I love podcasts. Living in Brooklyn and commuting to work in Manhattan by bike gives me ample time to listen to them while hugging the bike lane. Music can be distracting on the road, and as it’s the law that you can only have 1 earbud in your ear, I tend to not listen to music while I ride as a lot of music can't really be experienced properly if you're only hearing one side of the stereo experience.
Beer podcasts are ubiquitous on the iTunes Store. Some are great, some are… less than great. For me, connecting to a great podcast is about finding a host with a point of view and a level of engagement with his or her guests as well as his or her audience. More than knowledge, it's also about style and the presentation of that knowledge. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.
Good Beer Hunting – A thoughtful podcast with one of the best hosts I've come across. Michael Kiser, the show's host, is Chicago-based so the focus can at times be Chicago and Midwest focused though he has been traveling quite a bit recently, having been to the Czech Republic, Costa Rica and has even made it out to my neck of the woods to interview one of Brooklyn's favorite beer sons, author Joshua M. Bernstein.
Beer Sessions Radio – Listening to this podcast gives me the same feeling as going to my local bar. The host, Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village, is a great host and long-time champion of craft beer. He always manages to get fantastic guests. Produced by the Heritage Radio Network in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, it tends to be focused locally on the New York scene.
Fuhmentaboudit! – Hosted by Mary Izett and Chris Cuzme, both past presidents of one of my local clubs, the New York City Homebrewers Guild. They focus on all things fermented with an emphasis on homebrewing. Finding this podcast and taking their advice has made my beer better. This podcast inspires me to stretch my brewing legs and try new things. I tend to think of it as a weekly local homebrew club meeting in podcast form. It is also on the Heritage Radio Network.
Beersmith Home Brewing – Hosted by Brad Smith, the guy behind the popular brewing software Beersmith. With guests ranging from John Palmer (author of "How To Brew") to John Blichmann (of brewing equipment maker Blichmann Engineering), Brad attempts to demystify the process of brewing while subtly selling his software. It's a soft sell and a good product that I have on my phone and tablet. Beer recipe formulation software will be another post though.
Brew Strong – I once heard this referred to as the Howard Stern of beer shows and that's actually a perfect description. If you can get past the commercials for sexy websites, a lot of on-air burping, and the juvenile humor there is a lot to learn from these guys. It’s hosted by Jamil Zaineshef and John Palmer. As a home brewer, Jamil won a stupid amount of medals, co-wrote the book Brewing Classic Styles and Yeast, and is the owner of Heretic Brewing. John Palmer wrote the books How To Brew and Water: A Comprehensive Guide For Brewers.
Strange Brews - from WBEZ, the same company that produces This American Life and Serial. Hosted by Andrew Gill and Allison Cuddy, they bill themselves as Public Radio's only show about beer. Super informative about the industry and appropriately nerdy where it counts, this is often where I get ideas for blog posts.
Brew To Share - That's right. I'm getting in the game. The Brew To Share podcast is a series of one-on-one conversations with some of my favorite people in the beer scene. I plan to have homebrewers, beer professionals, beer bloggers, and journalists on the program. It's less of a formal interview and more of a conversation that you might overhear at a bar. I released the first 2 episodes on Friday and just got approval in the iTunes store. I also hope to be approved by Stitcher soon.
My first 2 guests are Sean Torres from Pour Standards and Hollis Smith from The Brewminaries. So, give it a listen and let me know what you think in the comments. I'm super proud of it and hope you enjoy.