Talking American Brandy with Washington’s Mastrogiannis Distillery

For this week’s episode of Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Manual Podcast, the round-table — managing editor Nicole Raney, food and drink editor Sam Slaughter, and that nonpareil of a host Greg Nibler — sit down with founder of Mastrogiannis Distillery and host of the Distillery Nation podcast Ilias Mastrogiannis.

Mastrogiannis, a brandy and Greek spirits maker based in Lakewood, Washington, joins the crew to talk about what brandy is, how best to use it, and why everyone should be giving it a try. Along the way, he talks about his father’s winemaking history as well as the other spirits he makes, including grappa, ouzo, and more.

With brandy being such an important spirit in the history of America — brandy-drinking stretches back to some of the first people to come from elsewhere and land on these shores — this episode shows just how far it’s come (and we’re not just talking about being the main ingredient in a Wisconsin Old Fashioned). If you’re a spirits lover or spirits, as we know so many of you out there are, then this episode is definitely for you. You will want to have a drink by the end, but what episode of ours about spirits doesn’t make you want to do that?

Have you tried grappa? Thinking about giving a Wisconsin Old Fashioned a try? Let us know. If you ever have a question or comment for The Manual podcast folks, give us a shout at — we’re always around! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and remember to subscribe and rate the podcast wherever you download the episodes.

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