Last night we took part in a landmark event — the 50th episode of Beer Sessions, the brewing show Jimmy Carbone of the bar Jimmy’s No. 43 and Ray Deter of the bar d.b.a co-host on the local food-centric Heritage Radio Network. If you like craft beer — and want to know how it’s brewed, why it tastes like it does, what craft means, a little about its centuries-old history, how it’s marketed, distributed and sold, and want to hear from the top brewers, drinkers, sellers and bar-owners in the Northeast — then we’re happy to tell you there are 50 hour-long sessions awaiting you on the Internet.
Take last night’s — Jimmy and Ray pulled together a pretty stellar panel of New York City beer knowledge. There was Dave Brodrick, a co-owner of Blind Tiger Ale House, one of the city’s best craft beer bars; Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead Brewing a nanobrewer in Vermont; Joe Lipa of Merchant du Vin, one of the first sellers of craft beer in the city, way back in 1978; and Rober Hodson of Union Beer, who distributes some of the best beers around the Tri-State area. As per custom the discussion loosely hinged on not just their roles in the beer world, but what they were drinking during the show. That meant Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock, Orval and some bottle secereted from Shaun by Dave that you have to be fast and lucky to get to drink in Manhattan.
Each of these beers has several stories to tell, maybe about how they were one of the first craft brews poured in Manhattan (Samuel Smith, at Windows on the World) they’re made (in rarely-seen slate fermentation tanks, for Samuel Smith, now in its seventh generation of family brewers named Samuel Smith) or about how when they’re aged they garner a higher price in their country of origin (Orval), or about how they always win awards (Ayinger) or about how they’re on the forefront of artisanal brewing in this day and age (that would be Shaun’s). You’ll just have to listen to the 5oth to hear them all.