Wine Enthusiast Podcast: The Changing Tides of Craft Beer

Changing tides craft beer
Illustration by Susanna Harrison

In this episode, the second in our four-part series featuring interviews with this year’s 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2020, we’re venturing into the world of craft beer.

Beer Editor John Holl connects with Ashleigh Carter, co-owner and Head Brewer at Bierstadt Lagerhaus, and Marcus Baskerville, co-owner and head brewer at Weathered Souls Brewing Co., to talk about the shifting American craft beer landscape.

From changing dynamics in education and inclusion to trends in stylistic preference and consumption, there’s no doubt this beverage space is still learning, maturing and evolving to yield better quality result and greater lasting impact. But the future looks bright, thanks to passionate, creative and caring people leading the charge for positive change and sustainable momentum despite trying times and shifting consumer and retail habits.

You can learn more about Ashleigh, Marcus and all of this year’s 40 Under 40 Tastemakers here or in the October 2020 issue.

For more reading on the shifting beer landscape, check out this story on the Michael Jackson Foundation for Brewing and Distilling, this report on how the current pandemic is affecting the industry, or this article on how modern brewers are reviving ancient techniques with new twists.

 

 

 

Episode Transcript

Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting.

Speakers: Lauren Buzzeo, John Holl, Ashleigh Carter, Marcus Baskerville

Lauren Buzzeo 0:08
Hello and welcome to the Wine Enthusiast Podcast, your serving of wine trends and passionate people beyond the bottle. I’m Lauren Buzzeo, the managing editor here at Wine Enthusiast, and in this episode, the second in our four part series featuring interviews with this year’s 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2020, we’re venturing into the world of craft beer. Beer Editor John Hall connects with Ashleigh Carter, co-owner and head brewer at Bierstadt Lagerhaus, and Marcus Baskerville, co-owner and head Brewer at Weathered Souls Brewing Company, to talk about the shifting American craft-beer landscape. From changing dynamics in education and inclusion, to trends in stylistic preference and consumption, there’s no doubt this beverage space is still learning, maturing and evolving to yield better quality results and greater lasting impact.

John Holl 1:06
It’s amazing to think, you know, we are 40 or so years into the craft beer movement in America. From the very first microbrewery opening up, we now have about 8,000 breweries or so operating in the country. We’ve seen the industry sort of level off a little bit. But I’m curious as to when 2020 started, where did you see beer in America going and what was on the horizon for your brewery? Ashleigh, how about we start with you?

Ashleigh Carter 1:43
Yeah, well, I think like everybody, I had high hopes for 2020. I kind of had a pretty majestic 2018. Everybody says this, like lager is having a moment, I guess. It’s every moment for me, so I always kind of laugh and cringe at that. But it’s really a moment where the general population, especially the craft beer population, is starting to take it a little bit more or seriously. So I really feel like we were on the forefront of that and kind of responsible in a way for some of the craft beer lager movement for everybody in the country. So, that’s where we are in 2020. And kind of what I’m hopeful for in the future.

John Holl 2:27
Marcus, for you, when this year started, what did you think was going to be on the horizon for you?

Marcus Baskerville 2:32
So we were kind of on the up and up at the start of this year. We were starting to host a lot of parties that were bringing in large crowds, dealing with specific releases. Like Ashley’s saying, we’re starting to do a lot of traveling, so I was doing a lot of collaborations at that point. But then the biggest thing that was going to happen this year was CBC, the Craft Brewers Conference. We were one of the more known breweries in San Antonio. So, we were thinking this is going to be kind of our red carpet to the rest of the world type of event. I had been brewing beer, barrel aging stuff for about a year and a half to get ready for CBC.

John Holl 3:11
Right. And the Craft Brewers Conference, just for folks who don’t know, is an annual gathering of beer professionals and it moves from city to city every year. But there’s educational seminars, and there’s an expo floor where people can go and work with hop brokers to buy hops or buy new equipment or find out the latest and greatest in innovation and beer. It’s [also] a pretty big networking event. San Antonio was on the docket for mid April of this year, so that got shut down pretty early on in the pandemic.

Marcus Baskerville 3:38
Yep, so for us, also production wise [we’re dealing with] scaling up. So I just hired a new brewer. Our West Coast IPA, we’re brewing about 100 barrels of that a month on a 20 barrel system just to supply the accounts that we had. So it was looking to be a good year until COVID hit for sure.

John Holl 3:58
So let’s start there. Because [COVID has] been, I think, the biggest disruptor in the hospitality industry. I mean, in a generation, five generations, 10 generations, at least, one of the big things actually for you, is you actually started packaging your beer. For a lot of folks who are listening, they might be surprised that up until this point [Bierstadt Lagerhaus], which is several years old at this point, hadn’t been packaging in the traditional sense.

Ashleigh Carter 4:30
Yeah, it’s not that I’m morally against packaging, I don’t think. If you get to know me a little better, you’ll you’ll find that I have a lot of things that I’m definitely against, but packaging in general is not one of them. When you think about some of the breweries in Germany, we just wanted to be a big, small place, if that makes sense. I want to see all my customers from the roof of my building type of place, and I believe in beer on draft. Since we focus on a style that’s meant to be drank in quantity, and is very delicate and doesn’t have necessarily the shelf life of a bigger stout or even many of the ales, it was imperative to really go hard at the draft market and to make it an experience go out and drink with your friends. Like, don’t sit at home, go out and enjoy each other’s company and learn something about people. We wanted to build a gathering place that you could celebrate a birthday or a breakup or a job promotion or any of these things. And do it with a beer that is pretty low ABV and very delicate and doesn’t really take an instruction manual, if you ask me. So, we ended up having to put beer packaging and mobile canning and I had a pretty vicious Monday, actually, with mobile canning and now supplies are getting low.

John Holl 6:00
Mobile canning for anybody who isn’t familiar is where a company actually comes with a canning line and connects it to to your break tanks to your brewing equipment and then cans it off, as opposed to just having one that is stationary in place.

Ashleigh Carter 6:16
Don’t forget it’s very expensive too. So there’s just not like a lot of profit in canning as well, especially when you don’t make a ton of beer. We don’t make a ton of beer, we only make lager and it takes a very long time. We were selling a ton of beer on draft pre-COVID and now that’s just not a possibility anymore. So while we’re selling the same amount of beer and we’re getting revenue, which is good, the margins on it are not great.

John Holl 6:48
And you have a restaurant in your brewery, Ashleigh, but Marcus, you do as well. You’re a brewpub, you serve food. You’ve obviously seen the impacts of COVID as well, especially in Texas, where you had restrictions and then they were lifted , and then they’ve been put back on you again within the last couple of weeks. How has the COVID ride been for Weathered Souls?

Marcus Baskerville 7:14
It’s definitely been up and down roller coaster, like you said, dealing with the state of Texas. So the first run went really well. People, especially our local community, was really supportive as far as the specialty releases, small batch releases, pushing beer and stuff out. So the first run, I actually went and bought two new 10 barrel tanks based off of how well things were going. Now in hindsight, would have do that now? Probably not. But like I said, things were going good first run. So then we were able to open back up the tap room to about a 50% capacity and that was going well, and then the governor decided to shut everything back down. Now the second run, people aren’t as receptive. You know, people are getting frustrated, upset, dealing with not being able to go out like they want to, do the things that they want to. So we’re not really seeing as much traffic and revenue as we were seeing beforehand. What’s been saving us is some of the large releases where we’re releasing four or five different beers at a time in small batch quantities that people tend to be excited about. So that’s helped us survive. Dealing with the food, because of the limited capacity of what we were doing before with barbecue, and our chef being the man that he is, he doesn’t like leftover meat. So it hasn’t been it hasn’t been very lucrative for us in the barbecue run being curbside. So we’ve actually stopped doing barbecue and are currently only doing burgers. The burgers are really good, but…

John Holl 9:00
You say so modestly.

Marcus Baskerville 9:01
Yeah, it really has a certain niche within San Antonio, especially with the amount of restaurants that have the ability to still be open, and then serve liquor, beer and stuff within the restaurants at a 50% capacity. So dealing with this particular run, it hasn’t been that great. So it’s definitely been a roller coaster, with us trying to figure out courses a revenue and how to streamline some funds into the brewery.

John Holl 9:27
And so you have had to be creative, right? I mean, Ashleigh, now that you’re able to mobile can your beer and release it to people to go now. You’re also in a very crowded city with a lot of brewery choices and a lot of beer choices. You were obviously one of the more popular ones when people would come to your place before this. Are you finding challenges and trying to be creative to get people to at least come to your doorstep to pick up beer to go.

Ashleigh Carter 9:58
It’s difficult. To be honest with you, we were down 70 percent. We are a restaurant, but like Marcus said, keeping food on hand and trying to… I mean, restaurants are a wash at their best days to be honest with you. They’re a reason to keep people drinking more beer and ordering another one and getting groups. Like 30% of our revenue last year was parties. Just straight up 40 person, 100 person parties, we have a rather large space. We’re only allowed to have 50 people inside even though our place can hold almost 400. So the problem is nobody’s coming to Denver, honestly. We have the mountains. I mean, Denver in general is the sleepiest sleepy town ever. And it’s really hard to get people to come out because there is still that hesitation. You know, also what people really love when they’re drinking, they love rules. They love when you give them a lot of rules. They’re like, “Oh, give me some more of those rules that I can drink with.” Like, they don’t like rules. And because we’re in Denver, we’re under a lot more scrutiny. The health department and all those things visit us far more frequently than they do in some of the neighborhood and suburban places and up in the small mountain towns. We’re really seeing like a lack of traffic here. I mean, our liquor store sales are going great. Liquor stores are up 300%. And it’s crazy. We actually did a collaboration beer with Boulevard, which is quite a highlight of my career, to be honest with you.

John Holl 11:38
That’s a Kansas City brewery, and one of the largest in the country, actually.

Ashleigh Carter 11:42
Yeah, we did it. We made the beer. We made a Pilsner on their 135 hectoliter brewhouse and they actually took the appropriate amount of time to make it their normal turnaround on the lagers, 21 to 28 days, I believe. And we actually took the full 10, 11 weeks because they have a lager tank they never use. So it was cool, we were going to be in a package and all these things and, you know, we have that beer still left over here in cases, but every liquor store sold out instantaneously. And it’s funny, we still have cases of it and nobody will come here and buy it.

John Holl 12:23
If I could get on a plane I would come and buy you out, certainly.

Ashleigh Carter 12:27
So that that that kind of thing is a little bit frustrating when you think about people just not coming. We are trying to be creative, but we can’t really have live music, right? We’re trying trivia, but to be honest, people are just weary of coming out.

John Holl 12:46
Yeah. So as COVID was happening, and continues to, and was really ravaging the hospitality industry, socially, this country started to change after the murder of George Floyd. The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement happened. And breweries, especially as gathering places, as places where people can get together and share thoughts. Typically, it’s passionate people, I think that gather at breweries. They care about craft, they care about the artisanal nature of beer, they care about free thoughts and shunning the status quo. I mean, that’s what craft beer has been about since its resurgence 40 years ago is trying to go against just the establishment of big beer. Marcus, you did something that has really sort of galvanized the brewing industry in creating a—we’ve used the word collaboration beers a few times now and I want to get into that a little bit deeper in a moment—but you created a beer recipe and put it out to people and challenge them to to think about social justice and to think about actually bringing real change to to America. Can you tell us about the Black is Beautiful beer program?

Marcus Baskerville 14:00
Yes. So like you were saying, dealing with the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the recent protests that were going on, basically, I feel really inclined to do something. Originally I was going to go ahead and release a beer within the taproom and donate money and it was going to be the Black is Beautiful. And then over the course of that weekend, I was having a discussion with Jeffrey Stuffings from Jester King and he challenged me to turn it into this collaboration. So dealing with the collaboration itself, originally it was called All the Breweries in the United States, but it’s kind of transcended well past that, being we’ve hit all 50 states, over 20 countries and I think we’re sitting at over 1,080 breweries now. A lot of people came to arms dealing with the the collaboration. It was a stout recipe, simple American stout recipe, a classic recipes we haven’t seen in a long time dealing with the whole pastry stout craze.

John Holl 14:59
So I’m gonna stop you here just really quick, though. So, pastry stouts are, essentially, big Imperial stouts that taste like candy or sugar or pastries. So you can have like cherry pie stouts that actually have cherry pies in them or big, bold flavors or stouts that tastes like bear claws or jelly doughnuts or etc. An imperial stout recipe, the base one, what are some of the flavors? If somebody hasn’t had one before, how would you describe what that beer tastes like?

Marcus Baskerville 15:33
Depending on where you are with the IBUs…

John Holl 15:36
…and that’s the bitterness unit.

Marcus Baskerville 15:38
Yeah, it’s a coffee roasted, forward stout, with a lot of accents of chocolate within the background, about a medium body viscosity to it. And then I would say medium-high ABV. Some people call it a high ABV, but our stouts generally lie between 12% and 14%, so 10% for me, is a little bit on the lower scale.

John Holl 16:04
And when you’re saying coffee and chocolate, there’s actually no coffee or chocolate in there. Those are just malt derived flavors.

Marcus Baskerville 16:10
Yeah, those are just malt derived flavors that you get from the black malt and the chocolate malt within the beer.

John Holl 16:15
So, for the Wine Enthusiast Podcast here, if you do like coffee, if you do like chocolate, this beer will actually speak to you, I think, on a fun level. And it is rather approachable despite the 10% ABV, which is high for some people. But anyway, I’m sorry. So you put that recipe out there?

Marcus Baskerville 16:38
Yeah, so we put the recipe out there. Kevin Dyer from KD Designs made a wonderful label showcasing the different hues of brown and black within the label. And then we call on these breweries to use this recipe, use this label and then come out with this beer. And then once this beer is produced, 100 percent of those proceeds are then donated to a local charity or foundation entity that supports police brutality reform and legal fees. So, again, originally I was thinking that possibly we would maybe get 200, 250 breweries, but we’re almost to 1,100. So the response on this has been amazing. And from what I gather, dealing with the amount of commerce that has been moved from these breweries supporting the social justice initiative, the brewing industry in itself is currently making history.

John Holl 17:32
And one of the things that really sort of piqued my interest in this was the last point of anybody who signs on to make this beer under that name is to remain committed to actually bringing meaningful change to beer but also to their communities. You didn’t design this necessarily to just be a one and done.

Marcus Baskerville 17:57
Correct. I mean, inquality and injustice isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So I didn’t want this to be something where it was a marketing ploy or breweries use this just to show that they support. This is something that is for the long haul. There’s breweries that are implementing mentorship programs, breweries that are implementing internships. So different people are taking active notice of this. I’m in the process of creating a diversity committee for the state of Texas with the Texas Brewers Guild. So people are taking this initiative seriously and noticing that there is a lack within our communities and a lack within even the brewing community. So people are actually trying to identify those issues and make those changes as needed.

John Holl 18:48
Ashleigh, you’ve also spoken up about this in the past as well. I mean, what are some of the changes that you think need to happen within the overall beer community? What should consumers be focusing on to also help bring those changes about?

Ashleigh Carter 19:05
I think it’s a difficult, like, hard to distill down into a very like concise, specific… so I think if we look at craft beer, at some point it does become slightly snobbish. I think in that realm, when it becomes slightly snobbish, you start to exclude people. And I have always been of the opinion that, when somebody walks in your taproom, no matter what they look like, whatever, to not make a judgement about what you think they would like, wouldn’t like, why they’re there, etc. And really trying to bring in more people into the fold because it can be intimidating. It’s a very much white male industry. You know what I mean? And sometimes even as a woman, you get the, “You like fruit beer” [thing]. They make it very much a judgment about what you do or do not like. I think it’s very important, when you’re talking about bringing more people into the fold, initiatives like what Marcus is talking about, and just starting from everybody’s taproom in general from your staff. Stop judging or stop trying to read people or stop trying to figure out what they like based upon how they look, and start bringing everybody together and and showing them the full range of craft beer, and showing them that you don’t have to be embarrassed if you like something specific or don’t like something and don’t talk down to people that maybe are new to the scene. I think we talk about a lot of disenfranchised groups, and things of that nature, we often tend to assume they don’t know anything about it or make a judgment call about what they would or wouldn’t like and instead of making them feel bad for that or not welcome in there, it’s a way that we can really build a more diverse, bigger community of people. So we just open up, you know, something as awesome as beer, right? What we do is not anything amazing. What we do is bring people together, and I think that if we just continue to try and do that, maybe we can diversify this and it’d be at the forefront. Having Marcus and myself and more female and Black and brown people in the forefront of beer drinking, it normalizes it, which I think it hasn’t been for a while.

John Holl 21:39
What’s interesting is that I know imperial stouts can be daunting for some people who are not accustomed to drinking beer. It’s a complaint, or even a phobia, that I hear from folks all the time of, “Oh, I don’t like dark beer,” because they think it’s going to be too strong or too aggressive. I think in most cases, As if you hand them a properly made one, like what you make Marcus, that can go away very, very quickly. But Ashleigh, you’re making lagers and true to style German lagers. Lager is by far the most popular beer category, beer style in the world. Do you find that because you make beers that people are aware of, even if they’re not necessarily beer drinkers, that you can get people to come to the door for the first time to have a half liter?

Ashleigh Carter 22:35
Lager is on 150 year winning streak, I’ll say it again and again. We compete with the big guys a little bit, but sometimes that’s hard because they don’t look at us as necessarily “craft” enough. You know, it needs to be crazy or be whatever in order to be considered craft. It needs to be, you know, handmade, even though it’s just me and one other person. We make all the beer. It’s, for us, trying to make as clean, as bright, as true to style beer is something that I think we can bring more people into the”craft” fold. It doesn’t have to be a ubiquitous yellow liquid. But also at the same time, if you want to come here and just think about it is that, that’s perfectly okay too. I think it’s a it’s a way we can bring these groups of people that never thought that maybe they’d ever like craft beer because either they’ve been introduced to it in weird ways, or it’s too hoppy it’s too this. Again, our beer doesn’t necessarily need an instruction manual. It’s something you’re familiar with and something you’re comfortable with because either your dad drank it or your mom drank it, or you drank bathtubs of Busch Light when you were in college like me. It’s something that you can maybe reunderstand and it doesn’t have to be just a bland yellow liquid.

John Holl 24:01
So the Black is Beautiful beer is starting to pop up around the country right now. I think anybody who has a local brewery and the majority of us living in America right now do check the tap list and go see if you can pick some up and know that you’re supporting an excellent cause when you are when you’re buying this. But you both have mentioned collaboration beers at this point. And one of the things that I’ve always enjoyed about covering the beer industry is seeing when two breweries with either similar or different backgrounds or philosophies get together to make one beer together, and it’s usually a one-off. I’m curious as to how you select how you’re going to make a collaboration beer, who you prefer to work with, as far as breweries and what you see is the benefit to you professionally, but then to also us as the consumers of making collaboration beers? Marcus, you’ve been on a bit of a tear recently with with some of these and you had some plans that got scuttled for last spring, but what’s the appeal for collaboration beers?

Marcus Baskerville 25:14
For me, the collaboration beers are kind of a learning process. I like bringing in like-minded individuals, most of the time we’re producing stouts or IPAs, some of our more popular styles that we do. But it’s moreso kind of learning what their processes are learning, them learning what our processes are to kind of complement the beers that we’re already doing. Also, dealing with the type of beers that we produce, you have that whole “hype” aspect to it, so we tend to collaborate with other breweries that have kind of the same popularity and stuff like that. San Antonio is pretty still new to the craft beer scene. Even with the amount of breweries that we have—we only have, I think, 16 breweries in the entire city and we’re in the seventh largest city in the United States. So I like to try to bring in some of these collaborations of breweries. Also the fact that our distribution is horrible here. Getting your beer in the Texas is really difficult. TABC does not make things the easiest for other individuals, especially outside of the state. So my whole thing is bringing in some of these breweries that our city would never otherwise see. And then on the other spectrum, we’ve done collaborations with breweries where I’ve wanted to learn processes that I’m not necessarily familiar with. And then, in exchange, we teach them processes that they’re not specifically familiar with, to kind of you know, spread the love and share information.

John Holl 26:56
In the way that Marcus is focusing on IPAs and stouts, Ashleigh, when you and your brewing partner Bill Eye are doing collaborations for Bierstadt, you’re living largely in the lager family, aren’t you?

Ashleigh Carter 27:08
Yeah, I’m a little different. I keep a lot of things pretty close to me. The way our brew house is set up, we don’t actually have a lot of space. For experimental, for single one-off beers, the business model from the start was to make an ocean of pale lager and get to experiment once in a while. To me, a collaboration has to be scheduled months, months and months in advance. I had like four different collaborations this year. I have to like know the person, I have to like trust [them]. I have to have had their beers and feel like they’re quality [is there]. I have to know, do they have the same ethos as I do when it comes to beer, when it comes to social things. It’s very important to me, I keep it very close just because I don’t have a lot of space to do a lot of collaborations. Also in lager, we just don’t have necessarily the variety. There is quite a bit of variety and I have done some interesting collaborations that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from our brewery being as traditional as we are, but it’s really important for me to learn about lager yeasts. And I think that by pushing the envelope on some of these things, and by pushing the envelope, I definitely mean nothing crazy. But for me, learning about lager yeast and learning about it with different malts and different alcohol contents and with different hopping, and how lager yeast can really perform in a variety of scenarios, a little warmer, a little colder, like I’m very much focused on on one thing. So whenever I do a collaboration, especially at my place, there are two rules. It has to be a lager and it’s going to be bright. Nothing hazy, we’re going to filter the shit out of it. So those are the two rules may do a collaboration here. Because it does take so long and I may only get to do six different seasonals slash collaborations per year if I’m lucky. I’m very much more like, hold my cards close, find the right person, dance around it a little bit and then and then make a beer together.

John Holl 30:12
I always feel really fortunate when Lauren Buzzeo lets me sit in the interview chair for the Wine Enthusiast podcast because I get to interact with a different audience. I’ve been covering beer for 20 years. I’ve obviously interviewed the two of you several times and either hung out at Ashleigh’s brewery quite a bit in the past. But I’m very much immersed in the beer world. Having now worked at Wine Enthusiast now for the last couple of months, I’ve been introduced to a whole new category of drinking and a whole new fan base and passion base as well. I’m learning stuff all the time about wine and I love that we’re able to sort of teach people about beer. My last question to the two of you is, what do you think is largely misunderstood about beer, and how can people fix that? Or, how can people come to a better understanding? Marcus, I’ll throw it to you.

Marcus Baskerville 31:13
I would think the biggest misconception is, you always hear, “Well, I don’t like beer.” And it’s mostly because they’ve had, you know, one of the bigger beer brands. But we know that when you start diving in further into the craft beer realm, that there’s an array of styles, flavor profiles and different beers for everybody, right? So you might not be a lager fan, but you might be a stout fan or reverse or IPA fan, a lambic fan. There’s all these different styles that produce off these different flavor profiles for different palates. I think people just need to get more versed within what they enjoy within their own flavor profile and seek out beers within that versus letting people introduce them to beers that they generally like. Especially speaking within the wine realm, people generally stick to certain flavor profiles that they like. So that can translate very much within the beer realm. It’s just a matter of finding that particular style that you’re going to enjoy and that’s going to [point] you into the right direction. And I’ll give you an example, for me, when I first got into beers, I was more of a hefeweizen and brown ale fan. You couldn’t get me to drink a stout.

John Holl 32:37
Those are two very different styles.

Marcus Baskerville 32:39
But yeah, just generally as far as the flavor profiles of what I enjoyed within beer, that’s generally the two realms of what I enjoyed. You couldn’t get me to drink a stout, you couldn’t get me to drink IPAs. But then as my palate developed from trying these different beers, those are now my two favorite styles outside of a very well done Pilsner. It’s just generally training your your palate, training your flavor profile to start getting into other styles that you’re generally not going to take to or don’t even know are available to you. Miss Carter, what’s misunderstood about beer?

Ashleigh Carter 33:21
I mean, a lot. But I think that in some ways, the beer industry has done itself, recently, a disservice in continuing the misunderstandings of beer. When I compare it to wine, I sometimes think that they take wine more seriously than we take beer. And I’m not saying like me or Marcus or whatever, but like, it’s not as gimmicky. I worry that with some of the gimmicks that are happening in the brewing world, putting tomatoes or gummy bears or whatever it is.

John Holl 33:59
Skittles.

Ashleigh Carter 33:59
Yeah, Skittles. We are doing ourselves a disservice when it comes to beer. It’s one thing to make try to make something taste like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. You know, a winemaker would never do that, they would never just peel 1,000 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and put it in a bottle of wine, you know? So I worry that we are as an industry doing ourselves a bit of a disservice when we when we use gimmicks and don’t stick to you know why we like beer in the first place. Which is, all these interesting flavors, the lower alcohol content on some of these things. Hops are such an amazing, interesting component that we can really see interesting beers being made with them or different flavor profiles or it can be fruity, it can be dank, it can be all these things. So, I think in a little way we’re pushing that misunderstanding about beer, but in it’s best days, beer is not necessarily as pinky out. It is something that can be savored and enjoyed. There are different beers for different occasions just like there is wine, right? We’re talking maybe something super viscous, super dark, super alcohol heavy, closer to a port that you could drink at the end of the night. There’s also beer and food pairing. Beer is so much more versatile when it comes to food. Have you ever had a double IPA with a with a big blue cheese? Like it’s amazing?

John Holl 34:23
Yeah, or a double IPA with a carrot cake.

Ashleigh Carter 35:34
Yeah, or with a steak. The rules are much more able to be bent when it comes to food and beer than when it comes to wine and food. There aren’t rules because we didn’t come up with any. Pairing food with beer is an infinitely successful and cool thing. I think it can bring a lot of people into the fold when they think about flavors instead of just thinking about beer, as it were.

John Holl 36:05
Well, the annual Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 list is now out. And of those 40 people, the two people representing beer, have joined me today: Ashleigh Carter from Bierstadt Lagerhaus and Marcus Baskerville of Weathered Souls. Congratulations to the both of you for being on the list and thank you so much for taking time with us today to talk about beer and all that you’re doing to advance it moving forward.

Marcus Baskerville 36:33
Thank you for having me.

Ashleigh Carter 36:34
Thanks for having me. And I was looking forward, Marcus, to visiting your brewery during CBC, so hopefully one day we’ll be able to leave our respective cities.

Marcus Baskerville 36:46
I hope so. I’ve been your brewery about four or five times. It’s one of my favorites when I come to Denver.

Ashleigh Carter 36:52
I appreciate that.

John Holl 36:53
I think there’s probably a collaboration beer that can exist and just to tie it together with the Wine Enthusiast 40 under 40, you know, a wine barrel aged lager, perhaps?

Ashleigh Carter 37:04
You know I’ve never put anything in a barrel, right?

John Holl 37:08
First time for everything. 2020 is so weird. Thanks again.

Lauren Buzzeo 37:17
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Wine Enthusiast Podcast. It’s clear that the craft beer scene is still a beautiful work in progress, but the future looks bright thanks to passionate, creative and caring people like Ashleigh, Marcus and so many others, leading the charge for positive change and sustainable momentum despite trying times and shifting consumer and retail habits.

You can read more about all of our 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2020 online or by picking up a copy of the October issue out now.

Subscribe to the Wine Enthusiast Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you find podcasts. And hey, if you like today’s episode, we’d love to read your review and hear what you think, and why not tell your wine and beer loving friends to check us out too. You can also drop us a line at podcast@winemag.com.

For more wine reviews, recipes guides, deep dives and stories, visit Wine Enthusiast online at winemag.com and connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @wineenthusiast.

The Wine Enthusiast Podcast is produced by Lauren Buzzeo and Jenny Groza. Until next episode, cheers.

Published on September 16, 2020
Topics: Podcast