Category Archives: Saison

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

Play our audio podcasts using your favorite smartphone podcast app or our player above. We have a direct link to Apple Podcasts and Spotify below…and lots of other links on the sidebar! Plus you can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking this link.

Apple podcasts badge   

Pubcast 354 – Josh Grubbs of Black Lung Brewing

This week we have another audio / video edition, which is rapidly becoming our ‘new normal’ in these Covid-19 times. So, you can choose your viewing or listening option!

Despite those Covid problems, Josh Grubbs is pushing forward with getting his taproom ready to open in 2021. Black Lung Brewing Company is currently producing their beers out of the Zumbier space in Waukegan, but Josh has big plans for his own space in Round Lake Beach and a Kickstarter fund running to help him.

Join The Brit and Hopvine brewmaster, Ken McMullen as we talk to Josh who is in his ‘man-cave’, and we sample his beer. If they are a sign of anything then he’ll be killing it next year!! Cheers!

Update: when we recorded this, BLB had not made their kickstarter goal, but as of Dec 3 it was achieved!

Brews Sampled:

    • Mind of Peace, Saison/Farmhouse Ale, 6.0% ABV
    • Caduceous, Wine DIPA, 8.0% ABV

Our YouTube video…

Play the audio podcast on our player below…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes for iPhone users, and Google Play for Android users:

Apple podcasts badge  

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 266 – Mark’s U.S. Tour

We have a full pub for this show, including 3 co-hosts and a brewer!

Ex-cohost, BJCP judge and brewing consultant, Mark Naski has returned to Illinois after a trip via Kentucky and Florida, and brings us some interesting offerings from breweries he has visited. Joining him is the Yankee, Lingo, and Chuck Fort, brewer at Church Street, plus VIP guest Ken McMullen, head brewer at Hopvine Brewing in Aurora.

It’s a fun time with many excellent brews, one of which is a li’l bugger to get opened! And of course as Mark is here, you’ll learn about the styles and other fun brewing facts.

Beers Reviewed:

Covington, Kentucky, Braxton Brewing
Ignitor, Maibock, 7.2% ABV, 26 IBU – 5 thumbs up
Union Saison Blanc, 6.2% ABV, 25 IBU – 5 thumbs up
Union Saison Bleu, 6.2% ABV, 25 IBU – 4 thumbs up, 1 sideways
Braxton Labs (Braxton Brewing)
Galaxy Dry Hopped Saison, 5.3% ABV, 25 IBU , released Dec 2017 – 3 thumbs up, 2 sideways

Marietta, Georgia, Ironmonger Brewing
German Hefe, 6.5% ABV – 5 thumbs up

Boca Raton, Florida, Barrel of Monks
Nuance, Saison, 6.5% ABV – 5 thumbs up
Quandrum, Belgian Quadrupel aged in rum barrels, 10.5% ABV – 5 double-thumbs up

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