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AboutDavid Nilsen, Author at PorchDrinking.com

Posts By David Nilsen

Bean to Barstool Podcast | Wood, Beer & Chocolate

January 25, 2023 |

What do trees taste like, and can you make beer and chocolate with them? In this episode of Bean to Barstool, David Nilsen talks with multiple experts to unlock how the flavor of wood impact beer and chocolate. Listen as Marika Josephson of Scratch Brewing, chocolate writer Shay Pal, Marika Josephson of Map Chocolate, and The Flavor of Wood: In Search of the Wild Taste of Trees from Smoke and Sap to Root and Bark author Artur Cesar-Erlach discuss how trees influence some of our favorite indulgences.
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Bean to Barstool Podcast | The Chocolate Conspiracy’s Beer-Infused Bars

January 19, 2023 |

AJ Wentworth, the founder and chocolate maker for Utah’s The Chocolate Conspiracy, loves craft beer almost as much as he loves craft chocolate, and he’s partnered with several Salt Lake City craft breweries on a series of beer-infused craft chocolate bars, including bars with Uinta Brewing Baba Black Lager, Kiitos Brewing Coffee Cream Ales and Level Crossing Brewing Soul Rex Double IPA.

In today’s episode, AJ and beer writer David Nilsen discuss the partnerships The Chocolate Conspiracy and neighboring breweries, his process for infusing beer flavors into his bars, the burgeoning Salt Lake City beer and chocolate scenes and his background in raw cuisine.

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Event Preview | Scarlet Lane Scarelastic Book Fair

January 13, 2023 |

As bookish adults, many of us get nostalgic at the memory of the Scholastic Book Fairs from our school days, when we got out of class to spend our allowance money on cheap reading material. A horror-themed brewery in Indiana is bringing the delight of those book fairs back for adults, this time with beer.

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Bean to Barstool Podcast | Loon Chocolate

January 11, 2023 |

There are countless similarities between the worlds of craft beer and bean to bar chocolate, and few people know that as well as Scott Watson. Scott was a professional craft brewer in the 1990s when craft beer was just beginning to gain national attention. After leaving the craft beer world, he eventually discovered bean to bar chocolate and founded Loon Chocolate.

In this episode of Bean to Barstool, Scott shares his memories of brewing craft beer, what makes him love chocolate making, and the numerous ways in which these two artisan industries remind him of each other.
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World of Flavor | Sake’s Key Ingredient Unlocks New Possibilities at Hi-Wire Brewing

January 9, 2023 |

Hi-Wire Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina, won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2021 for a beer its brewers weren’t even sure was going to be any good. Their Japanese Dry Rice Lager earned the hardware in the Experimental Beer category, a catch-all for anything too weird for the nearly 100 other categories judged each year. Typical winners have included an Arnold Palmer-inspired Berliner Weisse and a Sour Rye Saison aged on Prickly Pear Cactus. So what was so unusual about this Rice Lager, a beer that — on the surface — was as simple and unassuming as any beer at the festival?

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Bean to Barstool Podcast | New Zealand Beer & Chocolate with Luke Owen Smith

January 4, 2023 |

New Zealand beer and chocolate writer Luke Owen Smith has worked in both the craft beer and craft chocolate industries in this island nation, giving him insight into what these artisan industries have in common and what they can learn from each other. In this episode, Luke and Bean to Barstool host David Nilsen discuss pairing beer and chocolate, New Zealand beer and chocolate, the challenges and opportunities for both in a small market, and how craft chocolate can learn from craft beer’s growth and its mistakes.
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Bean to Barstool Podcast | Favorite Beers & Chocolates of 2022

December 21, 2022 |

Join David Nilsen for a look back at some of his favorite beers and chocolates of 2022. David is joined by special guests Tristan Chan, Courtney Iseman, Em Sauter, Ale Sharpton, Ruvani de Silva, Luke Owen Smith, Emily Stone, Shay Pal, and Hazel Lee for a look back at their favorites as well.

After you’ve listened to the show, we’d love to hear your own favorite beers from the last year. Share your favorites with us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!

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PorchDrinking’s Year in Ohio Beer 2022

December 16, 2022 |

Ohio is much more than the butt of TikTok jokes. We’re perenially hovering around the top five craft beer-producing states by volume, and bring in a healthy haul of medals at every World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, and Festival of Barrel-Aged Beer. With numerous mid-sized big cities, Ohio has countless beercation destinations for the beer savvy traveler. Here are my picks for the noteworthy beers, breweries, and stories of 2022 in Ohio beer.

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Bean to Barstool Podcast | Videri Chocolate’s Partnerships with Craft Breweries

December 15, 2022 |

In this episode David Nilsen talks with Sam Ratto, the founder of Videri Chocolate in Raleigh, North Carolina. Videri is celebrating its 11th anniversary on December 15. Videri makes a full line of single origin and inclusion bars, as well as bonbons and other confections, and they also provide cacao in various forms for numerous breweries in the craft beer hotbed of North Carolina.

Here we hear Sam talk about his ongoing delight in chocolate and his partnerships with a number of craft breweries. We also hear from Sean Lilly Wilson of Fullsteam Brewery and Lauren Woods Limbach of New Belgium Brewing.

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Seventh Son Reborn | One Brewery’s Unusual Strategy for Expansion

December 14, 2022 |

Seventh Son Brewing opened in the historic Italian Village neighborhood of Columbus, OH, in April 2013. Their beer was good and their taproom was friendly and inviting—obvious prerequisites for success—and they set about doing what many other breweries around the country had done before them and have done since: offering classic American craft styles in a communal, social atmosphere.

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Bean to Barstool Podcast | Curating Chocolate Playlists with Cocoa Runners

December 8, 2022 |

“I passionately believe that if we want to save the planet and be healthy we have to go back to savoring and not scoffing.”

In this episode David Nilsen talks with Spencer Hyman, co-founder of Cocoa Runners. Cocoa Runners is a website that sells many of the world’s finest craft chocolate bars, including bars from over 150 makers from over 40 countries. Prior to Cocoa Runners, Spencer was the COO of last.fm, and the playlist curation experience he gained there informs his work at Cocoa Runners, where he sees himself curating chocolate playlists of sorts for folks who may want some guidance when it comes to picking out their next great chocolate discovery.

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Bean to Barstool Podcast | A Malty Bend in the River

November 17, 2022 |

What is malt, how is it made, and what does it do for beer… and chocolate? In this episode of Bean to Barstool, David Nilsen talks with Brian Simpson of Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, North Carolina, who malts barley and other grains for craft brewers and distillers. We also talk with French Broad Chocolates co-founder Jael Skeffington, who uses Riverbend malt in her best-selling chocolate bar, and Kyle Spears & Dan Lauro, the brewers at Carillon Brewing Company in Dayton, Ohio, who use Riverbend Malt in their historical 19th century ales.

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Bean to Barstool Podcast | Sips + Sweets with French Broad Chocolates & Burial Beer

November 9, 2022 |

On November 16 & 17, Bean to Barstool host and Advanced Cicerone David Nilsen in collaboration with French Broad Chocolates and Burial Beer in Asheville, NC, will be hosting two nights of events celebrating the relationship between beer and chocolate.

In today’s episode of Bean to Barstool, David talks with creative folks from French Broad Chocolates and Burial Beer, as well as Hi-Wire Brewing, Green Man Brewery, and Pisgah Brewing about the beers and treats we’ll be enjoying at these two excellent events. Listen in and then purchase your tickets to join us!

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Bean to Barstool Podcast | Cleveland Chocolate with Noble Beast Brewing

November 3, 2022 |

In this episode of Bean to Barstool David Nilsen talks with Rebecca Hess, the founder and chocolate maker at Cleveland Chocolate Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Rebecca was a classically trained fine dining chef who fell in love with bean to bar chocolate and changed her career to make chocolate her life. Cleveland Chocolate produces classic single origin bars that let their cacao shine through, as well as a thoughtfully curated rotation of imaginative inclusion bars.

In this episode David and Rebecca discuss her transition from chef to chocolate maker, her favorite cacao origins and collaborating with Noble Beast Brewing in Cleveland on their elegant chocolate beers. We’ll also hear from Shaun Yasaki, founder of Noble Beast Brewing, about working with Cleveland Chocolate’s single origin cacao. Read More

Bean to Barstool Podcast | Sleepy Hollow & a Hallow’s Eve Beer

October 27, 2022 |

We’re doing something a little different for today’s episode of Bean to Barstool. Bean to Barstool is all about stories, and in this pre-Halloween episode David Nilsen retells a classic American ghost story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The story provides the inspiration for New Holland Brewing Ichabod Pumpkin Ale, so grab your favorite pumpkin beer and join us for the haunting tale of Sleepy Hollow.

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Bean to Barstool Podcast | Witches & Alewives with Dr. Christina Wade

October 20, 2022 |

In recent years, associations have been made between depictions of Medieval alewives and our modern day image of witches, from pointy hats to cauldrons, and black cats to broom sticks. The story gets passed around by barstool historians claiming modern iconography of witches comes from these Medieval alewives, and as often happens, these stories have morphed into accepted popular history. But is there any truth to these stories about witches and alewives? Was there ever a connection between female brewers and witchcraft, and how did this story get started?

In this episode of Bean to Barstool, David Nilsen talks with Dr. Christina Wade, a beer writer and historian who helps us unpack the complicated mythology and iconography surrounding witches and brewing, and separate romance from reality when it comes to this spellbinding chapter of beer history.
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Bean to Barstool Podcast | Favorite Beers of GABF Week

October 13, 2022 |

Bean to Barstool host David Nilsen just got back from covering the Great American Beer Festival in Denver for PorchDrinking, as well as the Denver Rare Beer Tasting. While he was in Denver, he attended PorchDrinking’s 10th anniversary festival, hosted a beer and chocolate pairing at Lady Justice Brewing, and stopped in at many of Denver’s best breweries, including Jagged Mountain Brewery, Our Mutual Friend, Cerveceria Colorado and Wah Gwaan Brewing.

In this episode, David shares his favorite beers and experiences of Great American Beer Festival week.

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Ohio Breweries Find Repeat Success at GABF

October 13, 2022 |

Ohio craft breweries once again performed well on the national stage, bringing home eight medals from the 2022 Great American Beer Festival. Notably, every Ohio winner had previously been recognized at GABF or the World Beer Cup.

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Denver Rare Beer Tasting Impresses After Three Year Absence

October 12, 2022 |

The Denver Rare Beer Tasting returned to Denver’s McNichols Civic Center this past week after a three year absence, and a palpable excitement filled the air as beer lovers tasted some of the rarest beers in the country. Denver Rare Beer Tasting is an invitational beer festival benefitting Pints for Prostates, an organization that raises awareness about prostate cancer and promotes early detection. While benefiting a good cause, attendees are able to taste amazing beers they’ll likely never taste again, as well as talk with esteemed brewers and brewery founders like Sam Calagione, Adam Avery, and Shyla Sheppard. 

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Great American Beer Festival Pouring Guide | Chocolate Beers

September 28, 2022 |

Some of the most sought-after beers at the Great American Beer Festival have been dessert-inspired Stouts with coffee, chocolate, vanilla, lactose, or other ingredients that appeal to drinkers’ sweet tooth, and the 2022 GABF pour list promises to be no exception. There are several dozen excellent chocolate beers at GABF this year waiting for you to try them.

Beers brewed chocolate—or, more commonly, cacao, the ingredient from which chocolate is made—aren’t just candy or dessert substitutes though. At its root, chocolate is an agricultural ingredient, and thoughtfully-brewed Pastry Stouts can highlight the possibilities of this tropical crop. Check out our guide to the most exciting chocolate beers at this year’s Great American Festival.
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