ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

Just a spit trail east of Cowshit Corner in Newcastle, Maine, Oxbow Brewing has been making actual farmhouse beers since 2011. We’re lucky to try five of their low-SRM ales - most of them thanks to David Leshinski - and talk about what makes them unique. Craig has an exciting update on a long-time fugitive, Ryan explains how he chooses music for the show, and we break the space-time continuum. Also: Stuff to shave into your head! Grisette addicts! Crystal IPAs! Ska talk! FrankenCraig! Listen, or tell it to Jimmy Teku.

Beers Reviewed:


Farmhouse Pale Ale

Loretta Grisette

Cross Fade Saison

Saison de Kuaska

Goods from the Woods Farmhouse Ale

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_127_Oxbow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:01pm CDT

Only one brewery in Illinois is also in the distilling business, and we leave the bunker to record amongst those lovely vapors. Maplewood is not only crushing it in the beer department, but they’ll soon release their own small-batch spirits. Joining us are Adam Smith (brand manager/assistant brewer), Adam Cieslak (Co-founder/head brewer), and Paul Megalis (Co-founder/business manager), and they share several of their flawless beers and let us pop the bung for a little whiskey sampling. Topics include the upcoming taproom, label makeovers, unique challenges of a brewery/distillery, canning vs. bottling, the dynamics of yeast, selling to CostCo, and the (im)practicality of SMaSH beers. And because it’s our show, we also talk about the band Train, Disney sing-alongs, and who has the best hair at Maplewood. Hike up those juice pants and get ready for an adventure.


Beers Sampled:


The Charlatan Pale Ale

Creepy Ginger Belgian Golden Strong Ale

Mandarina Bavaria Saison

Azacca Morris IPA

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_126_Maplewood.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am CDT

Get ready for a ton of nostalgia as we drunkenly bid farewell to the original recording space for the podcast. We clean out five of Ryan’s cellar beers to help reduce the load and reveal our origin story. You’ll learn about our convoluted early attempts at rankings, the many beta versions of the podcast, and why we’ve never had guests at ABV West. There’s also a ton on aging beer, Malort, the Fire sauce quota, and an excellent addition to our ever-growing list of band names. Shades up, ABV West. Shades up.


Beers Unloaded:


Founders Furniture City Stock Ale (2012)

Allagash Mattina Rossa (2015)

New Glarus 20th Anniversary Strong Ale (2013)

The Bruery White Oak (2013)

Goose Island Cherry Rye BCBS (2012)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_125_Goodbye_ABV_West.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm CDT

After last episode’s penance, we are blessed with five outstanding hoppy beers on this one. United by their hop-forward nature, these beers prove that a perfectly-made IPA is no longer a rare find in the wild. And with great beer, it loosens up our conversation into all sorts of unpleasant, juvenile places. So, behold pellicle porn, a lot of wang talk, Jeff Bridges, cartoon personas, Yaz, and the drunkest rankings we’ve likely ever recorded. Good ol’ Yaz.

Beers Reviewed:

Toppling Goliath Citra Double Dry-Hopped PseudoSue Pale Ale

The Veil Crucial Taunt DIPA

Hoof Hearted Wängbär Oatmeal DIPA

Hubbard’s Cave Fresh IIPA V2

515 Brewing Hopititis DIPA

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_124_Random_Acts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:29am CDT

Hoppy beers are best enjoyed fresh - that’s just a fact. But what happens when you let them age well beyond their suggested shelf life? On this episode, we subject ourselves to a little experiment for educational purposes. We discuss a variety of hop-related topics like bottle dates, the insignificance of IBUs, alcohol as a preserver of hoppiness, trusting your bottle shop, and the benefits of canning. Craig recaps a few final CCBW highlights, Ryan has a theory on Zombie Dust’s inflated reputation, and we both experience second puberty. But then it all ends in the NONIC PINT OF DEATH. Come on - grow old with us.

Don’t forget to vote for us once a day at podcastawards.com in the Arts category!

Beers Experienced:

Short’s HumaLupaLicious (2016) & HumaLupaLicious (2013)

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (2016?) and 120 Minute IPA (2012)

Bell’s Mars DIPA (2014)

Bell’s Hopslam DIPA (2014)

Bell’s The Oracle DIPA (2013)

Bell’s This Goes To 11 Imperial Red Ale (2012)

Bell’s Harvest Ale (2012)

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster DIPA (2013)

New Glarus IIPA (2013?)

Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree DIPA (2013)

The Alchemist Heady Topper DIPA (2013)

Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf DIPA

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_123_Old_Hops.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:06am CDT

It’s alright, because it’s Chicago Craft Beer Week! We mark the occasion by drinking six beers from local breweries we’ve never featured before - and we’ve been missing out. We try to give some background on these breweries, but our “research” has truly reached a new low. There’s also talk of marketing angles, bleach lambics, bomber fatigue, skateboarding orphans, noisy dick, head nipples, dweebs, geeks, and ladders. Ryan reviews the many name changes that some of the these breweries have made, and Craig files his Beer Under Glass report.

Beers Reviewed:

Around the Bend Beer Co. - Ghost of ‘lectricity Kolsch

Motor Row Brewing - New Phenix Lager

Alarmist Brewing - Phobophobia Patersbier

Maplewood Brewing - Crushinator Session IPA

Hop Butcher For The World - Watch for Falling Coconuts Tropical Pale Ale

Illuminated Brew Works - Kallisti Golden Ale

Local Bands/Artists Featured:

Blizzard Babies, Meat Wave, Twin Peaks, The Brokedowns, Yoko and the Oh Nos, Lil Tits, Chance the Rapper

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_122_CCBW_The_New_Class.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:15am CDT

Sometimes the show is about what we don’t drink, and on this one, we have No IPAs. It’s really just a cute name for a random beer show we recorded while already drunk late on a Friday. There are five beers from a few locals and a few others, and at least for some, we’re happy we didn’t say “No” to them. And hopefully you won’t refuse us as we sloppily pitch movies, scrutinize our own similes, and visit Pen Island. We also find one of the best deals in beer currently. There’s also about four minutes of the drunkest blather Ryan has ever not edited from the show at the end. Go ahead and listen - we’ll just be over here, covering our NIPAs.

Beers Reviewed

Une Anneé Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (American Wild Ale w/ lime zest & dry-hopped w/Citra)

Sketchbook Turbulence (Imperial Stout)

Lindemans Oude Kriek Cuveé René (Kriek Lambic)

Blue Island Beer Co. Lost Weekend (Barleywine)

Central Waters Cassian Sunset (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout w/coffee, vanilla, & cinnamon)


Direct download: ABV_Chicago_121_NIPAs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12am CDT

Other Half Brewing is the latest small East Coast operation churning out heavily-hopped (and hyped) beers that are increasingly in demand. We scrutinize five of these Brooklyn-born ales on this show, trying to determine if their growing reputation is well-deserved. And because it’s us, we also do some “NBA Jam” trivia, drink Sea Monkeys, ruminate on JNCO jeans, and stick our fingers in beer. We also respond to a few listeners and acknowledge our almost aggressive lack of hipness. Boom shakalaka.

Beers Reviewed:

Forever Ever (Session IPA)

Hop Showers (IPA)

All Citra Everything (DIPA)

Green Diamonds (DIPA)

Peachwood-Aged (Sour farmhouse w/peaches)

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_120_Other_Half.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56am CDT

At the foot of the Appalachian mountains just outside of Asheville, Fonta Flora embraces local ingredients while honoring the history of a flooded sharecropping community. For some reason, reviewing four of their beers brings out our feisty side - and the most violent reaction to a beer we’ve ever had. We hope you also want to hear about Spanish Yoda, Craig’s cartoon hands, a little spooning, Byron Allen, sharecropping, and Nazi Fanta. The apology list might be long on this one. But at least most of the beers were good.

Beers Reviewed

Sun Gold Appalachian Grisette

Land Trust Appalachian Apple Saison

Vestige Bloom Wild Ale (aged in wine barrels w/kiwi)

Sal De Gusano Imperial Stout (aged in Mezcal barrels with sea salt & cacao)


Direct download: ABV_Chicago_119_Fonta_Flora.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55am CDT

Another Dark Lord Day approaches, so we review a vertical of 3 Floyds’ signature special release with a little help from the Chicago Tribune’s beer columnist Josh Noel. Should you ever age a Dark Lord? Is it really just a decent beer? Are the variants worth it? The answers will probably not shock you. But we do our best to contribute to the conversation by talking about the changes to the fest itself, this year’s variants, and 3 Floyds’ place in local beer culture. There’s also some Goose Island talk, thoughts on the next era of beer, Josh’s day of karmic realignment, and the most Indiana story ever. Jud Jud.

Beers Reviewed:

Dark Lord (2012)

Dark Lord (2013)

Dark Lord (2014)

Dark Lord (2015)

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord (2015)

Jarring metal music transitions courtesy of the lineup for this year’s Dark Lord Day, which you can find here: http://www.darklordday.com/schedule/


Direct download: ABV_Chicago_118_Dark_Lord.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08am CDT