“What’s in the fridge,” is how we kick off this beer conversation each and every time. For me, this signals once again that we are about to embark on a fun and entertaining half hour (or so) of engaging conversation between two of my close friends and colleagues, Jason Strempek and Jeff Baker. “It’s The Beer Talking,” was, and is, a true collaboration and joint-effort from the start. We live busy lives; so I found myself asking how can we incorporate this and deliver something that we are proud of? From meeting and working with Sophia and Joel, the connection was instantaneous and collaborative. The inside jokes began, and of course, the love of beer was the connection (except for Sophia who is still coming around on the fermented hops and barley, but is always ready for a cider!).
The journey has been organic and immediately fluid; the conversations that just started on day one gave us a path to how this was going to work: crack open some brews from the fridge, and let the hops and malts guide the back and forth. Welcome a guest, or even a few at once, and spend time getting to know their path to beer, and how it all works for them in this overall craft beer movement, as Jason always says. Whether they brew, sell, market, distribute, or just love to have a pint, our strategy with guests was, and will remain, simple: invite folks we respect and see where the conversation goes. Take out all the formality and constraints that could interrupt open and honest conversation. When our pals depart, our hosts get to digest the conversation and give their honest take from what was discussed. To me, it’s the most telling 4-5 minutes from each segment, because you really get to hear the mutual respect and admiration Jeff and Jason have for that friend or friends who just shared with us there connection to beer, and how it shapes their life, which indirectly or directly shapes our own careers.
We never intended to create something that was too technical (although I should point out we are capable of doing that to some degree with our backgrounds and experiences in beer). With so many resources in this business, our stance was “let’s try and showcase a conversation that the everyday beer fan would enjoy,” and let’s engage in talk that relates to the common experience of a consumer at the bar, the hard working folks in the industry and even to those that touch this movement who may not have an obvious connection to the craft beer scene. When we try to construct what the discussion may look like, I find myself going back to some of the same themes, and always enjoy how they take different turns. Being my first go-around with helping produce a podcast, it helps that I know Mr. “Danger” Baker and Jason “the Rock” Strempek well enough to understand what will (and will not!) work when trying to frame a conversation. I am amazed how fast they can transition from topic to topic as we record numerous segments in one day, often times not having more that 5-10 minutes to catch a breath. At times I think we pushed that limit (too many beers!), but kudos to them for always being prepared and ready to jump in when Sophia and Joel give the thumbs up and the red light starts to flash “recording.”
We work for an amazing beer distributor, and Jeff, Jason and I all have very different backgrounds on our path to beer. Jeff from a strong retail and restaurant background, Jason from a much different industry and mine working directly for a few local breweries. What I really enjoy is that the conversation you hear is truly how we all interact all day in the office or “out in the market.” It’s one of respect and friendship; jokes and everyday life stuff. I truly think that our work in the distribution side of this industry allows us to take a different angle than other beer podcasts that are out there, and we’re always trying to expose the behind-the-scenes part of the craft beer world while keeping it light and easy to follow. We have access to amazing people who make this beer thing work, and produce some of the best made beverages in the world. I look at as it’s our job to give them the exposure which they deserve via our show.
I hope you have enjoyed Season One – we have learned much and have a ways to go. We plan on evolving and growing, and hope you will do the same with us. Your support and engagement is greatly appreciated, and we are actively booking guests for a second season mid-January kickoff.
I look forward to getting back in the recording booth with my friends Sophia, our Associate Producer and master editor, Joel, our Audio Engineer and master of all knowledge, and our hosts, Jeff Baker and of course Jason Strempek. Stealing a sip of whatever the fellas are analyzing, and at times staring blankly at Jeff and Jason as they veer off in uncharted waters after a few libations from the fridge and wondering, where in the world is this going?!
Until next time … Cheers!
Associate Produce, It’s The Beer Talking and Director of Marketing, Farrell Distributing
Give us a listen on iTunes, SoundCloud and TuneIn, and stay tuned for Season Two!
Sophia and Joel