Heavy Hops Ep. 031: Climbing Trees During Blizzards (Matt Sampson/Hacienda Beer & Door County Brewing)

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. 

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Umeå Hardcore Part II: Keep It Real (Marc Strömberg)

Marc Strömberg is an illustrator and musician who grew up with the Umeå hardcore scene, one generation after Johannes. Marc recalls an era in which genre torchbearers from around the world such as Earth Crisis, Biohazard, The Locust, and Ignite trekked thousands of miles outside of a conventional tour routing to play in Umeå. The attraction Marc and others in

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Heavy Hops Ep. 030: Don’t Show Us The Bottles You Have…Show Us The Ones You Have Open (Eric Rosentreter)

Our conversation begins with the void in our industry left by the closure of bars, taprooms and restaurants, which we refer to as the On Premise.  There are moments of stewardship, willingness to explore new brands and flavor profiles, and trust building that occur in the on-premise space.  The same can’t be said when you’re cruising through a grocery store

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Heavy Hops Ep. 029: Analog Life (Grant McKee/Bucket O’ Blood Records)

Grant McKee is the owner of Bucket O’ Blood Records, a store specializing in records, books and graphic novels in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. From a young age Grant was an avid reader and an aficionado of all things heavy and horror. We discuss how he turned his passion into a business – adding selling online to his arsenal – and

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Heavy Hops Ep. 028: Red Creek Rising (Johannes Persson/Cult of Luna)

Our conversation with Johannes Persson continues, with the topic shifting to his main musical project, Cult of Luna.  We pick up on the DIY ethos so crucial to his professional development in our discussion about Red Creek Recordings, Johannes’ new record label venture, a project only 2020 would have made time for (Johannes points out the next Cult of Luna

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Umeå Hardcore Part I: Birch and Ashes (Johannes Persson/Cult of Luna)

In September 1994, 16 year old Johannes Persson, a vegan, straight edge, member of the hardcore music scene found himself at the center of a socio-political movement at its inflection point. Umeå – located 8 hours drive north from Sweden’s capital Stockholm – had recently seen a number of arsons and direct actions aimed at drawing awareness to animal rights

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Heavy Hops Ep. 027: A Dive Into Lux (Grant Netzorg/In The Company of Serpents)

Grant Netzorg, frontman of the Denver based doom trio In The Company of Serpents joins us for our first conversation of 2021.  The bands recent release, Lux, landed on multiple 2020 year end lists, including our own.  We dive into the album touching on production and how the album differentiates from past releases.  Grant opens up about the lyrical content,

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Heavy Hops Ep. 026: Top North American Albums of 2020 (Luca Cimarusti & Gregg Elzinga)

Joining us for our final episode of 2020 are Luca Cimarusti (Luggage, Annihilus music critic for the Chicago Reader) and Gregg Elzinga of Metal Vinyl Weekend. We reveal our top five North American heavy albums for 2020 and discuss how we keep up with releases throughout the year, what sources we use to find new music, and what we look forward

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Heavy Hops Ep. 025: Top International Albums of 2020 (Mikael Stanne/Dark Tranquillity/Grand Cadaver)

Mikael Stanne, vocalist for the melodic death metal band Dark Tranquillity joins us for an epic episode! Dark Tranquillity recently released its 12th album Moment on Century Media Records. We dig into the album, specifically how it fits into the bands catalog; the process of integrating guitarists Christopher Amott and Johan Reinholdz into the bands existing sound and song writing

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Heavy Hops Ep. 024: A Dive Into Brewing Education (Christian von der Heide/Siebel Institute)

Christian Von der Heide, President and CEO of Siebel Institute – the oldest Brewing School in the Americas – joins us for a dive into brewing education.  How has it changed over time?  How and which technological innovations have impacted the industry most? Beer is an evolving and ever changing industry; Christian tells us about how Siebel has widened its

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