That’s Good to Hear: Heritage Radio’s Beer Sessions Marks its 50th

The official Beer Sessions Coaster

Last night we took part in a landmark event — the 50th episode of Beer Sessions, the brewing show Jimmy Carbone of the bar Jimmy’s No. 43 and Ray Deter of the bar d.b.a co-host on the local food-centric Heritage Radio Network.

If you like craft beer — and want to know how it’s brewed, why it tastes like it does, what craft means, a little about its centuries-old history, how it’s marketed, distributed  and sold, and want to hear from the top brewers, drinkers, sellers and bar-owners in the Northeast — then we’re happy to tell you there are 50 hour-long sessions awaiting you on the Internet.

Take last night’s — Jimmy and Ray pulled together a pretty stellar panel of New York City beer knowledge. There was Dave Brodrick, a co-owner of Blind Tiger Ale House, one of the city’s best craft beer bars; Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead Brewing a nanobrewer in Vermont; Joe Lipa of Merchant du Vin, one of the first sellers of craft beer in the city, way back in 1978; and Rober Hodson of Union Beer, who distributes some of the best beers around the Tri-State area. As per custom the discussion loosely hinged on not just their roles in the beer world, but what they were drinking during the show. That meant Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock, Orval and some bottle secereted from Shaun by Dave that you have to be fast and lucky to get to drink in Manhattan.

Each of these beers has several stories to tell, maybe about how they were one of the first craft brews poured in Manhattan (Samuel Smith, at Windows on the World) they’re made (in rarely-seen slate fermentation tanks, for Samuel Smith, now in its seventh generation of family brewers named Samuel Smith)  or about how when they’re aged they garner a higher price in their country of origin (Orval), or about how they always win awards (Ayinger) or about how they’re on the forefront of artisanal brewing in this day and age (that would be Shaun’s). You’ll just have to listen to the 5oth to hear them all.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.