Category Archives: Porter

Pubcast 376 – Sturdy Shelter Brewing

Over the past couple of years, the Fox River Valley is starting to rival downtown Chicago in the sheer number of  craft breweries. The tri-cities of St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia alone can boast 11 locations and Sturdy Shelter Brewing is the newest of these, located beside the Fox River in historical downtown Batavia.

Co-owner and brewer, Frank Mercadante along with his wife Diane, and General Manager Oliver Bulley have created a taproom and brewery that has become an important meeting place in the Batavia community, plus the all-important brews are well made and there is something for everyone.

The Brit and co-host Ken McMullen (brewmaster at Hopvine Brewing) visited with the Sturdy Shelter team one Monday when the brewery was closed and we could sit down and enjoy some good conversation, and sample some of their current taplist. We find out how the name of the Italian Pilsner came about, the history of the building, and plans for the future.

Beers Sampled:

  • Francesco, Italian Style Pilsner, ABV 5.6%
  • Batavia Lager, Helles Style Lager, ABV 5.5%
  • Huckleberry Sour, Fruited Kettle Sour, ABV 4.3%
  • Pulped Up! Tropical, New England Hazy IPA, ABV 7.1%
  • Robustacious, Imperial Red Ale, ABV 7.5%
  • Porter, ABV 5.3%

Here’s our short ‘teaser’ video showing the brewery…

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Pubcast 355 – Larry Hough of Soundgrowler Brewing

Our first pod/vid-cast of the year is an extended interview with FOBAB medal winner Larry Hough from Soundgrowler Brewing Co. in Tinley Park. We recorded this just after Thanksgiving but reserved it for release in the New Year.

Soundgrowler has been around for just over 3 years and this past 2020 FOBAB gave them their first medal for a BA brew, which we were lucky enough to get a can of to taste! Join The Brit and co-host Ken McMullen for this extended interview to learn about Soundgrowler and Larry’s beers!

This is available as a podcast or as a video-cast on our YouTube Channel.

Brews Sampled:

  • War Blood, Red IPA, 6.8% ABV
  • Leather Apron, American Porter, 5.6%
  • RYVERN, American Pale Ale, 5.6% ABV
  • Tequila BA Tortilla Hands, Lager, Bronze Medal 2020 FOBAB
  • Plague of The Locusts, 9% ABV, Mixed culture Brett beer barrel
    aged in port wine barrels on blackberries

Our YouTube video…

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Pubcast 231 – Vacation Report: Mark’s Bottles

This is another show-n-tell edition, and this time Mark brings to the pub some bottles (and one can), that he collected during his recent road-trip. We are headed to Florida and Utah in this show and trying some higher ABV brews. Joining Mark and Phil this week is Chuck Fort, assistant brewer at Church Street Brewing in Itasca, and tavern owner John Karwoski from John’s Tavern in Winfield.
This will be Mark’s last regular show as he is heading up to the northwest, and Boise Idaho, where he will passing on his brewing expertise to the growing craft beer industry there.

Our featured brewery is Barrel of Monks from Boca Raton, FL., who specialize in Belgian-style beers. They provide the following brews:
S’Tart Sour Ale, 6% ABV, Unblended, Lambic style ale
​Bon Bon Anniversary Ale, Belgian Chocolate Porter, ABV 7%
​QuandRum, rum barrel-aged quadruple, 10.5% ABV

We stay in Florida for our next beer, from NOBO Brewing, in N Boynton Beach.  We have a crowler of their Coconut Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout, 12% ABV.
And our final brew is a more traditional double IPA from Squatter’s Brewing in Salt Lake City, UT. These folks have been around since 1989, so are the oldest of our trio of breweries. We sample their Hop Rising DIPA, 9% ABV.

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

Pubcast 214 – New Year, New Beers

Our first show for 2017, and it’s out with some old beers and in with some new. Phil brings 3 local brews that are new (well at least 2 are), and Mark  shows up with a couple of older bottles he picked up in 2016.  We recorded this show at our local tavern, John’s in Winfield, so we could check out the new handheld digital recorder.

First up we have a classic Belgium Trappist beer, apparently fairly rare in the US. Then it’s back to Illinois for our next three, a robust porter from Algonquin’s Scorched Earth Brewery, and two barrel-aged first editions from Alter Brewing in Downer’s Grove, and Metal Monkey in Romeoville respectively.

We finish up with one of the most expensive beers we have tasted, a 2016 barrel-aged winter ale from Fremont Brewing.

They’re all good in their own way, and it’s a great start for the stout fellows’ 2017!

  • Brouwerij der St. Benedictusabdij de Achelse, Achel 8 Blond, Trappist Ale, 8%
  • Scorched Earth Brewing, Algonquin, IL – Rugged Coalminer, Robust Porter, 5.9%, 35 IBU
  • Alter Brewing, Downers Grove, IL – Elder Lord Farquad, red wine barrel-aged quad, 11%, 24 IBU
  • Metal Monkey, Romeoville, IL, Asmodeus, Bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout, 12%
  • Fremont Brewing, Seattle WA, Ancient One B-Bomb, 14%, 65 IBU

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