Return of the Growler

Your Call is Very Important to Us

Okay, so not everyone is happy we took a couple of years off. Look, things got busy.

We didn’t mean to let things get away from us, but the next thing we knew Greece was having a financial meltdown freakout, Jon Stewart was leaving The Daily Show, people were getting shot for not having front license plates and Ted Cruz was cooking bacon on the barrel of an assault rifle.

Good grief, give us a beer after all. This year of 2015 is pretty depressing.

New Material, New Shows


Tommy (aka “Blade”)

The important thing is we’re back with a brand new show, and craft beer and goofy podcast fans everywhere are celebrating: new material from Tommy Hough and High Octane Growler!

Instead of going over everything High Octane Growler host Tommy has been up to since the last show of the original run was posted in June 2013, followed by a one-off Mad Men review in May 2014, we’d like to extend a thanks to our friends who made the first run so much fun.

This includes Scott Slonaker and Frederick von Tank of Portland – better known as both halves of The Others – and the team at Portland’s Base Camp Brewing Company.

Screen shot 2015-08-06 at 2.38.01 AM

Ken Wright

We also want to thank long-time “returning champion” Garett Michaels, former Stone distribution king Philip Smith, Curt Kruse, Owen Salerno, Maya Kroth, Shelly Brown, Allison Andrews, Jay Reilly and of course the long-time minister of evangelism and indoctrination at the Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, Ken Wright.

And since High Octane Growler has left the green environs of Portland to return to the brown hills of San Diego and Southern California – home of abundant craft beer, wildfires and no water – it’s only fitting to have Ken Wright once again joining us.

So clap your hands and clink your bottles together High Octane Growler fans, because Ken is back with a full-on beer appreciation tour de force!


Dana Rubin

New Voices to the Show

Also joining us for this return edition of High Octane Growler is animal health and welfare specialist and percolating stand-up comic Dana Rubin, who can plot the distance between his San Diego home and various local craft brewers like Green Flash, Alesmith and Ballast Point to within a tenth of a mile.

We’re also thrilled to have radio personality, TV pitch maven, voice-over artist, voice actress and Tommy’s KPRI colleague Jodina Scazzola joining us! Jodina is best known to San Diegans for her years on the air holding down the midday slot at 102.1 KPRI, and as the host of Presenting San Diego on XETV-TV San Diego 6.



So let’s get to some beers, eh?

Beers Enjoyed

Mother Earth Brew Co. Kismet IPA
Vista, California
American IPA
7.2% ABV
IBU 78

Stone Brewing Co. Ruination IPA
Escondido, California
Imperial / Double IPA
8.2% ABV
IBU 100

Alesmith Yulesmith Summer 2015 IPA
San Diego, California
Imperial / Double IPA
8.5% ABV
IBU 105

Music Notes

Acdc_PowerageWe started off the show with a potboiler snippet from AC/DC‘s awesome “Riff Raff,” from their 1978 fistful of guitar strings album Powerage. Probably their most underrated effort, and with pure undiluted Bon Scott on vocals and production by Harry Vanda and George Young, this was their last album before being thrown into the Robert John “Mutt” Lange matrix. Good stuff.

The mid-section song comes courtesy of The White Stripes, who always sound as though they’re re-working the blues through violent punk rock filters and argumentative guitars. The genius of Jack and Meg White is they make (made) everything sound as though it was by the seat of their pants and was about to fly apart. “Little Bird” from their 2000 classic De Stijl is probably one of Jack’s more outrageous open-tuning Led Zeppelin rips, but it’s a smoker. Even this band’s throwaways were legend.

El_CorazonComing in at the end is “I Still Carry You Around” from one of Tommy’s favorites, Steve Earle. Off of Steve’s 1997 album El Corazón, “I Still Carry You Around” features Chattanooga bluegrass great Norman Blake on guitar, along with powerhouse bluegrass backing from the Del McCoury Band, with whom Steve would record his El Corazón follow-up album The Mountain the following year.

Last but not least, a haunting and hypnotic blues from Mississippi Fred McDowell, and a live 1971 recording of his song “Shake ‘Em On Down.” If you’re curious as to how much of a trance one note can produce, give this a listen. While this version of “Shake ‘Em On Down” features some tasty leads, the star here is McDowell’s time-keeping rhythm guitar, which he plays close to the bridge to get a chunky, ringing sound that almost approximates an Indian-style raga drone.

Thanks as always to broadcast brother Mike Hansen for the killer imaging

Header photo courtesy of Georgios Giannopoulos and Wikimedia Commons.


Ken and Tommy celebrate Christmas by breaking into shipments of Cascade hops.


Thank you for everything Portland, we truly enjoyed our time there.