ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

This episode will, once and for all, determine which state is the greatest on Earth: Wisconsin or Illinois? We find sort-of equivalent beers in pretty specific styles from each state to vie for our arbitrary love. This episode is soft dystopia for soft adults, with mentions of FroBAB, the ReinheitsgeBot, and drunken Cinnabon. One beer leaves us almost completely speechless, and another blurs style lines unlike any we’ve ever experienced. We also drop some advice on must-hit beer stops on a Chicago visit, and get confused over popular songs from like 4 years ago. It’s brats vs. Polish sausages; cheese curds vs. deep dish; cheese heads vs. ....Ditka mustaches? Whatever it is, it’ll be interesting.

Beers Faced

Buckledown Fritzicuffs vs. New Glarus Hometown Blonde

Hubbard’s Cave El Zacatón vs. Untitled Art/3 Sons Oaxacan Stout

Goose Island Brasserie Blanc vs. Funk Factory Cervino

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_189_Face_Off_WI_v_IL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44am CDT

Taking a much-needed vacation from hops, we let our taste buds travel to five different continents to sample beers from around the world. In addition to an interview with Pete from Garage Project, this episode contains a valuable lesson about getting out of America every once in awhile. How long can we keep up a shaky plane metaphor? What do we have to say about esophageal displeasure, hotshipping with a volcano, and carbonated gravy? Well, grab your passport, hop on the Turbulence, and find out with us!

Beers Reviewed

Garage Project [New Zealand] - Bastard Rye (Imperial Rye Blond aged in bourbon barrels)

Ölvisholt Brewery [Iceland] - Lava (Smoked Imperial Stout)

Kiuchi Brewery [Japan] - Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale (Belgian Strong Pale Ale)

Way Beer [Brazil] - Sour Me Not Caju (Sour Ale)

Tusker [Africa] - Lager

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_188_Around_the_World.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53am CDT

While many of their friends were starting breweries and gaining notoriety, Brent Banks and Ryan Jacobs were honing their craft as home brewers while juggling jobs in finance and the medical field. At the urging of their comrades, the pair finally decided to go pro and start Saint Errant Brewing. Currently, they contract brew out of the Mikerphone space in Elk Grove Village, and as of mid-August, they released their first (solo) offering, Strange Loops, in bottles and kegs. We sat down with Brent and Ryan to taste through several recent brews and test batches to discover that starting a brewery in 2017 isn’t so crazy when the beers taste this excellent. We cover a lot here including the difficulties of beer names, the significance of yeast variables, Chicago’s perplexing lack of love for sours, where to shop for the best peaches, and how those Vermont trips with Fitz helped them dial in their New England style IPA recipes. (Shout out to Julio Rosenstein!)

Beers Sampled

Get It Together (Double IPA with mangos/collaboration with Mikerphone)
Strange Loops (Double IPA)
Mr. Hanalei (Berliner-style sour ale with guava, passionfruit, and naranjilla)
Pitseleh (Sour saison with peaches)
Between Waves (Milkshake IPA with apricot, lactose, and vanilla)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_187_Saint_Errant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm CDT

From the tip of New Jersey’s elbow, Carton Brewing makes beers sometimes born of unusual inspiration that combine culinary artistry with just the right amount of whimsy. Listener Mike Bobal sent us six Carton beers for this one, and the flavors are as big as the alcohol content. We talk about Carton’s namesake leader Augie and his prolific internet presence while tasting through beers that steeply rise in ABV pretty early in the show. Naturally, this leads to asides about drunken oaring, Chupa Chups, sex stuff with oranges, proper nachos, and Craig’s monogamous cereal life. We also hop on the CanniBus to Weed Church before everything goes all orange on us. Don’t put this one in a box! (Because that would be physically impossible as this is a digital medium.)

Beers Reviewed

Wit Whale (Hoppy Wit Beer)
077XX (East Coast Double IPA)
Cosmonaut (Russian Imperial Stout with Freeze-Dried Ice Cream and Spices)
All Orange Everything (Triple IPA - Collaboration with Other Half Brewing)
Regular Coffee (Imperial Cream Ale with Coffee)
Café Y' Churro (Imperial Cream Ale with Coffee, Vanilla, and Cinnamon)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_186_Carton_Brewing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:59am CDT

Ignoring the fact that there are plenty of beers out there that relegate hops to a simple supporting ingredient, we again indulge our insatiable appetites for chronic hop-led tonics by tasting out five super fresh local IPAs and DIPAs. Are we getting too old for this sh*t? Not likely! We do have a hell of a time trying to find critical points that separate these all-hazy all-juicy hop cocktails before they disappear from our glasses. And because our usually-rich lexicon of descriptors (ha!) is limited to a few keywords again and again, we bring back the fan-favorite episode-spanning game Beers Against Humanity to force us to shoehorn dirty and terrible phrases into our normally pristine and knowledgeable beer analysis (HA!) Give in to your temptations, and let the hops take over. (And tell ‘em Bruce Candles sent you.)

Beers Reviewed

Forbidden Root - Radio Swan (Rye IPA)
Hop Butcher for the World - Skrap Metal (DIPA)
Pipeworks/Run the Jewels/Interboro - Stay G-O-L-D (IPA)
More Brewing - Loose Candies (DIPA)
Corridor Brewery & Provisions - SqueezeIt OG (DIPA)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_185_Cant_Stop_the_Hops.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20pm CDT

We love hops - and more importantly, our listening audience loves hops too. So to keep pushing those download numbers higher, we take our palates to the limit with six random hoppy beers. We talk about the wacky world of beer pricing, the shelf life of hazy beers, and the best brewery that Chicagoans aren’t talking about. If those hot takes aren’t enough to get your download fingers twitching with anticipation, then we also tackle the important issues like which deli meat is the stickiest, and why Joey Pants is the best, and what are the most lethal Slip N’ Slides? Plus, Craig trademarks his beer gym idea, and we set straight something very important about Gushy. Thanks for the clicks! #hazybeer #hazyipa #KregTightjacket #LilTeashat #BobUecker

Beers Reviewed

Marz Community Brewing Co. - Jungle Boogie (pale wheat ale w/ rooibos tea)
Haymarket Brewery - Oscar’s Pardon (Dry-hopped Belgian pale ale)
Sun King Brewing - Fistful of Hops (IPA)
Triptych Brewing - Wake Up Neo (New England-style DIPA)
Transient Artisan Ales - Mind to Devour (DIPA)
Untitled Art - Hazy IIPA

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_184_Hops_For_Downloads.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:19pm CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT