HopCast Episode 270

Episode 270: Mountain Livin’ Pale Ale & Brickstone Pale Ale

Welcome to the Hop Cast, where Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder share their love of craft beer with the world.

On episode 270 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder reach for a couple cans of Pale Ales. The first can the guys open up is Mountain Livin’ Pale Ale from the Crazy Mountain Brewing Company. This 6.0% ABV American Pale Ale isn’t what many of us have grown to expect from our Pale Ales lately. Typically they are aggressively hopped but the Mountain Livin’ Pale Ale isn’t that crazy. Instead this beer is very light and sweet. Following up this Colorado Pale Ale the guys move onto an APA from a local brewery. The BrickStone Restaurant & Brewery’s Pale Ale does have that punch of hops that many of us have come to expect from our APAs. Coming in at 6.25 % ABV this beer is very easy to drink and before you know it, you’re already onto your second can. Over the years BrickStone has been making some great beers and winning a number of awards, it’s one of the places that is worth a visit if you’re looking for something outside Chicago.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (758.4 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 269

Episode 269: Citra Ass Down & Big Hundo IPA

Welcome to the Hop Cast, where Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder share their love of craft beer with the world.

On episode 269 of the Hop CastBrad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder reach for a couple big cans of IPAs. The first one the guys crack is the Citra Ass Down from Against The Grain BreweryBrad and Ken have had a number of Against The Grain Brewery beers on the Hop Cast over the years and they are always fantastic. This double IPA coming in at 8.20 % ABV doesn’t disappoint. This is a very hop forward American style IPA. Brewed with Pale, Vienna, Munich and wheat malt for a solid base for all American hops, focusing mainly on the variety “Citra.” Following up this the guys move onto the Big Hundo IPA from Magic Hat Brewing. Many people only know Magic Hat Brewing as the #9 brewery but they have always made some other very solid beers. The Big Hundo IPA is a 9.0 % ABV double IPA, the name comes from the IBUS which clock in at 100. For being 100 IBU’s, this beers isn’t only bitter to be bitter and is balanced fairly well.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (335.2 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 268

Episode 268: Free State Brewing Co. Stormchaser & Cloud Hopper

Welcome to the Hop Cast, where Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder share their love of craft beer with the world.

On episode 268 of the Hop CastBrad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder open a couple of beers from the Lawrence, Kansas brewery, Free State Brewing Co. It’s not that often we see beers from Kansas although there are some great breweries out that way like Tallgrass Brewing, Boulevard Brewing Co. and Free State Brewing Co. On this episode the guys have two different IPAs they are giving a try. The first beer they dive into is the Stormchaser IPA, a summer seasonal IPA coming in at 59 IBUs. This beer is crisp, juicy and wonderfully balanced. Following up the StormchaserBrad and Ken open up the Cloud Hopper an Imperial IPA coming in at 9.2 % ABV, watch out! This robust beer boldly combines three highly potent American hop varieties: Columbus, Chinook and Cascade. Hops, Hops and more hops! A decent DIPA that’s worth trying if you’re looking for something a little bigger than the Stormchaser.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (758.4 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 267

Episode 267: Don de Dieu & Straffe Drieling

Welcome to the Hop Cast, where Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder share their love of craft beer with the world.

On episode 267 of the Hop CastBrad and Ken open a couple large format beers that are brewed with spices. Kicking if off they start with the Don de Dieu from UnibroueDon de Dieu is a 9.0 % ABV Belgian Strong Ale and was named after the explorer Samuel de Champlain who arrived on the ship Don de Dieu, or “Gift of God” to found Quebec in 1608. It’s always nice to learn a little bit of history with our beer. After tasting the Don de Dieu, the the guys then move onto Logsdon Brewing’s Straffe Drieling. This 8.8 % ABV Tripel is characterized by complex yet mildly spicy character from the compliment of traditional spices. If you’ve been watching the Hop Cast for awhile you probably already know that Brad and Ken are big fans of Logsdon and try to pick up bottles whenever they can.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (657.4 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

7 Year Anniversary Of The Hop Cast

This month marks the 7th year of the Hop Cast. It’s hard to believe that Ken Hunnemeder and I have kept this show going for this long. Although we’ve slowed down with our episodes, mostly due to life just being busier than it was in 2008, we still try to give everyone a couple new episodes a month. Beer brings people together and The Hop Cast has continued to be something we do that allows Ken, Maeve and myself to get together and have fun. All the episodes are unscripted, you never know what could happen or what might be said.

After 7 years, we’ve released 245 episodes and have met a countless number of friends through producing the show. I’ve learned a ton about beer, probably more than I truthfully need to know for someone who doesn’t work in the beer industry. At this point, I think we may be the longest running video beer podcast out there, if not please let me know who has us beat. In the last seven years the craft beer landscape has changed so much in Chicago and in the country. Its been truly incredible to watch this growth and to help promote it in the best way we know how. To turn on a camera, drink and hang out.

Thank you to everyone who’s been watching, listening and supporting what we do. It’s been an amazing ride and I can’t even picture what the craft beer scene is going to look like as we move forward. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher and leave us a review, if you can.

Unfortunately, we didn’t shoot a special episode celebrating the 7 years or put on a killer event. We always talk about how we should throw an anniversary bash but since this is just one of the things we do for fun, we never seem to get it together in time. Maybe we’ll put on a sweet party for our ten year anniversary.

For the 5 year anniversary post, I shared a few of my favorite episodes, which was tough to figure out because there have been so many good ones.

This year I want to go back and watch episode 165 from February 10th, 2012. This was just an informal chat with Pete Crowley about cellaring beer. It wasn’t a typical Hop Cast but it was a pretty interesting conversation to have with a brewer who has likely contributed more to the Chicago beer scene in the last 15 years than anyone else.

Cheers and thanks for watching The Hop Cast!

HopCast Episode 266

Episode 266: Grunion Pale Ale & Mazzie

Welcome to the Hop Cast, where Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder share their love of craft beer with the world.

On episode 266 of the Hop CastBrad and Ken crack open a couple easy drinking Pale Ales. The first one they dive into is a local one from Pollyanna Brewing Company, the Mazzie. This 5.40% Pale was named after Mazzie’s Place, which once was one of Lemont’s go-to establishments for liquor, gambling, and female “companionship. Following up the Mazzie, the guys open up the Grunion. This 5.5 % ABV Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company is brewed with with Calypso and Mosaic hops. During the summer it’s hard to go wrong with an easy drinking Pale Ale.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (396.5 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 265

Episode 265: Tallgrass Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat & Jarrett Payton All-American Wheat Ale

Welcome to the Hop Cast, where Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder share their love of craft beer with the world.

On episode 265 of the Hop CastBrad and Ken crack open a couple Wheat beers. The first one they dive into is a local one from Argus Brewery, the Jarrett Payton All-American Wheat Ale. Unsure how much Jarrett Payton was involved in the making of this tasty beer but it’s very likely people are picking it up based on name recognition. Next up, the guys open the 5.0 % ABV Halcyon Wheat from Tallgrass Brewing Company.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (502.8 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 264

Episode 264: Berghoff DortWunder Lager & Winter Ale

Welcome to the Hop Cast, where Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder share their love of craft beer with the world.

On episode 264 of the Hop CastBrad and Ken picked up a mix pack of Berghoff Brewery beers. This mix pack was perhaps a little old and on the shelf awhile since one of these beers was a Winter beer. The first beer the guys dive into is the DortWunder Lager, a 5.5% ABV Dortmunder Lager. Being a tad passed its prime, this one still felt like a solid beer. Although it was a bit old the guys could still tell this is something that would be good on a warm summer day and is probably pretty tasty when fresh. Next up, just in time for the summer is the 7% ABV Winter Ale. Drinking this Winter Ale was surprisingly better than you’d think it would be in June. Let this be a lesson to you, make sure to take a look at dates on beers or packages if it’s possible before purchase.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (619.1 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 263

Episode 263: Fulton St. Blend & Big Red Tugboat

Welcome to the Hop Cast, where Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder share their love of craft beer with the world. In episode 263 Brad and Ken are looking for a little pick me up with their beers.

The first beer the guys open is the the newest offerings from Goose Island Beer Company. Their Fulton St. Blend, a coffee Ale aged with House Blend beans from Intelligentsia. Coming in at 5.5 % ABV this is extremely light but packs a ton of flavor. If you can find this beer it’s definitely worth picking up and giving a try. Following up the Goose Island Fulton St. Blend, Brad and Ken open a sort of mystery beer… the Big Red Tugboat, an American IPA with Tugboat Coffee. There was very little information about this beer on the internet but it looks like it was a collaboration beer with Tugboat Coffee and Ram Brewery.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (541.4 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 262

Episode 262: Lord Rear Admiral & Arcade Brewery Final Level

Welcome to the Hop Cast, where Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder share their love of craft beer with the world. In episode 262 Brad and Ken dive into two different Midwest Extra Special Bitters. First up is from the behemoth that is 3 Floyds Brewing; it’s their 6.5% ABV Lord Rear Admiral. Shocking enough this isn’t crazy hopped up, something you would typically  see from Three Floyds in many of their beers.Brad and Ken follow up the Lord Rear Admiral with the 6.3% ABV Final Level from Arcade Brewery. It’s great to compare these two beers; one from a brewery that has been around for years and the other from a newer brewery in Chicago. Plus, its fantastic to see a couple ESBs on the shelves next to all those IPAs.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (582.9 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.


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