Spring 2016 Internship Class Podcasts: Florida Craft Brew

With the help of coordinators Johanna Mellis and Meagan Frenzer, the Spring 2016 interns produced podcasts about the local history of craft brewing in Florida. Image from Visit Gainesville.

University of Florida Digital Collections Archive

To date, 90+ oral history podcasts are available on the University of Florida’s Digital Collections website, including final projects for internship classes, as well as the Summer 2013 seminar and original SPOHP podcast series, released in 2009. Browse the following highlights for more information, and visit the UFDC to download the many available series.

To access information about individual podcasts, scroll through the UFDC collection. Podcasts below are from the Fall 2015 internship class. All podcasts are 15 minutes or less to facilitate easy access to local history for students, teachers, and the general public.

 The Floridian Home Brewer (created by Ashley Goez) 04:35

Ron Minkoff (WB-016) a certified beer judge and home brewer describes his journey with his passion of home brewing. Through his journey he was able to see the growth of the Florida home brewing industry first hand to what it is today.

“It’s All About Diversity” (created by Jaclyn Loschaivo) 04:18

Craig Birkmaier (WB-017) recalls his early experiences with craft brewing and what attracted him to the product. In this podcast, he describes what makes craft beer unique and how that shapes the industry.

Craft Beer in Gainesville (created by Kelsey Landau) 05:56

Ian Tyler (WB-015), the Regional Sales Manager at First Magnitude Brewing Company in Gainesville, Florida, discusses the expansion and limits of both the brewery’s growth and the growth of the craft beer industry as a whole, as well as his role in working with distributors around the state. He views the rise of the craft beer industry as a positive development, and thinks that First Magnitude will continue to distinguish itself from its competition through the quality of its beer and its connection with the people of Gainesville.

From Biologist to Bartender (created by Christina Marshall) 05:34

Arthur Rudolph, bartender and quality assurance/quality control expert at First Magnitude Brewing, explains how he got involved in the craft beer industry in Gainesville as well as how he envisions the future of the craft beer scene.

From Home Brewer to First Magnitude Cellar Worker (created by Sophia Skoglund) 05:56

Simon Mcclung, a cellar worker at the craft brewery First Magnitude, sheds light on his involvement with the brewery as well as his personal experiences with craft beer. Simon was interested in home brewing, which let to applying at First Magnitude. Simon talks about how he first got interested in craft, what it’s like working at a brewery, and gave a great introduction to First Magnitude Brewery and the plethora of wonderful things about it that make the local brewery so incredibly unique.

Leaving the Swamp (created by Alex Sargent) 6:46

 In 2014, Dr. John Denny (WB-012) ended a thirteen year career at the University of Florida to pursue his dream of opening a   brewery. In the year and a half since its opening, First Magnitude Brewing Company has become a mainstay of Gainesville beer culture. In this interview, Dr. Denny, who works as First Magnitude’s head brewer, highlights the way that his time as a student advisor motivated him to pursue his goals, and how he eventually decided to take a risk on a dream that would also involve leaving UF behind.

Brewing in Gainesville (created by Holland Hall) 04:49

Eric Dreyer, a brewer at First Magnitude Brewing Company in downtown Gainesville, Florida, shares how he stumbled upon the craft brewing scene during his graduate education at the University of Florida. Through recalling his early experiences with this hobby, he refers to one of his earlier batches of home-brewed beer, which he notes did not turn out so well. However, Dreyer continued his hobby, and eventually found himself working as one of the head brewers for First Magnitude as it entered the emerging local craft beer market in Gainesville.

An “Accidental Entrepreneur” Opens a Brewery (created by Cleary Larkin) 07:49

Meg The Losen speaks about the decision in 2013 to open First Magnitude Brewery with her husband, Wells, and friends John and Christine Denny. In this podcast, she describes what the bar and craft beer scene were like in Gainesville in 2000 and the factors involved in choosing the location of the brewery. She also speculates about the future of craft brewing in Gainesville and Florida.

Craft beer, Mermaids and the Heavens (created by Cleary Larkin) 08:38

Meg The Losen describes the process for branding First Magnitude, including development of the name and their unique mermaid logo. The podcast ends with Meg’s recollections of opening day in August of 2014.

Behind the Bar and the Desk (created by Allison Mangan) 05:40

Lane Abraben discusses how his interest in craft brewing led him to become a bartender and the Director of Marketing and Events at First Magnitude Brewery. Mr. Abraben discusses his day-to-day operation in the company, his belief in the product and atmosphere of the brewery, and where he sees himself in the young company’s future.

The Inherently Floridian Brewery (created by Danielle Rose) 06:11

Swamp Head Brewery’s marketing manager Brandon Nappy (WB-003) describes the changes in Gainesville’s craft beer industry over the past five years. He also describes Swamp Head’s connection to the local community and environment, and reflects on the collaborative nature of the industry.

Community in the Craft (created by Kristen Keck)  05:15

Unsure of what he wanted to pursue as a career, Steve Smith worked as a bartender and at a local liquor store while attending Santa Fe College. He discovered his interest for craft beer and began working for First Magnitude Brewing Company as a tasting room manager since they first opened in 2014. Steve gives us insight into the amazing community that surrounds the craft beer culture and his thoughts on the future of the industry as it has evolved over the years.

Joey Redner: What’s Brewing in the Sunshine State? (created by Brandon Austin) 04:46

CEO and founder of Cigar City Brewing, Joey Redner (WB-002) discusses how his upbringing in Florida has impacted his life. Joey also goes into detail how the cultural influences of Tampa have played into his breweries day-to-day operations. The importance of community in local breweries is also a major topic that is examined.

For more information about the podcast series, University of Florida Digital Collections, and more, please contact the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.

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