I like me some Christmas and I really need it this year but I would never think to listen to a Christmas based podcast. But, if you want to get really meta and listen to a podcast about other podcasts and those podcasts are Christmas themed then the aptly named Christmas Podcasts Podcast will give you your fill of Santa.
Obviously two California Ur Holiday seasonals should be the choice here. Get an Anchor and a Sierra Nevada Christmas beer and find some cheer in a very bad year.
Since most of us have been really hitting the Netflix hard in the last six months, it is good to get a backstage look at how Netflix became the 800-pound gorilla in the streaming war.
Land of the Giants quickly and effectively covers a lot of ground about the company. From how they toppled Blockbuster Video to winning Oscars and Emmys. Not all of what they do is great and I certainly would not want to work there.
To drink, look for beers with computer allusions. Megabytes from Mumford Brewing and 8-Bit Brewing is a good one. Or Wizards and Gargoyles (another collaboration) this time between Stone and Modern Times. Whatever you do, don’t buy any IP theft, unfunny labeled beer that has “and chill”.
This month we talk business, with Startup to Storefront. I interviewed Diego Torres-Palma that I have pitched and that is where I learned about this great podcast. He and his co-hosts Nick Conrad, Natalya Cappellini cover ground that you don’t usually hear about. Finding the right space, earnings, how to find an architect. You get the backstory on each business but then it goes into the nitty and the gritty of getting a start-up started.
To drink with this podcast, I would go out and find the newest brewery in your area, then take a seat with a taster flight and take a good long look at your surroundings to see what you like and don’t like about the space. Are there not enough seats at the bar? How does the space affect the service? Then take a few sips and see what you would do different and if it matches with the lessons learned on the podcast.
Fun fact, the word Utopia precludes one from ever being in one. Hence, the fun word play of the main title of the June podcast to listen to, Nice Try!.
Hosted by Avery Trufelman, this podcast takes moments in history where (guess who, Men) tried to create a Utopia and came up a touch short. Episode 1 detailed Jamestown and boy was it gruesome. Episode 2 talked about a chair and brought in the partition, Nehru, the Swiss 10 franc note and more.
I am not going to suggest beers from Virginia or India for this podcast but I would suggest finding a beer style that you do not like and see what about that beer fails your particular palate.
For me that would be the milkshake IPA, for me the balance is just off. The lactose and sometimes the fruit added run neck and neck for dominating these beers. Recently, I had Pineberry from Mumford Brewing and it was straight up sugary/milky. Even pineapple which is a strong flavor was relegated to the back and the hops were not anywhere to be seen. You could do the same for a brewery whose beers you do not like, try to pick out what it is. Is it balance like I have issues with or is it that the beer tastes green or the ingredients seem weird. But probe a little deeper to see what can be done to fix the fail.
One of the best, thoughtful and Arizona trashbag filled shows is The Good Place. And NBC has a good podcast about it, hosted by a recurring character on the show Marc Evan Jackson aka Shawn. You know he’s evil because he spells his name wrong.
You get to hear from not only the actors but also the writers, the fight choreographer amongst other guests about this philosophical comedy that makes you think and then makes you wish your name was Zak Pizzaz.
For beers, you need something thoughtful but filled with vitality and also a little bit evil. The teal beer that they serve at the Jaguars stadium would be nice since Jason Mendoza is from Jacksonville but let’s stay classy with…
For us Angelenos, Heavenly Hefeweizen from Craftsman would be an excellent choice. Hell or High Watermelon is another widely available choice. Or you could roam your bottle shop and find a Helles style beer or two.
A little deeper cut would be to head to New Mexico for Bosque Brewing and their Good Place Pale Ale or you can look for Hair of the Dog’s Michael in honor of Ted Danson’s formerly devilish character.
NPR and podcast fans know of Jon Ronson. A great storyteller and writer who for his next project tackles, porn.
The Butterfly Effect starts with technology altering the business of pornography and how that major change in distribution has affected lives downstream. There are stamp collections, an Italian priest and the State of Oklahoma making appearances in the episodes. Also, well, Pornhub too.
I could list of several horrible and sexist beer names for this post but instead, I am going to focus on the two places where the big events transpire plus one British cask ale that L.A. locals should look for.
1. Dieu du Ciel from Montreal where the journey begins with… “Aphrodite is a dark ale brewed with cocoa and vanilla beans. Its flavour profile offers dark chocolate, bourbon and roasted malt tones. Gentle sweetness from the vanilla harmonizes alongside the bitterness of cocoa, presenting a subtle and surprisingly balanced finish.”
2. San Fernando Brewing and their Stoney Point Stout, “A roasted American style stout with chocolate and coffee aroma; this beer takes its name from a favorite rock climbing destination in the northwest valley.”
3. From MacLeod, order up Cut & Dry, even those this series is anything but.
Most of the podcasts that I have featured have been non-fiction. Usually one person talking to another person. But this month, we head back to a style that was more prevalent before TV. Fiction. In this case the Marvel universe and Wolverine (pre Logan).
The series is called The Long Night and it follows Agents Pierce and Marshall as they investigate a series of maulings and murders with enough suspects, drugs and dirty dealing to keep a herd of FBI busy.
I started writing about the cool things about this podcast and it got too long, so a list will need to suffice:
1. Wolverine does not get top billing
2. The foley and sound effects are top notch
3. The agent characters are new in attitude while still formulaic
4. The voice acting is very naturalistic
5. Each episode is an easily digestable 35 – 40 minutes
And since this show is set in Alaska, best to find some Alaskan Brewing beers (which we get some of down here in the sun). Imperial Red Ale for the blood spilled would be one good choice as wood the Smoked Porter for atmosphere. Then pick up one of their IPA’s to be as bitter as Logan is during the series.
I listen to quite a few NBA podcasts during the regular season but recently the one that I go to the most is The Ringer. Now that name isn’t as catchy or cool as Grantland but the site has that DNA embedded flavor in it so the podcasts are fun and a deep dive into all things NBA.
No matter which team you root for, unless they are super irrelevant, this pod will keep you up to date. This year has been especially fun to listen to the endless dissections of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Since both the Blake-less Clippers and the Walton and LaVar show are both struggling, it would be appropriate to stop at the new Dankness Dojo and order up a flight of the most IBU heavy beers and savor the bitterness.
I am not big on podcasts in general, except for My Dad Wrote a Porno, but I dabble a bit. And sometimes when you scroll down a bit, you can find beer related topics in unlikely spots.
Case in point, Stuff You Missed in History Class which, at the beginning of the year, had a perfectly right sized podcast about beer history. It was a fun 45 minutes that touched on multiple topics and had information enough for both beer newbies and those who know more (too much?) about the topic.
Idly scrolling can find some gems.
All About Beer has doubled down on their podcasts with John Holl hosting the new After Two Beers and adding the Beervana podcast to their roster for a formidable duo of beer podcasting.
I listened to the latest After Two Beers with guest Rebecca Newman of Summit Brewing and was treated to a science lesson that focused on packaging of beer. From there it went to how Newman conducts torture tests on the Minnesota beers either with intentional spikes of off-flavors or by warming incrementally or extremely.
The Golden Nugget that I took away from the under an hour long talk was that consumers should buy a six pack. Review one that is cold and treated well and leave one in the garage for a week and see what the difference is. I have heard that before but now it is back in my mind to try again.
The other bit of knowledge that I will incorporate is before I review a beer and say that it is off, I should go to the brewery website to check if the beer is what the brewery describes it as or not.
Beervana had Linfield grad (my alma mater) Alan Taylor as guest talking primarily about the process of opening his new brewery Zoiglhaus in the Lents section of Portland. It’s a great interview and boy does Taylor have a great command of German. Check it out HERE.
The next podcast to arrive sounds great too as the Women of Portland beer are the guests.