Monthly Archives: April 2019

Pubcast 310 – Dan Rosenberg from MyGrain Brewing

Joliet has a long and rich brewing history, but until recently it died away and most of the classic German-style breweries closed. Now, the industry is starting to creep back into the city center with not one, but two locations opening over the last 12 months. Ken McMullen from Hopvine accompanied me as we visited with MyGrain Brewing, located right by the Joliet Amtrak station. Head brewer there is Dan Rosenburg, and we sat down with him to hear about the brewery and sample some of his many offerings on tap.

It’s an impressive building, and a big space, and owners Vince and Greg have filled it with an impressive tap room and restaurant serving a wide range of food offerings. But it is the beer that we focus on and Dan does not disappoint, with up to 18 or 19 options on tap at any one time. We try to sample a range of them from his light and crisp Kolsch, to the signature stout which usually has a couple of variants available for comparison.

We also got a sneak preview of their first anniversary brew, the details of which we can’t reveal here, but suffice it to say it will be amazing, so keep and eye and an ear out for the announcement!

It’s worth the drive down here, and make sure your route takes you down 171 and past the Old Joliet Prison, and then head to the city center and MyGrain. You won’t be disappointed!

Brews sampled:

  • From PALE They Came, Collaboration with P.A.L.E. Home Brew club, IPA, 7.2%
  • FNL Kolsch, Kolsch, 5.7%
  • Ze Vorld’s Greatest Doppelbock, Doppelbock, 9.2%
  • City of Stone, Saison, 6.5%
  • Stateville Stout, Milk Stout, 7.4%

Play the episode from one of the players below, or subscribe on iTunes!

Pubcast 309 – Bittermann on Tour

If you know the Illinois craft beer scene, then you probably know John Bittermann – he’s the crazy guy always asking for brewery glasses! He’s also a recognized beer historian, having presented displays and lectures at Joliet Museum. He is the source for those who need to know about new breweries in Illinois, and every year he takes at least one vacation trip downstate to visit those breweries that we in the Chicago and suburbs tend to completely miss out on knowing about, let alone visiting.

As a friend of the podcast, we asked John to come down to the pub studios and report on the ones he had visited earlier this year…oh, and if he wanted to share some of the brews he obtained along the way, we’d be happy to help him taste them. Joining The Brit, Phil Clark, were brewers TJ Bachorz and Chuck Fort from Church Street, and craft beer nerd, Tom Ryan.

On his recent late Winter/early Spring trip, John visited some 30 breweries across and 8-day period, and this show has him recount his experiences and reviews of the locations, so you can add them to your must-visit lists.

We also have a bonus beer from a vert traditional brewery, and learn from Chuck what krausening is, and John show’s us how to open a beer can from the bottom, collector style! Check out the video of this below…

It’s a bumper edition, so we thought you’d like a timing run-down in case you wanted to skip to any in particular, plus the brews we sampled:

Play the episode from one of the players below, or subscribe on iTunes!

Pubcast 308 – Scallywag Brewing

It’s time for the next suburban brewery, Scallywag Brewing, to open their doors, and we are there ahead of the opening day to chat with brewer/founder Dan Burr, general dogsbody/founder Matt Molitor, and co-founders Heidi Burk and Heather Whitlock. Guest co-host for this recording is Ken McMullen from Hopvine in Aurora who joins The Brit, Phil Clark for an afternoon chat and sample session with the Scallywag crew.

Situated about a 5 minute walk south from the train station, on Main Street in Westmont, this brew pub has a great local vibe and some excellent starting beers waiting to be consumed. The crew are self-proclaimed ‘scallywags’, and the theme is one of the sea and the days of pirates and privateers.

We recorded this a couple of weeks before they knew the real opening date, which depended on passing the final inspection. As you listen to this episode, that should have been a thumbs up, and the doors should be open.

We try their range of brews and pass our consumer opinions, and The Brit particularly enjoys the ESB, ranking it as one of the best he’s tasted for a while. Head over and support these guys, and welcome them to the growing list in Illinois!

Beers Sampled:

  • Privateer, ESB
  • Hopskull, West Coast IPA
  • Doubloon, Double Blonde Ale
  • Raising Sail, Brown Ale

Play the episode from one of the players below, or subscribe on iTunes!

Pubcast 307 – Tom Korder: Penrose Brewing, 5 Years On

This time, The Brit goes one-on-one with head brewer and co-owner of Penrose Brewing, Tom Korder.

Before they opened in September 2013 (Pubcast 110), The Brit and the original Yankee visited with Tom and then co-founder, Eric Hobbs, in a bare 14,000 sq.ft. warehouse. This was transformed into a beautiful brewery and taproom, that opened in March 2014, and we visited again to check in on the final result (Pubcast 120).

Much water has flowed under the bridge and into their mash tuns since then, and recently they celebrated their 5-year anniversary with a sold out event that featured the best of their wild fermentation’s and some interesting collaboration beers.

What’s changed since then, and where are they going in the future? Who thought that back then we would see an IPA, let alone a hazy IPA and even a pastry stout on the tap list, which recently was ranked as the top high-gravity stout by The Hop Review in a blind taste test.

But despite the divergence to trending styles, the outstanding Wild series continues and grows, still selling out each edition and still coming up with new variants. The Brit tests Tom’s memory with a pop quiz on their Wild series, and Tom talks about the amazing program they have in place to produce outstanding wild fermentation barrel beers. This is a fascinating conversation with Tom, so grab a can of Penrose Session Sour to sip on while you listen.