ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

A Craig divided against itself cannot stand - especially if he’s drinking a bunch of high ABV coffee stouts. We challenge Craig’s hatred of coffee and love of stouts by opening four flavorful beers on this one. It’ll take a serious horse-breaking for Ryan to teach Craig anything about coffee, so instead we talk about cereal and double barrels and David Duchovny. But we also have a beer that so completely nails its intentions that it is nearly flawless - and another surprising beer brimming with luxurious coffee aroma but sorely lacking in the flavor department. Listen to find out which is which, and be careful with your cheeseballs! (Huge thanks to Eric Nakamoto for two of the beers on this one!)

Beers Reviewed

Short’s Brewing - Cup A Joe (Coffee Creme Stout)

Weldwerks Brewing - Coffee Coconut Stout

Epic Brewing - Big Bad Baptista (Whiskey barrel-aged stout with Mexican coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla & cinnamon)

Revolution Brewing - Café Deth (Bourbon barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout with coffee)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_154_Coffee_Stouts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40am CST

Our new best friends at Cypress Grove make some of the finest goat’s milk cheeses in the country, and they sent us some to pair with local beers. Win your New Year’s party by learning from our pairing experiments, or find out which cheeses to make a staple of all your future bottle shares. We learn a bit about rennet, apply a few brewing ideas to cheesemaking, and once again fail to break the curse that eternally binds us together. Live deliciously!

Beer and Cheese Pairings

Two Brothers Twenty-Plus Pilsner and Purple Haze

Suller’s Past Maiden Berliner Weisse and Humboldt Fog

Off Color Sibling Rivalry Tripel and Truffle Tremor

Hop Butcher Hoppy Days Are Here Again IPA and Bermuda Triangle

Arcade Brewing Mega Milk II* and Midnight Moon

*Note: This episode was recorded back in November before we - or anyone - could anticipate Arcade Brewery’s sudden and unfortunate closing. We had many of their beers on the show over the years, and we will miss their contributions to the ever-changing Chicago beer landscape. We sincerely wish Chris, Jay, and Lance the best in all of their future endeavors.

Our new best friends at Cypress Grove make some of the finest goat’s milk cheeses in the country, and they sent us some to pair with local beers. Win your New Year’s party by learning from our pairing experiments, or find out which cheeses to make a staple of all your future bottle shares. We learn a bit about rennet, apply a few brewing ideas to cheesemaking, and once again fail to break the curse that eternally binds us together. Live deliciously!

Beer and Cheese Pairings

Two Brothers Twenty-Plus Pilsner and Purple Haze

Suller’s Past Maiden Berliner Weisse and Humboldt Fog

Off Color Sibling Rivalry Tripel and Truffle Tremor

Hop Butcher Hoppy Days Are Here Again IPA and Bermuda Triangle

Arcade Brewing Mega Milk II* and Midnight Moon

*Note: This episode was recorded back in November before we - or anyone - could anticipate Arcade Brewery’s sudden and unfortunate closing. We had many of their beers on the show over the years, and we will miss their contributions to the ever-changing Chicago beer landscape. We sincerely wish Chris, Jay, and Lance the best in all of their future endeavors.

Direct download: ABV_Episode_153_Cypress_Grove.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm CST

 

We manage to throw a holiday party with no eggnog, ugly sweaters, or inappropriate mistletoe placement - just great friends and great beers. Actually, Craig does wear an insane gaudy suit, but it only enhances our talks with four guests over five beers. We are joined by our good friends MC Johnson (Worth 1000 Beers), Marie Cummins, Matt Johnsen (Horse Thief Hollow), and Doug Veliky (Revolution Brewing & @beeraficiando) to sample some tasty treats and review our favorite events and stories of 2016 - and what gets us excited for 2017. Then we talk about the year in beer trends, the excellence that is Dovetail Brewing, the Gary Busey woods, chipmunk tickling, winning big time beer medals, Schwimmer Vintage Ales, and how to become an Instagram star by taking pictures of beer. Listen, or I’m telling Santa.

Beers Shared

Une Année - Le Grand Monde I

Dovetail Brewing - Holiday Bock

Horse Thief Hollow - Bad Mama Jama (Imperial stout with chocolate aged in Buffalo Trace barrels)

Horse Thief Hollow - Barrel-aged Cinnamon Girl (Bad Mama Jama with cinnamon and vanilla)

The Lost Abbey - Veritas 017 (Oak-aged wild ale with blackberry)

 

Direct download: ABV_Episode_152_-_Holiday_Party_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43am CST

Need a stocking stuffer or an effective mood-lifter for a family gathering? We try six different Christmas beers to help you better lubricate your holiday train. Our top beer is a huge surprise, but the whole lineup proves to be a Christmas miracle. And like two slightly tipsy yet overly productive elves, we play two games on this one, talk fruitcakes, explore the Hintonverse, make our ideal gingerbread man together, transcribe the Ying Yang Twins, share some Color Me Badd fan fiction, make a case for The Wallflowers, get banned from pillow fights, plan our pop-up shop, and implore you to stop doing that to our snowman. It’s our gift to you, listeners. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Beers Unwrapped

Revolution - Fistmas Ale

Anchor - Christmas Ale 2016

Great Lakes - Christmas Ale

Three Floyds - Alpha Klaus Porter

Prairie Artisan Ales - Christmas Bomb

Brouwerij Huyghe - Delirium Noël

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_151_Stocking_Stuffers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44am CST

We celebrate the big one-five-oh with the most valuable lineup of beers we’ve ever put to our lips - and the bottles practically pop themselves in revelry. Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen made these four special gueuzes to save itself after a terrible mishap and released them in very limited quantities back in 2011, and we’re lucky to have them all here. We also commemorate the occasion by resurrecting everyone’s favorite beer podcast reviewing game: Beers Against Humanity. So while we try to wrap our brains around the deliciousness of these world-class beers, we talk about what Billy Corgan smells like and other matters of equal import. Craig introduces a successful new segment, and we duck for cover from flying corks. (It says corks, just to be clear.) Cheers to another 150!

Beers Sipped Upon, Luxuriously

Armand’4 Oude Geuze Herfst (Autumn)

Armand’4 Oude Geuze Winter

Armand’4 Oude Geuze Lente (Spring)

Armand’4 Oude Geuze Zomer (Summer)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_150_The_Seasons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25am CST

In the wake of another Black Friday, we sample the four releases from Goose Island’s infamous Bourbon County line for 2016. So, was all the Friday madness worth it? That’s really subjective based on your personal experience, but we’ll do our best! At least we concur that it’s a huge step-up from 2015. Two beers exceed their previous years’ versions by a significant margin, and at least one beer needs some time to rest. There’s also Tales of Two Black Fridays, The Gouge Report, and an impassioned plea for real true garlic bread.

Beers Reviewed

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout (2016)

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine (2016)

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (2016)

Goose Island Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (2016)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_149_BCBS_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41am CST

In our yearly moment of clearheadedness after the Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers, we take on four non-alcoholic beers for the sake of science. To take our minds off of these near beers, we go over all of our FoBAB beer highlights. But you’ll learn a lot about how non-alcoholic beer is made, why there are no NA-IPAs, and what might be the worst beer-like drink we’ve had on the show. We also find out what Craig is doing in a Petsmart (Petco?), what happens when Ryan pours his own beer, and how to elevate High Life beyond reproach.

NA Beers:

Buckler Non-Alcoholic Beer (Heineken)

Krombacher Weizen Alkoholfrei

Kaliber (Guiness)

Clausthaler Dry-Hopped

Ryan’s FoBAB Top 5 List:

5. Horse Thief Hollow - Margarita Gose (Gose w/ black limes, orange peel, and sea salt aged in tequilla barrels)

4. Mikerphone - Dynamite with a Laser Beam (Saison w/ blueberries, raspberries, and tart cherries aged in wine puncheons)

3. Weldwerks - Peach Climacteric (Sour blend w/ peaches aged in bourbon barrels)

2. Goose Island Clybourn - Big Lazy Joe (Imperial brown ale aged in bourbon barrels and blended with coffee)

1. Trinity - President’s Club (Sour pale ale w/ tangerine zest, coriander, peaches, and apricots aged on French oak)

Craig’s FoBAB Top 5 List:

5. Off Color - Market Rate (Wild ale aged in red wine barrels with green strawberries)

4. Jester King - 2016 Spon 3 (or 4?) (Gueuze-style blended sour aged in wine puncheons)

3. Goose Island Clybourn - Impervious (Imperial stout aged in Woodford Reserve barrels)

2. Weldwerks - Peach Climacteric (Sour blend w/ peaches aged in bourbon barrels)

1. Wicked Weed - White Angel (Sour ale w/ Muscadine grapes aged in wine puncheons)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_148_FoBAB_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02am CST

Wisconsin’s O’so Brewing has dabbled in sour beers for a few years, and while the whole brewery grows rapidly, their “Extreme Beers” are finding a captive audience with sour beer lovers. We review five tasty barrel-aged sours and try not to turn this episode into a Tums commercial. We discover “TA” and struggle to make sense of it. Craig explains why SNL was better back in the 1930s. Ryan reveals the true source of his pain. And you’ll pretty much never think of The Giving Tree the same way again. And yes, Craig is totally DTC.

Beers Reviewed

Project Lo (Barrel-aged sour blonde)

Blood of the Cherry (Barrel-aged sour blonde with cherries)

Arbor Qui Donne (Barrel-aged sour blonde with peaches)

Berry Gibb (Barrel-aged sour with blueberries and  ginger)

The Continental (Barrel-aged blended sour refermented on champagne currants)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_147_Oso_Sours.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:39am CST

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 CST

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 CST