Tag Archives: Charlie Drews

Hop Cast – Episode 135: Saison Athene & Cigar City Papaya IPA

Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are joined by two special guests in episode 135 of the Hop Cast; Charlie Drews and Greer Davis. The four of them decide to open up two different beers from a couple Florida breweries. If you’ve been watching the Hop Cast for a while you might remember Brad and Ken were trying to highlight beers from every state in the US. The journey continues in this episode. First up is the Saison Athene from Saint Somewhere Brewing. This beer has an ABV of 7.5% and is incredibility balanced. They then follow the Saison Athene up with the Cigar City Jai Alai IPA with Papaya. Cigar City has a number of beers that use the Jal Alai IPA as the base which always makes for a great starting point. This American IPA has an ABV of 7.5% and isn’t one to pass up if you get a chance.

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HopCast Episode 134

Episode 134: Westvleteren 12 & Rochefort 10

In episode 134 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by Charlie Drews to taste one of the most sought after beers in the world, Westvleteren 12. But before jumping into that one they open two bottles of the Rochefort 10. Both had been aging for different lengths of time and it was very fun to see how the beer evolves. Both the Westvleteren 12 and the Rochefort 10 are Belgian Quad’s made by Trappist monks. The Rochefort 10 is an excellent beer; its more easily available and one that you should be able to find at most higher end beer stores. After enjoying the Rochefort 10, the three of them open two bottles of five year old Westvleteren 12. This beer has a lot of hype around it since most people in the states have a difficult time getting their hands on it. After five years in the bottle it still tasted great and is worth trying (if you can get it). Be sure to share with friends.

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HopCast Episode 123

Episode 123: Ska Sour & Cascade Bourdonic Plague

Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are getting funky and sour in episode 123 of the Hop Cast. Joined with them on this taste bud adventure are special guests Charlie Drews and Greer Davis. Both of whom are big fans of sour beers, so this episode is perfect for them. The first beer the four of them open is the Ska Brewing Ska Sour, an American Wild Ale that was only brewed once. This was a rare find since in Chicago we don’t see much from Ska besides the standard cans. They follow up the Ska Sour with a beer Brad picked up in Portland, Or.  The Cascade Bourbonic Plague another American Wild Ale packing a huge punch at 11.5% ABV. Cascade makes some killer sour beers and this one doesn’t disappoint.

Brad and Ken thank you for the continued support of the Hop Cast. Thank You for watching.

 

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Hop Cast – Episode 76

The Hop Cast has gone wild for episode 76. Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder open up the caged and corked Weyerbacher Riserva. As soon as Charlie Drews heard the Hop Cast was opening a bottle of Weyerbacher on the show he jumped at the chance to be on… it may be his favorite brewery. The Riserva is aged in oak barrels with red raspberry puree and Brettanomyces yeast. Coming in with an ABV of 11.40% this ale isn’t messing around. Wild ales aren’t something that is featured that often on the Hop Cast so Ken takes the time to explain what makes a wild ale different from a sour ale and how the process has changed over the years. After the Weyerbacher they move onto the Jack D’Or from Pretty Things. Pretty Things is new on the craft beer scene so it was great to try one of their beers on the show. The Jack D’Or is a saison with an ABV of 6.4%. Currently they offer about four beers with Jack D’Or being their flagship beer.

Grab yourself a beer and get wild with the Hop Cast.

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Hop Cast – Episode 57

Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are back on location in Racine, WI for the 2009 Great Lakes Brewfest. You might remember that Ken and Brad were at the last years Great Lakes Brewfest for episode 5 of the Hop Cast. They had such a great time they had to hit it up again. In this episode they feature beers from Copper Canyon, Jolly Pumpkin, Furthermore, Grumpy Troll and a handful of others. They also stumble over to home brewer island and interview three excellent home brewers. If you’re in the midwest, the Great Lakes Brewfest is a great time and worth checking out.

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HopCast Episode 50

Episode 50: Brabant & Beatification

The Hop Cast gets sour and silly for episode 50. In this episode Charlie Drews joins Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski for a couple american wild ales. The first beer they sample and review Ken enjoyed previously when the Hop Cast was at the Publican. It is the Brabant from Avery Brewing. This murky dark brown wild ale comes in at 8.65 % ABV. They follow the Brabant up with the Beatification from Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, California. Wild ales are known to be sour and the Beatification is like a sour punch in the face. Special thanks goes to the guys from Suds Or Duds for the Beatification, it was a treat to finally try it. But be warned sour beers can take some time to get into, but just like hops when you start enjoying the taste, you wont be able to get enough.

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For The Love Of Hops 2009

For The Love Of Hops Ticket

Being a Two Brothers Brewing fan and a lover of the Hops, I was really excited to go to the For The Love Of The Hops festival. Before going I somehow built up the festival in my head. I think it was due to the fact that Two Brothers was posting facebook and twitter updates for weeks before the thing kicked off. They posted every new guest keg that they were getting and with each post I was getting more and more excited. Also since Three Floyds Dark Lord Day was an incredible event a few months ago I thought For The Love Of The Hops might be just as good.

On Saturday afternoon I drove out to Warrenville with Maeve Price in the front seat, and Ken Hunnemeder and Charlie Drews riding in the back. The Two Brothers brewery isn’t too far from Chicago and its right off the expressway, so it makes for an easy trip. The parking at the brewery wasn’t as bad as Three Floyds but we did end up having to park about two blocks away. When we first walked in we had our IDs checked and were given wrist bands. Then we had to wait in the line to buy tickets for the beer and food. This was one of the slowest lines we had to wait in all day. The tickets seemed like a good idea, it keeps the people pouring the beer from having to deal with cash and should speed up the pouring lines. Each ticket cost $6 and got you one beer. Some of those beers came in 9 oz glasses and some came in 20 oz glasses. Overall $6 for a beer felt a bit expensive, especially when all of the beers I wanted to try came in a 9 oz glass. On any other day you visit the Two Brothers Brew Pub, most of the beers are only $4 and the other ones like the Northwind are $5. Charging two extra dollars for a beer brewed on site is ridiculous, if anything all the Two Brothers beers besides the Hop Juice should of been on special for like $3 for the event, not marked up in price.

So we got our tickets and then went to get a glass of beer, the four of us ended up getting a Hop Juice right away since that was what this festival was for. The Hop Juice was good and a damn fine DIPA. It is smooth and thick at the same time with a the booze burn bringing up the rear. Being 10 % ABV this guy packs a huge punch. The four of us ended up finding a table inside and basically planted ourself there. About 45 minutes after we showed up and one Hop Juice into the festival Stephen, Selina, and Brad Stark showed up and joined us at the table. From then on every 45 minutes a few of us would go wait in the guest tap line for the next beer to be released and then bring 9 oz glasses back. Just about every guest beer would run out 10 minutes after the keg was tapped. So we made sure to get there extra early especially for the Avery Voltron and Surly Darkness. To be honest I’m not a sour beer fan so the greatness of the Voltron was lost on me. But Ken, Stephen and Brad Stark loved it and declared it best in show. My personal two favorites were the Surly Darkness, and the almond cream soda from Two Brothers. I know, a cream soda. But is was really good and both Maeve and Selina agreed it rocked.

We ended up leaving just after the Surly Darkness was tapped since the last couple guest beers didn’t interest us as much as the Avery Voltron  and the Surly Darkness. For this being the Hop Juice release party I was kind of shocked I only had one 9 oz glass of Hop Juice. Unfortunately Ken and I didn’t get any video at the For The Love Of The Hops festival, so you will just have to enjoy the photos. Maybe we will review a bottle of the 2009 Hop Juice on an upcoming episode. Overall the festival was fun, good beer – even if it was a tad expensive, tasty food, live music and not too crowded. If Two Brothers has the event next year I might check it out but I won’t be expecting as much next time. Finally, if you’re in the area be sure to check out the brewery they have tours every saturday at 1:00 and 2:30.

Hop Cast – Episode 38

In episode 38 of the Hop Cast Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by scotch and whiskey lover Charlie Drews. Join the three of them as they look at three current versions of Harviestoun Brewery’s Ola Dubh. The Ola Dubh is a collaboration between the brewery Harviestoun and distiller Highland Park. Ken, Brad and Charlie sample and review the Ola Dubh 12, 16 and 30. You can currently find the 18 and 40 around so keep a look out for them at a beer store near you.

Download the Podcast (216.2 MB).

Hop Cast – Episode 30

For episode 30 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are doing something a little different. The two of them  are brewing beer and showing how it’s done. The recipe they used is for a Blood Orange Hefeweizen from Sam Calagione’s book Extreme Brewing. So join Brad and Ken as the two of them take you through boiling the water to chilling the wort, on to fermentation and finally the culmination… the tasting. Hopefully you learn something about home brewing and perhaps it will spark your interest to do it yourself. If you’re not interested in learning about the home brewing process there is also a video of just the  tasting of the Blood Orange hefeweizen posted as well as the full episode.  For the tasting Brad and Ken are joined by Stephen FreshnockBrian McCauley and Charlie Drews.

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Since this episode is a long one, here is a version of only the tasting of the Blood Orange Hefeweizen with Stephen Freshnock, Brian McCauley and Charlie Drews.