1. In episode 203 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder sit down at the Hopleaf with Tom Korder and Eric Hobbs to talk about their new Chicagoland brewery, Penrose. Penrose Brewing will be brewing Belgian inspired beers in Geneva, Illinois. Both Tom and Eric were with Goose Island for a number of years and have a ton of experience with what it takes to make quality and unique beer.

    Right now Tom & Eric already have their 40 barrel brewhouse but are dealing with all the fun paperwork that goes into starting a brewery. Their goal right now is to have beer this summer for Chicago and the Fox Valley area. Penrose Brewing will be a production brewery with a tasting room.

    I can't wait until we're able taste some more of their beers; if the beers we had during the episode are any indication, we have some good beers to look forward to from these guys. If you're looking to get an early taste of what Penrose is all about, keep an eye out for a collaboration that they're doing with Perennial Artisan Ales. Welcome Penrose!

    Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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  2. Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder were able to catch up with John Laffler and Dave Bleitner during the Off Color Brewing presents Mischief at Black Rock. This event was the debut for Off Color Brewing. On tap were 4 collaboration beers that they brewed with friends around Chicago.

    It's an exciting time for craft beer in the city of Chicago and Off Color Brewing is planting their flag. This was a truly unique event with the 4 collaboration beers, a great guest tap list, Jell-o shots and beer cocktails.

    In this episode, John talks about the plans for the brewery and the goal to initially launch with two, year round beers that they hope everyone is going to enjoy. With the intention that at Off Color, they will approach beer with an avant-grade mindset.

    The brewery is coming together and they should be ready to start brewing soon. If you didn't make it to the pop-up shop event, you're going to have to wait a little longer before you get to try Off Color beers.

    Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

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  3. We can't just focus on beers here in the United States, there are some great breweries across the world making some excellent brews. For episode 201, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are opening a couple beers from Porterhouse Brewing Company in Ireland. The beers from Porterhouse Brewing Company have a really fun pull top, making opening a beer easier, allowing you to get to the beer that much faster. The first beer Ken and Brad open is the Wrasslers XXXX Stout a 5.00 % ABV Irish Dry Stout.

    Next is the Oyster Stout which is a beer that Ken tried when he was in Ireland a few years ago. This 5.2 %  ABV Stout has fresh oysters added during the brewing process. Being from the Midwest, the oyster stout isn't a beer we see much of and is always interesting to try.

    Do you have a beer from Ireland or even an Oyster stout we should try? Let us know and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

    # vimeo.com/61376663 Uploaded 204 Plays 0 Comments
  4. In episode 199 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are joined by Sergio Salgado for a couple great beers from the west coast. First up is a bottle that Sergio brought back from Oregon. The Seizoen Bretta from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales. This 8% ABV Farmhouse Ale has been getting a lot of buzz so we were really excited to get to taste this unique beer. The Brettanomyces yeast provides added dryness and crisp complexity to the Seizoen Bretta. And it's been bottle conditioned with pear juice for a natural carbonation. Yeah, it's as delicious as it sounds. If you're in Oregon and can get your hands on this, try it! And send us a couple bottles too because we'd love to sample this again.

    Next up is the Sierra Nevada Brewing and Russian River collaboration, Brux. Brux is a 8.3% ABV American Wild Ale that has been re-fermented in the bottle with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. Brux will change and develop over time so what we taste in our bottle today might no be what you taste in six or nine months. So please let us know what you think when you do open your bottle because we'd love to know.

    Cheers & thanks for watching the Hop Cast! If you have a beer you'd like us to try, let us know and we'll try to drink it on an upcoming episode.

    # vimeo.com/59324462 Uploaded 227 Plays 0 Comments
  5. We couldn't be happier to see the entire Firestone Walker Brewing portfolio available in Chicago. For the last few months only the larger format or private reserve beers like Parabola and Wookey Jack had been available, but now everything from Pale 31, Velvet Merlin to Helldorado are on the shelves in Chicago.

    To celebrate this, Matt Brynildson and some of the FireStone Walker crew were in town at a number of launch parties. Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder met up with Matt at the South Loop Binny's to chat about the Chicago launch and learn a little more about what Firestone Walker has planned.

    One of Ken's favorite beers is Double Barrel Ale and Matt shares with us the unique story that goes with DBA.

    Cheers & Thank You for watching the Hop Cast. What's your favorite Firestone Walker beer?

    # vimeo.com/58201478 Uploaded 405 Plays 0 Comments

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