As Homer Simpson once said while giving cheers to Springfield, “To alcohol! The cause of -- and solution to -- all of life's problems!” If you’ve never quite reconciled your love of beer with the collateral damage of alcohol consumption, look no further than Freakonomics for answers. Writer Stephen J. Dubner and economist Steven D. Levitt peddle in hard data to understand the real-life incentives behind those of us that tempt fate for a drink. The episodes compare teetotaling to drunkenness and ask listeners to seek a middle ground, a place where we’re all buzzed, the cops are out, and no one steps behind the wheel.
First things first: pour one out for Strange Brews, which ended its 75-episode run in October 2015. Unlike other hardcore beer podcasts, this one has production value and a well-known backer: Chicago’s WBEZ public radio station, the company that birthed This American Life. The hosts Andrew Gill and Alison Cuddy throw around terms like “fruit-forward,” “heady,” and “profile” after on-air taste tests, and while you might think they’re beer snobs, there’s nothing elitist about their podcast. Start at the beginning of Strange Brews.