Last night was the premiere of Season 2 of Brew Dogs on the Esquire Network. Thanks to the recycling of cable, it is probably going to be on again soon if not now. (Or you can download the show on iTunes or Amazon.) Some of you may have watched a sneak peek a week ago.
James Watt and Martin Dickie were in L.A., no spoilers here, and after they left our fair city, I reached out to Watt to find out more about brewing on TV.
Sean Inman: Did you feel that you had to “top” last season with the types of beers brewed or did the second season allow for more exploration in beer styles and less capturing fog for brewing water?
James Watt: We kinda wanted to do both. We did some crazy things in Season 1 but we wanted to go further, to push it a little bit more in Season 2. This involved brewing beer on a NASCAR speedway, brewing while whistling over a gator-infested swamp on an airboat in Louisiana, and milking an actual cow with my actual mouth.
We also want the show to be educational and I think we definitely did more in Season 2 in terms of making some pretty unusual beer styles and exploring more of the art & science behind the brewing process.
SI: What three words would you use to encapsulate the craft beer scene in Los Angeles?
JW: Homebrew World Capital.
The homebrewing scene there is phenomenal. The craft beer scene has not been quite as quick to develop in LA as it has in other West Coast cities, so the homebrewers just created a craft beer scene for themselves. Things are all changing now though, with more and more great breweries and some killer beer bars. LA is soon going to be home to not only the world’s best homebrew scene but also one of the most exciting craft beer cultures in America.
SI: How does the constant travel and beer drinking affect you?
JW: Ha! It is a tough job but someone has to do it J
I love traveling, exploring new cities, and meeting new people. We have had the chance to visit some of the most amazing breweries anywhere in the world and we’ve been able to drink so many great beers all over America.
The travel and beer drinking is fine, all you need to do is drink plenty of coffee and occasionally run your head under a cold water tap!
We have also eaten some amazing food while on the road. Each episode of the show contains a beer & food segment where we put together craft beer & food pairings. We have done this with popcorn, Michelin starred chefs, campside barbeques, and have even paired beers with raw limpets we scavenged from the beach. Citizen’s Band in San Francisco has the best mac ‘n cheese on the planet, Paddy Long’s in Chicago serves bacon that will blow your mind and the burgers at Father’s Office in LA are the best in America. The States just rocks for food! From the Cajun cuisine of New Orleans to North Carolina BBQ to the epic Mexican food of Southern California there is just so much going on across a whole spectrum of styles, influences and flavors.
SI: How do the beer crowds differ from town to town?
JW: The one thing that unites everyone we meet is the passion they have for great craft beer. From laid-back Californians to homey Southerners to intensely wired New Yorkers and outdoors-loving Alaskans everyone shares the same love for craft beer. This is one of the things I love most about what the craft brewing movement has done: It brings people together, and it creates friendships, amazing experiences and a real sense of belonging.
The Beer of the Week is the Belgian Summer Ale from Hangar 24 Craft Brewing. Light and refreshing. This Redlands beer is a combo of Belgium and California. It was their 3rd anniversary beer and they claim it has notes of clove and pear. Whichever flavor you detect it is a great beer to watch the remainder of the World Cup. A nice soccer (sorry, futbol) session beer.
Your Homework is to explain to someone why you DON’T like a beer. It is easy to extol the virtues of your favorite or go-to beers. But why is a beer not up to snuff? And don’t resort to easy sarcasm. What part of the aroma, or texture, or flavor, is unappealing to you. What would you say to the brewer if you met them that would be constructive criticism and might make the beer better the next time around?
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.
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