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Good Beer Hunting

Jun 13, 2020

I’m Bryan Roth, and you’re listening to the Good Beer Hunting podcast.

We’ve all made lots of adjustments to our lives because of COVID-19, from working from home and missing out on concerts and movies to just not seeing our friends in person. The beer industry has also had to make a wild pivot, taking aspects of what is very much an in-person experience and transforming it into one that’s interactive and online.

If you listened to a recent Sightlines podcast that included interviews with directors of brewers guilds from around the country, you heard about all the ways breweries and organizations are moving beer festivals to virtual spaces. That’s how we’re doing this for this episode of the podcast.

I recently acted as a moderator for the “Fest from Home,” a Massachusetts-focused virtual beer festival organized by Kevin York Communications as a fundraiser for Project Bread, a non-profit that addresses food shortages throughout The Bay State. You’ll hear two conversations, each about 20 minutes long, where I chat with brewery owners about the state of their businesses, how they’ve been impacted by the coronavirus, and what it all means for their core plans and how they run things day-to-day.

Through a shared Zoom call, these conversations took place over an afternoon, so virtual festival-goers could tune in to hear from a variety of industry pros. Here, we start with Chris Tkach, founder and president of Idle Hands Craft Ales, and Jack Hendler, co-owner of Jack's Abby Craft Lagers. Both breweries are located in the suburbs of Boston, and have a shared affinity for all things Lager. Jack’s Abby is a Lager-only brewery, though it actually created its own spinoff business called Springdale Beer Company to make non-Lager beers. Idle Hands, while making a variety of styles, also puts a special emphasis on its Lagers.

Because of this, you’ll hear Chris and Jack reference the style and their love for Lager, and how that’s impacted decision-making in recent months. It also begs the larger question: “Now that people are at home, and the social aspects we love about going out and being with friends are removed, has anything changed in terms of what beer lovers want to drink?”

This is the Good Beer Hunting podcast. Listen in.