ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

For our brief, annual sabbatical, we drink ten different craft sodas while recapping our experience at this year’s Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers. We attempt to review the sodas, with five produced locally, but spend a lot of time reliving our favorite FoBAB moments. Our highlights include beers from Perennial, Off Color, 2nd Shift, Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub, Spiteful, Brickstone, The Lost Abbey, Metropolitan, Moody Tongue, August Schell, Half Acre, Temperance, Hardywood, and more. But there’s a lot of craft soda information packed in here too, and you’ll learn why we’re so grateful for Prohibition. We also work on Craig’s arts-and-crafts-based standup routine. Come for the FoBAB, stay for the sodas, leave with a gut full of sugar.


FoBAB Moments:


(00:11:30 - 00:18:18) Overall festival talk: organization, glassware gripes, expedited lines, strip club music, and more.

(00:26:20 - 00:32:27) Ryan’s top five beers of FoBAB, plus a drunk volunteer story

(00:34:44 - 00:38:22) Craig’s top five beers of FoBAB

(00:42:10 - 00:50:16) Other beer highlights

(00:54:29 - 00:59:19), (01:00:38 - 01:04:14) The beer lowlights

(01:06:59 - 01:11:02) What we missed

(01:14:12 - 01:15:45) Ranking previous FoBABs

Craft Sodas Reviewed:


WBC Chicago-Style Root Beer

Virgil’s Black Cherry Cream Soda

Green River

Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola

Deadworld Slow Decay Vanilla Root Beer

Cicero Beverage Co. Salted Caramel Root Beer

Berghoff Orange

Sioux City Orange Cream

Filbert’s Strawberry

Boylan Creamy Red Birch Beer

Direct download: ABV_Chicago_96_FoBAB_Sodas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm CDT

On Craig’s day off, he went due south to central and southern Illinois to check out their burgeoning beer scene. He brought back five beers for us to review, and we’re all over them like Abe Lincoln on a steamin’ stack of corn cakes. Amidst the beer talk, we touch on such provincial topics as adhesive, hand growlering, the Kennedys, spray shields, penguin movies, Charleston Chews, service ducks, and Paul Walker. And stay tuned to the end when we pay tribute to the late Jonathan Taylor Thomas. We’re never getting out of this one-stoplight town.


  1. Brickstone Brewery APA
  2. Rolling Meadows Brewery Lincoln Lager
  3. JT Walker’s Barrel Series #2
  4. Triptych Brewing You Don’t Win Friends with Sours #004
  5. Big Muddy Brewing Vanilla Stout


  1. JT Walker’s Barrel Series #2
  2. Brickstone Brewery APA
  3. Triptych Brewing You Don’t Win Friends with Sours #004
  4. Rolling Meadows Brewery Lincoln Lager
  5. Big Muddy Brewing Vanilla Stout


Direct download: ABV_Chicago_95_The_Other_Illinois.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm CDT

Man, it’s a hot one. We try five West Coast beers that have started popping up on Chicagoland shelves to determine if they’re worth your all-important dollar with our arbitrary reviews. Learn about these new entries to the Chicago market while we pay tribute to a song that defined a generation. Plus, we rant about beer pricing, brewery buyouts, the Better Business Bureau, the Rule 34 of beer, doing the Haka, and using “Mambo #5” for terrorism. We’ll be your Drunken Holiday Uncle. Or else forget about it.


  1. Cascade Kriek (2013)
  2. Logsdon Seizoen Bretta
  3. Almanac Wakatu Sour
  4. AleSmith Anvil ESB
  5. Alpine Hoppy Birthday Session IPA


  1. Logsdon Seizoen Bretta
  2. Cascade Kriek (2013)
  3. Almanac Wakatu Sour
  4. AleSmith Anvil ESB
  5. Alpine Hoppy Birthday Session IPA
Direct download: ABV_Chicago_94_West_Coast_Shelf.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:43am CDT

Listener Keef Debonzo sent us a box of treats from Wicked Weed Brewing, and we sat down on Halloween night to taste ‘em. We’re downright giddy to find out that this Asheville brewery is doing just about everything right. To add to the wickedness of this show, we play our favorite game, Beers Against Humanity, and it elicits talk about Cialis, Nickelback, orgies, Def Leppard, and more. We also talk craft beer Halloween costumes, shelf life on hoppy beers, herbaciousness, and naming your brewery. Check out Keef’s band The Debonzo Brothers on their website and iTunes!


  1. Black Angel Cherry Sour
  2. Freak of Nature Double IPA
  3. Pernicious IPA
  4. Oblivion Sour Red (w/blackberries and dates)
  5. Silencio Dark Sour (w/coffee and vanilla bean)


  1. Black Angel Cherry Sour
  2. Pernicious IPA
  3. Oblivion Sour Red (w/blackberries and dates)
  4. Silencio Dark Sour (w/coffee and vanilla bean)
  5. Freak of Nature Double IPA


Direct download: ABV_Chicago_93_Wicked_Weed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:37am CDT