Episode 32 - How a Whiskey Conversation Forged a Community


Will Haynes and Matt Giesler had been friends and coworkers for years when their mutual admiration for spirits led them to take the conversation they were having and add some microphones, create some context, and create The Podcask. On this episode of Around the Barrel, host Lucas Hendrickson speaks with these fellow podcast hosts to break down how they turn curiosity about consumption into conversations, how developing a whiskey vocabulary is key, and how the seemingly simple act of turning on microphones activated a global collection of fans.


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Whiskey is a great conversation starter, in more ways than one. For Will Haynes and Matt Giesler, the spirit kickstarted a conversation that, four years later, is still going strong.

Haynes and Giesler were two friends and co-workers who, each Monday, looked forward to discussing their whiskey finds from the weekend. After a time, they decided to grab some microphones and put that conversation into a podcast. In 2016, they launched “The Podcask” with little expectation of garnering much attention, but before long, they were welcoming thousands more friends into the conversation.

While both hosts had only a rudimentary knowledge of whiskey, they were enthusiastic about the spirit and eager to learn more and discover new expressions. With authenticity, humor and even some newfound insight, The Podcask developed a loyal community of fans and enthusiasts who not only tune in but travel around the country to meet the hosts in person.

Always up for a good conversation himself, host Lucas Hendrickson recently sat down with Haynes and The Greeze, as he is known, to talk more about their first experiences with whiskey and how their tastes evolved into a curiosity and excitement that was the genesis for their show.

While much of The Podcask’s charm comes from its entertaining hosts, listeners appreciate being able to learn about whiskey alongside them. Haynes and Greeze will be quick to tell you, though, that they are not experts.

“Our premise isn’t to tell you everything you need to know about whiskey,” Haynes says. “It’s the conversations…learning here and there, that drives the heart of what we’re doing. It’s hanging out with your buddies, having a glass of whiskey.”

Pull up a seat and join this conversation to discover more about the how the hosts select their Podcask topics, their favorite expressions and how their Whiskey Weekend events have become family reunions, Around the Barrel.

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