After seven years podcasting from the Work Hard Studio, the Drinking Partners record their last interview in the basement they’ve come to love, and much to Ed and Day’s sadness, the couch won’t be moving to their new space with Epicast Network. For this final interview, they welcome Mike Hitt from MCM Studios, or as he describes himself, “the most known unknown person.” In this high energy episode, Mike explains his rise in the Pittsburgh music industry after a car accident changed the trajectory of his path. As both a musician and music producer, he shares multi-angled insight into the industry, including how 90% of his work happens behind the scenes and that passion is the necessary push when people aren’t watching. This “throw himself into the fire” approach began when he was 14 and starting out as a deejay and continues now as he releases his hit, “Think and Grow Rich.” Listen in as Mike speaks on how to run a successful studio; tip one: he shows up no matter what. Keep tuned in as he offers further tips, which Ed and Day have fun with, which takes the conversation into new, wild directions. How to get better? Expand your experiences, Mike suggests. To hear Ed and Day wrap up the last Work Hard-based podcast and reminisce on their time, stay tuned until the final moments. Find out more about Mike Hitt: https://www.mikehitt.com
The Drinking Partners relaunch with this newest episode and welcome a political powerhouse duo – Wilkinsburg Mayor-elect Dontae Comans and Ashley Comans, a candidate for PA House District 24. Listen in as the Comans describe their entries into politics, from Ms. Comans motivated by Barak Obama’s speeches to Mr. Comans learning how to run for political office after years spent in community services and activities. A positive and intentional focus on how young people view a community is a central concept in the discussion on how to improve an area and its schools. In the spirit of the Drinking Partners, a detailed conversation around the benefits that breweries and bars add to a community is explored, with Wilkinsburg engaged in these changes with their new leadership. An essential question that is examined throughout the interview is: How to get a community to believe in itself? Mayor-elect Comans offers parting advice on how to remain optimistic as advocates for change: keep your work life separate from your home life. Candidate Comans adds her own advice as she suggests spending time with loved ones and finding joy outside of the political spectrum. Find Mayor-elect Donte Comans around Wilkinsburg (and say hello!) and learn more about Candidate Comans: www.ashleyforpa24.com. Catch Ed and Day Thursday, Dec.16 at Cinderlands Foederhouse in their newest live comedy series, or, as Ed begs, “Give me a reason to get out of the house.”
The Drinking Partners release this live podcast recorded outside of the Two Fray’s Brewery in Pittsburgh, PA. A collection of tastings makes this episode lively as Ed and Day interview Mike Onofray, one-half of the husband and wife-owned brewery. In the early minutes, Mike explains how they managed to open Two Frays during the pandemic and how a canning line was a significant reason for why they were able to quickly adapt. Importantly, Two Frays ownership speaks on how they want to be community partner and are working hard to creating a safe and welcoming environment for people of color, while also having “super crushable beer.” What happens when two engineers open a brewery? Listen in as Mike explains the science behind brewing. Visit Two Frays and learn more about their newly opened brewery: www.twofraysbrewery.com
Aaron Hosé, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder (his wife is his other half) of 2Hands20Fingers, joins the Drinking Partners for their latest release. Listeners might recognize his work as he has followed and filmed Ed and Day over the course of the last several years. In the coming weeks, his documentary, “One Pint at a Time,” will be released. The film features the rise of Fresh Fest, the transition to Fresh Fest Digi Fest, and now Barrel & Flow Fest. One Pint at a Time is best described as, “four years in the making, this eye-opening film details the highs and lows of the Black experience in American craft beer as told through the eyes of Black brewers, brand owners and influencers across the country.” Aaron explains how the film came to be, how he switched careers from computer engineering to filmmaking, and how the stories expanded and adapted during the course of filming. Asked why he made the film, Aaron answers, “No one looked like us,” when his wife and he visited breweries. A spectacular podcast with equal parts education and entertainment. Visit https://onepintfilm.com for information on release dates, view a trailer, and learn more about the African roots of beer and brewing.
The Drinking Partners welcome Jervonne Singletary, Community Relations Manager of goodblend PA for this latest release. As Pennsylvania’s newest medical cannabis provider, goodblend promises, “We're here to make sure you're good.” Their approach is one centered on community engagement and initiatives and extends far beyond their high quality products to include job opportunities, expungement services, and other community-based initiatives. Listen in as all aspects of the medical cannabis industry are examined, including how minority communities have been adversely affected and what changes can be expected as legalization efforts expand. Ed and Day explore their own histories in typical style, with entertaining asides and immense interest in all that is being discussed! Of particular interest is the “design your own strain” concept, with both Ed and Day excited about the naming prospects. Tune in until the end to hear Jervonne’s thoughts on being a Black woman in the medical cannabis industry and, unsurprisingly, what her favorite potato is. Learn more about goodblend: https://pa.goodblend.com
The North Carolina-based Wicked Weed brewing team of Joe Pawelek as brewmaster and Jen Currier as WInemaster and sour specialist, remotely join the Drinking Partners in this newest quarantimes release. The duo, with the company since its early years, share highly specialized information about brewing as they explain the fermentation processes they prefer and how their experimentation helped the company grown and expand. The Funkatorium, described as, “the East Coast’s first sour beer dedicated taproom,” is located in Asheville and, along with their other locations, has become a beer tourist destination. Ed and Day interrupt the shop talk to ask about exploding cans, the Asheville scene, and the difference between German sour beer and Belgian sour beer. Listen in as Day attempts to pronounce them both, and fails. Ed enjoys the Dr. Dank, while Day sips the Pernicious, as Joe and Jen breakdown the recipes and brewing steps used to maximize the natural ingredients. This latest Drinking Partners release promises to be a delicious treat for listeners who enjoy the “nerdy” aspects of brewing. Find out more about Wicked Weed Brewing: www.wickedweedbrewing.com
One half of the Steve and Benny’s Chicken Shack restaurant team joins the Drinking Partners for their latest quarantimes release. Listen in as Benny talks about the connection between food and art, highlighting the creativity aspect of cooking. His early passion for food brought him to New Orleans, where he developed a love for the Southern style and culture. Under some distinguished tutelage, Benny flourished and decided that he wanted his food to “feel like it’s giving you a hug.” This statement has Ed ogling the food from Steve and Benny’s in a whole new way. The first step in turning this love into a business was establishing a food truck. After several years, he partnered with Steve, which reinvigorated his love for cooking. The two were able to combine their passion for cooking with a strong business acumen. Benny shares some exclusive news with Ed and Day as he announces their newest venture: Monaca Brewing Company, a brewery that they will open next-door to their restaurant. Keep up to date with their developments and newest menu offerings: www.steveandbennys.com.
Four friends turned a longtime love of homebrewing into their own brewery, with some amusing steps in between. What started as a joke shifted into suppling fresh beer to their neighborhood and ended with a vinyl-infused brewery: Inner Groove Brewing. Co-owners Kelly Melle and Jennifer Walzer join the Drinking Partners and share the success story of their two-year old brewery in this insider look into the workings of the industry. Of particular interest to Ed and Day is the graphic art that spins a tale across their cans. They soon learn that the cans contain a hidden, music-inspired message. Listen in as Ed and Day try to put the clues together (and fail) for what they’re drinking. Both women talk about the transitions necessary to survive during the pandemic and how they keep any business difficulties in perspective. Hear about how their large taproom and two outdoor spaces and dedicated local support helped keep the young brewery afloat over the last 18 months. This newest Drinking Partners release offers an informative and detailed look into how breweries have been affected and can survive trying times. Learn more: www.innergroovebrewing.com
Ren Navarro of beer-diversity.com joins the Drinking Partners virtually from Canada and offers insight into the Canadian beer scene, most of which surprises Ed, who did not “see Canada having grass.” After an opening discussion that listeners will find amusing, the trio discusses more serious concerns, from coping with the pandemic to diverse ownership in business and beer. What does diversity mean in 2021? That question becomes the central focus of the interview as they explore its impact on the craft beer industry. Ren’s advice for breweries: Do your homework. She shares important additional tips as well: make a space welcoming and educate drinkers on the similarities between craft beer and macro beer, so craft beer can be accessible to all. Except babies, who Day does not want at breweries. Enjoy this fun, yet significant conversation and find more about Ren Navarro: www.beer-diversity.com
A full slate of voices is featured in the latest Drinking Partners interview as founding members of Black Women for Better Education share their idea on how to transform the Pittsburgh Public School system. One of the group’s main priorities is to educate voters, residents, parents, and students on how to improve the PPS education experience by supporting five candidates running for school board positions. A common bond shared by the the candidates is to change the status quo and connect the board with the community to ensure responsible representation. Listen in as student enrichment, relationship building, social issues and engagement, and quality of education are examined and explored by this panel of dedicated experts. Find out more about the candidates: www.blackwomen4abettereducation.com
Sam Black, founder of SYLA PGH, joins the Drinking Partners to discuss a behind the scenes approach to supporting artists by helping them gain access to funding and resources. By analyzing novel approaches and outside the box options, Ms. Black assists artists by lowering barriers and encouraging new ways of marketing and promotion with a logistical model. Listen in as she speaks on how to communicate and connect with a diverse cast of characters and how she uses that skill to help others, in what she explains as a “holistic look at the economic factors that keep Black Pittsburgh neighborhoods below the poverty line.” This inclusive, multi-scope advancement cannot be achieved without artist input, Ms. Black summarizes. The issue of underpaying and devaluing artists, one that the Drinking Partners have long attempted to dissuade, anchors the interview and is explored from many angles. In the closing segment, the group lets loose, and the discussion centers on talking to plants and waffle fries, in a tangent that listeners should expect and enjoy. Find more about Sam Black, SYLA PGH, and Greenwood Week: www.greenwoodweekpgh.com
Dusan Kwiatkowski, head brewer for Austin-based Live Oak Brewing, joins the Drinking Partners virtually for this newest release. From the opening minutes, the conversation is beer-centric, with a heavy emphasis on the European-styled beer offerings Live Oak brews. Day sips on the 4.9% Big Bark, an amber lager, while Ed enjoys a Biergarten Pils - a German-Style pilsner with German Huell-Melon hops. Live Oak Brewing has been around since 1997, or, as Ed suggests, 102 beer years, and Dusan explains how the brewery has remained successful even as the industry has changed. “We just keep making the beers that have been made for thousands of years.” Listen in as Dusan examines brewing trends and which ones they have followed and which ones they leave to other breweries. After a start with Live Oak washing kegs, Mr. Kwiatkowski moved into brewing as the brewery itself grew. “Where do you go as a brewer after making lights-out shit?” is what Day wants to know. Enjoy the full interview that has Ed and Day testing their craft beer knowledge with an expert in the industry. Learn more about Live Oak Brewing: www.liveoakbrewing.com
Pittsburgh-based filmmaker Jay “Ruff Bone” White (Jay White Digital Media) joins the Drinking Partners in their latest Quarantimes release. After childhood inspiration from his grandfather stoked his interests in filmmaking, Jay began exploring ways to document his neighborhood and beyond. From there, he began exploring ways to make documentaries for several Pittsburgh neighborhoods that are underrepresented in media. Listen in as he describes how he allows these new narratives to be filmed and shared. Video and documentary production transitioned into a feature film – Everyday Hustle. Midway through, the group discusses the importance of investing in yourself and your own talents, with Ed and Day taking some time to be serious, introspective, personal, and encouraging. What does it take to be self-made? That’s the question that is explored and examined with Jay White. Find out more about his latest project, a wrestling-centric comedy: https://jaydigitalmedia.com
The Drinking Partners bring comedy back on tap as they welcome comic Marcus Cox and reminisce on their early days as performers. It doesn’t take long for the jokes and jabs to start and the laughter to spread as Ed and Day banter back and forth and Marcus joins in, which listeners will recognize as a true return to form for the Drinking Partners. The trio gets momentarily serious as they discuss comedy as a profession during pandemic times and the difficulties that have accompanied closed stages and venues. And then the conversation transitions into oversized belt buckles, earrings, and other aughts-centric style, as Ed remarks, “These kids don’t know.” This latest Drinking Partners release is more than just entertainment, as it fully explores several angles of careers in comedy, from financial security to self-preservation and promotion, with Marcus explaining how his own business ventures - MC Auto Detailing - has helped support him throughout the last year. Another classic Drinking Partners listen, filled with philosophy on comedy and beyond, and one that offers enough laughs to last until the next release. Yet also offers some hate for crinkle cut fries. Find Marcus on Facebook as Marcus Cox and on IG: @marcuscomedy86
The Drinking Partners, especially Ed, excitedly welcome Anthony “Sizzle” Perry, the founder of Crafted Culture Brewing Company in Columbus, Ohio. This interview sets itself apart from the opening segment as Sizzle explains how he “accidentally” fell into brewing after a stint as a fill-in bartender, which led to various jobs across the brewing industry, including as a delivery man. Or, as Ed suggests. Mr. Perry is, “The Drinking Partners meets Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happiness.” But Sizzle had a marketing strategy of his own: “If you want to gain yards in this game, go where they ain’t.” He presented his idea to the COO of the company where he worked as the top salesman, yet his proposal was brushed off as nonsensical. From there, he decided to pursue brewing on his own, starting first as a home brewer. With creativity and a focus on bringing soul into brewing, Mr. Perry paired up with a lifetime friend and a professional brewer and opened Crafted Culture, Central Ohio’s first Black-owned brewery. Along with the brewery, Mr. Perry wants to focus on #beerthechange, a budding nonprofit that he hopes will help give back to diverse communities. Give this interview a full listen and enjoy the witty banter and deep business insights that have Ed feeling envious. Find more about Crafted Culture: www.craftedculturebrew.com
According to Ed, Day is in “mid-season form,” as the Drinking Partners get back to the studio for number 6ish of their Quarantimes podcast series. Both excitedly welcome Trace Brewing owner David Kushner and brewer Zach Colton, as Ed and Day sample Moonpond, a balanced IPA with Galaxy and Columbus hops. The duo met while both were working at Harpoon Brewing and discuss how they ended up in Pittsburgh and the origins of Trace Brewing, which opened in December 2020 for carryout. Up next on tap is Love is the Way, a citrusy IPA with gooseberry, passionfruit, and lychee, which causes Ed and Day to take the conversation in a whole new (and freaky) direction. Continue listening as Zach details his long and winding history around beer, which strikingly readied him to become Trace’s head brewer and experiment with spontaneously fermented beer. The short story? Zach started as a “beer here” guy and ended up in the Seine Valley region of Belgium learning about Lambic beer. Want to know how the pandemic affects what beers Trace is brewing? Tune in as they explain how the canning process and at-home drinking influences the beer style decisions. Day proves he’s a big fan of Trace Brewing as he applauds how inclusive the staff and taproom of the newly opened brewery is and their 6-month vocational program that is committed to “diversifying the brewing industry.” Enjoy this uplifting interview that encircles all the best that the craft beer industry can offer as the Drinking Partners return to their fun and frolicking selves. Learn more about Trace Brewing: www.tracebloomfield.com.