Heavy Hops Ep. 011: Barrel Aging And Blending (Bill Savage/Goose Island)

Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) is widely considered to be the style standard bearer. Its annual variants are highly sought after, with select vintages fetching huge sums on the secondary market. Our guest this week, Bill Savage, is the lead brewer for the Goose Island’s barrel program. It is his responsibility to oversee the blending of barrels, acquisition

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Heavy Hops Ep. 010: The Nature of Beer Retail (The Beer Temple)

The Beer Temple is a renown bottle shop and taproom located in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. Owner Chris Quinn is obsessively focused on the curation of quality beers, guest experience, and all the details in between from the types of light used to the temperature at which beer is stored and dispensed. It is this drive and focus that has garnered

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Heavy Hops Ep. 009: The Wonders At Your Feet (Mikael Stanne/Dark Tranquillity)

This week we are joined by Mikael Stanne, vocalist, lyricist and founding member of the Swedish melodic death metal band Dark Tranquillity. We discuss COVID 19: Sweden’s response and unique disposition towards herd immunity as well as its impact on the craft beer scene in Gothenburg. We also touch on the bands “Haven” album, which turned twenty this year, the

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Heavy Hops Ep. 008: DIY & Self Distribution (Spiteful Brewing)

Spiteful Brewing was among the initial third wave brewers to emerge from Chicago’s burgeoning craft beer scene in 2012. The brewery has grown steadily and maintained a steadfast commitment to modern interpretations of classic styles. In our conversation with Founder Jason Klein we learn about the brewery’s roots in self-distribution; how the transition to working with one of the largest

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Heavy Hops Ep. 007 – Part II: Why DIY (Bongripper)

In Part II of our conversation Nick Dellacroce opens up about Bongripper pressing its own records, the value of having complete control from recording process to distribution, the role of the internet in instilling the confidence to continue with a DIY approach six albums in, the importance of media relationships, and musical quality and confidence. We also dive into Nick’s

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Heavy Hops Ep. 007 – Part I: Why DIY (Bongripper)

Since 2006 Chicago’s Bongripper has captured the attention of metal heads globally with its unique low end driven instrumental, drone inspired brand of devastating doom metal.  In Part I of this conversation Guitarist and founding member Nick Dellacroce discusses the formation of Bongripper; the crucial role peer-to-peer file sharing (torrenting) played in his discovery of music; the importance of variety

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Heavy Hops Ep.006: Top Albums of 2020…So Far (Gregg Elzinga/Metal Vinyl Weekend)

Friend of the show Gregg Elzinga joins us to talk about our favorite albums from the first half of 2020. Gregg opens up about his tenure at Three Floyds, Dark Lord Day, and events he produces, including Metal Vinyl Weekend.  Gregg and Alexi share formative beers and discuss their landmark influence. Enjoy tracks from the releases mentioned on the playlist

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Heavy Hops Ep. 005: Lager Speed (Metropolitan Brewing)

Metropolitan Brewery has embraced lager life and leads an exciting battle to reclaim palates and highlight the character and cultural importance of “yellow fizzy beer”. Co-Founders Tracy Hurst (President) and Doug Hurst (Head Brewer) discuss their beginnings; the beer landscape of Chicago when the brewery was founded in 2009; and landmark shifts for their business; namely, moving to a larger

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Heavy Hops Ep. 004: Brewpub Life (DryHop, Corridor & Crushed By Giants Brewpubs)

Brant Dobuvick is the Director of Brewing Operations for three successful Chicago brewpubs: DryHop Brewers, Corridor Provisions & Brewery, and Crushed By Giants (which opened on July 17, 2020).  In this engaging conversation we discuss what it means to be a small brewpub in Chicago in the midst of a changing landscape impacted by COVID 19, the cultural synergy between

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