Bike The Breweries


Join Brad and Ken as they bike 16.5 miles and try and stop at 10 of the Chicago brewpubs and breweries. All locations are not yet confirmed and depending on operation hours, stops may not be made. Either way it should be a fun ride. At each stop we are allowing 30 – 45 minutes for beer, water or snacks Be sure to bring extra bike tubes and tools in case you run into any flats on the way.

Due to the overwhelming response for the Bike The Breweries event on Facebook we had to limit the amount of people who can attend. We really appreciate the positive response from everyone on this event but we need to limit this event. There are a few reason we had to limit the amount of people, first and foremost it was a safety concern, with such a large group of people biking together we wanted to make sure no one gets hurt. Second there is no way we can show up to a bar or brewery with 100 people or find enough places for everyone to lock up their bikes at each location. Finally due to the tight schedule we are on if we have to wait for 100 people to get a beer then we don’t think the event will be very fun for everyone or would we be able to stick to a schedule. If you have confirmed on Facebook be sure to confirm on the new twtvite page, spaces are limited so if you don’t think you’ll make it please do not confirm. Also Brad is working on getting some shirt printed and we will have them for sale for $7.00 each. What better way to remember the ride then with a great shirt.

HopCast Episode 114

Episode 114: Pumpkinfest & Painted Ladies Pumpkin

Some beers are better aged and some just don’t hold up… In episode 114 of the Hop Cast Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski take a look at a couple pumpkin beers that Ken has aged. Now Ken didn’t plan to age these beers, it just happened that they didn’t get drunk last fall and rather then opening them out of season Ken figured he’d hold onto them until this year. We know you guys love our Halloween themed episodes and we couldn’t skip the chance to review some new pumpkin beers. The first beer thats opened is the Pumpkinfest from Terrapin which is really a lager and therefore doesn’t technically belong in the pumpkin ale category. You may remember the Terrapin episode of the Hop Cast from earlier this year during the Hop Cast road trip. Ken and Brad stopped off at the Terrapin Beer Company and interviewed Spike the brewer. Terrapin is doing some exciting things over there; including this beer. Pumpkinfest was once just a Side Project, but it has now turned into a Fall seasonal that is available in six-packs. After the Pumpkinfest the next beer they open is the Tyranena Painted Ladies Pumpkin Spice Ale. Unfortunately this 7.5 % ABV Pumpkin Ale didn’t hold up that well to aging which was a disappointment since its an excellent beer fresh. With all these great pumpkin beers on the shelves right now, be sure to pick up a few and enjoy them now because you never know how well they will age.

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Hop Cast – Episode 113: McNeill’s Brewery ESB & Champ Ale

In episode 113 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are drinking a couple of low alcohol beers from McNeill’s Brewery in Vermont. Both of these beers were brought back to Chicago by Nik Madalinski, who wanted to be on the show to share the beers himself but he had to head off to Japan. Big thanks to Nik for bringing back a nice lineup of beers to try from McNeill’s Brewery. The first beer Brad and Ken open up is a style not often featured on the Hop Cast; an Extra Special Bitter. They follow up the ESB with the McNeill’s Champ Ale, a west coast pale. McNeill’s Champ Ale is a very well rounded beer that is perfect for spending an easy day drinking with friends. If you live near McNeill’s Brewery, it’s likely you already know how great these beers are but for everyone else, be sure to try and get your hands on a bottle or two when you have a chance.

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I am a Craft Beer Drinker

I am a Craft Beer Drinker .. I love Craft Beer .. I am passionate about what I drink.

If these sentiments ring true, then this video was made for you. Inspired by the amazing “I am a Craft Brewer” this video represents craft beer drinkers from all over the US who won’t settle for the lowest common denominator beers.

It pays homage to all the amazing craft brewers who have provided us with choice, and are blazing trails in the beer world.

The 6th Burger & Beer Pairing Event At SmallBar


The sixth 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 Back to School Burger with Shredded Mozzarella, pepperoni, and giardinara which will be paired with the Sunner Kolsch. Once Again one burger and beer pairing wasn’t enough for this event. Man B Que also has their Avoiding Arizon Burger with Chorizo, green pepper, cilantro, garlic, chihuahua cheese, topped with avacado, sour cream, lime zest, and garlic which is paired with Three Floyds Gumballhead. The beer brains at Hop Cast and SmallBar hand picked both of these beers for a perfect meat and beer combination.

Stop by September 23rd from 7:00 – 9:00 PM, and bring your friends! $15 gets you all you can eat sliders and endless glasses of the two featured beers. Limited to the first fifty people. So be sure to get there early.

Hop Cast – Episode 112: DuClaw Devils Milk & Bigfoot Barleywine

Brad Stark joins Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski in episode 112 of the Hop Cast. The three of them finish off the night with a couple delicious barelywines. The first one that they open is the 10.6% ABV Devil’s Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company. They then follow up the Devil’s Milk with maybe the most well recognized barleywine, the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. Coming in at 9.6% ABV and available in six packs this is a beer not to be taken lightly. Make sure you share those barleywines with friends because at 10 % and up they can get dangerous if you are drinking alone.

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Beer Of The Month – September


Here in the midwest the weather has quickly turned on us. Summer already seems like a distant memory as everyone is walking about in sweatshirts and in some cases jackets. That’s why for the September beer of the month we have picked The Bitter End Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing. This also seemed fitting since we recently took a 70 mile bike ride to and from Two Brothers last month. The Bitter End is a 5.10 % ABV American Pale that drinks effortlessly.

It pours out with a slight amber color with great clarity. A nice small half finger of white foamy head sits on top leaving a little bit of lacing on the glass. The soft and floral aroma of caramel and piney hops drift from the glass. Well balanced all around. These same piney hops and carmel come through in the taste as well as orange and lemon zest flavors. Nothing crazy complex going on here, it’s just a nice session beer. As all the big stouts start hitting the shelves of your local liquor store, this makes for an easy night of drinking with friends around a bonfire. Leaning more on the malts then the hops, it carries some great flavors to help take the fall chill out of you.

A Look At Haymarket Pub & Brewery – #4

Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are back at Haymarket Pub & Brewery for the fourth look at the progress of the construction. Pete Crowley and John Neurauter go over what has been accomplished since we last stopped in. Walls are going up and the brewing equipment is on the way. It’s only a matter of time before the beer starts flowing. Ken and Brad will continue to stop by over the next few months to see how the space is transformed into what should be a great Chicago brewery and brewpub.

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