ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast (general)

The show is on the road for this one as we dropped into four Chicago breweries that are all under a year old to chat with brewers and procure some beers to review. Our first stop is at Pilsen’s yet-to-open Lo Rez Brewing to talk with Dave and Kevin about how their tech background led them to opening a non-mainstream brewery focused on malt-forward and Belgian-style brews. Our second stop is at On Tour Brewing on the Near West side to take in their gorgeous taproom and chat with the two Marks about how they both found themselves back in their home state after years away. Our third visit is with our old friend Jacob Sembrano at Cruz Blanca Cervecería to sample styles ranging from culinary-inspired lagers to big imperial stouts and talk about his plans for bottling beers and their upcoming first anniversary. Our final stop is at the German-inspired Dovetail Brewing to talk with Hagen and Bill about how every step of their process pays homage to tradition but creates some of the most stunning clean beers in the city - at least until they unleash their Lambic-ish beers in the future. In addition to all that, we return to the bunker to review four growlers/crowlers and confront Craig’s Zelda obsession, among other things. A huge thank you goes out to everyone that helped make this show possible and spent time with us on a whirlwind day of drinking - Chicago’s beer scene has never been richer with great beer and generous people.

 

Tour Stops (Interview & Review Segments)

Lo Rez Brewing (00:04:50 - 00:27:34)

On Tour Brewing (00:27:35 - 00:49:00)

Cruz Blanca Cervecería (00:50:54 - (01:15:10)

Dovetail Brewing (01:15:11 - 01:41:16)

Beers Reviewed

Lo Rez Brewing - Dæmon (Belgian Golden Strong)

On Tour Brewing - Gin Barrel-Aged It Takes Two (IPA)

Cruz Blanca Cervecería - Larger Than Lager (Double Red Lager)

Dovetail Brewing - Hefeweizen

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_166_New_Brewery_Tour.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm CDT

As a peace offering while we ready some hot new content for this week, here’s a compilation of our favorite Low ABV episodes that were previously only available to our Patreon Patrons. We review five beers in total over four segments, and only one is included because you like to hear us suffer. As is the case with all Low ABVs, we spend a significant time gleefully off topic whilst scrapping together passable beer reviews. Hear tales and tangents about my boy Peter Gabriel, Sunny D, bomber fatigue, awful Chicago nicknames, the letter X, and the only (most important) rule at Craig’s brothel. To get a whole lot more stuff like this (and more!), become a Patron by visiting patreon.com/abvchicago to help keep us listener supported! Thank you!

Episodes Compiled:

Low ABV 16 - Mikerphone The Get-Fresh Flow (Recorded 7/6/16)

Low ABV 21 - Hop Butcher Paris on the Prairie (Recorded 9/16/16)

Low ABV 24 - Heady Topper vs. 2x4 (Recorded 11/4/16)

Low ABV 35 - Stone Chocolate Coffee Enjoy By 2.14.17 (Recorded 2/10/17)

Direct download: Best_of_Low_ABV_Volume_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:20pm CDT

The general beer aging debate rages on, but barleywines have long been a staple for cellar keepers with the promise of better beer always further ahead. For this episode, we take on a murder of aged barleywines, chiefly American in style, often barrel-aged, and mostly just downright unpleasant. Perhaps we were influenced by our Bracket Fever, but this show brings a lot of lousy old hops and sickly sweet malts, one completely flat beer, and an overflowing Dumpy the Dump Bucket. We do sample some cheese pairings while also discussing Craig’s Shameful Bed Cheese Incident, faded cops, and what killed off the elders of craft beer. Science!

 

Beers Tasted (For Science)

 

New Glarus Barley Wine (2012)

Central Waters Kosmyk Charlie’s Y2K Catastrophe Ale (2013)

Founders Bolt Cutter (2012)

Dark Horse Monster 29 (2012)

3 Floyds Barrel-Aged Behemoth (2013)

Flossmoor Station Fireside Chat (2013)

Stone Old Guardian (2010)

Firestone Walker Sucaba (2014)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_165_Old_Barleywines.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:46am CDT

Get ready to journey through time with a nearly 200 year-old Belgian brewery on an episode that took us two weeks to record! Rodenbach makes some of the best sour beer in the world that is often overlooked in favor of those U.S. acid bombs that garner high trade value. We try to figure out why the hell that is, to little avail. But we sample five absolutely perfect beers here, and they give us all the mouthfeels. We also talk about when it’s right to start macerating, breaking down beer borders, the J-man (and the K-man) and that Magic Eraser life. But seriously, THAT MOUTHFEEL.

Beers Reviewed

Rodenbach Original

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Rodenbach Vintage 2014

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge

Rodenbach Alexander

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_164_Rodenbach.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:35am CDT

It’s all about those juicy hops on this episode, as we review five beers from larger breweries looking to capitalize on the current juice obsession in hoppy beers. It’s a perilous summit to the top, but we arbitrarily agree on which beer should be on your grocery list. We go over the many other large breweries making similar beers, talk a lot about mixed 12-packs and Costco, and show off our sick snowboard tricks. Also, Craig is a mothball-eating garbage boy who wants a musket. Just to summarize.

BEERS MOUNTED

Stone Ripper Pale Ale

Samuel Adams Rebel Juiced IPA

New Belgium Citradelic

Odell Drumroll APA

Two Brothers Pinball Pale Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_163_Juice_Mountain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44am CDT

Revolution has done something downright heroic for hoppy beer fans by assembling a mixed 12-pack of their Hero beers that will see variations as a year-round release. We crack into a fantastic foursome along with one rogue Hero and rank them all. We speculate on some hero backstories, imagine the Mt. Rushmore of Chicago beer, and spin the bottle with Randy Mosher. There’s also Craig’s comic book game, nostalgia for Buy the Weigh, and a hot take on Batman Returns. My piney sense is tingling.

 

Heroes Reviewed

 

Anti-Hero

Galaxy Hero

Amarillo Hero

Local Hero

Mosaic Hero

Direct download: ABV_Episode_162_Rev_Hero.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:45am CDT

We pop five beers from New Hampshire’s Deciduous Brewing, and it gets a little Gushyⓒ. But the beers are impressive all around, and we finally learn what a “pLambic” is. The tangents are frequent and our talking points include wrestling and the SLAMbic, bizarre aroma descriptors, fruit soup, the Tannic Suggestion, a blood orange crime, Lap Gushy, and Craig’s take on the RenFair. Oh no, the growler boys are back in town. Thanks to David Leshinski for providing beers on this one!

Beer Reviewed

Auranja (pLambic with oranges)

Auroral Batch 4 (Berliner weisse with blood orange and lychee)

Nelson Sylph (Farmhouse ale)

Renascence (Porter)

Predestination (Blended sour aged in armagnac casks)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_161_Deciduous.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40am CDT

Made to cellar and improve with age, this episode was recorded back in 2014, and we release it now to coincide with Odell’s entrance into the Chicago market. The younger version of us tastes through seven (!) different beers from the Fort Collins brewery, and we are pleasantly surprised throughout. There’s also some “interviews”, history on the brewery, very old sours, Craig sniffing plastic, Four Loko, and some good old boat eating. Honestly it just feels good to live back in 2014 again for just a little bit. Do we have to leave?\

Beers Reviewed

Loose Leaf (Session Pale Ale)

St. Lupulin (Extra Pale Ale)

90 Shilling (Scottish Ale)

5 Barrel (Pale Ale)

New Belgium/Odell - Hop Kitchen #6: FOCOllaboration (Pale Ale)

IPA

Myrcenary (Double IPA)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_160_Odell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:52am CDT

Eight years of Bourbon County tells an interesting story about Goose Island as a brewery, so we have the guy who is literally writing the book on it join us for a vertical tasting. Josh Noel from the Chicago Tribune helps us nitpick our way through eight years of BCBS. There’s Goose info galore including the backlash over Josh’s sleuthing on the beer’s true origins, and how the brewery went from nearly out of business to being the juggernaut it is. You’ll also hear about the debate over aging beers, Craig the vanilla locomotive, Loggins Run, and actual news about Josh’s book release date. Don’t live life two ounces at a time, man!

Years of Bourbon County Brand Stout Tasted, Vertically

2009 (22 oz.)

2010 (12 oz.)

2011 (12 oz.)

2012 (12 oz.)

2013 (12 oz.)

2014 (12 oz.)

2015 (16.9 oz.) bottled 11/9/15

2016 (16.9 oz.)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_159_BCBS_Vertical.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53am CDT

Summer Craig is back and ready to fire up the boat and mix up some cocktails! Actually, it’s Ryan’s stupid idea to put a bunch of fruit in these five suburban-brewed beers that were all very good before we screwed with them. We review and rank these diverse offerings, and we also get to know Afterthought Brewing well before they are an actual working brewery: brewer/owner Mike Thorpe endures a brief interview with Craig to tell us what we can expect out of Lombard from Afterthought in the (hopefully) near future. We also muddle it up with the worst Zelda joke, a shocking theory about blood oranges, and other whatnots. Summer Craig, I still believe in you!

Beers Reviewed

Hailstorm & Imperial Oak - LMFAgOse (gose w/ watermelon, blueberry, and salt)

Afterthought Brewing - Saison with citrus zest (mixed culture saison aged in oak)

Noon Whistle - Cozmo Orange (pale ale with oranges)

Middle Brow Beer Co. - Show Me Love (blonde farmhouse aged in wine barrels w/ raspberries)

Buckledown & Haymarket - BA Awkward Exchange (dark Belgian ale with blackberry juice aged in bourbon barrels)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_158_Suburban_Fruit_Basket.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41am CDT