Episodes
A photo of a beer in a glass is a moment captured. There's a new zine in the online shop that gets to the heart of what Bean to Barstool is all about. Beers Remembered is a short zine of brief vignettes reflecting on beers from the past few years. Each of the 18 entries features a full page photo of a memorable beer, and a page talking about the experience of drinking it.  These aren't beer reviews, though there might be a handful of tasting notes sprinkled throughout these short reflections....
Published 08/29/23
Most people associate mushrooms with savory foods, but that’s because many of us are unaware of both the wide flavor diversity of different types of mushrooms and the range of ways in which they can be incorporated into foods and beverages. Just a couple episodes back we talked with pastry chef and mixologist Michael George, who made an award-winning cocktail that incorporated black truffle mushrooms, and today we’re going to hear from a chocolate maker who offers a variety of craft chocolate...
Published 08/22/23
In today's episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized we talk with Anna Seear of Ritual Chocolate in Utah. Ritual brews a line of bars inspired by the surrounding Utah wilderness, and one of these bars honors Utah's nickname as The Beehive State. Ritual uses wildflower honey from local Hollow Tree Honey for this delightful bar. Listen in as Anna talks about how honey gets used in this bar and the importance of preserving and supporting pollinators. You can listen to the entire episode on honey...
Published 08/15/23
While brewers have long used cacao nibs for brewing chocolate beers, the pulp of the cacao fruit has been an unexplored resource due to its high perishability and cultural obscurity. Leila Carvajal Erker of Cocoa Supply wants to see that change. Her company is importing pasteurized cacao pulp from cacao farms in Ecuador and working with brewers to figure out how best it can be used in the brewing process. In this episode we talk with Leila about Cocoa Supply’s cacao pulp products, as well as...
Published 08/08/23
Michael George is a bartender and pastry chef in Salt Lake City. They split their time between a couple different bars—you can find them on various nights at Water Witch, a James Beard-nominated bar, and Acme Bar Co. They bring a passion for flavor and story, their own vibrant personality, and the sensibility of their background in the kitchen to their drinks, in which they seek to both honor tradition and break through artificial barriers of what a drink can be. As a Black, queer, non-binary...
Published 07/25/23
Belgian Witbier and Bavarian Hefeweizen are both standard strength wheat ales with expressive fermentation flavors, and while they hail from different national traditions, pairing guidance for both with craft chocolate is pretty similar. Despite the intriguing flavors of these beers, they are fairly light bodied and delicate, and they get bullied around by bolder chocolates. So what types of chocolate should you pair with them? Listen is an Advanced Cicerone David Nilsen, author of Pairing...
Published 07/18/23
While both coffee and cacao have many beautiful things in common related to flavor, creativity, science, and innovation, they unfortunately also both face many of the same challenges. The products of these crops are luxury items in North America and Europe, but represent the livelihoods of often low-income farmers and laborers in their countries of origin. Predictably, both are rife for economic, labor, and ecological abuses. In this episode we talk with two gentleman who work with both...
Published 07/11/23
Mandy Naglich has written a book that explores how our senses interact with food and beverage, and how understanding our senses can help us better enjoy our favorite indulgences. How to Taste: A Guide to Discovering Flavor and Savoring Life (Citadel) combines science and whimsy to teach us more about our sensory world and bring our favorite flavors to life.  Mandy is a fellow Advanced Cicerone, as well as a Certified Cider Professional, an Aroxa Certified Taster, a National Homebrew...
Published 06/27/23
Leila Carvajal’s family has worked with cacao for generations, stretching back to the 19th century, but every generation has reinterpreted their relationship with this fruit tree that gives us chocolate. Growing up in Ecuador, Leila remembers visiting the cacao farms that provided beans for CocoaSupply, her family’s company. Leila eventually became a chemical engineer and now lives in the U.S., and has guided CocoaSupply into its current position as a leading provider of cacao for bean to bar...
Published 06/13/23
A lot of my listeners come to this podcast from the craft chocolate world, and given how complicated and overwhelming beer can be, I want to make sure you all get to enjoy the beer-related parts of Bean to Barstool to the fullest. Today we’re going to look at the ingredients and processes of brewing and some frequently asked questions about beer, which will hopefully make the beer conversations we have on this show make more sense and be even more enjoyable. Grab a beer and listen in! Today...
Published 05/30/23
In today's episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized we talk with Emily Stone of Uncommon Cacao, one of the leading companies providing ethically and traceably sourced cacao for bean to bar chocolate makers. Emily talks about the process of beginning a relationship with a new partner at origin and her desire for transparency in cacao sourcing to be a two way street between farmers and makers. Emily Stone is the Founder and CEO of Uncommon Cacao, a group of Transparent Trade cacao operations...
Published 05/23/23
In this episode David Nilsen talks with Arron Liu of Chocobien in Hong Kong. Chocobien is a bean to bar chocolate company that produces many truly unique bars that employ flavors and ingredients from other artisan food and beverage segments, including beer, whiskey, coffee, sake, tea, and more.  Arron talks about the ideas behind these bars, the partnerships and processes that went into their development, and the satisfaction this curious and creative maker finds in achieving the flavors he...
Published 05/16/23
In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, we spend about 5 minutes with Hazel Lee, the creator of Taste with Colour: The Chocolate Tasting Flavor Map. The map allows people to use color to identify flavors, and Hazel talks about how this process can be beneficial to folks of all levels of tasting experience, and why no one should feel intimidated when sharing their own tasting impressions. You can follow Hazel on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can listen to my full conversation...
Published 05/09/23
Many people don’t realize chocolate is a fermented food. Before we can make chocolate from cacao, that cacao has to undergo a fermentation process. This process is usually spontaneous, meaning the microbiotic cultures that carry out the fermentation are not manually added to the fermentation substrate but instead occur naturally. That doesn’t mean it’s a hands off process. A great deal of knowledge and expertise both traditional and technical is required to yield the best results. In this...
Published 05/02/23
In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, we spend about 5 minutes with Natalie Suwanprakorn of Xoconat in Bangkok, Thailand. Nat makes her Up in Smoke bar by smoking cacao nibs over a Thai aromatic candle often used for Thai desserts. It’s a wonderfully evocative bar, and your reaction to it will largely depend on whether or not you have a cultural familiarity with the smoke of this candle. I didn’t, and it brought to mind bibliosmia, the smell of old books - quite a comforting and...
Published 04/25/23
Pairing beer and chocolate is one of the major topics of Bean to Barstool. Chocolate can pair beautifully with a wide variety of grown-up beverages, however, and most people probably think of wine for this role first. Estelle Tracy leads wine and chocolate pairing events professionally, but she comes to this not as a stuffy expert, but as a curious observer who has learned along the way, following her senses to new areas of knowledge and expertise without losing the joy of discovery. In this...
Published 04/18/23
In this quick bonus episode, Bean to Barstool host & Final Gravity co-editor David Nilsen shares details about the forthcoming Final Gravity zine—a new quarterly print beer publication—as well as the launch of the Final Gravity Patreon to support it! Listen in to get all the exciting details about this project and learn how you can be involved. You can preorder Issue 01 of Final Gravity here. You can check out the Patreon and support us here. Follow Bean to Barstool on social...
Published 04/11/23
In this episode we talk with brewers at Hi-Wire Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina, about 10W-40, a family of Imperial Stouts brewed with French Broad cacao, Dynamite coffee, and Ugandan vanilla. We talk with Peter Batinski, head brewer at Hi-Wire’s South Slope location in Asheville, where he trials many of Hi-Wire’s beers and leads innovation, and Hank Marshall, head brewer at the Big Top, Hi-Wire’s production brewery near Biltmore Village in Asheville. Peter and Hank talk about...
Published 04/04/23
In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized we hear from Annabelle Popa, an artist and graphic designer who has created many of the eye catching labels for Rabid Brewing in the south suburbs of Chicago. When you enter Rabid’s taproom, you’re greeted by an enormous 9'x16' mural hanging over the bar that depicts a fanciful scene telling a mythological version of beer’s origin story. Annabelle painted that mural, and here she talks about the creation process for that and the creative give and...
Published 03/28/23
In this episode we talk with Arcelia Gallardo, the founder and chocolate maker at Mission Chocolate in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Arcelia has taken a long and winding road to making world class chocolate in Brazil, and as she’ll explain, her own journey is interwoven with the growth of the cacao industry and bean to bar chocolate scene in Brazil over the last decade. Arcelia also talks about the exciting craft beer scene in Brazil right now, and its relationship to cacao. Arcelia Gallardo’s chocolate...
Published 03/21/23
In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, host David Nilsen spends five minutes with Erica Gilmour of Hummingbird Chocolate. Hummingbird is in Lanark County, Ontario, the maple sugar capital of a region known for its maple. Fittingly, they make a bar that celebrates this sweet regional distinctive, and as the maple run is currently in full swing, we felt it was a good time to share Erica’s thoughts on working with this evocative ingredient. You can listen to the full conversation with...
Published 03/14/23
In this episode we talk with Sarah Bharath, a former academic who now works with cacao farmers in Trinidad & Tobago on behalf of Meridian Cacao, assisting them in improving their farming and post-harvest processes in hopes of increasing the amount of fine flavor cacao Meridian is then able to purchase and pass along to craft chocolate makers. We also talk with Chris Heier, head brewer at Half Hitch Brewing in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. Chris is one-fourth Trinidadian, and has brewed a...
Published 03/07/23
In this quick bonus episode, Bean to Barstool host David Nilsen shares some exciting announcements about upcoming projects! A couple of these you might know about, but listen to the end (don’t worry, it’s only 5 minutes) for news about a couple very exciting projects that will be launched soon! You can purchase The Bean to Barstool Guide to Bocks zine here. You can order tickets to the Beer Chocolate Virtual Tasting here. Follow Bean to Barstool on social...
Published 02/28/23
In this episode we talk with Nicole Hewat, founder of World Tree Chocolate. World Tree offers curated chocolate boxes based on flavor preferences, but Nicole is also an artist, and she has used cacao in various forms for watercolor paintings as well as illustrations for a book about the cacao-growing and chocolate-making process. During our conversation we talked about flavor and the tasting experience, her process for creating her paintings, and the way flavor can interact with our emotions...
Published 02/21/23
In this episode of Bean to Barstool Bite Sized, host David Nilsen spends five minutes with Sara Ratza of Ratza Chocolate in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Sara is board-certified as a Holistic Health Practitioner, and uses medicinal herbs in many of her bars. She’s also the author of the new book Drinking Chocolate: Ancient Traditions for Modern Healing—30 Easy Recipes and Botanical Guide, which you can order along with her bars from ratzachocolate.com.  Two of David’s favorite bars from Ratza are...
Published 02/14/23