Josh Gallagher on his new album, becoming a dad and how he got into music

Josh Gallagher, country musician and soon-to-be dad, joins us to talk about his upcoming first full length album, how he got into music, growing up in Pennsylvania, if he’s ready to be a dad, what’s in store for 2022 and more. Plus, Jake Sulek joins us for Tasting Notes to talk about how to drink healthier and healthy option cocktails.

SHOW NOTES:

  • Introduction to show 
  • On this week’s “Tasting Notes”, Jake Sulek, Beverage Director/Partner with The Professors LLC, talks how to be healthier with your drinks and tips for healthier cocktails (starts around the 1-minute mark) (starts around the 1-minute mark)

Country musician Josh Gallagher joins us at the 6-minute mark.

  • What are you drinking? 
  • How would you describe your style of music? 
  • What got you into music? 
  • Who/what type of music did you grow up with or influenced you? 
  • Growing up in Pennsylvania, how did that impact your music/life? 
  • You’ve dropped two EPs, any album coming soon? 
  • When writing songs, do you pull from personal experiences or just have an idea? 
  • You run the gauntlet with clever/catchy songs like Them Cans to Boots Like Mine and These Hands, what draws you to each? 
  • I saw where you’re about to be a dad, are you ready? 
  • What’s some of the best/craziest advice you’ve received so far? 
  • What’s your journey as a musician been like? 
  • Getting some big acclaim from Rolling Stone to Garth Brooks 
  • The Camo Crew, can you talk about the name and your fans? 
  • What would you be doing if you weren’t in music? 
  • What can folks expect from you this year?

For more on Josh, check out https://jgmusic.net/ or find him on social media.

Monday Hangover Chat: HOP WTR’s Nick Taranto and Jordan Bass

Nick Taranto and Jordan Bass, founders of HOP WTR, join us for a chat on what sparked the creation of HOP WTR, how it differs from nonalcoholic craft beers, the challenges they faced and what’s in store for 2022.

1) How did the two of you (Jordan and Nick) meet/ become business partners?
Jordan Bass: Nick and I were introduced through a friend (Anthony), who Nick was roommates with at business school and I worked with. Anthony and I became good friends while working at The Wonderful Company. I eventually officiated Anthony’s wedding. Anthony ended up bringing together a group of 7 friends in LA. Our kids and wifes are now all friends. Nick and I met through this group and were hanging out in LA. We began discussing this hole we both saw in the market on a family camping trip in Central California. One thing led to another and HOP WTR was born.

2) The idea for Hop WTR, what was the catalyst for it?
JB: I was training for a triathlon and found I was not burning my beer gut as much as expected. When my wife got pregnant, it put a spotlight on the fact that I was the only one crushing double IPAs on the couch at night and too many lagers on the weekend. I switched to La Croix but found they didn’t fulfill that beer occasion for me and traditional non-alc beers had too many calories. Additionally, both removed the functional ingredient of alcohol that helped me unwind. When I could not find something on the market that was low calorie, had the great taste of beer and a functional benefit, I knew there was a hole in the market.

Nick Taranto: For me, Being a dad was part of the catalyst for HOP WTR. Prior to HOP WTR I found myself drinking 2-3 beers per day, and I was overweight and not setting a good example for my kids. My oldest daughter would even bring me a beer at the end of the day to help me unwind! I wanted to live up to my kids’ expectations of me, and having a beer gut and being hungover didn’t really seem to map to that!

3) How challenging was it to come up with a recipe that worked and tasted good?
JB: We specifically used Citra, Amarillo, Mosaic and Azacca hops to deliver a citrusy, piney flavor that evokes a tasty lager or IPA. We’re not pretending to be beer so we wanted to make sure that the flavor profile was refreshing, crisp and tasty – somewhere in between your go-to seltzer and favorite craft beer.

4) What would you compare HOP WTR to when talking to beer drinkers?
JB: The mission of our brand is to redefine drinking culture as a healthy way to socialize, unwind, and relax — without booze. We loved the history of hops, and wanted our brand to come out of the beer lineage, but without the gut and hangover. We built HOP WTR to be the healthy alternative to beer!

NT: It should also be noted that we aren’t “anti-beer”. We love beer! I find myself drinking about 90% less alcohol since we started HOP WTR. I still love a good cocktail, IPA, or a glass of a bold and juicy California red blend. But I drink 2-3 times per month now, instead of every day. That has translated across my life to better sleep, more energy, and higher fitness levels.

5) Why go the extra mile with the addition of adaptogens and nootropics? And what do those do?
JB: The stress-busting stack of adaptogens and nootropics in HOP WTR, including ashwagandha and L-Theanine, are specifically formulated to help you unwind and destress. We wanted to provide guilt-free, hop-filled relaxation without the alcohol, calories, carbs, gluten or sugar.

6) Why did you all decide on HOP WTR instead of a non-alcoholic brewery/beer?
NT: As Jordan said earlier, we aren’t pretending to be beer. We’re something else entirely! A crisp, light, and satisfying drink that you can enjoy guilt-free anywhere, anytime.

7) What’s next for you all in 2022?
NT: In 2022 we’ll continue pursuing our vision to reimagine the beer category with better-for-you innovation, so no one has to choose between having fun or missing out.

JB: The number one thing our consumers want is for us to be available in more places. Our consumers have bought directly from us online, but are eager for HOP WTR to be available at their favorite retailer. In 2022 we are working hard to expand with best-in-class retail partners both online and in physical retail so consumers can get our product whenever, wherever and however they want.

8) Where can folks find HOP WTR?
JB: You can find HOP WTR at HOPWTR.com and Amazon. We’re also available in retail locations like Erewhon, BevMo!, Lazy Acres and select Ralphs, Wegmans, HEB, HyVee and Total Wine locations.

Q&A with Honkaku Spirits

We go Beyond Kentucky for our Q&A with Honkaku Spirits. Chris Pellegrinin, founder, and Stephen Lyman, ambassador, chat with us on how they found their love of spirits, how Honkaku Spirits came about, the history behind their Takamine Whiskey, koji and how that differs from typical whiskey production, the science behind Japanese spirits and what’s next for them in 2022.

The Wooks on their new album, their name and hitting the road

CJ Cain from bluegrass band The Wooks joins us to talk about trying to find good bourbon, The Wooks’ upcoming album Flyin’ High, how they came up with their name, what got him into music, being able to tour, what’s in store for 2022 and more. Plus, Kevin Patterson joins us for Tasting Notes to talk about non-alcoholic beer and how it has changed over the years.

SHOW NOTES:

  • Introduction to show
  • On this week’s “Tasting Notes”, Kevin Patterson, a Cicerone and National Beer Judge, talks about non-alcoholic beer and how it has changed in recent years. (starts around the 1-minute mark)

CJ Cain of The Wooks joins us at the 8-minute mark.

  • What are you drinking?
  • How would you describe the style of The Wooks 
  • How did the name come about? 
  • What got you into music? 
  • Who/what type of music did you grow up with or influenced you? 
  • What can folks expect on new album Flying High? 
  • I read where you wanted it to have a more live feeling, said bluegrass is getting more autotuned, what were you all shooting for? 
  • Does this differ from your first two albums?   
  • As you all write new material, what’s the like? Pulling from experiences, have ideas? 
  • Since you all started in 2014, how has the journey been? 
  • You all are going on tour for the new album, what can folks expect? 
  • Is there a favorite venue or place you all have played/gone? 
  • Wook-o-ween and the fun of putting that on 
  • Did you ever expect this to be your life? 
  • You all are ambassadors for Can’d Aid, why is that important to you all? 
  • In addition to the new album/tour, what are you hoping for in 2022?

For more on The Wooks, check out https://wookoutamerica.com or find them on social media.