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Heavy Hops is an interview format podcast featuring conversations with leaders, creators, and innovators in the beverage and music industries. We are passionate about heavy music and beer, driven by curiosity, and interested in showcasing a variety of viewpoints and opinions. From the creator of Scorched Tundra, hosted by Alexi D. Front and Sam Cangelosi. New episodes every Thursday.
 
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People find their way into the commercial side of beer world through many avenues. Common narratives typically involve an interplay of seeking something different than what the market offered, discovering the joys of homebrewing, finding a community, and taking a risk with hopes for an independent future.Laurin Mack’s path has been exceptional and …
 
Joining us this week is Averie Swanson, the founder and beermaker of Keeping Together. While the company was founded in 2019 - when Averie arrived in Chicago and had an opportunity to begin making her beers at Half Acre Beer Co. - Keeping Together was only recently first served at a beer festival in Washington DC. We use this event as a lens throug…
 
This week I am in Studio Berserk in Gothenburg Sweden with Mikael Stanne, vocalist and lyricist of the melodic death metal band Dark Tranquillity and Grand Cadaver. Our conversation revolves around his newest project, The Halo Effect, whose lineup is rounded out by guitarists Niclas Engelin and Jesper Strömblad, bassist Peter Iwers, and drummer Dan…
 
From its clandestine roots, to an environmentally focused multi day music and lifestyle event, Fire In The Mountains, has become an important festival in the heavy music calendar. Want to see Emma Ruth Rundle play on a grand piano with the Grand Tetons as a backdrop? Enjoy a barbecue featuring local, sustainably grown, food cooked by a Norwegian ch…
 
I don’t often have an emotional response to music. Perhaps it's the prevalence of streaming services and being able to access audio and video content on demand that makes music an accessory. Sitting and intentionally focusing on a piece of music draws us in differently. In allowing music to consume us with less distraction our imagination can freel…
 
It’s no secret that the vinyl pressing industry has faced a surge in demand over the last 18 months. The British Phonographic Industry recorded 4.8 Million Vinyl Albums sold in the UK in 2020, marking a decade of growth, which globally eclipsed 1 billion dollars for the first time. In the United States LP and Ep shipments increased 23.6% while comp…
 
Run The Jewels has not only taken the music world by storm, but they are also making waves in beverage - and specifically beer. Their history of making or lending their brand to collaborations with Goose Island, Interboro Spirits & Ales and Pipeworks Brewing were initial opening experiences for how they can connect with more audiences and create ne…
 
Smoked beers are thought to be an acquired taste. Aromas and flavors of campfire or bacon, when presented in the context of a pale or dark lager, can be surprising, jarring or intriguing. However, when we think broadly about our own relationship to this sensory experience we can be transported to familiar and even nostalgic places: an outdoor gathe…
 
Joining us this week is German multi instrumentalist Dave Schmidt. He is a pillar in the modern psychedelic music scene: his projects Electric Moon, Zone Six, Krautzone, Intercosmos as well as his solo work - released under the name Sula Bassana - are essential listening for anyone looking to open their mind and reach the outer galaxies. His label …
 
Joining us this week is Brian Cook, you may know him as bassist in heavy bands Russian Circles and Sumac. This conversation focuses on his first solo effort - under the name Torment & Glory - which was released in late August. We Left a Note with an Apology draws from a wide music palate, folk tradition, country storytelling, krautrock with moments…
 
This week we're in Gothenburg Sweden at Studio Berserk with Mattiias Nööjd and Axel Wittbeck, guitarist/vocalist and drummer respectively of the riff driven heavy band Firebreather. The band will head to the USA for the first time in early 2022 with Monolord.Our conversation revolves around the role that touring plays in gaining notoriety, and the …
 
Joining us this week is Matthew Curtis, an award-winning freelance writer, broadcaster and author based in Manchester. You may be familiar with his work as Editor-in-Chief of Pellicle Magazine, a publication and podcast focused on beer, cider, wine, food and travel.Matt’s most recent book, Modern British Beer, is the focus of our conversation. The …
 
This week we catch up with Mike Schallau, co-owner and brewer of Is/Was Brewing, an artisanal producer of rustic, farmhouse-inspired ales based in Chicago.We explore two of Mike’s first blended mixed fermentation beers: Levain and Bend Towards Daylight. In discussing the construction and intention of these beers we learn more about Mike’s symbiotic…
 
Joining us this week are Jim Cibak and Marty Scott - Brewmaster and Barrel Program Lead respectively - at Revolution Brewing in Chicago. The brewery’s “Deep Woods” Series of barrel aged beers has garnered the attention of drinkers of these time and ingredient intensive styles. Balance, Jim and Marty argue, as perceived during the sensory process, a…
 
Joining us this week is Sanford Parker, a Chicago-based musician, studio engineer and producer. You’ve heard his work in these capacities on albums from Eyehategod, YOB, Wovenhand, Voivod, Hide, Darkthrone, Youth Code, Harm's Way, Facs, and Unearthly Trance, just to name a few. As we get to know Sanford, hear about his engineering and production pr…
 
Joining us this week is Nick Dellacroce, guitarist of instrumental doom band Bongripper and solo project Bottomed. We discuss what’s been happening with Bongripper, what we’ve been listening to and which albums, podcasts, movies and shows have struck us from 2021 so far. Listeners will recognize Nick not only for his musical work, but also from his…
 
I was recently flipping through a collection of old compact discs and DVDs, and came across a treasure trove of folk and pagan inspired metal albums. From violins, bagpipes, and hurdy gurdies to throat singing, lutes and horsehead fiddles, modern metal bands have found interesting ways of incorporating traditional instruments, folklore and ritual i…
 
Joining us this week is Tim Pope, keyboardist, programmer and lyricist for Australian extreme metal band The Amenta. Describing this band's sound - whether on a single album or as a characterization over time - in a two or three word genre title is challenging. Maybe that’s the point. Revelator, the band's fourth album, which was released in Februa…
 
Gert van der Waal refers to his ventures in hop growing, malting, and distilling as “experiments.” There’s a level of modesty in this claim indicative of his character. On his small farm located outside Pretoria, South Africa, you’ll find four varieties of hops: Cascade, Kracanup (a cross of Chinook and Cascade originating from Australia), DrakGold…
 
Maura Walsh, a Chicago-based artist, gained notoriety during the pandemic for her appropriately named Tiny Guide to Chicago's Best Music Culture Spots and Tiny Guide to Chicago Arts which raise funds for local organizations Chicago Independent Venue League and Save our Stages. We explore the origins of this project, the challenges of communicating …
 
This week's episode is a story about curiosity, saying yes to opportunities, not fearing living somewhere new, and relishing challenges. Coy Eakes, co-Founder of Gamma Brewing, located just outside of Copenhagen, Denmark, tells us how he left his native North Carolina for a country he’d never been to, how he found brewing, and the importance of col…
 
During the first weekend after Easter, Tilburg - a university town in the south of Holland - becomes a destination for curious music enthusiasts from around the world seeking to discover and enjoy up and coming, and select established names, in heavy music. Roadburn Festival’s influence and role as a forward-thinking tastemaker is immeasurable; eve…
 
For the fiftieth episode artist and longtime collaborator Bryn Gleason is taking the helm and asking listener submitted questions. Sam and I offer behind the scenes insight into the shows background, how we adjusted during the lockdown period, what we look for in collaboration beers and projects, and what future content listeners may expect.Big tha…
 
This week we're focusing on a specific overlap of agriculture and beer: small scale hop farming in non-traditional areas. Who is starting small farms, where are they located and what are the historical and present challenges these farmers face in North America where the “scale-up to succeed” mentality and monocropping are most prevalent? How is the…
 
We’re back in the studio this week for the first time since October, enjoying a few beers with Samu Rahn. Our wide-ranging conversation touches on Samu’s musical endeavors as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in dark heavy bands Cairn and Wintering; the importance of seeking new, niche, experiences - whether at home or abroad; beer and metal int…
 
With summer festivals and club concerts on the horizon, we wanted to explore the connections between mental, physical and hearing health. No better guests to join us than Chicago-based audiologist Dr. Michael Santucci and Otolaryngologist Dr. Howard Kotler, an ear nose and throat specialist. As the world’s only audiologist-run earphone manufacturer…
 
Joining us this week is Trevor Shelley de Brauw guitarist of Chicago-based heavy instrumental bands Pelican, RLYR and Chord. We discuss what's happening with each of these bands, including re-releases of Pelican’s first three records (Australasia, The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, City of Echoes), the fourth Chord effort Imperfect Authe…
 
Maine Beer Co was founded in 2009 during the financial crisis, a challenging time for attorneys such as Dan Kleban. Having witnessed the ugly underbelly of capitalism, Dan and his brother Dave sought to build a brewery that could be successful by maintaining a moral approach to sustainability. The company sought success not through rapid growth and…
 
The 2020 pandemic, among many things, dried up market access for craft brewers. As bars, restaurants and venues closed, breweries that stayed afloat had canning lines, steady access to ingredients and packaging; set placements in liquor, grocery and convenience stores; and feet on the street to ensure those placements didn’t get lost. This only rep…
 
Ken Schramm is the Founder and President of Schramm’s Mead in Ferndale MI and author of The Compleat Mead Maker, widely considered to be the book on home honey wine production. Using proven methods from the wine world - including punchdowns, pump overs, free runs, real fruit and lengthy maturation times for clarity - Ken seeks to showcase a true re…
 
Joining us this week are Adrian Utzon Dietz (Guitar) and Tobias Hjorth (Bass) of the Copenhagen, Denmark-based black metal band Solbrud. Their fourth album - a double live album and DVD titled Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn - is a collection of material primarily from the band's first three albums, recorded in a water tower, over two sold out evenings…
 
Joining us this week is Alex Stjernfeldt, a Gothenburg, Sweden-based multi-instrumentalist. You may know him from past and present musical projects: Grand Cadaver, Let Them Hang, The Moth Gatherer, and Novarupta. Our conversation begins by discussing the latter, an ambitious, concept-driven collaboration with Dutch artist Arjen Kunnen that calls on…
 
Johannes Eckerström and John Alfredsson, are the vocalist and drummer respectively, of the Gothenburg-based metal band Avatar. Our wide-ranging discussion covers the Ages live stream series, building success in America following 2012’s The Black Waltz, animal rights and competitiveness. Johannes walks us through the Hunter Gatherer album concept, w…
 
Noah Hopkins is the Production Manager at Dark Matter Coffee’s Mothership facility located in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. We discuss how Noah applies methods of building and balancing flavor in brewing to roasting coffee, enhancing Dark Matter’s barrel aging, dry-hopping and cask conditioning programs. The wider world of beverage is an inspir…
 
Cathy Pellow is the founder of Sargent House, a record label and artist management company based in Los Angeles. In putting the commitment to long term artist development at the center of her work, Cathy facilitates a growing community of highly respected, like-minded, artists from the dark and heavy worlds of music. You know these bands. Chelsea W…
 
Marko Tervonen is a founding member and guitarist of The Crown, a death/thrash metal band from Sweden’s west coast. Royal Destroyer, the band's tenth album, comes out on March 12 via Metal Blade Records. Marko discusses reaching this landmark, their thirty plus year career, songwriting, recording with live performance in mind, and how the five year…
 
An important part of Sweden’s democratic evolution over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is the involvement of its people in social movements, popular movements, and non-official associations. By organizing themselves in groups, people could more effectively figure out what they wanted to change in society. Popular movements taught them to or…
 
Joining us today are Matthias Neidhart and David Frost of B. United International - an importer of specialty beer, cider, sake and meads - based in Connecticut. Brewers and producers they represent such as Hitachino/Kiuchi, De Dolle, Schlenkerla, Reissdorf, Domaine DuPont, and Loverbeer have had an enduring impact on the evolution of beer in Americ…
 
I first encountered Breandán Kearney's work during my time at Local Option beer bar in Chicago. I carried on a tradition of showcasing artisanal brewers from around the world, giving them a draft platform in one of the best beer cities. Importers such as Shelton Brothers (RIP), B-United and 12% Imports allowed me incredible access to producers who …
 
Chris Quinn, owner of Chicago’s Beer Temple tap room and bottle shop, is back for a conversation covering how winter reopening compares to summer, category transcendence and classification of hard seltzers, and making manufacturing sexy again. We discuss Drizly’s acquisition by Uber and the risk of allowing big tech to turn us all into Sofa Heroes.…
 
The first time Sam, Bryn and I visited Door County, Wisconsin was in January 2019. At Half Acre’s Far And Away Festival the previous autumn I was introduced to Hacienda Beer Co, only to discover I'd in fact known most of them from their time studying at Siebel Institute and mine serving them on their many visits to Local Option. Their beers stood o…
 
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