Sometimes a brewery sneaks up on you, and their beers just wow the heck out of you!! That’s what happens in this week’s episode when we talk with Afterthought Brewing’s owner/brewer, Mike Thorpe. They have been producing beer for sometime, their first release being 6 years ago, and we have tried and enjoyed some of them obtained from bottle shops, but we had never been out to the taproom in Lombard.
OK – We’re sorry!! So, this week we put that to rights and oh boy, if you like Belgian saisons and wild ales, then you’ll be in heaven out there! My co-host is Ken McMullen from Hopvine Brewing, and we enjoy a range of samples that are out of this world, including a Cantillon ‘calibration’ beer!
Mike talks about his process for producing these ales, the types of barrels he uses, and how the yeast contributes to the fermentation process and the flavor of the beers. Their main production brewery was inherited from another brewery (where we recorded a show way back in 2013!) and it is only 800 square feet, but they are producing amazingly ‘big’ beers from such a ‘small’ space!
Please note: the taproom was very echoey, so our recording reflects that somewhat…but we hope it won’t distract too much from the conversation!
- Flowerfield #1 – Blend of Saison Meer: Lilac and Strange Wit (witbier with citrus, grains of paradise, and chamomile) aged in a Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Gin barrel
- Extra Noble – Saison brewed with pilsner malt and rye alongside Noble hops
- Bière De Pieces #44 – Blend of blonde saisons including some with second-use cherries and raspberries plus a bit of Wedding Table and then aged in the Manic mead barrel that held Bière de Pieces #39
- 5 Years, 5 Barrels – A blend of saisons aged in (1) neutral oak, (2) a marionberry gin mead barrel, (3) a black currant mead barrel, (4) a whiskey barrel, and (5) a Chardonnay barrel, including a blend of oak-aged Afterthought Ale and Thelia that was re-fermented with marionberries and huckleberries
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