Although I’ve been a fan of podcasts for quite awhile, and tend to listen to those related to whatever my current obsession is, I don’t really listen to many about homebrewing. One that I absolutely must listen to is Basic Brewing.
James Spencer is the host, and is joined by a whole slew of guests, including the always funny Steve Wilkes, Andy Sparks, a local homebrew store owner, and Chris Colby, Editor of Brew Your Own Magazine. I couldn’t possibly list all of the guests that have appeared, or even just those who have been on more than once, that would take several articles in itself.
Lots of guest and great interviews didn’t pique your interest? Well, there’s always the vast amount of information.
I don’t think I’ve listened to a single episode that didn’t have something worth while. They run the gambit on brewing topics. Really, any question that you may have, I’m sure they have covered it in depth on one of their episodes. Want to know about water chemistry? How about how hops are cultivated? Ever thing about trying Brew in a Bag? I could go on and on. I’m sure whatever it is that you want to learn about, they have at least one of their many episodes dedicated to that topic.
Trust me, there are a lot of episodes.
The podcast has been going on since at least July of 2005, with episodes being released weekly. I’m not ashamed to say that I listen to the current episodes as they come out, but I also have been listening to the back log of episodes, and only have about 50 episodes left before I’ve heard them all.
Of course, I didn’t include Basic Brewing Video. That show has been going on since December of 2005.
Let’s see, I’ve covered lots of guests, lots of interviews, a metric ton of information, and how truly prolific the podcast is. What else can I say?
Aha! Production quality, and the opinion of the average Joe Homebrew.
Even before I knew anything about James’ work with NPR, I knew he had to have some experience in radio, his voice gives it away. The production quality only ever wavers when there’s a bad skype connection, which is rare, or when it’s a recording of a conference.
One of my other favorite aspects of the show is how many homebrewers have come on to talk about a topic. Usually the way it works is someone emails James, they have a bit of a discussion, and next thing you know, there’s a show about it. I’ve heard people that did wild yeast experiments, barrel aging, beers brewed with only bret, a colonial brewing expert, you name it. These off the wall topics that interest people just like you and me lend an absolutely unlimited amount of value to the show.
In addition to listener experiments, and the experiments of the hosts, James teams up with Chris Colby (editor of Brew Your Own Magazine), and runs collaborative experiments that listeners can not only participate in, but also submit their data to be included in the experiment’s results. The most recent one was an experiment to see if any of those fancy beer glasses changed the way beer tastes, and I was really surprised at the result.
One way or another, if you’re into homebrewing, or you want a good example of how a podcast should be produced and formatted, you have to give Basic Brewing a listen / watch. They are available on iTunes, and via their web site, www.basicbrewing.com
James and/or Steve, thank you for the hundreds of hours of enjoyment that you’ve given me. Keep up the good work!