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Todays Update is brought to you by Mike:

Yesterday Jeff and I took off from Omaha around 6:30 in the morning headed for Colorado, specifically Longmont, the home of Oskar Blues Brewing and Left Hand Brewing.

We recorded some from the road, but haven’t yet had the chance to look through it. We should have a wrap up video out in a few days featuring some of that.

Our tour of Left Hand went well and we met some brewers from the Core Brewing and Distillery out of Springdale, Arkansas who are in town for the GABF. Really friendly guys! They were asking some really great questions that brewers might ask and Jeff and I were eating it up. The tour guide (can’t remember his name!) was super knowledgeable and answered everything he could, going as far as finding them some PPE so they could take a quick look at a centrifuge filtration system.

One thing the fellas from Core Brewing were talking about was how breweries in the south tend to hide their processes and ingredients a lot more than in Colorado. I wonder if the BBQ culture of the south is influencing the beer making culture… Thankfully it isn’t anything like that here.

It’s been a great trip so far, and the Great American Beer Fest hasn’t even started!

Just a quick video to show what to expect when buying a basic beer brewing kit.

The kit contains: Crushed barley, a “sock” to steep the grains in hot water, Hop pellets (crushed and compressed hops) and sometimes Yeast.

 

Northern Brewer is not a sponsor though we wouldn’t mind it. It just happens to be where my beer kit was from. :)

Howdy folks, Mike here.

If you’ve followed our journey thus far, you know that we’ve got a fun little beer review show going. We’ve got a logo, a website, business cards and stickers, and we are even going to the Great American Beer Fest in Denver, CO in October as MEDIA!!! One could say we are kinda legit now.

This is totally awesome, but a little voice in the back of my head is nagging at me. I guess the way I see it, we’ve been struggling a bit on finding a clear and entertaining format to the show.

A Little History

We started the show as a podcast and found ourselves rating the beer as we went with our phones using an app called Untapped. We decided to use Untapped ratings to give some structure to the podcast which seemed like a good idea as we’d never done this before.

After a few rough episodes we became more relaxed talking into mics, I got the workflow down working with audio files and upgraded software/hardware. At this point, I created the website and I think we both knew that the show was growing and getting better with each episode.

Once we got comfortable with the flow of the show I quickly added a camera to the mix, realizing that being able to SEE the beers is helpful for folks.  I think video allows for more natural speaking which cut down on my editing, but it did add a lot of complexity in file storage and video workflow. We’ve lost episodes because I couldn’t find the audio/video track after moving it more times than I’d like to admit.

I bring all that up to show how we just kinda stumbled into making this what it is without a lot of planning, forethought or support.

What we are making is good, I’m proud of it. I think though, that if we realize that the most entertaining content is also the most fun content to make, while also considering production effort and editing issues, we could really shine this show up and make it even better.

Ratings = Boring

Ratings, I’ve realized, aren’t very interesting. Everyone has a different taste, and favorite styles vary widely enough that my beer rating might be WAY off of another viewer. We also have no title or standing to be rating beers, we’re just a couple of dudes who love beer enough to seek it out.

So if we take away the ratings, what else is left of the show? I said it a moment ago… Two dudes who love beer enough to seek it out and then talk about it on camera. We drink local beers, we drink special beers, we drink wacky beers, we drink homebrewed beers… all naturally, whether filming or not. We are hardwired to find something interesting and then enjoy it with others.

So… What’s the Plan Then?

Take two passionate people, focus on the experience of the beer rather than rating it, keep friends in the mix, add in bar stories or brewery news that we find interesting, change timing to 30-45min and have a single break somewhere in the middle…  and make a kickass show!

Fun of recording goes up, entertainment value goes up, editing effort goes way down. All great things as far as I’m concerned, and possibly enough to make this fun experiment even bigger than it is.

Here we go, blasting off into a new and better frontier. Join us, won’t you?

 

One side note:

I hinted at this change to Jeff in a text, he doesn’t know I typed all this out yet. I’m going to use this post to explain my vision to him as I think I’ve laid it out nicely.

I assume he’ll be up for the changes, but if he isn’t, this page may disappear and we may never talk about it again. :)