Hop Cast – Episode 103: Hoptacular

For Episode 103 of the Hop Cast, 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. Including Wild Onion, Flossmoor Station, Limestone Brewing, and America’s Brewing. They also talk with Nick Paul who is creating some really great glassware out of the empty beer bottles. If you made it out to this years Hoptacular we hope you have 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.

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Hop Cast – Episode 102: Zane Lamprey & Drinking Made Easy

In episode 102 Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are at the House Of Blues in Chicago to see Zane Lamprey’s comedy show Drinking Made Easy. Zane Lamprey is also the host of the show Three Sheets which recently was picked up by the Travel Channel. Ken and Brad had the opportunity to sit down with Zane and Steve McKenna and ask them some questions about beer and the show. Both Ken and Brad were big fans of Zane’s show Three Sheets before they started the Hop Cast and if you haven’t seen the show head over to Hulu because many of the episodes can be seen there.

Thank you for watching the Hop Cast!

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The 4th Burger & Beer Pairing Event At SmallBar

The fourth installment of the Man B Que / Hop Cast / SmallBar burger and beer pairing is right around the corner.

This month, the grilling geeks from Man B Que dig into their recipe arsenal and come up with The Godfather’s Falambucci which will be paired with the 3 Floyds Alpha King. Again one burger and beer pairing wasn’t enough for this event. Man B Que also has their Zorba burger topped w/ a lemon, truffle feta spread, olives and lots of cracked black pepper which is paired with New Holland Golden Cap. The beer brains at Hop Cast and SmallBar hand picked both of these beers for a perfect meat and beer combination.

$15 gets you all you can eat sliders and endless glasses of the two featured beers.

Stop by June 24th at 7:00 PM, and bring your friends!

Hop Cast – Episode 101

With 100 episodes behind Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder they decide to open up a couple of their favorite summer beers in episode 101. With them on this Pilsener journey is special guest Austin Harvery. The first beer they dive into is one Ken had on tap at his apartment. The Victory Prima Pils. Both Brad and Ken love this beer and if you didn’t notice it was the Hop Cast May beer of the month pick. After this hopped up Pilsener the three of them open up a can of Mama’s Little Yella Pils from Oskar Blues. Another outstanding Pilsener and another great canned beer from Oskar Blues.

Thank you for watching the Hop Cast!

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A Look At Haymarket Pub & Brewery – #3

Brad Chmielewski is back at Haymarket Pub & Brewery with Pete Crowley and John Neurauter. They are just about ready for the concrete to be poured and are currently ahead of schedule with construction. Haymarket Pub & Brewery is on a good track to be opening towards the end of the summer. Stay tuned here for more updates as they happen.

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HopCast Episode 100

Hop Cast – Episode 100

Brad Chmielewski & Ken Hunnemeder celebrate a huge milestone for the Hop Cast, the 100th Episode. For this celebration Dave Piepenbrink joins Brad & Ken with a bottle of 2007 Samuel Adams Utopias. This beer comes in with an ABV of about 25% and is packaged in a copper-finished kettle designed to resemble those used in the brewing process.

Thank You for watching the Hop Cast!

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Beer Of The Month – June


Grab those cans and head out to the beach, the woods or whatever happens to be your outdoor activity of choice. For easy portability the Hop Cast recommends drinking a can of beer. One of the canned staples that Brad and Ken count on is the Modus Hoperandi from Ska Brewing. Many great afternoons & evenings outside have been had enjoying this fine can and you should pick some up for outdoor activities

If happen to pour your can of Modus Hoperandi into a glass you’ll see an amber, orange beer with some great clarity with a small thin white head that leaves some sticky lacing behind. The citrus aromas from the hops hit you hard. Grass, grapefruit and earth with a a mild malt backbone. That fresh piney smell is just too hard to resist. All of those hops you were getting in the aroma come right at you in the taste. Strong chewy malts with the very fresh and dry hops that linger for a good long while. The sweetness helps balance it all out for a well rounded can of deliciousness. At 6.8 % ABV this beer makes it a tad high to put away a bunch of them without feeling the effects, but it’s just too good to drink just one. Don’t snooze on this beer just because its in a can.

Hop Cast – Episode 99

With one episode away from episode 100  Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski celebrate episode 99 of the Hop Cast with Mars Sanford. In this episode the three of  them continue the fruit theme featured in episode 98 and open up the 21st Anniversary Belgian Strong Ale Brewed with Old Vine Zinfandel Grape Juice from Karl Strauss Breweries. Both Ken and Brad were not that familiar with Karl Strauss but there is a good chance that after 21 years the folks in San Diego may know them well. This Belgian Strong Dark Ale comes in with an ABV of 10.4 %. They then follow up the Karl Strauss with another Belgian Strong Dark Ale from the other side of the United States, the N’or Easter from Captain Lawrence. Captain Lawrence is out of New York and has been putting out one great beer after another. The N’or Easter was a trade sent from beer reviewer Hoptopia. Continuing with the beer theme, the N’or Easter features elderberries… not a berry that Ken or Brad are familiar with. Even with such a unique berry the 11% ABV N’or Easter didn’t disappoint. Belgian Strong Dark Ales might not be something you usually reach for in the summer but on a mild night they are often very refreshing.

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