39. Kevin Cary - Owner of Begyle Brewing

Whiskey takes a back seat this week. The founder/owner of Begyle Brewing and Begyle International Recording Studios joins the show to collect rent and have a conversation on beer. Begyle recently won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Stout category with their inspirational Barrel Aged Imperial Pajamas. The humble Mr. Cary shares the origins of their barrel-aging program and the growth of the overall brewery.

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38. Thompson Bros at Dornoch Distillery - Phil Thompson

Co-founder Phil Thompson of Thompson Bros at Dornoch Distillery made the trip from Scotland just to visit Wilson and Jake in Jake’s living room. Phil explains the growing pains, the determination and the passion involved to build Dornoch’s first whisky distillery. Phil and his brother Simon founded their distillery in 2016 backed by a crowdfounding campaign. Phil goes into detail on how they initially received attention from investors; and how they’re achieving their goals of producing quality spirit supported by the folks that took a chance on their passion/dream.

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37. Mississippi River Distilling Co. - Sean McQueen & Sam Bergren

Sean McQueen and Sam Bergren visit Jake’s living room to chat about the beginning stages of craft distilling in the Midwest, and the progression of the industry since Mississippi first opened its doors. The gentlemen also discuss the impact of brand identity by maintaining a clear focus with an innovative approach to releasing new brands. The four also taste through a new line of experimental products called Cody Road X.

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36. Indie Spirits Week - Jamie Duffy and Bob Zacharias

It’s Indie Spirits Week in Chicago, and to celebrate the occasion, we sit down with two good friends. Jamie Duffy, producer of the Independent Spirits Expo, and Fountainhead’s Beverage Director Bob Zacharias join Wilson and Jake to discuss the evolving community of distilleries and spirits in the Midwest. We also chat about the various perspectives of brands, trade and supplier at spirits festivals, and the future of independent brands versus the larger distilleries. 

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35. Callum O'Donnell, Aberlour Brand Ambassador and Chicago Artist Taylor Mentzer

Our delightful friends from Aberlour are back—well, new friends. Callum O’Donnell, Chicago Brand Ambassador, joins the show with Taylor Mentzer. Taylor is the winner of the Designing Louder Than Words Competition — a collaboration between Aberlour and Design Museum of Chicago. We discuss the techniques, the passion and the inspiration that Taylor drew from our great city of Chicago to produce a truly elegant package for the 15 Year Old release. We also chat Whisky, and the parallels we all draw between art and Whisky.

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34. Sagamore Spirit Returns - Chad Albertson & Brett Bauer

Sagamore Spirit is back on the show. Brett Bauer dropped by with Chad Albertson to talk about Ryeday The 13th and the growth of Maryland rye whiskey. Chad gives a full breakdown of the congruent growth of Sagamore Spirit based on their innovative methods of marketing, sales and experimentation at the distillery. Ryeday The 13th is Sagamore’s novel activation across their markets to celebrate the anniversary of the distillery and Maryland rye whiskey with a cheeky pun (that we love). Catch the next Ryeday The 13th in December.

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33. Solo-Cast with Jake

Jake sits down for a solo recording to reflect on National Bourbon Heritage Month and World Suicide Prevention Month. Both Bourbon and Suicide Prevention play dominate roles in Jake’s development as an adult, husband and whiskey enthusiast. He discusses the beloved positives of Bourbon (and whiskey) but also the negatives that can dominate, denigrate the mind and body—if not used properly.

It is National Suicide Prevention Day, so please reach out to anyone whom may be in need, and more imprtotantly, if you are in need, REACH OUT. As the unbelievable folks at Hope For The Day say, “It’s OK Not To Be OK.”

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32. Hosts Only - Jake Hukee, Wilson Torres & Matt Brown

Jake and Wilson are joined by their beloved co-host Matt Brown of Blaum Bros. Distilling. This week Matt gets sober; Andrew Luck’s retirement inspires a conversation, drawing the parallels between personal health in sports and the whiskey industry; Wilson paints the fine strokes of the job of a brand ambassador; and Jake gets Eternal Sunshine(d) of the Spotless Mind by Matt. 

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31. Graeme Cruickshank - Aberlour Master Distiller

Earlier this summer, Wilson and Jake had the pleasure of sitting down with Graeme Cruickshank, Aberlour’s Master Distiller, for the arrival of A’ Bunadh Alba. Graeme is the definition of a master distiller, not because of his title, but due to his roots. Graeme chats with us about his 35 years in the industry–all the way from sleeping for just a couple hours in the distillery’s washroom while attending college, to becoming an engineer in order to advance with the progression of automation. Graeme demonstrates his boastful pride of Aberlour, Speyside and Scotland with his articulation for the beauty of his home. He dedicated our conversation to the entire Aberlour team–not to play politics–but because he truly loves his craft the people around him. This chat was sincerely an honor.

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30. Chris Blatner - Urban Bourbonist

Chris Blatner is new to the forum of whiskey influencer, whiskey blogger, whiskey-grammar or whatever term is in vogue today, but Chris isn’t short on knowledge. He has thoughtfully crafted opinions and has a desire to learn more about the whiskey industry. Chris is @UrbanBourbonist, which is a nuanced page dedicated to Bourbon. Chirs recently joined us at Begyle Brewing for a pint and a chat about his development of UrbanBourbonist and the overall role of social media in the whiskey industry.

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29. Whiskey Roundtable - Matt Brown. Wilson Torres & Jake Hukee

We pride ourselves on hosting a whiskey podcast full of tangents. And, well, this episode defines that self-ascribed identity. Matt Brown is back from suspension, and Wilson and Jake join Matt in a conversation over the fallout of the secondary whiskey market, the balance between work and life, Portuguese moonshine and damn, oh so much more.

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28. Sam Bergren - Mississippi River Distilling Company

This episode is all about Iowa, the Midwest and representing your home with pride. Sam brings the conversation about the inception of this great Iowa distillery and its role in the craft whiskey explosion. Sam also discusses his journey from going to art school in Chicago to finding a home at Mississippi River based from his passion of whiskey as a regional sales manager. Plus, many, many tangents… Jake breaks the hearts of all Iowans by exposing the truth behind the barn distilled-style of “Templeton Rye”

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27. Brett Bauer - Sagamore Spirit

Brett joins us at Begyle Brewing for a discussion on his journey from having a passion for working in baseball to selling American rye for a company he believes in as a person and a whiskey purveyor.­ We also debate if Lebron James is a good father.

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26. Ben Diedrich - The Scotch Malt Whisky Society & Single Malt Alliance

Ben joins us at Begyle Brewing to discuss his love for Scotch and single malt whisky. We chat about the history of SMWS and its vast relationships with distilleries across Scotland. Along with Ben’s journey through Scotch, beginning with Johnnie Walker Red Label to now sharing the rich tradition of the world’s greatest pleasure as an employee of the world’s largest whisky society.

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25. Jonny Boucher - Hope For The Day

We sit down with Jonny to discuss the darker side of the industry, including conversations about stress, depression and suicide. Jonny’s charity Hope For The Day preaches the message: “It’s ok not to be ok.” Jonny and HFTD work internationally with folks to find the balance in all walks of life, and they want everyone to understand that asking for help is the first step to overcoming the struggles of life. 

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24. Katherine Loftus - FEW Spirits

Katherine joins the show to chat with Jake about the passion of whiskey and impact it can have on culture, history and community. Katherine has as much craft whiskey experience as any other person. She walks us through her beginning days at KOVAL to her current position and love for FEW Spirits. 

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23. Harrison Pious - MGP (Midwest Grain Products)

Harrison returns to the show. Live from my apartment on the 4th of July, we celebrate our Independence and Harrison’s eight-year anniversary of being in the whiskey industry. We also chat about the fire at Jim Beam’s barrel warehouses, the importance of finding your own identity in this industry, whiskey innovation, mental health and much more.

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22. Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.

Matt and Mike Blaum, along with their Chicago Sales Boy Matt Brown, join us at Begyle Brewing to chat about the beginning roots of their distillery. After five years of distilling, selling a highly sought after Bourbon and expanding across the Midwest, the brothers still stand true to their casual ethos of building their dream.

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