1. In episode 245 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder take a trip down to St. Louis for the Midwest Belgian Beer Fest. The Third Annual Midwest Belgian Beer Fest was put on by Perennial and Side Project and this was the first time it wasn’t at the Perennial brewery. This year the festival kicked off St. Louis Craft Beer Week and took place at the Moto Museum.

    We had a blast! The fest featured over forty breweries from across the Midwest and a few beyond that as well. Over the afternoon we ran into a ton of great brewers we know from Chicago and even had a chance to grab a few of them on camera to chat about the event.

    Be sure to keep an eye out for this event next year because it just continues to get better and its definitely worth checking out.

    # vimeo.com/102955869 Uploaded 45 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  2. Welcome to episode 242 of the Hop Cast! On this episode Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are joined by Steve Wyatt who brought along a couple beers from The Hop Garden. The Hop Garden is a hop farm and beer company based in Belleville, Wisconsin. They are using their own locally grown hops for the beer, which is brewed at the House of Brews in Madison, Wisconsin. Their first bottles just started showing up in February so it was a real treat to try this new brewery. The first beer the guys open is the Local Harvest Pale Ale, a 5.50 % ABV American Pale Ale. Next up is the second release from The Hop Garden, the Bushel Basket IPA. This beer comes in at 7.3 % ABV and has a hop-load of flavor from the Cascade, Nugget, Columbus and Willamette Hops!

    If you’re in Wisconsin, you don’t get much more local then what The Hop Garden is doing. If you see their stuff, give them a try. Cheers! And thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

    # vimeo.com/100539001 Uploaded 43 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  3. In episode 240 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder head out to Evanston, Illinois to visit Brewmaster Claudia Jendron at Temperance Beer Company. Claudia shares several of her great beers that she’s brewing including Gatecrasher, Smittytown & Restless Years. Right now you can find Gatecrasher in cans around Chicago but be on the look out for more very soon. Claudia let’s us know a little bit about each beer and why she decided to go with cans over bottles. We also get the inside scoop on where some of the names come from for the beers and why the local community is so important to Temperance.

    Being around for such a short time, it’s awesome to see a a Chicagoland brewery doing so well. Be sure to head up to Evanston and check them out.

    Cheers! And thank you for watching the Hop Cast!

    # vimeo.com/98665030 Uploaded 141 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  4. In episode 237 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski & Ken Hunnemeder crack open two Midwestern IPAs from two breweries with great track records. First up is the 6.1% ABV Kidnapped By Vikings from Solemn Oath Brewery. Kidnapped By Vikings is bursting with killer fresh hop aroma and a light malty sweetness to balance that dominant hop presence. It's pretty fantastic that this one is finally in bottles; it shouldn't be passed up. Next, they dive into the 9% ABV Double IPA from 4 Hands Brewing Company. 4 Hands War Hammer uses a combination of Pacific Northwest hops to create layers of pungent flavor that should be drank fresh. 4 Hands Brewing recently hit the market here in Chicago so grab some next time you're at the store.

    Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

    # vimeo.com/95562879 Uploaded 97 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  5. We’re going small and local in episode 235 of the Hop Cast. For this episode Brad Chmielewski & Ken Hunnemeder open two IPAs from two of Chicagoland’s nano breweries. First up is Flesk Brewing’s Front Toward Enemy. This 7.00 % ABV IPA from Lombard is a solid beer and a nice offering if you’re just getting to know what these guys are up to. Next up Brad and Ken open the 6.5% ABV Falcon Dive IPA from Lake Effect Brewing Company. We might of picked up an odd bottle here because this one smelled a little like yogurt… it wasn’t unpleasant but it was pretty strange.   

    Both these new breweries are worth checking out if you’re in Chicago. Sadly for anyone out of state you might have a hard time getting your hands on these.

    Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

    # vimeo.com/93638546 Uploaded 71 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode

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