About Brews, Booze, & Reviews
Just a couple of average joe neighbors joining a hilarious and experienced cast of drinking buddies to learn more about the beverages we love.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to Contact Us!
The Brews, Booze, & Reviews on-air crew
Producer, audio editor, former musician, and collector of all things Batman, I started this journey to give myself an excuse to learn about brews and booze the way I wanted to: with friends and fun people. It’s been one hell of a learning curve, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love porters, stouts, and bourbon, but I’m always willing to learn about other beverages to see if I would love them as well. Editing the podcast has been the only downfall of doing this so far, but I’m slowly learning how to streamline the process so it’s not quite so daunting. My favorite part of doing this is going to and learning about breweries and the people that help the business be what it is. It’s fascinating the stories I’ve heard so far.
I’ve met a lot of really great people because of Brews, Booze, & Reviews, and I look forward to meeting even more and sharing my love of this craft.
Ernie Johnson, also known as Big Ern, is just your average neighbor who enjoys a good beer and good jokes. As the oldest of the crew, I started taking notes for myself (you know, to remember shit) and I ended up being the official note taker and record keeper. I am someone who can appreciate trying new things. I am not just a drink only one beer kinda fellow. That is what got Nox and me started down this venture. Well, that and my hilarious dad jokes that I am famous for. I do not profess that I know everything or really anything about beer and booze, but I know what I like, and I am not afraid to share my thoughts with others who will listen. My goal is to make our podcast informative and funny. If I can get you to roll your eyes at least once during an episode, I have done my job. Cheers! Big Ern.
"I remember when this kid stepped into the Fargo bar scene. He was somewhat of a child prodigy. His father a legendary beer drinker and roustabout and his mother a closet boozehound. His exploits include winning such awards as ‘there’s no way he is gonna make it into work tomorrow‘ to ’I can‘t believe he isn’t hungover‘ and the highly prestigious ’how are you still drinking‘ trophy a record 10 times including 7 straight years. It’s always remarkable to hear him talk, drink while talking, and swear at people. In my opinion, he will always be the greatest to every belly up. I mean god damn, he invented the puke and rally, he mastered blackout conversation and is the reason many youngsters take up drinking."
-DICK PLUGGINS (Owner of The Unknown Hole and legendary prick of a drinker)
*There is an 82.87% chance that this is 79.26% false
I just like to try new things and share my experiences with you, my adoring fans! Also, I’m an international dance champion, EAT YOUR HEART OUT! -Cheers
A brief and possibly correct history of the Brews, Booze, & Reviews podcast
I got started down this podcast journey first by listening all day every day to podcasts of all kinds while at work. I first got into shows that aligned with my hobbies, of which only two survived and I still listen to this day. Then I branched into the true crime podcasts, which was game-changing for me. Then I started listening to comedians’ casts like Bill Burr and Robert Kelly.
Then on a Monday at work, I started to do some research about bourbon and stouts & porters because they were my favorite beverages. I came across a few of them, but it seemed to me they were geared more towards the crowd of people who were strictly homebrewers or cicerone, of which I was neither at the time. I wanted to hear a podcast that taught me every stupid little thing I wanted to know about beer and liquor and doing it from the perspective of a teacher or friend, informally-like. While they were at it, make it funny and relatable.
With my musical background, I decided to check into what I would need to record a podcast, how much that would cost, researching quality equipment, how to edit audio (for dummies), who I wanted to be in it with me, how many people I wanted to be on the episodes, and how to get this thing out there for people to hear. Well, that was all for shit because my good friend Matty decided to put up some dough on zZounds and purchase enough really decent equipment for 6 people to record a podcast with.
The next part was the hard part: finding the right people to be on the show to make it not only informative but fun. All I had to do was look across the street to Ernie since he and I were kind of in the same boat: not knowing much about beer but having the desire to learn all we could while having a blast sampling everything. During the harsh midwestern winters, we decided to just hang out and drink weird beers together since we lived so close. Less of a chance for a DUI, and sometimes cheaper.
The next person I sought out was Chef Kev. I knew he was a great cook with excellent taste, but I also knew he was funny as hell. As a matter of fact, he was one of four comedians I asked to be a part of a benefit show! Luckily, he was interested from the get-go, so that was a huge relief.
The next person I wanted had to be someone that was really into liquors and was far more knowledgeable than I was to teach not only some of our listeners how to taste, what to look for, and how to appreciate a good bourbon in a glass the best way possible. That person was Travis Gilbertson. I had only met him perhaps twice before, but both times we enjoyed a fine glass of Bulleit Bourbon each and just chatted and hung out. When I asked him to be on it, he agreed but was not sure about the commitment since he was in two bands at the time taking up a large chunk of his non-work hours. I was pretty glad he came aboard, and even happier that things were actually coming together slowly, but nicely!
Travis then recommended we bring on a good friend of his that actually taught him everything he knew about whiskey and was one of the funniest people he knew, and that man was Chris. When I asked him if he wanted to be on it, he sounded excited!
So now we had six dudes on the podcast who had never hung out altogether before, each with their own ‘specialty’, yet there seemed to be something missing. I thought we needed a bartender who knew how to sling a mean drink, one who experimented with flavors and knew all the different alcohols and had a fun personality to boot. It just so happened that I knew a lady who fit that very description and had been in quite a few contests with her ability to create delicious cocktails. Thus, Andrea became our expert in that department, and the podcast was complete.
Our first episode was recorded in my basement where I’ve had band practices for about 14 years, so it was kind of soundproofed. We did this episode on January 13th, 2019, titled The Basics, and we’ve gone from there in a wild and crazy adventure to be where we are today! We’ve lost members to busy schedules, and we’ve gained additional co-hosts since then, but each and every time we enjoy what we do, and we hope that comes across in our show.
– Ryan Maack