It Starts With Beer

It Starts With Beer

The best conversations start with beer and go somewhere else.... Show More

Episodes

August 4, 2020 21 min

Phantom Brewing in Hartford, Connecticut, opened in April of this tumultuous year. My guest Jon Patrei and his business partner Bo Kolcio previously ran Beer & Wine Makers Warehouse, and continue to run a similar enterprise in their brewery. Jon and I talk about his background in beer and how opening during a pandemic works when you are prepared and make wise decisions. 

 

Information on the Phantom Ship in the intro comes from “...

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July 25, 2020 47 min

In this special history episode, author/historian Gregg Smith discusses topics including taverns during the colonial era, his favorite early brewery stories, the history of beer advertising, the hard life of a brewer in the early 20th century, historical methods, Prohibition, the role of women in beer history, and more. Warning: You will learn something! His books are available on Amazon and BrewersPublications.com.

 

This episode is...

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In their 512 Brewed podcast, Melanie Demi and Caitlin Johnson entertain and inform. Based in Austin, Texas (with its 512 area code), these media-savvy beer lovers bring a fun, well-researched approach to beer styles, beer tasting, and a bunch of other beer-adjacent topics. In this episode we step into my shoddily created hologram world, the latest virtual pub that I've called "The Great Outdoors." We talk podcasting, Au...

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When Jamal Robinson, director of sales at New England Brewing of Woodbridge, Conn., put up some simple videos in his greenhouse in June, he was doing more than letting off some steam about race relations in America. He was setting down some wisdom that I couldn't get out of my head. In this episode, Jamal talks about his career in beer, how he's dealt with racism, and what a brewery can do to affect change.

To watch Jamal...

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June 22, 2020 31 min

Writer Jay C. Williams is Connecticut-based with a background in copywriting. His love of beer has propelled him into freelance opportunities, including writing for Wine Enthusiast, Cuisine Noir, October, and other publications. Listen in as we talk writing for multiple audiences, the expanding "beer scene," and Williams' straight-edge punk past.

Here are some links to Jay's work: October, Cuisine Noir, Wine Enthusia...

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Alisa Bowens-Mercado is used to stepping into unfamiliar territory with confidence and a twist. The owner of Rhythm Brewing -- which is based in New Haven, Conn., but has its lagers brewed at Black Hog Brewing in Oxford, Conn. -- is also the owner of a Latin dance studio. As an African-American woman in a largely white, male beer industry Alisa has decided to focus on quality first, to go along with inclusion. 

Enjoy our conversatio...

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I've been a fan of Back East Brewing in Bloomfield, Connecticut, ever since they opened back in 2012, which in Connecticut craft beer years might as well have been the Middle Ages. I'm what's known as a superfan of Back East Porter, so you can understand how happy I was to have Tony Karlowicz on as a guest. Tony is the co-owner of Back East Brewing and we talked about how his brewery is weathering COVID and looking to t...

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May 21, 2020 37 min

What a fun episode of "It Starts With Beer"! Not only do I get to speak to my first international guests, Wayne and Janice Dunne of the Irish Beer Snob podcast all the way from Ireland, but I get to take them to a virtual world of my own design: Pub Americana. From our hologram-realistic barstools, we talk about the state of Irish beer and get to know this lovely couple. Strap on your VR helmets because it's going to be...

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May 12, 2020 33 min

Brando, Clinton, and Big Mike make up the trio known as Brewheads. They drink, they review beer, they hang around, and have fun on their YouTube channel. I had a chance to Zoom with them for a while and find out what makes for an entertaining beer review. We learned a lot about each other and came out of this one changed for the better.

Make sure you follow "It Starts With Beer" on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, or Podbe...

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May 5, 2020 25 min

Enjoy my interview with Clare Goggin Sivits (@beergoggins), the author of an April piece in the website October called “The Beer World Wasn’t Built for Moms." News music background by AudioTrend.

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What’s happening with Massachusetts breweries? No one knows better than Rob and Bob of Mass Brew Bros, and in this interview we talk about their recent post on MassBrewBros.com about the future of Mass breweries post-pandemic.

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Let's talk music and beer and the simple life in Ohio with Josh Norris of Witchdoctor Brewing in Southington, Conn. But it all starts with beer... in the news. Enjoy the sound effects, and stay in touch at beer.snob@yahoo.com. Make sure to subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher.

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My interview with Maine beer writer Carla Jean Lauter was a treat. She's been active and effective at informing people about Maine beer, currently as the "Tap Lines" columnist for the Portland Press Herald. As @beerbabe she promotes diversity in beer. We had a chance to talk about her writing evolution and the current state of Maine beer.  

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Erik Ofgang is not only a nice guy, he's a talented writer. This episode starts with beer and beer writing and veers towards Ofgang's other passions: music and magic. Music for this episode is provided by Mactalla Mor. Photo: Elena Wolfe Photography

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Breweries, like nearly all segments of the economy, have some worries about what the new landscape will look like in the era of COVID-19. Daniel Flynn of DRF Consulting in Cheshire, Conn., works with breweries all the time on their accounting needs. I spoke with him about the big financial picture. 

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My interview with Phil Pappas of the Connecticut Brewers Guild reveals what the nonprofit advocacy group has been doing behind the scenes to help local breweries, particularly in regards to laws and loans. There's some money talk in this one, so get your finance hat on. Photo by Katharine Manning.

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My discussion with Nils Johnson of Little Red Barn Brewers of Winsted, Conn., focuses on how the brewery is staying staying positive with the support of its community. Despite having to cut staff, the owners are hoping to bring them back when the COVID-19 crisis is over, and is collecting money for them along the way. Music by The Dead Dawgs featured in this episode. Cover photo courtesy of the Register-Citizen newspaper.

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My interview with Mark and Tess Szamatulski of Veracious Brewing Company and Maltose Express homebrew store, both in Monroe, Conn., focuses on how our current crisis is putting in peril a way of life: the face-to-face interaction in a quiet, publike atmosphere. This husband and wife team are optimistic nonetheless.

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My interview with Adam Delaura of Labyrinth Brewing, which since 2018 has served beer out of a refurbished old space in Manchester, Connecticut. Learn how this 3-man team is dealing with the current crisis with hard work and levity. Photo: Jessica Prout Photography

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March 27, 2020 13 min

Listen in to my conversation with Chris DeGasero of Alvarium Beer Company of New Britain, Connecticut, on how the brewery has learned to cope with life in the era of COVID-19. 

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