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!
- 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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