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)