October 9, 2012

The previous post brings me to one of the most useless phenomenons I have come across: the beer review podcast. I can think of few things more uninteresting and offensive to a person who is thirsty than to hear two guys sitting in the kitchen or the garage talking about the beer they happen to be drinking. I’ve done a lot of searches on iTunes and Podcasts and Stitcher to see what’s available, and while there are a few good beer shows out there, I have yet to find any that present reviews in an entertaining and interesting format.

No—what you typically get is two smarmy guys sitting around injecting dull beer commentary into their equally dull small talk—but making lame attempts to be funny. The strange thing is, a lot of these guys all seem to sound the same; like some clones of the Sklar brothers—trying to bounce what they think is clever and witty repartee back-and-forth, but offering only perfect tedium.

To add to the offence, a lot of these podcasts go on for a couple of hours. As a former producer of radio commercials, I have a firm belief that effective editing can improve most anything. But a lot of these jackasses think that listening to them drone on for almost two hours is somehow entertaining. Unbelievable.

In fact, the only part that is funny is listening to some of the tasting commentary:

About a strong IPA: “Mmmmm…hoppy! For sure…”

A Doppelbock:  “Well…the first thing that hits you is the malt. Very rich malt  taste.”

Any Christmas Ale: “Lots of spice here. Some citrus notes…cinnamon. High gravity – for sure.”

Really? Why don’t they just read the freaking label to me? Maybe if they provided a clear, concise and intelligent beer review that lasted about 15 minutes, they might get a few more subscribers. C’mon—who the hell has two hours to waste on this kind of crap?

So far, I’ve been talking about audio podcasts, but some of the video podcasts suffer from the same issues. The real difference is that we can see that the participants are generally well-fed, sport some version of facial hair, and are (just as we suspected) sitting around a kitchen table, or in the garage out back.

Again, I’m not saying that audio or video beer review podcasts are a bad thing. But it’s clear that the Craft Beer Scene has inspired a few too many of them, a few too many that are alike, and a few too many that are of questionable quality.

If you know of one that is really good (or any good beer-related podcasts out there) please let me know. I’d be happy to listen – and even recommend it.


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