A Good Year for Good Beer! Our Favorite Beer Sessions Radio™ Episodes from 2014

JimmyCharliePSo many great guests, so hard to choose our favorites! That pretty much sums up Beer Sessions Radio™ for 2014. From brewers Larry Bell (Bell’s Brewery), Steve Hindy (Brooklyn Brewery) and Tony Magee (Lagunitas) to craft beer heavyweights like Charlie Papazian, we’ve welcomed an amazing group of guests to our fourth year of podcasting our “audio ale salon” and bringing the best beer news the world has to offer.

This year (courtesy of a new portable recording device) we were able to air 53 episodes of Beer Sessions Radio™, the most we’ve ever produced in a calendar year. Choosing our favorite moments was damn near impossible (and as with any list, open to debate), but we came up with 10 shows we felt best encompassed not only the state of craft beer (along with real cider and artisanal spirits) but also the breadth of variety our weekly (sometimes twice-weekly!) broadcast has come to represent in the larger world of potent potables.

We invite you to revisit our favorite shows from 2014:

Episode #200 – Larry Bell and Bell’s Brewing

This episode was a watershed moment for us: Our 200th episode and scoring an in-studio visit with Larry Bell, who was visiting NYC for the 10th time while bringing his outstanding beers to the city for the first time. Without a doubt a great start to our year!

Episode #201 – NY State of Beer with “Beer Czar” Sam Fuller

This was the year that NY Governor Andrew Cuomo formed the first-ever NY Craft Brewer Workgroup, which will put forth recommendations on ways to continue spurring the rapid expansion of the states craft beer sector. Looking into the NY State beer scene, we welcomed some of the more official members of this delegation, including “Beer Czar” Sam Fuller to give us a State of the Craft update.

Episode #206 – Beer History with Ron Pattison

Why would we ever want to Shut Up About Barclay Perkins when one of the brightest and funniest guest of the year, Ron Pattinson, comes to visit? We learn about the origins of beer and how it was made traditionally, along with getting to taste some brews made from early beer recipes by modern brewers.

Episode #209 – Steve Hindy & Queens Beer Week

This was an amazing year for beer in two of the city’s boroughs (read on for more), and by far one of our favorite episodes was bringing the old guard (Brooklyn Brewery) to sit in with the new Turks (Transmitter Brewing, making Farmhouse Ales in Queens). This episode was loaded with nuggets from the dawn of America’s craft beer scene to what is happening today in NYC (or going to happen in the near future).

Episode #210 – NY Agriculture and Beer Show 

What does craft beer mean to the greater NY agricultural industry? In a year that saw fracking finally banned (several months after this episode aired), we discuss the need for more local grains (and malt houses) along with hops and other beer additives being grown in our region. Find out how the state that was once the world’s leading hop grower is gearing up its return to greatness!

Episode #220 – On Location at B. United

As already mentioned, host Jimmy Carbone was one of Heritage Radio Network’s hosts to receive a top-notch portable recorder this year, meaning Beer Sessions Radio is expanding (in addition to having extra episodes airing on specific Fridays, we also have plans to visit the U.K. this spring [with help from you, please donate and get great rewards]). Episode 220 where we travel to Connecticut to check in on B. United and their new brewery was our first foray into “guerilla broadcasting.”

Episode #222 – NYC Craft Beer Scene

While we pride ourselves on being as global as possible, we are true to our roots, and this episode is quintessential Beer Sessions Radio™, as we welcome a veritable Who’s Who from the NYC craft beer world (including Andrew Gerson, chef at Brooklyn Brewery, Ken Tirado of Old Killmeyers Inn, Chris Sheehan of Gun Hill Brewery, Katherine Kyle of Blind Tiger, Simon Tepas and Andrew Said Thomas of Knights of Bruklyn Homebrewers and Marcus Burnett of Rockaway Brewing Co.).

Episode #223 – Brooklyn v. Queens

Nowhere in NYC has seen more rapid growth in the craft beer world than Queens County. In a year that named Brooklyn the most expensive city in the U.S. and Queens the best place to visit in the U.S., we decided to pit the two boroughs against each other (in the nicest of ways). Who came out on top during our podcast/pub crawl? Tune in to find out.

Episode #229 – Cider Sessions 

This year, we launched “The Real Cider Manifesto” in honor of the growing craft cider movement (with juice made from cider apples as opposed to concentrate/additives). As part of Ciderwick, we gathered a diverse group of cider makers/writers from across the country who weighed in on the challenges and delights of making America’s original “beer.” (And for more on Cider, check out our two Cider Week Preview episodes here/here and our Cider Sessions follow-up episode here.)

Episode #238 – Lagunitas Story with Tony Magee
So you think you want to open a brewery? One of the country’s craft beer founding fathers, Tony Magee of Lagunitas, wrote a book all about that and he joins us in the studio to talk about the origins of the original American IPA.

And there they are, our top 10 for 2014. We can’t wait to see what 2015 holds in store for us. Thanks to all our listeners and GreatBrewers.com for their support of our program.

Happy New Year!

What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: The Homebrew Show with Charlie Papazian

JoyofHomebrewingWe’re going out of 2014 on a high note, as we welcome the King of Homebrew himself, Charlie Papazian, to this week’s episode of Beer Sessions Radio™. Hear from the man who literally wrote the book on homebrewing, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. For over 30 years, Charlie has been inspiring beer lovers to make their own brews, leading some to create some of the most renowned breweries in America (Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman credits Charlie’s book as a source for becoming a brewer).

From creating the world’s biggest beer festival to founding the organization currently known as the Brewer’s Association, Charlie has been there, done that, and now he’s hanging with host Jimmy Carbone on Beer Sessions Radio!

So relax, don’t worry, and have a homebrew while you listen to 2014′s final episode here.

What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: The Spirits Show

JimmyNicoleSpiritsThis week on Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone is talking with leaders in the local artisanal spirits scene. Among the guests are Nicole Austin of Kings Co. Distillery, Bianca Miraglia of Uncouth Vermouth, Steven Baird of The Owl Farm, Spirits Writer Brad Japhe, Daric Schlesselman of Van Brunt Stillhouse, and frequent co-host Dave Brodrick of Blind Tiger. The gang discusses the use of hops in spirits, the art of beer distillates, and what has changed for local distilleries in the past few years!

Listen to the full episode here.

What You Missed on Beer Sessions Radio™: Spanish Beer, Distribution and Where To Drink Them

SpanishBeerThis week on Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone welcomes back Jessica García-Agulló of Iberian Beer United to talk about how they went from a two-person team (Jessica and her husband Johnny Brilliant were doing everything from selecting the beers to importing them to distributing) to teaming with Remarkable Liquids (represented on the show by Matt Hartman). Jessica is looking forward to getting back to Spain in 2015 and meeting with new and existing brewers and catching up on the quickly evolving craft beer scene in Spain. She also brought back her Catalonian Caga Tió log to celebrate the season!

Matt talks about the genesis of Remarkable Liquids and how his business came about (with his business partner Spencer Noakes). Plus, Chris Balla, beverage director at Mile End Deli, talks about choosing beers for a busy retail establishment. The conversation touches on everything from distribution to food pairings. Learn about the beer scene in Spain, how self distributing works, what pairs best with Mile End cuisine and more!

Listen to this week’s episode here.

What You Missed on Beer Sessions Radio™: The Spiegelau Glass Show

SpiegelauShow1Is the vessel from which you drink your brew of any great importance? Well, on this week’s special bonus episode of Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone tastes beer in specialty glasses courtesy of the Spiegelau Showroom in NYC. Spiegelau has teamed with Michigan’s Bell’s Brewing to create the perfect wheat/wit beer glass! Hear from Laura Bell and John Mallett of Bell’s Brewing, Matt Rutkowski of Spiegelau, and Beer Experts James Tai, Brendan Woodcock and Justin Phillips.

The full episode can be found here.

What You Missed on Beer Sessions Radio™: The Rhode Island Beer Show

FoolproofTake a trip to Rhode Island this week on Beer Sessions Radio™! Host Jimmy Carbone is joined by Rhode Island native Chris O’Leary, Zach Mack of ABC Beer Co., and Niko Krommydas, frequent guest and beer writer. The panel discusses how much the Rhode Island beer scene has grown in the past couple of years (now boasting 14 brewpubs/breweries) and its claim to being “the biggest little state in the union” (take that Delaware!).

Joining the panel on the phone are Rhode Island based home brewer Lamel Moore and Foolproof Brewing brewer Dammy Olsson. They all discuss the rising scene of craft beer in Rhode Island the general landscape of the small state, including its unique accent. Later in the show, Justin Kennedy briefly phones in to talk about Allagash’s coolship program (we hope to hear more about Justin’s brew day when he’s back in the studio). Plus surprise guests Sarah Annese and Giancarlo Annese stop by to promote the 2014 Holiday Book Market.

You can listen to this week’s full episode here.