Low ABVs

Low ABV 100 – Westvleteren VIII

The story of this particular beer starts 10 years ago and thousands of miles away, so what a way to ring in our 100th episode. As the smaller companion to one of the most legendary Trappist beers made – Westvleteren XII – how does this one hold up with a decade on it? You’ll have to listen to find out! We also do double bad lead-up duty, try and recall just about anything from 2008, bring back the chain wallet, and pitch a show about Science Monks. Our sincerest gratitude goes out to all of our Patrons – we hope you’ve enjoyed these 100 small pours over the years, and we’ll keep doing them as long as you are here.

Low ABV 99 – Epic Tart N’ Juicy Sour IPA

As we ramp up our taste-buds for a full episode of locally made versions of one of the latest trends, we sip on this Epic beer that they’ve been making for two years. We’re on a mission to find the IPAness and understand what makes this a style at all. Then there’s some unsavory talk about the Mickeyverse that must be destroyed so my kids never hear this. Oh sheet.

Low ABV 98 – Saint Errant Wander On

Now running their small operation out of Begyle, the bad boyz of Saint Errant are now putting their sweet liquid in cans. We try their first canned offering, while – thank the planets – we blaze through a speed round of Beers Against Humanity. Does the promise of IPAness pay off? Who wants some Soup IPAs? And how about that Matt Dillon?

Low ABV 97 – Goose Island 30th Anniversary (w/Josh Noel)

Somewhat quietly, Goose has reached the age where it better start figuring out if having kids is really in the near future or not, just to like, have a plan. But they’ve brewed a collaboration with London’s Fuller’s Brewery and it’s either an ESB or a Pale Ale, depending on who you ask. We get an assist on this one from our friend and newly published author Josh Noel, who really just showed up to talk about music for 10 minutes (which we do). And then of course there are hazy IPA opinions because everything is boring. But count us in for the Pump Your Own Cask bar!

Low ABV 96 – Hoof Hearted Belloq

A brewery built on fart jokes, weird Adult Swim-esque art, and shameless nostalgia mining, Hoof Hearted really knows how to reveal our most basic white dudeness. But this coffee and vanilla stout is a cut above, and we sip on it between our forays into American Gladiators and video games, because again, we are dictionary definition 30-something white dudes. Also, Beer in Virtual Reality?!? Whaaaahaa?

Low ABV 95 – Two Saisons

Kicking off a big week in saisons on this episode, we have two classics of the style – one O.G. and one modern classic in Saison DuPont and Allagash Saison. Are they truly classics? Which beer will be MLTF? We take the Nestea plunge and try not to bloody the mix while we lament small pours, share bullshit pseudoscience on skunking, and learn that you can totally swear on NPR. There’s also some aggressive traffic reports with a Jewel-Osco tie-in and us fawning over Terry Crews some more.

Low ABV 94 – Fruitage

Rodenbach, will you be our Brodenbach? We open these dainty cans of delicious fruit beer from the wizards at Rodenbach, and we swoon a bit. We also talk about bad brewery names, the problem with the 3rd Amendment, and Ryan’s inability to pour his own beer. There’s also a very short game about the Descendents. Waffles and a Fruitage, please!

Low ABV 93 – Black IPAs

Okay okay okay, so I totally beefed it on the release timing for this one. But when you think about it, #420 is really a state of mind, you know? On this Low, we somehow have two Black IPAs (like it’s 2013 or something!) and we review them (sort of): New Glarus’ Black Top and Hop Butcher’s Good Ryes Wear Black. Then we talk about Craig’s Day High, the 1-800-Hot-Hops line, and play a game called, “Sublime Lyric or Weed Poem?”

Lost Episode #3 – Blueberry Pain

Recorded in January of 2017, this episode was buried for a multitude of reasons that are mostly related to our recording schedule, but perhaps it never came to light because of how profoundly disappointing the beers were. But it’s a rollicking good time as we suffer through five beers with blueberry, as you’ll hear us go on about bad songs, the Blue Man Group, the problems with brewing with blueberries, awful beer write-ups, the health benefits of blueberries, Craig’s revulsion towards water chestnuts, and some fun torture – all featuring Ook the Hairperson on keyboards! We hope you enjoy this way more than we did – and thank you again for your continued support.

Low ABV 91 – Half Acre Daisy Capra

If Half Acre puts out another variation on their classic Daisy Cutter, you know we have to drink it. But is this one any better than their usual killer hoppy offerings? We’ll tell you what we think, because that’s all we know how to be. Also, Craig is generally confused about the Dollar General, we get an update on whether or not Craig has had celery, and Ryan orchestrates a long-awaited sequel to the “Beer Carnac” game while laughing stupidly at all of his dumb mean jokes.

Best of Games, Volume 2

As you know, we like to get drunk and play stupid trivia games – and we sure hope you enjoy listening to them. We’ve compiled 6 more from a while back and strung them together here (in a slightly remastered state), so listen to us suck at more than just reviewing beer in this compact, 40-minute compilation! You’ll hear the following games: “Night of the Hunters/Name That Hunter” (Episode 91 w/Colin Joliat); “Beer Carnac” (Episode 98); “Name That Stone or Face” (Episode 111); “Nirvana or Not” (Episode 115); “NBA Jam Duos” (Episode 120); and “Lyrics by Decade” (Episode 128). Thanks for your support on Patreon! (And our Patrons can find Volume 1 here.)

Low ABV 90 – Orval

We’re kicking off Patron Appreciatron month by having what might be the first Trappist beer we’ve ever done on mic – and we do it in observance of Orval Day, sort of! This one in particular has been aged about 2 years, and it’s no disappointment. Other topics of note include: Craig’s shower mishaps, Randy Johnson exploding carrier pigeons, Lavar Burton is the Book Thief, Fruited DuPonts, barn-slapped leathers, and little Craig eating pennies.

Low ABV 89 – Table for Two

Welcome to the ABV Café – we have your table right this way. We’ll start you off with an amuse-bouche of Off Color’s Little Friend table beer and then an appetizer of Allagash’s Hoppy Table Beer. Our chef’s specials today include Stephen the Hawk King, Craig’s Tampon Confusion, some Dave Matthews Band Non-Knowledge, Offspring Hot Sauce, and a decadent dessert of some Dancing Mosher. Take some time to peruse the menu; I’ll be back with your table beers and a loose stack of saltines.

Low ABV 88 – Forbidden Root TORO!

What happens when we drink a 10% triple IPA after a night of recording? Well, for one, the sextuple IPA is born, and also, we are just fantastically sloshed. We are two inebriated bulls in a podcast china shop as we imagine how the Mosh lives large, talk about Pez, forget about the Rapsittie Street Kids, heap more undue praise upon Neil Breen, and have a just impossible time saying the words, “yoga pants.”

Low ABV 87 – Shortfuse Times Two

In the shadow of airplanes and convention centers, Shortfuse has been making beer in Schiller Park for almost a year. So is their take on a New England-style IPA – Loosey Juicy – worth consideration for your hazy addiction? We also try their challenging and surprising Judgemint Day Double IPA with mint added. Craig proves why he’s the king of the gross lead-up, Ryan tells a true tale of helping a priest and being mistaken for one, and we mourn Toby Keith’s I ♡ This Bar And Grill. We also invent the Toothpaste IPA™, Craig wants to eat soap, and Ryan is a complete idiot about physics. This one has it all, folks!

Low ABV 86 – Afterthought Bière De Pieces #3

Another Afterthought beer, another outstanding Saison that should be on the radar of the major farmhouse fiends all over the country. This one uses some crazy berries we’ve never heard of, so Craig goes one better and quizzes Ryan on lesser known berries (while we share our love for some better knows Barrys). We cultivate our basement yeast, rebrand food to be classier, and discuss our Saisonathon 2018 plan to again reunite the members of The State.

Low ABV 85 – A Middle Brow Cassingle

With two new beers from our favorite philanthropist brewers, we get an A-side and B-side from Middle Brow this week – but which one is which?!? We try the brett-blended “How It Starts” and the Denali-hopped “Sells Out” while talking about the only music that matters: trad ska. Also, we get sliced by chives, Craig talks about meeting Rick Bayless, one of us just wants a frog weed bowl, and we invent a genius marketing plan for Middle Brow, which they’ll have to begin a Patronage of us to hear. That’s not entrapment, is it?

Low ABV 84 – Jolt v. Surge

We did it. We crammed our love of childhood nostalgia and sugary soda into one dense and hyperactive Low ABV that also features a game that requires Craig to rename energy drinks. Behold brief tales of the anarchy pretzel, Rev Norb’s valuable SweetTart, and Dick Pitchfork. Gregory, it’s happening again.

Low ABV 83 – Helles Pils

Desperate for a break from all the roided-out flavors we do on these Lows, we reach for two that harken to simpler styles – the German-style Helles (Mikerphone Brewing’s Helles Lager My Old Friend) and the Pilsner (from Great Central Brewing). Of course one is dry-hopped to all hell(es), and the other is in a super sick wrapped can, but we still enjoy the change of pace. Also, there’s stuff about the Harmonica Wizard Corky Siegel, being trapped by The Mosh, and why drinking a lot of Mikerphone beers actually has a downside (that isn’t financial.) Thanks to Randy for the Helles (that he named)!  

Low ABV 82 – Triptych Silly Scotty

In their 5th Low ABV appearance, Triptych gets super silly with the cereal and tosses a bunch of (name brand redacted) into a New England IPA. We raise some interesting points about the logic behind throwing breakfast cereal in a beer, but we find out if the juice is worth the squeeze, whatever that means. And there’s some controversial thoughts about cats – please don’t tell Beer Twitter.

Low ABV 81 – Holy Mountain Montmorency Table

Listener Raj Shah comes through with another sweet Washington box – and this time it’s all Holy Mountain beers. As a precursor for the full episode (#210), we crack open a puncheon-aged table beer with cherries, and it only attacks a single esophagus on this Low – and not the one you’d expect. A lot of this episode is about beer tattoos and candy, specifically our ideal commemorative tats, Craig’s self-ban from Buy the Weigh stores, a review of the Jelly Belly factory, the pitfalls of eating packing peanuts, and of course, the Boss Baby.

Low ABV 80 – Triptych Because Stout

Recorded a few weeks back (as evidenced by the opening), we open yet another excellent Triptych beer for a Low ABV – this one a delectable stout with coconut and cinnamon. We also try to get a Neil Breen biographical movie going. Then there’s another just unfortunate Speed Round of Beers Against Humanity wherein we say things that make us uncomfortable – Ryan dominates, and Craig tries to dispute a Shaft. Because, stout.

Low ABV 79 – Very Special (Old Deth) Episode

This week on a very special Low ABV, the boys encounter Revolution’s Very Special Old Deth (in cans), and it leads to a little lesson about life – and love – that we could all stand to learn. We open up about the deeply emotional topics of attack gifts, session spirits, and hug semaphore – with a little game about “Very Special” episodes of early-90s family sitcoms thrown in for good measure. I’m glad we had this talk – bring it in, you old rascal, you.

Low ABV 78 – Revolution Heroes, Issue 3

With the freshest release of their League of Heroes twelve-packs, Revolution has introduced two new Heroes to their cadre of obscenely muscled hop-headed cartoon characters: Denali and Northwest! We try them both here, while getting some grandpa smells, revealing the ultimate beer review podcasting secret, and exploring a career in the drums. There’s also an Urban Dictionary-based game that most importantly introduces us to the world’s most precious prank.

Low ABV 77 – Hop Butcher Mirror Ball

It seems like since Hop Butcher has found a home at Mistakonic, their process has dialed in to the point of excellence, earning the lofty comparisons we heave upon them in this little episode. Or maybe we’re already a few beers deep, but that’s beside the point. There’s talk of unlikely Instagram followers, Herbal Essences (just the stuff), Disco trivia, and an unnervingly close call with a Craig freestyle.

Low ABV 76 – pFriem Twosome

An historical beer drop courtesy of our friends at pFriem Family Brewers out of Hood River, OR made this Low a little preview for an upcoming full-length show release, but this episode is in its own league. Meet three new hi-larious improv’d characters that will soon adorn the ABV Wiki Fanverse, be the talk of all those fan forums, and inspire many a future cosplay. And for once, Craig straight up humiliates Ryan with a spelling challenge as we obsess over these beautiful pFriem beers.

Low ABV 75 – 12 Pack Holiday Hits

Usually before the season’s first proper snowfall, you see two beloved hoppy (sort of) seasonals return in their stubby-bottled 12-pack glory: Sierra Nevada’s Celebration and Lagunitas’ Sucks. We drink both critically for the first time in forever to determine who is winning the flavor-per-dollar-per-ounce battle. We also talk a lot about CostCo and Teku glasses, and offend everyone who wears sandals. Happy Holidays Patreon supporters! There’s more cool stuff to come – we promise.

Low ABV 74 – Mikerphone Girls Just Wanna Have Flan

As far as musical pun-based beers go, this golden stout is a cut above some of the other more sweet pastry numbers entering the market. We talk about other weird adjuncts and try to invent the Chicago dog beer, while Ryan becomes Cool BMX Dad; we take shots at our rival podcast; and Craig gets his Telenovela IQ tested. (Big thanks to Randy for this beer!)

Low ABV 73 – Corridor Van Hazen

Might as well jump off the hazy IPA fad for a little bit, as there is no eruption – right now – when it comes to being hot for that juice. Panama. What we mean is that this beer is barely a beer, and we are conflicted over it, so we talk about grocery stores, P. Diddy, and sushi for a while instead. But we also wonder if the NE-style popularity will ever die off, and if so, what will cause it? Dance the night away, as you do.

Low ABV 72 – Tree House Ma

Sweet adult Jesus, this episode is sacrilegious as hell as we review a non-hoppy feature from Tree House and discuss what Jesus actually weighs. We also practice the timeless lead-up, discuss Carmen Sandiego, invent the newest NE-style beer, and play a rappin’ granny-based trivia game. Thanks Ross – and thanks JAY-zus!

Low ABV 71 – Shared Backpack Fashion Show

We do our little turn on the catwalk with a can of Shared’s Backpack Fashion Show, a triple dry-hopped Double IPA. Between rounds of verbal fruit volleyball, we talk about expensive hops, pull into Port Manteau, confuse Balaclavas and Baklava, and play a fashion-forward game of “Go or Faux?” One strap or two, we won’t judge you.

Low ABV 70 – Speciation Genetic Drift

What could’ve been a disastrous opener from Craig turns into a charming little anecdote about 8th grade Ryan, so we start there. But we also drink a dry-hopped saison from Mitch Ermatinger’s Speciation Artisan Ales out of Michigan. The Haizon is born; we talk Ghostbuster Goo; and rehash a few old FoBAB memories. We hope you’re keeping stats on this one.

Low ABV 69 – Hop Butcher Love

For this extra nice episode, we have two Hop Butcher DIPAs that prove to be very attentive and generous lovers. It gets reeealll zangy in here, as we talk about why breweries should put yeast on labels, signature burps, fruit stew, ‘YeTales, and our favorite member of Korn. Nice.

Low ABV 68 – Goose Island Juicy Double

A round thing in your face, this Low ABV sees us sampling from a growler of Goose Island’s attempt at a juicy double IPA and having a serious talk about why it might not be beneficial for Big Beer to get into the New England-style IPA game. Also, we’re about six IPAs deep at the start of this one, and we play a game based on the lyrics to “One Week” because we are basic internet dorks, and we regale you with tales of playing games with pseudo-celebs. Thanks for being a part of the Cream Team!

Low ABV 67 – Black Butte XXV

We love when a dusty cellar grab with no expectations turns out to be an excellent beer, so this Deschutes Black Butte XXV (from 2013) makes for a joyful Low ABV. As our fourth and final installment of our Game Night series, we drunkenly play a speed round of Beers Against Humanity that just brings out the absolute worst in all of us. But we also talk about hugs, so that’s neat.

Low ABV 66 – Pipeworks Passion Fruit Guppy

This passion fruit-flavored session IPA is the latest addition to the regular canned offerings from Pipeworks – another low ABV take on their hops and honey fish series. And in some ways it really works, and in other ways it doesn’t. We also talk about the Rule 34 of the beer world, Chicken Pot Pie Hero, the next freshness revolution, and work on our gleeking.

Low ABV 65 – Berliner Off

Craig’s two favorite fruited Berliner Weisse beers are on the table here, as we try and choose the best between Off Color’s Yuzu Fierce and Triptych’s These Aren’t The Bluberries You’re Looking For. We find out what FMB really means, sell our souls, and discuss whether or not sours missed their day. And as part three in our Game Night series, we participate in the Great German Draft, which is a must listen if you like basketball and history!

Low ABV 64 – Toasted Heat Test

In a very special two-part Low ABV episode, we are divided by tragic circumstance, only to be reunited and realize that some ships never sink….like the friend ship. We try two Revolution Fist City Pale Ales, one that was left out in a hot ass garage overnight, and one that was properly stored. It’s science, baby. Then because that wasn’t enough content, we open AB’s own Blue Point Toasted Lager, which gets us to reminisce on silly 90’s shit, so, it’s another episode of our show. Get ready for that 5.5.

Low ABV 63 – Coffee & Cream

In part two of our Game Night series, Craig is tasked with determining which food items are “better together” – and everyone knows that Craig is a big old stinkin’ foodie. For the beers here, we have Sun King’s Sunlight Cream Ale and Untitled Art’s Coffee Stout – then we blend them together because OF COURSE. We also discuss the Great Jolt Vs. Surge Wars, Trent Reznor’s kids, snack time expertise, and the grossest use for a beer can we’ve imagined so far.

Low ABV 62 – Sell Out Geezer

Pretty simply, we had two hazy IPAs and needed an excuse to drink them together, so we sort-of pit a Middle Brow Sells Out Mosaic against a WarPigs Foggy Geezer because we CAN. But this Low ABV becomes a vessel for our sensual font talk and WingDings obsession, sandwiched between a shocking Sonic revelation and a cliffhanger fashion faux pas.

Low ABV 61 – Narrow Gauge DDH OJ Run

In part one of an ongoing Game Night series – in which Ryan tortured Craig with several games over several Low ABVs recorded together in one night – Craig admittedly crushes this one with his knowledge of important 90s history, though it’s not what you expect. We also crush this delicious hazy beer, and really just run wild with the toilet humor, which we are sincerely sorry about. We also talk about traumatic childhood movies and how we’ll get 311 on our podcast.

Lost Episode #2 – Face/Off

One of the first few episodes we ever recorded – back in the winter of 2013 – has long been relegated to the archives due to less-than-stellar sound quality. This “remastered” version improves it significantly, and it ends up being an interesting show – notable for Ryan’s first Toppling Goliath experience, and our unapologetic fawning over Pseudo Sue makes for some nice beer nostalgia. The show concept involved comparing two beers of the same (or very similar) styles, and choosing a winner, then painstakingly ranking them at the end. There are a few surprises, including our first ever recorded experience with a truly horrendous tasting beer. Check it out – and thanks for your continued Patronage! 

Beer matchups:

Founders Backwoods Bastard vs. Central Waters Barrel Aged Scotch Ale

Odd Sides Citra Pale Ale vs. Toppling Goliath Pseudo Sue

Brewery Vivant Tart Side of the Moon vs. The Bruery Tart of Darkness

Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René vs. Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze

Low ABV 60 – Garage Project Cherry Bomb

How many beers in the world have been named Cherry Bomb? Well, we will tell you, but we’ll also tell you about how fantastic this particular one is. We also share a snippet of Craig’s interview of Pete Gillespie, whom we refer to as Jeff many, many times because we are dolts. There’s also a bit of uninformed WWE talk, which reminds me of that time in 1998 when the Undertaker threw Mankind off the Hell in the Cell into the Spanish announcers’ table.

Low ABV 59 – Afterthought Saison Avec Apricots

Every experience from Lombard’s Afterthought has proven that there is a lot to get excited about for fans of saisons and barrel-aged sours, and this beer is no exception. I wish I could say the conversation ended there, but let me just say this in warning: if the word “pubes” gives you the willies, maybe stay away from the beginning and end of this one. We also talk about our favorite dwindling fast food chains, Craig’s molting habits, and ALF: The Brewery. Get it, Pubey!

Low ABV 58 – Haymarket Speakerswagon Pils & Atomic PB&Js

haymarket pils

We recorded this one late after a night of drinking, so we break out the sandwiches as some way-too-seriously controlled experiment with Ryan’s greatest simple culinary invention and then pair those with the newly-canned Haymarket Pils. We also talk about the worst possible baseball walk-up songs, and Ryan tries hard to convert Craig into being more of a “jelly guy.” There he go. There he go. There he go. There he go.

Low ABV 57 – Hop Butcher’s Two Flat

This week we’re renting out some mouthspace in Hop Butcher’s Two Flat – an American Pale Ale with Amarillo and Idaho 7 hops (which Craig will proudly remind you that he helped out with in the canning process). We also try to pick some bands for our imaginary and currently untitled ABV Music Fest and talk about Craig’s g-ma’s summer sausage fixation. And surprise – everyone gets a bike!

Low ABV 56 – Bud vs. MGD, Blind (featuring Yuengling!)

What started out as a lousy idea for a blind tasting that Ryan ruins instantly turns into a full episode’s worth of diversions and 80s pop culture references that makes this maybe our favorite Low ABV. We will tell you which beer behemoth we prefer and then salvage our palates with a little Yunegling Lager. But then it becomes about Indiana, OzzFest, the very specific moment tattoos jumped the shark, eating styrofoam, Johnny Beerseed, Spuds Mackenzie, and the nefarious plot to clone The Noid. Is this what prison is like?

Low ABV 55 – The Heroes, Issue #2

Revolution Brewing has dropped another “Issue” in their $18 League of Heroes 12-pack series, featuring all variations on some form of their essential Anti-Hero – and here we catch up with the new members, Tropic Hero and Crystal Hero. We wonder if both beers are Cousin Olivers, live that Bodhi life, and trash the terrible X-Men. You won’t BELIEVE how Craig ends this episode.

Low ABV 54 – Toppling Goliath XHops Teal

The nerdiest beer nerds were certainly aghast when a Toppling Goliath bomber arrived in Chicagoland with all ready to soak up the sweet Decorah nectar. Does this topple the somewhat disappointing quality of the contract-brewed canned offerings they’ve shipped out here all old as hell? Find out – and more! Topics include the True Summer Craig, the Real Double Dare, and some super Juicy Jorts. Also, what colors are not OK in beer? The results will SHOCK you.

Low ABV 53 – Narrow Gauge Hoppy Meal

This computer-recorded internet-broadcasted collection of mouth sounds features a hand-crowlered hazy treat from Narrow Gauge. But this one will probably go down for being the one about framing Waluigi for sex crimes and the tenuously-explained conspiracy that Mario predicted the current political….situation. Go ahead and tape yourself up for a round of Edward Crowlerhands, and take a listen!

Low ABV 52 – Green Bench/Cigar City Backpack

Craig’s f*** up turns into our good luck as we pop this fridge-aged 100% Brettanomyces-fermented pale ale collaboration from a couple of well-loved Florida breweries. Gushy is in the house (looking good these days, by the way), and we rewrite the Pina Colada song for the 21st century, consider changing the vessel for beers in flavorific ways, get lost in the Oculus Rift, and try to formulate some sort of takeaway.

Low ABV 51 – Carton Caffé Corretto

File this one under “Odd Ingredients, Unexpected Results” as we crack open a 12% ABV imperial cream ale with fennel, anise, and licorice from New Jersey’s Carton Brewing. (Thanks to listener Mike Bobal for sending this one!) Other topics of note include judgemental cars, Coke or Pepsi? (finally), calculator hackers, Summer Craig’s vehicle of choice, LFO, autotuning, and some real pervo stuff.