Stuck in a blizzard? Logging hours at the gym? Trapped in traffic? All excellent excuses to learn about beer. (That first scenario is also a great excuse to learn by drinking.)
Beer podcasts are a dime a dozen, and it’s no secret that, well, some of them kind of suck. Low audio quality, self-indulgent ramblings and boring beer reviews make for some pretty lame listening. Among the sea of options on iTunes though, there are some gems. Queue up the seven beer podcasts below, and let us know if we’ve missed one of your favorites.
Best for picky listeners: Beer Sessions Radio
No scratchy audio. No rambling tangents (unless they’re really interesting). This well-regarded podcast is professionally produced, and the quality is obvious. Based in New York City and hosted by bar owner Jimmy Carbone, it’s a varied snapshot on what’s going on in craft beer, especially along the East Coast.
Best for nerds, duh: Nerds on Draft
The ‘nerds’ in the title here doesn’t just refer to beer nerds. This podcast mashes up beer reviews with discussions of digital data, time management and other heady stuff. It’s hosted by two IT dudes, but they’re way more engaging than the ones that come by to fix your office wifi.
Best for deep divers: Strange Brews
Because it’s from Chicago’s public radio station, WBEZ, you know this podcast is going to be at least a bit cerebral. Episodes are sometimes recorded on location at breweries including Lagunitas and New Glarus, and the podcast won “Best Beer Podcast” from the North American Guild of Beer Writers.
Best for music lovers: 1 Beer 1 Song
The cultures of beer and music have long been intertwined; this podcast celebrates them in all their strangeness. As the name implies, the hosts drink beer and listen to music as varied as Run the Jewels 2 and Christopher Lee’s Heavy Metal Christmas.
Best for the visually inclined: Hopcast
OK, argue whether a video podcast is a podcast at all, but this well-produced vlog (hey, remember those?) has more than 250 episodes to choose from. Once you’ve exhausted Netflix, binge watch as hosts Ken Hunnemeder (Goose Island’s video producer) and Brad Chmielewski (an animator and podcaster extraordinaire) taste and talk beer with each other and occasional guests.
Best for homebrewers: The Jamil Show
Part of podcast hub The Brewing Network, this show explores the brewing consideration of a new style of beer in each episode. From milk stouts to spice beers to lambics, episodes walk through the brewing process from recipe development to final product.
Best for Renaissance drinkers: Good Beer Hunting
I never know who will be the next guest on this show, hosted by beer writer/strategist Michael Kiser. One episode will feature a brewer; the next, a coffee roaster. (Full disclosure: I appeared as a guest on the show to talk about beverage journalism before I was an editor at DRAFT.)
Have more favorites? Let’s have at it in the comments.
UPDATE, July 2015: MicroBrewr’s podcast listing is another great resource to check out, and it’s updated frequently.