On Tuesday, December 3, Curtis Park’s House of Pod hosted the first annual Colorado Podcast Awards. Winners of the Hoppy were named in five categories and celebrated at an inaugural awards ceremony and holiday party.
The House of Pod sits at 2565 Curtis Street, in an 1889 building that was designed to house the Colorado State Militia’s Armory. It later served as a dance hall, a social club, a roller rink, a truck dealership and, most notably as the Olympic Auditorium, the venue for many of the biggest boxing matches in Denver history.
The House of Pod was founded in early 2018 by Cat Jaffee and bills itself as “Colorado’s first podcast incubation hub” and a “one-stop shop for launching a world-class podcast and connecting with a global podcast community.” The crew there has worked with passion-driven projects from independent creators as well as with more commercial outfits like Rocky Mountain PBS, Denver Startup Week and History Colorado.
Editorial Director Paul Karolyi says this year seemed like the perfect year to start The Hoppys. “I’m always looking for excuses to lure Colorado podcasters here. And this year it’s felt like something changed in the local podcast community. People are taking it more seriously. It’s turned a corner.”
And so the Hoppys were born: House of Pod used a two-phase voting process to determine the winners. Phase one was open to everyone to nominate any Colorado podcast in each of the five categories: Best Podcast, Best Host or Co-Hosts, Best Episode, Best Indie Podcast and Best New Podcast. Phase two was sent out to the Colorado Podcast Academy —a term House of Pod invented to describe anyone who could demonstrate contribution to Colorado podcasting in 2019 — to determine the results.
The event, which drew over sixty attendees, boasted guest presenters like Colorado Public Radio's Sam Brasch; Wild Thing podcaster Laura Krantz; J.D. Lopez from Left Hand, Right Brain; and Berry, whose Podcasts in Color and personal encouragement is what got one Best Podcast winner, Montyy Taj, to take that first step into House of Pod and her now-award-winning podcast Comfortably Excluded. "I never imagined my very direct and in-your-face blackity-black podcast would win anything like this so early in the game," said Taj. "[This] just proves that diverse voices matter and that there is a desire in this world to hear more of these stories.
Winners at the inaugural event were each awarded a golden microphone and a six-pack of hoppy beer from sponsor 10 Barrel Brewing.
Will the Hoppys happen again in 2020? “I think absolutely,” Karolyi said. “It was a great party. Everyone was really excited. It can be bigger and better next year, just as the Colorado podcasting community will be.”
Winners and Nominees for the 2019 Hoppys:
Winner: Joy & Claire (Girls Gone WOD)
Damion LeeNatali (The Through Line)
Johnny DC & Marvelous Joe (Dynamic Duel: DC vs. Marvel)
Montyy Taj (Comfortably Excluded)
Sean Waldron (Tension Theory)
Winners: Range & Slope: "Cash Gart: Songs of Sniagrab" and Dear White Women: "#30 Crystal Echo Hawk"
Dynamic Duel: DC vs Marvel - "Riddler vs Arcade"
The Through Line: "Episode 1: The Future of Education"
Lost Highways: "Episode 1: Six Gay Weddings and a Horse"
Have a favorite Denver podcast? Let us know at email@example.com.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.