ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

We can all use a heaping helping of beer-based nostalgia right now, so we spend an hour drinking and talking about one of the most significant craft breweries Chicagoland has ever known: 3 Floyds. For the first time ever, we have five different beers from the Munster, Indiana-based brewery represented, including three that really get us story-telling. Though this was recorded at the early stages of quarantine, Ryan’s lead-up indicates that it’s already gotten to his head a bit. We also talk about wide mouthfeels, classic DIPAs, hop extract vs. other extracts, and the indefinite (and not totally unfortunate) end of line bottle shares. We’ve got that curbside weird you ordered all ready for you.

Recorded 3/18/20

Beers Reviewed

Region X (Dortmunder-style Lager)

Alpha King (Pale Ale)

Zombie Dust (Pale Ale)

Arctic Panzer Wolf (Double IPA)

Wigsplitter (Imperial Oatmeal Stout w/ Espresso)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_321_Three_Floyds.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

Because, what else are we going to do? A while back, Ryan bought three French presses and was determined to make an absolute mess of some good beers for your entertainment. Craig picked out six beers from local breweries in a range of styles, and we drink and review those beers as normal before cramming a bunch of cookies into them and sampling the results. The flavor combinations are surprising and, in one case, life-affirming. Here’s some other quarantine talking points from this long player: mysterious yard food, the indomitable Alton Brand, Ewan Macgregor’s body painting, the problem with cookie trub, human-sized podcast bubbles, and the inevitable rise of Girl Scouts in the upcoming barter economy. Let us distract and disgust you. (Support your local bar, restaurant, and brewery!)

Beers reviewed + and the cookies we mash into them

Is/Was Brewing - Methode Dust (Citra-style ale) + Lemon-ups®

Church Street Brewing Company - Holy Cow (Milk stout) + S’mores®

Kinslahger Brewing Company - Dunkel (Dark lager) + Do-Si-Dos®

Half Acre Beer Company - Original Reaper (Stout) + Samoas®

Maplewood Brewing Company - Barley Butcher (English barleywine) + Toffee-tastic®

Alarmist Brewing - Juke Nukem (Double IPA) + Thin Mints®

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_320_Girl_Scout_Cookie_Press.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

It’s good to have friends back East, as listener Mike Bobal sent us a box of New Jersey delights to reacquaint us with beers of the Garden State. And yeah, we snuck a ringer on. But there are many great beers to celebrate on this show, as we ponder many important questions. What kind of uncle will Craig be? Is a notebook technically a tree? Why does Craig feel compelled to sing 90’s songs so much? Who doesn’t want our new beer cold roller invention? What’s in the New Jersey water? How did Ryan become the Paul Blart? Why is Craig’s Gambit cosplay the worst? 

Beers Reviewed

Carton Brewing Company - This Town (Helles Lager)

Czig Meister - Deep Sea Series: Oasis (New England IPA)

Jughandle Brewing Co. - Background Radiation (New England IPA)

Icarus Brewing - Rain Sleet or Snow (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

The Referend Bier Blendery - Berliner Messe: Kyrie 2018.2 (100% spontaneous ale aged in oak, w/ cherries & raspberries)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_319_Jersey_Sure.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

Three great tastes that taste great together: peanut butter, chocolate, and stout combine in all six beers on this blind tasting - and a few prove that there is a wrong way to drink a Reese’s. Otherwise, we are lavishing in decadence throughout this show with six local-ish peanut butter cup stouts that help us regain our confidence in blind guesses. Ryan reports with the exclusive scoop on the 1st Annual Destination Toddler Rumble 2020 with interviews from a few participants, Craig has a photographic memory of forgotten video game characters, and we go hard for like 7 minutes on Supermarket Sweep. Just watch out for Cheese Jim. 

Beers Reviewed Blindly (in order of appearance):

Hop Butcher for the World - Fat Bear (Peanut butter imperial stout w/ chocolate)

Hubbard’s Cave - Peanut Butter Cup Imperial Stouts 2020-1

Energy City Brewing - Bâtisserie Peanut Butter Cup Stout

Transient Artisan Ales & The Open Bottle - Bowser & Koopa (Imperial stout with Violet Sky cocoa nibs and peanut butter)

4 Hands Brewing Co. - Absence of Light Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout

Untitled Art/Hidden Springs Ale Works - Peanut Butter Cup Stout

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_318_PB_Stouts_Blind.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

With most blind shows, we aim to learn more about how our biases impact our perception of beer styles, and we are often surprised and enlightened by the results. But not this episode. Our attempts to try and determine hop varietals through a blind sampling of five single-hop beers ends disastrously, so listen and enjoy our slow descent into existential crisis. But the beers here are varied and delicious, making the pain go down a bit easier. We analyze Craig’s Van Halen dream, Ryan does well at Celebrity Alias Trivia, and we finally call out the guy who stole our email address. (And despite a few strong proclamations, we are not quitting the podcast.)

Beers Reviewed Blindly (in order of appearance)

Hubbard’s Cave - Fresh IIPA: One Hop Mosaic

Kane Brewing Company - Enigma (DIPA)

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. - King Sue (Citra-hopped hazy DIPA)

Hop Butcher for the World - Funderbolt (Sabro-hopped hazy IPA)

Pipeworks Brewing Company - Place in Space (Ekuanot-hopped DIPA)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_317_Single_Hop_Blind.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

The second half of Revolution’s most recent Deep Wood series is all about the barrels, with beers featuring ambitious blends and extended aging to close out the brewery’s tenth year on a high note. We sample five beers from the city’s best barrel program, and we celebrate the man who makes it all possible: David Lee Roth. Well, okay, he doesn’t actually make any of these beers happen, but he certainly serves as an inspiration and a muse, especially for this episode. Also, Ryan passes on some bad Mario Kart etiquette, Craig loves his Luxardos, and we happen upon yet another fudgebooth. Bring back the Randall. 

Beers Reviewed

Ryeway to Heaven (Bourbon and rye barrel-aged ryewine)

V.S.O.D. (Imperial oatmeal stout aged 2 years in bourbon barrels)

Boss Jacket (English barleywine aged in WhistlePig The Boss Hog ex-Calvados Rye Whiskey barrels)

Cuvée De Grâce (Blend of oatmeal and rye stouts with barleywine and scotch ale, aged in seven different barrels)

Ten Year Beer (English barleywine aged in bourbon and rye barrels for 1 and 2 years blended with sweet and tart cherries)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_316_Deeper_Woodier.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

Back in July, we were lucky enough to spend a little time with Kyle Vetter at his 1840 Brewing in Milwaukee (which you can hear on our Brew City episode), and since then we’ve been dreaming about getting five bottles to the bunker for review. Craig’s recent travels bring us a wide variety of styles from this two year-old brewery, and at least one of these beers will be written into the ABV Hall of Fame for eternity. The whole lineup offers an array of big flavors, and we are already planning our return to Milwaukee. Also, Craig ponders a sympathetic Godzilla, Ryan’s been working on some disturbing fanfiction, and we almost get the podcast taken away from us. Ponder your pastry.

Beers Reviewed

Kascade Kid (Unfiltered lager w/ Hull Melon hops)
Rouge (Spelt and wheat saison dry-hopped with Barbe Rouge)

Hype Moves (Sour vegan gluten-reduced milkshake IPA double dry-hopped w/ Sabro, super-fruited w/ mango & pineapple, and conditioned on vanilla beans and toasted coconut)

Sea Foam (Fruited sour w/ pineapple, passion fruit, blue spirulina, and lactose)

Bere Cioccolato (Imperial stout w/ cacao nibs, coffee, hazelnuts, and lactose aged in grape brandy and two-fill whiskey barrels)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_315_1840_Brewing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

Villa Park’s More made a big splash from the moment they opened their doors in 2017, due to their hiring of a rising star brewer and their embrace of big flavor beers. Much has changed in a few short years, with a different (yet equally talented) head brewer at the helm, a gigantic new facility opening in Huntley at the end of the month, and...those lagers. Thanks to Aaron Keefner, we were gifted an assortment of More beers, and we review five varied styles in our usual arbitrary way. Along with our realization that we’re becoming boring old boomers, listen for Ryan’s singing debut, Craig’s beer label nightmares, a crazy game of mocha, the upcoming sequel to Davidoff’s Cool Water, and a rogues gallery of lager characters. 

Beers Reviewed

More to Life (American Lager dry-hopped with Lemon Drop hops)

DDH Double Space Boots (DDH DIPA w/ Citra and Galaxy)

Peaches & Cream Marbles (Milkshake IPA w/ peaches, milk sugar, and vanilla)

Henna: Cherry Truffle (Imperial stout w/ sweet & tart cherry, cocoa nibs, and vanilla)

Dark Lager (yup)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_314_More_Brewing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

After taking a month to recover from our Barrel-Aged December, we hop right back in the wood with five big beers from Illinois breweries. It leaves us feeling pretty spoiled to have so many great Winter barrel-aged options that don’t rhyme with Bevolution and Bruce Guyland. Craig starts things off a bit morbid, but we soon invent “smoot” and Staygurt for adults. This episode also contains notes of emotional wort, whipped leather, root beer, chocolate IPA, and Cadbury mini-eggs. 

Get yourself to Beermiscuous on Saturday, February 8th for our anniversary party.

Beers Reviewed

Sketchbook Brewing Co. - Barrel Aged Turbulence Vanilla Bean (Russian imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with vanilla beans)

Temperance Beer Company - 2019 Hot Cocoa Barrel-aged Might Meets Right (Imperial stout aged in Heaven Hill barrels w/ cacao and vanilla beans)

Half Acre Beer Company - Orin (Bourbon barrel-aged strong ale)

Brickstone Brewery - Dark Secret: Double Barrel 2019 (Imperial stout aged 10 mo. in Buffalo Trace barrels and 10 mo. in Four Roses barrels)

More Brewing Company - Barrel-aged Imperial Falling Colors: Karmic (Imperial porter aged in four bourbon barrels w/ cinnamon, cocoa nibs, and coconut)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_313_Back_to_the_Barrel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

The complex story of Goose Island extends far beyond their innovations and acquisition, because throughout their history, they’ve cultivated a truly impressive brewing team. This appropriately-numbered episode is a tribute to all the brewers who developed under Goose’s tutelage and moved on to start or brew at other impactful breweries. (Somebody should write a book about this stuff.) It’s a Goose Island show with no Goose Island beer! Craig tries to get a gritty reboot going that results in an ongoing discussion of grizzled actors, Ryan discovers the secret SRM scale, and we scream out the subtext.

Come to Beermiscuous on Saturday, February 8th because we told you to!

Beers Reviewed

Perennial Artisan Ales - Foeder Coupage Blend 1 (Foeder-aged saison and fresh blond ale blend)

Firestone Walker Brewing Company - Old Man Hattan (Barrel-aged blended strong ale)

Southern Tier Brewing Company - Nitro Hot Cocoa (Imperial milk stout)

Penrose Brewing Company - Spontaneous 2019: Strawberry (Blended spontaneous ale aged in oak w/ strawberries)

Fremont Brewing - B-Bomb 2019 (Barrel-aged winter ale)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_312_Goose_Diaspora.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

The start of legalized marijuana in Illinois has been a real mixed bag with massive lines and product shortages dominating the headlines. So rather than feeling empty-handed, why not head to the beer aisle for a taste of the dank? We sample six IPAs that are united under the simple idea of “heh heh, weed” to see if we can get lifted in another totally legal way. And of course, we talk just a whole bunch about 311 through trivia, personal experiences, inspired lyric readings, and the most 90’s quote we could find. We also weigh in on some recently announced reboots, Ryan apologizes to a high school friend, and we make the lazy river even lazier. 

Don’t miss our 6th anniversary party at Beermiscuous on February 8th!

Beers Reviewed

Burnt City Brewing - Kveik Minded III: The Dankening (New England IPA)

SweetWater Brewing Co. - 420 Strain G13 IPA

Oskar Blues Brewery - Can-O-Bliss Citrus IPA

Lagunitas Brewing Co. - Hazy Memory (New England IPA)

Odd Side Ales - Dank Frank Juice (Double IPA)

Revolution Brewing Co. - Legal-Hero (Double New England IPA)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_311_Danks_for_Legal_Weed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

It’s flavorful yet restrained. It’s refreshing and sessionable. And it’s loosely bound by any real style designation. It’s the table beer! We explore five Chicago-area takes on this non-style that seems to borrow a little magic from Belgian farmhouses before going in a variety of flavorful directions, all while staying under 5% ABV. With this light-weight lineup, we do some heavy lifting by developing two new musical concepts; Ryan works on his verbal plating; Craig doesn’t want to tip the toilet sherpa; and we have our refreshnodes massaged. 

Remember to mark Saturday, February 8th in your calendar for our 6th Anniversary party at Beermiscuous!

Beers reviewed

Off Color Brewing - House Lion

Une Année Brewery - Table

Is/Was Brewing - Bourgeois Daydream

Casa Humilde - Mesita

Keeping Together - The Art of Holding Space

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_310_Under_The_Table.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

We’re quite transparent about two things on this podcast: we genuinely enjoy supporting our sole long-time sponsor, and we love getting free beer to review. So when Beer on the Wall had their 3rd Anniversary party featuring a wide array of interesting collaborations with great local breweries, they saved us five to review. We also wrap up the year in music with our top albums, open some new flavor doors, pitch some cookie hefeweizens and cake bocks, and further demonstrate why no one really wants us to collaborate on a beer. 

(Also, keep the night of Saturday, February 8th open to come celebrate our 6th Anniversary at Beermiscuous!)

Beers reviewed (all collaborations with Beer on the Wall)

Around the Bend Beer Company - Biscoff the Wall (Cream ale w/ cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice)

Pipeworks Brewing Company - TreESB (Red IPA dry-hopped w/ cedar chips)

Miskatonic Brewing Company - Second Breakfast (Coffee hazy IPA)

Illuminated Brew Works - The Ballad of the Peanut Butter Pony (Stout w/ peanut butter and cocoa)

Mikerphone Brewing - Eat to the Beat (Imperial blond stout w/ white chocolate, cocoa nibs, and vanilla)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_309_BotW_Collabs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

Following the story of middle brow has been a privilege for us, as their generosity and selflessness has been pretty well-documented during years of limited production and no actual brewery to call home. But within the last year or so, middle brow has won a gold at FoBAB, bought a few foeders, and opened their cozy brewpub “bungalow,” which recently won the designation of best pizza in the city by Chicago Magazine. And their status as a brewer of elegant and inspired wild ales - like their signature bread - is on the rise. So handsome Pete from middle brow dropped us off a box of beer (and bread!) to catch up on what our old friends have been up to, and we are objectively impressed. Also, we talk about dumb Chicago food traditions, dream up a GueuZero, conduct a Challenge Butter Cultural Butter Challenge, plead for that Chocolate IPA, and envision vengeful beer ghosts. 

beers reviewed.

For You (Wild lager blend)

Bloom (Co-fermented wine beer hybrid brewed w/ 40% frontenac gris grape juice)

Solarium (Mixed-culture solera saison)

Other People (Co-fermented wine beer hybrid w/ negroamaro wine juice)

Neighborhood (Farmhouse w/ locally-captured yeast and Midwestern grains)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_308_middle_brow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am CDT