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Radio you can drink – Beer shows in Denver and Portland

On my drive moving to Portland, OR from Chicago in August I came across a few unique radio shows. As we droColorado Craft Beer Showve along I–80 in Wyoming I tuned in Denver’s KKZN 760 AM on Saturday afternoon where I encountered the Colorado Craft Beer Show. I like beer, and I like craft beer even more, so I kept the radio locked in and listened to a good portion of the 2-hour show for as long as the signal would hold on as I sped along the highway.

Colorado has a lot of long-standing and new craft breweries, so I wasn’t surprised that Denver would be home to a craft beer radio show, even though I’d never heard of one before. The episode I heard focused on women and craft beer, with guests and interviews with women who work at local breweries or organizations that help introduce women to craft beer.

I made a note of the program when we reached our day’s destination, but pretty much forgot about the show once we reached Portland and I started to settle in. That was until this past weekend when an unusual monsoon-like weather pattern here in Portland took out my power on Saturday afternoon. Like any good Radio Scout I took out my trusty CC-Radio filled with fresh D batteries and scanned the dial looking for something interesting to listen to as the wind howled outdoors.

Beer O'Clock LogoI quickly stumbled upon a hostess calling herself the Beer Goddess, broadcasting on KXL-FM with a show called Beer O’Clock. After hearing the Colorado show I shouldn’t have been surprised that Portland would have its own beer show, too, given that the Rose City has one of the greatest densities of craft breweries in the world.

Since Portland is situated between the Columbia Valley and Willamette Valley wine regions, I wasn’t surprised that after Beer O’Clock the next program was Northwest Vine Time. (Now do you see why I might have moved to Portland?)

Beer O’Clock was a little more segmented than the Colorado Craft Beer Show; the latter sounded more live and freewheeling with live call-ins from pubs hosting beer events. Beer O’Clock featured segments on new beer gadgets, as well as tasting notes on newly released beers and the story behind their beer of the week.

Both programs appear to be broadcast under leased-time arrangements, where the producers buy the time in advance from the station then sell their own sponsorships and advertisements. Beer O’Clock has been on the air since 2009, while the Colorado Craft Beer Show appears to have been on at least since February 2012.

With my curiosity piqued, I set about a web search for other beer radio shows. I did find a number of podcasts about beer, including a whole podcast network dedicated to many aspects of brewing beer. But I did not find another terrestrial broadcast program specifically dedicated to beer.

Clearly the two I found on the radio are labors of love, since the producers have to pay for the airtime themselves. But as more craft breweries spring up across the country I won’t be surprised if more Saturday afternoon schedules get filled with programs dedicated to many folks’ favorite weekend beverage.

Let me know in the comments if you know about a beer-focused radio show I’ve missed.

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