“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.