21 episodes

Welcome to Crafty Brewers, where we’ll increase your enjoyment of craft beer. In every episode, we’ll go from grain to glass with a different craft brewery — and have fun doing it!

Join hosts Brian Noonan, semi-professional beer drinker, and Katherine Valleau, co-owner of Exit Strategy Brewing Co. in Forest Park, IL, as they host candid conversations with brewers and find out what brought them to a life of beer. They explore the styles, trends, and science that makes craft beer so great, expose hilarious "bad customer behavior," and bust beer myths so you can impress your friends with facts.

Crafty Brewers: Tales Behind Craft Beer Exit Strategy Brewing Company

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 49 Ratings

Welcome to Crafty Brewers, where we’ll increase your enjoyment of craft beer. In every episode, we’ll go from grain to glass with a different craft brewery — and have fun doing it!

Join hosts Brian Noonan, semi-professional beer drinker, and Katherine Valleau, co-owner of Exit Strategy Brewing Co. in Forest Park, IL, as they host candid conversations with brewers and find out what brought them to a life of beer. They explore the styles, trends, and science that makes craft beer so great, expose hilarious "bad customer behavior," and bust beer myths so you can impress your friends with facts.

    Flipside Brewing on Beer Tasting Terminology, Reviving English Mild Ales, and Why “Beer Is for Everyone” (Plus: Are Craft Brewery Tap Rooms Unwelcoming?)

    Flipside Brewing on Beer Tasting Terminology, Reviving English Mild Ales, and Why “Beer Is for Everyone” (Plus: Are Craft Brewery Tap Rooms Unwelcoming?)

    Learn about mild ales, the nuances of English hops and the influence of terroir on flavor, and why “beer is for everyone.”

    01:33 Beer Myth: Are craft beer taprooms unwelcoming? Katherine discusses the idea that going into tap rooms full of house-produced beers as a novice in the craft beer community is intimidating and you may or may not be welcomed with open arms. Learn the truth behind the intimidation factor of craft beer spaces and how you could use your newfound knowledge to discover new beers, make friends, and become part of a vibrant community without fear.

    09:02 Flipside Brewing: Eric Pizer, owner and head brewer of Flipside Brewing, shares his journey of getting into brewing, including a hilarious story about watching a DVD with a friend and how it’s possible that he’s worked at two completely different breweries located at the exact same address in Tinley Park. He also discusses his experience brewing his first beer, an amber ale, and what led him to the philosophy that “beer is for everyone.” The discussion also touches on the language of beer tasting, common misconceptions about dark beers, the significance of staff education in breweries, brewing with personal flair, and the cultural quirks of craft beer.

    During the conversation, listeners are introduced to a variety of beer styles and hops, including the British styles with balanced hop and malt profiles, the nuances of English hops like East Kent Goldings and the influence of terroir on flavor, and unique offerings at Flipside like their inventive mild ales. 

    40:16 Beer Behavior: What’s going on with beer in the south suburbs of Chicago? Brian, Katherine, and Eric discuss the beer community that's developed in the region and the customer and brewer behavior that have cultivated it.

    49:37 Today’s Featured Merchandise: “I drink and I learn things” hoodie, available in multiple colors! Every purchase you make directly supports the show's production and hosting costs. https://3b8877-3.myshopify.com/products/drink-learn-hoodie 

    You can find other amazing merchandise and learn more about Crafty Brewers on our official website, https://craftybrewerspod.com 

    About Flipside Brewing: Located in Tinley Park, Illinois, at Flipside Brewing you’ll see a variety of classic beer styles along with current and emerging trends. They strive to provide quality food and beverage in an inviting and friendly space, where the community can gather together over a beer and some wings. Learn more on their website at https://www.flipsidebrewing.com/ 



    If you enjoyed this episode, then please tell at least one friend about the show! And if you’re a brewer or know any brewers who would like to share their story on the podcast, then email craftybrewerspod@gmail.com. We’re always happy to hear from you!

    You can also follow Crafty Brewers on Instagram at https://instagram.com/crafty_brewers_pod 

    Crafty Brewers is produced by award-winning podcaster Cody Gough. He insists that we tell you that in this episode, you’ll learn about: craft beer, craft brewing, craft beer community, taproom culture, beer tasting, craft beer trends, beer collaboration, brewing traditions, beer styles, mild ale, sour ales, wild ales, English ales, beer education, beer conversations, craft beer culture, Flipside Brewing, beer myths, beer tasting language, beer jargon, craft beer scene, artisanal beer, beer trends, craft beer collaborations, and local breweries in Chicago’s south suburbs.

    • 51 min
    Illuminated Brew Works: “The Most DIY of DIY” Breweries? Mash Tun Welding, Moving Out of Basements and More (Plus: Strange Millennial Beer Behavior)

    Illuminated Brew Works: “The Most DIY of DIY” Breweries? Mash Tun Welding, Moving Out of Basements and More (Plus: Strange Millennial Beer Behavior)

    Explore Illuminated Brew Works’ imaginative craft beer creations and unique tap room that’s unlike any other you’ve seen.

    01:26 Beer Myth: Is the craft beer market so saturated that now all beer is boring? Learn why some say that craft beer has become monotonous and learn how you can rediscover the diverse and thrilling world of artisanal brews, enhancing your appreciation and enjoyment of every pint.

    07:51 Illuminated Brew Works: Jason Monk, Facilities Manager and Assistant Brewer, and Rick Julien, Sales Manager of Illuminated Brew Works, explain why their brewery is “the most DIY of DIY” operations, their incredible thriftiness when building their own equipment, and how they took their operation from a basement brewery to a bustling Chicago location. They also discuss the unique ambience of their tap room, how they strike a balance between following craft beer trends versus personal brewing preferences, and why they are tired of the term “craft beer.” Plus: the ins and outs of their favorite beers, including the blueberry-laden Tony's Humble Pie white stout with blueberry puree, lactose, vanilla and cinnamon, and their citrusy Orange Sunshine saison.

    38:38 Beer Behavior: Millennials are drinking craft beer, believe it or not, but they have less brand loyalty than previous generations. Jason, Rick, and Katherine discuss what this means for local craft beer communities and delve into other bizarre generational behavior that is driving change across the industry.

    47:18 Today’s Featured Merchandise: Buy our merchandise that says “I just want beer flavored beer,” available in multiple styles and colors! Every purchase you make directly supports the show's production and hosting costs.

    Garment-dyed Heavyweight T-shirt: https://3b8877-3.myshopify.com/products/beer-flavored-beer-garment-dyed-heavyweight-t-shirt-1 

    Long Sleeve T-Shirt: https://3b8877-3.myshopify.com/products/beer-flavored-beer-long-sleeve-t-shirt-1?variant=44283749236976 

    Premium Crewneck Sweatshirt: https://3b8877-3.myshopify.com/products/beer-flavored-beer-premium-crewneck-sweatshirt?variant=44281814745328 

    You can find other amazing merchandise and learn more about Crafty Brewers on our official website, https://craftybrewerspod.com 

    About Illuminated Brew Works: Illuminated Brew Works is a Chicago brewery making beer for interesting times. From big, hazy IPAs, to yeast-driven urban farmhouses, adjunct-rich stouts and experimentally-driven sours and fruit beers, their offerings rotate seasonally to celebrate the annual cycle. Learn more on their website at https://www.ibw-chicago.com/ 



    If you enjoyed this episode, then please tell at least one friend about the show! And if you’re a brewer or know any brewers who would like to share their story on the podcast, then email craftybrewerspod@gmail.com. We’re always happy to hear from you!

    You can also follow Crafty Brewers on Instagram at https://instagram.com/crafty_brewers_pod 

    Crafty Brewers is produced by award-winning podcaster Cody Gough. He insists that we tell you that in this episode, you’ll learn about: craft beer, craft breweries, beer innovation, craft beer culture, brewing process, craft beer trends, Millennial drinkers, White stouts, Blueberry Pie Stout, lagers, hazy IPA, West Coast IPA, imperial IPA, Irish Stout, Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA, Trust (a year-round lager), Orange Sunshine (a citrus Saison), Astronaut Juice (a double dry-hopped, double IPA), beer recipes, flagship beers, mash tun, welding, craft beer community, beer styles, beer market, beer operations, beer production, beer branding, craft beer events, local breweries, local beer, beer fermentation, beer ingredients, beer adjuncts, chasing beer trends, craft beer appreciation, and beer styles comparison.

    • 49 min
    Barrel Aging Artistry and Unconventional Ingredients: Algae, Nutella, and Pushing Craft Beer Boundaries with 1840 Brewing Company (Plus: Does All Barrel-Aged Beer Have a High ABV?)

    Barrel Aging Artistry and Unconventional Ingredients: Algae, Nutella, and Pushing Craft Beer Boundaries with 1840 Brewing Company (Plus: Does All Barrel-Aged Beer Have a High ABV?)

    Learn how an eclectic brewery incorporates an incredible range of ingredients in its beers, including algae and Butterfly pea flower.

    01:53 Beer Myth: Do all barrel-aged beers have a high ABV? Learn the truth behind whether barrel aging equals boozy brews so you can enjoy a wider range of flavorful beers with your newfound knowledge.

    05:09 1840 Brewing Company: Kyle Vetter, founder and brewer of 1840 Brewing, discusses his origins and expansion from a focus on oak-aged and classic styles to offering a diverse range of beers, including light, dark, hoppy, sour, and fruity options. He also explains the historical significance of the brewery's name, discusses the nuanced art of barrel-aging, and the impact of using fruits like cherries in multiple fermentation process. They also discuss the use of unique ingredients and brewing techniques and how they contribute to the complex flavors in his brewery’s beers, the approachability of sour beers for different palates, and the benefits of letting beer aerate to enhance its character. Plus: the anticipation around seasonal releases, the brewery's shift to eco-friendly packaging, and the significance of brewery regulars.

    You’ll learn about what it’s like to brew beer with seaweed, the making of 1840’s signature Cashmere Sweater double IPA, the oyster stout that came from a collaboration with a Chicago brewery, their innovative bourbon barrel-aged Saison, milk stouts with Nutella, and the special local touch from Door County that they’ve used in their award-winning beers.

    43:48 Beer Behavior: Breweries can’t survive without their regular customers. But there’s a particular behavior that some regulars are guilty of that isn’t so great for breweries. Stick around until the end of this episode .

    You can find amazing beer-related merchandise and learn more about Crafty Brewers on our official website, https://craftybrewerspod.com 

    About 1840 Brewing Company: 1840 Brewing Company is an urban farmhouse brewery located in the historic neighborhood of Bay View in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They craft high quality ales, lagers, sours, and stouts with a focus on barrel aging and blending. Learn more on their website at https://www.1840brewing.com/ 



    If you enjoyed this episode, then please tell at least one friend about the show! And if you’re a brewer or know any brewers who would like to share their story on the podcast, then email craftybrewerspod@gmail.com. We’re always happy to hear from you!

    You can also follow Crafty Brewers on Instagram at https://instagram.com/crafty_brewers_pod 

    Crafty Brewers is produced by award-winning podcaster Cody Gough. He insists that we tell you that in this episode, you’ll learn about: craft beer, sustainable brewing, barrel aging, IPAs, double IPAs, brewing innovation, sour beers, beer myths, Milwaukee brewing, 1840 Brewing, beer packaging, eco-friendly beer sustainability, craft beer community, low-ABV beers, beer history, fruit in beer, Brettanomyces, beer tasting, beer culture, barrel-aged Saison, craft beer production, pineapple passion fruit sour, seafoam beer, spirulina in beer, algae in beer, beer ingredients, unique beer flavors, beer brewing process, beer conditioning, Italian drinking chocolate stout, beer fermentation, craft brewers, and beer bottle designs.

    • 51 min
    Beyond the 10 Millionth Pour: Huge Equipment, THC Seltzers, and MKE 2.0 with Eagle Park Brewing Company (Plus: Can You Have a Beer After a Workout?)

    Beyond the 10 Millionth Pour: Huge Equipment, THC Seltzers, and MKE 2.0 with Eagle Park Brewing Company (Plus: Can You Have a Beer After a Workout?)

    Learn about Eagle Park Brewing Company’s explosive growth, how brewing is like making music, and what’s up with THC seltzers.

    01:45 Beer Myth: Is it bad to have a beer after a workout? Learn the truth behind the idea that beer hampers your fitness efforts so you know what you should (or shouldn’t) reach for in your fridge after you get home from the gym.

    03:45 Eagle Park Brewing Interview: Jake Schinker, the brewery’s brand director and co-founder, discusses the intersection of brewing and music, revealing the origins of Eagle Park Brewing, the parallels between the creative processes in music and brewing, and how passion has transformed their venture into a successful enterprise. He discusses the absurd amount of time brewers spend cleaning and sanitizing their equipment, the importance of a strong foundation in experimenting with creating new flavors, and some of the massive equipment being used to brew massive batches of craft beer. Plus: exciting expansion plans, a behind-the-scenes look at their lager program, and the balance of respecting heritage while embracing the future.

    The conversation touches on various beer styles, including IPAs, sours, and traditional European lagers. Listeners can look forward to learning about the intricate process of brewing beers with unique ingredients like cream of coconut and get an inside look at one of their newer offerings: THC seltzers.

    40:34 Beer Behavior: Jake delves into the rapidly growing trend of THC-infused seltzers within the beer industry and the unique challenges that come with brewing beverages that blend THC with seltzer. He discusses the nuances of working with hemp-derived THC, how it’s legally distinct from marijuana-derived THC, and the strategic decision-making that led Eagle Park to innovate with their THC Alto Series despite varying state cannabis laws. He also explains why he doesn’t serve THC seltzers at his bar, since it could lead some consumers to have a bad time.

    54:23 Today’s Featured Merchandise: Our LEGO “Building Blocks of Beer” shirts, available in multiple styles and colors! Every purchase you make directly supports the show's production and hosting costs.

    Building Blocks of Beer Crew: https://3b8877-3.myshopify.com/products/building-blocks-of-beer-crew 

    Building Blocks of Beer Long Sleeve Shirt: https://3b8877-3.myshopify.com/products/building-blocks-of-beer-long-sleeve-shirt 

    You can find other amazing merchandise and learn more about Crafty Brewers on our official website, https://craftybrewerspod.com 

    About Eagle Park Brewing Company: A Milwaukee brewery mixing innovation and tradition, you can learn more on their website at https://www.eagleparkbrewing.com/



    If you enjoyed this episode, then please tell at least one friend about the show! And if you’re a brewer or know any brewers who would like to share their story on the podcast, then email craftybrewerspod@gmail.com. We’re always happy to hear from you!

    You can also follow Crafty Brewers on Instagram at https://instagram.com/crafty_brewers_pod 

    Crafty Brewers is produced by award-winning podcaster Cody Gough. He insists that we tell you that in this episode, you’ll learn about: beer, craft beer, brewing, THC-infused beverages, post-workout refreshments, THC seltzers, Eagle Park Brewing Company, Milwaukee Brewing Company, brewery expansion, lager, sours, IPAs, beer industry, homebrewing, beer brewing process, fitness and beer, beer and health, artisanal beer, beer innovation, THC Alto Series, brewing artistry, brewing mastery, craft beer trends, beer education, beverage industry, THC innovations, brewing equipment, mash filter brew house, beer experimentation, beer flavors, craft beer community, beer stories, beer business, brewing foundation, craft beer evolution, and craft beer production.

    • 57 min
    An Inside Look at Milwaukee’s Iconic Lakefront Brewery: From Gluten-Free to Barrel-Aged Craft Beers (Plus: Is All Craft Beer Specialty Beer?)

    An Inside Look at Milwaukee’s Iconic Lakefront Brewery: From Gluten-Free to Barrel-Aged Craft Beers (Plus: Is All Craft Beer Specialty Beer?)

    Get an inside look at Milwaukee’s iconic Lakefront Brewery, from its hilarious origins to its groundbreaking craft beers.

    01:28 Beer Myth: Is all craft beer specialty beer? Have you ever wondered if craft beer is too niche or sophisticated for the average beer drinker? Learn the truth behind the idea that craft beer is only for the elite so you can broaden your beer horizons and find new favorites that suit your taste – regardless of your beer expertise.

    05:31 Lakefront Brewery Interview: Russ Klisch, President and Co-Founder of Lakefront Brewery, discusses the evolution of craft beer, with specific subtopics including the diverse offerings at Lakefront, the innovation behind their gluten-free beer, the international awards that they value the most, and how they used hops indigenous to Wisconsin in some of their beers. Klisch shares insights on the brewery's operational growth, the challenges of scheduling beer production around consumer trends, and the nuances of yeast management. Plus: an exploration of terroir in beer, a glimpse into future beer consumption trends, and the excitement around limited releases. You’ll learn about the Lakefront IPA, a beer with a devoted fan base and heritage hops; the Hazy Rabbit with its tropical notes and creamy texture; and the Dive Beer, a tribute to Milwaukee's brewing past designed as an accessible lager.

    39:03 Beer Behavior: Get ready to raise a glass and chuckle as we dive into "Beer Behavior," a segment where we tap into the changing tides of beer drinking. Discover why your friends are ordering lower ABV brews and what's brewing in the non-alcoholic scene. It's all about sipping smarter, not harder!

    51:58 Today’s Featured Merchandise: “Taste the Grainbow,” available in multiple styles and colors! Every purchase you make directly supports the show's production and hosting costs.

    Grainbow T-shirt: https://3b8877-3.myshopify.com/products/taste-the-grainbow-tee?variant=45212210495728 

    Gals Grainbow Tanktop: https://3b8877-3.myshopify.com/products/gals-grainbow-tank?variant=45212230189296

    Grainbow Crew Sweatshirt: https://3b8877-3.myshopify.com/products/taste-the-grainbow-crew?variant=45212225667312

    You can find even more amazing merchandise and learn about Crafty Brewers on our official website, https://craftybrewerspod.com 

    About Lakefront Brewery: Since 1987, Lakefront Brewery has brewed Milwaukee's best beers, including Riverwest Stein, New Grist, and countless other innovative and imaginative craft beers. Learn more on their website at https://lakefrontbrewery.com/ 

    ---

    If you enjoyed this episode, then please tell at least one friend about the show! And if you’re a brewer or know any brewers who would like to share their story on the podcast, then email craftybrewerspod@gmail.com. We’re always happy to hear from you!

    You can also follow Crafty Brewers on Instagram at https://instagram.com/crafty_brewers_pod 

    Crafty Brewers is produced by award-winning podcaster Cody Gough. He insists that we tell you that in this episode, you’ll learn about: craft beer, Lakefront Brewery, craft beer creation, beer tasting, beer making, beer innovation, gluten-free beer, Milwaukee lagers, craft beer trends, barrel-aged beers, craft beer diversity, beer brewing process, beer production, beer aficionados, beer snobs, IPAs, sessionable beers, Hazy Rabbit, beer consumption, beer awards, terroir in beer, beer recipes, home brewing, beer culture, beer industry, limited release beer, beer merchandising, beer education, craft brewery operations, beer styles, beer flavor profiles, craft beer community, local ingredients in beer, beer pairing, beer brewing stories, craft beer myths, small batch brewing, beer marketing, and beer packaging.

    • 53 min
    How Do You Find the Right Brewer? Nik & Ivy’s Journey to Brewing Customer Favorites While Introducing New Brews (Plus: Can Beer Go Bad?)

    How Do You Find the Right Brewer? Nik & Ivy’s Journey to Brewing Customer Favorites While Introducing New Brews (Plus: Can Beer Go Bad?)

    Delve into the story of a Lockport brewery that was established during a challenging time, and has since grown to produce much-loved local brews.

    01:51 Beer Myth: Can beer go bad? Learn the truth behind the longevity of your favorite brews so you can appreciate the nuances of beer aging and storage, and know when it's best to savor that special can or bottle you've been saving. Understanding this myth can enhance your beer-tasting experiences and prevent you from missing out on perfectly good beer that you might have mistakenly thought had gone bad.

    08:00 Nik & Ivy Brewing: Owners Paul and Chrissy Ivnik share the tale of why they got into brewing without having ever homebrewed their own beer. They also discuss the pivotal role of community support in their business success and the transformative impact of Nik & Ivy on downtown Lockport. Plus: managing a brewery with a small team, how they found a skilled brewer, and striking a balance between customer favorites and innovative brews.

    And don’t forget the beer! You’ll also hear about creations from Nik & Ivy, including a sessionable peach blonde ale, the story behind the Runyon Red Ale named after a Lockport founder, and the Dellwood IPA, a West Coast style with a hoppy flavor that isn't overly bitter. 

    37:43 This Week in Bad Customer Behavior: Is it okay to move furniture when you’re at a bar or restaurant? Hear about the great chair heist caper and the barrel seating debacle, where our hosts ponder the age-old question: "To sit or not to sit on that decorative barrel?"

    About Nik & Ivy: Nik & Ivy is a nano brewery in historic downtown Lockport, Illinois. Their focus is to make great traditional styles of beers, while also dabbling in some newer trends. Learn more on their website at https://nikivybrewing.com/ 

    If you enjoyed this episode, then please tell at least one friend about the show! And if you’re a brewer or know any brewers who would like to share their story on the podcast, then email craftybrewerspod@gmail.com. We’re always happy to hear from you!

    BUY OUR MERCHANDISE and learn more about Crafty Brewers on our official website, https://craftybrewerspod.com 

    You can also follow Crafty Brewers on Instagram at https://instagram.com/crafty_brewers_pod 

    Crafty Brewers is produced by award-winning podcaster Cody Gough. He insists that we tell you that in this episode, you’ll learn about: Lockport, craft beer, breweries, beer myths, community revitalization, craft beer longevity, beer shelf life, beer spoilage, beer aging, hometown brewery, beer entrepreneurs, local history, sessionable beer, peach blonde ale, red ale, craft beer tasting, beer lineup, beer brewer, collaborative brewing, customer favorites, innovative pours, beer naming, beer and community connection, managing rowdy patrons, 80s music and beer pairing, bar etiquette, craft beer aficionados, taproom, beer infection, beer spoilage vs infection, tribute beer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg beer, aging brews, beer education, dealing with drunk customers, respecting bar furniture, beer podcast, grain to glass, brewing process, finding a brewer, beer selection process, craft beer trends, and local craft beer.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
49 Ratings

49 Ratings

Unkle Bubba ,

Did not disappoint.

Just kidding.

judyjudeejudi ,

Beer, Beer, and more Beer

This podcast is so fun. I love learning about the different breweries. Brian and Katherine bring entertaining commentary to the show. Subscribe for some lighthearted entertainment.

colorwithwine ,

So Fun!

Always love learning about the different beers, breweries and fun stories. A very fun podcast! 🍻🫶🏻

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