Meet The Beer Media

Meet The Beer Media – Ale of a Time

Luke (centre) and Dave interview Kris Scholl from Deschutes

Luke (centre) and Dave interview Kris Scholl from Deschutes

Names: Luke Robertson and Dave Ellis
Podcast: Ale Of A Time
Established: November 2013 – the blog was started in 2011

Why do you do it?
LUKE: I really enjoy chatting about beer and listening to podcasts. I got to the point where I enjoyed the local beer podcasts but there wasn’t enough out there to sustain regular listening (most are semi-regular). I thought I could make a go of it and see how it turned out. I enlisted Dave because we seemed to have similar tastes in beer and I always enjoyed talking beer with him. So basically, I do it because it’s enjoyable.

Firstly because it’s fun. Going into a studio or out on location and talking about beer, what’s not to like? Enjoying a few choice beers while doing it isn’t bad either. Through other writing work we’ve done we’ve established some pretty good contacts in the industry which gives us access to some interesting guests, which is fun for us and hopefully makes for some enjoyable listening.

What else have you got going on in your life?
LUKE: I live with my girlfriend and in-studio producer, Emma; and our cat, Norm. We are both into good food (my girlfriend, not the cat.. although I guess he is too) and good drink (be it booze, tea or coffee), so our weekends are usually based around cooking, eating, going out to eat etc.
I’m a big fan of sport (mostly basketball and rugby), heaps of music (mostly punk rock and hip hop… and almost anything else), and watching really bad old videos and movies on youtube. To pay the bills I work full-time as a content manager for a media company. Oh and I recently started running half marathons to stay fit, which I’m really enjoying.

I’m lucky enough to be able to wade through endless spreadsheets and data extracts in my day job, so it’s clear I’ve got very little else going on in life. I try and run regularly to balance out what’s probably too much beer drinking. How miserable do I sound?

What makes you keep doing it if you’re not getting paid for it?
LUKE: I enjoy doing it. I get paid some money here and there and I’d love to turn this into a full time thing but right now it’s a great hobby within a great community. Getting paid also means some compromise. I like that I can fire off opinions about something I’m passionate about without fear of rebuke.

DAVE: The more you write or broadcast the more you learn and that’s what’s keeps you doing it. We have heaps of fun recording the shows and it takes us to fun places and interesting people, so who needs financial remuneration right? Ugh.

What’s one of your podcasts that you like the most?
LUKE: Probably our one with Matt from Boatrocker, who was an excellent guest. Also episode 22. It was pretty aimless with just the two of us and no planned topic, but that’s part of the fun some times. Most of my favourite podcasts as a listener are aimless – it works well for the medium. Background noise on the train.

DAVE: The GABS show was fun (maybe not to edit…) because there were a heap of characters with mic in hand, but we just recorded with Matt Houghton at Boatrocker and that was a great chat and will be a strong show.

One tip about beer podcasting that you’d like to share?
LUKE: Do your research on your host or ideally learn how to do it yourself rather than through a service online. If you choose a bad one, it’s a nightmare to get out of. I can’t overstate this enough.

DAVE: One key thing you’ve really got to do is have a fellow podcaster that has a girlfriend with access to a professional recording studio. If you don’t have that, I wouldn’t bother.

The phrase ‘‘craft beer’’ – love it or hate it?
LUKE: Hate it. With a passion. It’s pointless, divisive and the topic of endless boring debates. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a compelling argument for why the term needs to be so ingrained or made official. There’s beer I like, and beer I dislike. Whether or not that falls into an arbitrary category has no bearing on my life.
Next time you read something about beer, think about how the article (or podcast) would change if the word “craft” wasn’t in it. Chances are; absolutely nothing

DAVE: The term itself is fine. It’s what people have done with it that sucks. It sure has created a lot of discussion. The same one. Every time. It’s pretty tired now.

One thing that still surprises you about the beer scene?
LUKE: How many breweries and bars there are popping up every day and how much growth there is left in the industry. It’s basically futile to try and be across all the news, events and comings and goings in Australian beer now. Even a year ago I felt like I was across everything. Now there are so many places and beers I haven’t heard of, let alone visited or tried. That’s pretty exciting.

DAVE: The lack of presence in good restaurants. It’s changing, sure, but in a food scene that is at fever pitch about flavour experimentation I would have thought that industry may have woken up to beer a little sooner I guess.

And one thing you hate about it?
LUKE: Too many flawed beers. There are some breweries who I’ve stopped drinking completely because I’m sick of paying for their mistakes. It’s unfair on their customers and bad for the industry. I understand that a lot can go wrong between the raw ingredients phase and the moment it lands in my glass, but some brewers out there are just taking the piss.However if you chat to bar owners they say they still sell well, and look on untappd and they get great ratings… so what do I know? Maybe I just hate people that don’t agree with me.

DAVE: There’s lot of assumed expertise out there. Hate is probably too strong a word to use, but that does bother me though.

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