Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Beer Podcasts

In my relentless pursuit of beer knowledge, I would like to share with you my top-three beer related podcasts. Over the past couple of years, I have listened to or watched numerous podcasts settling upon a core nucleus of five to six podcasts that currently deliver excellent knowledge to their audience. My listening ranges from information and techniques for the homebrewer to podcasts founded upon interviews with brewers, distributors or other working members of the craft beer market.
Following list is in no particular order.....

1. Beer Sessions Radio

Beer sessions radio is facilitated by, Jimmy Carbone, of Jimmy's No. 43 in New York City. Along with Mr. Carbone, there many reoccurring podcast members, most notably, Dave Broderick and Jen Schwertman of Blind Tiger. Along with these members, Mr. Carbone will normally have three to four other guests which promotes great discussions and sometimes disagreement between the podcasters. Each podcast is devoted to a specific beer-related topic. I really enjoy the specificity of the show because it keeps Jimmy and his guests on topic with little derivation into tangential conversations. If the show begins to slide into minor disarray, Mr. Carbone has shown great ability to re-focus his guests like a teacher in the classroom, allowing for optimal dissemination of knowledge for the audience.

2. New Brew Thursday

A video podcast, New Brew Thursday is the brainchild of Stephen Johnson, John Holzer, Brad Kohlenberg and "Dr." Bill Sysak. For reasons unbeknownst to the author, Brad Kohlenberg had to leave the show and he was replaced by Matt Becker. The current members of New Brew Thursday take the audience through a tasting of a particular beer giving commentary, opinions and reactions to the beer. I appreciate their constructive criticism regarding a particular product along with the bantering that normally takes place between the podcasters. This bantering creates a synergistic judging of the beer or a particular topic their are discussing. A perfect accompaniment to this triumvirate is Master Pairings, a beer and food pairing segment lead by "Dr." Bill Sysak. This Master Cicerone and Beverage Coordinator of Stone's World Bistro provides the audience with intimate knowledge of stylistic flavor profiles and how to best pair these differing flavors with food elevating the drinking and eating experience. Simply Brilliant! My only criticism of this podcast is the periodic childish behavior that derails the opportunity to succinctly and cogently discuss a particular part of the craft beer world.
(if you like this podcast, John and Matt's zymurgical knowledge is on display in NBT Brewing).

3. BeerSmith Homebrewing

A podcast dedicated to passing along brewing techniques and processes, historical references and recipe formulation strategies, BeerSmith, facilitated by, Brad Smith is a forty-five minute podcast for the beginning or avid homebrewer. The format of the BeerSmith podcast is a traditional interview with Mr. Smith asking his guest questions related to a very specific homebrewing topic. His guests are well-respected craft beer brewers or awarding homebrewers. For example, the November 13th, 2012 episode was a discussion with Mitch Steele, head brewmaster of Stone Brewing Company about everything IPA. I really enjoy how Mr. Smith can take a very technical or scientific aspect of brewing and articulate his knowledge or reiterate his guest's answers in approachable, easily understood manner. If you enjoy the podcast, the BeerSmith software is a fantastic resource for the homebrewer because it can calculate sparging water, hop bitterness, water chemistry for a particular, etc. (almost anything you can think of during a brewday) removing almost all brewing anxiety.

Hope you enjoy the podcasts. Please pass along any other excellent beer related podcasts.

Honorable mentions: Basic Brewing and Brewing Network's Sunday Session.



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