Hop Cast – Episode 53

Scott Pellman joins Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder for episode 53 of the Hop Cast. The first beer that the three of them review and sample is the Island Red from Roots Organic Brewery in Portland, OR. The Island Red is an organic beer and something fans of Fat Tire should be able to enjoy. Brad and Ken haven’t had the best luck with organic beers but this one is a decent one. They follow up the Island Red with the Stone 13th Anniversary Ale from one of their favorite breweries out in California, Stone Brewing. The Stone 13th Anniversary Ale was released on June 29th, 2009 and was only bottled once. It has an abv of 9.5%. So grab one of your favorite beers, organic or not and sit back and watch. Thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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Hop Cast – Episode 52

For episode 52 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by Scott Pellman at the Daily Planet ltd office. In this episode Ken and Brad decide to go with what they love, a couple of IPAs. The first beer the three of them sample is the Flossmoor “Rye”m & Reason from new head brewer Bryan Shimkos. The Flossmoor “Rye”m & Reason is an American IPA and has an ABV of 7.5%. The second IPA they dive into is the AleSmith IPA. Ken was lucky enough to pick this up at Vintage Estate Wine and Beer on his recent trip to Youngstown, Ohio. The AleSmith IPA comes in at 7.25% ABV. As always the Hop Cast brings it with a couple solid IPAs. Thanks for watching the Hop Cast and stay tuned for even more great episodes.

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Hop Cast – Episode 51

In Episode 51 Nick Campbell joins Hop Cast hosts Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder for a couple exotic beers. Both beers they sample and review in episode 51 have some unusual ingredients you don’t usually see in beer. The first beer the three of them try is the ginger pale ale from Trade Route Brewing. Trade Route Brewing used be called Laughing Buddha, so if you have a bottle, it may say Trade Route or Laughing Buddha, don’t worry it’s the same beer. As you can guess from the name the ginger pale ale is brewed with ginger and it comes in with an ABV of 5.0%. They follow that up with the Sah’tea which is the latest bottle release from Dogfish Head. Both Brad and Ken were extremely excited to try this one and were happy it lived up to the hype. The Sah’tea is brewed with juniper berries foraged directly from the Finnish country-side and comes in at 9.0% ABV.

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One Year Anniversary Of The Hop Cast

It was back in August 2008, just one year a ago that the Hop Cast lauched. It is hard to believe but Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are pleased to announce that the Hop Cast is celebrating its one year anniversary. It seems like just yesterday that Brad and Ken shot that first episode on the roof drinking a Goose Island’s Hopscotch Ale and Lagunitas Sirius. Throughout the year the Hop Cast has been to great places, tried some really interesting beers and met some fabulous people. Unfortunately the Hop Cast didn’t shoot a special episode, but we would like to thank everyone that has contributed to the show and thank everyone who has been watching. In the past year of doing the craft beer video podcast Brad and Ken recorded 50 episodes, 15 specials and did 11 mobile episodes and interviews. In the future you can see the Hop Cast drinking and reviewing even more beer, interviewing more brewers and visting even more breweries across the country. If you would like to be on the Hop Cast or have a beer you recommend, send Brad or Ken an email they would love to hear from you. The Hop Cast is available on iTunes for all video iPods and iPhone users and can also be watched in HD on Vimeo and Facebook.

Since it has been a year and Brad and Ken didn’t shoot a Hop Cast anniversary episode we would like to share a few of the favorite episodes with you again in case you missed them.

HopCast Episode 50

Episode 50: Brabant & Beatification

The Hop Cast gets sour and silly for episode 50. In this episode Charlie Drews joins Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski for a couple american wild ales. The first beer they sample and review Ken enjoyed previously when the Hop Cast was at the Publican. It is the Brabant from Avery Brewing. This murky dark brown wild ale comes in at 8.65 % ABV. They follow the Brabant up with the Beatification from Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, California. Wild ales are known to be sour and the Beatification is like a sour punch in the face. Special thanks goes to the guys from Suds Or Duds for the Beatification, it was a treat to finally try it. But be warned sour beers can take some time to get into, but just like hops when you start enjoying the taste, you wont be able to get enough.

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Beer Of The Month – August

Metropolitan Flywheel

The taste of that Little Sumpin’s Sumpin’ Ale is still fresh on the lips of Brad and Ken. But with the month of August already underway the Hop Cast wanted to pick out a new beer to declare their pick of the month. Once again this month the Hop Cast is staying local and picking another Chicago brewery. This time the honor goes to the Flywheel Bright Lager from Metropolitan Brewing. Now I know this might sound strange that a couple hop heads like Brad and Ken choose a lager as the beer of the month but this lager is something special. The Flywheel pours out a light yellow that is almost crystal clear with a one to two finger white head that lingers for awhile. The aroma is light and clean with a little pine and a touch of hops and some sweet malts. There isn’t anything offensive here, you just know that you are about to drink something refreshing. The first sips are dry and crisp with some lovely sweet malts that leave you wanting even more. In the end you get a very light hop hit to cut the sweet and finally it finishes smooth and clean. There is just little you can say is wrong with this one. It is very well rounded and quenches that thirst you might of had. This awesome session beer comes in at 5.0% ABV with 45 IBUs.  Metropolitan Brewing and the Flywheel won best session beer at Midsummer Day’s Ale this past weekend at Murphy’s Blechers. I’m sorry to our out of Chicago audience but this isn’t going to be available at your local liquor store. If you talk with Brad and Ken, I’m sure they would be interested in trading you some.

Hop Cast – Yelp Summerfest (Mobile Special)

Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder at Yelp Summerfest

This past Friday was the 2009 Yelp Summerfest at the Irish American Heritage Center in Irving Park. Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder made it out to the event to represent the Hop Cast and to enjoy some of the free food and beer. Some of the breweries at the event were Metropolitan, Goose Island, Half Acre, Two Brothers, Harpoon and Magic Hat. Since there were going to be a few local breweries at the event Brad and Ken figured this was a chance to do a few interviews with some more people. When Brad and Ken first got there the first beer they went for was the Metropolitan Flywheel, it seemed like a perfect refreshing way to start of the evening. The plan was to interview a few brewers and see what was happening in the craft beer world. But unfortunately everyone who was pouring the beer was extremely busy all night and didn’t have a chance to talk with the Hop Cast. With 900 + people at the event there were just too many thirsty people. But Brad and Ken did run into Courtney Baldy who is the pastry chef at Three Floyds. Courtney gave a little insight into her love of desert and beer and the kind of things she is doing at Three Floyds. Over all the Yelp event was great. The beers were excellent, especially the Metropolitan Flywheel and the Half Acre Daisy Cutter. There could of been more food since they did almost ran out of pizza at one point. If you have a chance to make it to one of the yelp events do it!

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