What you missed on Beer Sessions Radio™: From Home Brew to Pro Brew

BitterEstersTrainingThis week on Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone once again welcomes back fall co-host Stephen Valland, who is right in his wheelhouse as they discuss going from homebrewer to pro-brewer. Bitter & Esters owner John LaPolla discusses his class offerings that range everything from how to make beer to how to brand your brewery.

The homebrew to pro-brew route is distinctly American. The brewing education curve is very different in America as opposed to Europe, where you have a more structured path to becoming a brewer. In America, you start out by cleaning kegs and one day you just get thrown in to a professional situation. American homebrewers tend to learn the ins and outs of making beer on their own before launching a business in the hopes of “making it big.”

New brewery owner Jason Sahler, an award-winning homebrewer, is getting ready to launch his two-barrel enterprise, Strong Rope Brewery, a Brooklyn-based brewery that will create handcrafted local and organic ales featuring seasonal offerings that will use the freshest vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices. While serving many of the ales on draft, the brewery will also feature living ales: cask and bottle-conditioned beers where live yeast remains in the beer, which continues to condition and evolve in its serving vessel, showcasing the subtle natural flavors that this unique conditioned environment creates.

If you’re interested in trying some homebrew, Bitter & Esters is hosting a fundraiser for Ales for ALS on October 29th featuring an experimental hop (tickets here).

You can listen to the full episode here.

What you missed on Beer Sessions Radio™: The Beer Bible with Jeff Alworth

Photo courtesy of All About Beer Magazine.

Photo courtesy of All About Beer Magazine.

This week on Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone welcomes back one of the nation’s premier beer writers, Jeff Alworth, whose newest book, The Beer Bible, is on sale now. Hear how “every beer tells a story,” as Jeff talks about the depth and scope on the subject of beer. The book is aimed at audiences seeking an in-depth analysis of beer delving into the pleasure of discovery, knowledge, and connoisseurship. Divided into four major families—ales, lagers, wheat beers, and tart and wild ales—there’s everything a beer drinker wants to know about the hundreds of different authentic types of brews, from bitters, bocks, and IPAs to weisses, milk stouts, lambics, and more.

Co-hosting this week’s epsiode is Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Stephen Valand, who discusses the nuances of creating a British mild ale. Also hear from Mugs Alehouse owner Ed Berestecki who discusses the challenges of meeting the demands of a “promiscuous” craft beer drinking market.

Hear how history affects beer making, including special beers made during a coronation in England. Drinking historical beers is an experience, even if the beers tend to taste more like sherry than the original recipe. Learn which beers can be sampled even 100 years later!

You can listen to the full episode here.


SUMMERofGOSEBeer Sessions Radio™ host Jimmy Carbone has been celebrating the Summer of Gose, so what better way to wrap up the season than with a Sour Beer Show! It’s the official new season of Heritage Radio Network as Jimmy welcomes guest co-host Stephen Valand of Brooklyn Brew Shop.

Kerry McLean (events manager at Jolly Pumpkin/Northern United Brewing Co) is in the studio to help celebrate Sour Beer Month as one of the original American sour beer houses. Joining them are Crimson Krier-Glading and Steven Baird of Mission Dolores and The Owl Farm, B.R. Royla of Shelton Brothers Imports, and Robert Sherrill of Brewminaries (Prospect Park’s homebrew club) and Bitter & Esters.

The world of “wild and tart” has grown considerably in the NYC beer world as more brewers make this interesting style of beer. Jolly Pumpkin was one of the first sour beers to be made in the US, but hear from our panel how much the open fermentation scene has expanded.

They’re talking sour, imports and more on a jam-packed episode of the best beer podcast in the world!

Listen to the full episode here.


It’s the dog days of summer and we’re winding down with a great series of shows about cider! These pre-records of Beer Sessions Radio™ took place over a series of “breakfast cider” talks with host Jimmy Carbone at Jimmy’s No. 43.

FieldMaloneyFirst up, we’re visiting with two great cider makers, Louisa (Lulu) Spencer of Farnum Hill Ciders and Field Maloney, a second-generation cider maker at West County Cider. Back in April they were doing a special pairing with Murray’s Cheese and speaking out about “fine cider” or “orchard cider” as apple people. These cider makers were in town to spread the word about CiderDays (now in its 21st year and taking place in Franklin County, Massachusetts, on November 7th and 8th). Lulu along with her husband (and frequent Beer Sessions Radio™ guest) Steve Wood and Field (his parents founded the orchard and cidery) are key founding families of American Cider revival, establishing commercial winery/cideries and developing cider orchards in the late 1970′s-80′s. Field talks about the history, challenges and new awareness of making and enjoying this traditional American drink (Field claims John Quincy Adams drank two tankards of cider every morning for breakfast!). You can listen to the full episode here.

Next up was a May visit with The United States of Cider team of Gay Howard and Kay Michaels who co-host alongside Jimmy. They have brought both a west coast–Ellen Cavalli of Tilted Shed Ciderworks (Sonoma, CA)–and an east coast–Polly Giragosian from Aaron Burr Cidery (Wutsboro, NY)–to discuss terroir and the art and craft of small batch, homestead, orchard-based cider making. Listen to the full episode here.

Finally, Gay and Kay are once again sitting alongside Jimmy from a show recorded in spring at Edible’s Good Cider event. It’s a snapshot of the great world of NY State ciders with Cider Week NYC founder Sara Grady of Glynwood and Andy Brennan of Aaron Burr. Listen in here.

We’ll be back with live shows starting September 8th! Happy Labor Day and looking forward to the fall batches of cider.

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

hopsAs most beer drinkers know, there are four main ingredients in beer: water, malt/grain, yeast and hops! Once upon a time, New York State was the world leader in hops production. On this week’s episode of Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone visits the past with John Segal (the man who actually brought the famed Cascade hops to the craft beer world) as proprietor of Segal Hop Ranch in Yakima Valley (WA).

John talks about the three-generation farm started by his grandfather in Malone, NY, and after the crop blight in the 1950s moved out to Yakima Valley in Washington State. John’s father was seeking an aromatic hop that could compete with the Noble hop varieties being imported from Germany. In 1968, he began growing Cascade hops on Segal Ranch. By 1972, major beer makers (i.e. Coors) started buying his hops and the rest – as they say – is history. Today the Cascade variety is still the largest hops production (by acreage) in Washington State.

Among the early adopters of using Cascade hops was Fritz Maytag, the (new) owner of Anchor Brewing Company. The panel is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Fritz Maytag’s purchase of Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco (largely credited as the start of the craft beer movement).

Joining John and Jimmy are summer co-host Ben Keene and Jeff O’Neil, former brewer at Peekskill Brewery who is currently launching his own project, Industrial Arts Brewing. Jeff made his name with hoppy beers, and he’ll soon be breaking ground on his new facility in Rockland County at the Garner Arts Center. The building has a rich history of industrial tenants.

Speaking of history, in the 1840s, more than 50 million pounds of hops were being produced every year; workers from NYC were recruited to come up and enjoy the fresh air by picking hops (a tedious crop to pick in that era). The hops scene continues to change with more growth in local hops being led by brewers such as Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY.

What’s the difference between “hoppy” beers (a la “East Coast IPAs” – India Pale Ale) and “bitter” beers using hops? How do you describe beers that use a variety of hops? The panel debates the merits of nuanced IPAs and the flavors that can be coaxed from hops.

Listen to the full episode here.

Seventh Annual July Good Beer Month™ Celebrates Good Beer Seal Awards with Nine New Entries

GBSAwards2015Beer Sessions Radio™, The Good Beer Seal and Jimmy’s No. 43 are delighted to announce the recipients of the Seventh Annual Good Beer Seal Awards. This year’s inductees will join 58 of their peers from the five boroughs of NYC, plus select bars in northeastern New Jersey and on Long Island. The Good Beer Seal Awards are the culmination of July Good Beer Month, which features specialty events across the city with a focus on craft beer, the brewers who make them, and the local establishments that sell craft beer. The Good Beer Seal nominees are gathered by a select group of beer journalists, industry professionals and existing Good Beer Seal bar owners. They are acknowledged in recognition of superior beer quality and selection as well as commitment to their communities.

This year’s inductees are:

For seven years, July has been declared “Good Beer Month,” and we celebrate the dedicated, community-oriented bars and bar owners who are on the front lines of the city’s continuing craft beer revolution.

The Good Beer Seal was co-founded in 2009 by Jimmy Carbone (Jimmy’s No. 43), Ray Deter (RIP – former owner of d.b.a.), Ben & Mike Wiley (Bar Great Harry), Gary Gillis (Burp Castle/Standings), and Dave Brodrick (Blind Tiger). The Good Beer Seal exists to identify bars offering an intriguing selection of craft beer in a unique atmosphere created by owner/operators who exhibit a deep commitment not only to the promotion of craft beer but to their community as well.

A hearty congratulations goes out to our new GBS bars. You can find a full list of all the GBS bars in and around NYC here.