ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

It’s all about those juicy hops on this episode, as we review five beers from larger breweries looking to capitalize on the current juice obsession in hoppy beers. It’s a perilous summit to the top, but we arbitrarily agree on which beer should be on your grocery list. We go over the many other large breweries making similar beers, talk a lot about mixed 12-packs and Costco, and show off our sick snowboard tricks. Also, Craig is a mothball-eating garbage boy who wants a musket. Just to summarize.

BEERS MOUNTED

Stone Ripper Pale Ale

Samuel Adams Rebel Juiced IPA

New Belgium Citradelic

Odell Drumroll APA

Two Brothers Pinball Pale Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_163_Juice_Mountain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44am CDT

Revolution has done something downright heroic for hoppy beer fans by assembling a mixed 12-pack of their Hero beers that will see variations as a year-round release. We crack into a fantastic foursome along with one rogue Hero and rank them all. We speculate on some hero backstories, imagine the Mt. Rushmore of Chicago beer, and spin the bottle with Randy Mosher. There’s also Craig’s comic book game, nostalgia for Buy the Weigh, and a hot take on Batman Returns. My piney sense is tingling.

 

Heroes Reviewed

 

Anti-Hero

Galaxy Hero

Amarillo Hero

Local Hero

Mosaic Hero

Direct download: ABV_Episode_162_Rev_Hero.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:45am CDT

We pop five beers from New Hampshire’s Deciduous Brewing, and it gets a little Gushyⓒ. But the beers are impressive all around, and we finally learn what a “pLambic” is. The tangents are frequent and our talking points include wrestling and the SLAMbic, bizarre aroma descriptors, fruit soup, the Tannic Suggestion, a blood orange crime, Lap Gushy, and Craig’s take on the RenFair. Oh no, the growler boys are back in town. Thanks to David Leshinski for providing beers on this one!

Beer Reviewed

Auranja (pLambic with oranges)

Auroral Batch 4 (Berliner weisse with blood orange and lychee)

Nelson Sylph (Farmhouse ale)

Renascence (Porter)

Predestination (Blended sour aged in armagnac casks)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_161_Deciduous.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40am CDT

Made to cellar and improve with age, this episode was recorded back in 2014, and we release it now to coincide with Odell’s entrance into the Chicago market. The younger version of us tastes through seven (!) different beers from the Fort Collins brewery, and we are pleasantly surprised throughout. There’s also some “interviews”, history on the brewery, very old sours, Craig sniffing plastic, Four Loko, and some good old boat eating. Honestly it just feels good to live back in 2014 again for just a little bit. Do we have to leave?\

Beers Reviewed

Loose Leaf (Session Pale Ale)

St. Lupulin (Extra Pale Ale)

90 Shilling (Scottish Ale)

5 Barrel (Pale Ale)

New Belgium/Odell - Hop Kitchen #6: FOCOllaboration (Pale Ale)

IPA

Myrcenary (Double IPA)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_160_Odell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:52am CDT

Eight years of Bourbon County tells an interesting story about Goose Island as a brewery, so we have the guy who is literally writing the book on it join us for a vertical tasting. Josh Noel from the Chicago Tribune helps us nitpick our way through eight years of BCBS. There’s Goose info galore including the backlash over Josh’s sleuthing on the beer’s true origins, and how the brewery went from nearly out of business to being the juggernaut it is. You’ll also hear about the debate over aging beers, Craig the vanilla locomotive, Loggins Run, and actual news about Josh’s book release date. Don’t live life two ounces at a time, man!

Years of Bourbon County Brand Stout Tasted, Vertically

2009 (22 oz.)

2010 (12 oz.)

2011 (12 oz.)

2012 (12 oz.)

2013 (12 oz.)

2014 (12 oz.)

2015 (16.9 oz.) bottled 11/9/15

2016 (16.9 oz.)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_159_BCBS_Vertical.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53am CDT

Summer Craig is back and ready to fire up the boat and mix up some cocktails! Actually, it’s Ryan’s stupid idea to put a bunch of fruit in these five suburban-brewed beers that were all very good before we screwed with them. We review and rank these diverse offerings, and we also get to know Afterthought Brewing well before they are an actual working brewery: brewer/owner Mike Thorpe endures a brief interview with Craig to tell us what we can expect out of Lombard from Afterthought in the (hopefully) near future. We also muddle it up with the worst Zelda joke, a shocking theory about blood oranges, and other whatnots. Summer Craig, I still believe in you!

Beers Reviewed

Hailstorm & Imperial Oak - LMFAgOse (gose w/ watermelon, blueberry, and salt)

Afterthought Brewing - Saison with citrus zest (mixed culture saison aged in oak)

Noon Whistle - Cozmo Orange (pale ale with oranges)

Middle Brow Beer Co. - Show Me Love (blonde farmhouse aged in wine barrels w/ raspberries)

Buckledown & Haymarket - BA Awkward Exchange (dark Belgian ale with blackberry juice aged in bourbon barrels)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_158_Suburban_Fruit_Basket.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41am CDT

Over the last half-dozen years, Amherst, Wisconsin’s Central Waters Brewing have released a special barrel-aged imperial stout for their anniversary at their annual party. Craig is a loyal attendee, so we have a five-year vertical to tackle with the help of Tom, Jack, and Nick from The Hop Review. Along with trying to discern the differences in each vintage, we talk to the Hop Review guys about some of their favorite interviews and what they’re excited about in Chicago for 2017. We also address Craig’s Mosaic blindness, relive the worst Dark Lord Day experience ever, almost make contact with rock royalty, and finally figure out how to capture the elusive Mosh.

Vintages Reviewed

1414

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_157_Central_Waters_Anniversary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20am CDT

Good news to all our future expats, Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery is making outstanding light hoppy beers that are bulging with deliciousness. Thanks to listener Christopher Nyren, we sample four fresh brews that cross-check us with flavor. Craig gives a brief overview of Canada’s confusing beer laws and liquor sales, then quizzes Ryan in a round of “Dead or Canadian?” There’s also a Ghostbusters lullaby, proper beer presentation, schnapps talk, Craig’s French mishaps, some mall walking, and the worst Afroman album ever.

Beers Reviewed

Stay Classy (Light Pale Ale)

Wizard Wolf (Pale Ale)

Jutsu (Pale Ale)

Jelly King (Dry-Hopped Sour Ale)

 

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_156_Bellwoods.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30am CDT

Bring your bendy straw, we’re dipping into some juicy, hazy New England-style IPAs made locally. Whether it’s an actual style or not, stores can hardly keep any brewery’s NEIPA in stock - so we evaluate seven of them in a blind tasting. We share everything we know about this trend, say “creamy” a few hundred times, and somewhat fail at recognizing Mosaic. There’s some shoe-eating, retired slogans, Sunny D, and our vow to become brother husbands. Disappear into a glass with us, and let your juice loose. I don’t know what the hell that means.

Beers Tasted Blindly

 

#1 Transient Artisan Ales - The Juice is Loose DIPA

#2 Maplewood Brewery - Son of Juice IPA

#3 Forbidden Root - Snoochie Boochies DIPA

#4 Hailstorm Brewing - Stratus DIPA

#5 Marz Community Brewing - NE MDW Chi PA

#6 Hop Butcher for the World - Reply Hazy, Try Again DIPA

#7 The Ram Restaurant & Brewery (Schaumburg) - Morning Fog DIPA

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_155_Chi_NEIPAs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40am CDT

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 CDT