Let’s qualify that. The beer is craft beer and the politics is “center to progressive.” Zach Luea, a Democratic candidate for Kansas state representative who lost last fall in the 19th district, has started a podcast, sometimes with video, that combines two of his favorite interests. The Sunflower Brew podcast just recorded its 17th episode, which will feature state representatives Emily Perry and Stephanie Clayton (his election opponent). The podcast also records the Johnson County Democrats second Saturday event and has a recurring ‘Beer Episode’ with “resident beer guru” Jason Leib. But Luea describes most of the sessions as a discussion on Kansas politics while the hosts and guests enjoy a local craft beer and then they discuss the beer.
The podcast has run about three times per month during the legislative session and Luea plans to record about every two weeks after the session ends. The original idea formed around ‘What’s going on in Topeka’ but has expanded to other issues. The topics are not just about Kansas legislative issues. Leau tackles broader topics like immigration. “It’s relevant to what’s going on right now,” he says.
The inspiration, Luea says, was twofold: He wanted to stay involved with politics and current events after the election. At most events, though, he couldn’t ask detailed or followup questions of panelists. On the show, it is in-depth one-on-one conversations, which is perfect for the self-described “nerd/news junkie.” Secondly, he and producer Mike Czerniewski wanted to produce hyper-local media targeted to a center to progressive audience. And then there is the bonus of trying new craft beers with each show.
Luea has a teaching background and is now an attorney who practices private law and works for a university. The podcast can be found on iTunes and Facebook by searching for Sunflower Brew.
And watch for an exciting episode in June when the shawneemissionpost.com crew has been asked to sit in for a discussion of local media. We’re still trying to decide which beer to sample.