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Rank #88 in Food category

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Good Beer Hunting

Updated about 12 hours ago

Rank #88 in Food category

Arts
Food
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GBH is not a voice speaking only from the outside looking in, but rather, from the middle of some of the most rapidly changing dynamics that any U.S. industry has ever seen. The interviews go deeper and the articles work harder to balance the culture of craft beer with the businesses it supports, shifting the conversation with our readers toward the future of the industry we love and the tenacity of its ideals.

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GBH is not a voice speaking only from the outside looking in, but rather, from the middle of some of the most rapidly changing dynamics that any U.S. industry has ever seen. The interviews go deeper and the articles work harder to balance the culture of craft beer with the businesses it supports, shifting the conversation with our readers toward the future of the industry we love and the tenacity of its ideals.

iTunes Ratings

196 Ratings
Average Ratings
164
13
8
2
9

Invaluable

By mca_mike - Aug 16 2019
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The most holistically focused podcast about beer out there. The team of deft interviewers that make up the GBH team make their guests, topics, and beer on the whole more approachable. An invaluable resource for understanding why beer means more than just beer.

Brian Roth, piqued is pronounced “peaked”, not “picked”

By PeterBruceH - Feb 21 2019
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This is an excellent podcast. Respectful of the craft of brewing and lacking the “bro” factor that seems to plague so many other podcasts about the industry.

iTunes Ratings

196 Ratings
Average Ratings
164
13
8
2
9

Invaluable

By mca_mike - Aug 16 2019
Read more
The most holistically focused podcast about beer out there. The team of deft interviewers that make up the GBH team make their guests, topics, and beer on the whole more approachable. An invaluable resource for understanding why beer means more than just beer.

Brian Roth, piqued is pronounced “peaked”, not “picked”

By PeterBruceH - Feb 21 2019
Read more
This is an excellent podcast. Respectful of the craft of brewing and lacking the “bro” factor that seems to plague so many other podcasts about the industry.
Cover image of Good Beer Hunting

Good Beer Hunting

Latest release on Feb 28, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 12 hours ago

Rank #1: FFT-004 Troy Casey, Casey Brewing & Blending

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The state of wild and sour beer in America is rapidly evolving. And this year, in partnership with Green Bench Brewing in St Petersburg Florida, the GBH team hosted a series of interviews and discussions at the Foeder for Thought festival. These discussions are meant to help us all dig in to the future of this loosely-defined, but highly-sought-after category of beers. It’s also a chance to get to know some of the people and stories behind how these beers are made, sold, and enjoyed all over the country. 

In this 5-part series, you’ll hear from a variety of perspectives from this niche of the industry. 

Apr 06 2018

28mins

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Rank #2: EP-255 Ray Daniels, Founder, Cicerone

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About a month ago, an annual tradition took place: the announcement of the new Master Cicerones. 

It’s an exciting and heartbreaking time for many folks who put in months and even years of studying and training to pass one of the most difficult, esoteric, and unpredictable certification exams in all of food and beverage. 

Another part of that annual tradition, at least in the past couple years, is the ensuing debate on #beertwitter about the value of the certification, and the relevance of the things it tests for. There are some perfectly valid questions asked about the program—we know this because the program itself has evolved over time. But there are also some really wild ideas that get tossed around that seem to be rooted more in our iconoclastic, anti-expertise culture than anything else. Many question the value of a professional development track rooted in knowledge rather than experience, as if the two are somehow separable. In short, some people just want to see the Cicerone world burn. 

So we did what we tend to do in these situations, and decided to help the world get to know the person and the intent behind the thing. 

Ray Daniels is the founder of the Cicerone program, and before that he held a number of unique roles at the Brewers Association. And before that he was a marketer and public relations professional, author, and almost, almost, started a brewery in Chicago with one of the city’s other luminaries, Randy Mosher. I, for one, love imagining what a brewery started by Ray Daniels and Randy Mosher in the late ’90s or early aughts would be like in 2020. It’d probably be just as anachronistic as it was relevant. Which is kind of what we get with Cicerone. 

We’re going to chart Ray’s journey, look at how Cicerone has evolved over the years, examine who it’s for and who it’s not, and discuss how it maintains relevance in an industry with about 10,000 more breweries than when it started.

Feb 08 2020

1hr 14mins

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Rank #3: EP-221 Adam Paysse of Floodland Brewing

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It started when i went to the website. "FLOODLAND BREWING" it read in all caps at the top. "Floodland is a brewery in Seattle" below. A spot to enter your email. You want to know more? There’s a text file FAQ with some basic points of info. That’s it. When I first came across the homepage—if you’d dare call it that—I had no idea what to expect. The business was started by Adam Paysse, one of the original partners of the city’s beloved Holy Mountain Brewing. He had decided to go on his own with this venture, taking over a modestly-sized storage space in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood and filling it with barrels, focusing on a collection of barrel-fermented and mixed-culture beers. He released his first beers in 2018 to wild fanfare, and it really hasn’t stopped. What interested me in seeking out and chatting with Adam pretty much went right back to that website. He has a deep appreciation for his craft, and like the barebones appearance of his digital presence, is straight-forward in what motivates and excites him. He talks up his friends and partners, local farmers, and fellow brewers who inspire him. He worries about social media and line culture. He is wonderfully committed to the people he cares about and what he does for a living. He’s a fascinating guy, and one who doesn’t really talk publicly too much. It made for an incredible, wide-ranging conversation when we met in Seattle this spring. Spending an afternoon with Adam quickly introduced me to a personality I’m thankful to know, and happy to follow. In the Pacific Northwest, he’s got lots of fans, and if you haven’t heard of him yet, I hope this introduction puts him on your radar, too. This is Adam Paysse of Floodland Brewing. Listen in.

Jun 01 2019

1hr 13mins

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Rank #4: EP-120 Hinrik Carls Ellertsson + Steinn Stefansson

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Despite what some politicians may rally against, there is plenty of value of what a globalized society can bring. The different perspectives and experiences that flow from one border to the next has created a connectivity that enhance ideas the world over. It may come as no surprise, that also lends itself to how people from different countries use hops and malt, too. On assignment for GBH, I traveled in February to Reykjavik, Iceland with the goal of learning more about what that country’s beer scene is and what it offers drinkers a world apart from my bubble stateside. It’s easy to get caught up in an almost orthodox point of view of the global beer industry, where the Old World - countries like England, Belgium or Germany - and the New World - the United States - are the areas we most believe are worth our attention. But the flip side of that is the influence and cultural cache these places have, and how they’re helping to shape the way others think about and make beer. At KEX Hostel in downtown Reykjavik, I met with Hinrik Carl Ellertsson and Steinn Stefansson to talk about their small-time gypsy brewing operation and popular interests in the Iceland beer scene, which, no surprise, seem to be trending toward the hoppy side of things as Scandinavians look to the U.S. for inspiration. With visitors from around the world coming to Iceland for an annual beer festival, we found a spot in the shared space of the hostel where Hinrik and Steinn described what it’s like to work in a young industry seeking inspiration from today’s biggest names in beer. Some that will sound awfully familiar to American beer lovers.

Apr 22 2017

52mins

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Rank #5: SL-002 So, you opened a brewery. Now what?

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What does it take to open a brewery these days? And what happens after you do? These questions are at the center of two conversations we have in this Sightlines addition of the podcast. First, we hear from Scott Janish and Michael Tonsmeire, co-owners of Maryland’s Sapwood Cellars. I sat down with the pair for episode #144 from October 2017, and have been tracking their progress since. Back then, they were working on recipes and trying to perfect an approach to New England IPA, all while finding the physical space for their business. They opened a year later, and when I caught up with them in January, we took some time to reflect on their first three months in operation. You’ll hear about challenges and triumphs and the changes that have occurred at the brewery and in their lives. After that, we check in with Scott Wood, who opened New Orleans’ Courtyard Brewery a little over four years ago, and also happened to be featured on Good Beer Hunting in the fall of 2017, just weeks before the guys from Sapwood. Scott just announced a second, larger production space for his brewery that aims to open in 2020, and even though he’s been in business for years, this is a big step for his business. It’s one that he admits in our conversation took a long time to get ready for personally and professionally. Here we have two breweries, years apart in experience, but still learning and changing. What does it take to operate a brewery in 2019? Let’s get an idea. This is Scott Janish and Michael Tonsmeire of Sapwood Cellars, then Scott Wood of Courtyard Brewery. Listen in.

Jan 30 2019

50mins

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Rank #6: Taprooms Vs. Everybody, Pt. 1

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This episode is a two-parter devoted to the intersection of taprooms and retailers as they increasingly find themselves in competition with each other for the limited number of customers and dollars available in their markets for craft beer. There are a number of factors that have made taprooms a newly competitive aspect of the three-tier system—or what’s left of it in some cases. Laws have been changing, the consumer experience is shifting, OG beer bars are feeling the squeeze from every bar and restaurant seemingly carrying craft beer now, and larger trends like at-home consumption, bottle shares, trading circuits, and beer tourism. It’s hard out there for a retailer right now, and it’s kind of becoming taprooms versus everybody. The purpose of this two-part series was to dig into that tension and determine if there’s a concrete principle at play, or if, like most things in craft beer, it’s more of a loose relationship-based thing where some competition is welcome, and some isn’t. Most of all: how are we going to be thinking about all this in the future? Because I think we can all agree that competition that works in the drinker’s favor is generally a good thing, but if we start losing great bars in the process, then maybe we’re not all getting what we want in the end. Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville, Illinois is the catalyst behind these episodes. As a small production brewery making right about 8,000 barrels, with an expanded taproom and a new one opening in the city of Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, they were starting to feel the pushback from some key retail accounts who see them as competition. So they took the bold step of reaching out, inviting those accounts to brew a beer called Taproom Exclusive, and serving it anywhere but. They asked us to come along and lead a discussion around how we can maybe sort all this out productively and gain some perspective. Bavarian Lodge and Hopleaf joined in—both accounts that have carried Solemn Oath over the years, but who have been vocal about how they don’t like where things are heading. Kudos to everyone for being willing to come the the table—both figuratively and quite literally—over a beer and dig into the issue. This episode is recorded at the Hopleaf, and I’m joined by: Michael Roper, proprietor of Hopleaf Peter Rock-Tiernes of Middlebrow, who just owned a taproom in Logan Square Jay Jankowski of Maproom, just down the street from Middlebrow and Solmenn Oath’s future second taproom Eric Hobbs, sales director at Solemn Oath This is Taprooms Vs. Everybody, Pt. 1. Listen in.

Feb 28 2019

1hr 53mins

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Rank #7: EP-242 Mark Legenza of On Tour Brewing

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Today’s guest is one of the most unassuming brewery owners in Chicago: Mark Legenza of On Tour Brewing Company. On Tour is located in the brewery district that’s popped up around Goose Island’s Fulton Street production facility. The area is now home to half-a-dozen breweries and as many coffee roasters, and it’s where the GBH Studio is located, too.

So why is it that he hasn’t been on the GBH Podcast before? Well, it’s definitely my fault. It’s one of those situations when familiarity creates a sort of blindness. On Tour is where our team goes for many of our end-of-week happy hours. We’ve said goodbye to colleagues there, and welcomed new ones. It’s even where I temporarily recorded a podcast episode while our Studio was being built out down the street. On Tour is an automatic destination for me. And so much of this podcast is an exercise in seeking out what I don’t already know. 

But today I’m happy to remedy that with Mark. On Tour previously won the Very Small Brewing Company award, only 10 months after opening, at the Great American Beer Festival. And this year it finally launched into packaging for the first time, with a Pilsner and a Pale Ale. They’re two releases that define what this place is so damn good at: making classic beers that taste quintessential. In today’s craft beer world, tasting a Pale Ale or a Brown Ale of exceptional quality is almost the exotic thing. 

So I’m pleased to sit down with our neighbor, and owner of On Tour Brewing Co. in Chicago, Mark Legenza. Listen in. 

Nov 02 2019

1hr 12mins

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Rank #8: EP-169 Devon Kreps of 7venth Sun Brewery

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I didn't expect to talk about a serial killer when I sat down with Devon Kreps recently, but sometimes life can be full of surprises. For a while, that was a recurring theme for Devon and her brewery, 7venth Sun, which she co-owns with Justin Stange. As you'll hear in our discussion, natural disasters and local tragedies played an unexpected and unfortunate role in the early story of their brewery's new production space in Tampa, Florida. But when we got together, it was in the cozy confines of their original brewery and taproom in Dunedin, a sort of golf cart community also on the western side of the state. Devon and Justin opened 7venth Sun in 2012 after meeting at Sweetwater Brewing, and her roots in beer go back to a degree in fermentation science from Oregon State University and time spent with Anheuser-Busch. You'll hear from Devon on a lot of similar topics craft brewers are facing today, from finding a niche in a local market to learning how to best run a business and, perhaps most important, overcome unexpected challenges for which you have no control. Through it all, Devon has helped run one of the flagship breweries in the greater Tampa area providing growth and excitement for her team and customers alike. Grab a Florida weisse, relax in a reclining chair and think of sandy beaches.

Apr 21 2018

59mins

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Rank #9: #BEAVEREX18 — I Can See Clearly Now — Chasing Beer Trends as a Means to an End

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I Can See Clearly Now — Chasing Beer Trends as a Means to an End Host: Jonny Garrett Panelists: Andy Parker (Elusive), Matt Brynildson (Firestone Walker), Alexandra Nowell (Three Weavers) At last years Extravaganza brewers clashed during the discussion of where the Hazy IPA fits within modern beer culture. In the year that’s passed, the style has gradually become a popular, almost common fixture within craft beer—even one of the panelists who denounced the style last year has been turned on to its charms. In addition to this, new IPA styles—such as Brut IPA—are beginning to turn heads. Should brewers continue to chase new trends in an effort to maintain relevance in the market? Or should they be seeking balance, and stability, as competition and other market pressures continue to increase apace.

Oct 10 2018

41mins

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Rank #10: EP-131 Luke Dickinson of Wicked Weed Brewing

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We’re a little over two months since Wicked Weed, one of the nation’s most popular and ambitious sour beer producers, was acquired by AB InBev in a sale that set the beer world on edge. Indeed, it seemed to push many people over the edge, galvanizing craft beer’s hardcore base against AB while others started reconsidering the future of craft beer, from its definitions and divisions to even the future of their own breweries and customers.  Since then, AB InBev itself has seemed to get a bit on edge with the release of the Brewers Association “independence” seal. Despite the fact that the seal was reportedly in the works for more than two years, the timing of its release seemed to add fuel to the fire of an imminent crisis point between BA-defined craft brewers and those who had passed over the threshold into just being brewers of craft beer.  In response, AB's High End group, which is a portfolio populated by those acquired craft brewers, many of whom have maintained their posts, are now part of a strategic and creative leadership team for AB. They created a somewhat impromptu video response to the BA encouraging them to think about the overall health of the beer category, which is indeed shrinking, as a result of increased competition from wine and spirits. Unity was their call, rather than division. And that, depending on your scale, priorities, and opinion of AB InBev, is either prescient or absurd.  Needless to say, it’s been a wild couple of months for craft beer. This barely scratches the surface, really. But relevant to today’s guest, that’s more than enough context for what makes this interview both timely and interesting to me.  Today, I’m talking to Luke Dickinson of Wicked Weed. Luke is the less-exposed, less-publicized brother of Walt Dickinson. This starts as a story of siblings, Luke being the quiet one who was initially inspired to start a brewing career based on his time at Dogfish Head, and Walt being the more entrepreneurial type who saw Luke’s vision for what was meant to be a nano brewery on paper, and consistently found opportunities to finance and scale the concept for Wicked Weed into the force it is now, including the sale to AB InBev, alongside the Guthys, a very successful, Asheville-based business family they’ve known since they were children.  Talking to Luke, the story of Wicked Weed comes to light as a sort of humble concept that created its own vortex of growth and a series of can’t-say-no kind of opportunities. It’s a story of what happens when a single idea gets dispersed amongst four other partners, each with their own skill sets, resources, and ambitions. And if nothing else, it tells a story of how two brothers can challenge and motivate each other into unknown—and what remains still a somewhat-unknown territory.  Before we begin, I wanted to give a couple shoutouts. First to Marco from Craft Commander down in Florida and Artisan & Apprentice, two blogs whose interviews with Luke some time ago served as great primary resources for some of the things we talk about today. It’s amazing how much craft brewing history has been captured by writers all over the country in the last five years, and we appreciate what you do so much.

Jul 21 2017

1hr 36mins

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Rank #11: EP-129 Bill Savage of Northwestern University

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Chicago’s beer story is an historical one, full of the bawdiness that to this day continues the association of beer with the rougher parts of our civility. It’s political - in the burbs is where the temperance movement spawned, we’ve had workers riots and rallies, and our alderman would use their saloons to sway the vote. As American craft brewing brings beer back to the local, and hyperlocal level, some of these histories don’t seem so remote. Tied houses, saloon culture, and good old-fashioned bartending are newly refreshed in their relevance to our daily experience, but the ways in which history repeats itself are sometimes not what we expect.  Are breweries with taprooms the same concern as tied houses a hundred years ago? Does "local" mean the same thing in contemporary craft brewing? What’s the role of a bar when it’s not just the corner spot but some sort of craft beer concept, or a sportsbar.  And for today’s guest, a lot of that is tied to the role of the bartender themselves.  Bill Savage is a Chicago historian, writer, teacher, and long-time bartender going back some 30 years.  All of that has led to him being one of the most important voices in Chicago’s drinking culture, and that of our entire country.  His new project, The Old Time Saloon originally written by George Ade and resurrected by Bill, kicks off today’s conversation. And it serves as great window into many topics relevant to today’s craft beer drinker.

Jul 01 2017

1hr 26mins

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Rank #12: EP-106 Paul Vander Heide of Vandermill Cider

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We’re sitting down with Paul Vander-Heide of Vandermill Cider out of Michigan. I first met Paul back when he was a tiny little cider mill in Spring Lake, personally loading a few kegs into his van and driving them to Chicago. He’s always been one step ahead of the cider wave that took off like a shot—and is currently hitting a bit of a plateau—in the U.S., depending on what kind of producer you are. But the reason he's succeeding is because of his foresight, willingness to adapt, opportunistic approach and, frankly, his ability to give the people what they want even as he sets his sights on a brighter future for the category.  In the Midwest, I don’t think there’s a cider company that has opened more doors than Vandermill. And the growth of his company is an indication that his days ahead are even more ambitious. He’s moved production from Spring Lake to Grand Rapids in a beautiful new facility with a tasting room and a kitchen. And there’s a ton of room in there to grow.  So I’m finally sitting down with Paul on what seems like the precipice of his success, but being the pragmatist that he is, he knows that his competition is getting fierce, and the entire category needs room to grow before cider makers start turning on each other.  He’s a great ambassador for cider, and I’m excited to share this conversation with you. Even if I was a little hungover from a bawdy evening at Sovengaard the night before. (I think it was that last Orval or maybe the Rosé that got me.) So pardon any sluggishness in my brain on this one.

Dec 30 2016

1hr 2mins

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Rank #13: EP-112 Chase Healey of American Solera

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In the tradition of American Wild Ales, a name like American Solera might sound fundamental—but it’s a relative newcomer for brewer/founder Chase Healey. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, far from the hotspots and critical masses of drinkers for such delicacies, Healey has carved out a life and a living that's far different than the way he entered brewing. His first venture, Prairie Artisan Ales, in which he still plays a small supporting role, is quickly growing from one state to the next. And it was his come-to-Jesus moment with the vast potential for Prairie that helped him understand his more personal goals as a brewer. Through that shift in focus, and his curiosity surrounding Wild Ales, an entirely new, unproven chapter of his life opened. But for all the anxiety of venturing into unknown territory, it's his obsession with simplicity that seems to keep him keeled.  I caught up with Healey at RateBeer Best in Santa Rosa this year, fresh off his second place win for best new brewery in the world with American Solera, in addition to his legacy wins for top beer and top brewer in Oklahoma for Prairie in 2017.

Feb 10 2017

44mins

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Rank #14: SL-011 What does growth look like in a slowing beer industry?

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As of right now—May 2019—there are about 7,500 breweries in the United States. From 2016-2018, the Brewers Association counted about two new breweries opening every day, and in that time, the size, scope, and potential of what those businesses could become has quickly changed. Year-to-year volume growth for Brewers Association-defined craft beer dropped to 4% last year, a decline of 1% from 2017 and the lowest growth rate in a decade. Industry conversations now focus on going a “mile deep,” not a “mile wide.” In other words, staying small and local—while embracing close-to-home and taproom sales—is becoming a safer and more secure way to grow, albeit slower and with greater intent. As the beer category slows and more companies focus on staying small and local, the idea of “growth” as a business concept is changing. To better get a sense of what this change means, GBH connected with Bart Watson, the economist from the Brewers Association, and Tom Madden, co-founder of Lone Pine Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. With a mix of industry stats and real-life case study, we hope to get to the bottom of what growth looks like in a slowing beer industry. Listen in.

May 23 2019

27mins

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Rank #15: EP-172 Jason Perkins of Allagash Brewing Company

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This week’s episode is with one of the country’s best and most-loved brewers. But unless you follow the industry closely, you probably don’t know him. He won the Brewers Association’s Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing in 2016 in recognition of his outstanding work at Allagash as their brewmaster, as well as the many committees and teams he serves on for the association itself. So much of what makes the Brewers Association a progressive, impactful part of our everyday drinking lives isn’t in the marketing campaigns or politics, but in the incremental analysis, research, goal-setting, and internal lobbying for quality, technical education, and investments in agriculture. These are the rails upon which the future of craft brewing in the U.S. will run. And Jason is working at the heart of so much of it, both through the association, but also his own brewery in Maine. Jason was in Chicago for Allagash’s Saison Day in which he brewed a collaboration beer with John Laffler of Off Color. So we set aside some time in the morning after their brew day and a night on the town in Chicago. And to his credit, despite his travel-weariness, not to mention this being probably the most boring part of his trip, Jason still showed up. I was delighted. I learned a ton. And I’m happy to share it with you all. Listen in.

May 18 2018

56mins

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Rank #16: SL-012 Under The Influencers

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Craft beer has always had an uncomfortable relationship with marketing, Instagram and social media, and things like hype, status, and influencers. It’s also long had an issue with women. Not just sexuality, but of course, also that. Not just gender and inclusion, but also that. Not just diversity and equality, but also that. In the most general, broad sense, craft beer (and beer in general), both culturally and as an industry, has long been a walled garden for men in the U.S. And over the past couple weeks, we saw that play out in a pretty specific, explicit fashion. Here’s how it went down.

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Links to the folks we spoke to: 

Zach Johnston, Senior Writer-at-Large for Uproxx Caitlin Johnson, beer blogger and content creator, @bigworldsmallgirl Megan Stone, brewer for Duclaw Brewing Co., @isbeeracar Alyssa Thorpe, head brewer for Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery, @southernbeergirl

Aug 07 2019

42mins

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Rank #17: CL-003 GBH Collective — BrewDog's Misadventures, Lost & Grounded, Pricing in the U.K., A Grafting Workshop and Homemade Cider

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Welcome back to another episode of the GBH Collective where we bring you the stories behind the stories from our writers and photographers all over the world.   This is our third edition of this format - and if you’re liking it, let us know. The team really enjoys sharing their perspectives, and I can say personally, I’m enjoying hearing more about their adventures.   And of course, this new series of episodes is made possible by our Patreon subscribers. Patron is a way that our readers and listeners can subscribe to GBH with a monthly contribution, just like subscribing to a magazine. We give back to our subscribers, which we call the Fervent few through events, discounts, exclusive gear and art, and a host of other perks. Because tot us, being a Fervent Few member makes you part of the team - and you’ll see that come true when we launch the community section of the website in the next month. So to all those who signed up already, thanks so much - you’re already enjoying the fruits of that subscription.   If you want to join, visit patreon.com/goodbeerhunting, or click on the link on our show notes.   This week we’ve got Matthew Curtis from London talking about stories underway with Wild Beer Co. and Lost & Grounded and others, but also the recent news cycles about BrewDog, which are troubling. And his recent trip to New Zealand.   We’ll also be checking in with Steph Byce based here in Chicago. She’ll be in the studio with her homemade ciders, as she prepares for a Vermont Trip to visit Shacksbury for a grafting workshop. And she’ll share her experience up in Michigan at Dark Horse as well.   An incredibly diverse range of topics from some great storytellers. 

Apr 05 2017

53mins

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Rank #18: CL-004 GBH Collective — Wicked Weed, Mitch Steele in Atlanta, and Crew Drives

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This week we’ve got Austin Ray, our Editorial Director talking about our Wicked Weed coverage pretty much as we were writing it, and his interview with Mitch Steel about his new atlanta brewpub concept. 

We’ll also check in with Bill Holland, one of our newest recruits who’ been contributing to our b-Roll section in between his hours selling beer for MillerCoors, which lends a unique perspective to our team. 

As usual, a diverse range of topics from some great storytellers. 

May 16 2017

39mins

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Rank #19: EP-249 Jonny Coffman of Goose Island Beer Co.

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Today’s conversation is one of the hardest—and most edifying—that I’ve been lucky to have. It reaches that level of dialogue and storytelling that I think, on occasion, puts the GBH podcast on the level of oral history. It has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with the quality of people who we’re lucky enough to have share their stories on this platform. And each guest of this caliber serves as a sort of searchlight to others who might find their way here next.

Jonny Coffman has been a bartender in Goose Island’s taproom, just down the street from our studio, for some time now. He’s worked in breweries and bars like Chicago’s Local Option, and serves as a warm, inviting face to the world of beer for so many. He’s the kind of unassuming and energetic person that makes you feel like you always made a great choice.

But the last four years of Jonny’s life—including a long, sprawling battle with cancer—challenged that disposition in the most profound ways. And they did so over and over again.

I recently ran into Jonny at the Goose Island taproom when he was celebrating the national release of the beer he helped design and that he and his colleagues used as a symbol to celebrate his new lease on life. That beer is called Lost Palate—for reasons you’ll hear about in excruciating detail in this interview. It’s a Hazy IPA with cinnamon, lactose, mango, and graham crackers. It’s a wild beer for Goose to have made. But Jonny is kind of a wild guy. 

In the end, this interview is not about a beer. It’s actually a struggle for me to even talk about the beer itself in the context of this interview, but for Jonny it’s critical that we do. Rather, this interview is about all the things that this simple beer has come to represent—for Jonny, his colleagues, family and friends, and the message he hopes it carries to the rest of the world—as it spreads out onto shelves all across the country. This beer, and Jonny’s story, are going to pop up everywhere.

Fair warning that this is a long one—and the listening will be hard-going at times. It was for me and Jonny, too. But I know I walked away better for having heard it.

This is Jonny Coffman of Goose Island Beer Co. Listen in.

Dec 21 2019

1hr 39mins

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Rank #20: EP-141 Pete Marino of Tenth & Blake, MillerCoors

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As much as we talk about the acquisitions of craft brands, it’s not often we get to hear directly from the people involved, and how they think about and manage these acquisitions.  How do breweries transition to their new realities? How do they get integrated into a portfolio? How do they enable growth, but also look to safety, quality, and sales with a critical eye? It’s a lot to handle, and a lot of big questions remain.  For AB InBev's High End, things seem to move really, really fast. For MillerCoors and its Tenth & Blake team, which is in charge of its craft acquisitions and imports, things seem to move much, much slower. Leinenkugels, for example, was a craft acquisition back in the 1980s, and they’re still working patiently by comparison to most. Terrapin is another, still operating mostly regionally despite having partial MillerCoors ownership since 2012 (more recently, they took the majority).  Compare that to the now-international presence of a brand like Goose Island under ABI's ownership, and the national move being made by specific beers like Elysian Space Dust and others, and you start to see a very different strategy at play between these two corporate brewers. But what is that difference, and what’s it inspired by?  Today we’re going to talk to Pete Marino, who’s taking on a new leadership position at Tenth & Blake and we’re going to try to explore this very subjective question.  Also in the room will be Lisa Zimmer, a guest you might remember from way back in episode 79 when she was working in the Tenth & Blake group. She’s since move up to MillerCoors proper, but her perspective on the legacy of Tenth & Blake combined with Pete’s more recent point of view is productive.

Sep 30 2017

1hr 9mins

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