Bean to Barstool

David Nilsen

A podcast celebrating craft beer and craft chocolate and the intersections between these artisan worlds.

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Mushrooms in Beer & Chocolate
今日
Mushrooms in Beer & Chocolate
Mushrooms aren't the first ingredient we usually think of for flavoring beer or chocolate, but many craft brewers and craft chocolate makers are using different species of mushrooms to create unique flavor experiences and, in some cases, provide unexpected health benefits. In today's episode, we talk all about using mushrooms in beer and chocolate.We talk with Marika Josephson of Scratch Brewing about brewing  with foraged mushrooms from the brewery's southern Illinois property, including Chanterelle, Turkey Tail, Black Trumpet, Oyster, Wood Ear, and others.  You can listen to previous interviews with her here and here, and order her book of brewing with foraged ingredients here.We talk with Sara Ratza of Ratza Chocolate in Tarpon Springs, Florida, about using mushrooms with health benefits in her bean to bar chocolate, including Reishi, Chaga, Lion's Mane, and others. You can listen to her previous episodes here, here, and here, and order her bars and her book on herbal hot chocolate here.And we talk with Jesse Bussard, former director of the Craft Maltsters Guild, a sustainable agriculture expert, and a grower and hunter of mushrooms, about what makes mushrooms so cool.You can listen to the episode with Oliver Holacek of Primo Chocolate in which we further discuss mushrooms, including the possible therapeutic applications for psilocybin mushrooms in chocolate here. Follow Bean to Barstool on social media!InstagramFacebookPinterestTikTokSign up for host David Nilsen's newsletter to get regular updates!
Bonus: Rum, Whiskey, Wine, & Beer with Manoa Chocolate
06-02-2024
Bonus: Rum, Whiskey, Wine, & Beer with Manoa Chocolate
Manoa Chocolate in Kailua, Hawaii, makes a variety of single origin bars with beans from farms all around Hawaii, and they also make a range of bars celebrating other crops popular on the islands, like coconut, mango, and passionfruit. Today though we’re going to talk about Manoa’s relationship with craft alcoholic drinks. Manoa makes popular bars made with both rum and whiskey made locally, and they run a wine bar that offers both casual pairing guidance and structured pairings. They’re even working with a local brewery to make a beer made with cacao and then chocolate made with those nibs. All of this, of course, is super interesting to me here on Bean to Barstool, so I sat down recently with founder Dylan Butterbaugh to talk about rum, whiskey, wine, and beer as they relate to Manoa Chocolate.I can’t wait to hear how that beer and chocolate turn out. If you’re near Kailua, check out Manoa’s wine bar, and please, order some beer. I promise it pairs beautifully with chocolate, and I’ve written an entire zine to prove it, which you can order on the bean to barstool shop.In the wake of the Maui wildfires in 2023, Manoa also created a special chocolate bar called Support for Maui to raise funds for relief efforts. That bar is still available, so be sure to check it out on manoachocolate.com.Thanks to Dylan for spending a few minutes with us today, and thanks to all of you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this bonus episode of Bean to Barstool.Follow Bean to Barstool on social media!InstagramFacebookPinterestTikTokSign up for host David Nilsen's newsletter to get regular updates!
Learning/Unlearning—Sarah Bharath on Cacao Lavado, Teaching with Stories, & Unlearning What We Think We Know
23-01-2024
Learning/Unlearning—Sarah Bharath on Cacao Lavado, Teaching with Stories, & Unlearning What We Think We Know
I never come away from a conversation with cacao agronomist Sarah Bharath without learning something, and it's probably because Sarah never comes away from anything without learning. Her curiosity and excitement to learn drive the very important work she does working with cacao farmers to better understand the ecosystems of their cacao farms, how to work with the land and its resident microbes, and how to adapt fermentation practices to a changing environment and climate.  For Sarah, learning and teaching form a symbiotic relationship, each thriving best in the other’s company. Sarah’s been on the show twice before, and you can listen to those episodes here:Episode 55 with Chris Heier of Half-Hitch BrewingEpisode 59 on Cacao FermentationIn this episode, Sarah and I start out talking about cacao lavado, or unfermented cacao. It’s a perfect example of how Sarah approaches topics: cacao Has to be fermented, right? Sure, except when it doesn’t, and how do we know when that is unless we break an accepted rule and experiment, right? We then transition to talking more directly about the nature of learning and teaching. A few months ago I wrote a blog post on beantobarstool.com about the cycles of knowledge and confusion that accompany any dedicated effort to learn about something like beer or chocolate, particularly related to the organizational systems that have developed to make sense of both fields. Listen is as we talk about learning, unlearning, and teaching, and how each informs the others. Follow Bean to Barstool on social media!InstagramFacebookPinterestTikTokSign up for host David Nilsen's newsletter to get regular updates!
All About Vanilla
05-01-2024
All About Vanilla
Vanilla is a very familiar flavor for most of us. It’s so ubiquitous, in fact, that the word is used as a pejorative for anything that is commonplace and mundane. But that’s not being fair to this fascinating tropical spice, which can display a wide range of expressive aromas and flavors, and can be used in unique ways throughout world cuisine. In North America and Europe, vanilla is mostly associated with desserts, pastries, and other sweet treats, to the point that vanilla is often taken to be sweet on its own. That assumption is turned upside down in many other global food traditions however, in which vanilla can be used in savory or spicy dishes. Its heady but gentle profile allows it to work in support of a way variety of others flavors. And it’s of interest to this podcast because vanilla is used so extensively in craft chocolate and, often, in craft beer as well. In this episode we explore the flavors and agronomy of vanilla. We talk with Dr. Alan Chambers from the University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center. He works with tropical fruit crops to better support growers in southern Florida, and he quickly gained interest and expertise in the science and cultivation of vanilla after taking the position in 2016. He is now a foremost expert in all things vanilla.We also talk with Sean Buchan, the founder and head brewer at Denver’s Cerebral Brewing. Sean works with a variety of single origin vanillas in his beers to highlight their variety. Here we talk about beers like Vanilla Rye Here Be Monsters and others that serve as liquid tributes to the amazing vanilla orchid.I hope this episode helps you appreciate how unique and varied vanilla really is. Far from being an avatar for homogeneity, vanilla is a fascinating and diverse spice with a wide range of expressions that reward attention. In this episode, Sean mentioned working with Ethereal to source cacao for some beers. We interviewed Michael Ervin and Marisa Allen from Ethereal back in Episode 08, which you can listen to it here. Follow Bean to Barstool on social media!InstagramFacebookPinterestTikTokSign up for host David Nilsen's newsletter to get regular updates!
My Favorite Beers & Chocolates of 2023
19-12-2023
My Favorite Beers & Chocolates of 2023
Today’s episode is a look back at my favorite beers and chocolates of 2023. You’ll also hear from several friends and colleagues in the beer and chocolate worlds who share their own favorites from the last year as well.Guests include:Ruvani de Silva  (beer writer)Mandy Naglich (beer writer) - Listen to Mandy & I discuss her new book How to Taste.Estelle Tracy (chocolate educator) - Listen to Estelle & I discuss pairing chocolate with wine & beer.Emma Wargolet (beer writer)Caterina Gallo (chocolate expert)Luke Owen Smith (beer & chocolate writer) - Listen to Luke & I discuss the New Zealand beer & chocolate scenes.Shay Pal (chocolate expert) - Listen to Shay & I discuss one of our favorite chocolate bars.Amanda Camp (beer PR professional)Click each to read the full lists of my favorite beers, chocolates, & pairings from the past year.You can listen to previous years' annual favorites episodes here: 2022, 2021, 2020.The following articles & episodes are mentioned in this episode:Precious and Grace—Brouwerij Van Steenberge's Tripel Van De GarreEpisode 71: Adam Krantz of Monsoon ChocolateEpisode 30: Nostalgia ChocolateCacao Fruit Pulp in BeerYellow Springs & Urban Artifact Partner to Benefit Women's Brewing ScholarshipCheck out the Bean to Barstool shop to order zines, beer cards & prints, and issues of Final Gravity (and preorder Issue 03 now!)You can support us on Patreon here.Happy New Year! Follow Bean to Barstool on social media!InstagramFacebookPinterestTikTokSign up for host David Nilsen's newsletter to get regular updates!
Beth Demmon on Cider & Beer
26-09-2023
Beth Demmon on Cider & Beer
Beer writer Beth Demmon has written a book called The Beer Lover’s Guide to Cider: American Ciders for Craft Beer Fans to Explore, published on September 12 by Mango Publishing. The book explores the potentially overwhelming variety of the modern cider scene through the lens of beer, relating cider varieties to major flavor groupings from craft beer. The format Beth chose for her guide allows readers to approach cider on their own terms, using familiar flavor references. Cider has been brewed and enjoyed here in the U.S. for centuries, and there were points in the country’s history when cider was the preeminent beverage for the young nation. By the end of the twentieth century, however, cider has long since given way to beer, wine, and spirits. Like many other artisan food and beverage industries however, cider is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, and Beth is excited about where it's heading.While reading The Beer Lover’s Guide to Cider, I was struck by the familiar observations made about cider as someone who came to that industry from beer—many of them echoed my own experiences exploring craft chocolate as a beer writer. In the following interview, Beth and I discuss her book, what cider and beer can learn from each other, and what it’s been like for both of us to explore other artisan industries parallel to our first love, beer. Listen in as we talk with author Beth Demmon.Click the links to learn more about the American Cider Association and CiderCon.Subscribe to Beth's excellent newsletter Prohibitchin' here.Click to order the Pairing Beer & Chocolate zine and Final Gravity Issue 02, or to purchase tickets to the Virtual Belgian Strong Ale Tasting. Follow Bean to Barstool on social media!InstagramFacebookPinterestTikTokSign up for host David Nilsen's newsletter to get regular updates!
Oliver Holecek of Primo Chocolate
22-08-2023
Oliver Holecek of Primo Chocolate
Most people associate mushrooms with savory foods, but that’s because many of us are unaware of both the wide flavor diversity of different types of mushrooms and the range of ways in which they can be incorporated into foods and beverages. Just a couple episodes back we talked with pastry chef and mixologist Michael George, who made an award-winning cocktail that incorporated black truffle mushrooms, and today we’re going to hear from a chocolate maker who offers a variety of craft chocolate bars using mushrooms, or what he calls, our little helpers.Oliver Holecek co-founded Primo Chocolate—at the time known as Primo Botanica—in 2017 as a bean to bar company. The business has changed in process and focus over the years, as you’ll hear him explain in just a moment, and Primo is now heavily focused on incorporating mushrooms into chocolate as a way to promote the functional health benefits of these fungal friends. Listen in as Oliver talks about the background of his business, his passion for mushrooms, and the importance of centering Indigenous cultures when working with natural ingredients.The music for Bean to Barstool is by indie folk musician Anna ps. You can find out more about Anna’s music in the show notes or at her website annapsmusic.com, where you can also get in touch to book her to play at your brewery or other establishment. Follow Bean to Barstool on social media!InstagramFacebookPinterestTikTokSign up for host David Nilsen's newsletter to get regular updates!
Blackest in the Forest: Bartender & Pastry Chef Michael George on Cocktails, Cacao, & Celebrating Self
25-07-2023
Blackest in the Forest: Bartender & Pastry Chef Michael George on Cocktails, Cacao, & Celebrating Self
Michael George is a bartender and pastry chef in Salt Lake City. They split their time between a couple different bars—you can find them on various nights at Water Witch, a James Beard-nominated bar, and Acme Bar Co. They bring a passion for flavor and story, their own vibrant personality, and the sensibility of their background in the kitchen to their drinks, in which they seek to both honor tradition and break through artificial barriers of what a drink can be. As a Black, queer, non-binary person, the barriers Michael is working to break down go far beyond just the strictures of what can go into a cocktail to encompass who gets to make that cocktail in the first place.Michael recently won the prestigious Black Manhattan Contest put on by the Black Bourbon Society with two cocktails that tell amazing stories and push the boundaries of flavor. One of those drinks, which they named the Blackest in the Forest, was made using cacao and chocolate from Ritual, and tells the story of Michael’s roots—where they’ve been, where they are now, and where they’re going. You can find a link to the recipe for Blackest in the Forest here and make it yourself at home!You can check out other links mentioned in this episode at our Linktree.Michael George is a Black, queer, and non-binary bartender, pastry chef, and artist. They are originally from Chicago, Illinois, but currently live and work in Salt Lake City, Utah. Michael finds inspiration for all of his creative endeavors from lived experiences and the world around them. They are passionate about being a vessel for which other people can learn about and lean into being their most authentic and fearless selves through creating and amplifying spaces for other Black, queer, and non-binary people.  Follow Bean to Barstool on social media!InstagramFacebookPinterestTikTokSign up for host David Nilsen's newsletter to get regular updates!