Yup, I continue to meet the people behind Tampa Bay craft beer, and tell other people about it. I’m a couple behind, this one’s several weeks old, but I really enjoyed speaking to Chris Johnson and his wife Leslie—they’re both extremely nice, and passionate and knowledgeable about beer.
In which I continue to profile the passionate folks who make craft beer throughout the Tampa Bay area, which is exploding—EXPLODING—with handmade brews, from serious small-batch stuff to larger (but still pretty small, considering) independent commercial production facilities.
Odessa is in Pasco County, maybe half an hour from both northern Pinellas County (Clearwater, Tarpon Springs) and western Tampa proper. It’s still fairly rural as a Bay area bedroom community—compared to, say, Brandon—but it nonetheless features three craft breweries/tasting rooms to date: Big Storm, Escape and English pub The Wild Rover.
Here’s my feature on Mike Bishop, who moved to Pasco to escape the creeping sprawl of other Bay area neighborhoods, and ended up founding an artisanal brewery that’s one of the most widely distributed in the state. (Photo by Kevin Tighe for Creative Loafing.)
I am not good on TV.
It’s weird. I’ve played music in front of thousands of people (not a lot; mostly I’ve played music in front of, like, two dozens of people), and not been too nervous. I’ve done readings. I’ve interviewed a few people whose mere presence has probably caused some of their fans to pass out. I’ve sat on panels. But TV, particularly LIVE TV, always freaks me out.
I’ve been in a few news segments over the years, usually pimping local music or talking about tech in front of an audience that probably finds instant messaging an alien and terrifying concept. And it tends to make me anxious, to some degree or other. The last time I was on Tampa Bay’s WTSP morning show Studio 10 — which I visited again last Thursday to pimp Creative Loafing’s “Meet the Brewers” cover story — was probably four or five years ago, and I think I gave better TV, because I was calmer; I was also, honestly, significantly hungover that time, and more preoccupied with being conscious in general than being on TV specifically.
In any case, click through to witness my stammering, panic attack-y appearance on morning TV. The crew and hosts were very nice. (Rebecca was embarrassed that I didn’t have time for a haircut beforehand.)