Hop Cast – Episode 32

Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder raise their glasses to honor of friends Matt and Kristen in episode 32 of the Hop Cast. Matt and Kristen recently got married and Brad and Ken are opening up celebration beers in their honor. In this episode of the Hop Cast they sample and review Sweetwater Brewing’s Festive Ale and Port Brewing’s Santa’s Little Helper.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast and congratulations to Matt and Kristen.

Download the Podcast (236.5 MB).

Hop Cast – Episode 31

In episode 31 of the Hop Cast Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by Mitchell & Don Radlund. In this episode the four of them sample and review two bourbon barrel beers from Kentucky.The first beer the four of them review is the Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel from Bluegrass Brewing. They follow the Bluegrass Brewing up with an Imperial Stout from the recently closed Browning’s Brewery.

Download the Podcast (265.8 MB).

We Live In Public

Recently Ondi Timoner went on G4 to talk about her Sundance Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize winning documentary “We Live In Public.” The film focuses on Josh Harris and the internet. There is a graphic featuring how you can customize your MySpace page, in that animation the Hop Cast is featured and you see Ken and I holding up a couple of beers outside. The episode used is the Hair Of The Dog Special. Look for the animation around 1:00 minute in and then again at about 5:10.


Hop Cast – Episode 30

For episode 30 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are doing something a little different. The two of them  are brewing beer and showing how it’s done. The recipe they used is for a Blood Orange Hefeweizen from Sam Calagione’s book Extreme Brewing. So join Brad and Ken as the two of them take you through boiling the water to chilling the wort, on to fermentation and finally the culmination… the tasting. Hopefully you learn something about home brewing and perhaps it will spark your interest to do it yourself. If you’re not interested in learning about the home brewing process there is also a video of just the  tasting of the Blood Orange hefeweizen posted as well as the full episode.  For the tasting Brad and Ken are joined by Stephen FreshnockBrian McCauley and Charlie Drews.

Download the Podcast (359.1 MB).

Since this episode is a long one, here is a version of only the tasting of the Blood Orange Hefeweizen with Stephen Freshnock, Brian McCauley and Charlie Drews.

Night of the Living Ales

Saturday March 7th marked the annual Night of the Living Ales festival at the Goose Island Wrigleyville location in conjunction with the Chicago Beer Society .  The festival involves cask/real ales from many local breweries as well as others from around the country.  This is one of my favorite events of the year.  There were quite a few standouts this year including last years’ winner, Surly Tea-Bagged Furious.

Much hype surrounded the premier of Popskull , a collaboration between Three Floyds and Dogfish Head.  This brown ale was aged on the famous Palo Santo Wood and will also be available at Dark Lord Day according to rumors.  Goose Island also had quite a showing with their Madam Rose(Kriek), Bourbon Sherry Beer, and Saison Le Chance. 

There were some great IPA’s tapped that night and the Hop Cast wouldn’t have it any other way!  Rock Bottom Chicago impressed with their Neil Diamond IPA and Flossmoor Station’s Ore Gone IPA was wonderful as well.

Rock Bottom Orland Park brought their experimental ShamRock Stout.  Looking at the name, I was hoping it was a take on the delicious Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s.  They didn’t disappoint!!  This mint stout was delicious and would probably make a damn fine beer float.

Overall this was a fantastic event, especially since this was the first year that they split into two sessions.  I would certainly say this was a success because the crowd was much more maneuverable than years past.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience so many great craft beers.  Don’t miss it next year!!

Goose Island’s Night Stalker

Ken and I were at the Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub for the release of Night Stalker and the monthly beer swap. The Night Stalker is part of Goose Islands new Fulton Wood Series coming in at an ABV of 11.7% and 60 IBU’s. If you’re a fan of the famous Bourbon County Stout then the Night Stalker is something you’re going to want to check out. Next to the Night Stalker tap they also had Summertime as well, which is a solid beer but nothing amazing. But what was very interesting was they were doing blends of the NNight Stalker and the Summertime. The blend was super interesting and made the already drinkable Night Stalker even more so. Since the Night Stalker was being released, the beer swaps theme was porters and stouts; the idea was that you bring a stout or porter to share. A huge stand out of the night was the Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter someone brought to share. Overall this past Thursday’s beer swap was a blast. Shout outs to all the great people we had a chance to chat with including Jonathan Surratt of Draft Magazine & beermapping.com, P.J. Fisher the event coordinator at Goose Island and Randy Mosher. See everyone at the next event.

HopCast Episode 29

Episode 29: Pliny The Elder & C-Note

In episode 29 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are joined by Shannon DeWolfe for yet another IPA episode. In this episode the three of them sample and review Russian River Brewing’s Pliny The Elder and New Old Lompoc’s C-Note.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

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