ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast



Perennial Artisan Ales’ Abraxas is Craig’s favorite beer, so we drink it four times. Actually, we have a mini-vertical and experience two variants - one far superior to the other. Our third different guest named Chris joins us to drink our beer and chat about 80’s “extreme sports” movies and Santana. We also pair the amazing beers with some Bee’s Knees Mexican Hot Chocolate Almonds, Ryan’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch cookies, and some Spicy Man Jam. And yes, we get a little emotional over Barrel-Aged Abraxas. Sexual chocolate!



Ryan & Craig



1. Barrel-Aged Abraxas


2. Abraxas (2012)


3. Abraxas (2013)


4. Coffee Abraxas (2013)






1. Barrel-Aged Abraxas


2. Abraxas (2013)


3. Abraxas (2012)


4. Coffee Abraxas (2013)




Direct download: ABV_Chicago_35_Abraxas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:32pm CST

Episode 34 - The Hoppening


This week, we resist the bacteria-born urge to kill ourselves by downing six random hoppy beers!  We’ll regale you with stories of our trip to Decorah, Iowa, and then get off topic a lot as the beer tastes better and better. Then we spend half of the time insulting each other, and Ryan explains to Craig why M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening” is so bad that it deserves tribute. Prepare for the TWISTTTTTTT.



1. Toppling Goliath - Sosus

2. New Glarus - Scream IIPA

3. Toppling Goliath - King Sue

4. Bells - Mars: The Bringer of War

5. Bells - The Oracle

6. Modern Times - Fortunate Islands



1. Topplng Goliath - King Sue

2. Bells - Mars: The Bringer of War

3. Toppling Goliath - Sosus

4. New Glarus - Scream IIPA

5. Modern Times - Fortunate Islands

6. Bells - The Oracle

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_34_The__Hoppening.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am CST

Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse episode! We review five local takes on the style and try some with traditional raspberry and woodruff syrups. We start with a table-setting traditional Berliner Weisse and end with Ryan putting crushed-up Skittles in his beer. And there's the long-awaited meeting of Upton Sinclair and Nicki Minaj. For such a low-ABV show, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of spilling, squirting, and sexual dampness. Wait, come back!



1. DryHop Brewers - The World Needs Fewer DJs

2. Transient Artisan Ales - Blueberry Peach Maigre

3. Three Floyds - Deesko!

4. Marz Community Brewing - Bubbly Creek

5. Off Color - Fierce



1. DryHop Brewers - The World Needs Fewer DJs

2. Three Floyds - Deesko!

3. Transient Artisan Ales - Blueberry Peach Maigre

4. Off Color - Fierce

5. Marz Community Brewing - Bubbly Creek

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_33_Ich_bin_ein_Berliner_Weisse.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53pm CST

Horse Thief Hollow is a South Side neighborhood brewpub that is churning out quality brews and delectable food, and we were invited to sample a whole lot of it. Head brewer Dave Williams and owner Neil Byers share a mic and their craft with us. Neil discusses some of the thoughtful choices made in distinguishing the business from the many nearby Irish pubs and how they manage to keep up with the considerable demand they’ve created. Dave educates us on yeast pitching, aging on oak spirals versus barrels, contracting hops and much more. They also stuff us full of delicious food and share the last bottle of their World Beer Cup Silver Medal-winning sweet potato beer. A post-episode nap is highly recommended.


1. Cheval Deux (2013)

2. Annexation (w/ Galaxy hops)

3. 6410

4. 773

5. The Caretaker


1. Cheval Deux (2013)

2. Annexation (w/ Galaxy hops)

3. 6410

4. The Caretaker

5. 773

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_32_Horse_Thief_Hollow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:26am CST

Brewer Chris Betts brings some of his Transient Artisan Ales for us to sample, and we couldn’t be happier. Humble and soft-spoken, Chris is one of the only brewers in Chicago focused on handcrafted barrel-aged sours, and the buzz that has followed is rightfully earned. We’ll learn about Chris’ history at Witch’s Hat and One Trick Pony, his “barrel library”, how he manages wild yeasts and bacteria in his beers, and why staying small can be a good thing. There’s also pertinent news on the Reserve Society and what we can expect to drink from Transient in the near future. And there’s a puppy. So freakin’ cute.



1. Oud Bruin (Wild Turkey barrel)

2. Obelus Galaxy (Red wine barrel)

3. Salarium

4. Obelus Galaxy



1. Obelus Galaxy (Red wine barrel)

2. Oud Bruin (Wild Turkey barrel)

3. Salarium

4. Obelus Galaxy

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_31_Transient_Artisan_Ales.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01pm CST

Craig spent a long, drunken weekend at the Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, Wisconsin, and he brought a microphone. So we’ve assembled a “Low ABV” show around a few clips from his experience, and we open two incredible New Glarus beers while wading through the alcohol-induced fog of Craig’s memory. Here’s what you’ll hear:

- Dan Caray from New Glarus discusses the Wild Peach release and a few upcoming (including the slightly-delayed Gueuze).

- Mike Saboe from Toppling Goliath shares barrel information on their 2014 Assassin and some exciting details regarding the upcoming batch of Kentucky Brunch.

- Where did Captain Adam Vavrick steer his ship? He’ll tell you.

- Michael Kiser from Good Beer Hunting talks long Polish last names and his personal drinking highlights, while Craig screams at him.

- Craig and some drunk fans talk favorite beers and get weird.

 ...and all at a sessionable 46 minutes!

Beers reviewed:

1. New Glarus R&D Wild Peach

2. New Glarus Oud Bruin

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_Low_ABV_1_GTMW.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:39pm CST

CHAOS reigns as we open five “Rustic Ales” from Sante Adairius in Capitola, California. We enlist the help of Ken Getty, president of the CHAOS Brew Club, and he drops knowledge bombs all over us about brewing techniques and why CHAOS is doing truly unique things for homebrewers. But we also talk about the Beer Futurists movement, invent Cosmic Beer Pong™, drink Ken’s incredible Kiwi Strawberry Berliner homebrew, and endure a Dennis cameo. Did we just become best friends? Yup.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_30_Sante_Adairius_Rustic_Ales.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm CST

For this show, we’re at Beermiscuous in Lakeview, and we “drink around” with owner Paul Leamon to review some great tap offerings and learn about his unique beer café concept. Paul gives us a thorough background on the business, from finding inspiration internationally to overcoming licensing headaches and finding the perfect location. We’ll learn about why proper glassware matters, the ordering habits of customers, and the many weekly events happening at Beermiscuous. We are also visited by head “beerista” Austin Bainard, and he talks about how his background in the Chicago craft beer industry helped fill the tap lines with so many delicious, local brews. Which we drink a lot of on this episode. Never has our drunkenness been so public.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_29_Beermiscuous.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:18pm CST

To celebrate St. Louis Craft Beer Week, we review six Missouri beers that aren’t distributed to Illinois. And they’re all mighty fine beers, we concur, but one totally blows us away. We try really hard to make Missouri our sister state, infusing this episode with tons of Missouri trivia and a MO-themed “Who said it?” game. There’s also Ryan’s Missouri Literary All-Stars batting lineup and lots of Michael McDonald. Yah Mo B there!

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_28_The_MO_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46pm CST

It’s Iowa or bust on this one, and we have the help of Marie Cummins to drink several Toppling Goliath brews. Once again, Marie brings the spot-on food pairings and superior research, we ruminate on how TG would fit in to the Chicago market if they ever expanded distribution, and Craig tortures us with some Biblical character/celebrity trivia. We also discuss the Templeton Rye, X-Men, Beyonce, and the depressing reality of a diabetic Cookie Monster. Yeah. Go Hawkeyes.

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_27_Toppling_Goliath.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:27pm CST