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Strange Brews

Chicago Public Media

WBEZ's podcast covering craft beer and related culture. Hosted by Andrew Gill, Alison Cuddy and Tim Akimoff, episodes are recorded on location around the Midwest and include interesting guests including brewers, artists and craft beer lovers. New episodes are posted every other week.

WBEZ's podcast covering craft beer and related culture. Hosted by Andrew Gill, Alison Cuddy and Tim Akimoff, episodes are recorded on location around the Midwest and include interesting guests including brewers, artists and craft beer lovers. New episodes are posted every other week.
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Chicago, IL


WBEZ's podcast covering craft beer and related culture. Hosted by Andrew Gill, Alison Cuddy and Tim Akimoff, episodes are recorded on location around the Midwest and include interesting guests including brewers, artists and craft beer lovers. New episodes are posted every other week.






848 East Grand Ave Navy Pier Chicago, Illinois 60611 312-948-4600


Brewing outside the lines with Mountain Brew and Scratch Brewing (Episode 75)

We talk with Tim Matson, the author of Mountain Brew a guide to illegal homebrewing in 1970s Vermont. We also talk with the owners of Scratch Brewing, a brewery in the middle of a Southern Illinois forest obsessed with foraged ingredients. We discuss the first craft beer cruise and the results of the #dirtylines movement in Boston. We also hear calls from listeners and celebrate winning the Best Beer Podcast for a second year from the North American Guild of Beer Writers. To find out about...


A beery world history in comic book form (Episode 74)

We talk with the authors of The Comic Book Story of Beer, Jonathan Hennessey and Mike Smith. They explain the role beer played in wars and revolutions throughout world history. We also discuss recent sales and acquisitions in the craft beer world including Lagunitas and Virtue Cider. We drink a barrel-aged Scottish Ale from Sketchbook Brewing.


Founders founder not concerned about craft beer label (Episode 73)

We talk with Dave Engbers and Jeremy Kosmicki of Founders Brewing Co. about their tough early years and their plans following their partial sale to Spanish brewery Mahou San Miguel. We also talk with Mashable's Juana Summers about beer on the presidential campaign trail and North Korea's beer aspirations.


Is Not Your Father's Root Beer actually beer? Part 2 (Episode 72.5)

The conclusion of our investigation into Small Town Brewery's Not Your Father's Root Beer. We get lab results back from White Labs and talk with representatives from the TTB and the Brewers Association about how they distinguish between beer and flavored malt beverages.


Is Not Your Father's Root Beer actually beer? (Episode 72)

We try to figure out what's going on with the alcoholic root beer taking the craft beer world by storm- Small Town Brewery's Not Your Father's Root Beer.


An update from Strange Brews

Our regularly scheduled episode will be publishing early next week. We're working on a special investigation and need a few extra days to get everything in place.


Noble Brewer helps homebrews go pro (Episode 71)

We talk with the founder of Noble Brewer, a subscription service that makes award-winning homebrew available to the masses. We're joined by Monica Eng to discuss the conflict between 5 Rabbit Brewery and Donald Trump. We also discuss the urine-collection truck at a European music festival that promises to turn piss into beer. We sample Noble Brewer's Dudeling Farmhouse Ale and Yerba Buena Cascadian Dark Ale. We listen to "Dude Beach" by The Walters.


Liz Garibay shares history through beer (Episode 70)

We talk with historian Liz Garibay about her recent trip through Europe tracing the impact of different beer styles on their place of origin. (Read about her exploits at #StoryofBeer on Twitter). We drink Summit Pilsener and Ommegang Fleur de Houblon. We also discuss ABInBev's new $1.7 billion investment in U.S. production and new claims that breweries are the hottest startups around.


Mike Pesca is a DIPA (Episode 69)

We talk with Mike Pesca of The Gist podcast from Slate. He shares his beer analogy for NPR programming and which brewery he thinks has decreased in quality. We also discuss President Obama's near-beer German photo op and a Stanley Cup wager where the real winners are craft beer drinkers. We drink Omnipollo beers- Hypnopompa, Magic 42 and Nebuchadnezzar. Photo of Mike Pesca and the Stanley Cup by Josh Levin.


David Bazan is like The Alchemist (Episode 68)

We catch up with singer-songwriter David Bazan about what he's been up to since his last appearance on Strange Brews, including his monthly music series. We share an XHops Purple from Toppling Goliath. In beer news we discuss proposed changes to the Illinois craft brewer license and new sub-brands from Boston Beer Company. We fuss over and dissect O'Fallon's Strawberry Best wheat ale.


67 - Adam Vavrick of Binny's Beverage Depot

We talk with Adam Vavrick, a craft beer raconteur whose day job is beer manager at Binny's Beverage Depot in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. He tells us why interest in bombers is waning and his stance on offensive beer labels. We also discuss the class action suit against Blue Moon and 15 breweries to watch in 2015. We drink Begyle Brewing's Imperial Pajamas Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Come to our Apple Store event at 6pm 5/19


66 - Lager Beer Riot and C2E2

We're out and about hitting C2E2, and then hit a new take on history as we *try* to cover a reenacted -- or, re-imagined! -- battle to settle the Lager Beer Riot of 1855 once and for all! Bring in the dodge balls! And, speaking of battles over beer, our own Tim Akimoff is back for the news, as we touch on a critique of one of his many hometowns' beer scenes. That, plus other beer news... and our beer recommendations.


65 - Scharpling & Wurster talk comedy and beer

We talk with Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster about why beer fans might like their comedy podcast, The Best Show. We also take the Off Flavor Kit challenge courtesy of the Cicerone Certification Program. We discuss Dick Cantwell's resignation from Elysian Brewing and why there are so few breweries in the South. We recommend Sweetwater's 420 IPA and Revolution's Thee Destroyer DIPA. Scharpling & Wurster photo by Jason Marck.


64 - Rodenbach Brewery with Rudi Ghequire

We talk with Rodenbach brewmaster Rudi Ghequire about brewing more sour beer than any other human currently living. We sample Rodenbach Classic and Grand Cru. We discuss the new Top 50 Craft Breweries from the Brewers Association, Oskar Blues' purchase of Perrin Brewing and the Gurnee American Legion's first craft beer festival. We also drink Cigar City's Jai Alai IPA.


63 - Cooking with beer with Jackie Dodd, The Beeroness

We learn how to use beer to make food that actually tastes good from Jackie Dodd, aka The Beeroness. We also sample a product we mentioned in episode 61- Bud Light Mixx Tails. We try the Hurricane variety. We clear our palates with fresh Spiteful IPA from Chicago's Spiteful Brewing. In beer news we discuss the dispute between Bell's Brewery and Innovation Brewing, Three Floyds and White Flame Brewing settling out of court and the UK adding the price of craft beer to their list of economic...


62 - Cicerone Certification with Ray Daniels and Josh Noel

The Chicago Tribune's Josh Noel sits in for Alison Cuddy this week as we interview Ray Daniels, the creator of the Cicerone beer serving certification program and original gangster of craft beer. We find out if Daniels anticipated that less than a decade after launching, his program would be the worldwide gold standard for beer knowledge. We also discuss the Small BREW Act versus the Fair BEER Act and other beer-related legislation currently pending. We drink Can-Can red wine barrel aged...


61 - Beer Foods with Brian and Lindsay Will Totally Eat That

We talk with Brian Fernandes and Lindsay Pavlas of the web video series Brian and Lindsay Will Totally Eat That about Larry The Cable Guy Beer Bread and other beer-flavored foods that we may never eat again. We also discuss craft beer in grocery stores and the lawsuit New Belgium just filed defending their Slow Ride IPA trademark. We drink Sun King's Soul Shakedown Party rum barrel-aged scotch ale.


60 - Guide to cider with Eric West of Cider Guide podcast

Recorded live at Cider Summit Chicago, we talk cider with Eric West of Cider Guide podcast. We sample Uncle John’s Cider Rosé, Worley’s Special Reserve Keeved Cider, Guzmán Riestra Sidra Brut, Les Vergers de la Colline Api-Hop Cider and Eden Ice Cider Co. Heirloom Blend.


59 - Beer Brewed The Hard Way in documentary Blood, Sweat and Beers

We talk with Chip Hiden and Alexis Irvin, co-directors of the craft beer documentary Blood, Sweat, and Beer. We also discuss Budweiser's anti-craft beer Super Bowl ad and drink Wicked Weed's Black Angel Cherry Sour. Andrew Gill, Tim Akimoff and Jason Marck make up the Strange Brews crew this week.


58 - The Case of the Counterfeit Beer

In a special episode we investigate a documented case of fraud in the craft beer trading community and what that community did in response to it. Editing help this week from Shawn Allee of Curious City. Here's the thread that inspired this episode: