Tag Archives: Illinois

HopCast Episode 243

Episode 243: Sculpin IPA & Citra Hero

It’s time for some IPAs! In episode 243 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder crack open two different IPAs, one from Illinois and one from California. We’ll see how they stack up against each other and if those west coast IPAs deserve all the hype. Kicking this off Brad and Ken open one of their favorites, the Ballast Point Brewing Company’s Sculpin IPA. Ballast Point hasn’t been in the Chicago market that long but it’s a real treat to have this beer around town, especially now that it’s in cans. This 7.0 % ABV IPA packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish.

Next the guys open the Revolution Citra Hero. This 7.5 % IPA has multiple additions of Citra in the brew kettle and then dry-hopped with one pound per barrel of Citra. This series of beers from Revolution are great and you can’t go wrong picking up this one or even Crystal Hero.

Now go grab yourself an IPA! Thanks for watching the Hop Cast. Cheers!

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HopCast Episode 194

Episode 194: Revolution Mad Cow & Perennial Fantastic Voyage

When it’s chilly outside all we really want is a tasty stout to warm us up. That’s exactly what’s happening here in episode 194 of the Hop CastBrad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are joined by Erik Jensen for a couple Midwest Milk Stouts. First up is the Revolution Brewing Company, Mad Cow Milk Stout. This 7.5 % ABV Milk Stout is a smooth and creamy Stout made with lactose. If you live in Chicago you might of been able to pick up a bottle of this and the Very Mad Cow which is the barrel aged version. If the regular version is this good, the barrel aged version must be simply fantastic. Next these three gentlemen move onto the Perennial Artisan Ales, Fantastic Voyage. This 8.8% ABV Milk Stout is brewed with coconut. This beer is well balanced with coconut, lactose and black malts.

There is something about a Milk Stout that just warms you up and brings a smile to your face. Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (242.1 MB).

HopCast Episode 193

Episode 193: Pipeworks Blood Of The Unicorn & Maine Beer Company Zoe

In episode 193 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by Sergio Salgado to taste a couple hoppy Red Ales. First up is Chicago’s very own Pipeworks Brewing with their Blood Of The Unicorn. This 8.5 % ABV Amber has a killer label that would lead you to expect something extreme from this one. You’d be right because the hops kick you in the face; if you’re a DIPA fan you’re going to enjoy this beer. Next they open a bottle Jake Williams brought back for the show from Maine. The Zoe from Maine Beer Company is a 7.2 % ABV Amber. This is the first beer from Maine Beer Company we’re had and it was quite delicious. A much softer hop aroma and taste than the Blood Of The Unicorn.

Cheers, and thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (204.1 MB).

HopCast Episode 192

Episode 192: Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers (FOBAB 2012)

In episode 192 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are at The Tenth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers. This festival is held once a year and if you’ve seen the last couple years episodes, you know how great it is. This year it was at a new location in Bridgeport and it was a blast. Its always great to see so many friends and to see all the people excited for craft beer. This year Ken and Brad again attended both the day and night sessions, clocking in over 10 hours of drinking. The two of them took a few breaks from sampling these fine beers to talk with some great people like the folks from Solemn Oath, Avery and Pipeworks. They even managed to grab a few minutes with the man behind this festival, Pete Crowley.

FOBAB continues to evolve and get better every year. Hope you enjoyed seeing the coverage from the event and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (336.0 MB).

HopCast Episode 188

Episode 188: Revolution Oktoberfest & Bridgeport Witch Hunt

The seasons are changing, the harvest and pumpkin beers are in full swing. That’s why in episode 188 of the Hop Cast Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are cracking open a couple great seasonal beers. The first beer they open is the Oktoberfest from Revolution Brewing. Revolution recently opened up their production brewery where they have been packaging 20 oz bombers and cans of their delicious treats. Brad and Ken really should have their steins out for this beer to truly get into the spirit. Next the two of them open the Witch Hunt from Bridgeport. This is a 5.8 % harvest ale that’s sweet and somewhat spiced. Making for a perfect treat as the weather is getting cooler.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (176.6 MB).

HopCast Episode 187

Episode 187: Dryhop

It’s great to see so many new breweries opening in Chicago. In episode 187 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski check out one of the newest ones getting close to opening; Dryhop. Ken and Brad got a chance to chat with owner Greg Shuff and head brewer Brant DubovickDryhop is planning to open in Lakeview early in 2013; right now the space is totally empty but the guys plan on going forward fast. You can try some of Brant’s beers right now because he’s been busy doing collaboration brews with some of the other brewpubs in Chicago like Haymarket Pub and Atlas. Be sure to seek out those collaboration beers out to help hold you over until their opening this winter.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (143.7 MB).

HopCast Episode 185

Episode 185: Triverius & Perennial Violet

In episode 185, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by friend of the show, John Burkett. Knowing how much JB loves Belgian Beers, the three of them open a couple interesting ones in this episode. The first one they open is the Triverius from Brouwerij De Graal, a 6.80 % ABV Witbier. Brad scored this gem in his Rare Beer Club subscription and it was definitely a treat to try. After the Triverius, Ken and Brad open the Violet from Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis. Perennial is one of the newer breweries to come onto the scene here in the Midwest. The Violet is a 9 % ABV Belgian-Style tripel brewed with pluots. If you didn’t know, Brad’s a big fan of pluots so this beer was one he was looking forward to. Since Perennial just starting shipping beers here in Chicago, this was one of the first ones Ken and Brad have been able to try and it’s not going to be the last. In the future, I’m sure you’ll see more beers from Perennial on the Hop Cast.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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HopCast Episode 182

Episode 182: Two Brothers Take Two and Brown Fox

In episode 182 of the Hop Cast Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski enjoy a couple beers from one of their favorite Illinois breweries; Two Brothers. The two beers featured in this episode are part of Two Brothers 15 Beers for 15 Years series. It’s hard to believe they have been around for 15 years now, that really shows how short of time we’ve been enjoying their beers. For the 15 Beers for 15 Years, Two Brothers is  bringing back 14 of their favorite artisan brews and bottling them. Then they’ll finish off with releasing a brand new 15th anniversary artisan beer. The project will run all summer long with a new release about every few weeks. Sadly, if you’re watching this episode in a year from now you missed out on something great.

It would have been a lot of fun to sample all 15 beers in the series at one time, but we’ve seen how Ken and Brad handled 10 years of Doggie Claws, so that might not be the best idea. Instead Ken and Brad crack open a couple of very unique beers in the series. The first is the Take Two, a Pale Lager with an ABV of 5.2%. This hybrid beer is the fifth release in the series and uses two types of each of the ingredients found in beer; two water sources, two barley types, two hop varieties, an ale yeast and a lager yeast. Next Ken and Brad open the Brown Fox, this English Brown has an ABV of 4.2% and is another very interesting beer. Using eight malts to add depth and complexity, while English hops contribute a refreshing balance to this crisp and drinkable mild, brown ale – a true “session” brew.

What a fun project from Two Brothers! Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

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HopCast Episode 172

Episode 172: Half Acre Double Daisy Cutter & Pipeworks End Of Days

In episode 172 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by Steve Wyatt as they reach for a couple beers from two local Chicago breweries. The first beer up is Double Daisy Cutter, an Imperial IPA from Half Acre Beer Co. This is the third release of Double Daisy Cutter and it’s always a treat when it shows up. If you’re a fan of the normal Daisy Cutter then the 8.0% ABV Double Daisy Cutter is going to be right up your alley. After that tasty beer from Half Acre Beer Co. Ken and Brad grab the End Of Days from the newest Chicago Brewery, Pipeworks Brewing Company. End Of Days is a 6.1% ABV milk stout that has been aged with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and ancho chilies. The result is a rich chocolaty stout, with just a hint of spice. It’s a good beer from Pipeworks and is a great sign to come from this nanobrewery.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (322.4 MB).

Beer Of The Month – June

Half Acre - Daisy Cutter

Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski have decided to start a beer of the month feature. For the month of June, the Hop Cast is going local and declaring Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter Pale Ale the beer of the month. The Daisy Cutter is a West Coast Strong Pale Ale with a blend of five different hops that creates a powerful nose and a dynamic flavor. It should pour a hazy golden amber with a small to average frothy white head. The aroma of hops, grapefruit and pine should come out nicely. Hop lovers should be ready for a treat as soon as they take the first sip. The bitter taste from hops will hit right away but never seem to take over and make it too bitter, it stays somewhat light. There are also some good citrus notes that help to balance out the sweet malts. All around a great beer and after a few drinks you will see why Ken and Brad declared it June beer of the month. A few people have compared the Daisy Cutter to Alpha King so, if you’re a fan of that fresh hop flavor you get from an good APA then Daisy Cutter is worth checking out! Finding it is the tricky part, according to Andy Farley (seeandyspin) Half Acre is having a hard time keeping up with demand for this. So the 22 oz bombers are going to be hard to find, but the good news is that you can find it on tap around Chicago. A few places we know have Daisy Cutter on tap are Quenchers and Hopleaf.

A big shout out to Half Acre and for what they are producing at their brew house at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave.