cicerone certification

Cicerone Beer Sommelier Program with Neil Witte

Neil Witte from Cicerone Certification Program joins Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras today on the Brew Ha Ha podcast. He trains people to become what is commonly known as a Beer Sommelier. Herlinda holds the first degree certificate. Neil Witte started as a home brewer and got his first brewery job in 1997 in Kansas City, then for another larger brewer in the same city. He worked for three years as a brewer then as a quality control manager visiting bars and restaurants making sure the beer was top quality. He took beer certification programs and did a lot of private study. Now he works for the Cicerone Certification Program as the chief trainer. Etymology, Definitions and Pronunciation of Cicerone Cicerone means “guide” in Italian. (1) It commonly refers to an Italian tour guide. “Cicerone” is Italian for the Latin name Cicero. Marcus Tullius […]

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brews brothers

Brews Brothers on Netflix

Gregg Schaffer is our guest today on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras. Gregg Schaffer and his brother Jeff are the creators of Brews Brothers, a new comedy series starring Alan Aisenberg and Mike Castle, that debuts on Netflix this coming April 10. The show is about a couple of brothers who own a craft beer taproom.  Here is all the information about the show and the official trailer, on the Netflix site. You can also check out the Brews Brothers trailer on YouTube, here. There are 8 episodes coming out all at once, on April 10. Herlinda tells how Gregg and Jeff really are brothers who love beer and who have a long pedigree in the TV business. Gregg did research up the west coast, visiting places like Lagunitas and Anderson Valley. Jeff has been a writer on numerous successful TV shows. Brews Brothers […]

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teeling whiskey

Anne Marie Roberts from Teeling Whiskey

Anne Marie Roberts of Teeling Whiskey in Dublin, Ireland is our guest today on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter. She is the California Brand Ambassador, based in Oakland. Herlinda Heras is also in the studio today. Teeling Whiskey is the first new distillery to open in Dublin, Ireland, in 125 years. They opened about 5 years ago and the founders come from a very old whiskey-making family. “We represent a new generation of distillers, focussed on innovation and cask maturation and leading with flavor,” she explains. Their casks are made of at least seven types of wood and this is what gives most of the flavor to the whiskey, and over 100 cask types. Today they will taste four whiskeys from Teeling: a grain whiskey made of corn, a small batch blend of corn and malted barley, a single malt […]

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tara nurin

Tara Nurin Reports

Tara Nurin is back on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon today, along with Herlinda Heras, to talk about her latest article in Forbes magazine and her upcoming book about women in craft brewing. Mark Carpenter is traveling this week. Tara Nurin writes about all aspects of the brewing and spirits business for Forbes magazine. You can follow Tara on Twitter here. Tara’s latest article in Forbes is “The #MeToo Movement Is Coming To Craft Beer… Will It Arrive Before All The Women Leave?” Tara is also writing a book, “Don’t Worry, Honey, I Didn’t Burn the Beer,” about women in the brewing business, which is due to be published in the Spring of 2021. She is visiting Sonoma County to interview several women in the brewing business, for her book. The #MeToo Movement and the Craft Brewing Industry Describing her current Forbes article, […]

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andy hooper seismic brewing

Andy Hooper, Seismic Brewing + Karen Bianchi

Andy Hooper, brew master at Seismic Brewing Company, is our guest today on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter. Karen Bianchi is also in, representing the 14th annual California Artisan Cheese Festival and also the  Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery. Herlinda Heras is back to tell about her latest European trip. The Artisan Cheese Festival has a full schedule of seminars and practical exhibits in different locations, plus “Bites & Booze” which will be held in an airplane hangar. March 27, 28 & 29, the full schedule is at their website, here: It has grown in size and this year the tours are happening on Friday and there are seminars at the Flamingo in Santa Rosa. Sunday is the big marketplace, starting with Bubbles & Brunch. Chef John Ash is going to be paired with Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery. Seismic Brewing […]

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bob brewer

Bob Brewer visits Mark Carpenter plus Herlinda from Italy

Bob Brewer visits Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter this week, plus Steve speaks with Herlinda Heras who is in Rimini, Italy, again this year, to judge the Italian “Beer of the Year” competition, called “Birra dell’anno” in Italian. Mark Carpenter worked with Bob Brewer at Anchor Brewing in San Francisco for many years. First, Steve Jaxon talks to Herlinda Heras who is in Rimini, Italy, for the second straight year, where she is a judge in this year’s national competition. There are 108 judges from 15 different countries. They are judging only Italian beers. Italy is known for wine, but also for flavor, and their craft beer scene is very well developed. Mark Carpenter tells how there were no breweries in California at the time of the Gold Rush, which attracted people from everywhere, including northern Europe. They wanted to […]

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pliny the younger 2020

Pliny the Younger 2020 Unveiling

Today on Brew Ha Ha, Natalie Cilurzo is here from Russian River Brewing Co., with some bottles of this year’s Pliny the Younger, one day before the public release, which is tomorrow, Friday February 7, 2020. Brew Ha Ha and The Drive are pleased to host the Pliny the Younger unveiling again as we did last year at this time. This is the first year that this beer will be put in bottles. Pliny the Younger is their rarest and most sought-after beer. They decided that this was the year to put it in bottles, although they will only be sold in the brewpubs and none for distribution. There is only a certain amount every day. People came last year from 40 different states and 17 different countries, for the Pliny the Younger release. Customers can only get two bottles per person per day. Their […]

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shaker and spoon

Shaker and Spoon

Our guests on Brew Ha Ha today are from Shaker and Spoon, a monthly cocktail subscription service based in Brooklyn, NY. Anna, Mike and Amy have just come from the airport after their flight from JFK. They will visit The Science of Cocktails, a show at the Exploratorium in San Francisco (which used to be held at the Palace of Fine Arts). Herlinda has brought some cocktail tools from home and they will make some cocktails today. Herlinda’s friend Erin from Petaluma, who produces Bitter Girl Bitters, told Herlinda about Shaker and Spoon. (Erin was on Brew Ha Ha back in May of 2018.) Bitter Girl Bitters is one of their ingredient suppliers. Shaker and Spoon is a monthly subscription box that comes with everything you need to make 12 cocktails, except for the alcohol. You can make four servings each from three different […]

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woods brewing co

Woods Brewing Co. founder Jim Woods plus SF Beer Week

Jim Woods, founder of Woods Brewing Company is our guest today. Michelle Marques is sitting in for Steve Jaxon, with Herlinda Heras and Mark Carpenter. They will talk about Woods Beer & Wine Co. and also about SF Beer Week. Jim is a friend of Mark’s daughter, they went to school together in San Diego. Years ago, Jim asked Mark about making beer with Yerba Mate and Mark admits he didn’t think it would have success. Woods Brewing makes several kinds of unusual beers which do not follow the traditional beer ingredients. Using processes and ingredients like grapefruit zest and bourbon barrel aging, brings people in to tasting craft beer. “We try to take a unique approach to everything we do,” says Jim Woods. Jim talks about making a mess at home when he first tried to make beer at home, while he was […]

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judy ashworth

Judy Ashworth, Publican

Judy Ashworth joins Steve Jaxon, Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras today on Brew Ha Ha. She was a legendary and influential Bay Area publican for many years and has known Mark Carpenter since the 1970s. A publican is a person who owns and operates a pub or bar. The term is more in use in Britain but it is also American. Mark tells about how Judy took over a little bar in Sinole, California, that served the major brewers but she also began bringing in beer from all the micro-brewers in the area. Unfortunately it burned down, which made the news because there were a lot of local reporters who drank beer there. Nevertheless she persisted! She rebuilt with plenty of help from friends and the rest is glorious history. Clever Promotions When people asked her what is her favorite beer, she has been […]

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