“I feel like the best art in the world creates conversation,” says artist Corey Ochai [4:17], founder and CEO of 1028 Studios, and there’s no pair better to chop it with than the Drinking Partners. Ochai, who listeners might recognize as the creative director of America's best Black arts and craft beer festival, Barrel & Flow, reveals to Day and Ed why he briefly lost his joy for painting: “I was trying to create something that people would like, instead of creating from something that was inside me.” The comment prompts a conversation about what inspires real, meaningful artistry, no matter the form. Alongside a Black beer history month six-pack from Chicago’s Bitter Pops, these creative professionals go on to discuss everything from Basquiat, to summers at the Braddock Beach, to why you shouldn’t schedule a podcast recording on your anniversary.
Guest: Corey Ochai
Location: 1028 Podcast Studio, Sharpsburg, PA.
#EdandDay in The Burgh | verylocal.com/ed-and-day-in-the-burgh-how-to-watch/
March 16 | Ed & Day in The 'Burgh Season 2 Premiere Watch Party | barrelandflow.com/events
Aug 12 | Barrel & Flow 2023 | barrelandflow.com
Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in. “I don’t do Cajun style or Creole style,” – it’s authentic New Orleans taste in the North. Mike Barnes, aka Big Easy, tells the Drinking Partners that after 20 years working in kitchens down South, he thought his days as a chef were over. Then word of his home cooking got out among friends. A few years and $10 pans of jambalaya later, he’s got his own spice collection and catering company, Roux Orleans, where he’s making catfish, crawfish, and gumbo so good that all you can say is “fam.” Laissez les bon temps roulez. And remember: if you see the Drinking Partners out in public, tell them you love them, buy them shots of Hennessy, but please, don’t touch them.
Guest: Roux Orleans owner Mike Barnes.
Location: 1028 Podcast Studio, Sharpsburg, PA.
If there’s anything the Drinking Partners do, it’s drink, and celebrate Black excellence. It’s a package deal. And this episode has plenty of both. From Sharpsburg’s swanky 1028 Podcast studio, Day and Ed welcome Kenyan Hicks, owner and distiller of Pittsburgh’s Noire Expedition distillery. Theirs is a 90-proof, floral, American gin, with notes of lavender, citrus and juniper. The three take theirs neat, while they discuss the finer points of gin, the craft beverage industry’s pay-it-forward mentality, and a long-lost uncle named Lumpkin. It’s a journey and an episode so Black - it’s Blackity-black Black.
Before a studio audience at The Stacks at 3 Crossings, in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District, the Drinking Partners are live from Barrel & Flow, the country’s premiere Black arts and craft beer festival. Before the 75 breweries and a crowd of thousands arrive, Ed and Day sit down with two New England brewers who are redefining how beer is made and who it is for. The first guest is Alisa Bowens-Mercado [7:00], CEO and brewmaster of Connecticut’s Rhythm Brewing Co. She discusses how contract brewing is “a beautiful thing,” and how hard it can be to find Black folks and “beer-flavored beer” in New England. Then, the group is joined by Sam Adams Boston head brewer, Megan Parisi [34:57]. She and Bowens-Mercado discuss representation in the craft beer industry, how the unlikely relationship between their discrepant breweries emerged, and their recent, Pink Boots-benefitting sparkling lager collab. It’s a perspective on the industry that’s not always told, and there’s no better place for this vital discussion.
Recording: Barrel & Flow Fest 8-30-22.
Guests: Alisa Bowens-Mercado of Rhythm Brewing Co.; Megan Parisi of Sam Adams Boston Brewery.
Tucked inside a big ol’ barn at picturesque Freedom Farms in Valencia, Butler County, The Drinking Partners welcome listeners to Pittsburgh Mixed Culture, Cinderlands Beer Co. and Trace Brewing’s inaugural celebration of all things saison and sour-centric. The show kicks off with Christian Gregory(9:29), representing Belgium’s Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen. He talks about blending authentic lambics - “the drink of the people'' - and how the beloved brewery outside of Brussels maintains a consistent standard in their spontaneously-fermented beers year after year. Then, they take their taste buds on a “trip along the Oregon Trail” (29:45) with Matt Van Wyk, one of the co-founders of Eugene, Oregon’s Alesong Brewing & Blending, who discusses what it takes for a brewery to stand out in a competitive, top-tier craft beer market. Finally,looking fresh with his ankles out, the “famous-famous” Michael Kaiser, founder of Good Beer Hunting. He talks about taking the site from a personal blog to an acclaimed global media venture, with contributors working across multiple continents. He finishes with praise for The Drinking Partners and recognizes the similarities between the growth of his project and theirs, telling Ed and Day “You guys put Pittsburgh on the map for beer in a big, big way.”
Produced by Epicast.
Recorded at Pittsburgh Mixed Culture festival 7-30-22
Presented by Cinderlands Beer Co. and Trace Brewing.
Thanks to guests representing Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen, Good Beer Hunting, and Alesong Brewing & Blending.
The Drinking Partners, having moved up to “boardroom material,” welcome head brewer Lauren Hughes from Necromancer Brewing. She joins to discuss the three B’s: business, beer, and bikes. After a career in music and arts education, Lauren’s focus shifted back to her interest in brewing, which led to a career change. With Necromancer, she explores “dead styles” of beer, finding ways to modernize old and traditional brewing for new drinkers. Did you know that beer was once brewed without hops? Listen in as Lauren explains the ingredients behind the older styles and why it’s so hard to make a good Pilsner. “There’s nothing to hide behind,” she adds. Stay tuned for an important conversation about the culture of beer and what steps Necromancer is taking to lead the industry forward and how to create an inclusive brewery and industry. To wrap up the interview, Ed and Day ask for an explanation on beer naming. This latest episode is an informative roundup of all things brewing, from recipes to culture, and a necessary listen. Learn more about Necromancer: www.necromancer.beer
Tune in for the latest Drinking Partners podcast as Ed and Day chat with Cinderlands head brewer Paul Schneider and Trace Brewing’s Head of Marketing Aadam Soorma about their newest collaboration: Pittsburgh Mixed Culture (www.pghmixedculture.com). This saison-centric festival will feature breweries from across the country and Belgium by, “bringing dozens of world-class brewers together … to demonstrate our love for the Belgian brewing traditions that inspire us, make a clear connection between local agriculture and beer, showcase fermentation-driven beer, and highlight the complementary roles of brewer and nature in making mixed-fermentation beer.” The July 30th event will take place at Freedom Farms in Valencia, PA. Spontaneous comments from Ed and Day pair well with Paul’s detailed explanation of the spontaneous process of mixed culture brewing in Day’s favorite type of conversation: edutainment. This rare to Pittsburgh style gets to shine with its own festival, although Ed’s suggestion that an essay praising saison be a requirement was not accepted. The conversation around mixed culture craft brewing is ripe with knowledge and will turn the average beer fan into an aficionado, but don’t worry if you get confused, as Ed admits. Listen in until the closing minutes to hear Drinking Partners advice on how to conquer a beer festival and make plans to check out Pittsburgh Mixed Culture Fest on July 30 at Freedom Farms.
From a new location – Emerald City in Pittsburgh, Pa – the Drinking Partners podcast returns with a double dose of dynamic duos. Ed and Day welcome Jacquea Mae and Byron Nash of NASH.V.ILL in this energetic and exciting interview. Self-described super-fan Day and an inquisitive Ed listen in as Byron recounts his first introduction to Jacquea: “The spirit took over” and she joined in, from the audience, during his last song. The impromptu duet was so impressive that they teamed up to form NASH.V.ILL. There is never a dull moment as Ed and Day drop jokes in between questions and stories, proving that the Drinking Partners comedic magic has not faded. Jacquea’s advises on how important making mistakes are to better one’s skills, and Byron explains how their on-stage improvisation that often results in unexpected and thrilling performances. Byron’s advice, midway through, is a must listen: “If you are brave enough to suck in front of people, you fix it way faster.” It wouldn’t be a true Drinking Partners episode without Ed breaking into song - stay tuned throughout to hear his renditions. The closing minutes of this newest Drinking Partners focuses on industry-specific advice and guidance from Jacquea and Byron, including a discussion on collaborative projects and sharing ideas. Intermixed with the sage wisdom are saucy interludes from Ed, rounding out a lively and mighty interview.
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