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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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January 19 Episode

The latest special Tuesday episode is available now! Tomorrow, I figure I’ll be watching the inauguration and drinking so it might not be good to record! Beers from Bell’s, Hop Butcher, and More. I’ll discuss the $15 minimum wage as well.

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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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You Tube?

I’m going to try to post some quick reviews periodically on YouTube and tonight is my first attempt. I look like a fucking beached whale and Ruby already told me my angle was all off. I’ll work on that! The beer is Float On from Begyle and I enjoyed it a lot.

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January 13 Episode Available Now!

The latest episode is available now. This week, I’ll have a Duvel that was way too over-carbonated! I’ll talk about some great beers from Saugatuck, Hop Butcher, Haymarket, and Tangled Roots.

I’ll share my opinions on my least favorite F-Word, Founders and there are plenty of Jagoffs this week!

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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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New Episode Out Wednesday

The 41st episode of Beer In Front will come out Wednesday. This week, instead of talking about an old school classic I’ll be featuring a brewery you’ve heard me mention a lot. Casa Humilde makes some really good beers here in Chicago and I’ll be having La Doble as the Beer In Front.

Everything that I’ve had from Casa Humilde so far I’ve really enjoyed and am looking forward to having La Doble for the first time! La Doble is a Double IPA made with Sabro & Azacca hops. This clocks in at 9.3% ABV and should be another winner from them!