Rank #1: 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
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Welcome to the Good Beer Hunting Collective podcast, the show where members of our team interview each other to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of our favorite articles. I’m Jonny Garrett, and I’m a staff writer for GBH.
Today, I’m catching up with Anthony Gladman, a new writer at GBH. With the U.K. on lockdown, I thought this would be a great opportunity to transcend the physical distances and get some much-needed social interaction. The episode starts with a chat about how both are coping with the isolation—particularly now that Anthony is homeschooling his kids—before moving on to Anthony’s first full feature for GBH: a dive into the world of British cider called “Rebirth in England’s Orchards — Find & Foster Fine Cider in Devon, U.K.”
Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the British cider scene was gathering some momentum and press as both an off-shoot of the craft beer movement and a traditional part of Britain’s beverage heritage. Anthony and I discuss the unique conservational approach of Find & Foster, and whether the world of cider is better or worse placed to weather the current storm than beer.
This is Anthony Gladman on the Good Beer Hunting Collective podcast. Listen in.
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Rank #19: 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.
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Rank #20: 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.
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