Turning Your Love of Craft Beer Into A Hit Podcast with Chip Mims

by Darrell Darnell | Pro Podcaster Stories

“Listening to a podcast is one thing, but actually producing a show where you're doing the work ahead of time, versus just listening, takes a while to get into the groove.” -Chip Mims Click To Tweet

Today’s Episode:

My friend Chip Mims is here to talk about his new podcast, his retired podcasts, and even one that we did together. Chip is a lifelong science fiction and fantasy comics geek. He loves great comedy, drama, art, music, politics, and beer. He is a Renaissance man when it comes to his taste and podcasting. We’ve been friends for a really long time, and he is our longest running customer at Pro Podcast Solutions. 

Up until recently, Chip was the CEO of Mims Distributing Company. Chip spent 28 years helping to bring the best beer, wine, and specialty beverages to his area. He also walked the talk with his own love of craft beers and specialty drinks. He started the Tales From the Cask podcast to talk about craft beers and beverages that he loved. This was also the first podcast that I produced for him. It has now reached 344 episodes and is now retired, coinciding with the closing of Mims Distributing. 

Chip isn’t done with podcasting, though. He has a brand new podcast out called The Alethiometer which is based on the HBO series called His Dark Materials. This podcast is co-hosted with his wife Sara. Chip and Sara also hosted Watching the Americans which was based on the show The Americans which has now ended. Chip and I also did an X-Files podcast called We Still Believe

We talk about how we met, our love of cool shows, and podcasting adventures. Chip shares how he got started, what he wished he had done sooner, and the surprising result of connections he made through his podcasts. He also gives tips on landing those big guests and some of the connections that he’s made. We even find out how many degrees I am away from Kevin Bacon. We have fun as I ask Chip three questions from Good Ol’ Boy Mike and talk about our favorite shows.

“There were 344 episodes of Tales From the Cask, and there was always alcohol consumed in almost every episode. It was mostly beer or an occasional cider, and we had an episode or two with Mead.” -Chip Mims Click To Tweet

Show Notes:

  • [03:04] It’s been seven years since Darrell and Chip were at the Fringe finale. Darrell had a big finale party in Oklahoma City where he lives. Chip told Darrell that he was thinking about starting a podcast right at the time that Darrell was thinking about starting a podcast production service. 
  • [04:45] Chip and his wife had been listening to a Lost podcast. They then started listening to a Fringe podcast. Chip thought it would be fun to do a beer podcast which led to Tales From the Cask
  • [07:17] Chip and a couple of co-workers decided to start a podcast. They recorded a few shows, and then they bought the equipment list that Darrell gave them. That’s how they got started in 2013.
  • [09:39] Chip was client number two and has been the longest standing client. He was also co-host with Darrell on the We Still Believe podcast about the X-Files. He also has two other podcasts. The current one is The Alethiometer and his past one was Watching the Americans
  • [11:51] Podcasting takes awhile to get into a cadence and rhythm with your co-host. Chip approached the podcast as something fun that they wanted to discuss. 
  • [14:27] Chip wanted listeners to discover Tales From the Cask organically. They wanted to talk about things they loved. Even things they didn’t sell. It also attracted breweries to their distributor. 
  • [16:57] Chip and his wife go to Paris every year, and Chip shares his favorite spicy beer from Paris. 
  • [18:24] Chip thinks it would have been great to start with good equipment from day one. He had three co-hosts, and they just got started with what they had and bought the equipment a few episodes in. 
  • [21:32] The bar of podcast audio quality has been raised over the years.
  • [22:08] Challenges have been logistics with interviews and the guests equipment. 
  • [24:46] One of Chip’s most fun interviews was with Jim Koch the founder of Samuel Adams beer. 
  • [26:51] Using social media can be a great way to get in touch with potential guests even actors in the show you’re talking about.
  • [29:31] Chip made so many friends from podcast listeners and had a huge finale party for The Americans. He’s had friends who’ve followed him from show to show. 
  • [32:54] It’s really fun to get audio feedback and play it back. Interaction creates a cool energy. 
  • [33:37] The Americans podcast is retired because the show ended. Tales has also retired. 
  • [35:04] Chip and his wife watched season one of The Americans on a flight. They couldn’t find a great podcast about the show, so they started one. They did five or six seasons and had a great show. 
  • [37:12] At the end of the season, they had a big goodbye show.
  • [37:38] Mims Distributing is going out of business after 56 years. Chip decided to close the podcast with the business. They had a quick goodbye show and thanked the listeners. It’s bittersweet, but it felt like the right time.
  • [39:17] There was a lot of listener surprise, but people were really kind, gracious, and grateful. 
  • [40:46] Chip answers Good Ol’ Boy Mike’s three questions. 
  • [46:45] Chip’s dad taught him integrity and honesty. His mom was super kind and people loved her. He tries to treat people with kindness the way that she did. 
  • [49:48] If in Paris, Chip recommends the elevated walkway near Notre Dame. It’s an old train track that’s been turned into a walkway, and it goes about 5 miles outside of Paris. You may not know it’s there unless your from Paris, but it has amazing views of the city.
  • [51:09] Chips tops three TV shows are: Star Trek the Next Generation, X-Files , and Lost.
  • [51:25] Darrell’s top three TV shows are: The original Twilight Zone, Lost, and it’s a toss-up between Fringe and Breaking Bad.
  • [53:20] Chip’s Superman power would be flight. 
  • [54:59] You have to ask your favorite guest to get them on your show. Don’t be intimidated. Find a respectful way to approach someone and don’t get discouraged. 
  • [59:33] Darrell’s first beer was a Coors or Bud Light. Darrell prefers pilsners. His magic refrigerator might contain guinness. 
  • [01:04:08] Podcasting is the right kind of addiction for Chip. 
  • [01:06:49] Darrell’s Takeaways: To get that special guest on your podcast start low and work your way up. When Chip started Tales From The Cask, he didn’t make promoting his business his first goal. It’s important to incorporate listeners into your show.

“I wasn't prepared for how many friends I made through the listeners of our show. We had a finale party at the end of The Americans, and people came from all over the United States.” -Chip Mims Click To Tweet

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