In case you missed it, I was on local sports-talk radio Thursday morning talking craft beer and home brewing. I was racked with nerves from the beginning of the process. But it was good overall. It’s an environment completely new to me; I had no idea how things would go until they happened. I thought some of you might be interested in the process. Who knows, maybe you’ll be called on at some point to talk on live radio.
Contact a Beer Scout
Despite being a dedicated fan of many teams, I don’t listen to sport radio very often. I had no idea the Bob Fescoe’s morning show on 610 Sports had a weekly segment on craft beer until I was contacted by their producer, Steven Spector back in April. He stumbled upon the website and wanted to have me on at some point to talk beer with Bob and two other on-air talents, Josh Klingler and Jay Binkley. The segment, Beer with the Boys, airs every Thursday morning. Cool. Of course, I thought. Exposure for the website (and Twitter and Facebook). I’m in.
A few weeks later, I was asked to be on to preview the summer beer festivals. I had to turn it down; the day job takes precident. Then earlier this week, with the Nanobrew Festival upon us, Steven reached out again. My Thursday morning was open, so yes. Then the panic set in.
Beer Prepared for Any Topic
Like a good Beer Scout, I wanted to beer prepared. I knew they wanted to talk about the KC Nanobrew Festival and home brewing. I figured Justin Kendall’s article in the Pitch would be mentioned, so I re-read that. I talked with a couple of the Nanobrew Festival organizers for details. I pulled up my brewing logs to jot details about the two beers I will be bringing on Saturday. Then other potential tangents ran thru my head. New breweries opening around town … how many breweries operate in KC now … what’s opening next … Notes and notes and notes. Several pages worth, just in case.
I arrived ridiculously early to the Entercom building fearing traffic that I usually do not have to bother with. Which gave me more time to think. More notes. More ideas. About ten minutes before the Beers with the Boys segment would air, I was called up the stairs by Steven and I listened to Bob and Josh talk about Danny Duffy’s first start back from the DL. Steven and I talked about previous beer-related guests who they’ve had on. And the day job, and the story of the Beer Scouts. During the break, I headed into the studio and introduced myself to the Boys. Alas, no beer at 9:30.
Then after some quick background questions and friendly chatter … we were on.
If the imbed below doesn’t work, you can listen to the segment on the 610 Sports website. My portion begins about the 23:00 mark.
The conversation on-air flew by, and at the time, I felt like I was doing well. I only lost my words once. I only fumbled thru my notes once. I didn’t even bump the microphone. We talked Nanobrew Festival and home brewing. But also rambled off the path to discuss the West Bottoms and the Crossroads, the underserved Kansas City market, smoked beer, the dearth of breweries in the suburbs (that aren’t chains), and back to the KC Beer Scouts website. I can talk beer all day. I can talk KC neighborhoods all day. I have a ton of advice for anyone brave enough to start a brewery – advice I can’t back up. It all ended up being easier than I expected, once I got over the nerves.
Everyone I encountered was professional. They engaged me with questions early and often. It was a nice ice breaker every step. It makes everything easier when the microphones go live in the middle of a conversation than right before the start.
The Department of Corrections
At one point in the discussion I said that Greg Koch, head-honcho of Stone Brewing, told me there were 350 breweries in San Diego county. That’s what I remembered. I’ve mentioned that stat for a while now when arguing that KC can support more breweries. However, 350 is incorrect on many levels. And to his credit, Bob Fescoe calls me out on it. I go on defending the number like a doofus.
I interviewed Greg Koch at the end of Stone week in Kansas, back in 2012. It was my first real interview, and one I want back. My questions were lame. They lead to little insight and weren’t even interesting. I was so disappointed with it, I never even published it. But I do still have the transcript. When I had a free moment back at the office, I looked up what he actually said: Seventy-three. There are (or were at the time) 73 breweries in San Diego county. That is not 350.
So, Greg Koch didn’t say it. Strike one. According to Wikipedia [need citation], there are 75 breweries currently in San Diego County. Strike two. According to the Brewers Association, there are 707 breweries in California. So maybe half of those are in Southern California. Which is obviously way bigger than just San Diego. Whatever, it was completely wrong.
I believe my point is still valid: We can support more local breweries. But my justification was off. Way off.
Off the Air
Despite ridiculously overstating the number of San Diego breweries by over almost four fold, I am looking back on the experience very positively. I hope it gets more people to our website. I hope it will get me to write better articles and more frequently. It was fun, despite the nerves before and embarrassment afterwards. And I’d certainly go back if they’d have me. I’ll even bring beer this time.