By Buffy @ Avling Brewery

Hi! My name is Buffy, and I’m the Brand Manager at Avling Kitchen and Brewery. I’m passionate about craft beer, building community, travel, and my dog. I’m also a huge pop culture nerd, which has brought me to the wonderful world of podcasts. Anybody else out there totally full-up on watching Netflix over the past few months? Podcasts have served as serious respite for me during the pandemic, and here are a few I’ve had on heavy rotation lately.

Still Processing –  This one is one of my all-time favourites. The hosts are 2 culture writers from the NYT, Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, who are also black. This pod is insightful, intelligent, funny and extremely thoughtful. A LOT of ground gets covered here, from Whoopi Goldberg’s underrated career, to why Colin Kapernick started taking a knee back in 2016, to reparations for Aunt Jemima. Jenna and Wesley are on summer hiatus right now, so it’s the perfect time to go all the way back five seasons and get all caught up!

You Must Remember This – With all it’s good and all it’s bad, Hollywood’s film industry is a giant part of our culture. This podcast, written, narrated AND edited by film industry vet Karina Longworth, covers Old Hollywood history, but from a female POV. Tune in to the most recent season, which focuses on Polly Platt (aka The Invisible Woman, aka a Hollywood Super-connecter, and on and on…) for some amazing feminist story-telling and food for thought. Bonus: are you a True Crime junkie? Go back and tune into the 12 part Charles Manson series too, because that whole story is just absolutely bonkers.

Dissect – Attention music nerds! Each season, this podcast breaks down solely one full album, song by song, one episode at a time. Learn about the meanings behind lyrics, music samples, why certain locations were used in music videos, artist bio’s, and so much more. IMHO, stand-out seasons are Beyonce’s Lemonade (obviously) and Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. 

Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out – Before we get the classic one-hour comedy specials that are hilarious and perfect, comedians spend hundreds of hours testing out and honing their jokes in front of real live audiences. Since there’s no such thing these days (tysm Covid) Mike Birbiglia invites a different comedian (Jacqueline Novak, Sam Jay, Roy Wood Jr., Hannah Gadsby, David Sedaris and on and on and on) each week to come and test out new bits – both theirs and his. This podcast is excellent, and a rare silver lining of this pandemic.

You’re Wrong About – Courtney Love. Marie Antoinette. Tonya Harding. Yoko Ono. Anna Nicole Smith. ‘Complicated’ women often become ‘misunderstood’ women in the pop culture/media machine. This podcast goes about debunking all the misinformation that surrounds these people throughout history and goes about setting their stories straight. Hosts Sarah and Mike are super funny, swear like sailors, are chock-full of information, and don’t revise these histories, but rather humanize some very complicating people. 

Wine Face – Picture this if you will: an industry that has been around for centuries, is historically male-dominated, can sometimes feel closed-off and elitist and perhaps a little snobby, but is growing and evolving and opening up…sound familiar? No, I’m not talking about craft beer, I’m talking about wine! Wine Face is hosted by wine shop owner, Restaurateur, and sommelier Helen Johannesen. Each episode, she tackles one part of the wine world – a region, or a style, or brings in wine writers and sommeliers who are at the top of the game (and also happen to be women) to talk about the current temperature of the industry. It’s down to earth, educational, and FUN. Real talk – does something like this exist in the beer world? And if it doesn’t, why not???