Barley & Me

Episode 119: Art of Beer Invitational 2020: DarkHeart/Almanac & South Lake/Burning Barrel, Hops & Props, Jared Long

February 3, 2020

Host Ben Rice travels to the Art of Beer Invitational 2020 to conduct a handful of mini-interviews!

In segment one, Ben sits down with Cynthia Lee and Trish Showen of DarkHeart Brewing (Sacramento) plus beer volunteer and secret Barley & Me MVP Scott Mills to talk the art and influence of Art of Beer, designing a pirate-themed brewery, releasing the Kraken, and the sunken costs and buried treasures of the beer business.

In segment two, Ben is joined by Laine Ruona of Almanac Brewing (Alameda) and Chris Smith of South Lake Brewing (South Lake Tahoe) to talk family ties, our strange and winding paths through the beer industry, and the difficulty of establishing a new brewing identity and crafting beers for beer fans and tourists alike. Plus upcoming Almanac collabs and South Lake’s TAMBA fundraisers.

And in our final segment, Ben has an earnest conversation with brewer Jared Long, Jack Alexander of Burning Barrel Brewing (Rancho Cordova), and Tom Jones of the California Aerospace Museum (and creator of the Hops & Props Invitational beer event). We talk about the best music of 2019, before diving headlong into the realities facing craft brewers in 2020 vs the realities as we entered the 2010s. As more talent has entered the industry, the beer drinker’s expectations and demands have increased, resulting in a world where there is a lot of excitement, but no one is excited by an individual beer. We (Ben) pontificates on why heroin is in heavy rotation in the rock industry, while Jared and Jack discuss what separates the craft beer industry from other career paths and the challenge of pleasing customers while maintaining your integrity. One of the best conversations we’ve had on Barley & Me. Do not miss it.

You can follow Barley & Me across social media @barleyandmepod. You can email questions/comments/concerns to barleyandmepod@gmail.com or barleyandmepodcast@gmail.com. New website! www.barleyandmepod.com! And, of course, you can buy Barley & Me t-shirts at www.zen-threads.com.

Find out more about our guests today by following them on Instagram:

DarkHeart: @darkheartbrewing

Almanac: @almanacbeer

South Lake Brewing: @southlakebrewco

Burning Barrel Brewing: @burningbarrelbrewco

Hops & Props: @aerospaceca (get tickets to Hops & Props, happening April 25, 2020, at the Aerospace Museum of California, at www.aerospaceca.org/events)

This episode is brought to you by:

-Comedy Night at Crooked Lane! The next show is Thursday, February 20, at Crooked Lane Brewing in Auburn, CA. Tickets are $10 and are available on Eventbrite, at the brewery (536 Grass Valley Hwy, Auburn, CA) or by phone (530) 878-5232. February’s headliner is Chelsea Bearce (YouTube’s “Street Comic”), featuring Chad Opitz and hosted by Roman Spinale.

Do you have a story about racism, sexism, homophobia, or transphobia in the beer industry? You can submit your story anonymously, to be read on a future episode of Barley & Me at https://forms.gle/SmDuBT3zGKxNCVZ757

Intro Music: “Functional Alcoholism” by Be Brave Bold Robot (@bebraveboldrobot)

Alternate Intro Music: “JamRoc” by Breez (@breeztheartist)

Logo by Jessica DiMesio (@alivingclicheart)