliner Weisse

2. Amarillo Hose Gose

3. Special Rouge American Wild Ale

4. Oude Rruin Flanders Oud Bruin

5. Peach Bu Berlinner Weisse

 

Craig

1. Imperial Cherry Marion Bu Berliner Weisse

2. Special Rouge American Wild Ale

3. Amarillo Hose Gose

4. Oude Rruin Flanders Oud Bruin

5. Peach Bu Berlinner Weisse

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_86_de_Garde.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am CST

In the annals of ABV Chicago, this one will certainly go down as Craig’s masterpiece. We have five maple syrup and coffee breakfast beers and pair them with five doughnut creations from local baking geniuses Glazed & Infused. Once again we are joined by Chicago Reader’s 2015  Best Food WriterDennis Lee, and like the feeling of syrup in the corners of your mouth and the rot of sugar in your belly after a giant stack of pancakes, he will make you feel disgusting yet oddly satisfied. Dennis shares some Pizzle updates, a sad birthday story, his thoughts on a Freegan challenge, and some helpful explanations of “Red Velvet” and ganache. But mostly we hear about his garbage life and Tinder disappointments. Other topics include continental breakfasts, the film “Independence Day” (and the eternal Paxton or Pullman debate), new CK scents, and Craig’s awful diet. Please send insulin.

 

Featured Glazed & Infused Donuts

 

Terry’s Mocha Koffee Toffee

Maple Bacon Long John

Sweet Tooth (w/Butterfinger topping and vanilla glaze)

Red Velvet

Chocolate

 

Rankings

 

Craig

1. Toppling Goliath Mornin’ Delight

2. Tree House Good Morning

3. Transient Buckley

4. Terrapin French-Toasted Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

5. Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter

 

Ryan

1. Tree House Good Morning

2. Toppling Goliath Mornin’ Delight

3. Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter

4. Transient Buckley

5. Terrapin French-Toasted Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

 

Dennis

1. Tree House Good Morning

2. Toppling Goliath Mornin’ Delight

3. Transient Buckley

4. Terrapin French-Toasted Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

5. Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_85_Beer_for_Breakfast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05am CST

The spoils of Craig’s epic East Coast trip come to an end here, and boy are we spoiled! Trillium Brewing Company out of Boston is making a variety of beers better than pretty much everyone, we discover. Six beers of varying styles get our unequivocal praise here, which leaves plenty of time for Craig to talk about his visit to the brewery, their upcoming expansion plans, and why they should be on everybody’s radar. Also, hear us explain how your stinky ass can help you appreciate beers, the difference between bags and cornhole; our vague memory of “Good Will Hunting” quotes, a story where Craig effortlessly connects drinking syrup and Zelda, some SRM insanity, and something about a fat robot. Trill recognize trill, homie.

 

Craig

1. Artaic Double IPA

2. Congress Street IPA

3. Bees American Wild Ale with Honey

4. Fort Point Pale Ale

5. Stonington Barrel-Aged Wild Saison

6. Day and Night Blonde Barleywine with Coffee

 

Ryan

1. Fort Point Pale Ale

2. Artaic Double IPA

3. Bees American Wild Ale with Honey

4. Congress Street IPA

5. Stonington Barrel-Aged Wild Saison

6. Day and Night Blonde Barleywine with Coffee

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_84_Trillium.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:03am CST

This episode goes out to our BFFs in Chicago beer as we open five brettanomyces-enhanced bottles. And despite our fully-disclosed amicable relationships with these brewers, we manage to be brutally honest in our reviews. You’re welcome, buds! Mostly though, you’ll hear us analyze our own friendship through some light reminiscing, reflect on being held, articulate Craig’s specific measurements for beer success, and make at least two fart jokes. Ryan also reads a brief essay about brettanomyces he cobbled together, and Craig is angry about cucumber water. And we become better brett friends than we thought possible. Forever? Forever-ever? Forever-ever?

 

Ryan

1. Goose Island Clybourn - Brettanomite Sour Wheat Ale

2. Lake Effect - Session Brett Extra Pale Ale

3. Une Année - Xellensis Belgian Blonde Ale

4. Transient - Peur Saison

5. Middle Brow - Cobrastyle Saison

 

Craig

1. Lake Effect - Session Brett Extra Pale Ale

2. Transient - Peur Saison

3. Goose Island Clybourn - Brettanomite Sour Wheat Ale

4. Une Année - Xellensis Belgian Blonde Ale

5. Middle Brow - Cobrastyle Saison

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_83_BFF.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:35am CST

Craig's East Coast excursion continues to provide a bounty of spectacular beers for us to review, and we couldn't resist doing a third Hill Farmstead show. We drink five growlers and one bottle from RateBeer's top brewery in the country, and it’s all Vermontastic. And whenever the beer is this good, we get gleefully off topic to talk about cereal, movie trilogies, Crystal Pepsi, Peter Cetera, and Hollywood hunks. Craig recaps his most recent trip to Hill Farmstead and what has changed since he last visited in 2013. And things gets creepy early and carry on to Craig unleashing his most lamentable creation: Ryan’s chub scale. Sorry. Sorry sorry sorry.

 

Rankings

 

Craig

1. Susan IPA

2. Society and Solitude #1 DIPA
3. Edward Pale Ale

4. Nelson Sauvin Pale Ale

5. Works of Love Blonde Ale

6. Arthur Saison (Dry-Hopped with Styrian Golding)

 

Ryan

1. Nelson Sauvin Pale Ale

2. Susan IPA

3. Society and Solitude #1 DIPA
4. Edward Pale Ale

5. Works of Love Blonde Ale

6. Arthur Saison (Dry-Hopped with Styrian Golding)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_82_Hill_Farmstead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm CST

Simply put, we had a bunch of fresh, hoppy beers and needed an excuse to drink them - but then we go all meta on you. We have six beers from all over and play a game of Hop Bingo © to hopefully invigorate our limp descriptors. Craig takes control of the music on this one, and we explain how Ryan almost sabotaged this show. Also, we explain why we have so many Pipeworks beers on the show, explore the troubling distance growing between the two of us, and discuss how a little Donnie Brasco can go a long way. And, as was written, only shooting stars break the mold.

 

Play along with the Hop Bingo © Home Edition:

 

Craig

1. The Lone Pint Brewery - Yellow Rose IPA

2. Lawson’s Finest Liquids - Sip of Sunshine IPA

3. Pipeworks Brewing - Square Grouper DIPA

4. Lawson’s Finest Liquids - Super Session #2 IPA

5. Half Acre Beer Co. - Navaja DIPA

6. Fat Head’s Brewery - Head Hunter IPA

 

Ryan

1. Pipeworks Brewing - Square Grouper DIPA

2. The Lone Pint Brewery - Yellow Rose IPA

3. Half Acre Beer Co. - Navaja DIPA

4. Lawson’s Finest Liquids - Sip of Sunshine IPA

5. Fat Head’s Brewery - Head Hunter IPA

6. Lawson’s Finest Liquids - Super Session #2 IPA





Direct download: ABV_Chicago_81_House_of_1000_Hops.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am CST

Craig’s recent travels took him to the town of Monson, Massachusetts where a small, growing brewery is producing some of the best beer in the world. Not only do we drink and react to six stunning Tree House Brewing Company beers, but Craig shares a conversation he recorded with co-founder and co-owner Dean Rohan. With six growlers of the most drinkable yet complex beers we’ve had in a while, we subject these world-class beers to our low-brow drunkenness. Listen for our aggressively horrible spoken seques, an ongoing debate about fruit plates versus fruit bowls, an appearance from Craig’s alter ego Greg, Ryan’s take on why barrel-aging is overrated — and if you stay until the end, you’ll hear a story about how a magician ruined Craig’s trip to the Basketball Hall of Fame. There’s also an ACTUAL limited time special offer for listeners, so get your decoder rings ready*.

Ryan

1. Julius IPA

2. Alter Ego IPA

3. Curiosity 19 DIPA

4. Double Shot Stout (with Sumatra Mandheling coffee)

5. That’s What She Said Milk Stout

6. Trailbreaker Kellerbier

 

Craig

1. Julius IPA

2. Double Shot Stout (with Sumatra Mandheling coffee)

3. That’s What She Said Milk Stout

4. Alter Ego IPA

5. Trailbreaker Kellerbier

6. Curiosity 19 DIPA


*Decoder rings not necessary for the special offer - a working email address will do.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_80_Tree_House.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm CST

We can hardly believe the number of local breweries canning beers these days, and in this episode we barely scratch the aluminum surface. We review six diverse styles in our attempt to arbitrarily decide who can kick it. Sidebars and distractions ensue, and we end up doing the sour mash, testing Craig’s local can knowledge, and determining the appropriate number of scarves needed to enjoy absinthe. And Craig sings - BEAUTIFULLY. Can you believe it?!?

 

Craig

1. DESTIHL Lynnbrook Raspberry Berliner Weisse

2. Spiteful God Damn Pigeon Porter

3. Half Acre Vallejo IPA

4. Atlas Farmhouse Wheat

5. Mikerphone Vinyl Frontier DIPA

6. Slapshot Tripel Deke

 

Ryan

1. Half Acre Vallejo IPA

2. Spiteful God Damn Pigeon Porter

3. DESTIHL Lynnbrook Raspberry Berliner Weisse

4. Atlas Farmhouse Wheat

5. Mikerphone Vinyl Frontier DIPA

6. Slapshot Tripel Deke

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_79_CAN_You_Feel_The_Love.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm CST

We continue our mission to drink the United States with a little help from listener Jeb who provided six Minnesota beers for this episode. And we’re positively blown away by some of the beers coming from the North Star state. In addition to our reviews and arbitrary rankings, there’s much discussion of Minnesota’s cultural contributions and infuriating baseball team (for two White Sox fans). We also let our inner fat kids loose and rage about Oreo Thins a little bit. Craig shares his extensive research. Ryan does a bad Craig Finn impression. Boof Bonser has a pipe made from a Pringles can.

 

Rankings

 

Ryan

1. August Schell Dawn of Aurora Berliner Weisse

2. Dangerous Man Peanut Butter Porter

3. Indeed Let It Ride IPA

4. Bent Paddle Cold Press Black Ale

5. Bauhaus Stargrazer Schwarzbier

6. Steel Toe Size 7 IPA

 

Craig

1. August Schell Dawn of Aurora Berliner Weisse

2. Dangerous Man Peanut Butter Porter

3. Bent Paddle Cold Press Black Ale

4. Bauhaus Stargrazer Schwarzbier

5. Indeed Let It Ride IPA

6. Steel Toe Size 7 IPA

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_78_The_MN_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59pm CST

Join Ryan and Craig, your guides to the urban beer jungle, as they experience the eccentric, offbeat, and unexpected Wild beers of Chicago! They imbibe six different ales fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria and review them for your listening pleasure. They’ll also visit with a singing cab driver, check out the 14th annual Contortionists’ Parade, and visit the last Russian bathhouse in Chicago! Or they’ll complain about heartburn and wax, discuss childhood television, and describe things as “lemony” a lot. Either way, you’ll want to strap on your safari hat and join them on this episode. And f’ your wax!

 

Ryan

1. Off Color/Jester King Radiolaria

2. Transient/Fountainhead Brutus

3. Une Année Esquisse

4. Lake Effect Vielle Blond

5. Marz Duchesse de Bridgeport

6. Penrose Wild XI

 

Craig

1. Transient/Fountainhead Brutus

2. Off Color/Jester King Radiolaria

3. Une Année Esquisse

4. Marz Duchesse de Bridgeport

5. Lake Effect Vielle Blond

6. Penrose Wild XI

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_77_Wild_Chicago.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01am CST

Achtung Chicago! On this episode, it’s a pilsner face-off between Germany and Chicago as we review eight of these pale-malted and lightly-hopped lagers to determine the definitive LAND OF PILSNERS. We choose somewhat predictably. In addition, you get a taste of Pilsner history from Craig and a healthy dose of distractions from Ryan. Also, neither of us realize how drunk we’ve become by the end. We also say “balls” three times in the first fifteen minutes, which isn’t like us, so, sorry about that. And listen for Ryan’s very special, limited time offer for free stuff. This episode is dedicated to our homie, Herb Wurzig.

 

Matchups:

 

Baderbrӓu Chicago Pilsener vs. Kӧnig Pilsener

Metropolitan Flywheel Bright Lager vs. Weihenstephaner Pilsner

Local Option Outlawger vs. Kaiserdom Pilsener

Half Acre Pony Pils vs. Wolters Pilsener

 

Rankings:

 

Craig

1. Weihenstephaner Pilsner

2. Metropolitan Flywheel Bright Lager

3. Half Acre Pony Pils

4. Baderbrӓu Chicago Pilsener

5. Local Option Outlawger

6. Kӧnig Pilsener

7. Kaiserdom Pilsener

8. Wolters Pilsener

 

Ryan

1. Half Acre Pony Pils

2. Metropolitan Flywheel Bright Lager

3. Weihenstephaner Pilsner

4. Local Option Outlawger

5. Baderbrӓu Chicago Pilsener

6. Kaiserdom Pilsener

7. Kӧnig Pilsener

8. Wolters Pilsener

 

Local Music Featured:

 

Meat Wave - “Brother”

Rat Hammer - “Don’t Care”

Twin Peaks - “Flavor”

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_76_Pils_Pils_Pils.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:02pm CST

We’ve been planning this one for a while, and we finally get to drink a lineup of delicious beers from The Rare Barrel. We review five beers from these young fermentation and blending experts out of Berkley, CA. Ryan did his research, so you’ll learn a lot about the brewery, including the somewhat unusual process by which they make beer, the “3 sip rule”, their naming inspirations, and how they go about finding the real “rare barrel.” There’s a good ten minute discussion about membership programs/reserve societies, and the potential advantages and problems those can present. We also play another game of Beers Against Humanity, which forces us to get pretty weird and raunchy. Gattaca!

 

Ryan

1. Forces Unseen (Golden Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels)

2. Wise Guise (Red Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels with Raspberries)

3. Ensorcelled (Dark Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels with Raspberries)

4. Shadows of Their Eyes (Dark Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels)

5. Another World (Red Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels)

 

Craig

1. Ensorcelled (Dark Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels with Raspberries)

2. Forces Unseen (Golden Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels)

3. Wise Guise (Red Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels with Raspberries)

4. Shadows of Their Eyes (Dark Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels)

5. Another World (Red Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_7_Rare_Barrel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23pm CST

The fine folks of New Glarus brewing in Wisconsin have been brewing the highest quality fruit beers around for longer than just about anyone in the U.S. We invite Marie Cummins back to the show to help us review and rank eight of these outstanding brews. We pair all of the beers with Wisconsin cheeses based on New Glarus’ recommendations, and one is a spectacular failure. Also, hear us talk about booze-soaked Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Rain, Hawaiian Punch, “Still the One” by Orleans, and Star Wars. Craig explains why he is the body and face of the show, Ryan basks in sweet heartburn revenge, and Marie puts up with all of Craig’s shit. Did we mention the beer is incredible?

 

Rankings

 

Marie

1. Belgian Red

2. Serendipity

3. Apple Ale

4. Raspberry Tart

5. Cran-bic

6. R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)

7. Strawberry Rhubarb

8. Enigma

 

Ryan

1. R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)

2. Belgian Red

3. Serendipity

4. Cran-bic

5. Raspberry Tart

6. Apple Ale

7. Strawberry Rhubarb

8. Enigma

 

Craig

1. R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)

2. Belgian Red

3. Serendipity

4. Cran-bic

5. Raspberry Tart

6. Apple Ale

7. Strawberry Rhubarb

8. Enigma

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_74_New_Glarus_Fruit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm CST

The Beerists swept through this city like a drunken typhoon, and they stopped by to wreak some havoc on Craig's cellar. John Rubio, Anastacia Kelly, and Mike Lambert join us to do what they've been doing for longer than us: review delicious beers. We talk about their Austin-based award-winning podcast, highlights of their Chicago trip, and their observations on this city's beer culture. Also, Anastacia gives spot-on food pairings, Rubio sings, and Craig and Mike become closer than we are comfortable with. You're welcome!

 

Rankings

 

Rubio and Mike

1. Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout

2. DeGarde Imperial Blackberry Bu

3. Toppling Goliath Assassin (2014)

4. The Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze (2013)

5. Funk Factory Framrood

 

Craig and Ryan

1. Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout

2. DeGarde Imperial Blackberry Bu

3. The Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze (2013)

4. Toppling Goliath Assassin (2014)

5. Funk Factory Framrood

 

Anastacia

1. DeGarde Imperial Blackberry Bu

2. Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout

3. The Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze (2013)

4. Toppling Goliath Assassin (2014)

5. Funk Factory Framrood

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_73_Beerists.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:06pm CST

We bust into some beer mail from Maine and New Hampshire, thanks to our new best friend Dave. We review six beers of varying styles with the help of our most regular and precious guest, Dennis. In addition to our typically eloquent aroma and taste descriptors, we bring a veritable symphony of randomness and small wind instruments. Topics include coolships, “tart” vs. “sour”, agreeable hop profiles, local IPA comparisons, Weird Al, LeVar Burton, Flintstone vitamins, that guy from Mr. Show, and weed. We also get to the bottom of why Craig doesn’t like hoppy stouts. Be one with the trees.

 

Craig

1. Allagash Coolship Resurgam (2015) Gueuze

2. Stoneface Mozaccalypse DIPA

3. Foundation Forge Russian Imperial Stout

4. Stoneface IPA

5. Bissell Brothers The Substance IPA

6. Oxbow Barrel-Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale

 

Ryan

1. Allagash Coolship Resurgam (2015) Gueuze

2. Bissell Brothers The Substance IPA

3. Foundation Forge Russian Imperial Stout

4. Stoneface Mozaccalypse DIPA

5. Stoneface IPA

6. Oxbow Barrel-Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale

 

Dennis

1. Allagash Coolship Resurgam (2015) Gueuze

2. Foundation Forge Russian Imperial Stout

3. Bissell Brothers The Substance IPA

4. Stoneface Mozaccalypse DIPA

5. Stoneface IPA

6. Oxbow Barrel-Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_72_Mostly_ME.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:05pm CST

We acquaint ourselves with six more of Chad Yakobson’s fine funky brews from his Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project in this episode. These 2014 Cellar Reserve offerings are all oak-aged and brettanomyces-fermented with fruits added, so rankings become difficult. Ryan is prepared this time with a few homemade heartburn remedies, so hear him experiment and suffer. We talk a lot about Chad & Brett. (4-eva), candy, cereal grain, crossbreeding, yogurt, fancy candles, and Craig’s upcoming memoir, Tough to Touch. Burundi is so happy you’ve come to visit!

 

Craig

1. Blueberry Petite Sour

2. L’Brett D’Or Grand Cru

3. Raspberry Origins

4. Blackberry Dark Origins

5. Passionfruit Petite Sour

6. L’Brett D’Pluot

 

Ryan

1. L’Brett D’Or Grand Cru

2. Blueberry Petite Sour

3. Blackberry Dark Origins

4. Raspberry Origins

5. L’Brett D’Pluot

6. Passionfruit Petite Sour

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_71_Crooked_Stave_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14pm CST

Ed from Boston brought us beers from Night Shift Brewing’s 2014 Barrel Society, and we all review five of them with the “assistance” of Dennis. This solid lineup from the Massachusetts brewery includes many brettanomyces-enhanced sours and barrel-aged goodies. In addition, Dennis provides his expertise on dog food and how the food industry uses specific descriptors to trick you. We try and diagnose what’s wrong with Ryan. There’s a debate over forest floor or forest flora or forced floor. And Craig reads from the bottle and watches the Blackhawks. We somehow manage to talk beers amongst a mixed bag of distractions that also includes mousy taints, Garfield, “Hanging Yoga”, Cool Water by Davidoff, horses, and David Schwimmer.  Someone please hire Dennis.

 

Ed and Craig

 

1. Pluto (Sour ale aged with raspberries and brettanomyces)

2. Nebula (Berlinner Weisse aged with brettanomyces and prickly pears)

3. Quasar (Barrel-aged ale with brettanomyces and passion fruit)

4. Orion (Sour dark ale aged in oak barrels)

5. Big Dipper (Rye wine aged in Nicaraguan rum barrels)

 

Ryan and Dennis

 

1. Pluto (Sour ale aged with raspberries and brettanomyces)

2. Orion (Sour dark ale aged in oak barrels)

3. Nebula (Berlinner Weisse aged with brettanomyces and prickly pears)

4. Quasar (Barrel-aged ale with brettanomyces and passion fruit)

5. Big Dipper (Rye wine aged in Nicaraguan rum barrels)




Direct download: ABV_Chicago_70_Night_Shift.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm CST

 

Temperance Beer Company is churning out medal-winning beers from their Evanston brewery, and brewmaster Claudia Jendron invited us up to try most of their portfolio. Turns out that spending an afternoon drinking ten beers with Claudia makes for pretty great conversation. In addition to plenty of brewing notes, Claudia talks about the experience of winning a medal at GABF; her extreme commitment to quality control and customer service; and her preference for English ingredients to create a unique take on refreshing, approachable beers. She also talks about moving from receptionist to brewer at Goose Island and how the AB-InBev buyout impacted the brewery. We learn about the challenge of hop contracts, canning’s benefits over bottling, and the calculated risks in barrel-aging. This is a great listen, and by the end, you’ll want to start a hop farm.

 

 

Our Top Beers

 



 

Ryan

 

1. Grapefruit Escapist IPA

 

2. Restless Years Rye APA

 

3. Smittytown ESB

 



 

Craig

 

1. Smittytown Tart ESB

 

2. Restless Years Rye APA

 

3. Gatecrasher English IPA

 


 

Beers Sampled:

 

Gatecrasher English IPA

 

Restless Years APA

 

Escapist IPA

 

Smittytown ESB

 

Grapefruit Escapist IPA

 

Smittytown Tart ESB

 

Greenwood Beach Blonde

 

Quotidienne Dubbel

 

Root Down Porter

 

Manhattan Barrel-Aged Might Meets Right

 



 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_69_Temperance.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58am CST

Imperial Oak Brewing is approaching their first anniversary, and we visit them at their Willow Springs brewpub to sample their beers and talk about their operation. Brewers and owners Grant Hamilton and Brett Semenske are getting the most out of their 7-barrel brewery through constant experimentation with post-fermentation additions and barrel treatments. Owner Chris DiBraccio talks about his decade-plus experience running Brixie’s Beer Bar in Brookfield and how it’s helped keep Imperial Oak flowing smoothly. We learn a bit about their unique artwork, the plethora of growler and merchandise selections they sell, and why the local bikers love them. Craig also geeks out a lot on Star Wars, and someone finally calls Ryan out on his shit. It’s a trap! (Please don’t sue us, George Lucas.)

 



 

Craig

 

1. Billy Dee’s Coconut Pecan Porter

 

2. Barrel-aged Admiral Ackbeer It’s a Barrel-aged Trap!ist Dubbel

 

3. Barrel-aged Odin’s Beard Imperial Red Ale

 

4. Brother’s Keeper Imperial Honey Saison   

 

5. Crank It Hop - Amarillo IPA

 

6. Admiral Ackbeer It’s a Trap!ist Dubbel

 



 

Ryan

 

1. Barrel-aged Odin’s Beard Imperial Red Ale

 

2. Crank It Hop - Amarillo IPA

 

3. Billy Dee’s Coconut Pecan Porter

 

4. Brother’s Keeper Imperial Honey Saison   

 

5. Admiral Ackbeer It’s a Trap!ist Dubbel

 

6. Barrel-aged Admiral Ackbeer It’s a Barrel-aged Trap!ist Dubbel

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_68_Imperial_Oak.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45am CST

It’s adjunct stout hour featuring chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and peppers - all tasted and reviewed blind! We review and rank six “Mexican hot chocolate” style beers, and only you - the lisener - will know what we are drinking. Get ready for some Telenovela-sized plot twists in this one, as we ruin Craig’s favorite beer for him forever and an unexpected local brewery handily defeats all the others. Bring your mouth!

 

Ryan

1. Spiteful Malevolence: Chocolate Caliente

2. Perennial Abraxas

3. Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout (2014)

4. Westbrook Mexican Cake (2013)

5. Hailstorm Vlad the Conquistador

6. 18th Street Bitches’ Bank

 

Craig

1. Spiteful Malevolence: Chocolate Caliente

2. Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout (2014)

3. Perennial Abraxas

4. Westbrook Mexican Cake (2013)

5. Hailstorm Vlad the Conquistador

6. 18th Street Bitches’ Bank

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_67_MHCB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am CST

Craig hates coffee, but he loves coffee beers. Ryan makes Craig taste and smell coffee, and then we drink five high alcohol coffee beers. With the help of massive amounts of caffeine, we answer all of your questions about coffee and coffee beers. What are the best coffee beers out there? How do brewers add coffee during the brewing process? What happens when you pour cheap canned espresso into BCBCS? How does Craig put his cream in? Why do we talk about Four Loko for so long? Remember Goldfinger?

 

Craig

1. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (2014)

2. Off Color Coffee Dino S’mores Stout

3. Epic Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout (Release #30)

4. Lagunitas High-Westified Imperial Coffee Stout

5. 4 Hands Three Kings Barrel-Aged Tripel

 

Ryan

 

1. Epic Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout (Release #30)

2. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (2014)

3. Off Color Coffee Dino S’mores Stout

4. Lagunitas High-Westified Imperial Coffee Stout

5. 4 Hands Three Kings Barrel-Aged Tripel

 

Coffees

 

Passion House Coffee Roasters Pitch Delay Blend (tasted and reviewed)

Intelligentsia El Diablo Dark Roast (smell test)

Big Shoulders Falcon Blend (smell test)



Direct download: ABV_Chicago_66_Cafe_Au_Craig.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15am CST

The south suburbs have exploded with options for great beer, and The Open Bottle is the right beer store for the right time. We sit down with owners Patrick and Julie to talk about their Tinley Park bottle shop and tap room, and we review six delicious local beers. They share what inspired the concept, how they curate their selection, and why Tinley was the right place for the business. They also get us drunk before noon, and we talk about beer muzzles, Bud Light winning blind tastings, and some crying beer hunters. And find out why the alternate title of this episode is “Pay attention, Craig!”

 

Totally Arbitrary Rankings!

 

Craig

1. 350 Brewing Crook County IPA

2. Pollyanna Brewing Ocular DIPA

3. Hailstorm Brewing 1st Anniversary Sour

4. Imperial Oak Prediction?...Pain! DIPA

5. Banging Gavel Chicanery Russian Imperial Stout

6. Arrowhead Ales Entry Level Snob IPA

 

Ryan

1. Pollyanna Brewing Ocular DIPA

2. Hailstorm Brewing 1st Anniversary Sour

3. 350 Brewing Crook County IPA

4. Banging Gavel Chicanery Russian Imperial Stout

5. Arrowhead Ales Entry Level Snob IPA

6. Imperial Oak Prediction?...Pain! DIPA



Direct download: ABV_Chicago_65_The_Open_Bottle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:12pm CST

With so many new arrivals to the Chicago market, we make sure our audio welcome basket is stuffed with goodies. We drink five beers that are new to Chicagoland (and one that is a return), and try to advise on whether or not they’re worth the shelf space - or your money. We discuss whether or not we need any more IPAs and how other breweries recent to the market are doing. Craig recaps his recent beer travels and shares some exciting rib tips. Ryan talks about Dennis Quaid and verbose brewers. Who wants to drink some Sea Monkeys?

 

Ryan

1. Prairie Eliza5beth Midwest Farmhouse Ale with Apricots

2. Schlafly Kolsch

3. Urban Chestnut Zwickel Bavarian-Style Lager

4. Coronado Blue Bridge Coffee Stout

5. 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat

6. Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

 

Craig

1. Schlafly Kolsch

2. Urban Chestnut Zwickel Bavarian-Style Lager

3. 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat

4. Prairie Eliza5beth Midwest Farmhouse Ale with Apricots

5. Coronado Blue Bridge Coffee Stout

6. Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_64_Welcome_to_Chicago.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am CST

The founder of 51st Ward Beer Company, Tim Hoerman, hooked us up with six of his beers, and we find many surprises, mostly pleasant! We occasionally veer away from our reviews to talk brewing with vanilla beans, Jesus' hygiene, and Knuckles from Sonic the Hedgehog - and that's just one segment. We also say "Doody" a lot because we are children. Experience the unexpected!

 

Ryan

1. Control Freak Rakau Imperial IPA
2. Down Over Vienna Lager

3. The Mayor Cream Ale

4. The Poll Tax Scottish Export Ale

5. Pill Hill Vanilla Porter

6. East Clintwood Harvest Ale

 

Craig

1. The Mayor Cream Ale

2. Control Freak Rakau Imperial IPA

3. The Poll Tax Scottish Export Ale

4. Down Over Vienna Lager

5. Pill Hill Vanilla Porter

6. East Clintwood Harvest Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_63_51st_Ward.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16pm CST

We get our inner fat kid hammered on beer and cookies. In this episode, we’re looking for the right local beer pairings with Girl Scout cookies. We have six pairings to review, but thankfully, Ryan has edited out all the chewing and moaning. We test out some new characters, call for year-round cookie sales, and explain why Twitter hates babies. Craig forgot a beer and then throws some stuff. Ryan is unaware of U2. Support your local troop, y’all!

 

Beer and Cookie Pairing Rankings

Ryan

1. Tagalongs and Three Floyds Behemoth

2. Do-Si-Dos and Arcade Final Level

3. Samoas and Pipeworks Imperial End of Days

4. Thin Mints and Aquanaut Misterioso

5. Savannah Smiles and Scorched Earth General Resin

6. Trefoils and Moody Tongue Steeped Emperor

 

Craig

1. Tagalongs and Three Floyds Behemoth

2. Samoas and Pipeworks Imperial End of Days

3. Thin Mints and Aquanaut Misterioso

4. Do-Si-Dos and Arcade Final Level

5. Trefoils and Moody Tongue Steeped Emperor

6. Savannah Smiles and Scorched Earth General Resin

 

Beer Rankings

Ryan

1. Moody Tongue Steeped Emperor Lemon Saison

2. Aquanaut Misterioso Coffee Porter

3. Scorched Earth General Resin DIPA

4. Arcade Final Level ESB

5. Three Floyds Behemoth Barleywine

6. Pipeworks Imperial End of Days Milk Stout (Batch 253)

 

Craig

1. Three Floyds Behemoth Barleywine

2. Moody Tongue Steeped Emperor Lemon Saison

3. Aquanaut Misterioso Coffee Porter

4. Scorched Earth General Resin DIPA

5. Pipeworks Imperial End of Days Milk Stout (Batch 253)

6. Arcade Final Level ESB

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_62_Cookie_Drunk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:27pm CST

Things get a little salty as we open up nine different Goses, and good Gose do we overload this episode with crappy puns. But we also talk a little history, embrace Bahl Hornin' (whatever the hell that is), decant some peppers, and get surprisingly sauced on 4 percent alcohol beers. And Ryan wishes Craig was a taco. So it gose.

 

Craig

1. Ritterguts Gose

2. Freigeist Geisterzug Gose

3. Westbrook Gose

4. Westbrook Gozu

5. Leipziger Gose

6. DESTIHL Here Gose Nothing

7. Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose

8. Against the Grain There Gose The Neighborhood

9. Marz Ruby’s Tears

 

Ryan

1. Ritterguts Gose

2. DESTIHL Here Gose Nothing

3. Westbrook Gose

4. Westbrook Gozu

5. Leipziger Gose

6. Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose

7. Against the Grain There Gose The Neighborhood

8. Freigeist Geisterzug Gose

9. Marz Ruby’s Tears

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_61_Anything_Gose.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm CST

We sure drink a lot of Chicago’s own Transient Artisan Ales, and now that some of his beers are being distributed for non-reserve society members, it’s a fine occasion to drink some more! We review five of Chris Betts’ beers of varying styles, and we don’t pull any punches. Well, we don’t have to. This beer is damn good. Expect talk of a new slogan, cherry soda, progressive tingles, and The Power of Almost. Our bindles are bulging full of fun!

Craig

1. Presque (Red Wine)

2. Pentameter

3. Henry

4. Presque (Apple Brandy)

5. Cuvier

 

Ryan

1. Presque (Red Wine)

2. Pentameter

3. Cuvier

4. Henry

5. Presque (Apple Brandy)

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_60_Transient_Bindle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am CST

With an award nomination under our belts and a pocket full of new money, we skip the lines and haul in some barrel-aged Chicago-area brews. We review five beers and, occasionally, get distracted! Ryan checks out Exit Strategy in Forest Park, Craig struggles with wax, and Josh Deth does a...uh, nevermind. There’s Tinley Park stories, more FOBAB memories, yogurty cabs, street toughs, Waka Flocculation, and bad Untappd reviewer habits. The struggle is real!

Ryan

1. Temperance Beer Co. Manhattan Might Meets Right

2. Middle Brow Beer Co. Who’s That Girl?

3. Imperial Oak Brewing Barrel Aged I Must Break You\

4. Penrose Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Spectral

5. Hailstorm Brewing Vlad the Second

Craig

1. Temperance Beer Co. Manhattan Might Meets Right

2. Middle Brow Beer Co. Who’s That Girl?

3. Imperial Oak Brewing Barrel Aged I Must Break You\

 

4. Hailstorm Brewing Vlad the Second

5. Penrose Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Spectral

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_59_BA_Whats_New.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:36pm CST

For too long we’ve neglected beers from the Eastern seaboard, so we’re dedicating this episode to The Bay State. We sample beers from three Massachusetts breweries, and everything is coming up great (like the mid-aughts Toronto music scene, according to Craig).

We pitch a few beer concepts and a show idea for the real “Uppers and Downers,” then Craig shares about how German bratwurst changed his life. Oh the burning!

 

Craig

1. Tree House Brewing Haze (DIPA)

2. Trillium Brewing Night and Day (Imperial Stout with cold brewed coffee)

3. Tree House Brewing Lights Out (APA)

4. Night Shift Brewing Cape Codder Weisse (Berliner Weisse with cranberries and orange zest)

5. Trillium Brewing Vicinity (DIPA)

6. Night Shift Brewing Mainer Weisse (Berliner Weisse with blueberries and cinnamon sticks)

 

Ryan

1. Tree House Brewing Haze (DIPA)

2. Trillium Brewing Night and Day (Imperial Stout with cold brewed coffee)

3. Tree House Brewing Lights Out (APA)

4. Trillium Brewing Vicinity (DIPA)

5. Night Shift Brewing Mainer Weisse (Berliner Weisse with blueberries and cinnamon sticks)

6. Night Shift Brewing Cape Codder Weisse (Berliner Weisse with cranberries and orange zest)



Direct download: ABV_Chicago_58_The_MA_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:12pm CST

Chocolate is the subject of Middle Brow Beer Co.’s latest homebrew contest, and for some reason, they let us help pick a winner. We’re joined by Nick and Bryan from Middle Brow, and we taste and talk about five of the best beers out of the 23 submitted by local homebrewers. While deciding on which beer will be commercially brewed, we talk oak spirals, MTV, vanilla beans, Beechwood-aging, wax, post-contest success stories, and This Year’s Prop. Plus, the Middle Brow guys share some details on some upcoming releases with Dark Matter, Jimmy Whispers, and much more. Oh, and lots of nut jokes.

 

Homebrews sampled include:

 

Pecan Brown Ale with cocoa nibs

Chocolate Rye Saison

Chocolate Hazelnut Porter

Imperial Oatmeal Stout with coffee, hazelnuts, and vanilla bean

Imperial Oatmeal Stout with cinnamon, vanilla, and cacao nibs, aged on bourbon oak spirals

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_57_Middle_Brow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am CST

It’s Mardi Gras time, and we’re tasting a carnival of Voodoo Brewery beers. We review six (plus one) beers from the Meadville, Pennsylvania brewery, and we end up having one of our best drinking experiences ever recorded. In this episode, you’ll also hear about Craig’s trip to Voodoo, why Ryan might be leaving the podcast, and our virulent support of the Anti-Waxer movement. Plus, a trio of barrel-aged beers brings about some of the more memorable - and lascivious - reactions we’ve had in a while. For us, every day is Fat Tuesday!

 

Mutual Rankings!

1. Pappy Van Winkle Black Magick

2. Buffalo Trace Black Magick

3. Laird’s Apple Brandy Black Magick

4. Voodoo Love Child

5. Big Black Voodoo Daddy

6. Wynona’s Big Brown Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_56_Voodoo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am CST

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To celebrate the birth of his daughter, Ryan got to assemble his show his way, and he did a hell of a job. Six local beers are reviewed, and all are pretty great. Both men drink for the first time in a while, so expect to hear the following: Ryan shares his love for Waka Flocka Flame’s cough drop commercials; Craig forgets about oatmeal and words in general; BCBS is Kanye, and we realize that we are jumping the shark. Also, Ryan learns how to curse again after a few weeks off, and Craig shares a story about how he was rejected by a rising star brewer. Sadly, no Derk Lerd.

 



 

Craig

 

1. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2009)

 

2. (tie) Pipeworks Crimson Snapper and Arcade Winter Slayer

 

4. Off Color Dino S’mores

 

5. Une Année/DryHop The Devil’s Reign

 

6. 18th Street Rise of the Phoenix

 



 

Ryan

 

1. Pipeworks Crimson Snapper

 

2. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2009)

 

3. 18th Street Rise of the Phoenix

 

4. Off Color Dino S’mores

 

5. Arcade Winter Slayer

 

6. Une Année/DryHop The Devil’s Reign

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_55_Ryans_Choice.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06pm CST

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We finally release this much-ballyhooed old episode, and it’s one for the books. Back in the Spring of 2014, we drank seven Dark Horse special release beers, and things did not go well. Sometimes the expectations we have for certain episodes do not match the outcome. And in this one, what starts as steadily-growing disappointment ends in a profane crescendo of anger-filled rankings. We do have a hell of a time along the way, and Ryan finally stumps Craig in a game: “Real Dark Horse Beer Name or Something I Just Made Up.” Bask in our suffering!

 



 

Craig

 

1. Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th (2013)

 

2. Sarsparilla 666 Bourbon Barrel Root Beer Stout

 

3. Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th (2012)

 

4. Brandy Barrel-Aged 4 Elf

 

5. Louie’s Long Polymer John Donut Ale

 

6. Beer is Dark XIII Anniversary Ale

 

7. Bourbon Barrel 3 Pairs of Legs

 



 

Ryan

 

1. Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th (2013)

 

2. Louie’s Long Polymer John Donut Ale

 

3. Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th (2012)

 

4. Sarsparilla 666 Bourbon Barrel Root Beer Stout

 

5. Brandy Barrel-Aged 4 Elf

 

7. (tie) Bourbon Barrel 3 Pairs of Legs/Beer is Dark XIII Anniversary Ale

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_54_Dark_Horse_Disaster.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59am CST

It’s no secret that we love Missouri breweries, and we’re delighted to try four beers from 2nd Shift Brewing. In this short show we manage to cram in our usual beer reviews, a thorough discussion of yellow candy, a few songs from Craig, and a sneaking suspicion that we have been drugged. This one ends with a tingle!

 

Ryan

1. Liquid Spiritual Delight

2. Art of Neurosis

3. Albino Pygmy Puma

4. Mullineaux

 

Craig

1. Liquid Spiritual Delight

2. Art of Neurosis

3. Mullineaux

4. Albino Pygmy Puma

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_53_2nd_Shift.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:17pm CST

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We’re clearing out Craig’s cellar on this episode by drinking the first five beers Revolution Brewing released under their Deep Wood series. We learn valuable lessons about aging barrel-aged beers, distinguishing dark fruits, and drinking five high-ABV beers before attempting to make sense of rankings. Craig pulls back the curtain on some of our recording secrets, and Ryan does stuff with prunes. This episode is not for suckers, fools, or ho-hum emcees.

 



 

Ryan

 

1. Very Mad Cow (2012)

 

2. 3rd Year Beer

 

3. Straight Jacket (2012)

 

4. Bean Gene (2013)

 

5. Mean Gene (2013)

 



 

Craig

 

1. Very Mad Cow (2012)

 

2. Straight Jacket (2012)

 

3. Bean Gene (2013)

 

4. 3rd Year Beer

5. Mean Gene (2013)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_52_Revolution_Deep_Wood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:13am CST

Now that we’re a year old, we can finally drink like grown-ups, while still behaving like children. So we attempt to class up the joint by drinking six fancy beers from Cantillon and inviting Ken Getty to join us. Listen in as Craig handles some actual research while trying not to fumble his lambic basket (literally and figuratively). Ken explains why Cantillon’s brewing methods are so hard to reproduce, and why these fruited lambics are so important to drink fresh. Ryan mostly gets heartburn. Oh, and you might not want to listen if the term “Fou’ Foune” offends you. Happy birthday to us!



Ryan

1.   Fou’ Foune

2.   Lou Pepe Kriek

3.   Iris

4.   Lou Pepe Framboise

5.   Lou Pepe Gueuze

6.   Cuvée St-Gilloise



Craig

1.   Fou’ Foune

2.   Lou Pepe Gueuze

3.   Lou Pepe Kriek

4.   Cuvée St-Gilloise

5.   Iris

6.   Lou Pepe Framboise



Ken

1.   Fou’ Foune

2.   Lou Pepe Gueuze

3.   Iris

4.   Cuvée St-Gilloise

5.   Lou Pepe Kriek

6.   Lou Pepe Framboise

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_51_Cantillon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am CST

For this milestone episode, we revisit the inimitable Hill Farmstead by drinking and reviewing seven more beers. We reminisce on some of our favorite beers and episodes from the first 49 and reach an unprecedented level of, uh, professionalism by the end of the show. The beer is as good as the content is ribald. Here’s to another 50 episodes of craft beer irreverence!

 

Ryan

1. Arthur

2. Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

3. Damon (Port Barrel Aged)

4. Beyond Good and Evil

5. Vera Mae

6. Jimmy

7. Everett

 

Craig

1. Arthur

2. Damon (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

3. Beyond Good and Evil

4. Vera Mae

5. Damon (Port Barrel Aged)

6. Jimmy

7. Everett

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_50_Hill_Farmstead_II.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:44am CST

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