Local beer blogger/podcast host Joshua Wright seems happily preoccupied with beer. At home, his insatiable curiosity for brewing and beer history means there’s a never-ending stack of brew-related books and publications to be plodded through. More recently, he’s found a unique niche in the podcast world with his co-host, brewer Michael Harper. We met over beers at The Boiled Owl.
Wright was nursing a New England IPA (NEIPA) when I joined him. He quipped that, on his podcast and Twitter account, he has poked fun at the beer style, which has been trending among the craft beer cognizanti for some time now. It’s not that he doesn’t like the hazed-out IPAs (as evidenced by his purchase that night). Sometimes, he said, it’s fun to see what kind of reaction he’ll get from his listeners. Informed, lively conversations about beer are at the heart of the Good Brew Guide ethos.
Wright considers the Near Southside his home base followed by Fort Worth proper. When new breweries like Martin House Brewing Company, The Collective Brewing Project, and Revolver Brewing began popping up a few years back, Wright noticed that the new businesses were getting their beers out but not their stories. That led to Fort Worth Brew Scene, the blog that was later rebranded as Good Brew Guide.
“There was no voice in Fort Worth that was focused on Fort Worth beer,” he said. “I love storytelling.”
A road trip to Asheville, North Carolina in 2016 prompted the rebranding. Wright hoped to chat up brewers along the way to North Carolina. Few responded, and Wright admits that website contact pages maybe weren’t the best choice for reaching out. One brewery employee told Wright that another problem was the location-specific name of his blog. Around that time, Wright read about a now-defunct British publication called Good Brew Guide. The name fit the bill. Good Brew Guide podcast co-host Michael Harper has worked as a brewer in North Texas for several years. His newest post is as head brewer for the up-and-coming brewery/restaurant Funky Picnic Brewery & Café.
Harper is a good foil on the show, Wright said.
“He’s looking at things from a brewer’s perspective,” he added. “I don’t think like a brewer. I’ve read lots of books on brewing. It’s all literary, so I come at these things differently. Our conversations are fun. Some things that matter to me don’t matter to him and the other way around.”
Beyond that, Wright tries to keep the hour-long beer chats fun and not too, um, heady. Wright is a wealth of local beer knowledge, so I ended our chat by getting his take on the local brew scene. If and when TABC guidelines are changed to allow breweries to sell beer to-go, Wright sees that as a game changer for local craft beer. Martin House’s new taproom is helping the Riverside brewery become a destination outside of traditional taproom tours. HopFusion’s Macy Moore gets kudos from Wright for putting in overtime and greeting visitors in person during taproom hours even after putting in a full day overseeing beer production and distribution. The Collective Brewing Project has released a solid lineup of superlative sours, he said, and the Near Southside brewpub’s “greatest beer yet” is still ahead of them. Finally, he predicts that Funky Picnic and Brutal Beerworks will blow 2019 out of the water when they open.
“If we think about it from a technological standpoint, we’ve moved from the early adopter phase to the mid phase,” he said. “We’re in the phase where [craft beer] is starting to establish itself in a normal capacity. This is where the majority of people get into this. I’m excited about that.”
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On Tap this Week:
Sunday Brunch with Hao & Dixya Dumpling Pop-up. Jan 27.
Join us for Sunday Brunch starting January 27th! We will be serving Cider Mimosas (Original Dry and OJ) and Cider Sangria (Original Dry and Dark Cherry with assorted fruit) by the pitcher, and food will be served by Hao & Dixya dumpling pop-up. Menu to come. Visit the event page here.