And you thought beer was just for drinking!
I am talking about podcasts. Do you listen to podcasts? On your commute, in the gym, on the toilet; just about every topic covered by podcasts. Whether it’s news and commentary, music, sports, religion, hobbies, entertainment, fiction and non-fiction, every topic is covered. And yes, BEER.
I will admit, I love podcasts. And I will also admit that many are just not that good. Poor sound quality, way too long, self-absorbed hosts or just boring. But that doesn’t mean that all are bad. In fact, some are done so well and engaging, that you don’t want to turn them off.
So where does beer come in? Why would anyone want to talk about, let alone listen to other people talk about it? Beer is certainly a fine and tasty beverage, but it’s also a hobby. If you follow it close enough, you’ll find the beer community skirts closely to the Real Brewers of “insert your favorite City“. Trademark infringements, tap handle wars, sell-outs, venture capital, new releases, new breweries, homebrewing and just about anything else.
Beer podcasts fall into a few categories, but most blur the lines a bit between styles.
- Beer Reviews and Tasting
- Interviews and story-driven
- News and education
My favorite beer podcasts are ones that are having fun while trying to educate. After all, it’s still beer, and it should be fun. It’s nice to listen to a show that mixes it up a bit. I can only listen to somebody blather about what they think of a particular beer for so long. I try not to get too caught up in what other peoples opinions are. Taste is a personal thing.
Some of my favorite shows:
Four Brewers – Beer reviews and tasting notes, social commentary, humor (sometimes a bit crude) and the occasional interview. They even throw in some homebrew talk on occasion. A fun show that doesn’t take itself or beer too seriously.
The Full Pint – A long-standing beer blog that jumped into podcasting a while back. Beer news and interviews make up the bulk of the show. They cover a wide array of beer topics, and the Full Pint crew has been reporting on craft beer news longer than most.
Good Beer Hunting – Deep Cuts! This show digs in on all aspects of beer from brewing to sales and distribution. They also cover all beer. From Nanos to macro, and stories from the entire brewing world. This show covers the business side of brewing really well, and not just craft.
Steal This Beer – A little loud and a little drunk. This is an interview show that includes blind tasting and analysis of beer drank out of blacked out glasses. This show also concentrates on the business side of beer but keeps it on the lighter side. Best described as a conversation about beer in a bar after everyone has had a few. Oh wait, that’s exactly what this show is.
Beervana – This show is self-described as “about the art, culture, economics, and business of beer and brewing”. While a totally agree with their description, I would say this podcast keeps it a bit lighter and academic. This is a good show for someone not wanting to get caught up in too much hype, or beer business. This fits a really good middle ground.
Basic Brewing – Homebrewing! HOMEBREWING and Homebrewing? I would recommend this show to anyone who homebrews, is thinking about homebrewing or is just interested in how beer is made on the home level. Practical, informative, fun and a bit homey. This show is a podcast classic that is still putting out great shows.
The Brewing Network (multiple shows) – I saved this for last, for a few of reasons. First off, it’s a network. Many shows and topics to choose from. Highly produced and commercialized, but a wealth of great information to be had. Check them out for yourselves.
If you’re a regular participant in the local beer scene, you might even know your local beer podcaster. I became friends with all of the Four Brewers at different times, years before they began their show. The Full Pint crew are regulars at beer events in Southern California and are always happy to share in some solid beer conversation.
I know, there are way too many shows to listen to every week. A few I listen to every week. Some I read the description and only listen to the episodes that interest me. How you listen is up to you. If these shows don’t work for you, search for your own favorites.
- Protip – Speed up the playback just a bit. You’ll get more listening in and if something really peaks your interest, you can always go back and listen again.