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ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast


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

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 445 - Portland, Oregon

Known as Beervana for a reason, Portland, Oregon is maybe the premier beer destination city in the United States. Summer Craig recently spent some time getting to know the beers of the Pacific Northwest, and he got some help from accomplished beer writer Jeff Alworth. The Beer Bible author gives us the story of Portland’s beer proclivities and how they don’t always follow the national trends. Also, Jeff gives us good Portland beer history, explains how the hazy trend might’ve actually...


Episode 444 - Local Hefes

The hefeweizen is a pretty universally appreciated summer beer, and we’ve amazingly never dedicated an entire show to the style. But thankfully a bunch of cool local brewers have put their best non-hoppy hazies in cans for us to consider, as we rise from 5% ABV all the way up to 5.4% ABV in this lineup. Also, we do some summer PD by putting Summer Craig through a SWOT analysis; Ryan has rediscovered his Willi Becher; and we have Hefeweizen Opinions (on HBO). There’s also a game that Ryan’s...


Episode 443 - The Bend Show

Though it may not be many people’s pick for Oregon’s best beer city, it’s hard to ignore the quality beers produced in Bend. From Craig’s trip, we have five diverse beer styles from five different Bend breweries that both impress us with new flavors and stir up some nostalgia. Also, Craig talks about his trip to The Last Blockbuster and quizzes Ryan on related trivia. Plus there’s talk of squirrels drunk off of tree fermenters, a Rule 34 Brewery, imaginary berries, and a desperate plea for...


Episode 442 - Mixed Culture Cooler

Plunge that hand deep into the slushy depths of that beach-ready cooler and help yourself to a cold and refreshing serving of…lactobacillus, saccharomyces, and brettanomyces?! That’s right - we are packing our coolers with refreshing and fruity mixed culture sour beers from local breweries to bring some new energy to our summer gatherings. These are the kind of tart beers that can only be measured in beach balls, deck chairs, patio lights, and floppy sun hats. Also, we imagine the stories...


Episode 441 - Hair of the Dog

For almost 30 years, Alan Sprints and his Portland, Oregon brewery Hair of the Dog pioneered American craft beer through some of the earliest barrel-aging experiments and developed potent beers built for aging, creating some of the original “whales” in the process. Once Alan decided to retire and close his legendary brewery in June of 2022, Craig booked a trip to experience Hair of the Dog for a final time and to get Mr. Sprints on the microphone to reflect on his career and look ahead to...


Episode 440 - Saison Death Match: Chicago vs. Milwaukee

The time has finally come to pit the world’s premier saison producing cities - Chicago and Milwaukee, obviously - against one another in an arbitrary competition to determine once and for all whose farmhouses rule the I-94 corridor. We have six saisons, three from each city, going head-to-head in specified categories to help determine a “winner.” Also, we evaluate which candies would make the best breakfast food, Craig’s mundane superpower of ABV-detection, and our desire to drink fancy...


Episode 439 - Pfriem Pforever

We’ve long loved Hood River’s Pfriem Family Brewers, and thanks to Craig’s recent travels, we are able to drink through five of their impressive beers. For this one, we experience a wider array of styles, and a few challenge the best of style available locally. Also, we dream of having our own Streisand-like underground malls, we settle into a good butt nook, and we try to forget some bad brut memories. If you’re down with P(friem), then you’re down with me. Beers Reviewed Helles...


Episode 438 - Necromancer Resurrections

Pittsburgh’s Necromancer has just crossed over a year in operation, and we’re already onto our second show featuring only their beers. Why? Kuit beer is the reason. We catch up with head brewer Lauren Hughes about five of her “Resurrection” releases - beers that were previously “dead” or so obscure that there’s almost no example for comparison’s sake. (Much like our beloved Kuit beer.) She also shares updates on Necromancer’s expansion plans and what in the hell is a Pennsylvania Swankey....


Episode 437 - Midwest Pils

No matter how much trends fluctuate, one of the steadiest beers to bank on is the pilsner. Everyone who loves beer loves a great pilsner, and in our opinion, no beer list is complete without one. So we pick five pilsners from five midwestern states to taste through and appreciate while trying very hard to banish the term “drinkable” from the show. Also, Bo Jackson is behind the wheel on the way to our pheasant-hunting trip; we talk about how going to New Glarus is like going to Six Flags;...


Episode 436 - MoBAB 2: Dark Territory

It is once again time for us to drink more barrel-aged beers (MoBAB), with Craig and Ryan as the only two heroes that can withstand this lineup of sinister and imposing stouts. Because it’s a sequel, we brought in ALL RINGERS for this one, and capping it at four beers was the best decision we could’ve made. Also, we sketch out Jef Lambic, Attorney at Law; struggle mightily against wax; and reflect on exactly what TMNT has taken away from us. Beers Reviewed Mikerphone Brewing - Sir Blends...


Episode 435 - Giant Jones Brewing Company

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Giant Jones is a woman-run, certified organic brewery specializing in big beers and obscure styles - a few of which are completely new to us. So we have on co-owner and brewer Jessica Jones to talk about how Giant Jones gets creative within the limits of organic ingredients, why some of their signature beers were born somewhat accidentally, and how they’ve evolved from their origins as a barleywine brewery. We also review five beers that each surprise and impress...


Episode 434 - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Established in 1998, Kuhnhenn remembers a simpler time for craft beer. But Kuhnhenn also remembers that there were big and flavorful beers done differently - to emphasize style while also honoring drinkability - in the early part of the 21st century. This lineup of five beers from the Detroit suburb-housed brewery gives us a lot of nostalgia while finding a way to keep up with some of the big flavors of today. Also, we explore the relationship between sandwich size and happiness, get our...


Episode 433 - Smooj

Hard seltzers are starting to see a bit of a dip in sales, but it’s probably because they’re not all loaded up with chunky fruit and 250-plus calories per can. Last year’s “phenomenon” of the smoothie hard seltzer was kicked off by an offshoot of Ann Arbor’s HOMES Brewery that goes by the name of Smooj. Craig stopped by the Lab (which should really be called the Smoojery) to pick up five slim cans of thick and sludgy hard seltzer for us to review. And because we needed another layer of...


Episode 432 - Azadi Brewing

Currently operating out of Pilot Project, Azadi Brewing may be small at the moment, but their flavors are big and inspired by ingredients from regions all over India. We talk with co-founders Bhavik Modi and Gator Schrand about their unusual collaborative process that results in a rich lineup of beers that seek to tell a story and educate the consumer about India, Indian food, and Indian communities in Chicago. (They also taste pretty great as well, we might add.) In addition, we learn about...


Episode 431 - Bocks of Spring

Malt-forward and flowery, the bock-style lager most made for the Spring season is typically a maibock, though not all breweries embrace the confines of that title. We collect five local bocks made with Spring in mind to help Craig make up his mind about this style that once literally saved a city. We also meet two diabolical breakfast buffet villains, get our minds freaked by food commercial secrets, and start feeling real TOASTY! Shorts and a sweater? A dress and a jean jacket? We’ve got...


Episode 430 - Cream Team

One of America’s few original styles also happens to be a commonly misunderstood one. The Cream Ale has no dairy or lactose (much to Craig’s chagrin) but is instead much more similar to the flavorful and easy-drinking Kölsch. We drink through five examples of the style to better grasp its nuances and are once again surprised by the refreshing amount of subtle variation. Also, we discuss the ultimate mind game, foosball, and accidentally give the ice cream machine sentience. (And if you’re...


Episode 429 - Haze Court

We’ve been summoned to do our civic duty in Haze Court, giving five hazy beers their due process through our arbitrary…arbitration. We’re ready to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that we should drop the charges against haze, and sentence our taste buds to about an hour of hop service. Also, we imagine adding a twist to new MLB rules, experience the Mandela Effect with Sir Mix-A-Lot, and try to keep Craig’s Hop Anger Meter below critical. Beers Reviewed Old Nation Brewing Co. - DDH...


Episode 428 - Atrium Brewing

In less than two years, Atrium Brewing already has folks claiming them as the best brewery in Louisville - so Craig had to visit and find out for himself. Head brewer Spencer Guy hops on for an interview to talk about the brewery’s origins, being known for kettle sours but having a penchant for clean beers, and what to expect once they are able to add more space. Then we drink through five diverse offerings that range from nostalgia-inducing classics to “how could this possibly work?” in a...


Episode 427 - Hot Drops, Part Deux!

As if the Chicago shelves couldn’t be more saturated with tantalizing options, a whole new round of hot drops has hit recently that got us out to the bottle shops to see if they’ll take valuable fridge space away from our local faves.We have five very different beers from some notable out-of-state breweries - and we have our first ever D.O.A. Hot Drop. Also, Ryan is living with the horror of a room centipede, Craig’s working through some hop anger, and we both are titillated by The Burden of...


Episode 426 - The Louisville Show

Well ahead of Derby Day, Craig trotted down to Louisville, Kentucky to check out their beer scene and bring back a five-pack, along with an interview. The range is wide on this one with easy-drinkers to adjunct-crammed sippers all fighting for the top spot in our arbitrary rankings. Also, Craig chats with Andy Cobb from Butchertown to learn about his growing operation, how to determine the right amount of coconut to cram into a stout, and the potential for kung fu showdowns over craft beer....