Year 2 in the books for the BBB Podcast, and we thank you for following along this incredible journey! We appreciate you supporting and engaging with our content, and we are excited for what 2022 has in store.
2021 was an awesome year for the brand, with 36 episodes, over 100 beers reviewed, and great conversations with some incredible people.
We want to share with you our year in review. Thank you again! From the pod to you all - Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and "Take it Easy".
We have had quite the array of incredible guests on the podcast this year. Based off the numbers, here were the interviews you all enjoyed the most!
Episode 39: Jared Grasso, Head Coach of Bryant University Men's Basketball Team.
The Bryant Bulldogs are taking the entire Division I basketball landscape by storm in 2021, so we thought it’d only be right to sit down with the architect of one of the best turnaround stories in the 21st century (starts at 19:31). Jared Grasso knew he was a basketball guy from the minute he picked one up (22:16); the son of a coach, he went on to become a 4-year starter and 2-year captain at Quinnipiac (23:30), where he ranks 23rd on the Bobcats’ all-time scoring list. Grasso talks with us about his tactics to build a championship at Iona (27:49), and going to the NCAA Tournament five times. Grasso takes us through his decision to seek greener pastures at Bryant (33:09), his mentality of turning a 3-28 program into an NEC competitor, and purging recruits from powerhouse programs like Rutgers. We play “Break Down the Quote,” as Coach breaks down his three favorite phrases…or “Grasso-ism’s,” some may say (47:49). We also discuss the game Grasso scored 30 points against Ben Gordon (25:40), the best places to eat on Long Island, and his close relationship with CBS Sports insider Jon Rothstein (and his machine-like eating habits - 49:44).
Episode 42: Bobby Valentine, Former MLB Player/Manager and Current Athletic Director of Sacred Heart University
If you’re a baseball person, you know Bobby V. But even if you don’t keep up with America’s pastime, there’s still a chance you know this week’s guest for a few reasons: as an ESPN analyst, a restaurant owner in southern Connecticut, or most notably, a “master of disguise.” We are honored to have Bobby Valentine on our show this week to reflect on a career with a plethora of accomplishments. We recall Bobby’s days at USC - from rooming with future Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, to his time in the Sigma Chi Fraternity with 3-time Super Bowl Champion coach Mike Holmgren. Bobby reminisces on nearly stealing home his Major League debut, playing a role in 3 of Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters, and his “catcher’s balk” disguise incident in 1999 as the manager of the New York Mets. We break down Bobby’s opinions on the future of the game of baseball and the inevitable universal designated hitter rule. We shift gears to chat with Bobby about his role as the Athletic Director at Sacred Heart University, the gaps he had to fill going from professional to collegiate athletics, and what’s to come for the SHU Pioneers in the near future.
Episode 49: Brendan O'Donnell, CEO of Newport Craft and G&P Acquisition
It’s one of the most complete interviews we’ve ever done on Beers, Business, and Balls: we welcome Brendan O’Donnell to the show this week. Brendan’s path to the beer industry was one of the most unconventional, yet interesting stories we’ve ever heard. Brendan started school at Roanoke College in Virginia with nothing more than an interest in business and his Sigma Chi fraternity brothers. After working in finance for a few years, he finally decided he wanted more out of his life, and began his journey into craft beer. Brendan purchased then-Newport Storm Brewery; a brand that was doing well, but needed work. Since then, Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Company has blossomed into a household name throughout New England. What is making Brendan so successful, and how is Newport Craft growing their market share in the Northeast? We discuss Brendan’s new acquisitions of Radiant Pig and Braven, his new endeavor onto the New York Stock Exchange, and a rum partnership with the New York Mets.
Episode 56: Tamara McKenney and Mike Webster, Owner and Head Brewer of Apponaug Brewing Company
Apponaug Brewing Company is re-defining what it means to be a brewery. When Tamara McKenney founded Apponaug, she envisioned a place that would intertwine craft beer, community, and great food: as she calls it, the “tripod.” When she hired Mike Webster as her head brewer - who made stops at Tree House and Fox Farm - and a head chef to design a menu from the ground up, her dream was in motion. This segment is our first live interview of 2021; Will and Jake head down to Warwick to interview Tamara and Mike in person, enjoy some good beer, and top it off with their favorite - sweet potato poutine. We discuss the founding and original vision of Apponaug, the evolution of the beer program, and what’s next for Rhode Island’s quickest-growing brewpub.
Episode 60: The Wonton Don, Barstool Sports
Who doesn’t love The Wonton Don?! Our Episode 60 guest is the one and only Donnie Does, who made his name on traveling the world and discovering new cultures. You’ll recall that just a few months ago, Donnie put out a plea for someone to make him a “breakfast beer,” and this summer, we delivered plenty of fresh “Don’s Early Light” to the Barstool Sports HQ2. Donnie joins us for a quality hour of beer reviews, perspectives from his life as a content creator, and his upcoming trip to the Balkans. We also talk about his recent trip to Woonsocket, Rhode Island and all its “hidden gems.” We discuss how content creation has changed over the years, and what’s next for Donnie & the rest of the Barstool Sports crew.
We were very fortunate to do what we love and head to breweries during the pandemic. We had the opportunity to interview three of our favorites in Rhode Island, including Apponaug Brewing Company, Beer on Earth, and Moniker Brewery.
We launched our official merch store, thanks to the help with our friends over at SquadLocker. Not only does the podcast have it's own line, but all of our friends in The House have brands as well. You can find the full store here.
We want to thank our partners and sponsors especially. They have given us the opportunity to make our dream a reality and we appreciate their support!