By Ian Felker
Beer and the depths of beer nerd-dom have gained a sizable amount of airtime on the podcast market ever since it became easier and easier for a group of friends to put a mic and six pack in between them. Now that breweries inventing new styles, like Ecliptic Brewing’s new “cold IPA” — and taprooms are selling their brews as four packs, bombers, crowlers, to-go pints, slushies, and sometimes the odd drinking horn, beer podcasters have more to talk about than ever before.
You can find craft beer podcasts for almost any type of beer lover, but my personal favorites are those that make you feel like you’re kicked back at a brewery talking shop with your buddies. These six beer podcasts toe the line between informative and hilarious. The hosts know exactly what they’re talking about, but sound more like your brew-time buddies and less like your high school psychics teacher.
It’s not often you actually get to drink the beer along with a beer podcast. The folks over at Brewvana created the Brews Less Traveled Beer Club with an ultimate beer media experience in mind. You can subscribe to their beer club and get new brews from a new city every month. Then, interact with the livestream every Wednesday, or listen to the podcast featuring interviews with craft brewers and conversations about beer.
Host Molly Lamb travels to the cities she’s discovering each month to do the groundwork for the podcast and it really shows. She visits the craft breweries featured in the podcast to get a real, authentic take on the breweries that you’re sipping on.
She’s secured guests such as a Director of Education of a brewery and Taproom Managers. Beer is always at the forefront of each interview. Molly has formal beer education and she’s not afraid to ask the real beer-nerd questions. It’s a casual podcast for anyone interested in beer, but also rewarding for those aspiring Cicerones.
If you aren’t new to the beer podcast scene, you’ve probably heard of these guys before, but for good reason! Hosts John Rubio, Mike Lambert, and Grant Davis chat and chatter like old college roommates. They are funny, charming, and brutally insulting toward each other — the way good friends should be.
This quarrelsome trio packs so much info into their podcasts in such an organic way it hardly feels like you’re learning anything. Mostly based out of Austin,TX, they have a great passion for their local scene, but sample beverages from all over the country, even doing some state-specific shows.
All their info comes from the live tastings they record, letting all their off-the-cuff opinions fly. That being said, all of them are seasoned beer experts and their opinions come with a great deal of knowledge. You get the best of both worlds with this beer podcast!
Full disclosure, this beer podcast is a local favorite for myself. I’m based in the Midwest and podcast host Chalonda (AKA Afro.Beer.Chick on various social media) is an amazing resource for local brew reviews, but is also an incredible listen for anyone sitting at home with a pint in their hand. She comes across as everyone’s go-to brewery friend, specifically the one who you just let order for the entire table.
Topics that are covered are not just brew reviews, but weird facts, larger discussions about the craft beer community, and whatever Chalondra’s thinking at the moment. It all feels loose, authentic, and exactly what it’s like to sit down for a drink with your friend who is street and book smart. She is especially great at recommending beers in a way that doesn’t sound academic, but comes from a long love of drinking.
The Beer Temple is a pretty legendary shop, at least in the Chicagoland area. They are the usual tastemakers for the craft beer fandom in the region. Their shelves and draft list are stacked with what is considered the best of the best in the Midwest.
They also frequently host tastings on their social media accounts where they review the newest releases or fan favorites. If a new pale ale or crispy Pilsner gets their approval, beer nerds will flock from all over for a pint or a four-pack. I was really excited to find that they had made their own beer podcast!
Host, Chris, provides great insight into a variety of beer styles with a calm, cool voice that you expect from a late-night advice column. Speaking to his skill as a tastemaker, Chris knows what will make beer sell. Whether that be the trending styles, visuals of a beer, or branding. This is the perfect beer podcast for anyone that starts drawing up business plans whenever the DIPA’s come out.
Speaking of starting new ventures, I feel like everyone either is or has that one friend who wants to start a new project when they get sloppy. This beer podcast feels like what would happen if that friend remembered all the plans they made the night before.
This beer podcast is actually part of a greater collective that includes people from all around the world either writing blogs, interviews with brewers, or just letting their freak flag fly. Their more traditional pitch is an interview-style show where a member of the collective interviews an interesting person within the beer industry.
Packed in between those semi-ordinary episodes are a collection of different projects that break up the flow and showcase a group of people with a deep, creative passion for beer. Some episodes include readings from a blog detailing specific memories or philosophical meditations on the beverage, or even a short song inspired by resident composer Andrew Thiboldeaux’s favorite beer.
Anyone who is inspired to pick up a paintbrush or write the next great American novel while knee-deep in Kolsches could find a lot of inspiration in these folks.