ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast (general)

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.

Beers Sampled

Czech Yourself (Czech-style Pilsner)
Big Rip (IPA with Michigan-grown hops)
Ardent (wine barrel-fermented mixed grain and mixed culture saison)
Anachronism (Michigan Wild Ale)
Foeder #2 w/ Black Currants (Michigan Wild Ale)
Purest Expression (Mead made with blueberries in collaboration with Four Fires Meadery)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_183_Transient_Artisan_Ales.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am CST

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 //

 

Lagergeddon:

 

Riggs Beer Co. - American Lager

Surly Brewing Co. - #Merica!

Dovetail Brewery - Lager

Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan - Weihenstephaner Original

 

Hefeweight Championship/HefeRock:

 

Riggs Beer Co. - Hefeweizen

New Glarus Brewing Co. - Bubbler

Dovetail Brewery - Hefeweizen

Ayinger Privatbrauerei - Ayinger Bräuweisse

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_182_Dovetail_and_Riggs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am CST

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.

Beers Reviewed

FloMO Pils

Fallen Flag IPA

Cloud City IPA

Old Town Porter

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_181_Narrow_Gauge.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52am CST

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.

Beers Featured

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)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_180_Mikerphone_Brewing_Live.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:22am CST

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!

Beers C-C-C-C-CRUSHED

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)
Hailstorm Brewing Co./The Open Bottle - Boing! (NE-style pale ale w/ pineapple, lactose, and vanilla)

Hop Butcher for the World - AleMerica the Beautiful (pale ale)

Moody Tongue - Peeled Grapefruit Pilsner

BuckleDown Brewing - Grapefruit Belt & Suspenders (IPA w/ grapefruit)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_179_Chicago_Cooler_Beers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am CST

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.

Beers Reviewed

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)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_178_The_NJ_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm CST

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.

 

Beers Reviewed

 

Berliner Weisse

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)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_177_Jackie_Os.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47pm CST

Over the course of a decade, DESTIHL Brewery has been extending their reach from their home in Central Illinois to sending their cans and bottles to nineteen different states. On this show, we sample an array of what they do: common styles, canned sours, and award-winning stouts. Craig sets us on a path of maximum distraction from the start, but we still manage to spin out some beer reviews before getting just surprisingly snockered. There’s also talk of Summer Craig’s return, banana perfection, new Greek yogurt flavors, and naughty 90’s HBO memories. Spin spin spin spin spin spin.

 

Beers Reviewed

 

Weissenheimer Hefeweizen

Wild Sour Series: Blueberry Gose

Wild Sour Series: Synchopathic (dry-hopped sour)

Amra Mango IPA

Dosvidanya (Bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout)

Dosvidanya Rye Barrel (Rye whiskey barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout)

 

Thanks to DESTIHL for sending us the Amra, Weissenheimer, and Blueberry Gose!

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_176__Destihl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40am CST

We add another pin on our map with a Pennsylvania show that rings our damn Liberty bells so hard that rankings have rarely been drunker. We have five beers to review from Craig’s travels, and a brief interview with East End Brewing’s Brendan Benson. The vibes are good, as we goof on podcast names, Nic Cage, and the Friends timeline. Also, Craig does poorly in two PA-centric trivia games, and Ryan reveals his greatest invention idea. (For the dedicated listeners, play a game of “find all the continuity errors” as we recorded this one back in mid-April, yet have referenced it in many already-released episodes!)

 

Beers Reviewed

 

Brew Gentlemen - General Braddock’s IPA

Forest & Main Brewing - Solaire (Saison)

Lavery Brewing - 1847 Rye Stout

East End Brewing - Gratitude (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barleywine)

Bullfrog Brewery - Le Roar Grrrz Aardbei (Gueuze-style with strawberry)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_175_The_PA_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:45am CST

We’re not quite ready to let another Chicago Craft Beer Week go, so we grabbed five new-ish canned beers from Chicago breweries to review. This show also serves as our Beer Under Glass festival recap - at least, what we can remember about it. Five highly-drinkable beers and two slightly hungover hosts - what else can we say?

 

Beers Reviewed

 

Hopewell Brewing - First Lager

Around the Bend Beer Co. - Vera (Pistachio cream ale)

Hop Butcher for the World - Grid (APA)

Finch Beer Co. - Plumage (IPA)

Whiner Beer Co. - Miaou (Blended barrel-aged Belgian wheat)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_174_Can_Do_Chicago.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:48am CST