Tag Archives: Beer Of The Month


Beer Of The Month – April

Sometimes you just need a beer that you can drink all day without passing out in the gutter somewhere. A great session beer for a day at the park or grilling out in the backyard. These are often the beers we reach for as the weather warms up and we know we have a long day ahead. That’s why for April we have picked Founder’s All Day IPA as the beer of the month. The All Day IPA is one of the newest bottled beers from Founder’s and is a welcome addition to their line up. Although KBS is tasty, one is all you really need but with the All Day IPA, you just can’t help but have another. When you pour out the All Day IPA you get a lovely golden yellow color with about one finger of head. The fruity hops aroma drifts from the glass. Mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and tangerine let you know you are in for a treat. Those same flavors in the aroma follow in the taste. It’s bright, refreshing, and clean. There is mild bitterness from start to finish on this guy… it does have IPA in the name so it’s not a surprise. It’s packed with a decent amount of hops without knocking that alcohol content out of the park which is what you typically see from most IPAs lately. Now go pick yourself up a six pack and head to the backyard and fire up that grill.

Fixed Gear

Beer Of The Month – March

Everyone seems to be getting out there on their bikes since the weather is un-seasonably warm. There is no better way to cap off a great bike ride then with a tasty beer. That’s why for this month we’ve picked Lakefront’s Fixed Gear for the beer of the month. This 6.5 % ABV American Red Ale is a new six pack offering from Lakefront and we couldn’t be happier. Originally you could only find this in 22 oz bombers, as far as we know. Which isn’t very bike riding friendly. You all know that the Hop Cast loves beers and bikes so a beer named after biking is perfect. Only thing better would be if this was in the can, but we’ll take it. When you pour this out you’ll notice a pale amber color; lighter then you’d find from a typical American Red Ale. Piney hops drift from the glass which isn’t a surprise because this guy was aggressively dry hopped. Hopefully you like hops because this guy drinks like an IPA; the Cascade and Chinook hops dominate. You’ll also find a nice toasted malt and carmel that tries to balance out some of those hops. If you’re a hop head you’ll find this beer very easy to drink and even easier if you just finished a long bike ride.

Beer Of The Month – February

This tasty beer has been making a huge splash all across the US. so we are making Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro February’s beer of the month. If you’ve ever had this beer on nitro at a bar and wanted to have that same experience at home, here’s your chance. First off, make sure you pour this beer into a glass, you are going to miss a lot if you try and drink this from the bottle. When you do pour it out, follow Ken’s advice and pour it with balls. Don’t worry if you are using a proper glass, it shouldn’t overflow. You’ll get about two fingers of very creamy off white coffee colored head that slowly dissipates into a creamy top. This beer is dark so if you hold it up to the light you’re not going to see anything. The aroma of coffee and chocolate drifts from the glass. It’s a welcome and familiar smell that you really can’t wait to taste. The mouthfeel is smooth and light. Don’t expect a heavy beer here. The flavors of chocolate, cocoa powder and milky sweetness rush through followed by that coffee and roasted malts. You’ll be glad you picked up an entire six pack after that first sip because you’re going to want more. To see a craft brewery invest this much time and energy into developing this beer is fantastic. Cheers to Left Hand and have a great February.

Beer Of The Month – October

When October hits and those jack-o-lanterns start appearing in your neighbors window, the idea of a pumpkin beer just seems right. Unfortunately Pumpkin beers can be hard to find, a lot of the pumpkin beers have already come and gone and the shelves are now getting full of winter warmers and christmas ales. Luckily we were still able to still find a few Pumpkin beers left on the shelves here in Chicago and that’s why for the October beer of the month we have picked Lakefront’s Pumpkin Lager. If you’re a fan of pumpkin you are going to love this one. It’s what you want to taste without getting a ton of extra cinnamon and cloves. Sure all those heavy spices are there but it really has a solid balance. This pumpkin lager pours out a nice orange color with a foamy off-white head. The aroma of pumpkin and cinnamon erupt from your glass. The first taste is like pumpkin pie but then its picked up with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Finally it finishes with a decent amount of malts that wash away all those spices and makes you want to go back for another swig to remember what you had. This might not be a beer you want all the time but it’s perfect to sip on while you’re carving a pumpkin or watching the leaves change.

Beer Of The Month – September

It might not be October just yet but it’s right around the corner and all those Oktoberfest beers are already hitting the shelves and selling out fast. For the September beer of the month we are picking the Two Brothers Atom Smasher. Originally released last year and named after the largest particle accelerator laboratory in US Fermilab, which is right down the street from the brewery. This beer from Two Brothers blasts aways what you typically think of when you think of those big steins of Oktoberfest beers being passed around.

The Atom Smasher pours out a cloudy light pumpkin color with almost no head. The aroma is sweet and funky with a slight bit of oak. When you first take a sip be sure to take a couple before making up your mind about this beer because there is a lot going on and your palate needs to adjust to that oak aged flavor. That rich malt really comes through and then the oak washes in welcoming something new to a familiar style. The hops are a nice dry and bitter finish. At 7.7 % ABV, it’s sweet but overall well balanced and put together. It’s an easy one to knock back but watch out that 7.7 % ABV can sneak up on you.

If you’re looking for something that is creamy and smooth and has a bit more flavor than your typical Oktoberfest beer then this one is worth picking up.

Beer Of The Month – May

Summer can’t get here soon enough! Even if summer isn’t here yet we can still drink like it’s summer. So for the May beer of the month we have picked Ska Brewing’s True Blonde Ale. This 5.3% ABV Blonde Ale is light and crisp which is perfect for getting in the spirit for the warmer weather. Most of the time you’ll see this beer in a can… got to love those can beers. If you pour it out into a glass you will be presented with a hazy, golden color and just a slight head. The aroma of yeast, lemons and grains drift from the glass and begin to brighten up your day. The full essence of summer fills your mouth when you take that first sip. Flavors of sweet malts, lemon and a slight hop presence brings a smile to the face. Drinking this beer you can easily knock back a few cans and just enjoy the afternoon.

If you’re just looking to get in the summer mood or looking for something to quench that summer thirst then True Blonde Ale from Ska Brewing is an excellent choice.

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.

Beer Of The Month – November

This month Goose Island is releasing three different versions of the Bourbon County Brand Stout. The 2010 Bourbon County Brand Stout, Vanilla Bourbon County Stout and the Rare Bourbon County Stout which is aged in 23-year old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels for 2-years. We figured it was only fitting to make November’s beer of the month, Bourbon County Brand Stout.

Brad and Ken reviewed this great beer back in November of 2008, if you’re looking to see their reactions to it on camera, it’s worth checking out. This beer is a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout that weighs in at 13% ABV and pours black as night. With a one finger of thick dark frothy tan head. A wonderful aroma of coffee and alcohol fill the air mixed with dark chocolate and cherries. Definitely a big punch in the face. When you finally dive in for the sip, the bourbon packs a big kick. But don’t get turned off… have a few more sips. You start to taste the oak, coffee, some dark chocolate and fudge. There is also some toasted coconut and vanilla to round it all out. This is a hot beer but it has a ton of great flavor. It’s a sipper not something to slam like Steve McKenna did in episode 102. Hopefully you won’t spill any because this beer is sticky. Which isn’t a surprise because it’s sweet. This is simply an amazing stout and only gets better with age. So when the latest vintage hits the shelves be sure to pick up a bottle for now and a bottle to age. Darkness, Black Tuesday & Dark Lord may get all the big hype but this beer holds it’s own against any of those.

Beer Of The Month – October


October is here and weather is getting colder, any day we could wake up and see snow coming down. With that cold weather there is nothing like warming up with a great porter. Now when most people think of October the first thing that comes to mind is usually pumpkin beers, not porters. Those pumpkin beers are great in small amounts but after awhile many of them can just become too sweet. But a great porter is much more…

So for the October beer of the month we are choosing Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. It’s an outstanding porter from a great midwest brewery. The Edmund Fitzgerald Porter pours out an opaque brownish black with about a two finger tan head. Chocolate and sugar begin to fill the air around the glass. As you get your nose closer to the glass, the coffee and roasted malts begin to cut through the sweetness. A very strong and rich aroma that is likely to suck anyone in. If you loved that aroma the taste is going to be right up your alley. You get coffee and chocolate right at the start. The sweetness doesn’t over power the taste at all, the roasted malts keep it balanced very well. Finishing bitter and dry, making you want to reach for another sip. At just 5.8% ABV, this beer packs a ton of flavor into it. It’s a great tasting beer that’s easy to drink and perfect for the season.