Heavy Hops

Heavy Hops

Heavy Hops is an interview format podcast featuring conversations with leaders, creators, and innovators in the beverage and music industries. We are passionate about heavy music and beer, driven by curiosity, and interested in showcasing a variety of viewpoints and opinions. From the creator of Scorched Tundra, hosted by Alexi D. Front and Sam Cangelosi. New episodes every Thursday.

Episodes

July 22, 2021 63 min
Gert van der Waal refers to his ventures in hop growing, malting, and distilling as “experiments.” There’s a level of modesty in this claim indicative of his character. On his small farm located outside Pretoria, South Africa, you’ll find four varieties of hops: Cascade, Kracanup (a cross of Chinook and Cascade originating from Australia), DrakGold (a variety bred near Durban on the east coast) and NAK, a local strain whose n...
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Maura Walsh, a Chicago-based artist, gained notoriety during the pandemic for her appropriately named Tiny Guide to Chicago's Best Music Culture Spots and Tiny Guide to Chicago Arts which raise funds for local organizations Chicago Independent Venue League and Save our Stages. We explore the origins of this project, the challenges of communicating architectural detail on such a small medium, and dive into the experience of havi...
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This week's episode is a story about curiosity, saying yes to opportunities, not fearing living somewhere new, and relishing challenges. Coy Eakes, co-Founder of Gamma Brewing, located just outside of Copenhagen, Denmark, tells us how he left his native North Carolina for a country he’d never been to, how he found brewing, and the importance of collaboration as an avenue for better understanding his new surroundings and profess...
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During the first weekend after Easter, Tilburg - a university town in the south of Holland - becomes a destination for curious music enthusiasts from around the world seeking to discover and enjoy up and coming, and select established names, in heavy music. Roadburn Festival’s influence and role as a forward-thinking tastemaker is immeasurable; every metal festival organizer in Europe - and some in North America - watch its announc...
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For the fiftieth episode artist and longtime collaborator Bryn Gleason is taking the helm and asking listener submitted questions. Sam and I offer behind the scenes insight into the shows background, how we adjusted during the lockdown period, what we look for in collaboration beers and projects, and what future content listeners may expect. Big thanks to everyone who listens weekly, those who encouraged us to take the plunge, and...
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This week we're focusing on a specific overlap of agriculture and beer: small scale hop farming in non-traditional areas. Who is starting small farms, where are they located and what are the historical and present challenges these farmers face in North America where the “scale-up to succeed” mentality and monocropping are most prevalent? How is the “what’s new” consumer fixation challenging for small scale, non-traditional grow...
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We’re back in the studio this week for the first time since October, enjoying a few beers with Samu Rahn. Our wide-ranging conversation touches on Samu’s musical endeavors as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in dark heavy bands Cairn and Wintering; the importance of seeking new, niche, experiences - whether at home or abroad; beer and metal intersections by way of Hammerheart Brewing; and what it has been like working as a dist...
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With summer festivals and club concerts on the horizon, we wanted to explore the connections between mental, physical and hearing health. No better guests to join us than Chicago-based audiologist Dr. Michael Santucci and Otolaryngologist Dr. Howard Kotler, an ear nose and throat specialist. As the world’s only audiologist-run earphone manufacturer Dr. Santucci’s firm Sensaphonics attracts musicians from all over the world seeking ...
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Joining us this week is Trevor Shelley de Brauw guitarist of Chicago-based heavy instrumental bands Pelican, RLYR and Chord. We discuss what's happening with each of these bands, including re-releases of Pelican’s first three records (Australasia, The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, City of Echoes), the fourth Chord effort Imperfect Authentic Cadence and the upcoming RLYR album, which was being recorded at the time of...
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Maine Beer Co was founded in 2009 during the financial crisis, a challenging time for attorneys such as Dan Kleban. Having witnessed the ugly underbelly of capitalism, Dan and his brother Dave sought to build a brewery that could be successful by maintaining a moral approach to sustainability. The company sought success not through rapid growth and expansion, rather by treating the environment and his employees well, creating a vir...
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Dr. Garth Cambray is the Director of Makana Meadery in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Makana Meadery has its beginnings in a Rhodes University-based biotechnology research project to develop state-of-the-art continuous fermentation technology for producing iQhilika, a traditional African mead.
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The 2020 pandemic, among many things, dried up market access for craft brewers. As bars, restaurants and venues closed, breweries that stayed afloat had canning lines, steady access to ingredients and packaging; set placements in liquor, grocery and convenience stores; and feet on the street to ensure those placements didn’t get lost. This only represents a small number of the near 9,000 breweries in the United States or three hund...
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Ken Schramm is the Founder and President of Schramm’s Mead in Ferndale MI and author of The Compleat Mead Maker, widely considered to be the book on home honey wine production. Using proven methods from the wine world - including punchdowns, pump overs, free runs, real fruit and lengthy maturation times for clarity - Ken seeks to showcase a true reflection of the ingredients in his meads. In a never-ending pursuit to get his hands...
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Joining us this week are Adrian Utzon Dietz (Guitar) and Tobias Hjorth (Bass) of the Copenhagen, Denmark-based black metal band Solbrud. Their fourth album - a double live album and DVD titled Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn - is a collection of material primarily from the band's first three albums, recorded in a water tower, over two sold out evenings in November 2019. In addition to the acoustics and cold temperature, the wa...
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Joining us this week is Alex Stjernfeldt, a Gothenburg, Sweden-based multi-instrumentalist. You may know him from past and present musical projects: Grand Cadaver, Let Them Hang, The Moth Gatherer, and Novarupta. Our conversation begins by discussing the latter, an ambitious, concept-driven collaboration with Dutch artist Arjen Kunnen that calls on the talents of guest collaborators from all corners of Sweden’s heavy music undergro...
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Johannes Eckerström and John Alfredsson, are the vocalist and drummer respectively, of the Gothenburg-based metal band Avatar. Our wide-ranging discussion covers the Ages live stream series, building success in America following 2012’s The Black Waltz, animal rights and competitiveness. Johannes walks us through the Hunter Gatherer album concept, where he’s finding inspiration, and offers a glimpse into new material the band is wri...
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Noah Hopkins is the Production Manager at Dark Matter Coffee’s Mothership facility located in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. We discuss how Noah applies methods of building and balancing flavor in brewing to roasting coffee, enhancing Dark Matter’s barrel aging, dry-hopping and cask conditioning programs. The wider world of beverage is an inspiration for Noah and his team. Coffees fermented with different strains of brewers yeas...
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Cathy Pellow is the founder of Sargent House, a record label and artist management company based in Los Angeles. In putting the commitment to long term artist development at the center of her work, Cathy facilitates a growing community of highly respected, like-minded, artists from the dark and heavy worlds of music. You know these bands. Chelsea Wolfe, Russian Circles, Mutoid Man, Lingua Ignota, Emma Ruth Rundle, Earth, Deafheaven...
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Marko Tervonen is a founding member and guitarist of The Crown, a death/thrash metal band from Sweden’s west coast. Royal Destroyer, the band's tenth album, comes out on March 12 via Metal Blade Records. Marko discusses reaching this landmark, their thirty plus year career, songwriting, recording with live performance in mind, and how the five year break after Crowned Unholy shaped expectations when the band got back together. ...
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An important part of Sweden’s democratic evolution over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is the involvement of its people in social movements, popular movements, and non-official associations. By organizing themselves in groups, people could more effectively figure out what they wanted to change in society. Popular movements taught them to organize, how to make decisions collectively and what was needed to enforce a change. ...
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