In the overall scheme of things, this whole beer media thing is really a fairly new concept. Sure, there are some OG magazines, websites and blogs, but for the most part, there wasn’t really a huge, burgeoning scene in any medium until the last few years.
As part of BAOS Podcast, we’ve had an interesting and, I guess, eclectic coming of age into the craft beer media world. I started a simple Facebook and Tumblr blog of beer reviews back in January of 2011 during my first Canadian winter, which was inspired by a challenge some friends back in Australia were doing called “365 Days of Beer”. The aim was to drink 365 beers over the span of one year, and to prove it you had to take a photo of yourself holding the bottle, can or labelled pint glass. I ended up adding reviews at the request of a friend on Facebook, which stuck.
At the time, I thought I was quite worldly because I drank lagers from all across the globe, and I also had no doubt in my mind that it was impossible that there were even 300 different beers on the planet, but I figured I’d give it a crack anyway. Worst case, I’d discover some new beer brands and styles I’d enjoy. What could go wrong? Scott, my housemate and now co-host, joined me a few weeks later when he saw how much fun I was having.
Fast forward to 2015. I’d hit 365 beers in 7 months, 1000 beers in less than 2 years, and I’d just kept it going indefinitely. I was loving it, I became “the beer guy” among my friends and colleagues, and I was just fascinated with the whole craft beer world. My girlfriend and I had gotten heavily into podcasts, and after realizing there was no entertaining (by our standards) beer media made by people our age (early 30s), I asked Scott if he’d be down to do a podcast.
We named it after my blog, Beer & Other Shit, and just like the reviews it was never anything serious. We cursed a lot, talked about anything we wanted and did it all from my home studio in Montreal or my brother’s studio in Toronto. We slowly started bringing some guests on: our girlfriends, friends, fellow beer nerds, etc.. We never expected anything to happen with it, until I accidentally and unknowingly interviewed the brewmaster at Beau’s All Natural, one of Ontario’s — and Canada’s — premier craft breweries. The next day, a Marketing Manager at a Montreal brewery called me to discuss working with them, and part of their feedback was the owners didn’t like that we cursed. That inspired us to rebrand as BAOS Podcast and to chill out a little on the swearing, because screw us for stopping any progress we were beginning to achieve just to save our foul-mouthed authenticity.
In early 2016, a talented marketer told us to start filming our podcasts and just throw it on YouTube, even if they sucked at first. We’d conveniently just purchased a DSLR camera and a portable mic for interviews so we were ready to go. The interest in our video content inspired us to add a proper YouTube element to our offerings. Then, we adopted a stronger presence on social media to tie it all together, and BAM — here we are.
These days, we literally travel across the world to interview breweries. We’ve hit Australia, multiple cities across Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg) and the U.S. (Vermont, Michigan). We’re even off to California in October to interview a string of breweries in San Diego and Los Angeles. Nod to me, our theme tune is a song I recorded, “BrewHeads.” It’s crazy to me that all of this came from beer.
Along the way, we’ve met and connected with a bunch of fellow beer media folks, though I always felt that the fact we never really fit into a scene — we’re not just writers, we’re not just podcasters, we’re not just YouTubers — has kind of hindered us from really building with a specific group of people. One individual in particular, Noah Forrest of Beerism, is a Montreal-based craft beer blogger and a huge inspiration to me personally. His posts are incredibly detailed and well written, something I have no ability to do (currently lol), and his photography is phenomenal. We’d talked a lot online over the past couple of years but we only met in person twice — the second time for the latest podcast. He brought along a series of aged dark saisons from Montreal legends Dieu du Ciel for my first ever vertical, and we had a great conversation about how he got started, the Quebec beer scene and a ton of other beer nerdery.
And of course, if you haven’t stayed up to date with our YouTube shenanigans, we got you below. And subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts for the full length audio, if that’s your thing.
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