Finding a good, well-produced beer podcast in the iTunes or Google Play store is like finding a good beer at the corner stop and shop; you're going to have to wade through a lot of crap to find one or two golden nuggets. Below is a list of my favorites, many of which I've been listening to for several years, and some I've just discovered. Hopefully you'll like my choices and find something new to enjoy. Don't see your favorite on this list? Add it in the comments.
Craft Beer Radio podcast. This was the first craft beer podcast that I subscribed to (way back in 2005) and I've been a fan ever since. While this isn't the most polished podcast and some might find the show a bit too "talkie," Jeff and Greg offer a fun and interesting take on beer and beer tastings. Through the years their beer knowledge and palates have matured, so for me this podcast is like spending a couple of hours drinking beer with good friends. The show is basically two guys in a basement tasting beer. In each show Greg and Jeff taste through four or five beers, discussing the history of the beers' styles, talking a bit about the company that brews the beer, and offering up conversational tasting notes.
Beer Sessions Radio Professionally engineered and produced, Beer Sessions Radio features Jimmy Carbone, a New York publican who owns several craft beer bars in New York. Each week he sits down with craft beer enthusiasts, industry insiders and/or other craft beer bar owners to talk about the industry, craft beer trends, and all things beer. Because the show is produced in New York it's East Coast focused, but that's a good thing for this West Coaster, as it helps me stay abreast of industry news and beers from another side of the country.
The Beerists is a relatively new show (debuting in 2012) and an irreverent, some might say offensive, look at craft beer and the industry. The show centers on a weekly conversation and tasting of four or five beers. Like Craft Beer Radio, the hosts offer nuggets of information while they taste through the week's beers, but they don't take themselves too seriously and the show has a fantastically entertaining tone. The show is also one of the only beer podcasts that has a female host (a voice missing from craft beer).
The Brewing Network Finding The Brewing Network on this list should come as no surprise to anyone who listens to beer podcasts. The Brewing Network offers some of the most popular podcast content on the web. Focusing mostly on home brewing, the network features six individual podcasts, each with its own unique take on craft beer and home brewing. The Sunday Session, is the flagship of the network and tackles both home brewing and craft beer topics. Recently they've talked to malting and brewing scientists, the head brewer at Boulder's Left Hand Brewing Co., Annie Johnson the 2013 home brewer of the year, and members of Southern California's oldest home brew club, the Maltose Falcons. Other shows on the network include the Jamil Show, Brew Strong, Home Brewed Chef, and Dr. Homebrew. All of these shows are also well produced and wonderfully informative. I listen to all of them on a regular basis.
Beer Smith Home Brewing Blog. Probably the most technical of the home brewing podcasts on the web, Beer Smith is produced by Brad Smith the creator of Beer Smith Brewing software, an industry standard recipe development software used by both professional brewers and home brewers. Each week, Beer Smith offers an hour-long in-depth discussion of some technical aspect of home brewing. It can be a little dry, but it's always informative.
Basic Brewing Radio/Video I started listening to Basic Brewing in 2005 with their debut episode and have been a regular listener since. While they may not have the most technical home brewing show, Steve and James produce a solid show for beginning and intermediate home brewers, walking them through the process in easy step-by-step fashion and talking about the problems and issues that home brewers may encounter. For example, recent episodes speak to concerns about the chemicals we use in home brewing and their toxicity.
One of the more interesting podcasts I recently discovered, and admittedly one that I don't listen to very often, is 1beer1song a podcast that pairs a beer with a song, combining beer and music discovery together in one podcast. This one might be a bit too specific for many, but I quite enjoy it.
Another new discovery for me is the review video casts from the Beer Temple bottle shop in Chicago, where owner and Siebel-trained and certified cicerone offers weekly reviews of the beers in his shop. Some might find Chris's take a bit pretentious or over the top but he gives a very detailed review and brings his cicerone and beer judge training to his descriptions, andnas a result, his reviews are well informed and wonderfully in depth.
Honorable Mention: New Brew Thursday. Unfortunately the guys at New Brew Thursday have unplugged the mics and cameras and gone on to bigger adventures. First started in 2008, this simple podcast, which feature 3 guys sitting around talking about beer, evolved over the years to become one of my favorite and one of the more informative and well-produced shows on the web. Their reviews were very good, the interviews with industry insiders were always informative, and their "Master Pairings" with Stone Brewing's Doctor Bill Sysak added depth to the show. Although they aren't producing new shows you can still watch the archives.