With everyone and their grandma making a podcast these days, it can be tough to find the good ones. Beer podcasts are particularly tricky. Most work off the premise of a few dudes hanging out, drinking beer, and recording their conversations (which often run off course with self-indulgent chatter and side stories). The following is a list of podcasts that transcend this tipsy chit-chat. By engaging with players from across the industry (think homebrewers, professional brewmasters, scientists, and plain old enthusiasts), these seven podcasts spark dialogues that go beyond the glass, delving deeper into industry trends and issues.
Good Beer Hunting
Half blog, half storytelling platform, goodbeerhunting.com is the brainchild of Pennsylvania native Michael Kiser. The Good Beer Hunting Podcast is the audio section of this project, with episodes featuring interviews with a variety of figures in beer (from self-proclaimed beer nerds to fermentation scientists). No matter the subject, all are conducted in the name of spreading the good word about craft beer.
The Sour Hour
One of several podcasts produced by the Brewing Network, The Sour Hour is exactly what it sounds like. Hosted by Jay Goodwin (co-founder of the Rare Barrel in Berkeley, California), this podcast explores the world of wild ales and sour beer. Turn up the funk with Goodwin as he chats with fellow brewers about techniques, tastings, and all things sour.
Craft Beer Radio Podcast
Started in 2005 by Jeff Bearer and Greg Weiss out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this show has gained a loyal following of listeners that speak to the quality and substance of the podcast. Yes, it’s recorded in Bearer’s basement and yes, it’s just two dudes chatting about beer, but it works.
Catherine Contreas brings female perspective and an unfiltered sense of humor to the male dominated beer scene. Based in San Antonio, Contreas travels across the great state of Texas to talk beer with fellow beer lovers and brewers. Free from snobbery and pretension, this podcast is down-to-earth, informative, and just a little wacky.
Despite being discontinued in 2015, this podcast is definitely worth checking out. Produced by WBEZ Chicago (makers of This American Life and Serial) and hosted by Andrew Gill and Alison Cuddy, this podcast began with beer news, tastings, and interviews. Over time, the format evolved into a sort of beer-based long-form journalism. This podcast stands out as one of our favorites because it cuts through the chatter and gets to the heart of stories and issues in the industry.
This traveling podcast is recorded at breweries across the country by brothers Dan and Wayne Baker and their cousin Steph Heffner. Part of an online magazine of the same name, the program features interviews with brewers, homebrew tips, and industry news and updates. The family dynamic makes for some playful but informative banter.
BeerSmith Home Brewing Podcast
Hosted by Brad Smith, this interview-based podcast addresses issues that both novice and expert homebrewers may encounter. Topics include the genetic makeup of yeast, recipes, and interviews with shop owners, brewers, and scientists. And though geared towards homebrewers, the dialogue is informative and interesting for all sorts of drinkers.