Rick Steves enjoying a beer at an undisclosed location.
A couple days ago I found myself sitting in a lone chair at a table in a large empty room, in a snow-covered building deep in the woods of Northern Michigan. It looked like a scene for a possible KGB interrogation. But no, instead I was recording two episodes of
, who was more than 2,000 miles away at his studio in Edmonds, Washington. I was at the public radio station in Interlochen, Michigan, which was procured by Rick’s producers for the interview.
I, as with many of you, have been a fan of Rick’s public tv show Rick Steves’ Europe, his public radio show Travel with Rick Steves and his countless travel guides and videos. So, to have the opportunity to be interviewed by him for an hour on two of my favorite topics, beer and beer travel, was a dream come true.
The first show was about "Finding the Best Beer in the World" and the second one was "Belgian Beer Touring". Rick interviewed me with his great sense of curiosity, some listeners called in and others posted questions by email. I answered all the questions, made some recommendations on beers, food and books, and told some short stories to the best of my ability, but in the end, I felt like we had just touched the tip of the iceberg on all the topics. Rick told me afterward,
“That’s the general nature of all this, but it inspires people to learn more about it. I think that’s a good thing.”
Looking back, I thought of so many other things I could have said, questions that were not completely answered, erroneous statements that were made by callers that I did not have a chance to refute or add to with more information. In the end, it’s like travel itself. It’s not perfect, it is what it is and it is a journey from which you learn, and armed with this new knowledge build upon and hopefully do better the next time.
One thing is clear, Rick Steves in a busy man with lots of people vying for his time, so to be able to have an hour window into his world was a privilege, exciting and perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime experience. My gratitude knows no bounds. I can’t wait to hear the final production of the two episodes in their broadcast format. I’ll post the air dates when they become available. I hope you will tune in or download the podcasts.
So, did we find the best beers in the world during the interview? No. We didn’t have enough time, but we did get a little closer. Maybe next time.
* Travel with Rick Steves
is a fun, hour-long, practical talk show with guest experts and questions from travelers. This weekly program is a lively conversation between travelers and the experts as we learn to explore our world smartly, smoothly, and thoughtfully. The show is currently broadcast on more than 200 station in North America.