The Friday Brew Review: Southern Tier Brewing Company Back Burner

We might be far from Friday, but here’s a Monday pick-me-up for those weekday blues.

Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Back Burner was the brew that got reviewed.

How’d it taste?

This one delivered in full spades. A fruity taste initially with hints of malt and barley at the end. A full bodied taste indeed with just a ting of sweet.

After that first sip, the malty notes became more prevalent the further in you got. You could also make out the taste of the maple syrup in there too.

How’d it look?

It had a great dark amber color with an even sweeter aroma. The head on it wasn’t too foamy either.

It may have been a 10.5% ABV, but you’d never know with all the flavor and smells coming from the glass.

The verdict.

It was awesome. A solid 9 out of 10. Give it a try the next time you’re looking for something other than that go-to IPA.

Until next time, cheers!



Behind The Brew: Andrew Nordman

Andrew Nordman owns Cademon Brewing Company located in Genoa, Illinois. It’s a small two-stoplight town in the north-east corner of DeKalb county and has that small town charm to it.

The Brewery

Cademon was built inside of an old winery that moved across the street to a new location and Nordman got the offer from them as he was searching for locations. He scouted two others, including where The Forge Brew House wound up planting roots.

“They said that they were moving buildings and because of the similarities in equipment and methods, the old building was all ready to go.”

He wound up settling on the spot and says the paperwork was the next challenge.

“A lot of people signing things and papers moving around. It’s not hard, just not streamlined.”

He learned a ton of new things and is always willing to help the next person looking into the endeavor of owning a brewery.

The Style

The building has a simple looking facade to it. A door and window make up the front of the location and the inside has old wood and a copper ceiling. The smell of beer fermenting and the rustic wood fill your nose with a pleasant aroma.

The beers are infused with a multitude of ingredients that fall into the experimental category. Whether he’s adding hot peppers to his pale ales or loading up his stouts with peanut butter, there’s always a new flavor experience.

The Future

He just opened a second location in Dixon in the same county. It’s a full service pub-style brew house. They were also facing some paperwork issues over the winter that made them close their doors for a few weeks but successfully raised the funds needed to sort out the issues.

If you’re ever in the northern Illinois farm country, make your way to one of his locations and try the Eve’s Tuition. It’s peanut butter heaven!

Until next time, cheers!


(Updated 4/4/17)


The Friday Brew Review: Latitude 33 Brewing Breakfast Stout

Hey again everybody! It’s been a long week but have no fear, the Friday Brew Review is here! This week, I’m drinking the Latitude 33 Brewing Breakfast Stout.


How’s it Taste?

For starters, it’s a stout (obviously). Super packed with coffee flavor and a hint of chocolate with every sip. It has a great mouth feel to it and a strong aroma of coffee and beans as you expect with that fresh cup of Joe in the morning.

The Technicals

Now, I loved their description on the bottle of easy to sip and won’t leave you tired. But! It clocks in at 8.5% ABV and you know that any more than one of these bad boys will knock you on your arse. It’s an Imperial Oatmeal Stout style brew and has a 39 IBU.

In my review video on YouTube, I don’t finish the entire thing but after I stopped the camera, I kept sipping on it working on a few other videos and noticed my focus waning a bit.

All Said and Done

It was delicious! I’m a huge stout fan and they’re undoubtedly my favorite style of beer. This bottle delivers wholesomely and leaves nothing on the table! Check them out!


Tune in next Friday for the next round!


A console reminder for those switching it up.

Well, The new Nintendo Switch is officially here. It became available to buyers on March 3 and it’s already met some opposition.

Now this isn’t unexpected. Don’t forget what the Switch is. It’s a portable console of sorts and as such we’re seeing some hardware issues.

People have been reporting blue and orange screens when turning on their devices and others having issues with the game cartridge not playing when it’s inserted.

Photo by supportdevil

Not all gloom.

On the flip side of all these issues is that some people have been having success with the classic “turn it off and back on.”

And with it being a newly released console that can still play on the internet, you know Nintendo will be releasing updates.

It’s also interesting to note that you see these issues with more prevalence when the Switch isn’t in its dock. When the Switch is off the dock, the unit is running at reduced processing power and that’s probably one of the factors affecting that boot performance.

Others have done it, too.

We all remember legacy consoles that are the 360 and PS3 and what it was like when they released. The infamous “Red Ring of Death” or the failure to boot message.

People also figured out the hard way that you couldn’t stand the 360 up vertically and some even made the mistake of doing it with the first wave of the new XB One’s and messed theirs up pretty bad.

Nintendo had its fair share when they released the Wii-U. I still think it’s a goofy thing and have never really been a huge Nintendo fan myself. I’m sure there were issues with the Game Boy when it was released and there’s a million different iterations of that thing.

But after all those things got figured out, we saw software fixes and the newer XB One’s can be stood up vertically to the players delight. Heck, I have mine on the stand. And it works better in my office set-up as a space saver!

Your standard grief.

It’s always expected that when a developer releases a new game or the Big 3 release a console, there’s going to be a few issues. It’s standard protocol for something that is selling millions of units on launch day.

Don’t let the bad reviews scare you or the feedback dissuade you from buying one, either. I personally don’t plan to purchase one, but that’s because the Switch doesn’t have what I look for in a console and the games don’t appeal to me.

I know it’s blasphemy to say I’m not a huge Zelda fan or that Super Mario Brothers was nigh-impossible for me as a young gamer.

Point is, ignore the people calling for Nintendo’s collective heads over the issue. They’re angry trolls.

Give it some time.

Even with my view on the Switch, I’m still excited to give it a try whenever I get the chance. It’s also a big step for Nintendo given that it’s been forever since the first Wii rolled off the line.

Wait a bit before you buy one is my opinion. It’ll give Nintendo time to work out the bugs and you know you’ll be seeing the new edition of the Switch come the holidays.

-Cheers, Nick

(Updated 4/4/17)


A chat with Alessandro Vazquez about Dekalb’s own beer fest.

So if you don’t know already, the NIU Convocation Center will play host to the Barb City BrewFest on March 25.

Alessandro Vazquez is the owner of Brew Avenue Events, the company putting on the event. I decided to get in touch with him and ask him a few pre-event questions about putting on a beer festival in a town that doesn’t have much in the way of craft beer.

What About BrewFest?

He got his start in the beer festival scene after going to one and seeing all the different ways he could host and improve on the beer festival experience. He found his way to NIU’s Convocation Center by way of attending a concert there.

“DeKalb is very unique, and has been a different experience from any of our other festivals. Working with a venue like the NIU Convocation Center is new for us, as many events take place in the summer and outdoors. But we thought that a Winter craft beer festival, indoors at the NIUCC, would be a big hit.”

His Future Forecast.

He thinks craft beer will continue to grow in popularity and beer festivals will need to continue to push the limits and explore new styles and techniques.

He expects upwards of a few hundred people so far and is still pushing promotion for the event. You can get tickets on TicketMaster and he tries to release new $5-off promos every so often.

You can also expect great coverage of this event because your favorite beer writer will be there! I hope to see you at it and until next time, cheers!



BrewDog breaks new ground in Ohio.

Lets start with who they are. BrewDog was started in 2007 by two guys in Ireland who got tired of their static selection of brew and started making their own.

In the short decade they’ve been open, they have become a world-wide name in the beer industry. You may have seen something floating around on the internet about a beer stuffed inside a taxidermy-squirrel aptly named The End of History.

It’s crazy strong at 55% ABV and the price is equally hardcore at about $650 to $900 depending where you buy it from. It sold out instantly at release and there were only 12 made, so it’s a seller’s market.

So, what about Ohio?

A few weeks ago, BrewDog opened their first location in our hemisphere in Canal Winchester in southern Ohio. They’ve been busy since then and have rolled out a new plan for a new location with, get this: a beer-centered hotel! Hop-infused face-masks and a hot tub full of their Punk IPA!

It’s important to mention it’s crowdfunded though. They surpassed their $75,000 goal. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of it.

The concept images look awesome, too. Give it a gander when you get a chance.

-Cheers, Nick


The Friday Brew Review: Allagash black

Happy Friday everyone! Now, I’m well aware of the fact that it’s actually Saturday, but I intend to make this a weekly thing.

Just trying to keep it in the spirit.

I decided to do the brew review on one of my favorite styles of beer: the stout. Specifically, Allagash Brewing black.

And what a brew this was. It had that great stout taste that sticks around after that first sip. It’s not too heavy and is actually easily (dangerously?) drinkable.

The subtle notes of roasted malt and chocolate also made themselves known with every drink. It had a fantastic head on it as well that didn’t bubble over (expert pour: thank you). A decent ABV of 7.8%, and a taste that kept you wanting more.

A decent 8 out 10.

I even did a YouTube review. Give it a watch!


-Cheers ’til next time, Nick