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Hop Butcher Double Saaz

Wow, this is terrific! Double Saaz is an Italian Style Pilsner from Hop Butcher. This is a nice change from them, Double Saaz is hopped with Saaz and Zuper Saazer hops the latter is a higher alpha acid version of the traditional noble Saaz hop.

It has a beautiful golden color, the aroma is decent, the taste is dynamite with the hops and malt balanced perfectly. Wonderful carbonation here as well. There is nothing to nitpick at all about this Pilsner! Double Saaz weighs in at 5.0% ABV and I could drink this all day. Hop Butcher knocked this one out of the park! It was canned 4 days ago and they must be pulling for the Bucs tomorrow as the bottom of the can says GOOOOOOOOOOO TAMPA TOM!

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Sketchbook Brewing Snowy Owl

Tonight I’m having Snowy Owl, this is a red rye ale from Sketchbook Brewing in Evanston, Illinois. This has a great reddish color, the aroma is ok for me, more of the malt than the hops. The taste is really good, the sweetness from the caramel malt hit me up front with the rye malt kick in there as well. This has only 41 IBU and I get the bitterness at the end from the Cascade and Amarillo hops. Snowy Owl has good carbonation here and a nice finish. Grab it if you can.

I enjoy pretty much everything Sketchbook does and the taproom in Evanston is first rate! I can’t wait to get back there hopefully soon. The vibe there is so good, it’s always a nice diverse group of people that you don’t always see in other places. It’s not exactly close to us but Ruby and I try to make it there a few times a year. We haven’t been to the Skokie location yet, but will without question make a stop there once things get back to normal.

There were a few episodes this week in case you missed it. The normal one on Tuesday, and one this afternoon that was all Jagoffs!

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More Brewing Co. Autumn Fields

Tonight I’m having Autumn Fields from More Brewing Company in Huntley, Il. This is their Cream Ale with cranberry and orange. I’m digging this combination, the fruit adds a nice touch of tartness which I’m getting more than the sweet of the orange. The color throws you off when pouring as it’s a pinkish hue from the cranberries. Personally, I’m not getting much of an aroma just a very subtle fruitiness coming through, the taste is great though! This a very light, crisp beer on the low end of the Cream Ale alcohol scale at 4.5% ABV with great carbonation. I could see having a few of these sitting outside by a fire, this is a very good beer that I’d buy again!

For the latest episode of Beer In Front or to catch up…….

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Hop Butcher’s Tavern Cut

Tonight I’m having the wonderful Tavern Cut by Hop Butcher. This is one of the beers from them I enjoy the most. You really get the orange juice aroma and taste with this. At the end, the bitter white grapefruit notes hit you and there is a slight bitter aftertaste. This is a 7.5% ABV Double IPA with Citra and Vic Secret hops. As with everything Hop Butcher puts out, it’s fresh. This was canned 3 days ago and to be honest, these usually don’t last that long on either the shelf of your local bottle shop or in my fridge to ever see how they would be after a few months.

If you come across Tavern Cut, I highly recommend it if you are a fan of Double/Hazy IPA’s. For those reading this outside of the Chicago area, the name comes from the way we cut pizza. In squares! This is a thin crust pizza known as a tavern cut pizza, and yes real Chicagoans eat thin crust, not the stuff we sell to tourists. Don’t get me wrong, I’d kill a deep dish Lou Malnoti’s any time it’s put in front of me, but if I had my way, the thin crust is in!

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Claire’s Thirsty Ale Haymarket Beer Co.

Tonight I’m having the terrific Claire’s Thirsty Ale from the Haymarket Beer Company in Bridgman, Michigan and Chicago. This is an Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels and with raspberries. This is absolutely fantastic! I didn’t get a lot of the barrel aged and raspberry in the aroma, but the taste is one of a kind. I get a ton of the raspberry in this which I love. I definitely get more of the fruit here than I do the bourbon but overall I love this. Sometimes the barrel aging overpowers whatever else is going on with the beer, but Claire’s Thirsty strikes a great balance between the two. I picked this up this afternoon from Haymarket and it was canned 7 days ago, so this will probably get better over time. I felt the carbonation could have been a little more, but that’s minor compared to how great this beer is. This would be the perfect dessert beer, I’m just glad I have 3 more of these to test my theory out. If you see Claire’s Thirsty Ale, grab it! I gave it a 9.4 on a 1-10 scale.

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4 Hands Brewing Absence Of Light

Today I took my Lactaid pill and am having Absence Of Light from 4 Hands in St Louis, Missouri. This is a Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout. I’m lactose intolerant so I usually try to avoid this type of beer, not because I want to……

I picked this up a few months ago in a mix pack supporting The Chicago Brewseum. This is a terrific beer that frankly I’m pissed I didn’t try before. The aroma is terrific and I really get the peanut butter notes, maybe a tick of chocolate but the peanut butter is the dominant smell for me. The taste is just as good, and I get a good balance with the chocolate and peanut butter here. Nice smooth aftertaste as well, Absence Of Light is a winner, grab this as a nice change of pace from the norm!

I know for me, sometimes I get in a beer rut where I’ll limit myself to the styles I know and enjoy, I’m glad I branched out and had this one. I feel it’s worth your while.

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Wings Have Fallen Servaes Brewing

Tonight I’m having the Session NEIPA Wings Have Fallen from Servaes Brewing Company in Shawnee, Kansas. Control Tammie went to visit family and thanks to @eleventhreeKC she provided a list of places there for her to try. One place that caught her eye was Servaes Brewing Company and she brought me back a few to try for myself.

Wings Have Fallen is a 5% Session NEIPA and I’m digging this a lot! They dry hop this with Sabro, Citra, and Cashmere hops and it has a very nice aroma and flavor to it. This is a well balanced beer in that one component doesn’t overpower the other. For me, the carbonation could have been a bit higher, but that’s just me. I would have this one again, but from reading their website, Servaes does not have a “Flagship” beer and they always rotate and are creating new things. I’m looking forward to trying the other one I have Faster You Fly and next time in in Kansas City, Servaes will no question be a spot I will visit!

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More Brewing Company Partially Cloudy

For the 1st beer of 2021, I’m having Partially Cloudy from More Brewing. This is a dry hopped lager and is fantastic! They use the same hops on this as they do in Burst Of Sunshine which was in my Top beers of 2020 so I was excited about trying this one. This has a perfect light golden color to it. The aroma is decent at first and to me fades away. The taste is outstanding here, you get the combination of the Amarillo, Citra, and the Motueka hops with the clean lager backbone. Great carbonation here and this has a nice clean finish. Partially Cloudy is listed at 5.1% ABV and is easy drinking, this is no doubt one you should try. It should please the hop heads and Lager fans as well. 2021 already is looking up after having this as the first beer of the year!

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Liquid Spiritual Delight 2nd Shift Brewing

Today I’m having a great Imperial Stout Liquid Spiritual Delight from 2nd Shift Brewing in Saint Louis, Missouri. After consuming a lot of barrel aged stouts lately, it’s nice to just have a good old fashioned Imperial Stout! LSD has a wonderful color, the aroma hits you with the dark malts and the taste is fantastic! I get the malt up front and a little bitterness in the back and the 11.5% ABV says hello to you at the end. The IBU’s are not listed, but it’s very balanced for my tastebuds. Not one component jumps in front of the other here, everything about this stout fits just right for me. The carbonation is spot on here, and according to the can this is chewy, that’s a perfect description of this! The more I have of this, the more I like it, the second half of this is better than the first! This was canned on 11/5/2020 and I purchased it at (you guessed correctly) Beermiscuous. Liquid Spiritual Delight is a terrific Imperial Stout and by all means if you’re a fan of the style, you won’t be disappointed! I gave it an 8.8.

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Riverlands Brewing Co Amber’s Soul

Amber’s Soul is a Black IPA from Riverlands Brewing Company in St. Charles, IL and this is a winner! I’m a big fan of a Black IPA and a Rye Ale, so I was looking forward to this one. This has a good aroma but the taste is terrific! I get the dark malts with the rye kick and almost a very subtle smoky taste, then the hops hit you. Amber’s Soul uses Citra, Amarillo, and CTZ all of which I’m a fan of. This has a good mouthfeel to it, it’s very balanced between the malt and hops with only a slight bitter aftertaste. This is an 8.2% ABV and the IBU’s aren’t listed, but it’s hoppy so regular IPA people don’t shy away from this. I rated this a 9.2, and grabbed it today from Beermiscuous. It was canned on 10/29/20 so it’s 2 months old. If you’re a Black IPA fan, and if not, don’t sleep on this style, grab this! Riverlands website shows this on tap and in Crowlers. Amber’s Soul was created by an employee named Amber, so Amber, thanks for your soul! This is a great beer and I highly recommend it!