In this special Drinking Partners release, Day visits Portland, Maine and interviews Rob Tod, founder of Allagash Brewing, who literally pieced together and welded (from dairy equipment!) the original brewery in the mid 1990’s. The opening minutes have Mr. Tod discussing his early vision for Allagash and focus on the Belgian brewing tradition. Wondering which beers not to serve cold? Rob answers that and more during this detailed interview that offers inside access to brewing and business from one of the originals in the craft beer industry. Listeners will be surprised to hear how slowly Allagash developed, employing only four people after their first ten years. Why did Rob Tod persist? Midway, he answers that while describing the down moments that he struggled through to keep the brewery going and why he values his current employees so much. This newest Drinking Partners podcast with one of craft brewery’s best also highlights what the Drinking Partners do best: examine the industry from their own distinctive perspective and with humor and joy.
Comedian Derek Minto jumps right into guest hosting in Ed’s place as Day opens a care package from Troeg’s and Derek shares his envious thoughts. Fittingly the two comics welcome a third, nationally-touring Felicia Gillespie who opens up about her start in comedy at age 8! Listeners will enjoy the vibe created when three stand-up acts sip on barrel-aged beer and reflect on their approaches to the art of comedy. Even more interesting is when Felicia discusses being a “road comic” and what comes along with that choice, especially as a woman. The conversation never slows and the jokes continue to flow as Derek seamlessly co-hosts, and the emphasis stays true to the comedy half of the Drinking Partners show. Looking for a hint on how to be a good stand up comic? Derek tells listeners that you have to know how to perform, have a unique delivery, and be able to be concise. Felicia shares her own greatest advice: Not to take advice. A fantastic hour of entertainment to keep you sane during this trying times. Find Felicia Gillespie on Twitter: @curiousfelicia and Instagram @fel.ish.ah
Denise Greenway, owner and bar manager for The Tavern, joins the Drinking Partners to share what makes The Tavern so distinct: Pennsylvania-based beer, wine, and spirits and adding modern touches to old classics. “Only local,” Ms. Greenway emphasizes, citing how important it is that bars support local production. Equally important is providing an education to customers and explaining the influences and processes behind what they serve. Listen in as she teaches what a beer cocktail is, and Ed adds the Cleveland take on a similar drink, “The Cleveland Special.” Ms. Greenway teaches more as she explains why the classic cocktails are still so important and highlights the creativity behind crafting recipes. An in-depth, fast, and highly informative interview that goes beyond just what a local bar offers and shows what it can. Find The Tavern here: https://www.facebook.com/thetavernpgh/.
The Drinking Partners welcome Jerry Dickinson, a constitutional law and property professor at the University of Pittsburgh and candidate for the Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. Both Ed and Day are smitten with Professor Dickinson from the opening introduction and offer a ringing endorsement: he has an “electable face.” Speaking on the importance of defending democracy and being a champion for the people, Mr. Dickinson shares his own personal story, one that began in the Pittsburgh foster care system. Now, he seeks to be a “transformational leader,” one who will not accept corporate PAC money and supports grassroot movements. Listen in for a real conversation about policy and plans and a comprehensive discussion on how Mr. Dickinson wants to make certain that no residents of the 18th District are left behind. Stay tuned until the closing minutes to hear his 30-second elevator pitch and his favorite form of potato. To learn more about Jerry Dickinson, visit his website: www.jerrydickinson.com.
Nate Kresge of GK Visual joins the Drinking Partners and talks about his award-winning documentary, Poured in Pennsylvania, which explores the state’s beer-centric history. The full-length film goes deeper than just breweries and beer and examines the stories and people behind the surging craft beer industry across Pennsylvania. Nearly seventy breweries are featured throughout the documentary, and, with more stories to tell, the production company is now working on a regular series. Midway through, Ed and Day lead Nate off-topic as the group talks sneakers, with some hilarious results, before discussing current trends: barrel-aged stouts, low ABV beers, and brewery-made seltzers. Listen in for a preview of what stories to expect to see during the film, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video and find out more: http://www.pouredinpa.com.
What started off in old school bus purchased in Philadelphia has now grown into a soon-to-be-open restaurant in the North Side as The Coop Chicken & Waffles takes flight. Justin Fitzgerald, co-owner and a Texas native, joins the Drinking Partners to talk about his transition to Pittsburgh living and the family recipes that have made their food truck so popular in and around the city. Mr. Fitzgerald offers an inside look into the switch from operating a food truck to opening a storefront and the ups and downs that go along with that change. Both Ed and Day are thrilled when Justin offers to co-host in exchange for chicken. Listen in for clues about what makes their chicken so special (14 ingredients!) and why they insist upon a fresh, made to order, and customer first approach. Keep up with The Coop Chicken & Waffles: www.thecooppgh.com and @thecooppgh across social media.
The Drinking Partners invite Gary Olden and Andy Kwiatkowski of Hitchhiker Brewing back to the podcast, which Ed predicts will be a fun interview, as the paired names of Gary and Andy “sounds like a good time.” The owner/brewer duo stop by to discuss their newest venture: a new Downtown location that will be both a taproom and espresso bar. They celebrate by sipping on Usual Chaos, or as Day puts it, “an 80’s band in a glass,” a kettle sour with blackberries and raspberries. Andy gets specific about current beer trends and how that affects his brewing choices. Midway though, the laughs come as Ed quizzes Andy and Gary about who is the more passive aggressive partner. Next, they sample a blended hop beer, or as Ed calls it, “a mystery spin on Mario Cart.” Listen in as they discuss their goals as a brewery, from national recognition to making their beer better. In the latter half, Gary shares their goals for the newest venture, “Coffee during the day, beer at night.” A must listen episode for beer lovers, especially those who enjoy hearing about what goes into the development behind the scenes with a real focus on brewing, both beer and coffee. Find Hitchhiker Brewing: www.hitchhiker.beer
The Drinking Partners welcome hip hop artist/speaker/activist Brittney Chantele, who introduces Ed and Day to her distinctive style of mixing music and visual art. Her mixed genre approach gets explained as she examines Pittsburgh’s music scene while reflecting on her own story, one that is just as dynamic as the music and art she creates. Listen in as Brittney talks about both the artistic and business side of collaborations and how she chooses which projects to develop and what shows to take. Midway through, Ms. Chantele offers an intimate analysis of her upcoming album (release date: 2/17/2020), “The Golden Opportunity,” and how her military experience impacted it. Listen in for an important discussion that centers on topics raised during that conversation. A fast, fierce, and frank interview that is both enjoyable and valuable. Brittney Chantele’s album release party for “The Golden Opportunity” will be held at the Thunderbird Café on February 22 at 8pm, or find more information about her music, art, and activism at www.brittneychantele.com.
Live from Fresh Fest 2019, the Drinking Partners enthusiastically welcome Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, or as Ed calls him, “Mr. Renaissance.” With an audience as excited as both Ed and Day watching, Mr. Oliver gets right into what he sees as the recovery of the American food industry, one that was deceptive for decades. He effortlessly teaches history to those listening by exploring the rich, multi-cultural history of American cuisine, one that was replaced by “food facsimiles.” The trio then examines how to expand the perimeters of the craft beer scene to allow it to be more inclusive and approachable, a shared goal of everyone on the panel and the purpose behind the Fresh Fest Beer Fest. There’s beer drinking, too, to be sure as Ed and Day taste a smooth 9% Belgian strong golden that was heavily influenced by a Belgian brewer who came to New York to teach Mr. Oliver the re-fermentation process. The story also highlights what can happen when people share their keys. In the latter minutes of the podcast, the live audience gets involved during a question and answer session that is filled with relevant queries and compelling answers. A must listen podcast that glows bright with the interesting, ancient history of brewing, one that began in communities of color. “We were all supposed to be in the same damn room in the first place having a good time,” Mr. Oliver reminds the crowd in the final moments. To learn more about the James Beard award-winning Garrett Oliver, view his remarkable style, and hear his inspiring philosophies, visit: https://brooklynbrewery.com/our-story/
Cue Perry, artist and entrepreneur, visits with the Drinking Partners in the latest podcast release. As an artist who wants his work to “speak to the wild, creative, open minds who dare to express themselves,” CB Perry is known for pushing boundaries, from body painting to deconstructing pop culture with a humorous touch. In the early minutes, he talks about how to move from artist to businessman and how to monetize your passion, which he has done successfully as a full-time artist for the last year by focusing on peer-to-peer mentoring, marketing and sales, pricing, and time management. Aside from his business approach, Cue also shares his artistic approach, which Ed and Day take in their own strange (and NSFW) direction. You’ll be left shaking your head after that body-centric conversation. Ed and day settle down to discuss other artsy things, such as when Cue knows a piece of his work is finished and how he values them. Listeners might enjoy his explanation of how his work is interpreted and what control he has over that process. Cue Perry will be featured as the Artist-in-Residence for the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Urban Education on January 30 from 6 – 7:30pm at Posvar Hall, where he will display his work and talk about his yearlong “Witnessing” theme. Find him online at: https://www.facebook.com/CBPerryArt/.
As the Drinking Partners start the new year with a call for feedback as they head into year 6, they also institute some new rules of their own, like warning their guests of the “dangerous 9” they are sipping from Allagash Brewing. After coming up with a creative name for such a strong beer, Ed and Day introduce Keven, Jesse, and Ben from Los Vampiros Amarillos, a Pittsburgh-based rock band with a blues-infused sound who talk about the band’s equally-creative name, one that they adopted after their original name no longer worked (listen in for why). Their advice for new bands: Decide what you don’t want to sound like, which all three discuss as they share how they blended their individual musical sounds into a unified one. Another important tip centers on when and why to say no to gigs. The similarities between stand-up comedy and live music are compared and contrasted before the interview wraps up with more talk about beer and potatoes. Some things won’t change for 2020, including the Drinking Partner’s obsession with potatoes. To find out more about Los Vampiros Amarillos, visit: www.facebook.com/LosVampirosAmarillos/.
Ed and Day try to convince their latest guest to embrace her superhero-like name: Captain Battle. Listen in to find out what comedienne Leslie Battle thinks of their antics before she schools them both with the experience that has come from her years as a woman and as a veteran. Now, as a comic, she explores life as a “mother, soldier, divorcee, and performer.” The interview expands well beyond that scope as Ms. Battle discusses her life as a Black woman; at times, the conversation is analytical and thoughtful before shifting to humorous fun, in the way that comics do best. At all times, the interview is a fast-paced and compelling listen as the stage-loving trio playfully competes for airtime. Stay tuned until the closing segment to hear why Leslie chose stand-up comedy and how it has been therapeutic for her. And listen especially close as Day asks, “What’s the cougar scene looking like?” You’ll find the Drinking Partners in their true habitat during the last twenty minutes as it gets rowdy and hilarious. To see where you can catch Leslie Battle next, visit her website: www.lesliebattlecomedy.com.