ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast (general)

The Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers (FoBAB) enters its 14th year as one of Chicago’s premier beer fests, and we are so pumped for it that we drink four beers that’ll be pouring over the weekend. Expect some festival advice, relive FoBAB days of yore, and hear about the beer Ryan named. There’s also talk of the 39th Annual Illinois Craft Beer Awards, Fartboy Slim, the Weekend at Bernie’s unrealized trilogy, and the most evil of bottle sealings. Craig also quizzes Ryan on the many states represented at FoBAB, and we even discuss proper fest attire. Roll damn tide.

Beers (p)Reviewed

Transient Artisan Ales - Double Barrel Obelus (Wine Barrel-Aged Saison)

Goose Island Clybourn - Ground Control (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Ale)

Noon Whistle - Imperial Bernie (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Milk Stout)

Weldwerks Brewing Co. - Barrel-Aged Mexican Achromatic (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with cacao nibs, vanilla, and cinnamon)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_146_FoBABblin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38pm CDT

Pure joy will emanate from your listening devices on this one as we taste some of the best hoppy beers on the planet. We can hardly contain our giddiness with a mixed six pack of beers from both Tree House Brewing of Massachusetts and The Alchemist from Vermont, courtesy of listener Josh Sissman. In between moments of bliss, we talk about Belgian warlocks, blacklight posters, inventive ways to steal beer, and Goldilocks and the Artisanal Porridge. Experience our most divergent and most meaningless rankings ever! Hear our smiles!

Beers Enjoyed

Tree House Brewing - Green (IPA)

Tree House Brewing - Very Hazy (DIPA)

Tree House Brewing - Bright (DIPA)

Tree House Brewing - Bright w/ Nelson (DIPA)

The Alchemist - Focal Banger (IPA)

The Alchemist - Crusher (DIPA)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_145_Bright_Green_Bangers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41am CDT

We welcome Wiseacre to the Chicago market by sampling five of their beers and discovering that they will be a welcome addition even in this highly-competitive region. This show features three regular offerings, one seasonal release, one special release, and two slap-happy hosts. You’ll hear us threaten to Flowzie something, try to appeal to the youth, plea for some Sex Syrup, and kill off Jerry Lawler. Piledrive this episode into your eardrums!!

Beers Reviewed

Tiny Bomb (Pilsner)

Oktoberfest: Gemütlichkeit

Gotta Get Up To Get Down (Coffee Milk Stout)

Ananda (IPA)

Astronaut Status (Barrel-aged Imperial Stout)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_144_Wiseacre.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am CDT

For our third annual pilgrimage to Denver, we again recorded mere hours after the closing of GABF from our hotel room to recap the fest, share some interviews, and drink even more beer. We review beers from Weldwerks, Odd13, and Copper Kettle with some help from MC Johnsen of Worth A Thousand Beers. There are also interviews with a bevy of brewers: Neil Fisher from Weldwerks Brewing, Ryan Fields from Beachwood Blendery, Eric Larken from Odd13 Brewing, Jonathan Wakefield from J. Wakefield Brewing, Jeff Stuffings from Jester King Brewery, Bob Kunz from Highland Park Brewery, James Howat from Black Project Spontaneous and Wild Ales, and Jeremy Tofte from Melvin Brewing. We discuss our personal festival highlights, Illinois medal winners, non-festival events, the Hanson brothers, Party Chapazian, Schwimmer Vintage Ales, the Tappening, and Little Lemmy & Friends. But the beer professionals we interview share knowledge on branding, coolships, mixed fermentation, the interplay of art and beer, green bottle experiments, a parking spot barrel house, fermenting with weeds, upscaling problems, and some “high” stakes brewer bets. (It’ll all make sense in the end.)

Beers Reviewed

Weldwerks Brewing - Fruity Bits IPA (Pina Colada Edition)

Odd13 Brewing - Hawaiian Bartender (Mango & pineapple Brett sour)

Copper Kettle Brewing - Mexican Chocolate Stout

Featured Interviews

Neil Fisher from Weldwerks Brewing (11:23 - 18:44)

Ryan Fields from Beachwood Blendery (21:22 - 24:32)

Eric Larken from Odd13 Brewing (31:46 - 36:43)

Jonathan Wakefield from J. Wakefield Brewing (43:52 - 46:43)

Jeff Stuffings from Jester King Brewery (49:56 - 55:05)

Bob Kunz from Highland Park Brewery (1:09:15 - 1:12:38)

James Howat from Black Project Spontaneous and Wild Ales (1:22:07 - 1:27:40)

Jeremy Tofte from Melvin Brewing (1:31:34 - 1:35:39)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_143_GABF_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:45am CDT

Ah, you think Darkness is your ally? Well, it is! Anticipating this year’s big release day, we drink a vertical-plus of Surly’s special release Russian Imperial Stout, and we’re briefly joined by head brewer Ben Smith to talk about what makes Darkness what it is. MC Johnsen sits in with us to help us make sense of these delectable beers and keep us from going too far off the rails. She succeeds in one of those, as we share some Darkness Lore, invent(?) chocolate Coke, describe Craig’s wild gestures, and give tips on sneaking beer into the Olive Garden. (This episode is not sponsored by Crossfit, even though MC is.)

Surly Darkness “Vertical”

Darkness 2012

Darkness 2013

Darkness 2014

Darkness 2015

Barrel-Aged Darkness 2015

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_142_Darkness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:53pm CDT

If you haven’t heard of Triptych yet, you’re not alone - at least for now. On the edge of the University of Illinois campus, this brewery is making a variety of stellar beers - and we’ve got five to taste for this episode plus an interview with founder/owner/brewer Anthony Benjamin. Learn why you should schedule your Savoy trip soon, how they got connected with the Pygmalion fest, and what Triptych does with their beers that a lot of larger breweries wish they could. Throw in a few drunk texts from Craig, another Ryan’s Produce Minute, and the lasting impact of Stefan Urquelle, and you’ve got yourself another ABV Chicago podcast. We hope you like it.

Beers Reviewed

Little Secret (Session IPA)

These Aren’t the Blueberries You’re Looking For (Berliner weisse)

Pygmalion Pilsner

Because, Chocolate (Imperial Cocoa Stout)

Here Be Dragons (Imperial IPA)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_141_Triptych.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:42am CDT


It took a surprising amount of heavy lifting to bring together five Chicago porters, and *record scratch* none of them are actually porters! Sort of! This is a deep exploration of the porter style with our usual reviews, and the variance is wide. We draw from some of the great beer books to piece together a paraphrased history of the porter, and why what’s common today is so radically different than what it used to be. The asides are similarly rich and roasty, with loose ponies, Girl Scout cookies, breakaway glass failures, Craig’s Hunger Corner, prowlers, Sidney Poitier, and Taxidermied Churro. And Ryan does the worst thing he’s ever done on the show, ever.

Revolution Brewing - Eugene

Aquanaut Brewing - MoonRay

Moody Tongue - Carmelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter

Arcade Brewery - Rye Resolution

Cruz Blanca Cerveceria - Winnow

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_140_Chicago_Porters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47am CDT

Levi Funk is taking the foundation laid by breweries like Russian River and Allagash and making American lambic-style beers to match the quality of Belgian masters. Or at least approach them. We have five sours from the Funk Factory Geuzeria, and we pimp that coolship. There’s a whole cast of new characters here: Gushy the Bunker Bucket, Jean Cheese, Curtis Mercer, and Dreggy Topoff. Beyond a lot of spontaneous fermentation and lambic talk, there’s also Kraig’s Kandy Korner, Ryan’s Produce Minute, and a graphic mustache experience. We ain’t funkin’ around.


Dweller on the Threshold (Blended American sour)

Cassis (Blended lambic-style beer with Champagne currants)

White Lodge Reserve (American Gueuze-style beer)

Frampaars (Blended lambic-style beer with purple raspberries)

Bosbes (Blended lambic-style beer with blueberries)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_139_Funk_Factory.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34am CDT

Parched after an evening of marmot spotting, we continue our 50 states quest by sipping on some Washington. We review six beers from six breweries from The Evergreen State thanks to Raj Shah and only mention grunge a half dozen times. We play a Blood Brothers-based game, do the alternating-brewery-name-pronunciation tango (the forbidden worddance), and discuss “the problem” with New England-style IPAs. Beware the mouth goblin.


Bale Breaker Brewing - Field 41 Pale Ale

Urban Family Brewing - Herr Kinski’s Apricot Dream-Spiral Berliner Weisse

Cloudburst Brewing - Market Fresh Saison #6: Peaches & Grains of Paradise

Holy Mountain Brewing - The Goat Brett Saison

Three Magnets Brewing Co. - Little Juice IPA (Smoothie Edition)

Stoup Brewing - Citra IPA

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_138_The_WA_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:51am CDT

It’s New Baby Hiatus time at ABV Studios, so we have gathered some of our favorite Low ABV episodes that were previously only available to our Patreon donors. Uh, sorry Patreon donors. But you’ll hear four beers reviewed, and a very loose - and edgy - Ryan & Craig on these mini shows that are sure to be the talk of Craft Beer Town. There’s an MC Johnsen appearance, SMaSH desires, 90s rock karaoke,  hot takes on some local breweries, a story about a 26-inch hot dog, and a noxious cloud of Hoobastank - all while we seemingly look to find the tag beyond “Explicit” on iTunes. To get access to a whole mess more of these types of shows, go to www.patreon.com/abvchicago and donate to help keep our show listener-supported an ad-free.


Low ABVs Compiled:

Low ABV 2 - Buckledown’s Citra Clencher

Low ABV 4 - Cycle Brewing’s Tuesday

Low ABV 7 - Lord Hobo’s Boom Sauce

Low ABV 10 - Moody Tongue’s BA Chocolate Barleywine

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_137_Best_Low_ABV1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40am CDT