Tag Archives: Two Brothers Brewing

HopCast Episode 272

Episode 272: Santa Vs. Unicorn & Peppermint Bark Porter

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

On episode 272 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are back with a couple local beers to help warm you up this winter. First up the guys dive into the 10 % ABV Santa Vs. Unicorn from Pipeworks Brewing Company. This Imperial Red Ale, American Style Barleywine or Red Double IPA as they are calling it, packs a big bunch. Although Christmas might be gone there is a chance you may find a bottle or two still around. Following up this 10% ABV beast, Brad and Ken move onto the Peppermint Bark Porter from Two Brothers Brewing Company. This 6.70% ABV American Porter is something you really need to taste to get the full effect. Although the Hop Cast isn’t always 100% behind weird things in their beers, the Peppermint Bark Porter is something you’d likely pick up to share with friends, you don’t want to drink this whole bottle yourself.

Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues listening to the video? Try the Quicktime (693.4 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

HopCast Episode 213

Episode 213: New Glarus Anniversary Strong Ale & Two Brothers 16th Anniversary Ale

In episode 213 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by Michal Thiel for a couple tasty Anniversary brews from two great midwest breweries. It’s hard to believe both these brewers have been around for so long… First up is the 20th anniversary Strong Ale from New Glarus. Whenever you see a New Glarus label, you know it’s going to be a great beer but then you see that it’s one of their special releases and it’s only that much more exciting. This 20th anniversary doesn’t disappoint. Next up the three guys dive into the big 16% ABV 16 anniversary ale from Two Brothers. This tasty beer packs a punch so be sure to share with friends.

Congratulations to both these breweries on all their success and thanks for watching the Hop Cast

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (406.6 MB).

HopCast Episode 190

Episode 190: Castelain Two Brothers Diversey & Lill(e) & Flanders Fred

This is a really neat episode, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski crack open two beers that were each collaboration beers. Both had an American craft brewery teaming up with a well respected brewery in Europe. The first beer they crack open is the Castelain Two Brothers, Diversey & Lill(e); a 6.3 % ABV Bière de Garde. This beer was brewed in Benifontaine and is a collaboration between Nicholas Castelain of Brasserie Castelain and Jason Ebel of Two Brothers. The name Diversey & Lille is a riff on Chicago’s first brewery, Diversey & Lill (a Franco-American collaboration that dates back to 1833) and Lille (the capital of the North of France and a city near the Castelain brewery). An interesting beer in taste and history. Worth picking up if you can still find a bottle. Next Ken and Brad open the Flanders Fred. If you’re a fan of the Hop Cast, you can probably guess who might of been behind bringing this beer from Hair Of The Dog. Legendary brewer, Alan Sprints of Hair Of The Dog joined Dirk Naudts at De Proef to create this unique bottle conditioned beer. Flanders Fred is a blend of Flanders-sourced lambic with a collaboratively-brewed version of the famous Hair Of The Dog Fred. Really delicious and at 7.0 % ABV is a nice one to sit back and sip on and not leave you passed out on the ground.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (296.2 MB).

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.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (364.9 MB).

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.

HopCast Episode 127

Episode 127: Two Brothers Bare Tree Weiss Wine

In episode 127 of the Hop Cast Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are joined by Steve Wyatt for a vertical tasting. The three of them take a look at the last four years of Two Brothers Bare Tree Weiss Wine; 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. It’s really interesting to see how this beer changes and evolves and its always nice to try different beer vintages side by side.

Again we are sorry about the audio issue and thank you for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (237.2 MB) or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Hop Cast – Episode 121: Two Brothers Cane and Ebel & Founders Brewing Red Rye

In episode 121 Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are at PrimeBar Chicago sharing beers with Patrick Thomas. The three of them sip on rye ales from two great midwest breweries. The first one is the Two Brothers Cane and Ebel. The year round released, Cane and Ebel comes in at 7.0% ABV. Dry and hoppy with a bitter finish, it’s a very well rounded beer. Next they jump over to the Red Rye from Founders Brewing. Coming in just below 7% at 6.9% it’s a little thinner then the Cane and Ebel but a bit more refreshing. A great beer for a warm summer day or just put some more logs on the fire and enjoy one now.

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (177.7 MB).

HopCast Episode 92

Hop Cast – Episode 92

In Hop Cast episode 92 Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are at The Publican in Chicago talking with beer director Michael McAvena and executive chef Paul Kahan. The Publican and Two Brothers Brewing Co. came together to collaborate on a one-off beer to be served during a beer pairing dinner at the Publican. Michael McAvena took a trip out to Warrenville to brew the beer with Jason Ebel, founder/owner of Two Brothers Brewing Co. The beer they brewed was a sour mash triple that was available as is and also in two different blends at The Publican beer pairing dinner. One of the blends was the Two Brothers Bitter End Pale Ale, and the other was with an especially rare Two Brothers Brett beer that was the second beer brewed when they opened their current brewery in 2007. It was a great trip to follow along the process from brewing the beer to enjoying it it along with the five course meal at The Publican. This sort of collaboration takes the idea of beer pairing dinners to another level. Brad and Ken couldn’t have asked for better beer or food to kick off the week of the 2010 Craft Brewers Conference. Be sure to visit The Publican because they always have some sort of rare beer on tap and delicious food to pair with it.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (237.6 MB).

Two Brothers Brewing & The Publican Beer Dinner

To kick off the week of the 2010 Craft Brewers Conference two powerhouses have joined forces to create a beer dinner that will undoubtedly be special. Two Brothers Brewing Co. and The Publican are known for their excellence in beer and food respectively, but they’ve taken this event one step further. They have collaborated on a one-off beer that will debut with one of the courses.

Michael McAvena, beer director at The Publican, has a background in homebrewing so it seemed to be a no-brainer that he go out to Warrenville and make a beer with Jason Ebel, founder/owner of Two Brothers Brewing Co. The style is said to be a sour mash triple that will be available as is and also in two different blends. One of the blends is with the Two Brothers Bitter End Pale Ale, and the other is with an especially rare Two Brothers Brett beer that was the second beer brewed when they opened their current brewery in 2007.

Executive chef Paul Kahan is passionate about his food and his beer, which shines through every night at The Publican. It has quickly become a destination spot for beer drinkers looking for a flawlessly executed menu and a fantastic beer selection to boot.

A glimpse at the menu should say everything.

• Jamon Iberico with fried morels and pickled fiddlehead fern
paired with Prairie Path
• Guinea hen, foie gras galantine with ramps orange mustard greens and cashew paired with Ebel’s Wiess
• Crawford Farm corned lamb mix grill with spring, rye, panzanella
paired with Longhaul Oak Aged Session Ale
• BBQ salmon
paired with the collaboration beer
• Brown butter, orange, honey, coffee and almonds
paired with Domaine DuPage

Keep an eye out for the upcoming Hop Cast episode featuring the brewing process and highlighting the dinner at The Publican. Hop Cast will be there Monday, April 5th and you should be too!

The price of food is $55, beer will be $20.
Reservations are encouraged. 
For more info please contact The Publican 837 West Fulton Mkt. Chicago 60607
(312) 733.9555

Hope to see you there!

Ken & Brad’s Ten Favorite Midwest Craft Breweries

Here are Ken & Brad’s ten favorite midwest craft breweries and the towns they are in.

1. Three FloydsMunster, Indiana
Three Floyds is located just 30 minutes outside of Chicago in Muster, Indiana. These guys love the big beers. Three Floyds knows how to really bring the hops in their beers though they may be most famous for their Russian Imperial Stout, Dark Lord that tops many lists as one of the best beers in the world. Dark Lord bottles are sold only on ‘Dark Lord Day,’ the last Saturday in April where you are sure to find Brad and Ken and several thousand other fellow beer lovers in line and having a good time. Besides being an excellent brewery, they also have a brew pub that is cranking out some seriously tasty food. Don’t think you can come to Chicago and not make a trip out to see these guys

Episodes Featuring Three Floyds – Episode 3, Episode 12, Episode 23, Episode 39, Episode 66, Episode 74, Episode 75

2. Bell’sKallamazoo, Michigan
Bell’s was the first Michigan brewery to serve beer by the glass to the public. With over 20 years of brewing, Larry Bell has built a nationwide reputation with Bell’s Brewery. They played and are still playing a significant role in changing the craft beer landscape of the nation. They continue to produce a large variety of excellent beer and that’s why they are one out our favorites.

Episodes Featuring Bell’s – Episode 3, Episode 37, Episode 65, Episode 71

3. Founders BreweryGrand Rapids, Michigan
Founders Brewing is talked about constantly in the craft beer community for so many great beers and they just keep coming out with more. More flavor, bigger body, huge aromatics and increased complexity is the goal of Founders and they bring it to you. They continue to push the envelope and that’s what makes them great. Both Ken and Brad are excited to see what they have coming out in the years to come.

4. Boulevard BrewingKansas City, Missouri
Boulevard Brewing is one of the few breweries that Ken and Brad haven’t visited in the midwest. They are a fairly large brewery and also have a rather large distribution area but unfortunately you can’t find their beers in Chicago. Outside of the quality year-round brews they offer, its what they’ve been doing with their Smokestack Series releases that has really made us drink up and take notice.

Episodes Featuring Boulevard Brewing – Episode 15, Episode 56

5. New Glarus Brewing CompanyNew Glarus, Wisconsin
Just on the outskirts of the small “Swisstown” New Glarus, Wisconsin is where you will find the New Glarus Brewing Company. They are perhaps the biggest of the Wisconsin craft breweries and it’s hard to find a bar in Wisconsin that doesn’t have New Glarus beer on tap. They don’t distribute outside of Wisconsin so if you live outside of the state then a road trip is in order! Luckily Ken drives to Wisconsin often enough and brings back beers to share with fellow beer lovers in Chicagoland. As well as excellent year-round offerings, what these guys are doing with fruit is incredible! It will make the ladies and the gents in your life extra happy. Just.. wow!

Episode Featuring New Glarus Brewing Company – Episode 56

6. Jolly Pumpkin Dexter, Michigan
Jolly Pumpkin has a little something different going on there and their beers are not for everyone. Focusing on traditional rustic country style beers they use open fermentation, oak barrel aging, and bottle conditioning. Many of you know that Brad isn’t a huge fan of the sour beers but Jolly Pumpkin is slowly helping him to learn to appreciate that style and the Hop Cast really respects the quality product that Jolly Pumpkin creates.

Episodes Featuring Jolly Pumpkin – Episode 4, Episode 57, Episode 70

7. Surly BrewingBrooklyn Center, Minnesota
If you’re visiting Minnesota and love beer it’s likely you have heard of what Surly Brewing is producing. You’ll find most of their beers in 16 oz cans at local liquor stores throughout the Twin Cities and beyond. If you are willing to brave the weather in Minnesota in October and stand in line early then you get a rare, magnificent taste of their much lauded once a year release, Russian Imperial Stout; they call Darkness.

Episodes Featuring Surly Brewing – Episode 20, Episode 62, Episode 69

8. Goose IslandChicago, Illinois
Goose Island and Chicago sort of go hand and hand. They are widely distributed throughout the majority of states and many people know about their bottled beers including the much loved and praised, Bourbon County Stout. But a trip to Chicago wouldn’t be complete without seeing what else Goose Island has to offer. At the Goose Island Clybourn brewpub you’ll find about 10 beers that are not in bottles and exclusively only available there. They are constantly rotating in new offerings so make sure you stop on by and see what they have on tap.

Episodes Featuring Goose Island – Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 47, Episode 65, Episode 77

9. Two BrothersWarrenville, Illinois
Head directly west of Chicago to Warrenville and check out Two Brothers and their brew pub. Since Warrenville is Brad’s birthplace, Two Brothers holds a special spot in his heart. Two Brothers beers are solid and although with the exception of Hop Juice, many of their beers may not completely blow away the craft beer lover. They are go-to beers; the kind of beers that you can also give to your average beer friends (if you have any) and they are still going to enjoy them. When you need a good, solid beer that isn’t too experimental then a Two Brothers is a dependable choice.

Episode Featuring Two Brothers – Episode 11

10. KuhnhennWarren, Michigan
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company is your typical hardware store turned microbrewery story… ok there’s nothing typical about Kuhnhenn. Run by brothers Bret and Eric Kuhnhenn in the small town of Warren, Michigan these brothers have the craft beer community talking. You can find their beers in 12 oz and 22 oz bottles. And if you see them, pick them up because they are pretty amazing. A couple favorites are the Simcoe Silly, Creme Brulee Java Stout & the Solar Eclipse.

Honorable Mention
With so many great top notch breweries in the midwest it was hard to just pick 10. There were a few that almost made the list and we just wanted to give them props for what they are doing.
Half AcreChicago, IL
Metropolitan BrewingChicago, IL
Dark Horse BrewingMarshall, Michigan
Futhermoore BeerSpring Green, Wisconsin