Sam Calagione has been in Chicago for a long time. Long before he was in over 30 states and had a national slice of craft beer’s mindshare, Sam was a fledgling brand out of Delaware making his way from one bar to the next in the windy city.
Sam has grown up to play a number of roles for craft beer. He became a board member at the brewers association, the host of an inspiring if ill-fated TV show called Brewmasters, and he’s sort of adopted the unofficial role of ambassador for all of craft.
That gets you a certain amount of unassailable respect in this industry - and it gets you some criticism as well. Craft brewers are a sort of iconoclastic bunch that way. There’s no royal blood in this industry.
But whether Sam’s being applauded or criticized, he handles it all with an aplomb that tells you he takes the issues of craft brewers very very seriously, but never himself.
Unannounced, Sam was in town again recently and swung by the studio to share a new beer and catch up. I couldn’t have been happier to see his shining face and show him around the new digs here in Logan Square. Of course, I flipped the switch on the mics, and had ourselves a podcast.