Tag Archives: IPA

HopCast Episode 279

Episode 279: Maiden Voyage & Miserable Rye

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

On episode 279 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are drinking a few local Chicago beers. First up, is the Maiden Voyage, a year round Rye India Pale Ale from Aquanaut Brewing. Aquanaut Brewing is still fairly new to the Chicago craft beer scene and their cans have only been on the shelves for a few months now. The guys have always been suckers for Rye beers and this 6.0% ABV beer doesn’t disappoint. Sticking with the local and Rye theme, Brad and Ken reach for the Miserable Rye from Marz Brewing. Marz has been making some great beers and really making a name for themselves on the south side of Chicago.

If you’re outside of Chicago, these beers might be hard to get your hands on but if you ever do see them, be sure to give them a try.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (578.6 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 255

Episode 255: Vertex IPA & Falco IPA

In episode 255 of the Hop CastBrad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are back at it with a couple new IPAs. First up is the 6.30% ABV Vertex IPA from DESTIHL Brewery. Everyone seems to go nuts for DESTIHL Brewery at different festivals, especially their sour beers; you’ll always see a line for them. It’s nice to see them also doing an easy drinking IPA. Following up this tasty local IPA, Brad and Ken move on to the 7.00% ABV Falco IPA from Evil Twin Brewing. The story behind Evil Twin is very interesting and if you haven’t read about it, be sure to do a little research and give them a try next time you see them.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (310 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 247

Episode 247: Grapefruit Sculpin & Habanero Sculpin

In episode 247 of the Hop CastBrad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder dive into a couple variations of Ballast Point Brewing Company’s Sculpin IPA. These both look like the Sculpin IPA you know and love but with a little twist that might turn some folks away or make them love Ballast Point even more. First up, Brad and Ken open the Grapefruit Sculpin, an IPA with grapefruit rind. Grapefruit’s a winter fruit, but this easy-drinking ale tastes like summer. Next up they destroy their pallets with the Habanero Sculpin, an IPA with Habanero peppers added. Sculpin are known to sting, but this one’s got a kick. Both these beers were really fun to taste side by side and see how a slight variations can give you something so unique.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast. Cheers!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (524.7 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 237

Episode 237: Kidnapped By Vikings & 4 Hands War Hammer

In episode 237 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder crack open two Midwestern IPAs from two breweries with great track records. First up is the 6.1% ABV Kidnapped By Vikings from Solemn Oath Brewery. Kidnapped By Vikings is bursting with killer fresh hop aroma and a light malty sweetness to balance that dominant hop presence. It’s pretty fantastic that this one is finally in bottles; it shouldn’t be passed up. Next, they dive into the 9% ABV Double IPA from 4 Hands Brewing Company. 4 Hands War Hammer uses a combination of Pacific Northwest hops to create layers of pungent flavor that should be drank fresh. 4 Hands Brewing recently hit the market here in Chicago so grab some next time you’re at the store.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Try the Quicktime (273.9 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

HopCast Episode 225

Episode 225: Long Hammer IPA & Ipswich I.P.A.

It’s time for the Hop Cast to dive into a couple IPAs. In episode 225, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder open a couple IPA’s that have been around for a while that you might have overlooked.

The first one they open is the Long Hammer IPA, a 6.2% ABV beer from Redhook Ale Brewery. The generous addition of hops both during and at the end gives this India Pale Ale its bitterness and piney citrus aroma and flavor. This was the first time we’ve grabbed this beer in the can and it was tasty. Next up is the 6.5% Ipswich Ale Brewery India Pale Ale (I.P.A.). Brad and Ken were both a bit disappointed with this one and wish there had been a date code on the bottle because there is a good chance it’s been on the shelves too long. Hopefully, they’ll get a chance to try this one fresh one day. It’s easy to get blinded by those new and big IPAs that hit the shelves but don’t overlook some of the ones you’ve seen for years… it might be time to revisit them.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (230.3 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

HopCast Episode 211

Episode 211: Gigantic IPA & Bitter Biker

In episode 211 of the Hop CastKen Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are kickin it outside, sipping on a couple big IPAs and enjoying the Chicago summer. The first beer they open is the Gigantic IPA from Gigantic Brewing Company. Gigantic Brewing is from Oregon and just started distributing to Chicago. The Gigantic IPA is a 7.3 % ABV American IPA and even though its a Gigantic IPA, this one is easy drinking. Next up is the Bitter Biker from Spiteful Brewing, one of the newest nanobreweries to hit the Chicago scene. Stepping it up from the single IPA, the Bitter Biker is a double that’s packing a 9.6 % ABV. Watch out! You might not want to bike right after if you take this 22 oz bomber down by yourself. Summer and IPAs, what a great combination.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (279.9 MB).

HopCast Episode 204

Episode 204: The Alchemist Heady Topper & Dogfish Head Burton Baton

In episode 204 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski crack open a couple IPAs. It’s been a while since they’ve featured an IPA on the Hop Cast which is a bit of a surprise. First up is the Heady Topper from The Alchemist. This 8 % ABV IPA is currently the number one beer on beeradvocate and for good reason, it’s delicious. What’s surprising is how different this beer is in the can, then when it was poured out into a glass. The Alchemist does recommend drinking it from the can but we had to test this for ourselves. Next, Ken pulls out a 5 year old Burton Baton from Dogfish Head Brewery that had been hidden away in his basement. This beer really shouldn’t of been aged for this long but it was interesting to see how well it held up over the years. Remember when you drink those IPAs, the sooner the better.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (374.9 MB).

Ale Syndicate

Getting A Taste Of Ale Syndicate

Ale Syndicate

Last night Ale Syndicate held a small event for some media and beer bloggers at Troy Mediterranean Restaurant. My initial thoughts about this event was great, I can’t wait to finally try Ale Syndicate beers. Then I was a bit confused, why is this at a Mediterranean restaurant… do they even have beer? Turns out no, but it is BYOB which is why it was picked. Gotta love a good BYOB spot! Ale Syndicate was able to bring in some of their beer, talk about them and allow everyone to enjoy a causal dinner.

Still not familiar with Ale Syndicate? Well, that’s going to change fast but you might know them as New Chicago Beer Company. New Chicago Beer Company was the brewery project that Jesse Edwin Evans and Samuel Evans founded after selling their successful Lucky Hand Brewing in Oakland, California in 2009.

There was a lot of buzz surrounding New Chicago Beer Company last year and their plans to open up a brewery in a building that would create its own energy and produce no waste.  After New Chicago Beer Company left the brewing deal at The Plant in the Back Of Yards, I sort of lost track of them and I think everyone else may have too.

This month or rather this coming Monday, they rollout with three inaugural beers; Municipal India Pale Ale, Richie Imperial Porter and Sunday Session. Municipal is an all-Cascade hop ale with a tangy aroma and citrusy flavor. Richie Imperial Porter is an 8.5 % ABV named after Richie Daley, yep these beers are “distinctly Chicago”.  Richie has roasted barley and chocolate malts, balancing sharper flavors with a clean, semi-sweet finish. Sunday Session is a mellow ale that uses wheat to complement a blend of Cascade, Crystal and Centennial hops for a deliciously drinkable brew.

These beers sound great but if these guys are so distinctly Chicago, why the name change to Ale Syndicate? I asked Jesse and he said that “as we developed a team of people working on the brewery along with Samuel and I, we realized that there might be a better name out there to reflect what we want to do with this project. We spent a lot of time thinking of possible names and really fell in love with this one, as it truly expresses our intents to make this brewery a collaborative project. A syndicate is a group of people coming together around something they believe in. That’s exactly what our brewery is all about.”

That seems clear as I hear about their plans for the brewery. Soon they’ll be installing a 5-barrel system on which they’ll brew pilot batches and special beers just for the tap. Shortly after that is installed they will also install a 30-barrel system. It’s once that 30-barrel is installed that the idea of people coming together really comes into play. At night for the next year or so Arcade Brewery will be brewing beers at the Green Exchange where Ale Syndicate’s brewery will be. Arcade Brewery will have their own fermenters and be in charge of ordering their own ingredients. Of course you can count on an Ale Syndicate and an Arcade Brewery collaboration in the future, as well as other collaborations too as Ale Syndicate invites home brewers and smaller brewers into the space to brew. You could think of it like an incubator for breweries. Ale Syndicate has the space and the equipment and then new younger breweries can come in there and grow and mature.

It was a fantastic night learning about the beers and the team behind Ale Syndicate. But the night wouldn’t have been complete without getting to taste the beer. Both the Municipal India Pale Ale and the Richie Imperial Porter were being poured. My favorite of the night was the Porter, which had such amazing flavor from the malts; I could have sworn that there was coffee in the beer. Jesse told me that he was inspired by “Death & Taxes by Moonlight Brewing Co. (a dark lager made by Brian Hunt in Northern California). It’s almost perfect, it’s dark and roasty and delicious. Even though we are focusing on ales, I was thinking of that taste profile as we started to develop the recipe for Richie.” Yes Richie accomplishes just that, roasty and delicious. I don’t think I’m alone in loving the beer either, it sounds like most bar owners and beer buyers are choosing it as well. Which makes sense to me, I’m sure every bar already has an IPA on draft but a great Porter isn’t something they might have. With the weather still being chilly in Chicago, I’m all for a tasty Porter.

Even though it was BYOB and all the beer was brought in bottled, it’s going to be awhile before bottles start hitting the shelves. For right now, it will be draft only.

Be sure to keep an eye out Monday as Ale Syndicate starts showing up on drafts around the city and if you’re out drinking you might even see Jesse & Samuel around too. No matter how many times they’ve drank their own beers it’s a totally different feeling when you can order it at bar. Cheers guys and welcome to the scene!

HopCast Episode 186

Episode 186: Milwaukee Brewing Booyah & Hop Happy

Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are sticking pretty local with episode 186, cracking open a couple beers from our friends to the north at Milwaukee Brewing Company. The first beer they open is the Booyah, a 6 % ABV farmhouse. This might be a little different then some farmhouse ales you’ve had in the past but don’t let that turn you off. The Booyah is sweet and has a good amount of tropical fruits in the aroma and taste. Overall a clean and balanced beer. Next, Ken and Brad follow up the Booyah with Milwaukee Brewing’s Hop Happy IPA. This 7.50% ABV IPA is a very drinkable IPA, you should have no problem drinking this one all day. Both these beers are pretty tasty, everyday drinking sort of beers. They’re not panty droppers but they are solid, worth checking out.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (218 MB).