9 episodes

The AltBrau Podcast, part of the Good Beer Hunting network, is where we talk to the outliers in beer—the people whose work and passions might indicate a more interesting future. Host Tim Decker is a wild ale producer himself, so this is also his journey, chronicling the people and places that make us think differently about what we do.

The AltBrau Podcast Good Beer Hunting

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 11 Ratings

The AltBrau Podcast, part of the Good Beer Hunting network, is where we talk to the outliers in beer—the people whose work and passions might indicate a more interesting future. Host Tim Decker is a wild ale producer himself, so this is also his journey, chronicling the people and places that make us think differently about what we do.

    EP-008 Averie Swanson of Keeping Together

    EP-008 Averie Swanson of Keeping Together

    "It’s not always easy to tell when it’s time to make a change. You may be waiting for a sign that never arrives, or feeling paralyzed by fear and anxiety of the unknown. So what happens when you finally step off the ledge and take the plunge into uncertainty—and the entire world changes as a result?

    Jester King Brewery outside Austin, Texas, is known for their rustic country beers, a focus on ingredients, and being one of the best mixed culture ale producers in the country. Under the watch of their head brewer, Averie Swanson, the brewery continued to be a sought after destination for beer geeks from around the world.

    Averie recently struck out on her own and founded Keeping Together, her Saison and farmhouse-inspired beer project in Chicago, Illinois. Operating out of Half Acre Beer Company, her business model for Keeping Together is an unconventional one, and on today’s episode we discuss how and why she chose to leave Texas to bring her brewing knowledge to the Midwest, our mutual love for wild ales, and the challenges of starting a new endeavor in the shadow of COVID-19.

    • 57 min
    Episode 007—Jerry Franck of Bottle Conditioned

    Episode 007—Jerry Franck of Bottle Conditioned

    What the hell am I drinking? This is sour, bitter, and smells more like cheese than it does any beer I’ve had before.

    That was the thought that ran through my head the first time I tried Gueuze… the infamous beer from Belgium’s Senne Valley region.
    Gueuze is a blend consisting of multiple years of spontaneously fermented golden ale aged in oak. These unblended components are called lambic.

    You’d think that after that early experience I would never reconsider such beers. But... just as I forced myself to eat the olives I hated as a child because I saw adults enjoying them... I not only got used to the complex layers of flavor and aroma but I learned to love it.

    Lambic has this effect on people. It has created a relatively small but extremely devout following of enthusiast from around the world. Proof of this can be found in any number of facebook groups where members show off their private cellars… some bigger than my current apartment.

    I’ve personally seen single large format bottles of fruited lambic sell at auction for several thousand dollars.

    So what is it that’s so magical about this historic beer style that nearly went extinct in the years following World War II?

    On today’s show we speak to Jerry Franck… an academy award nominated film maker who found himself entranced by lambic and the unique cast of characters who brew and blend them.

    Over the last few years, Jerry and his small team have been gathering and editing footage for their upcoming documentary “Bottle Conditioned” that tells the story of lambic and its place in the world.

    • 42 min
    Shilpi Halemane of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

    Shilpi Halemane of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

    With his extensive background in beer, wine, malting, and microbiology, was the perfect candidate to not only maintain the quality of the brewery's classic beers, but also to incorporate a variety of traditional Lagers into their catalogue. Sure, they were a departure from the wild fermentations I fell in love with, but still no less impressive.

    • 1 hr
    Ep 005—Arnaud Goethals of Vive la Tarte

    Ep 005—Arnaud Goethals of Vive la Tarte

    The San Francisco Bay Area has long been known for its impressive food and beverage scene. With its numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, award-winning bakeries, and early craft beer adopters, the city has come to be seen as a land of culinary opportunity. 
    That is, until COVID-19 hit.
    In reality, the pandemic is only the most recent challenge facing the city's food and drink businesses. Soaring rent prices over the last decade have forced many Bay Area natives to relocate, while firms like Twitter, Uber, Dropbox, Lyft, and GitHub have moved in. Within the last year, a mass exodus of programmers and other tech workers from their offices have left many bars, restaurants, and cafes located in the Financial District and SoMa (South of Market) neighborhoods without their normal lunchtime and after-work crowds. Given that many of these establishments are located far from residential areas and are surrounded by expensive parking meters, even to-go orders been a non-starter.
    Today, there doesn’t seem to be much relief in site. Despite having spent over $1 billion on the tallest building in the city, cloud computing behemoth Salesforce announced a few weeks ago that it would no longer enforce traditional 9-to-5 work days, and would encourage the continuation of work-from-home policies for its employees (who number more than 9,000 in San Francisco alone). 
    With over 2,000 local businesses having closed permanently during the pandemic, what do these difficult conditions mean for hopeful entrepreneurs here in the Bay Area? On today's episode, I'm speaking to Arnaud Goethals. Arnaud, along with his wife Julie Vandermeersch, is the co-owner of Vive la Tarte, a bakery and cafe in San Francisco. Recently, it had to close its locations in the historic Ferry Building on the waterfront, as well as its original location on Howard Street, two doors down from Cellarmaker Brewing Company.
    I first met Arnaud when my wife worked at Vive la Tarte. We quickly connected over our love of beers from his homeland of Belgium. Throughout our friendship, Arnaud has struck me as someone who sees the industry, and his place in it, from a uniquely broad and incisive perspective, and I wanted to hear his thoughts about the future of hospitality in the Bay Area.

    • 48 min
    Episode 004—Nick Impellitteri of The Yeast Bay

    Episode 004—Nick Impellitteri of The Yeast Bay

    Contract brewing and alternating proprietorship business models were once shunned by previous generations of brewers. Many lobbed accusations that without their own brick-and-mortar locations, the beer start-ups that pursued these models didn't have enough "skin in the game." But since then, this approach to the business of brewing has become fairly common among hopeful entrepreneurs looking for a flexible, less risky way to enter the industry.
    In recent years, breweries like Sweden's Omnipollo, California's Almanac Beer Company, Maryland's Stillwater Artisan Ales, plus Evil Twin Brewing in New York and Mikkeller in Denmark (led by their infamous pair of feuding twin brothers) all built their businesses this way, and have later gone on to invest in their own breweries or bars after proving themselves with this model. Their example makes it clear that this method is no longer reserved for those making private-label beers for giant corporations and restaurant chains. I, too, find myself looking at a possible shared space for my own brewing project instead of investing heavily in my own build-out.
    So how does one apply this model to another industry—one that's directly connected to the brewing supply chain?
    Nick Impellitteri of The Yeast Bay in Portland, Oregon runs a boutique microbiology lab that supplies the beer industry with a wide variety of yeasts and bacteria. Most of his production is housed at a much bigger facility, home to perhaps the biggest name in craft yeast: White Labs in San Diego, California.
    On today’s episode, I speak with Nick about where he sources his yeast, what’s new from the Yeast Bay, and how he runs the business according to this same alternating proprietorship model. We also go deep into the results from a bio-prospecting hike we did together in the hills outside Berkeley, California, where we captured some microbes Nick is very excited about.
    Contract brewing and alternating proprietorship business models were once shunned by previous generations of brewers. Many lobbed accusations that without their own brick-and-mortar locations, the beer start-ups that pursued these models didn't have enough "skin in the game." But since then, this approach to the business of brewing has become fairly common among hopeful entrepreneurs looking for a flexible, less risky way to enter the industry.
     
    In recent years, breweries like Sweden's Omnipollo, California's Almanac Beer Company, Maryland's Stillwater Artisan Ales, plus Evil Twin Brewing in New York and Mikkeller in Denmark (led by their infamous pair of feuding twin brothers) all built their businesses this way, and have later gone on to invest in their own breweries or bars after proving themselves with this model. Their example makes it clear that this method is no longer reserved for those making private-label beers for giant corporations and restaurant chains. I, too, find myself looking at a possible shared space for my own brewing project instead of investing heavily in my own build-out.
     
    So how does one apply this model to another industry—one that's directly connected to the brewing supply chain?
     
    Nick Impellitteri of The Yeast Bay in Portland, Oregon runs a boutique microbiology lab that supplies the beer industry with a wide variety of yeasts and bacteria. Most of his production is housed at a much bigger facility, home to perhaps the biggest name in craft yeast: White Labs in San Diego, California.
     
    On today’s episode, I speak with Nick about where he sources his yeast, what’s new from the Yeast Bay, and how he runs the business according to this same alternating proprietorship model. We also go deep into the results from a bio-prospecting hike we did together in the hills outside Berkeley, California, where we captured some microbes Nick is very excited about.

    • 49 min
    Episode 003—Asa Stone of The University of New Mexico

    Episode 003—Asa Stone of The University of New Mexico

    Few of us wear just one hat, as they say. You might be busy working your 9-to-5 during the day, but focus on being a good romantic partner during your time off. You're a different person when you're unwinding with friends at the pub versus when you're presenting a concept or project in front of your peers and colleagues. These shifts of identity happen multiple times a day, and intersect in unexpected ways.Asa Stone is used to wearing a lot of hats. An educator and Advanced Cicerone from Albuquerque, New Mexico, she explores the spaces where psychology, sociology, and history overlap, all within the context of the beverage industry. From that unique place, she seeks ways in which beer can be used to shine a light on issues of education, social justice, and environmental impact.On today's episode, Asa tells us about her experiences working alongside brewing legends such as Jean Van Roy from Brasserie Cantillon to research how climate change effects Lambic production. She also discusses the role she feels beer can take in promoting positive social change, as well as the importance of science literacy, and how—for her—none of these topics are totally separate from each other.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

roe666 ,

it’s about beer! What’s not to love :-)

Big Tim is such a smart dude, he has a great podcasting voice, and his love for the craft of beer shines through spectacularly!!!!

deckerhad ,

Wanted to like this podcast

I wanted to like this podcast. But it just went to little bit too political little bit too quickly podcast should be an escape from all social issues not a reminder of it. So if you looking for an escape from all social issues and all political stuff going on don’t give this podcast to listen

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