Just like you, I’ve been staying home to support our collective efforts to flatten the curve. Recently, I took advantage of some of my free time to learn more about Beer Night in San Diego — the first, and longest-running, local beer podcast.
I spoke to the show’s founder, host, and producer, Cody Thompson, who also is a passionate beer appreciator.
Thompson and his co-hosts, Thomas Pritchard, Mike Pratt and Noah Scoville, put on a freewheeling discussion-style podcast featuring independently-owned breweries, locally-made beer and the people who make it. It’s fair to say the show goes on occasional tangents but provides a smart, funny and interesting commentary on the local beer scene.
Cheers: Hey Cody, thanks for taking some time to chat. What inspired the show? How has it evolved?
Cody Thompson: I started the project as a blog-type site focusing on all things local. Not longer after, I wanted to move the format from written to recorded in podcast form. The whole motivation behind the podcast since day one has been to 100% support local, independent breweries and businesses. I have always been a supporter of supporting small.
[Starting] from back in my teens playing in a band at local venues, and spending allowance money on local band t-shirts or cassettes. That mindset continued into [adulthood] and quickly included local breweries.
I understand that men and women have worked incredibly hard to make their dream come true opening a small business, and our podcast exists solely to discuss, promote and share the great things our brothers and sisters are doing in San Diego.
It has evolved from being about local beer to becoming a strict [independently owned] show. We started using the term Indie Beer once local breweries were being sold to the “big guys” to shift our focus…that mindset has not and will not change.
Cheers: Why are you so passionate about local beer?
CT: I do think it goes back to my roots playing in punk bands when I was as young as 14, playing in venues around town, recording cassettes on the cheap, and slinging them from backpacks between History and Math classes. Like painting, music, and photography it is art — liquid art — and there has always been a sort of small, punk rock vibe to the local brewing scene. It makes sense a lot of folks in the industry used to be, or still are, entrenched in local music.
I want to see the art of local beer succeed. I feel a responsibility to promote and help advance that art in any way I can. Plus, with the podcast being around for as long as it has we have been lucky to become friends with a lot of folks who make, sell, produce, and serve that art. So, we feel connected to the success of our brothers and sisters, and when they are negatively affected, we feel it too.
Cheers: Have you gone out to buy beer to go since the recommended quarantine?
CT: I have. On the most recent show, our entire theme was to go out and test the new systems to tell listeners, “Hey, look how easy and safe this was,” as a way to continue pushing support for local brands who need it now more than ever. I did the online order system at Culver [Beer Co.], and it could not have been smoother.
You place the order online, and you get an email when it’s ready. Easy! Same with Rouleur, Burgeon, and I even did curbside pickup at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido.
Cheers: What role does the podcast have during this time of self-quarantine?
CT: I feel like as long as we are able to get together and record a show we need to do so. We compiled the most extensive list of breweries, pubs, and shops still serving to go with links and information, and our show right now is focused on continuing to share information with listeners on what local, independent spaces are doing so they continue to get support from the public.
Our upcoming show’s theme was completely about using the new systems (Online ordering, delivery, curbside pick up) to showcase, “Look how easy it is, and safe it is to still support your local breweries.”
Our brothers and sisters need the support now more than ever, and we will continue to record to share the great things happening for as long as we can. Plus, we want to bring some sense of normalcy, joy and entertainment to [our listeners’] day if we can. We think recording a fun show just might help add a small sense of normalcy. At least we hope so.
Cheers: What would we find in your fridge this week?
CT: The most recent pickups during the quarantine include Endless Frontier and Treevana from Burgeon Beer, various growlers from Culver Beer Co and the Abnormal Pi beers — the fruited Berliners that is. I also have the latest Stone Enjoy By IPA ready to be enjoyed, as well as various cellar beer, which if this goes on for too long, may need to be opened after all.
Ryan Woldt is a Food & Beverage management consultant, writer and entrepreneur based in Southern California. His first craft beer was a New Glarus Spotted Cow at John’s Bar in Columbus, WI, given to him by his future father-in-law. It changed the trajectory of his life and career. If you see him there is a 100% chance he has a notebook and pen on him somewhere.