ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast-logo

ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast


A Chicago-based craft beer podcast with beer and events reviews. Visit our website at www.abvchicago.com!


United States


A Chicago-based craft beer podcast with beer and events reviews. Visit our website at www.abvchicago.com!




Episode 524 - San Diego

It’s been over a decade since Craig and Ryan have been out to beautiful San Diego, and thanks to listener Dave Adams, the podcast gets a lovely flavor vacation with beers from five of the city’s breweries. The lineup is stylistically diverse, the rankings deviate in the middle, and at least one beer surprises at every step. Also, there’s a lukewarm take on POGs from our youth; one brewer profile is seemingly inviting potential suitors; hop kief gets its introduction; and the path from Flavor Utopia is followed to meet Smokey Robinson at ‘Gasmville. Beers Reviewed Burgeon Beer Company - Invita (Mexican-Style Lager) Seek Beer Co. - Scenic Route (Strawberry & Banana Fruited Sour) Ketch Brewing - Celestial Navigation (San Diego-Style IPA) Pure Project Brewing - River Queen (Murky Triple IPA) White Labs Brewing Co. - Frankenstout WLP096 Frankenyeast Blend (American Stout)


Episode 523 - Stout Me Up

Sometimes you want a stout that’s not sweet, adjunct-free, and stripped down to just the base style interpretation, and we were so excited to find five readily-available local examples. (No barrels, coconuts, vanilla beans, or cacao nibs were harmed in the making of this episode.) In addition to our straight stout sippin’, we marvel at Dog Surfing Championships, discover that The Alley is still around, and speculate that one brewery must’ve put a chip in Ryan’s brain. Beers Reviewed Roaring Table Brewing - Baby You Don’t Know (Oat Stout) Revolution Brewing Company - Repo Man (Rye Stout) Half Acre Beer Company - Original Reaper (American Stout) Mikerphone Brewing - Symphonic Stout (American Stout) Hailstorm Brewing Co. - The Malt Slayer (Russian Imperial Stout)


Episode 522 - Deep Wood: On Heavenly Jacket

Donning our heavenly jackets for this one, we drink the final set of Revolution’s Deep Wood lineup for the 2023-2024 season. Three ‘wines and a stout make up this unsurprisingly spectacular four pack, and even through all of our nit-picking we can’t deny who is making the best barrel-aged beers in the city and state. Plus, we’re doing our part to stop the TV game show idea shortage; Craig shares his Deep Wood release party recaps (with some glaring consequences); and Ryan gets to test out his Doug Veliky impression. Deep Wood 2023-2024 Beers Reviewed Straight Jacket (Bourbon barrel-aged barleywine) Ryeway to Heaven (Ryewine aged in bourbon and rye barrels) V.S.O.R. Select (Ryewine aged in bourbon and rye barrels) On & On Part 3 [collaboration w/ Half Acre Beer Co.] (Blended double barrel-aged stout)


Episode 521 - The SC Show

Our 34th state show is just as sweet as it is sour, as we tackle five beers from South Carolina courtesy of listeners Benji & Suzanne. Even though it’s a bit heavy on the tart beers, we learn about five breweries that represent a pretty good cross section of the South Carolina brewing scene. Also, Craig needs to bail someone out of the hellscape that is a community Facebook group, Ryan has stern words of warning about ranch delivery methods, and we’re attempting to flex our marketing muscles again. Beers Reviewed Munkle Brewing Co. [Charleston,SC] - Saison Holy City Brewing [North Charleston, SC] - Sparkly Princess (Sour IPA) Westbrook Brewing Co. [Mt. Pleasant, SC] - Ranch Water Gose (Gose aged in tequila barrels w/ lime & salt) Edmund’s Oast Brewing Company [Charleston, SC] - Sour Mango Papaya (Sour ale w/ mango & papaya) Ghost Monkey Brewery [Mt. Pleasant, SC] - Jojo Coffee Stout


Episode 520 - 10 Beers for 10 Years

Ever since January 22nd of 2014, the ABV Chicago podcast has released a new episode every single week - and nobody could be more stunned about this fact than us. To commemorate a decade of arbitrary beer reviews, brewer interviews, and tipsy shenanigans, we open ten beers from ten breweries that all also got their start in 2014. The twist is that Craig and Ryan both present their five beers to the other as a blind tasting, forcing some surprising brewery, style, and “secret theme” guesses. Also, we spend a little time on memory lane, rank some celebrity hunks, and do what we do best: talk about candy, mostly. Thanks for checking us out at any point over these ten years, and expect a lot more to come because we literally don’t know how to stop doing this podcast. Beers Reviewed, In Half-Blind Order Middle Brow Beer Co. - Yard Work (Kölsch) Illuminated Brew Works - Clurichaun Trap (Session Stout) Imperial Oak Brewing - Roundabout (Pale Ale) Werk Force Brewing Company - Really Decent (Light Lager) Penrose Brewing Company - Day Off IPA Sketchbook Brewing Co. - Amistosa (Mexican-Style Lager) Marz Community Brewing Co. - Boogie Nights (Dark Wheat Ale) Pollyanna Brewing Company - In the Cards (Hazy American Pale Ale) Maplewood Brewing Company - Barrel-Aged Cuppa Stuffff (Imperial Stout aged in bourbon & whiskey barrels w/ vanilla beans, cacao nibs, and coffee) Noon Whistle Brewing - Good Piebrations: Banana Cream Pie (Hefeweizen w/ bananas & vanilla beans)


Episode 519 - Hop Butcher: Taproom Edition

It’s been almost three years since the announcement that Hop Butcher for the World would be taking over the original Half Acre brewery space, and it’s been a year since the rebranded taproom opened. So we take time to sit down with co-founder and co-owner Jude La Rose for a long chat about the present and future of his brewery that was recently named Craft Beer & Brewing magazine’s top Small Regional brewery in the country. We dive into formulating recipes, developing a lager program, releasing periodic barrel-aged stouts, and giving a defined purpose to every hazy beer they release. We also reminisce about the early days and what it means to take over such a legendary Chicago beer location. In addition, we also review four Hop Butcher beers of different styles, get curious about that kief, and somehow fall into old sitcoms. All that and a shout out to the late Stas Bulanda. #BringBackFirkinFridays (Hit the GoFundMe for Nick Segura if you can help in any way.) Jude La Rose interview (00:07:34 - 0:1:18:56) Beers Reviewed The Origins of Polka (Saaz-hopped Czech-style Pilsner) Symbols of Math (Vic Secret, Sabro, and Simcoe-hopped [clear] Double IPA) The Adventures of Strata and Peacharine (Strata and Peacharine-hopped [hazy] Double IPA) Lincoln Anniversary Stout (Bourbon Barrel-aged Imperial Stout)


Episode 518 - Cereal Beers

You don’t turn to us for advice on a balanced breakfast, but we’re happy to spoon up five cereal-inspired beers so good that even Mikey likes it. Through clever use of ingredients (or just throwing the cereal right in the beer), these beers really test the nostalgia influence of sitting a foot from the TV in our PJs while watching Captain N: The Game Master. Also, we consider all the different ways to attack the mat, share our own cereal biases, establish our independence through Cocoa Puffs, and endorse Malt-O-Meal above all. I’d say this episode is pretty gr-r-r-eat!!! Beers Reviewed WeldWerks Brewing Co. - Bamm Bamm Rubble Rubble: Watermelon (Sour ale w/ fruity rice cereal, watermelon, milk sugar, vanilla, & marshmallow) Tripping Animals Brewing Co. - YABADABADU (Sour ale w/ orange, lemon, cherry, tangerine, vanilla, F**ty P*bbles, and milk sugar) Edmund’s Oast Brewing Company Cereal For Dinner (Blonde ale w/ vanilla bean, toasted coconut, toasted almonds, and lactose) Artesia Brewing - FrankenStan (Sour ale w/ strawberries, marshmallow, and honey) Old Irving Brewing Co. - Cinnamon Prost (White stout w/ Saigon cinnamon, Tahitian vanilla bean, and milk sugar)


Episode 517 - Brandy, You’re A Fine Barrel

We fetch another round of barrel-aged beers for this episode, but with a twist: all four beers are aged in different kinds of brandy barrels. We explore the world of sweet brandy barrels and how they work on different styles, and we are totally surprised by our takeaways. Also, we talk mixed drinks, New Year sugar fears, John Entwistle, cooked malt, surprising personal revelations, and Jolly Rancher complaints. (Such a fine barrel.) Beers Reviewed Third Space Brewing - Wisconsinator (Doppelbock aged in Wollersheim Distillery brandy barrels) Central Waters Brewing Company - Peach Brandy & Maple Barrel-aged Barleywine (English-style barleywine with honey aged in peach brandy barrels & Bliss maple syrup barrels) Maplewood Brewing Company - Black Seed (Wheated stout aged in apple brandy barrels) Half Acre Beer Co. - Cherry Brandy Benthic 2022 (Cherry brandy barrel-aged stout with coconut and vanilla)


Episode 516 - Bourbon County 2023

Recorded on Black Friday (and previously released a month ago for our Patreon subscribers), this episode is our return to the Bourbon County lineup - after managing to get ourselves uninvited from the Goose Island media tastings. Luckily, we have our own beer sherpa in Beer on the Wall owner Ryan Tracy as he joins us to sip through all six beers in the back of his Elmhurst tasting room. Also, we measure the tasting against seeing the third Trolls movie in theaters, make plans to eat some rice cakes and drink some Dr. Fongs, try to eat everything at the fancy restaurant, shout out our special tube guy, and identify which store is actually ruining the BCBS release. In terms of beer rankings, two reviewers reach a consensus, and one is way out in left adjunct field. It’s a fun one, folks. BCBS Beers Reviewed Bourbon County Brand Stout 2023 Bourbon County Brand Eagle Rare 2-Year Reserve Stout Bourbon County Brand Angel’s Envy 2-Year Cask Finish Stout Bourbon County Brand Backyard Stout Bourbon County Brand Bananas Foster Stout Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s Stout 2023


Episode 515 - WeldWerks Medianoches

In what is likely our most decadent Barrel-Aged December™ episode yet, we sample four enormous stouts from WeldWerks’ Medianoche series that are as complex as they are thick (or thicc, as the kids say). Co-founder Neil Fisher gave us some mic time back during GABF that is shared here, and he helps us understand how his Greeley, Colorado brewery’s signature stout series differs from others. Also, Craig gets some much-needed Cronch validation, Ryan’s taking a trip down Peanut Butter Memory Lane, and I fear we veer towards Font Arguments Podcast again. Beers Reviewed Medianoche 2023 (Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout) Peanut Butter Cup Medianoche (Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout w/ cacao nibs, peanut flour, and peanut butter cups) Tropical Medianoche (Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout w/ bananas, coconut cream, and pineapple) Medianoche: Amburana Vanilla Luar (Imperial stout aged in bourbon and Amburana barrels w/ vanilla)


Episode 514 - Marked For Deth

There’s no escaping Deth, so we gather up four of the barrel-aged Revolution stouts from this year’s Deep Wood lineup and drink with reckless abandon. It’s no shocker that Revolution is still running the best barrel program in the city, but even with the bar raised as high as it is, the beers on the show clear it with ease. Even one beer challenges our “beer of the year” title (in a crowded year of stellar Rev beers). Also, we talk about odd movie theater experiences, cream some bean salad, escalate the Math versus English turf war, and remember how LMFAO was culturally significant at one point. Yes, we also talk about beer. But you can’t deny that it would be better with two Keith Davids. 2023 Deep Wood Beers Reviewed Deth’s Tar Cafe Deth Deth by Cherries DBVSOD


Episode 513 - Metropolitan Forever

For over 15 years, Metropolitan blessed this great city with high quality lagers and traditional German styles. They ushered in a second wave of Chicago craft brewing back when there were next to no options available. It’s safe to say that without Metropolitan, the Chicago craft beer scene wouldn’t have grown the way it did. Now Chicago will have to move on without Metro, who will be closing their doors for good on December 17th. We take this episode as an opportunity to appreciate their excellent lineup one more time, share many meaningful personal memories about the beers and brewery, and to say thank you for stubbornly making lagers even when it wasn’t cool to do so. Thank you, Metropolitan crew, and we wish you a clear and fulfilling path forward. Beers Enjoyed Flywheel Pilsner Krankshaft Kolsch Stromhaus Helles Heliostat Zwickel Lager Arc Welder Dunkel Rye Afterburner Oktoberfest


Episode 512 - FoBAB Winners 2023

Earlier in November, the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild put on the 21st Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers to recognize some of the breweries making the finest wood-aged beers around. We got our hands on five (out of the eleven) Illinois medal winners - and our first-ever Best of Show beer - to help us audition to become FoBAB judges some year. We share some FoBAB “by the numbers” and recap the awards with a slight angle towards our Fantasy FoBAB league interests. Also, Craig is opening up to the possibility of tinsel, Ryan is destroying himself for pleasure (as usual), and we point out which beer is the Warren Zevon of barrel-aged beers. Medal Winners Reviewed Off Color Brewing - Mezcal Barrel-Aged Beer for Tacos (Gold in Specialty/Experimental) Sketchbook Brewing Co. - Red Wine Barrel-Aged Tripel G (Gold in Other Pale Beer) Half Acre Beer Company - Orin (Silver in Other Dark Beer) Mikerphone Brewing - Slappa Da Base (Silver in Strong Porter/Stout) Hidden Hand/Solemn Oath Brewery - Oaked Val D’or (Gold in Wild Beer/Brett & Best of Show)


Episode 511 - Chicago Browntown

Hop on the Brown Line straight to Browntown with us, as we discover a hopefully-growing local resurgence of the brown ale with five examples from Chicagoland breweries on this episode. Adjunct or not, these brown ales all have a unique angle on the style - and most would absolutely kill on cask. We also discuss the worst possible colors for mayonnaise, we consider the best brown for the Thanksgiving table, Ryan shares his true feelings about the apple orchard, and Craig am become Cronch, destroyer of dry ramen. Beers Reviewed Spiteful Brewing - Bowmanville Brown Phase Three Brewing - Midst Maplewood Brewing Company - Brownie Points Werk Force Brewing Company - Axis: As Bold As Beer Around the Bend Beer Company - Puffing Billy


Episode 510 - Hop Waters

Carbonated water treated with hops is pretty simple in concept, but these five breweries prove that there’s a lot of variation and skill that goes into making these “zero/zero” drinks. And it shows that no matter how well non-alcoholic beers have progressed, some drinkers looking for a dry spell just can’t quit the hops - and now they don’t have to! We get extremely refreshed on this zero alcohol show while discussing many areas of potential for this rising trend. Also, Craig needs some real talk on a confusing bathroom arrangement, Ryan’s watching his calcium intake, and we want to know if kids should be drinking hop water before one of us looks like a bad parent. Waters Reviewed Sierra Nevada Brewing Company - Hop Splash Third Space Brewing - Hop Water: Citra Lemon Noon Whistle Brewing - Hop Water Revolution Brewing - Super Zero Marz Community Beverage Co. - Hop N’ Honey Water


Episode 509 - The DE Show

Though it might be one of the smallest states, the brewing scene in Delaware is mighty, and we’re ushering in our 33rd State Show with a lineup of five flavorful beers from five different breweries. Thanks to Ryan Tracy (and family), we’re able to live vicariously through his travelogue while sipping these delectable beers, just missing out on the coastal views and massive plates of seafood. Also, Ryan flies too close to the sun with his back scratcher, Craig’s working on the leg rolls, and one podcast studio gets absolutely drenched in an exploding beer. Beers Reviewed Blue Earl Brewing Co. [Smyrna, D] - Oktoberfest (Märzen) Mispillion River Brewing Company [Milford, DE] - Not Today Satan (American IPA) Thompson Island Brewing Company [Rehoboth Beach, DE] - Never Been Wrong (Barrel-Aged Sour Belgian Blonde) Big Oyster Brewery [Lewes, DE] - Noir et Bleu (Belgian Tripel w/ blueberries and black tea) Dewey Beer Company [Dewey Beach, DE] - Thrills: Strawberry, Watermelon, Lemonade (Fruited Sour)


Episode 508 - FoBABlin’ 5: Return to FoBABlin’

Chicago’s biggest, baddest and most-barreled festival is back in its 21st year, so we’re eager to FoBABble about it for the first time in four years as a lead-up to the competition. We also open four barrel-aged beers from breweries that have been FoBAB staples (and previous medal winners) to lubricate our discussions of new and returning breweries at this year’s fest, our “first pour” picks, festival attendee tips, sleeper breweries not to miss, and Fantasy FoBAB Power Rankings. Also, Ryan has a shameful admission about common bird identification, we ride the plot line of sniffs, and Craig’s getting the BabyBjörn ready for his unprepared podcast partner. Beers Reviewed Off Color Brewing - Beer For Burgers: Prime Cut (Helles Bock aged in bourbon barrels blended with fresh Helles Bock) Short Fuse Brewing Company - What The Night Brings (Imperial stout aged in bourbon and cognac barrels w/ dates and figs) Half Acre Beer Company - Double Barrel Catch Hell (Double barrel-aged imperial stout w/ Madagascar vanilla and Saigon cinnamon) Mikerphone Brewing - Sweet Drams (Double mash imperial stout aged in Pappy 15 bourbon barrels)


Episode 507 - Cruz Blanca Luchadors 2023

The seven barrel-aged beers that comprise this year’s Luchador lineup feature styles and ingredients we have rarely - or never - seen in the past, and no local “special release” lineup is getting as experimental as this one. Flavor master Jacob Sembrano is at it again, and we’re here to drunkenly rave over the barrel-aged results. There are many true “wow” moments on this one, and at least one bird that tried to ruin it all for everyone. Also, Craig has neighborhood watch concerns about bananas, Ryan’s ready to huff that bean bag, and beer jerseys are getting raised to the rafters. Beers Reviewed Bad Mermaid (Imperial Blonde aged in rye whiskey and rum barrels w/ dulce de leche and coconut) Lucha Royal (Imperial Saskatoon ale aged in French black currant liqueur barrels) Gigante (Double barrel blonde barleywine aged in Barbados rum barrels, finished in Colorado rye whiskey barrels) El Petito (Double barrel blonde barleywine aged in Colorado rye whiskey barrel, finished in French apricot brandy barrels) Rey Gordo (Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels) Señor Finito (Imperial stout aged in Colorado rye whiskey barrels w/ cocoa nibs, mesquite beans, and canella) Don Moustache (Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrel w/ Mexican Mazapan candy and cocoa nibs)


Episode 506 - Torture Test: Seven Deadly Beers

We’re indulging in our capital vices for our yearly attempt to destroy each other over bad beers, and this one features some of the most unexpected pours we’ve ever seen. There’s at least one beer here that unexpectedly brings out an extra large dose of wrath for one podcaster, and it’s not even the mystery beer in the box. WHAT’S IN THE BOX?? Also, Craig is investigating some decapitated pigeons, Ryan’s plan backfires, and we both learn to fear the SlenderCan. And make sure you stick it out for one of the most horrifying Cuvées of Doom ever concocted. Beers Endured [LUST] Kultowy Browar Staropolski - Bestbir Pszenica z Sokiem Pacific z Grejpfrutem (Grapefruit-flavored wheat beer) [GREED] O’Fallon Brewery - Cherry Chocolate Dark Wheat (from 2017??) [PRIDE] Dugges Bryggeri - Cola (Cola-inspired sour w/ nutmeg, lime, cinnamon, and vanilla) [GLUTTONY] RAR Brewing - Out of Order: It Wasn’t Easy (Pastry sour w/ pineapple, lemon-lime, coconut, lactose, and pastry cream) [SLOTH] Penrose Brewing - Wild XI (Oak-aged American wild ale, from 2015) [ENVY] 903 Brewers - Dr. Seltzer (Hard seltzer slushy w/ fruit and spices) [WRATH] Aslin Beer Company - Pinkies Up (Quintuple IPA)


Episode 505 - Lager Heads: Welcome to Chi-Taste-O

Chicagoland is pretty gifted in lager-centric breweries, but now that trends have shifted back towards the more drinkable, almost every brewery is featuring more and more lagers. This is an extremely good thing. For this show, we do a blind tasting wherein we match a local lager-focused brewery’s beer against a local “everything” brewery’s beer along style lines and give our unbiased opinions. Our arbitrary reviews won’t prove much, but we do have an opinion on which brewery we think is making the best lagers in Chicagoland. Also, we force the title colon thanks to A.I. which introduces us to Chi-Taste-O. (We recommend you get a 6-pack of lagers ready and responsibly drink every time we say, “Chi-Taste-O.”) Plus we’re making bread references, attacking the Veggie Stick stash, and valuing rusticity. So sayeth the Mayor and Seer of Chi-Taste-O. Beers Reviewed and Battled Blindly Alarmist Brewing - Crispy Boy (Pilsner) Vs. Dovetail Brewery - Pilsner Half Acre Beer Company - Helles Vs. Metropolitan Brewing - Stromhaus (Helles) Miskatonic Brewing Company/Seldom Beer Co. & Streetside Brewery - Loggers From Vienna (Vienna-Style Lager) Vs. Goldfinger Brewing Company - Vienna-Style Lager