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Good Beer Hunting

Mar 2, 2024

This episode is one of a three-part series recorded as part of the Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting, an annual event held in Durham, North Carolina that brings brewers and beer lovers together from all over the country. Along with a beer festival, Rare & Vintage also hosts beer industry professional development conversations each January. The combo acts as a fundraising and awareness effort for the Michael James Jackson Foundation, which funds education and career advancement for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the brewing and distilling industries.

For this year’s event, I moderated three discussions, and in this episode, you’ll hear me in conversation with three panelists talking about how language and culture have built the lexicon for beer and what we can do to change and enhance it all. It’s a spiritual connection to a James Beard Award-winning story Good Beer Hunting published in 2022, in which Mark Dredge explored how flavor wheels and tasting tools should evolve to speak to a global collection of beer drinkers. To build on the ideas you may have read about in that story and share new ones, joining me were:

  • Breeze Galindo, director of operations for the Michael James Jackson Foundation and founder of MiLuna Brewing.

  • Lindsay Barr, co-founder of DraughtLab Sensory Software.

  • Rafael D’Armas, brewer at Brookyln’s Kings County Brewers Collective, also known as KCBC.

As you listen to the back-and-forth between these three, you get to hear practical, scientific, and philosophical approaches to how we can all think differently about the way we describe and talk about beer. The importance of this, as you’ll hear, is a necessary step to acknowledge how diverse beer is becoming—even if it’s been slow—but how much the language we use is going to matter next year and long after that. After you listen to this episode, make sure to check out the other two from Rare & Vintage, which includes a panel discussion about bias in measurement, brewing, and more, and a keynote conversation with my Good Beer Hunting colleague and friend, Jamaal Lemon.