Wed, 16 August 2017
From the tip of New Jersey’s elbow, Carton Brewing makes beers sometimes born of unusual inspiration that combine culinary artistry with just the right amount of whimsy. Listener Mike Bobal sent us six Carton beers for this one, and the flavors are as big as the alcohol content. We talk about Carton’s namesake leader Augie and his prolific internet presence while tasting through beers that steeply rise in ABV pretty early in the show. Naturally, this leads to asides about drunken oaring, Chupa Chups, sex stuff with oranges, proper nachos, and Craig’s monogamous cereal life. We also hop on the CanniBus to Weed Church before everything goes all orange on us. Don’t put this one in a box! (Because that would be physically impossible as this is a digital medium.)
Wit Whale (Hoppy Wit Beer)
Wed, 9 August 2017
Ignoring the fact that there are plenty of beers out there that relegate hops to a simple supporting ingredient, we again indulge our insatiable appetites for chronic hop-led tonics by tasting out five super fresh local IPAs and DIPAs. Are we getting too old for this sh*t? Not likely! We do have a hell of a time trying to find critical points that separate these all-hazy all-juicy hop cocktails before they disappear from our glasses. And because our usually-rich lexicon of descriptors (ha!) is limited to a few keywords again and again, we bring back the fan-favorite episode-spanning game Beers Against Humanity to force us to shoehorn dirty and terrible phrases into our normally pristine and knowledgeable beer analysis (HA!) Give in to your temptations, and let the hops take over. (And tell ‘em Bruce Candles sent you.)
Forbidden Root - Radio Swan (Rye IPA)
Wed, 2 August 2017
We love hops - and more importantly, our listening audience loves hops too. So to keep pushing those download numbers higher, we take our palates to the limit with six random hoppy beers. We talk about the wacky world of beer pricing, the shelf life of hazy beers, and the best brewery that Chicagoans aren’t talking about. If those hot takes aren’t enough to get your download fingers twitching with anticipation, then we also tackle the important issues like which deli meat is the stickiest, and why Joey Pants is the best, and what are the most lethal Slip N’ Slides? Plus, Craig trademarks his beer gym idea, and we set straight something very important about Gushy. Thanks for the clicks! #hazybeer #hazyipa #KregTightjacket #LilTeashat #BobUecker
Marz Community Brewing Co. - Jungle Boogie (pale wheat ale w/ rooibos tea)
Wed, 26 July 2017
It’s been a year and some months since Chris Betts made Transient Artisan Ales not-so transient by opening up a brewery and taproom in Bridgman, Michigan. We take the short jaunt around the tip of Lake Michigan to catch up with Chris over some of his world-class beers and talk about some of the big things coming for the brewery. We learn about the brewery’s expansion plans, the truth about the shelf life of hazy IPAs, what he’s doing with a barleywine, why people criticising some of his prices are dead wrong, and how being surrounded by wineries has helped his transition into Michigan. There’s also talk of the future of contract brewing, the odd parameters people use to evaluate beer, the secret to conditioning hazy hoppy beers, the way he avoids lambic faux pas, the odd charm of the Norway beer scene, the influence of local flora on his Michigan Wild Ales, and the possibility of more Transient meads. And stay until the very end for some exciting news about the future of Transient in Chicago. Just don’t mind all the bungholes.
Czech Yourself (Czech-style Pilsner)
Wed, 19 July 2017
Two Illinois brewing traditionalists inspired us to dig deeper into lagers and hefeweizens, so we pitted a bunch against each other in a goofy Crossfire showdown. Riggs Beer Co. out of Urbana and Dovetail Brewery out of Chicago know the German way and have expertly paid homage to tradition at their year-old breweries. But that wasn’t enough as we brought in other examples of each style, either American or Bavarian. We get caught up in the crossfire as we also lagerjam our way into another potpourri of pop culture word association that you would expect from a typical episode of this show. Tradition, y’all.
Beer Combatants //
Riggs Beer Co. - American Lager
Surly Brewing Co. - #Merica!
Dovetail Brewery - Lager
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan - Weihenstephaner Original
Riggs Beer Co. - Hefeweizen
New Glarus Brewing Co. - Bubbler
Dovetail Brewery - Hefeweizen
Ayinger Privatbrauerei - Ayinger Bräuweisse
Wed, 12 July 2017
From the basement of an Italian restaurant just outside of St. Louis, Narrow Gauge has started to gain a name in the Midwest and beyond as purveyors of great hazy IPAs - and other outstanding beers, as we find on this episode. We review four crowlers of beer that Craig schlepped back from a recent trip to Missouri, and the mix of quantity and quality has us hurtling towards shambling inebriation. We try to find Narrow Gauge’s place in the current hazy beer wars, and wax philosophical about the Perception of Aqueosity and the Arbitrarity of Rankings. Ryan introduces two new segments, and Craig will just put anything in his mouth.
Fallen Flag IPA
Cloud City IPA
Old Town Porter
Wed, 5 July 2017
Mike Pallen opened the doors on the tasting room for his new Elk Grove Village brewery back in March, and the rarest thing - besides some of his beers - is finding an open seat at the bar. We sat down with Mike at the new location to dive deep into what makes Mikerphone Brewing something like a phenomenon. And you’ll find out why opening a tasting room was the best thing Mikerphone has ever done. Over many bottles, we discuss the New England styles that have helped make a name for the brand, how he intends to try and fill the demand for Smells Like Bean Spirit (while creating more demand for some upcoming, crazy barrel-aged versions), the future of packaging for Mikerphone, how he uses Untappd for QC, his plans on establishing a flagship beer or two, what’s to come with distribution of his highly-coveted beers, and much more. At some point, we lose sight of the whole “interview” part of the show, and Mike just slides right into the 3rd host chair by joining us on diversions about New Glarus, Easter eggs on labels, music references, Skittles, and the local “gentleman’s club.” So, open up a few hazy ones because we hope you enjoy this longplayer even a fraction as much as we enjoyed recording it.
Beautiful Oblivion (Imperial Stout w/ almonds, cocoa nibs, & vanilla)
DDH IPA ABC BBD (Double Dry-Hopped IPA with Mosaic and Motueka Hops)
Spacebar (Galaxy-Hopped DIPA)
Educated Fool (Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA with Ekuanot Hops)
Vinyl Frontier (Lactose Double IPA w/ El Dorado Hops
Creamsicle IPA (collaboration with Untitled Art)
Wed, 28 June 2017
Whether it’s for a barbecue or a beach, choosing the right refreshing beer for your summer outing is more daunting than ever with so many choices. So, for your benefit, we drink eight Chicago-area beers that are built to pulled from ice and crushed. (For safety purposes, we must advise against you literally crushing beers, unless you own a CraigBot.) We also spend a lot of time with Summer Craig, get ball-punched by Peanut Tillman, conceptualize some mayo beers, bring down the PunGate, push for #NoMoLoMaNoMa, put out a can date mandate, talk about bad Untappd reviews, and slingshot some hams. So, it’s basically par for the course on an eight beer episode. Grab your longboard!
Middle Brow Beer Co. - Copacetic (cream ale with popcorn, lime, and peppers)
Temperance Beer Co. - Greenwood Beach (blonde ale with pineapple)
Pollyanna Brewing - Summerly (wheat ale with raspberries)
5 Rabbit Cervecería - Paletas Guava (wheat ale with guava and pink peppercorns and tarragon)
Hop Butcher for the World - AleMerica the Beautiful (pale ale)
Moody Tongue - Peeled Grapefruit Pilsner
BuckleDown Brewing - Grapefruit Belt & Suspenders (IPA w/ grapefruit)
Wed, 21 June 2017
Thanks to listener Mike Bobal, we are able to drop another pin in our map as we tackle the Garden State. We review five beers from five different New Jersey breweries while trying not to offend every single person in that state. Also on the agenda, we try to refresh our tired review language, experience extreme visibility, meet Professor Nosebody, and talk about cat food with cheese in it. There’s a trivia game comparing one of Jersey’s favorite sons to a lunatic cult leader, but we also talk a little Springsteen. And the beers are tasty enough to send this boat hurtling towards the Jersey Shore.
Magnify Brewing - Low Visibility Pale Ale
Jersey Girl Brewing - Rake Breaker IPA
Carton Brewing - Shinshu (cream ale with miso)
Double Nickel Brewing - Marbled Buffalo (bourbon barrel-aged rye beer)
Kane Brewing - Christian Patrick (imperial stout)
Wed, 14 June 2017
Starting back in 2005, Jackie O’s has grown from a brewpub to include a production brewery, bakeshop, and farm. Recently, Craig went down to Athens, Ohio and recorded about 20 minutes with the head brewer of the production brewery, Seth Morton, before bringing back a stash of beer for us to review. We try six of their excellent beers, three of which are barrel-aged, and we get completely SlamJammed. There’s also some kettle sour crankery, Dope Ass Doilies, piney beers, and a barleywine intervention. Come on and get SlamJammed.
Oro Negro (imperial stout w/ cacao, habanero, oak, cinnamon, and vanilla)
Bourbon Barrel Dark Apparition (Russian imperial stout)
Pockets of Sunlight (mixed culture saison w/ honey, coriander, and lemon verbena)
Bourbon Barrel Black Maple (imperial porter with maple syrup)
Bourbon Barrel Brick Kiln Nuts! (English-style barleywine w/ six different nut varieties)