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.
“You used to see us out in public,” Ed announces as he changes up the Drinking Partners opening bit and welcomes back listeners. Another alteration for 2020? The Drinking Partners will accept contactless deliveries of Hennessy. A reunited and rejuvenated Ed and Day welcome Courtney Williamson, CEO and Founder of AbiliLife: “A company dedicated to designing and developing products to improve the quality of life for patients with Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases.” Ms. Williamson discusses her personal shift from pursuing a PhD to medical product design, which came out of a desire to assist her mother, who suffered from Parkinson’s. What started as a passion project with the support of Carnegie Mellon’s start-up incubator Project Olympus quickly developed into something more, which is detailed and examined throughout the podcast. An intriguing and uplifting interview, and one that joyously brings Ed and Day back into the studio. To learn more about AbiliLife, visit www.abililife.com. And stay tuned to hear more comedy on tap from the Drinking Partners!
The Drinking Partners go worldwide with this latest and Fresh Fest Digi Fest exclusive release as they welcome Stacey Ayeh from Rock Leopard Brewing in London, England. After getting his start on the sales end of brewing, Mr. Ayeh decided to start homebrewing, yet faced hurdles to get his products on the shelves despite how well-received they were and how successful he had been selling other brewers’ products. He relates how Paul Jones of Cloudwater Brew Company became a quick and dedicated fan of his brewing, and it was his support that finally allowed Mr. Ayeh’s beers to gain attention. Stacey sips on his own West Coast-styled IPA, he talks about the current trends in British brewing: juicy and hazy. What message would Stacey Ayeh like to share? “Black people can make good beer and it’s being sold near where I live.” To learn more about Rock Leopard Brewing and Stacey Ayeh, visit: www.rockleopardbrewing.com
Much to Ed’s delight, Ohio is in the building, at least virtually, as the Drinking Partners welcome co-owners Mike and Greg and head brewer Jared from Alematic Ales, out of Huber Heights, Ohio. Both Ed and Day admit love for the Alematic beer names, which leads to a conversation on the connection between recipe development and beer monikers. Or, as head brewer Jared states, “We try not to brew boring styles,” as they get inspiration from the culinary world. Listen in as Greg talks about how Alematic incorporates an underground hip hop element into their brewery’s vibe and how their multicultural staff encourages and creates a welcoming place for all kinds of beer drinkers. An especially important analysis of how Covid-19 had affected breweries happens near the midway point. Craft beer fans across the country will be able to sample Alematic Ale’s collaboration with 11th Hour Brewing for Fresh Fest Digi Fest through Tavour and Beverages 2 U. Learn more about Alematic at: https://www.alematicbrewing.com.
Want to know what Ed means when he refers to a “trench coat beer?” Listen in to the latest quarantine-edition of the Drinking Partners for that explanation and more as Ed and Day interview Alex Bard, the COO of Hear Corp, a 2020 sponsor of Fresh Fest Digi Fest. Alex speaks on his company’s founding and how Hear Corp grew into a full service live event production company, which at times is like playing Risk, he admits. Midway through, Alex discusses his involvement with 25 Carrick Ave, a community learning center for event technology. The non-profit program’s goals are to provide education in production and broadcast and open a creative arts center for Pittsburgh-based artists. Check out how Hear Corp is adapting by checking out their live stream channel, Live at 25. The podcast wraps up with Day talking about his pandemic wardrobe and his new aversion to jeans and love for “fancy sweats,” and reminds listeners that the Drinking Partners still offer comedy on tap, even from their front porches.
The Drinking Partners, in conjunction with the City of Pittsburgh's Inclusive Innovation, podcast from their porches with a trio of dazzling and consequential women. Listen in as Ed and Day interview Mayor Marita Garrett, Representative Sara Innamarato, and Director of Diversity and Inclusion with the Pittsburgh Technology Council Gina Winstead. Up first, of course, is what they are sipping on: a port wine, an IC Light Mango, and a pretzel beer, which Ed and Day fear is a major flex on them. After a steady supply of jokes, Mayor Garrett and Rep. Innamarato discuss community engagement during pandemic times, while Ms. Winstead explains the technical side of the digital shift and how essential it is to help small businesses make the change. The central focus of this Drinking Partners episode is the importance of the US Census and how technology impacts the 2020 census. “If you’re not counted, you literally do not count,” Mayor Garrett reminds listeners, especially in Black and Latinx communities. Rep. Innamarato expands upon this by explaining that the number counts are used to help bring money back into communities, from infrastructure to school lunches to healthcare. The women answer and address concerns about the privacy of the census answers, gerrymandering, how this census is the first that can be done online, and various other concerns. Midway through, during a question and answer segment from those watching on Zoom, the responses become a bit more animated and lot more amusing. A classic Drinking Partners interview, with the as-expected mixture of merriment and useful information.
The Drinking Partners welcome local business owner Justin Strong as they adapt to the times and hold a remote interview, although all three share a beer. Justin sips an East End Big Hop, while Ed samples a Rusty Rail Luminous, a golden stout that leads the conversation elsewhere. Day leaves his dry April behind with the much-coveted Dark Berry Fruit Whip from Cellar Works. What have the men learned during their stays at home? Listen in as they talk about how domesticated they have become, a conversation that leads to several rounds of laughter as they share “survival” stories, and Justin teaches the importance of cranberry sauce. Day speaks on the emerging model of streaming, virtual entertainment as they speculate on what live events will look like in the coming months. Check out Justin’s dry cleaning businesses, www.strongfabriccare.com, which are currently operating with some modifications.
Day spends the opening minutes of the latest Drinking Partners podcast munching and mumbling as guest host Derek Minto does the heavy verbal lifting and welcomes Neil Glausier of Burgh’ers Brewing. Right away, the trio looks into how Burgh’ers Brewing models their business and focuses on a farm to table approach, from “happy cows” to neighborhood-centric burgers. As Day samples Head Chef Fiore Moletz’s Polish Hill burger, the group sips on an American light lager, the 1890 Lager, which allows Neil to detail how he brews in a thorough, informative manner. How do you get a beer to be clear and beautiful? It’s more difficult than you might think, but listen in for a truly brewing-centric conversation, including how to maintain an environmentally sustainable model and how the idealized image of brewing quickly dissolves once you begin to run a business. For those looking to get a brewery experience in these hard times, the interview offers a safe and informative alternative. Find Derek Minto at Burning Bridges Comedy Club and find Burgh’ers Brewing at www.burgherspgh.com
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.