Category Archives: Full Episodes

HopCast Episode 181

Episode 181: The Bruery Cuir & Melange Number 3

Reaching into the cellar Brad pulled out a couple tasty beer for him and Ken to sample in episode 181 of the Hop Cast. This 14.50% ABV Old Ale from The Bruery made for their 3rd Anniversary, packs a punch. This beer was created by racking each anniversary beer on top of the remains from the previous year. The particular version Brad and Ken opened is 25% bourbon barrel aged. This is a beer to be shared with friends and if you do take it on alone you might not be standing afterwards. But 14.50% isn’t enough for the Hop Cast so Brad and Ken then reach for the 15.50% Melange Number 3. The Melange Number 3 is a blend of Black Tuesday, White Oak and Papier. Smelling heavily like whiskey, this beer is going to get you drunk. Sip this one and take your time. Both of these are big beers from The Bruery and after a year to two in the cellar are still hitting you with a lot of flavor.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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Hop Cast – Episode 164: Eugene, Weegene & Hugene

In episode 164 of the Hop Cast Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are at The Farmhouse bar in Chicago. They had a rare opportunity to sample Revolution Brewing’s Eugene, Weegene & Hugene outside of the brewery. Eugene is the standard robust porter that you’ll usually find on tap at the brewery. Hugene is a humungous Imperial Porter brewed using the first runnings of wort from a huge mash yielding the darkest and highest concentration of fermentable sugars. And finally Weegene is brewed using the 2nd runnings of wort after collecting the super concentrated liquid to brew the Hugene Imperial Porter.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

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Hop Cast – Episode 163: Farmhouse Chicago

In episode 163 of the Hop Cast Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are at The Farmhouse for the Revolution Brewery tap takeover event. The Farmhouse focuses on local midwest beers so the idea of a local brewery tap takeover is perfect. Robert Diaz joins the Hop Cast to talk about what The Farmhouse has been doing and what they have in store for the future. Along with live music and great eats, it makes for a fun event that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. The Farmhouse plans to do a tap takeover event every month with different local breweries so make sure to check one out in the future.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

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Hop Cast – Episode 161: Biere Au Nougat & Mikkeller Hoppy Lovin’ Christmas

In this holiday episode Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski have cozied up in front of the fire for a couple of tasty beers. The first beer they crack open in episode 161 is the Biere Au Nougat from Brasserie Bourganel. Biere Au Nougat lives up to its name in that you’re not going to miss the nougat. This beer is unusual and outside of the holidays might not go over that well with a lot of people. But if you’re in front of the fire with this 5% ABV beer surrounded by smells of holiday cookies in the house then this beer might just work for you. Ken and Brad switch things up after the Biere Au Nougat and go with a highly hopped ale. The Mikkeller Hoppy Lovin’ Christmas. This 7.6% ABV beer wasn’t overly sweet or brutally bitter, has a nice balance. This beer seems to have nothing to do with Christmas besides the name and could easily be right at home with all those summer IPAs.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

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Hop Cast – Episode 160: 4 Calling Birds & Fantome de Noel

The holidays are here and for episode 160 of the Hop Cast Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are sitting down in front of the tree for some liquid holiday cheer. The first beer they open up is the 4 Calling Birds, the latest holiday beer from The Bruery. This tasty Belgian Strong Dark Ale comes with a big ABV at 11.00% and should be shared with friends and family. The second beer they open up is the Fantome de Noel. This Saison also comes in with a big ABV, 10%. Unfortunately Brad and Ken picked off DMS in this beer so they weren’t really able to enjoy it but don’t let this discourage you from picking up a bottle from Fantome.

Instead of milk and cookies this year, why not leave Santa a delicious beer. Happy Holidays from the Hop Cast and thanks for watching.

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Hop Cast – Episode 159: Excelsior! ELEVENTH & Excelsior! TWELVE

In episode 159 Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder reach into the depths of the cellar to pull out another couple Anniversary beers. This time the two beers are both from Ithaca Beer Co. in Ithaca, NY. Brad and Ken weren’t that sure on the years that these two bottles were released, but since the thirteen was recently retired and likely the fourteenth is on the way that would put the Eleventh at coming out in 2009 and the twelve at 2010. The first one they opened was the Eleventh which was a malt beverage with coffee. The coffee used was locally roasted Sumatra coffee beans. After that little pickme up Brad and Ken crack open the Twelve, a 10% Quadrupel. If you are holding on to either of these beers in the cellar Brad and Ken would recommend opening them up now, they didn’t hold up that well for them. It’s a risk you always take when cellaring.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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Hop Cast – Episode 158: 5 Years Later & Bell’s 25th Anniversary Ale

In episode 158 Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder decide to open a couple Anniversary Ales. First up is a beer they got from Lee Williams, AKA Hoptopia. It’s the Captain Lawrence 5 Years Later Ale. Brewed with five different malts and five hop varieties; this deep, dark and hoppy 10% ABV ale is meant to be enjoyed with friends. Next up, they love on the Bell’s 25th Anniversary Ale. This strong 8.50% ABV amber ale carries on the Bell’s tradition of flavorful, balanced beers. Brewed with 100% Michigan-grown barley. Both Brad and Ken would recommend opening up this bottle if you have one in the cellar, it is tasting excellent.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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Hop Cast – Episode 157: FOBAB 2011

In episode 157 Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are at The Ninth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers. This festival is held once a year and if you’ve seen the last couple years episodes, you know how great it is. Ken and Brad had a blast this year! It was great to see so many people excited for craft beer. This years Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers featured over 170 beers from over 50 different breweries. Ken and Brad again attended both the day and night sessions, clocking in over 10 hours of drinking. The two of them took a few breaks from sampling these fine beers to talk with Hop Cast fan and craft beer lover; Mike Rybinski. As well as talking with brewer Mike Rybinski about his new project. They chatted with Steve Hamburg, the man in charge of making sure everyone has a chance to taste these rare beers and they even managed to grab a few minutes with the man behind this festival, Pete Crowley.

FOBAB continues to evolve and get better every year. Hope you enjoyed seeing the coverage from the event and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

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Hop Cast – Episode 156: Hoptacular

For the second time Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are at the Aragon Ballroom for the beer Hoptacular. In this episode Ken and Brad sample a ton of great beer and even find a few moments to talk with a few brewers / owners. They even wander into the midwest distillers room where they sample some fine local spirits. If you made it out to this years Hoptacular we hope you had a great time and if you missed it, be sure to keep your eye out for the next one.

Thank you for watching the Hop Cast.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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Hop Cast – Episode 151: Flossmoor Station Collaborative Evil & Beelzebeer

In episode 151 of the Hop Cast Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by Brad Stark . The three of them crack open two beers that were sitting in the cellar for a while. Both beers are from Flossmoor Station and were brewed by former head brewer Bryan Shimkos. Bryan is currently brewing at Half Acre and we personally look forward to seeing what he brings to the team there. While Bryan was at Flossmoor he brewed some fantastic limited edition beers. These are two of them. The first beer they open is the Collaborative Evil. The Collaborative Evil is a very interesting project. In 2008, three brewers decided to create a beer recipe and then brew it at their respective brewhouses. Then in 2009, six more breweries and brewers were brought in including Bryan from Flossmoor Station. The base style for this year is a Belgian-inspired Strong Pale. It was intended to get all the beers to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver so that they could be served at the same time under one roof. After tasting this deadly collaboration ale the three of them move on to the 11 % American Strong Ale called Beelzebeer Batch #666. With Halloween right around the corner it seemed like the perfect time to pull these devilish brews from the cellar.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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