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Heavy Hops

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Heavy Hops is an interview format podcast featuring conversations with leaders, creators, and innovators in the beverage and music industries. We are passionate about heavy music and beer, driven by curiosity, and interested in showcasing a variety of viewpoints and opinions. From the creator of Scorched Tundra, hosted by Alexi D. Front and Sam Cangelosi. New episodes every Thursday.

Heavy Hops is an interview format podcast featuring conversations with leaders, creators, and innovators in the beverage and music industries. We are passionate about heavy music and beer, driven by curiosity, and interested in showcasing a variety of viewpoints and opinions. From the creator of Scorched Tundra, hosted by Alexi D. Front and Sam Cangelosi. New episodes every Thursday.


United States


Heavy Hops is an interview format podcast featuring conversations with leaders, creators, and innovators in the beverage and music industries. We are passionate about heavy music and beer, driven by curiosity, and interested in showcasing a variety of viewpoints and opinions. From the creator of Scorched Tundra, hosted by Alexi D. Front and Sam Cangelosi. New episodes every Thursday.




HH 064: Zone Tripper (Dave Schmidt/Electric Moon, Zone Six, Sula Bassana)

Joining us this week is German multi instrumentalist Dave Schmidt. He is a pillar in the modern psychedelic music scene: his projects Electric Moon, Zone Six, Krautzone as well as his solo work - released under the name Sula Bassana - are essential listening for anyone looking to open their mind and reach the outer galaxies. His label Sulatron Records sits at the convergence of neo-psychedelic, krautrock, ambient electronic and progressive rock - in a normal year releasing a prolific amount...


HH 063: Torment & Glory (Brian Cook/Russian Circles, Sumac)

Joining us this week is Brian Cook, you may know him as bassist in heavy bands Russian Circles and Sumac. This conversation focuses on his first solo effort - under the name Torment & Glory - which was released in late August. We Left a Note with an Apology draws from a wide music palate, folk tradition, country storytelling, krautrock with moments of sludgy distortion that transport the listener to a series of moments in Brian’s life. Our conversation also touches on the construction of the...


HH 062: Touring Life (Mattias Nööjd & Axel Wittbeck/Firebreather)

This week we're in Gothenburg Sweden at Studio Berserk with Mattiias Nööjd and Axel Wittbeck, guitarist/vocalist and drummer respectively of the riff driven heavy band Firebreather. The band will head to the USA for the first time in early 2022 with Monolord. Our conversation revolves around the role that touring plays in gaining notoriety, and the challenges that comes with gaining and building an audience on the road. We also discuss the bands forthcoming, as of yet untitled, third album,...


HH 061: Modern British Beer (Matthew Curtis/Pellicle Magazine)

Joining us this week is Matthew Curtis, an award-winning freelance writer, broadcaster and author based in Manchester. You may be familiar with his work as Editor-in-Chief of Pellicle Magazine, a publication and podcast focused on beer, cider, wine, food and travel. Matt’s most recent book, Modern British Beer, is the focus of our conversation. The book itself provides a look at eighty different beers produced annually in the UK. In sharing the perspectives of the producers - and the tasting...


HH 060: Tasting Into The Future (Mike Schallau/Is/Was Brewing)

This week we catch up with Mike Schallau, co-owner and brewer of Is/Was Brewing, an artisanal producer of rustic, farmhouse-inspired ales based in Chicago. We explore two of Mike’s first blended mixed fermentation beers: Levain and Bend Towards Daylight. In discussing the construction and intention of these beers we learn more about Mike’s symbiotic approach to creating these living beers. Is/Was recently celebrated its two year anniversary; and Mike reflects on learnings from this early...


HH 059: "Cool Story" Barrels (Jim Cibak & Marty Scott/Revolution Brewing)

Joining us this week are Jim Cibak and Marty Scott - Brewmaster and Barrel Program Lead respectively - at Revolution Brewing in Chicago. The brewery’s “Deep Woods” Series of barrel aged beers has garnered the attention of drinkers of these time and ingredient intensive styles. Balance, Jim and Marty argue, as perceived during the sensory process, and calculated in analysis, is central to the challenge of achieving consistency, complexity and conveyance of barrel expression for which their...


HH 058: Less Transformers, More Harry Crumb (Sanford Parker/HyperCube)

Joining us this week is Sanford Parker, a Chicago-based musician, studio engineer and producer. You’ve heard his work in these capacities on albums from Eyehategod, YOB, Wovenhand, Voivod, Hide, Darkthrone, Youth Code, Harm's Way, Facs, and Unearthly Trance, just to name a few. As we get to know Sanford, hear about his engineering and production process, and dive into a select few works, his approach and passion for music becomes evident. Select Works Sanford Recorded, Produced and Performed...


HH 057: Best of 2021...So Far (Nick Dellacroce/Bongripper)

Joining us this week is Nick Dellacroce, guitarist of instrumental doom band Bongripper and solo project Bottomed. We discuss what’s been happening with Bongripper, what we’ve been listening to and which albums, podcasts, movies and shows have struck us from 2021 so far. Listeners will recognize Nick not only for his musical work, but also from his appearance in Episode 7 Part I and Part II. Playlists, podcasts, and band names below are hyperlinked, so click/press to explore! Playlists...


HH 056: Paganism and Metal (Deena Weinstein/DePaul University)

I was recently flipping through a collection of old compact discs and DVDs, and came across a treasure trove of folk and pagan inspired metal albums. From violins, bagpipes, and hurdy gurdies to throat singing, lutes and horsehead fiddles, modern metal bands have found interesting ways of incorporating traditional instruments, folklore and ritual into their music and performance. These sounds and lyrics are interwoven with a variety of different sonic expressions of heavy music. Deities,...


HH 055: Tension (Tim Pope/The Amenta)

Joining us this week is Tim Pope, keyboardist, programmer and lyricist for Australian extreme metal band The Amenta. Describing this band's sound - whether on a single album or as a characterization over time - in a two or three word genre title is challenging. Maybe that’s the point. Revelator, the band's fourth album, which was released in February by Debemur Morti Productions, represents the biggest stylistic jump between albums to date. Tim identifies the use of organic sounds and...


HH 054: Symbiosis (Gert van der Waal)

Gert van der Waal refers to his ventures in hop growing, malting, and distilling as “experiments.” There’s a level of modesty in this claim indicative of his character. On his small farm located outside Pretoria, South Africa, you’ll find four varieties of hops: Cascade, Kracanup (a cross of Chinook and Cascade originating from Australia), DrakGold (a variety bred near Durban on the east coast) and NAK, a local strain whose name references the rocky terrain on his farm, Nog-a-Klip. In the...


HH 053: Tiny Prints (Maura Walsh/Black Nail Studio)

Maura Walsh, a Chicago-based artist, gained notoriety during the pandemic for her appropriately named Tiny Guide to Chicago's Best Music Culture Spots and Tiny Guide to Chicago Arts which raise funds for local organizations Chicago Independent Venue League and Save our Stages. We explore the origins of this project, the challenges of communicating architectural detail on such a small medium, and dive into the experience of having a project go viral overnight. We also touch on Maura’s most...


HH 052: Right Place At The Right Time (Coy Eakes/Collective Arts & Gamma Brewing)

This week's episode is a story about curiosity, saying yes to opportunities, not fearing living somewhere new, and relishing challenges. Coy Eakes, co-Founder of Gamma Brewing, located just outside of Copenhagen, Denmark, tells us how he left his native North Carolina for a country he’d never been to, how he found brewing, and the importance of collaboration as an avenue for better understanding his new surroundings and profession. Coy’s journey continues stateside where he will open a new...


HH 051: Roadburning (Walter Hoeijmakers & Becky Laverty/Roadburn Festival)

During the first weekend after Easter, Tilburg - a university town in the south of Holland - becomes a destination for curious music enthusiasts from around the world seeking to discover and enjoy up and coming, and select established names, in heavy music. Roadburn Festival’s influence and role as a forward-thinking tastemaker is immeasurable; every metal festival organizer in Europe - and some in North America - watch its announcements extremely closely and labels take careful note of its...


HH 050: Surveying The Hosts (Alexi Front & Sam Cangelosi)

For the fiftieth episode artist and longtime collaborator Bryn Gleason is taking the helm and asking listener submitted questions. Sam and I offer behind the scenes insight into the shows background, how we adjusted during the lockdown period, what we look for in collaboration beers and projects, and what future content listeners may expect. Big thanks to everyone who listens weekly, those who encouraged us to take the plunge, and folks that have opted to support us financially on our Ko-Fi...


HH 049: Non-Traditional Hop Farming (James Altwies/Hopnology & Siebel Institute of Technology)

This week we're focusing on a specific overlap of agriculture and beer: small scale hop farming in non-traditional areas. Who is starting small farms, where are they located and what are the historical and present challenges these farmers face in North America where the “scale-up to succeed” mentality and monocropping are most prevalent? How is the “what’s new” consumer fixation challenging for small scale, non-traditional growers, and how do branding and marketing play into the hands of...


HH 048: Morbid Malts (Samu Rahn/Louis Glunz Beer, Cairn & Wintering)

We’re back in the studio this week for the first time since October, enjoying a few beers with Samu Rahn. Our wide-ranging conversation touches on Samu’s musical endeavors as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in dark heavy bands Cairn and Wintering; the importance of seeking new, niche, experiences - whether at home or abroad; beer and metal intersections by way of Hammerheart Brewing; and what it has been like working as a distribution sales rep during the pandemic. On the back nine of...


HH 047: Hearing Conservation (Drs. Michael Santucci & Howard Kotler)

With summer festivals and club concerts on the horizon, we wanted to explore the connections between mental, physical and hearing health. No better guests to join us than Chicago-based audiologist Dr. Michael Santucci and Otolaryngologist Dr. Howard Kotler, an ear nose and throat specialist. As the world’s only audiologist-run earphone manufacturer Dr. Santucci’s firm Sensaphonics attracts musicians from all over the world seeking hearing protection. Using the recent film Sound of Metal as...


HH 046: Migration and ReChording (Trevor Shelley de Brauw/Pelican/Chord/RLYR)

Joining us this week is Trevor Shelley de Brauw guitarist of Chicago-based heavy instrumental bands Pelican, RLYR and Chord. We discuss what's happening with each of these bands, including re-releases of Pelican’s first three records (Australasia, The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, City of Echoes), the fourth Chord effort Imperfect Authentic Cadence and the upcoming RLYR album, which was being recorded at the time of this conversation. We discuss sources of inspiration, use of...


HH 045: Virtuous Cycle (Dan Kleban & Anne Marisic/Maine Beer Co)

Maine Beer Co was founded in 2009 during the financial crisis, a challenging time for attorneys such as Dan Kleban. Having witnessed the ugly underbelly of capitalism, Dan and his brother Dave sought to build a brewery that could be successful by maintaining a moral approach to sustainability. The company sought success not through rapid growth and expansion, rather by treating the environment and his employees well, creating a virtuous cycle. Anne Marisic, the Director of Marketing and...