Good Beer Hunting
About This Show
In the midst of a sea-change, you don't just build a boat. You make the wave. Good Beer Hunting is how industry strategist, writer, and photographer Michael Kiser is crafting the story of beer around the world — not from the outside looking in, rather, from the center of the movement. GBH is the chronicle of the most compelling people, places and products he encounters on his travels. In addition to the website, the podcast is devoted to using craft beer as a bridge between other types of businesses, craft-oriented cultures, and what we eat and drink. Interviews with brewers, aficionados, and makers of all types with one thing in common — a fascination with what's happening in craft beer. Recorded at GBH Studios in Chicago, Illinois. Join him on the hunt.
Most Recent Episode
EP-139 Alan Newman, Craft Beer Emeritus
4 days ago
Way back in 1994, in Burlington, Vermont a little brewery named Magic Hat sprung to life making what for many of its customers was the first “craft beer” they’d ever taste. One of its co-founders was Alan Newman, who became not only the entrepreneurial force behind the company, but the whimsical, hippie, bearded face of the brand.
By the time he’d gotten Magic Hat off the ground, he was already well on his way to being a serial entrepreneur, and after his frustrated departure from the brewery in 2010, he went on to be the strategic, creative, and again somewhat of a face for brands like Coney Island, Concrete Beach, the Traveler Shandy company, and Angel City Brewery as part of the Alchemy & Science portfolio owned by Boston Beer and working directly with Jim Koch. I myself worked alongside Alan and his team for a couple years as they built and re-positioned these brands, so part of today’s conversation will include a look back at some of the challenges and opportunities in that work rom Alan’s perspective.
But now he’s done - he’s walking away from the beer industry. Or so he says. I don’t exactly believe it. Alan has a funny way of always reading himself back into the business. Alan and beer just can’t quite quit each other. And regardless of whether he comes back, or new ventures await, his perspective on what’s happening in our industry now is always fascinating and instructive for me because he was there in the room when so many decisions were made. Decisions like who will be defined as a “craft brewer” in the first place? And what’s the value of that definition?
And then, of course, how so many of the challenges he faced with Magic Hat in the 90s are timeless for small brewers today. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as it were.