If you like craft beer and support small-batch brewers in Illinois, here’s a campaign you might want to get behind.Call your state legislators and support “Save the Craft,” a campaign to revise the Liquor Control Act to make it easier for small, craft brewers to get their beers to the drinkers who want them. Bills are before the Illinois State House and Senate right now, and they need your support. Save the Craft is run by the fellows at GuysDrinkingBeer. They have been watching the progress of these bills for a while now, and they have decided to take action. The advocates behind Save the Craft are very clear about one thing – this is about competition, not subsidy. They simply want consumers to have access to all beers.

Hop Cast – Episode 129: Xoco

Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are at Xoco with Dan Jones talking local ingredients and local craft beer. Xoco is one of Rick Bayless’s restaurants and prides itself on providing that feeling you’d get if you were eating great Mexican street food. At Xoco you get to pair those great flavors with fine craft beer. Dan Jones wanted to make sure he picked a wide variety of local beers to work with all the flavors you can find in each dish at Xoco. If you’re in Chicago, make sure you check out Xoco for some tasty eats and excellent craft beer!

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Hop Cast – Episode 128: Drinking and Writing

Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are at Haymarket Pub & Brewery talking with Steve Mosqueda and Sean Benjamin about Drinking and Writing. Joining them on the Hop Cast is Jamie Budzick and head brewer at Haymarket, Pete Crowley. Steve and Sean created Drinking and Writing to preserve the spirit and devotion of the hard drinking writer and to uphold the rituals of their creativity and passion for the written word. Before Haymarket opened, Steve and Sean performed at pubs around the city. Pete offered them a home at Haymarket and now that they have a permanent location they have the freedom to do things they may not of been able to do before. Like having a special Christmas beer that Pete is brewing for their Christmas show in April. Drinking and Writing put on a great show and they are always changing so be sure to check out the Drinking and Writing website to see what they have coming up.

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Beer Of The Month – March

Last March we picked Three Floyds Brian Boru for the beer of the month. It’s such a phenomenal beer we really could have picked it again. But we know many of you can’t get Brian Boru so we wanted to pick another great Irish Red Ale that many more of you can find on the shelves. For the March 2011 beer of the month we have picked Great Lakes Conway’s Irish Ale. This is a medium bodied beer which makes it perfect to enjoy with your Irish dinner of corned beef and potatoes. It pours out a copper amber color with a light thin white head. A bready sweetness drifts from your glass with hints of nuts and caramel. When you first take a drink those roasted malts really fill your mouth. There is a small hop bite but it’s quickly covered up with sweetness. It finishes very clean which makes it a perfect dinner beer. You can take a sip to help wash that great meal down and not have something that is going to destroy your taste buds. It’s a very smooth beer to drink and with an ABV of just 6.5% it’s easy to knock a few back. This beer has a broad appeal and should please both the craft beer fans and non-craft beer lovers.

HopCast Episode 127

Episode 127: Two Brothers Bare Tree Weiss Wine

In episode 127 of the Hop Cast Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are joined by Steve Wyatt for a vertical tasting. The three of them take a look at the last four years of Two Brothers Bare Tree Weiss Wine; 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. It’s really interesting to see how this beer changes and evolves and its always nice to try different beer vintages side by side.

Again we are sorry about the audio issue and thank you for watching the Hop Cast.

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