Beer Man

Two craft beer radio shows will go head to head in Denver

The hosts of what had been Denver's only craft beer radio show have gone their separate ways, an amicable split that has nevertheless created a somewhat awkward situation: two craft beer radio shows, both airing at the same time on the same day.

Gary Valliere, the creator and co-host of Colorado Craft Beer Radio on AM 760, will launch a new show this Saturday on 102.3 The Ticket, an FM station that's part of the Front Range Sports Network, which just landed the rights to ESPN Radio broadcasts.

American Craft Beer Radio, as the show will be called, will feature discussion of Colorado beers as well as beers from across the country that are available in Colorado. Valliere plans to feature well-known guests each week from around the craft beer world.

In the meantime, AM 760, which is owned by Clear Channel, will continue to air its beer program, now called the Colorado Craft Beer Show. John Turk, who was Valliere's broadcast partner since the show began last April, will be joined by Chris Katechis, the brother of Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis and one of the brewery's public faces around Denver.

"I started looking around at other networks, because I didn't think we were getting the coverage I wanted to get on AM," says Valliere, who brought the idea for a beer show to Clear Channel last year. "I didn't want to pass on the opportunity to be on ESPN radio, because I think the listenership is going to be much greater."

The Ticket had previously been an all-local sports network; it is run by Tom Manoogian, who is also known by his sports-talk alter ego, Lou From Littleton.

Valliere says there is some crossover between sports fans and craft beer fans, and although sports fans tends to be more of a Bud Light crowd, he plans to to help convert them to craft beers, even if they only want locally made light lagers.

Valliere says he had hoped that he and Turk could work together on the new show, but that it didn't work out; the two are still good friends and drink together. They did their last show as a team on January 21.

The most awkward part of the split is the fact that both shows will fill the noon slot on Saturdays, making if difficult for beer fans to listen to both. There is a chance that Valliere may be able to move his show back by half an hour or so, but the programs are still likely to overlap for the foreseeable future.

Breckenridge Brewing and Argonaut Liquors will be the title sponsors for Turk's show, while Dry Dock Brewing and the Cheeky Monk will fill that role with Valliere.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes