Rank #1: FFT-004 Troy Casey, Casey Brewing & Blending
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
Rank #2: EP-255 Ray Daniels, Founder, Cicerone
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
Rank #3: EP-221 Adam Paysse of Floodland Brewing
Jun 01 2019
Rank #4: EP-120 Hinrik Carls Ellertsson + Steinn Stefansson
Apr 22 2017
Rank #5: SL-002 So, you opened a brewery. Now what?
Jan 30 2019
Rank #6: Taprooms Vs. Everybody, Pt. 1
Feb 28 2019
Rank #7: EP-242 Mark Legenza of On Tour Brewing
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
Rank #8: EP-169 Devon Kreps of 7venth Sun Brewery
Apr 21 2018
Rank #9: #BEAVEREX18 — I Can See Clearly Now — Chasing Beer Trends as a Means to an End
Oct 10 2018
Rank #10: EP-131 Luke Dickinson of Wicked Weed Brewing
Jul 21 2017
Rank #11: EP-129 Bill Savage of Northwestern University
Jul 01 2017
Rank #12: EP-106 Paul Vander Heide of Vandermill Cider
Dec 30 2016
Rank #13: EP-112 Chase Healey of American Solera
Feb 10 2017
Rank #14: SL-011 What does growth look like in a slowing beer industry?
May 23 2019
Rank #15: EP-172 Jason Perkins of Allagash Brewing Company
May 18 2018
Rank #16: SL-012 Under The Influencers
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.
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
Rank #17: CL-003 GBH Collective — BrewDog's Misadventures, Lost & Grounded, Pricing in the U.K., A Grafting Workshop and Homemade Cider
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
Rank #18: CL-004 GBH Collective — Wicked Weed, Mitch Steele in Atlanta, and Crew Drives
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
Rank #19: EP-249 Jonny Coffman of Goose Island Beer Co.
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
Rank #20: EP-141 Pete Marino of Tenth & Blake, MillerCoors
Sep 30 2017