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Good Beer Hunting

Aug 26, 2023

This episode is a special one for us. It brings together voices of people who were in Nashville for the 2023 Craft Brewers Conference as a spiritual sequel to a 2018 episode we called "Strong Feelings." Our goal then and now is simple: To capture the feelings of a particular moment in the beer industry and encourage people to share ideas, inspiration, and what they think matters—or maybe needs to change.

To help with creating this episode, I was joined by Kate Bernot at a bottle share party hosted by the National Black Brewers Association. We partnered with two board members from the association to chat with attendees and gather their thoughts and feelings: Jon Renthrope, CEO and brewmaster of New Orleans' Cajun Fire Brewing and Alisa Bowens-Mercado, owner of New Haven, Connecticut's Rhythm Brewing. Over the course of the night, each of us took turns with the microphone, engaging with people and their strong feelings about topics that ranged from how to attract new customers to craft beer, discussing the people who represent the future of craft beer, who they admire, and more.

Consider this as a beer version of speed dating. Each person picked a card at random that had a topic to talk about—which you'll hear—and then shared their response. What came of it all offers us a unique moment in time with perspectives that tell the story of craft beer in spring 2023. Along with the responses, you'll also hear the voice of Kate Bernot, who will share excerpts from a Sightlines story about the National Black Brewers Association. Combined, the live voices from the NB2A’s party and Kate’s reporting will give you a sense of place and importance of the organization and what it can achieve.

First, we’ll turn it over to some of the people from the bottle share. This is Strong Feelings, made in collaboration with Jon Renthrope, Alisa Bowens-Mercado, and the National Black Brewers Association.