Ep. 27-& Danny & Bone Up Thrasher Hoppy Wheat Ale

Hi everyone and welcome to this week’s episode of People & Pints. My roommate and wonderful friend Danny Pimpinelli joined me on this edition of the podcast. We described our experience visiting Bone Up Brewing for their grand opening! We also drank a beer from Bone Up that we brought back in a growler. Danny and I also chatted about his experience abroad and his own familiarity and enjoyment of craft beer!

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Our Bone Up experience was very exciting and fun, we got the chance to sample through all of their beers in a “grown-up flight.” and play Cards Against Humanity. Danny talked about how “quaint” and inviting the space was and I would certainly echo those sentiments. We ran into some issues with the arcade games in the lobby, but that certainly didn’t hinder our experience.

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Danny and I really enjoyed the beer from Bone Up and thought they were interesting takes on some more traditional styles. Danny noted the more prevalent and balanced flavors in all of the Bone Up beers. After chatting about the beers for a bit, Danny and I dove into our beer for the episode.

We drank Thrasher, a hoppy wheat ale, which was a very unique and tasty beer. I stumbled through the commercial description but we made it to the tasting and “review.” Danny described the beer as “zesty.” I chose to describe it as “dressed-up.” We then tried to decide for whom we’d order the beer. We both essentially agreed that Thrasher would be better served to “a more seasoned drinker”, probably even more seasoned than us, to really enjoy the intricacies. Although new drinkers could certainly really enjoy this beer, we agreed that we’d order the beer for someone who has more experience with beer. I then challenged Danny to come up with a pairing for the beer. Danny offered maybe pretzels, which is certainly an appropriate suggestion. I said that I’d pair Thrasher with some crabs or other shellfish. Tangentially, we tried to pair the beer with some music. Danny said Dave Matthews Band while I said jazz.

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Danny studied in Brisbane, Australia and had a lot of adventures and exciting experiences (read all about it here). He had some really interesting insights on the local craft beer scene and considered the difficulties with importing beer and even shipping beer across the continent. I was intrigued with this practical reasoning for more regional-focused craft beer.

We then shifted back to our life at Boston College and some of our goals for the semester!

 

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Our bar!

 

We finished by talking about Thrasher by trying to come up with an accurate rating or final description. Danny and I suggested giving it an 8 out of 10 but also just recommended trying the beer and experiencing the creativity of Liz and Jared.

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Thank you for listening to our conversation, we hope you enjoyed it! Please subscribe on iTunes, like the show on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

 

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Ep. 26-& Liam & Sixpoint Resin Double IPA

Hi all and welcome to this week’s episode of People & Pints! I am officially back in Boston, starting off the fall of my senior year! To properly transition into podcast life in Boston, I tapped my roommate and good friend Liam to join me on this episode. Liam and I met a couple years ago but haven’t had a lot of time to get to know each other. This was the first time we got to see each other in 15 months. I mentioned on the podcast how being abroad can disrupt a friendship but luckily we shared a beer and some good conversation to reignite our friendship.

Liam took some time to describe his experience studying and living in Aix-en-Provence, France. He gained a great perspective delving into daily life and culture beyond the confines of Paris. Liam also explained how his host mother imparted an “outsider perspective from an insider.” He immersed himself in a unique culture and tradition before transitioning back to life in Boston.

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After Liam’s words of wisdom, we delved into our beer. To bridge the gap between podcast life in NJ/NY and Boston we had a beer from Sixpoint, Resin, which is a Douple IPA. Keir, a brewer and brand ambassador from Sixpoint, joined me on the previous episode! Liam described the beer as “bitter” and also “balanced” while I said “unusual.” We then tried to pick out what genre of music Resin would be. Liam said “singer/songwriter” and I chose “punk.” Lastly, Liam said the ideal location to drink the beer would be on a pier in a beach town alongside some food. I agreed that a food pairing would be great and I chose sometime in the fall.

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After we finished our “review” of the beer, we chatted about Liam’s history and relationship with music and performance. My association with Liam began with his singing talent and connection to music. I didn’t realize, though, that it was so embedded in his personality and he shared some wonderful insights! There’s certainly a connection between music and beer so this will be a great conversation to continue on future episodes.

We had a short episode but it was a lot of fun! Liam was nervous but I thought we ended up having a very revelatory and lovely conversation. He is sure to be back and I’m glad he enjoyed his first People & Pints experience!

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Hopefully, you enjoyed this episode and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Ep. 25-& Keir & Sixpoint Brewery

IMG_4322Hi all and welcome to another week of People & Pints & Podcasts! I have been on vacation in the Dominican Republic but found some time and wifi to edit and upload this podcast episode! I was very happy to visit Sixpoint Brewery and speaking with Keir about his craft. We enjoyed a great conversation about quality beer and some of the plans for Sixpoint.

Keir began his career in whiskey before switching to beer, explaining that his experience in distilling helped with many of the aspects of brewing. This grounded experience, but willingness to experiment, makes Keir an important part of the Sixpoint fabric. Keir spoke to some aspects of Sixpoint’s brand, which includes “inventiveness” and is certainly recognizable. Sixpoint is known for their unique, thin 12-ounce can and I was struck that they don’t explicitly categorize every single beer. Or rather, they allow broader categories for beers that may fit the traditional style guide.

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We also talked about the balance between being a national brand but also incorporating local flavor into the Sixpoint beer. Keir alluded to some issues that tend to spring up as they–and the industry–grow. An emphasis on quality becomes paramount and maintaining a fan base in one’s home city is an important facet of a growing brewery. He also shared some kind words about collaborating with other New York and New England.

Keir shared some hopes and plans for upcoming beers and the trajectory of Sixpoint as a brewery, which continues to grow. Keir seemed delighted by the ability to express his creativity through beer and bounce off the ideas of others in the industry. His genuine pleasure and joy in brewing were clear and helped drive our conversation.

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After we chatted for awhile, Keir took me through the space and continued elaborating on the Sixpoint brewing process, pointing out things we had talked about on the podcast. We parted ways eventually, but I genuinely hope to reconnect sometime soon and check in on everything at Sixpoint.

I mentioned that the Sixpoint website had a reporting system to track expired beer and Keir hadn’t been aware of it, but we continued with a good discussion of freshness. I was very impressed with this feature and am happy to point it out here.

Thanks for listening as always and check out Sixpoint Brewery for some delicious beer!

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Ep. 24-& Rob & Radiant Pig Junior IPA

Hey all and welcome to another week of People & Pints. I made the trip from New Jersey to New York City this past Saturday to meet with Rob from Radiant Pig Brewing Co. Rob and Laurisa, the team behind Radiant Pig, are based out of New York though to ask where the brewery is from is “a loaded question,” as Rob pointed out to me. Radiant Pig is a “gypsy brewery,” Rob shared, so the beer is brewed at different locations, based on availability. This is a tricky topic and has caused some controversy with brewers and drinkers when claiming a geographic location. Despite any controversy, Rob is adamant that Radiant Pig is a New York City brewery. What began as a pipedream for two NYC homebrewers blossomed into something real and as time continues, Rob and Laurisa hope to open their own facility within the city. For now, they’ll just continue making good beer, beer that I think does capture the flavor of the city.

One logistical hiccup for Rob and me was not having a space to record. So, Rob suggested we meet at one of his accounts in Grammercy, but upon arriving we realized it would still be a little loud. So, Rob was kind enough to find some space outdoors behind his apartment and we braved the heat and typical NYC ambiance while recording. Rob found himself wiping his brow with a handkerchief–and I with my shirt sleeve–but the Radiant Pig beer managed to cool us off a bit. We drank Junior IPA, described as the “baby between an IPA and a Pale Ale.” Rob interestingly pointed out that when they started brewing this beer there wasn’t truly a “session IPA” style, but he’s right to group it in that category. I described it in one word as “soft” as I found the hop character much more mellow than a stronger IPA. Rob went the simpler, though revelatory, “yum.” I certainly couldn’t disagree. We then suggested the ideal drinking location. Rob offered that being out on the ocean, perhaps fishing, might be the best place. I similarly said that the beach would be an ideal place to enjoy Junior. Going hand in hand with that, we considered the ideal drinking time. I mentioned that late Summer, on the beach, would be a perfect time and Rob–though stressing it is a year round style–agreed with me!

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We continued chatting for a good while, Rob sharing some goals for the future of Radiant Pig. He reiterated the hope to have their own space in NYC to focus on their brand and keep everything under one roof. He explained some of the other Radiant Pig beers and said that he and Laurisa do hope to be able to can other beers (not just Junior) in the future. Patience has also played a major role in the progress of Radiant Pig. Even before we began recording, Rob explained that developing from a homebrewer to a professional brewer requires quite a lot of patience. Rob also brought up some investment opportunities and looked to the future for new beers and potential cans for other beer!

We hope you enjoyed listening to our conversation and certainly look out for Radiant Pig in and around NYC. They’re definitely a good brewery to keep track of!

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Ep. 23-& Gretchen & Little Dog Brewing Co.

Hey everyone and welcome to another episode of People & Pints & Podcasts! This week I finally made the trip to Little Dog Brewing Co. in Neptune City. Gretchen, the owner and head brewer of Little Dog, has been in the industry for a long time and was incredibly friendly and willing to share her insights. We chatted about topics ranging from opening a brewery to being a female brewer. Gretchen is a very approachable person and would be a great resource for anyone interested in craft beer. Little Dog has grown into a successful part of the Jersey Shore craft beer scene and certainly a hotspot for locals.

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One of the most important parts of opening a brewery, Gretchen said, is having experience. Moreover, Gretchen suggested, “quit your day job.” Although this requires quite a bit of bravery, opening a brewery is a huge commitment and would certainly eat up all of your time. It became abundantly clear after meeting Gretchen that her pragmatism is an important aspect of her business; although there’s chaos in managing a brewery, she prefers planning over winging it.

FullSizeRender (33)Little Dog, named after Gretchen’s little dog Quincy, features traditional, German-inspired beer. Her beer sticks pretty true to style guidelines and, after sampling some of her beer, I could tell what she meant. The Little Dog beers are very well balanced while staying flavorful. My favorite of their beers is the Seafarer’s Stout, named for Gretchen’s father. Gretchen was very willing to shed some light on the idea of naming things. There’s a lot of personality in both the brewery’s name and the names of the beers. The aesthetic of the tap room certainly makes it feel homey and comfortable with pictures of Quincy (and other dogs from owners who have supported the brewery).

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The naming, branding and creative side of beer seem to balance the more rigorous planning side. We chatted about the space for spontaneity, even for a “planner” like Gretchen.

FullSizeRender (34)I then asked about the gender dynamics of craft beer and Gretchen some interesting points. “I’m a brewer first, a female brewer second.” She explained that she doesn’t see gender issues as being incredibly prevalent. I countered that it might be the branding that alerts average drinkers to some issues, especially with relatively sexist brand naming and labeling. I definitely appreciated Gretchen’s perspective and her comfort being a brewer, regardless of gender. Still, I feel that there could be more diversity, both within the industry and in the consumer base, for craft beer.

 

I definitely appreciated Gretchen FullSizeRender (35)taking the time and I do hope she enjoyed chatting! She shared some hopes for future releases, particularly their anniversary in November. We chatted a bit more after recording and I sat in the taproom as a few customers came through. It was a great way to spend an afternoon and I would highly recommend visiting Little Dog!

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We hope you enjoyed the episode and subscribe on iTunes to get all of our episodes! Check back soon for more good beer and great conversations!