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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beer Show! Key West Beer Tales - The Sum of all Beers



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Key West Beer Tales - The Sum Of All Beers

We've been doing both a beer show podcast and a music show podcast since last summer and we've had a blast doing them! The beer show has been available on the Spreaker site for a while. These are shows that have already aired. We're also picking up new stations!

The beer show is very unique and frankly, I see it as far superior to anything else out there as far as a beer podcast goes.

In most cases when a consumer is investigating a beer of any sort, they'll look on line naturally. There are a good deal of web sites that cover and critique beer. Rate Beer, Beer Advocate, Yelp, Untapped, Beer-Universe, Beer Of The Month Club, and there are most likely others that I don't know about. Of course, this shows what a healthy state of interest beer is enjoying today!

Ours is different however. To start with, it's recorded in a bar, the Cork and Stogie in Key West! Fitting for a show of our nature! Secondly, we're authentic. The place we get our information on the beers is from the brewery itself. Now and then a brewery has a website that has little or no information on a beer. When this would happen I looked at the aforementioned  sites to see if they had any information on the beer in question. Many times in doing this I found erroneous information. With one particular beer I found alcohol content (ABV - alcohol by volume) to be 3.7 on one site, 4.2 on another, and 5.0 on another.

Obviously, none of these could be trusted, because it appeared that they were pulling numbers out of a hat. So, with us, if it's not from the brewery, we don't state it without a disclaimer that it's only an educated guess. We don't arbitrarily stick a number that we pulled out of the air and list it as verbatim. Others seem to do this regretfully. With us, it comes from the brewery or we categorically state that we are guessing and also give a range that we're guessing.

Draft beer can vary. If the brewery lists a beer as 5.0 on line, a keg may arrive which has a sticker on it showing 5.2. It will seldom be more than .2 over/under, and we'll state that particular keg's brewery listing. Again, it's the rating from the brewery that we go by. If not, we don't without a full blown disclaimer. It's a matter of integrity.

Our panel is quite unique and covers a wide range, giving the listener a good foundation to work from. The standard panel we use is five, although sometimes one or more may have other commitments and can't make the show. On a few occasions we've also had a small live audience.

However, here's our roster and how we all fit in. I'll start with myself and name the crew in the order that we sit at the show.

Key West Chris: I'm the host of the show and the old school beer guy. I started drinking quality beer when I was eighteen (legal age back then) and became intrigued with it from the beginning. I bought the book The World Guide To Beer by English author and patron saint of  beer, Michael Jackson, just after it was was first released and proceeded to buy over forty books on beer thereafter. The beer in my refrigerator today, is never the same beer that is there tomorrow, nor has it been my whole adult life.There is no beer that is my favorite, or favorite style. Every beer has it's place.

Dani Hoy: Dani is new (but getting more and more a veteran!) to quality beer and therefore a vital part of the show. She'll often ask questions that I, or some of the other crew, would never cross our minds. Everyone is new to beer at one point or another. We all were. Dani fits a vital role in our show because of this. So, it's very important to address that side of things and cultivate those with a new interest in cerevisia or cervisia, the Latin names for beer! Dani is the gateway for that side of the show! From my perspective that is equally tied for being the most important part of the show.

Cultivating new lovers of beer is vital for growth and interest and while it may share a front seat with other vital responsibilities, nothing goes in front of it. What other beer show features a novice's questions as part of the panel? I think we're unique here as well. Dani is also the editor of the show, which for each 47 minute podcast, takes her four to six hours to complete. YEY Dani! Additionally, Dani is a marvelous chef in the kitchen, so she has a very educated pallet which is now expanding to quality beers!

Cowboy Mark Straiton: Mark is a fascinating individual who, from his native Connecticut, traveled the world and happened to be a major beer enthusiastic while doing so! He's also right on the money as to exactly what is trending in the beer world, at this exact minute, as well as when it changes five minutes from now. While I'm the old school beer guy, Mark is the new school beer guy. His tales of beer from his around the world travels is always great fn from street meat in Austria, to fearing for his life in Moscow! He's extremely well versed and educated on beer and funny enough, his and my pallets are quite similar in many circumstances. Mark is also a very well versed bartender and an accomplished chef, who's worked in restaurants both in Key West and his old stomping grounds, Brooklyn, N.Y..

Diamond Dave: Dave is our lighthearted member who keeps us laughing. After all, laughing is essential when drinking beer! Hell, if we were too serious the show would be boring! We all have great senses of humor and Dave is often the catalyst who gets us laughing, like throwing gas on the fire, when we already are! Are there any shows that offer this? I don't think so! Dave is quite knowledgeable on beer as well and has been a major IPA fan for over fifteen years. Dave is our "Go To IPA Guy"!

Dave Senior: Dave Senior is the owner of The Cork and Stogie, here in Key West where we record the shows. One of the greatest attributes here is having a bar owner on the panel! Dave sees things from a totally different angle than anyone else. Dave sees what people are buying on a day to day basis and orders his beer accordingly. Tell me another show that has that?Dave is also an expert on both cigars and wine, which again brings things to the table not found elsewhere.

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Key West Beer Tales reviews beers, we don't rate them. Rating beer is B/S. I recall doing a show where we featured Pilsner Urquell. Now, Pilsner Urquell has always been regarded as one of the finest beers in the world. One of the on line beer websites had it rated by their subscribers, in the seventies out of one hundred. Seriously? What many highly respected beer experts over the last century and 3/4, the highest in their field, have called the finest pilsner available, these people are rating in the seventies? I'd love to see the woodwork they're crawling out of! Probably 1313 Mockingbird Lane! Another rating had an opinion of Stella Artois as "tasting like Budweiser".  did that individual burn their tongue with a blow torch or something? What kind of people do they have rating anyway?

Those are but two examples that lead me to believe that there was not only a call for our show, but also a need for it as well.

So, we comment on the beer and note what flavor impressions each one of us pick up. Everyone in our group has a very educated pallet. Some may not be routed in beer. Dani's stems from cooking. Dave Senior's comes from wine and cigars. Interestingly enough, when anyone expresses a taste, everyone else picks up on it. I can't say how many times one of our panel says they taste something I did not detect. From that point on, I notice it, however had they not brought it up, I may never have noticed it on my own. The same can be true for our listeners!

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We often do pairings. Who better than to ask on pairings then peope who are great in the culinary arts as well as being beer lovers? Cowboy Mark has been a professional chef! Dani is great in the kitchen and used to prepare daily meals and dinner for a bourgeoisie couple in a stately mansion on the Patomac. I'm not too bad in the kitchen myself, or better yet, on the grill. So in pairings we offer a very good basis to go by.

Here's one thing you don't see in pairings that we do somewhat often actually. No one is sticking a gun to our heads and saying "Pair this with something!". Quite often is the case that one of our panel will just flat out say "I'm not going to pair this with anything". So often I see pairings being done like a knee jerk and a pairing is a must. Well, you know what?  No it isn't. Some beers just stand on their own. For instance, last night we reviewed Old Ruffian Barley Wine out of the Great Divide Brewery out of Denver, Co. Fantastic beer!!! Pairing? Me? No thanks. I think that beer is best drunk as an aperitif, after a meal, all by itself. In other words, there's no B/S from any of us. ( on the no B/S stand, Cowboy Mark recently described a beer as tasting like a pine cone that had been up a skunk's ass. Now while I'm not sure how he knows what that tastes like, that's certainly a no B/S approach! HA HA HA!)

In addition, as we're based at the Cork and Stogie in Key West (1218 Duval St) we also do cigar pairings. Dave Senior is an expert, as are Diamond Dave and Cowboy Mark as well. Who else offers cigar pairings?

Key West is becoming a popular destination for beer enthusiasts. In addition to The Cork and Stogie there are many bars that offer fine beers. We've had beer entrepreneur Chris Schults, owner of The Porch, 2 Cents, and the soon to be opened Waterfront Brewery, on as a guest and plan on having him on again! Great guy with a vision! Also in the cards is a visit to Bone Island Brewing, a new brewery here in Key West.

We've also had the CEO of Stiegl Brewery from Salzberg, Austria, Robert Schraml interviewed right in the Cork and Stogie on our show! He flew 4000 miles in part to be on our show in Key West. This was planned months in advance. What other show has interviews with CEO's of large breweries, from Europe no less, on their shows?

Future plans for the show include little field trips to different places in, not only Key West, but through out the Florida Keys!

Some video is also in store! We hope to have clips here and there, now and then which we'll have on our YouTube site. We have to learn how to walk before we can run, but it's in the cards!

This is a beer show. In being a beer show, it's different than many other shows in one particular regard. Yes, you'll get a very good variety of opinions and in puts. Yes, you'll pick up all sorts of fascinating facts about beer that you never knew. Yes, our stats come from the brewery itself, we don't invent them on the fly, Yes, our panel is quite diverse which without doubt is our strongest point featuring traditional opinions, the new and trending opinions, new quality beer drinker 's questions and opinions, the pub owner's viewpoint on what people are buying this month, this week, and today. however we're different in one other very important aspect and this is a vital aspect  which separates beer drinking from so many other subjects:

We know how to laugh!

 We're beer lovers, we're not beer snobs.

Indeed we know how to laugh! We know how to have fun! We don't hold ourselves above anyone and we love to educate those who want to know more and everyone has a blast doing it!  The antithesis of any type of snob.

So come join us! Be sure to grab a beer before you tune in and have your laughing pants on and pad and pencil ready!

We do out show from our benevolent sponsor's bar:

The Cork and Stogie
1218 Duval St.
Key West, Fl. 33040

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To hear any of our past shows check out our Spreaker account!
It works the same as Youtube or Soundcloud! Here's one show:

And here's the library link to all past shows:

For all of our latest, up to the minute shows airing on radio stations on line,  here's the weekly schedules!

KW Beer Show Schedule (all times are EST)

KWOM - 10am and 10pm Daily

Trop Rock Radio - 6pm Friday

Radio A1A - 10am Tuesday

The Shore - noon on Saturday

Tiki Beach Shop - 2pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday

Permanent Vacation Radio - 10pm Monday & 8pm Friday 6pm Saturday

Beach Life Radio   Monday - Friday 7PM

Palm Tree Radio -

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Thank you!!!

To hear and download my music

(also available on iTunes, and CD Universe! Search "Key West Chris")


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