Head Retention

Head Retention

A radio host and a cicerone walk into a bar. Sometimes they talk about beer. Other times, they talk about what happens after they’ve had a few. Head Retention is a podcast about how beer makes great conversations even greater. Listen in and belly up.


March 13, 2023 52 mins

It's an episode (literal) years in the making! Roche and Lashelle welcome Charlie and Chris (the originator of the Crispy Boi lifestyle!) from Fairwinds Brewery in Lorton, VA.

Fairwinds has been busy winning ALL the craft beer awards and join the show to discuss awards (national and regional)and what they mean to breweries. Also, is Kolsch the official beer of Virginia craft brewing? Charlie and Chris (and Lashelle) m...

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Welcome to 2023 and a new year of Head Retention! Roche and Lashelle kick off the year with a look at some beer trends to watch in 2023. Phil Runco spoke with over a dozen breweries to find out what the brewers are keeping an eye on this year. He joins the show to discuss the results including what styles are on the way up, what styles are on the way down, the enduring power of the IPA, and the inevitable contraction of the busines...

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December 29, 2022 76 mins

It's a Head Retention tradition! Lashelle, Roche, and Jon of Solace Brewing do their annual tasting of holiday specific beers from breweries across the country. 

Make sure your craft beer loving friends are listening and subscribing to Head Retention on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get podcasts.

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October 26, 2022 26 mins

This summer, Roche and Lashelle travelled to Lisbon, Portugal...though not together. On this episode of Head Retention, they compare notes on places in Lisbon where you can find traditional American craft beer, the best way to drink like a local, the importance of befriending your bartender, and, most importantly, getting over yourself and enjoying beer in whatever setting you find yourself. 

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There is a lot of talk in the craft beer industry about using locally sourced ingredients. Waredaca Brewing does that in ways that a lot breweries do,  growing fruits, herbs, vegetables, etc to use in their beers. But they also realized their well water was especially suited for a particular style of beer, lagers. 

Keith Kohr, head brewer at Waredaca, invited Roche and Lashelle to the farm brewery's taproom to discuss...

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It was a controversial subject a few years ago but the stigma of "selling out" to a macro brewery has mostly subsided.

Head Retention spoke with Devils Backbone COO, Hayes Humphreys just after their acquisition by AB InBev in 2016 and he's back to give Roche and Lashelle an update on what life is like for a craft brewery that has been bought by one of the big boys.

Hayes discusses the (mostly) posit...

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December 22, 2021 75 mins

Lashelle, Roche, and our friend Jon of Solace Brewing Company are back for another edition of holiday beer tastings on Head Retention.

After a recap of the different styles associated with the holidays, the gang taste an assortments of holiday beer styles from Mid-Atlantic breweries including Hardywood, Flying Dog, and Troegs.

It's also fun to have taproom talk while enjoying your beer so they also discuss ...

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November 19, 2021 71 mins

Head Retention tackles a subject so controversial, we had to do a second episode about it.

Kids in breweries, yay or nay?

On the one hand, the family atmosphere is a hallmark of your local taproom. Families coming to the brewery, the adults enjoying quality beer while the kids play board games (for urban taprooms) or run off some energy (for farm breweries). It's part of the brewery experience, right?

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September 1, 2021 47 mins

We all know that yeast is vital to the brewing process. But do we know why or even, how vital? Lashelle and Roche find out with the minds behind Jasper's Yeast, a yeast growing lab based in Dulles, VA. Jasper Akerboom and Travis Tedrow explain, in terms we all can understand, the differences and what to look for in yeast, as well as the yeast growing process. Then, Jasper and Travis discuss their love of beer, if yeast growing...

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In May, a social media post went viral and confirmed what most in the industry already knew, craft beer has a MAJOR sexual harassment/assault problem. It's an issue that plagues society so it being an issue in craft beer shouldn't come as a surprise but for many, it did. It's forced every brewery to examine it's policies regarding females in the taproom, and workplace in general. And just like the BLM movement l...

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Bark Social is the first DMV "Dog Bar" and owner Luke Silverman joins Roche and Lashelle to break down what that means. From Bark Bouncers, to Bark Rangers, to who gets to become a member (HINT: it ain't the humans), Bark Social is aiming to change the way you think about your beer drinking and dog park experience. Luke also discusses the importance of having an extensive local beer menu, the Montgomery County, MD br...

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March 30, 2021 64 mins

Lashelle and Roche tackle the "controversial" subject of lactose and beer on this edition of Head Retention. They are joined by Jake Endres of Crooked Run Brewing. Crooked Run has been moving away from the use of lactose in their beers and Jake explains the reasoning behind the move, the proper place for lactose in brewing, and the need to be clear to the consumers when lactose is present in a beer. The trio then samples ...

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Ocelot Brewing Company in Loudoun County, VA is all about the beer...and even that phrase is a bit complicated. Ocelot doesn't believe in a bunch of marketing and/or promotional gimmicks. They aren't interested in growing into a regional brewer. They really aren't all that into signage in their own town. What they ARE interested in is the power of music, beer, and fellowship to relieve the stresses of our lives. Adri...

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January 22, 2021 59 mins

Lashelle wanted to talk about non-alcoholic beer. Crazy, right? Fortunately, so did Roche so they got their friend Jason from Three Notch'd Brewing Company to join the show and discuss the need for NAs, why the space is growing, the challenges of brewing an NA, and, most importantly, are they any good ones (short answer: you have to sample a few before deciding). Then they discuss a few NA options and sample the Three Notch&ap...

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December 19, 2020 73 mins

The arrival of December brings the holiday season and beer. Lashelle and Roche welcome Jon of Solace Brewing Company to discuss what makes ingredients are typical to holiday beer, what makes a holiday beer (HINT: Branding plays a key role), and some of the more well known holiday beers. Then, the trio embark on an epic nine beer tasting and Roche ascends to his rightful place as "beer expert" of the podcast.


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November 19, 2020 60 mins

Beer drinking has increased since COVID-19 and so has the beer drinker's waistline. Pandemic pounds is real and so is the struggle. Do we have to sacrifice our beer because we are less active? 

The answer is no...if you know where to look. Thankfully, low cal beers have become fashionable the last few years in the craft beer world. Bailey O'Leary, endurance athlete and owner of True Respite Brewing Company, joins...

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October 9, 2020 74 mins

How true to your brand can you be?

Is it possible to go "all in" on local ingredients?

Can you welcome newcomers without alienating your regulars?

Can you be tourist friendly as well as a local hangout?

Is winning "Best New Brewery In The World" a bad thing??

Can you open a second location and strive for a completely different vibe than your first while maintaining yo...

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Yes, there is a brewery on the campus of Farm Brew Live (2 Silos Brewery) that churns out delicious beer. But there's so much more to FBL than "just" brewing beer. Forrest joins Lashelle and Roche to discuss the vision behind Farm Brew Live, future expansion, and how there really is "something for everyone" when you visit. 

Make sure your craft beer loving friends are listening and subscribing to Head Retent...

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September 3, 2020 57 mins

It's Oktoberfest season! Do yourself a favor and don't rush to Pumpkins. Instead, enjoy some of the traditional Oktoberfest styles of beer this month. Lashelle and Roche welcome Bill Haase of Black Hoof Brewery to discuss the history of Oktoberfest, the marzen and festbier styles, and how to celebrate Oktoberfest outside of Munich (HINT: bring good vibes!). Then, Bill delves into the science of brewing and why he focuses ...

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Making the leap from "white whale beer" to mass production is a challenge most breweries struggle with. Aslin Beer Company has made it look easy. Eric and Shane of Aslin join Lashelle and Roche to discuss how the early days in Herndon, VA evolved to a taproom in Alexandria, VA and distribution to 10+ states without sacrificing quality or innovation in the process.   

Make sure your craft beer loving friends are listening a...

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