Category Archives: American Brown Ale

Pubcast 387 – Kishwaukee Brewing Company

McHenry County in northern Illinois, is home to several great craft breweries, all of which you can check out on the McHenry Co. Craft Beverage Trail. This week we are visiting one of the two located in Woodstock IL, Kishwaukee Brewing who recently won a silver medal for their Bufflehead Brown Ale at the 2023 World Beer Cup.

Kishwaukee Brewing Co., is the pride of founders and owners, Dan and Cara Payson, and we visited with Dan and his head brewer, Mark Gres, to find out a little more about their success. Joining me for this interview was my co-host, Ken McMullen from Fox Republic Brewing, who may have assisted in starting the career of one of Kishwaukee’s  future employees…more on that in the interview.

We talk with Dan and Mark about how their brewing careers started, and how they came to join forces at Kishwaukee to produce classic, award-winning beers. Dan’s approach has got them through building the brewery at the start of the pandemic, then opening after the first shutdown, only to be closed a week later with the second one. All that being in the past, they have emerged from those dark days, and are moving into a strong position as a producer of great beers in the Illinois craft beer scene. Their tap room is a wonderful space, as is the outdoor patio, and you won’t be disappointed when you make a visit!

We must offer our apologies to Mark, who apparently had a mic which had ‘technical difficulties’ and caused him to sound like he was at the other end of the brewery. We’ve done our best to improve his sound in post-production, so hopefully it won’t detract too much from the conversation!

Beers Sampled:

  • Bufflehead Brown Ale, American Brown Ale, 6.8% ABV
  • Sandhill Lager, India Pale Lager, 5.5% ABV
  • Tart Peach Saison, Wild Saison, 5.5% ABV
  • Pollinator, Doppelbock, 7.7% ABV

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Pubcast 221 – A Little Irish, A Little Illinois

We always know that the pub is a place where friends drop in for a chat and a pint, and in this episode we have a couple of friends drop by to sample some brews with us. Mark is away traveling out West, so I’ve brought in assistant brewer from Church Street Brewing, Chuck Fort to help me try a few Irish brews, and a few Illinois brews.
As we recorded this at John’s Tavern in Winfield, owner John K. joins us later, and then my physiotherapist Matt drops by after a hard day of therapy.

This show tries the latest Guinness variety pack, a left-over from St. Patrick’s Day when we couldn’t record due to Phil getting the flu.

And then back home to Illinois, we try 3 new brews from our local breweries and we figure out if they are worth spending your hard earned dollars on.

Guinness Brewmaster Collection Variety Pack:
Golden Ale, ABV 4.5%
Rye Pale Ale, ABV 5.0%
Milk Stout, ABV 5.0%

Illinois Brews:
Brickstone Brewery, Bourbonnais
Galaxy Down Under, IPA, ABV 6.5%

Werk Force Brewing, Plainfield
Axis: As Bold As Beer, American Brown Ale, ABV 5.9%

Cademon Brewing, Genoa
Second Wind, Oatmeal Stout with Toasted Coconut Flakes, ABV 7.4%

Play the show from our player below, or from SoundCloud…