In this episode, I talk to Maurizio Maestrelli, one of Italy’s leading drinks writers and the author of a recent article, “Grape News — How a New Generation of Italian Brewers Created Italian Grape Ale." We discuss the history of Italian Grape Ale and the origins of the Italian craft beer boom, including some of the leading figures of Italy’s beer renaissance. We also talk about Italy’s other “indigenous” beer style, Chestnut Ale, and the rich relationship Italians have with food of all kinds.
Published 05/12/21
Jules Gray describes herself as “someone that likes to keep busy.” Not only is she the founder of Hop Hideout—one of the U.K.’s first drink-in bottle shops, which opened in Sheffield, northern England, back in 2013—she’s also the organizer of Sheffield Beer Week; the Indie Beer Feast beer festival; and Indie Beer Shop Day, a new initiative she launched during the pandemic to celebrate independent beer retailers across the country.
Published 05/08/21
Michael and I discuss who we think is reading GBH and why; how conversations and beer culture have changed over the years, and how they’ve also stayed the same; our role in media and the beer industry at large; why making people mad is inevitable, and why it’s sometimes important; how balancing heady—and crucial—topics like racism against more lighthearted narratives sparks surprising, and sometimes dangerous, responses from readers; what stories have surprised him; and the ones he still...
Published 05/05/21
I’m chatting with fellow Sightlines reporters Kate Bernot and Jonny Garret to better understand the impact of these kinds of drinks in the U.S., where Kate is based, and the U.K., where Jonny will explain to us why hard seltzers haven’t yet become a world-changing thing like they have in the states. We’re talking data, research, and stories from both their reporting to give better and broader context on what has the potential to be one of the biggest industry stories of this summer in both...
Published 05/03/21
Cox is a brewer and pro-union academic with an affinity for Marxism and social justice. She’s worked in beer both in the United States as well as Ireland, where her tenure at Heaney Brewery was interrupted by the onset of COVID-19. Her research relating to social anthropology extends across the globe, focusing on the history of labor, how today’s inequities have evolved from said foundations, and how that all relates to the beer industry.
Published 04/27/21
Throughout this discussion, Katie Mather reveals the inspiration of the her and her partner's blossoming oasis, shares their goals (both during and post-pandemic), the value they find in sourcing artisanal food and drink to share with their small community, and how opportunities disguised as dead ends can bring forth some of the sweetest outcomes.
Published 04/21/21
The Fervent Few is our subscriber community - made up of 100s of beer fans, professionals, and curious readers from around the world who directly support our editorial with their monthly contributions and help form a direct connection between our editorial and creative teams. Today’s guest is John Gross haling from Austin, Texas, and he leads our Fervent few movie channel. His background as a critic and content director for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema makes him a helluva curator.
Published 04/15/21
While Rock Leopard is relatively new to the scene, Stacey Ayeh is not. He’s worked in the alcohol industry since 2002 after seeing the potential of Kopparberg cider. He became their UK agent, only to be forced aside by a larger distributor later. That was the first of several setbacks that have plagued Ayeh, but never defined him. After frustrating experiences at London Fields Brewery and Magic Spells, he finally struck out on his own, determined to have complete control over his career.
Published 04/10/21
Tinu Diver has a background in writing, law, and documentary film, and her new project, “This Belongs To Us,” follows the journey of Black women brewers in the U.S. South, and how a craft and tradition that began in Africa became synonymous with white, male, blue-collar identity in the United States. You’ll also hear from Brianna Brake, brewer and founder of North Carolina’s Spaceway Brewery and one of the featured women in Tinu’s film.
Published 04/04/21
Michelle McGrath is the executive director of the American Cider Association and while it’s certainly her job to speak highly of the category and the success of her members, she’s bringing the data to back it up in this conversation about a category that often gets overlooked in a country more interested in narratives of hard seltzers, ready-to-drink, canned cocktails, spirits, or Hazy IPAs.
Published 03/28/21
The incredible, Lifetime-esque love story of Elsewhere Brewing starts across the world, in a bar in Italy. Before they started out on their brewery venture, Sara suggested the couple travel the world, collecting experiences and knowledge that would later build out the story of Elsewhere, and influence their beer program, food menu, and the vibe of their brewery.
Published 03/20/21
In this episode, I talk to Jennifer Jordan, professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the author of a recent piece on the historic hop industry in Wisconsin that ran in our “From Barons to Barrels” series. We discuss her research into hop farming in Wisconsin, as well as some the characters who helped create the industry, like Jesse Cottington, originally born in England, who went on to become the leading man of the profitable hop business in Wisconsin’s Sauk County...
Published 03/18/21
In this episode, we aren’t venturing far away from beer, but Ben Self’s background lends itself to it. He’s our guest as co-founder of Kentucky’s West Sixth Brewing, but what came before and even recent years is of interest, too. Ben recently completed a run as chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party and began a political career years ago by co-founding a progressive tech firm that led him to work with Howard Dean and the Democratic National Committee.
Published 03/15/21
Reading Beth Demmon’s latest piece on Good Beer Hunting, “Riding the Party Wave — Pizza Port Brewing Company’s Swami’s IPA,” felt like the rare vacation from day-to-day life. It invites the reader to the sunny shores of San Diego, where Beth poses—and then answers—the question: What is the most San Diego beer? In the article, she makes a compelling case for Swami’s, a West Coast IPA created by Pizza Port Brewing Company in 1992.
Published 03/10/21
Carmen Favela and Esthela Davila launched Mujeres Brew Club in 2019 in an effort to empower women through beer education. Staggered by the immediate and overwhelming level of interest and participation in the events, these two knew they had stumbled on a large, underserved audience when monthly meetings regularly reached capacity.
Published 03/06/21
We are well beyond the days of “Dry January,” but the conversation around the success and long term impact of non-alcoholic beer continues. The month long effort at the start of the year is meant to give people a break from alcohol intake, and non-alcoholic substitutes often play a big role. But what Kate Bernot and I have come to recognize in the past several months is that the narrative of booze-free beer is even bigger.
Published 03/03/21
When Calder was promoted from head of public affairs to chief executive in 2019 he was all too aware of SIBA’s issues, as well as the fact that SIBA membership was shrinking as a result. But before he could test, finalize, and enact his plan to revitalize the organization he was hit by a triple whammy to crises – the prospect of a no deal Brexit, COVID-19 and finally, a part-reversal on SIBA’s finest hour – Small Brewers Relief.
Published 02/27/21
Javier and Jose Lopez are two young founders focused on the intersection between the American craft scene they grew up in, and their culinary experiences stemming from an early age in Mexican families from which they take so much of their inspiration to explore beer, and far beyond. They’re also just really charming, ambitious, hard-working, and true to their name, humble brewers who represent the city of Chicago exceptionally well.
Published 02/20/21
In her latest story for Good Beer Hunting titled “Beyond the Beer — Colorism, Black Pride, and the Black Is Beautiful Initiative”, which was published on January 27, 2021, Stephanie Grant weaves together her personal experiences as a Black woman with the history and evolution of the Black is Beautiful movement. The result is a deeply affecting, personal, and informative story that readers of any background can appreciate.
Published 02/17/21
This interview follows on co-founder Greg Avola’s recent exit from his role at the company—after it was acquired by Next Glass a few years ago, Greg’s role became less of a product engineer and tweaker, and more of a creative director, working across a lot of other roles, outlining new strategies, and integrating with the ecosystem of follow-on acquisitions. But it’s not without its challenges, both personal and professional.
Published 02/13/21
Kristen Foster has been a part of Good Beer Hunting’s Fervent Few community, as well as a contributor, since 2017. Since then, she’s written a number of pieces and published a lot of great photographs — especially her poignant and candid photos of people in and around beer. Some of her recent Signifiers for Good Beer Hunting about Athletic Brewing Company and Notch Brewing also manage to capture that same candid honesty from people who’ve built two very different breweries. Athletic’s...
Published 02/10/21
Wright Thompson is a familiar name if you’re a sports fan—he’s won awards for his coverage and written beloved profiles of Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan—but a common theme of many of the things he reports on is one of family and the depths of what that means in relation to history and culture. We’re chatting today because his new book, “Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last."
Published 02/06/21
In this interview, we discuss Ruvani’s upbringing in London and now, what it’s like being a Brown Brit in Texas. We talk about her entry into both beer and writing, as well as the catalyst for her piece: A Rare Gem or a Llama in a Suit? — South Asian Women on Navigating (and Advancing) the Craft Beer Industry.
Published 02/03/21
The purpose of Lucy’s business is—in her own words—“community and human connection.” And she provided that in spades at her West London micropub, The Dodo. She beams as she recalls a typical Friday night at The Dodo, poetically describing the sense of electricity in the air as conversation bubbled, cask beers were consumed, and new friendships formed. But when COVID-19 forced her to close her doors back in March, she wondered if the community she’d built would survive without her venue as its
Published 01/30/21
In this episode, we're chatting with Will Hawkes. Initially a skeptic of non-alcoholic beer, Will talks about how—when he pushed past his own prejudice and tried these beers—he noted a vast improvement in their quality in a very short period of time. That ultimately led him to write this piece on how they’re produced, detailing the three most common production methods used in no- and low-alcohol brewing in Britain today.
Published 01/28/21