Tag Archives: Ken Hunnemeder

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!

Glassware and Its Proper Maintenance

By now I feel craft beer drinkers know the importance of pouring their beer into a glass before consuming. Roughly 75% of what we taste comes directly from what we smell. For this reason, it makes sense to go ahead and pour that beer you’ve spent your hard earned money on into a drinking vessel of some sort in order to achieve maximum flavor and enjoyment. But let’s take this a bit further shall we? Are you doing everything you can for your beer by simply pouring it into a glass? Sure, it’s a step in the right direction but there are certainly more things you can do to ensure you’re making your beer money work for you.

I’m sure all of you have come across a dirty glass at one time or another. You may not have known it at the time but may have had the idea that something was wrong. The first sign you have a sullied glass is there are large bubbles that stick to the side, similar to champagne.

A properly cleaned glass will have a smooth finish on the side of the glass and the head will be in tact. The oils in dirt and grime will kill the head retention in your beer. When you see your Founders Red’s Rye has a head that disappears like a Miller Lite, you know your glassware is in trouble.

So what can you do to make sure your glassware is clean? This has been debated ad nauseam with all sorts of different products and techniques available (i.e.-using vinegar or salt). There are plenty of cleaners specifically made for beer glasses, and I’ll let you decide which one you prefer should you decide to go the specialty route. Most importantly, never trust your dishwasher to properly clean your glasses. Hand washing goes a long way to ensure no bits of food from last night’s dinner contaminate your beer’s best friend. I would recommend a thorough hand cleaning (with a CLEAN BRUSH) and a healthy rinse with cool water. Also, you don’t want dry your glass with a towel because the lint will stick to your glass and defeat the whole purpose. If all else fails, sacrifice a splash of your beer in the glass, swirl it around, and dump it out.

By taking care of your glasses, you will give yourself a more accurate flavor representation of any beer you want to sample. Going back to where we started, one of the biggest affects I see in dirty glasses is an inconsistency in aroma. And since we taste what we smell, the brewer of that coveted beer you’re drinking will appreciate if you show their product in a fair light. So go ahead and show your spouse that you are indeed capable of cleaning something properly. Your reward after all is, a delicious beer!