Best Beer Shows–What Are You Watching?

UC Davis Brewing Studies

UC Davis Brewing Studies

There’s been a bit of a flurry in the news about a new craft-brewing minor being offered at Paul Smith’s College in New York. The headline even made it to NPR’s news quiz show, where the hosts and guests were properly amused by the idea. But of course, brewing education has been around for almost as long as beer itself—as soon as we figured out what we were doing. In the more modern world, UC Davis in California has honed the skill of many brewers—and continues to illuminate—while the Siebel Institute of Technology (of which our own brewing supervisor Ben Wilkinson is an alumnus) has been providing a world-class brewing program for more than 130 years. (During Prohibition, the school shifted its focus to other related topics like baking, refrigeration and carbonated beverages).

But not all of us are lucky enough to get to attend a world-class brewing program. Fortunately, the internet is stuffed with people who love talking about beer as much as the rest of us love drinking it! The three videocasts below feature breweries from the U.S., Canada and Great Britain, and are all really good at what they do.

The Beer Diaries

The Beer Diaries

The Beer Diaries

The Beer Diaries are headed up by three guys with very different backgrounds—a self-proclaimed tech head, a former medical doctor and video game maker, and a filmmaker and photographer.  The site includes a beer glossary and a blog full of well-written articles on a number of beer-related topics. Where these guys really shine, though, is in their videos. I particularly like their brewery visits, which takes us inside the breweries and up close with the brewers. Greg Zeschuk hosts these episodes, and he really knows his stuff. He’s able to guide the interviews with good questions and smoothly add a little extra explanation to help the viewer fill in the gaps.

The Craft Beer Channel

The Craft Beer Channel

The Craft Beer Channel

The Craft Beer Channel is recorded in Great Britain, so it gives a great new point of view on European beers and tastes. It’s a bit rougher around the edges than The Beer Diaries team (their introductory video says it all), but that’s not a bad thing. They also focus on a range of craft beer topics, all neatly arranged in YouTube’s familiar format, and include feature segments from Jamie Oliver’s Drink Nation. The European angle definitely adds some interesting insights, too. Who knew there was such a thing as a sweet potato and blue cheese pizza, and that it pairs well with a stout? Yes, please.

Beer! The Show

Beer! The Show

Beer! The Show

Beer! The Show follows Michaels “Fezz” Nazarec as he explores different aspects of the craft beer scene in Canada, including a craft beer cocktail competition, beer and food pairing and how wet hops IPAs are made. (The story on the collaboration between New Belgium and the Canadian brewery Steamworks is a good mix of interviews, beer review and the joys of collaboration). The show has been around for some time, and has a real personal, yet professional, touch. The videos are a nice blend of interviews and fly-on-the-wall observation, which gives several different perspectives, but can also run a bit long.  Still, I like seeing what the beer world is like in Canada, and Michaels reminds me a bit of the late Michael Jackson.

What are you watching?

There are so many great beer shows available, there’s no way to list them all. I still haven’t checked out Dark Horse Nation, the beer reality show on the History Channel, or Esquire’s Brew Dogs. What beer videocasts and shows are you watching now? Give us another reason to chill out with a beer in the comments below!

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