Pubcast 396 – Black Lung Brewing Revisited

It was just over 50 podcasts ago in December of 2020 that we spoke with Josh Grubbs, as he was preparing to open Black Lung Brewing in 2021. It was a brave move as this was during the restrictions of  the Covid pandemic, plus at the time he was brewing his beers out of the now closed Zumbier Brewing, and who names a brewery after a deadly mining disease! You would think that he was trying to mirror Sisyphus in Greek mythology, who was forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll back down every time it neared the top, repeating this action for eternity!

But no, through all this, Josh has made an impact on the community of Round Lake Beach with his brewery and taproom, and has also opened a second satellite brewpub in Fox Lake which provides great view of Lake Nippersink from the patio of a 124 year old building! We catch up with Josh at his Round Lake location to get an update on his breweries. Assistant brewer Rob Noon is also in the house, and as the Brit’s usual co-hosts were busy at their breweries this week, ex-tavern owner John Karwoski (Johnny K) is along to make sure he keeps him in line.

We sample some of the brews and Josh tells the full version of the story behind the name of the brewery, plus we get the stories behind some of the beer names, like “Galaxie 503” and “Mr. Willy Sub For A Day”!

Johnny K is curious about some of the entertainment equipment in the taproom and Josh tells how he has had to adapt to what the public wants when you run a small business even though it is a craft brewery. Rob reveals he has been a member of local metal band Wrath, and we find out what that’s all about! And finally there is some discussion about how craft beer aficionados and consumers should be using social media, for example Untappd, to rate the beers that they try…be kind folks!!

Beers Sampled:

  • Lung Light, American Light Lager, 4.7% ABV
  • Eagle Fang Irish Red, Irish Red Ale, 5.1% ABV
  • Caduceus, NEIPA / WineIPA, 5.4% ABV
  • Noon Porter, English Porter, 5.5% ABV
  • Coal River Stout, collab with Riverlands Brewing, Coconut, Pistachio, and Vanilla Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout aged for 24 months in Oppidan Bourbon barrel, 12.5% ABV

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