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Bean to Barstool
5 minutes | Aug 9, 2022
Bean to Barstool Bite Sized: 5 Minutes with Chocolate Lover Shay Pal
Shay Pal is a chocolate, spirits, and coffee enthusiast from Chicago and runs the @choccoffeewine Instagram account. In this Bean to Barstool Bite Sized conversation, we discuss Crow & Moss Vanilla Smoke, a 69% dark chocolate made with hickory smoked cacao, and Shay makes spirits pairings for this unusual bar.
27 minutes | Aug 2, 2022
Crown of Horns Fit for a [goat] Queen (Ep. 43)
“It was one of the best days we’ve ever seen.” On July 23, the weird and wonderful humans at Rabid Brewing in Homewood, Illinois, welcomed the fae folk of the surrounding wild country to Feast of the Goat Queen, a day of celebration for all things magical, natural, and mystical. The Feast also featured the release of Crown of Horns, a chocolate cream ale Bean to Barstool brewed in collaboration with Rabid Brewing. In this episode we talk with Raiye Rosado and Tobias Cichon of Rabid Brewing about Feast of the Goat Queen and its coronation chocolate beer, Crown of Horns, as well as with Emily Stone, the founder of Uncommon Cacao, about the brand new Philippine cacao we used in the beer. The music for this episode is from the songs “Free” and “Love’s Not” by my dear friend, indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna’s music in the show notes or at her website annapsmusic.com, where you can also get in touch to book her to play at your brewery or other establishment. Raiye Rosado & Tobias Cichon are the husband and wife co-founders of Rabid Brewing. They began dating in 2010, and Raiye promptly introduced Tobias to good beer. Their wedding was a Halloween costume party. The pair began homebrewing, and decided to open a brewery together after getting married. Rabid Brewing opened on October 13, 2017. Emily Stone is the Founder and CEO of Uncommon Cacao, a group of Transparent Trade cacao operations. Emily spent 2010-2017 living in Belize and Guatemala developing the specialty cacao value chain operations and working directly with producers. Now based in the U.S., Emily leads Uncommon Cacao's work supplying delicious, high quality, transparently-sourced cacao for hundreds of craft and premium chocolate makers globally. Emily is an Ashoka Fellow and Unreasonable Fellow, and a recipient of the FCIA Recognition of Excellence in Outstanding Contribution at Origin in Sustainability of Fine Chocolate.
7 minutes | Jul 26, 2022
Bean to Barstool Bite Sized: 5 Minutes with Brett Smith of Branch & Bone
Brett Smith is the co-founder and head brewer of Branch & Bone Artisan Ales in Dayton, Ohio. He uses cacao from Violet Sky Chocolate for his elegant and complex chocolate beers, and in this quick conversation he explains how he got introduced to Violet Sky and a couple of the first beers he brewed with their cacao—Modern Business Hymns and Campfire Candle.
27 minutes | Jul 19, 2022
Indianapolis Beer with Amy Beers (Ep. 42)
Indianapolis, Indiana, has a thriving craft beer scene and a rich history of brewing. Amy Beers covers both in our latest episode. In this episode we talk with Amy Beers, the author of the new book Indianapolis Beer Stories: History to Modern Craft in Circle City Brewing. Amy is a Certified Cicerone and she leads walking beer tours around Indy through her company Drinking with Beers. In this conversation we discuss her book, the invisible history of Indianapolis beer prior to Prohibition, and the vibrant modern beer scene in central Indiana. Breweries and beers discussed in this episode include Broad Ripple Brewpub, Sun King Brewery (Polynesian Passion), Metazoa Brewing (Hoppopotamus IPA), Indiana City Brewing, Scarlet Lane Brewing (Dorian Stout), Upland Brewing (Champagne Velvet, Two of Tarts), Fountain Square Brewing, Chilly Water Brewing (Built to Last & Dark Side of the Munich), and Taxman Brewing. You can find out more about Amy Beers and book one of her Drinking with Beers tours here. Indianapolis Beer Stories: History to Modern Craft in Circle City Brewing is available now. If your favorite independent bookstore doesn’t have it, ask them to order it! You can purchase tickets to my Autumn in Belgium virtual tasting here.The music for this episode is from the songs “Come Home” and “Love’s Not” by my dear friend, indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna’s music in the show notes or at her website annapsmusic.com, where you can also get in touch to book her to play at your brewery, cafe, or other establishment.Guest:Amy Beers Amy Beers is a Certified Cicerone and the author of Indianapolis Beer Story: History to Modern Craft in Circle City Brewing. She leads walking beer tours around Indianapolis through her company Drinking with Beers.
27 minutes | Jun 21, 2022
Ebony & Ivory: Ale Sharpton on Piano Keys Stout
“People get the vision. It’s a beer that’s helping to make a difference.” In this episode we talk with the Reverend Ale Sharpton, a beer expert, writer, photographer, and consultant living in Atlanta, Georgia. Ale is one of the most respected voices in the craft beer scene, and he’s a passionate advocate for folks of all backgrounds, races, and identities to get to enjoy this beautiful drink. A few years back, he partnered with New Belgium Brewing and Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate on a signature beer called Piano Keys that would open conversations and show newcomers what beer could be. We talk about the process for developing this chocolate vanilla Imperial Stout, his passion for flavor, and the road ahead for Piano Keys. Beyond Piano Keys, beers discussed in this episode include Weathered Souls Black Is Beautiful, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and Creature Comforts Automatic Pale Ale. Piano Keys can be ordered for shipping (where permitted) at the New Belgium website. You can find out more about the BrewGether initiative here. The music for this episode is from the song “200 Miles” by my dear friend, indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna’s music in the show notes or at her website annapsmusic.com, where you can also get in touch to book her to play at your brewery, cafe, or other establishment.Dennis Malcolm Byron aka Ale Sharpton is a world-renowned beer authority, award-winning journalist, blogger, photographer, and consultant. Ale has passionately traveled the globe to cover what he terms “the world’s best beverage” for over two decades. He recently launched his own beer called Piano Keys alongside New Belgium geared to support diversity and racial equality through various initiatives including their burgeoning BrewGether fund. Although a native New Yorker and a Cornell University alumnus, Ale proudly calls Atlanta his home.
55 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
A Wine Sommelier Tastes Beer & Chocolate: Lauren Gay of Tender Mercy (Ep. 40)
“There is so much emotion and memory and feeling wrapped up in the tasting process.” In this episode we’ll talk with Lauren Gay, a certified Sommelier and the wine director and general manager at Sueño and Tender Mercy in Dayton, Ohio. Lauren is passionate about hospitality and just really great wine, and you can hear her enthusiasm as she discusses her journey as a Somm, what she loves about the tasting experience, and how she extends that experience to her guests. Along the way, I have Lauren taste two excellent beers and three bean to bar chocolates to get a unique perspective on the flavors of each from a seasoned wine expert. Beer discussed in this episode include Odious Cellars Rubied Perspective and Is/Was Tree Tipper. Chocolates discussed in this episode include Definite Dominican Republic Oko Caribe 70%, Firetree Philippines Mindanao Island 73%, and Belvie Good Morning, Vietnam. The music for this episode is from the song Free by my dear friend, indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna’s music in the show notes or at her website annapsmusic.com, where you can also get in touch to book her to play at your brewery, cafe, or other establishment. Lauren Gay is a Dayton native with sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She has worked in hospitality for two decades in cities including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, and had a brief stint in Travel/F&B content creation. She is currently the GM and Wine Director for Sueño and Tender Mercy in downtown Dayton.
39 minutes | May 24, 2022
Everybody Is Welcome: Celebrating Beer with Em Sauter of Pints & Panels
“With Pints & Panels, every beer flavor is welcome, every beer geek is welcome, every newcomer is welcome. Everybody is welcome.” In this episode we’ll talk with Em Sauter, a fellow Advanced Cicerone and the creator of Pints & Panels, a cartoon that celebrates beer and provides educational resources for folks curious to learn more about our favorite drink. Em is the author of two books, the most recent of which, Hooray for Craft Beer, was just published in April. With whimsical cartoons and easy-to-understand explanations, the book is a fun and positive way to look at beer from a new angle and learn about it in a non-intimidating way. Today Em and I talk about the book, her creative process, why positivity is so important in the craft beer world, and she even tastes a few bean to bar chocolates along the way.You can purchase Em’s new book, as well as Pints & Panels merch and educational posters here. You can follow along with the Adventures of Nelson & Goldy here. Beers & breweries discussed in this episode include Alvarium Beer Company in Connecticut and Surly Brewing Petit Ami Belgian Table Beer from Minnesota. Chocolates discussed in this episode include Definite Dominican Republic Oko Caribe 70%, Firetree Philippines Mindanao Island 73%, and Belvie Good Morning, Vietnam. The Cicerone Certification Program is discussed a couple times in this episode. You can learn more about it here. The music for this episode was sampled from an instrumental version of the song “Umbrella” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website. Em Sauter is an Advanced Cicerone®, cartoonist, author, beer reviewer, international beer judge and public speaker who runs the award winning website Pints and Panels, which focuses on visual beer education. Her first book "Beer is for Everyone! (of Drinking Age)" was published in 2017 by One Peace Books. Her second book "Hooray for Craft Beer!" was released in April by Brewers Publications.
39 minutes | May 10, 2022
Trust Your Dopeness: Hannah Ferguson of DOPE Cider House & Winery
“People are seeing, ‘Hey, if this girl from Youngstown can do it, why can’t I?’ I think it just takes someone seeing someone who looks like them to see it’s a possibility.” In this episode we talk with Hannah Ferguson, a brewer of beer, a maker of cider and wine, and the founder of D.O.P.E. Ciderhouse & Winery, which will open soon in Youngstown, Ohio. Hannah was the first Black female professional brewer in the state of Ohio, and only the second Black female cidery owner in the entire country. Her enthusiasm and positivity have helped her push through the challenges involved in following her dreams, and I know you’ll find her story inspiring and encouraging. Breweries and beverage makers mentioned in this episode include Barley’s Brewing, Weathered Souls, Penguin City, Modern Methods, Woodland Cellar, Alematic Artisan Ales, and McBride Sisters. Specific beers discussed in this episode include Alematic/D.O.P.E. I’m DOPE Belgian Hazy IPA and Modern Methods Black Is Beautiful Imperial Stout.The music for this episode was sampled from an instrumental version of the song “Come Home” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website.Hannah Ferguson was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, and graduated from Kent State University in 2004 with her B.S. and received her MBA from Keller Graduate School in 2011. Hannah has been a home wine and cider maker for 10 years. She started D.O.P.E. (Dwelling On Positive Energy) Brands LLC in 2017. To expand her knowledge in the industry in 2018 she became an assistant brewer for a local brewery and stayed in the position for 2.5 years. Hannah is the first female black brewer in the state of Ohio, she will also have the first black female owned cider and winery (which she will be the head wine and cider maker) in the state of Ohio when she opens DOPE Cider House and Winery this year. DOPE Brands, LLC is not only a cider and wine manufacturer, but also a lifestyle brand that takes pride in creating connections and experiences through cider and wine. Most importantly, D.O.P.E. is about Dwelling On Positive Energy and empowering underrepresented minorities in the industry.
43 minutes | Apr 19, 2022
New Zealand Beer & Chocolate Writer Luke Owen Smith (Ep. 37)
“There are challenges with chocolate that beer didn’t have to overcome. The main one is around price, and that’s because beer didn’t have this history of exploitation and slavery behind its core ingredient. When you start trying to do the ethical thing, you have this huge price jump, and that takes time for consumers to get their head around.” Luke Owen Smith lives in Wellington, New Zealand, and has worked in both the craft beer and craft chocolate industries in this island nation, giving him insight into what these artisan industries have in common and what they can learn from each other. In this episode we discuss pairing beer and chocolate, the beer and chocolate scene in New Zealand, the challenges and opportunities for both in a small market, and how craft chocolate can learn from craft beer’s growth and its mistakes. You can learn more about Chocstock, a New Zealand craft chocolate festival Luke organizes here. (last year's info) The music for this episode was sampled from an instrumental version of the song “Umbrella” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website. Luke Owen Smith is a writer, photographer, and professional chocolate taster based in Wellington, New Zealand. After working in the craft beer industry for many years, Luke fell in love with craft chocolate and founded The Chocolate Bar, New Zealand's first ever craft chocolate retail store. Luke is a regular judge at the New Zealand Chocolate Awards and he has written about both chocolate and beer for a wide variety of publications.
48 minutes | Apr 5, 2022
Painting Flavor with Artist Katie Clark Gabbard (Ep. 36)
“With beer and chocolate, they’re about so much more than just creating something that tastes good. There’s a story that’s trying to be told if you just take the time to try to go on that journey and listen to what your senses are telling you.” Katie Clark Gabbard is a professional artist working in Dayton, Ohio, creating vividly colorful paintings in unexpected formats, using the very shape and texture of each piece to challenge perceptions within the sometimes staid fine art world. In this episode we hang out with Katie as she uses her paints, brushes, and canvases to interpret and express what her senses of taste and smell experience when presented with beers and chocolates without knowing anything about them. I brought along several chocolates and beers to Katie’s studio, and gave each to her to taste, one at a time. She would then spend ten to fifteen minutes painting a small canvas, expressing in colors and shapes the flavors she experienced and the images they conjured. Only after she finished each would I reveal what she had just tasted. We were both fascinated by the results.You can check out a blog post with photos from the session here. The chocolates we tasted through were Crow & Moss Vanilla Smoke 69%, Baiani Caipirihna, and Loon Heirloon Bolivia 70%. The beers we tasted through were MadTree Luna Lux White IPA and Spencer Trappist Holiday Ale. Previous episodes mentioned in this episode include Episode 19: Wood, Beer, & Chocolate and Episode 22: Loon Chocolate. As mentioned in the episode, I’ll be leading a virtual tasting of Belgian Dubbel, Tripel, & Quadrupel Ales on Saturday, April 23. This 90 minute event will include a tasting of 6 Belgian beers—2 in each style. I’ll talk about how to taste beer like an expert, discuss the history behind these styles and each brewery, and walk attendees through a guided tasting of each beer.The music for this episode was sampled from an instrumental versions of the songs “Free” and “Love’s Not” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps from her 2016 album Umbrella. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website.Katie Clark Gabbard is an emerging contemporary artist in Dayton, Ohio. A former florist, she has an endless appetite for punches of color, creative endeavors, and all things green. She shares her studio space with her worthless but adorable French bulldog, Willy.
9 minutes | Mar 29, 2022
Quick Bonus Episode: Asheville Beer & Chocolate
Despite its relatively small size, Asheville, North Carolina, is in the conversation for being the best city for craft beer in the country, with dozens of excellent breweries, including two of the country’s largest craft breweries in Sierra Nevada and New Belgium. They’re also home to one of the best bean to bar chocolate companies in the country as well. I recently spent a weekend in Asheville to visit my sister and her husband, and got to try a number of excellent beers made with cacao from Asheville’s French Broad Chocolates. In this quick bonus episode, you can hear all about the excellent beers I tried and my quick tour at French Broad. The music for this episode is an instrumental version of the song “Walls” by my dear friend, indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna’s music in the show notes or at her website annapsmusic.com, where you can also get in touch to book her to play at your brewery, cafe, or other establishment. Thanks for listening!
5 minutes | Mar 1, 2022
Quick Bonus Episode: Recent New Belgium Chocolate Beers
New Belgium Brewing is one of the largest craft breweries in the country, but they do plenty of small batch experimentation, and they have a particular specialty in beers made with cacao nibs and husks. We’ve talked about a few of those beers previously, and in this quick bonus episode, we look at a few of their recent beers that use ethically sourced cacao from Nuance Chocolate in Fort Collins, Colorado. You can hear my interview with New Belgium’s master blender, Lauren Woods Limbach, back in Episode 31 here. Beers discussed in this episode include: Frambozen, a 7.5% ABV brown ale brewed with raspberry puree and cocoa husks. Check Out, a 10% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with cacao and coconut. Pilot Series No. 24, a 12% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with chocolate and vanilla and cold aged for 10 months in bourbon and port barrels. Pilot Series No. 24c, the same base beer as above dosed with cocoa husks, whole coffee beans, and additional vanilla after aging. The music for this episode is an instrumental version of the song “Walls” by my dear friend, indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna’s music in the show notes or at her website annapsmusic.com, where you can also get in touch to book her to play at your brewery, cafe, or other establishment. Thanks for listening!
21 minutes | Feb 15, 2022
Beer & Chocolate Collaborations (Ep.35)
Beer & chocolate belong together. In today’s episode we’ll look at a number of recent chocolate and beer collaborations, including beers made with ethically-sourced cacao and craft chocolate made with beer or beer ingredients. Hopefully you discover some new tasting experiences to try out, or if you’re a brewer or chocolate maker, some inspiration for a new project. Just be sure you let me know about it. Beers discussed in this episode include: Burial Beer Lessons in Solitude: Portrait II & Portals Into Infinite Nonexistence Hi Wire Blueberry Crumble 10W-40 & Chai 10W-40 Wolf’s Ridge Office Party Eel River Vanilla Citrus Stout Lady Justice Queerly Beloved Fiction Beer Lunas Rabid Hemogoblin Branch & Bone Skinwalker & Campfire Candle MadTree S’more Gratitude Chocolates discussed in this episode include: Moka Origins Slab Castle Stout 72% Dick Taylor Vanilla Citrus Stout 55% Fu Wan Strawberry Beer Yeast 70% Indulgence Chocolatiers Porter 58% & IPA 64% Chocolats Latour Rhinegeist Bengal bonbon Map Dear Madame Fruitcake The music for this episode was sampled from instrumental versions of the songs “Come Home” and “Winter”, written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps from her 2016 album Umbrella. Anna p.s. conveys a sense of weariness throughout her simple yet resonant songs, but it’s a weariness that keeps a blanket of hope tucked up under its chin, even as the rain keeps falling outside the windows. You can find out more about Anna at her website.
29 minutes | Feb 1, 2022
Cleveland Chocolate with Noble Beast Brewing (Ep. 34)
"I think each chocolate can say something different in each of its own settings. I think it’s more of what you’re looking for it to say to you. You can sit on your couch and essentially travel around the world with chocolate." Rebecca Hess is the founder and chocolate maker at Cleveland Chocolate Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Rebecca was a classically trained fine dining chef who fell in love with bean to bar chocolate and changed her career to make chocolate her life. Cleveland Chocolate produces classic single origin bars that let their cacao shine through, as well as a thoughtfully curated rotation of imaginative inclusion bars. In today’s episode we’ll talk with Rebecca about her transition from chef to chocolate maker, her favorite cacao origins, and collaborating with Noble Beast Brewing in Cleveland on their elegant chocolate beers. We’ll also hear from Shaun Yasaki, founder of Noble Beast Brewing. On Wednesday, February 9 at 6:30 p.m. I’ll be giving a 45 minute Facebook Live talk called Chocolate, Beer, & Chocolate Beer. I’ll be talking about the basics of bean to bar chocolate and the use of ethically-sourced cacao in the craft beer world. The event is completely free and no registration is required. You can watch the video on either the Tipp City Public Library page or on my beer events page. Hope to see you there! Chocolate bars discussed in this episode from Cleveland Chocolate include Pisa Haiti 79% and the same bar with chili pepper, as well as Oko Caribe Dominican Republic 70% and 91%. Beers from Noble Beast Brewing mentioned in this episode include Baker’s Russian Imperial Stout, Peacemaker Imperial Stout, and Cookies & Milk. The music for this episode was sampled from instrumental versions of the song “Valentine” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps from her 2016 album Umbrella. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website. Rebecca Hess is a traditionally-trained chef with 20 years in the culinary industry. She is the owner and chocolatier at Cleveland Chocolate Company, a craft bean to bar chocolate shop that she established in 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. The transition into the world of handcrafted chocolate started as a hobby and quickly grew into much more after receiving fresh cacao pods. With her long fascination with fermentation, she started fermenting the fresh cocoa beans to learn the process of chocolate making from start to finish. Utilizing the same values she had as a chef, her focus is on quality, ethically-sourced ingredients, which results in well-balanced, approachable chocolate. Shaun Yasaki started his brewing career at Fat Head’s Brewery, co-founded Platform Beer Co., and moved on to create Noble Beast Brewing Company, a brewpub in Cleveland, Ohio. He has won multiple GABF medals and has a passion for traditional beers and techniques, and designing new and innovative brewing equipment.
39 minutes | Jan 18, 2022
Omnom Chocolate (Ep. 33)
“Chocolate should be fun. It should be a fun experience to eat it. We grow up eating it as candy, and what we produce is for adults, for the kid inside all of us.” Kjartan Gíslason is the founder of Omnom Chocolate in Reykjavik, Iceland. Omnom is known not only for their delicious and creative bean to bar chocolate, but for the colorful packaging and marketing that presents the spirit of Omnom to consumers. In today’s episode we’ll talk with Kjartan about that spirit behind Omnom, as well as their collaborations with Reykjavik craft breweries on both chocolates and beers, and the use of flavors distinct to Icelandic culture in their bars. Chocolate discussed in this episode from Omnom Chocolate includes Black n Burnt Barley, Lakkris & Sea Salt, and Dark Nibs & Raspberry. Breweries mentioned in this episode include Borg Brugghus and KEX Brewing.Much of the scripted introduction to this episode after the music break was taken from an article I wrote in 2019 for Pellicle Magazine in the UK about a trip I had once taken to Iceland. You can read it here. The music for this episode was sampled from instrumental versions of the song “200 Miles” and “Winter” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps from her 2016 album Umbrella. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website. Kjartan Gíslason is the co-founder of Omnom Chocolate. As a chef, Gíslason has worked in Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, and Sweden. Passionate about the culture behind food, his natural affinity for pastries and desserts led him to chocolate. He joined the bean-to-bar movement and began making chocolate from scratch, first producing single-origin bars and soon experimenting with flavors and textures achieved in small-scale batches. Soon after, Omnom was born.
41 minutes | Jan 4, 2022
Favorite Beers & Chocolates of 2021
Join me for a look back at my favorite beers and chocolates of 2021, with some pairings along the way. After you’ve listened to the show, I’d love to hear your own favorites from this bizarre trip around the sun. In the episode, you’ll also hear favorites from some of my friends in the beer and chocolate worlds. You’ll hear from: Ruvani de Silva is a prolific and talented beer journalist living in Austin, Texas. She writes for Good Beer Hunting, The Burum Collective, and numerous other publications, and brings energy and insight to every conversation about beer and the culture around it. You can find her at https://craftbeeramethyst.com/ and on Twitter & Instagram. Shay Pal runs the popular choccoffeewine Instagram account, and is an enthusiastic advocate for savoring chocolate with our favorite beverages. You can find her at https://www.choccoffeewine.com/. Kindsey Bernhard writes for PorchDrinking.com and hosts the popular Boys Are from Marzen podcast for the site. She also works for the Hi-Wire Brewing taproom in Louisville, Kentucky. You can find her at https://www.kindseybernhard.com/. You can also find her on Twitter & Instagram. Megan Giller is the author of the book Bean to Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution. Megan is a chocolate educator & writer and the founder of Chocolate Noise. You can find her on Instagram. Dr. Christina Wade is a beer historian living in Ireland who writes about the history of women in brewing. She co-hosts The Beer Ladies podcast. You can find her at https://braciatrix.com/. You can also follow her on Twitter & Instagram. Sanna Forslund is a Swedish chocolate educator who runs Cacao Sana, leading chocolate tasting events. She is the co-founder of The Chocolate Cooperation, importing craft chocolate into Sweden. Tristan Chan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Porchdrinking.com, as well as the founder of The Porch Collective, a craft beverage marketing company. You can follow him on Twitter & Instagram. The music for this episode was sampled from an instrumental version of the song “Come Home”, written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps from her 2016 album Umbrella. Anna p.s. conveys a sense of weariness throughout her simple yet resonant songs, but it’s a weariness that keeps a blanket of hope tucked up under its chin, even as the rain keeps falling outside the windows. You can find out more about Anna at her website.
48 minutes | Dec 7, 2021
10 Years of Videri Chocolate (Ep. 31)
“From the first moment I touched a bag of beans, roasted them, and winnowed them, I was absolutely hooked.” Sam Ratto is the founder of Videri Chocolate in Raleigh, North Carolina. Videri is celebrating its 10th anniversary on December 15, and makes a full line of single origin and inclusion bars, as well as bonbons and other confections, and they also provide cacao in various forms for numerous breweries in the craft beer hotbed of North Carolina. In this episode we hear Sam talk about his ongoing delight in chocolate and his partnerships with a number of craft breweries. We also hear from Sean Lilly Wilson of FullSteam Brewery and Lauren Woods Limbach of New Belgium Brewing. Episode Timeline: :00-1:32 - Introduction 1:32-10:24 - Sourcing, tasting, & partnering with breweries (Sam Ratto, Videri Chocolate) 10:24-23:41 - Partnership with Fullsteam Brewery - 10:24-11:53 - Sam on the source of the partnership - 12:53-23:41 - Sean Lilly Wilson of Fullsteam Brewery 23:41- - Products for breweries & partnering with New Belgium Brewing - 23:41-28:19 - Sam on brewer products & relationship with Lauren Woods Limbach at New Belgium - 29:38-44:00 - Lauren Woods Limbach of New Belgium Brewing - 44:46-45:42 - Sam on New Belgium Exquisite Extraction 45:42-46:45 - Sam on the story he’s telling through Videri Chocolate 46:45-47:50 - Conclusion Beers discussed in this episode include Fullsteam Brewery Videri Gold, Videri Gold, Igor, and Workman’s Lunch, and New Belgium Exquisite Extraction. Other breweries mentioned include Crank Arm, Casita, and Deep River. Chocolate discussed in this episode from Videri Chocolate include Guatemala Lachua, Dominican Republic Zorzal Reserve, and their Peppermint Crunch bar. Other chocolate or cacao companies mentioned include Uncommon Cacao, Chocolate Alchemy, and Meridian Cacao. The music for this episode was sampled from an instrumental version of the song “Umbrella” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps from her 2016 album Umbrella. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website. Guests: Sam Ratto is founder and head chocolate maker at Videri Chocolate Factory. Videri Chocolate Factory takes its name from the North Carolina state motto: Esse Quam Videri - To be, rather than to seem. Since 2011 we have been making bean to bar chocolate and bon bons from organic, direct trade cocoa beans and organic local ingredients. Sam Ratto and a group of friends started the company in Raleigh, NC with the goal to create a welcoming and friendly chocolate factory. We continue to build a welcoming chocolate factory committed to making delicious chocolate. Sean Lilly Wilson is the owner and “Chief Executive Optimist” at Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, North Carolina. After years working in fine dining, he decided to Fullsteam to highlight the agriculture and food economy of the South. He finds joy and meaning connecting people to the land and to one another. Beer is how he makes it happen. Lauren Woods Limbach developed New Belgium Brewing’s award-winning sour beer program. She serves as its chief curator, carefully tasting and blending the barrels, recording their personalities, and bringing them to life. Lauren also built New Belgium’s sensory program and took it from a basic production check to its present-day world-class program. Lauren has served as a judge at the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival and as a faculty member of Siebel Institute of Technology. In 2019, Lauren was awarded the prestigious Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing.
5 minutes | Nov 16, 2021
Quick Bonus Episode: Hooray for Hazel with Ratza Chocolate
Sara Ratza at Ratza Chocolate in Tarpon Springs, Florida, loves craft beer almost as much as she loves chocolate, so working with neighboring breweries was always part of her plan. She recently provided cacao to Brighter Days Brewing, just a 5 minute walk from her shop, for a beer called Hooray for Hazel, a bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout brewed with hazelnuts, lactose, and cacao. In this quick bonus episode, Sara and I discuss Hooray for Hazel, the cacao used in the beer, and her future plans for beer and chocolate partnerships. You can hear my earlier full interview with Sara back in Episode 15.
54 minutes | Nov 2, 2021
Nostalgia Chocolate (Ep. 30)
“I use [chocolate tasting] as a bit of a yogic moment to find some peace and quiet and sit back and enjoy what I’m eating.” - Tyler Cagwin, Nostalgia ChocolateWhen I talk to chocolate makers or other chocolate professionals about the tasting experience, what drew them to chocolate, and what happens when they close their eyes with a piece of chocolate on their tongues, nostalgia is the word that comes from their lips more often than any other. So if a chocolate maker is going to use that word in their company name, they better know what they’re doing. Tyler Cagwin at Nostalgia Chocolate in Syracuse, New York, definitely does. In this episode we talk with Tyler about his perspective on tasting chocolate, his experience working with brewers and hop growers, and his process for crafting his unique Hops Aged chocolate bar. We also talk to Chad Meigs at The Bineyard hop farm, who supplied the hops for this bar, and Jordan Pollock and Ivan Dedek at Meier’s Creek Brewing, who recently used Tyler’s cacao in a new Porter. Episode Timeline: :00-4:10 - Introduction 4:10-6:10 - Tyler Cagwin of Nostalgia Chocolate on his background and cacao sourcing 6:10-33:52 - Nostalgia Hops Aged Tanzania Kokoa Kamili 70% Dark Chocolate - (6:10-14:30 - Tyler Cagwin on his Hops Aged bar) - (14:30-21:20 - Explanation of IPA and hops in brewing) - (21:20-33:15 - Chad Meigs of The Bineyard hop farm) 33:52-43:10 - Nostalgia Chocolate’s work with Meier’s Creek Brewing - (34:08-37:33 - Tyler Cagwin on his partnership with Meier’s Creek Brewing) - (37:33-43:10 - Jordan Pollock & Ivan Dedek of Meier’s Creek Brewing) 43:10-51:48 - Tyler Cagwin on other beer collaborations and his reflections on chocolate tasting 51:48-54:01 - Conclusion Episode Notes: Beers discussed in this episode include Meier’s Creek Choccy Milk Porter and Talking Cursive Blonde Porter. Chocolate bars discussed in this episode from Nostalgia Chocolate include Hops Aged 70% Tanzania Kokoa Kamili, Madagascar Sambirano Valley, Madagascar Sambirano Valley 70%, Reserva Zorzal 70%, and Guatemala Chivite. These and other Nostalgia products are available on the Nostalgia Chocolate website. The music for this episode was sampled from instrumental versions of the songs “Free” “Come Home” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps from her 2016 album Umbrella. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website.
39 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
The Imaginative Founders of Rabid Brewing (Ep. 29)
“The satyr is the fun-bringer, and that is really what we wanted the spirit of this place to be. A poetic hub of fun.” - Tobias Cichon, Rabid Brewing co-founderThe large, hand-painted mural above the Rabid Brewing taproom in Homewood, Illinois, depicts a mythical origin story for beer in which fantastical creatures pour the golden elixir out for the denizens of this imaginary world. Fantasy and mythology drive much of what husband and wife team Tobias Cichon and Raiye Rosado do at Rabid Brewing. As the brewery celebrates their 4th anniversary, I sat down with the pair to talk about the passion behind their brewery, the mythological backstories behind their beers, and the sense of adventure the keeps them pursuing their dream. I also spoke with Annabelle Popa, the artist behind the taproom mural and many other accents around the brewery. Episode Timeline: :00-5:45 - Introduction 5:45-13:17 - Raiye & Tobias - Rabid background and taproom artwork 13:17-20:40 - Annabelle Popa - Creating art for Rabid Brewing 20:40-27:10 - Raiye & Tobias - Rabid’s cohesive mythology and the Feast of the Goat Queen 27:10-34:11 - Raiye & Tobias - Dwarves of Doom and Rabid’s use of single origin cacao from bean to bar chocolate maker Ethereal Confections 34:11-38:29 - Raiye & Tobias - The significance of the Halloween season and the story Rabid Brewing is telling 38:29-39:12 - Conclusion Episode Notes: Beers discussed in this episode include Rabid Brewing Horus Imperial IPA, Dwarves of Doom Imperial Stout with Smugglers Coffee and Ethereal Confections cacao, and Shadowstepper Milk Stout with lactose and Ethereal Confections cacao. Other beers mentioned include Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow and Alpha King. Chocolate and cacao discussed in this episode included Ethereal Confections Ecuador and Dominican Republic. You can find examples of Annabelle Popa’s artwork and get in touch about working with her at her website. You can read more about Raiye’s dinosaur beer deliveries in my article for The Reporter’s Notebook here. The music for this episode was sampled from an instrumental version of the song “Umbrella” written and performed by indie folk musician Anna ps from her 2016 album of the same name. You can find out more about Anna and get in touch about booking her for a show at her website.Guests:Raiye Rosado & Tobias Cichon are the husband and wife co-founders of Rabid Brewing. They began dating in 2010, and Raiye promptly introduced Tobias to good beer. Their wedding was a Halloween costume party. The pair began homebrewing together, and decided to open a brewery after getting married. Rabid Brewing opened on October 13, 2017. Annabelle Popa is a freelance Illustrator and Muralist living in the Hudson Valley. Growing up in Queens and having a lack of the natural world instilled an incessant longing for magic, nature, and tall tales. Creating comics, murals, paintings, and costumes are her outlet to weave personal mythologies together and reach undiscovered worlds. Gaze long into the work but take care - they gaze back.
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