Wed, 20 February 2019
Whether you see it as beer’s #version of Record Store Day or as a viral marketing ploy to drive sales for struggling brands, we here at ABV Chicago embrace these classics with open arms. And our arms are very open on this episode as we sample 12 of the most important beers in American craft beer, all of which either launched or propelled legacy brands. No one in the world really needs our take on these beers, but here you go! Before pronunciation becomes a problem, we share the plagiarised stories of these beers’ varied histories, Craig accidentally ends up in a porn, Ryan forgets about Fat Tire, and we workshop some stuff for Spontaneous September. We also try and sell Jim Koch our palates, Craig yearns for the Days of Malt, and Ryan reviews Baker’s Square from the 90s. Come for the classic beers; stay for the Moist Steven.
Anchor Brewing Company - Anchor Steam Beer
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Pale Ale
Boston Beer Company - Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Bell’s Brewery - Amber Ale
Great Lakes Brewing Company - Dortmunder Gold
Yuengling Brewery - Traditional Lager
Deschutes Brewery - Black Butte Porter
Lagunitas Brewing Company - IPA
Allagash Brewing Company - White
New Glarus Brewing Company - Spotted Cow
Oskar Blues Brewery - Dale’s Pale Ale
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - 60 Minute IPA
Wed, 13 February 2019
Deep in the heart of Wisconsin, there exists a not-so-secret society of like-minded artisans - specializing in beer, liquor, and wine - that have formed a collective to bring more tourists to the area. And for some reason, they thought that giving us a bunch of booze would be a good idea to promote their brand. Well luckily the liquids are all tasty-to-impressive, and we have a hell of a time lining them up on this show. In addition, Craig shares his week of Final Destination-style close calls, Ryan shares his notes on 20WineTeen so far, and then there’s stuff about robot cereal and socially-anxious vampires. We also play the very literal new hit game, Name Ten Badgers, and we try to stay on the good side of Seagram’s Jim. And hey, next time you’re up North, say hi to Gary Koziak for us.
Craft Liquids Reviewed
Sunset Point Winery [Stevens Point, WI] - Northern Lights Blackberry Midnight (Merlot infused with blackberries)
McZ’s Brew Pub [Rosholt, WI] - Campfire Rauchbier
O’so Brewing Company [Plover, WI] - Bruin in a Bramble (Black raspberry sour Oud Bruin)
Whole Hog/Stevens Point Brewery [Stevens Point, WI] - Casper (White stout)
Central Waters Brewing [Amherst, WI] - Black Gold 2018 (Barrel-aged imperial stout)
Great Northern Distilling [Plover, WI] - Herbalist Gin (used in a Ginger Smash cocktail)
Wed, 6 February 2019
Since our first encounter with James and Sarah Howat’s Black Project back at GABF in 2015, we’ve wanted to dedicate a show to their spontaneously-fermented wild ales. So we’re understandably jazzed about this whole deal, and the lineup of five beers on this show go beyond our expectations. In addition, Craig does the following things: quizzes Ryan on government conspiracies; solves the mysteries of The Shining; invents the worst Slip-n-Slide; and starts his Soundcloud rap career as Must Buoy. We also look into chipmunk storage, face tattoos, horny cats, Prilosec murders, dank basement cheese, and sopping wet corks. That’s what happens when the beer is this good.
FOXBAT (Spontaneous ale w/ with peaches, rosemary, sage and sea salt)
TAGBOARD (Wet-hopped Méthode Traditionnelle ale)
CLOUDMASTER (Spontaneous sour wheat ale)
CYGNUS: Cherry [Blend A] (Méthode Traditionnelle ale w/ cherries)
ROSWELL: GRUDGE (Lambic-inspired ale w/ raspberries)
Wed, 30 January 2019
Now that bottles of Afterthought beers are starting to leave Lombard to reach more drinkers in the Chicagoland area, we celebrate by popping five elegant saisons from Mike Thorpe’s small-yet-acclaimed brewery. Using mostly Midwestern ingredients, Afterthought’s saisons are about as diverse as they come, while being mistakable for some of the bigger-name farmhouse-made beers from around the country or world. Amidst our appreciation of these top-tier beers, we somehow find time to debate about horse diapers, determine the right application for gummy worms in beer, take our parts in the Chili’s theme song, and - gulp - go into the Mosherverse. Zangy!
Saison Illinois (Saison w/ all Illinois ingredients)
Raspberry (Ale refermented w/ raspberries)
Black Currant (Saison fermented in oak w/ black currants)
Saison Amer: Galaxy (Hoppy saison fermented in a Sauvignon Blanc barrel)
Bière De Pieces #7 (Blend of Saison Meer: Buckwheat, Faible: Passion Fruit, and barrel-aged Faible with paw paw)
Wed, 23 January 2019
After the first five Deep Wood releases, Revolution Brewing could’ve taken the rest of the season off and enjoyed a victory lap. Instead, they drop five more barrel-aged beers that might be collectively better than the first half. We taste through this colorful - and strong - array of styles with an early appearance from joyful inebriation. We work through the tingles by proving our age through technology, coming up with secret beer orders, weighing the seriousness of a high fudge tolerance against fudge fatigue, suggesting a legitimate new FoBAB category, and by sipping on that session bourbon. Should’ve asked for a Cherry Coke.
**Correction: The Beer on the Wall event we mentioned, the Deth’s Tar Crawl, has NOT yet happened, so you should go and do it on January 31st. Check the events page on their website for more info!**
Gravedigger Billy (Bourbon barrel-aged Scotch ale)
Ryeway to Heaven (Ryewine aged in rye barrels)
Vanilla Deth (Imperial oatmeal stout aged in bourbon barrels w/ vanilla)
Straight Jacket (Bourbon barrel-aged barleywine)
Boss Ryeway (Ryewine aged in Armagnac barrels)
Wed, 16 January 2019
In almost three years, Cruz Blanca has quietly become one of the city’s best breweries, churning out everything from lagers that pair perfectly with a smokey tlayuda to wild ales that will captivate even the nerdiest bottle share. Now with 6-pack cans of three crowd-pleasing beers out in the market, Cruz is poised to build a bigger fanbase than ever. We sat down with brewers Jacob Sembrano and Todd White to sample a broad array of their beers while exploring why they’re ok with being the sleeping giant that they’ve become. The discussion ranges from brewing technique, craft maltsters, Brut IPAs, and barrel blends to the history of Mexican lager, the surprising origin of Cruz Blanca, and the inspiration behind their distinctive artwork. There’s also some truly unfortunate nicknames, freestyle Tetris, crunchy water, a little P.F. Chang’s inspiration, and just a little yelling about bière de gardes. Don’t tell your friends!
Corn Grisette (100% corn malt mixed culture grisette)
Blood of the Flamingo (Black raspberry Brett Berliner)
Amigovio (Oak-aged wild ale w/ peaches)
Crushada (Wine barrel-aged Flemish Red Ale)
Brut Suit Riot (Brut IPA)
Three Kings (Hazy DIPA w/ guava and tamarind)
Loco Dinero (Imperial coffee blonde ale w/ lactose, aged in rye whiskey and Barbados rum barrels)
Rey Gordo (Imperial stout aged in Barbados rum barrels)
Senor Incognito - (Imperial stout w/ toasted coconut, pecans and Mexican cinnamon, aged in rye whiskey barrels)
Wed, 9 January 2019
Opinion on Brut IPAs seems to be passionately divided between love and hate. But many brewers are banking on it gaining traction with the hopes that their version of this wildly inconsistent style will come to define the Brut as we know it. On this episode, we attempt to find out exactly what makes a Brut IPA and carve out our own subjective idea of what makes the good ones stand out. Through a blind tasting, we sample six Brut IPAs - three local, and three from afar - with the added challenge of guessing the lineup. We also plot out the next Neil Breen film, discover why tiny bubbles aren’t always good (and it’s not Don Ho’s fault), and indulge in some more bad puns. Hackback!
Beers Tasted Blindly
Stillwater Artisanal - Extra Extra
New Belgium Brewing - Brut IPA
Stone Brewing - Enjoy By 01.01.19 Brüt IPA
Sketchbook Brewing/Illuminated Brew Works - Resistance W.I.T.C.H.
Middle Brow Beer Co. - Trademark Brut
Hopewell Brewing Co. - Clique
Wed, 2 January 2019
We’re truly in Beer Country now as our States Series takes us to the home of the most breweries in the nation: California! We have six beers on from six breweries, split evenly between the halves of the state, and we are shook by the unfaltering quality. Craig makes an impossible sacrifice for 2019, Ryan educates you on the brewing facts you won’t find in textbooks, and we both enter rankings less clear and less sober than we’ve been in a long time. Come to basketball land, you get dunked on.
Fall River Brewing Company (Fall River Mills, CA) - Blood Knot IPA (NE-style IPA w/ blood orange)
Cellador Ales (North Hills, CA) - Berlinerish Blueberry (Barrel-fermented Brett Berliner w/ whole organic blueberries)
New Glory Craft Brewery (Sacramento, CA) - Wakey Wakey (Oatmeal Coffee Porter w/ vanilla beans)
Highland Park Brewery (Los Angeles, CA) - Twiced Pinot (Barrel-Aged Saison with Pinot Noir Pomace)
Moksa Brewing Co. (Rocklin, CA) - Cape of Good Hops (NE-style DIPA)
Bottle Logic Brewing (Anaheim, CA) - Fundamental Observation: Batch 4 (Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Vanilla Stout)