with John Keane

Meet The Guys Behind KVMR's New "Beer Show"

And just what would be about the best day to debut a radio program about...beer?

St. Patrick's Day, of course.

And that's just what Tom Dalldorf and Wesley Robertson intend to do on St. Paddy's at, gulp, high noon Friday, March 17th, green beer or not.

But why "The Beer Show"?

"Well, beer's a subject known to many but, like wine, beer has a deep cultural and historical backstory that can be both informative and entertaining," says Dalldorf.

"Our goal is to have fun with beer appreciation and keep it light -- but not light beer -- and lively," he adds.

Dalldorf knows of what he speaks. He's editor and publisher of Celebrator Beer News, the oldest craft beer newspaper in North America (founded 1988), and he's been in the beer, wine and food industry for nearly 40 years.

Dalldorf founded the Vintage Cellar Winebar Cafe in Hayward, California in 1979, has lectured about California and European wines for UC Berkeley Extension and judged at several major competitions, most recently as Head Judge for the California State Fair Craft Beer Competition. And he's toured extensively to cover the beer scene, visiting Europe, Thailand, Mexico, Canada and throughout the U.S.

And get this...the guy even was "a wine-oriented speechwriter for (the late comedian) Pat Paulsen."

Now you don't see that on many resumes.

Dalldorf and his wife Arlene moved to Nevada City in 2008. A Hayward State political science graduate, he's also the lead singer of The Rolling Boil Blues Band, which he calls with a smile "the brewing industry's premier musical group."

Co-host and engineer Robertson,  who retired in 2013 from the Placer County Health and Human Resources Department after 30 years,  has a grown daughter and lives in Auburn with his wife Mo.

Radio, especially live music broadcasts,  has been a passion since he took the KVMR training course some 30 years ago, subbed on country-influenced music shows, and later started his long-running "Rockin-N-Stompin" Saturday afternoon show (2-4 p.m., 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming) in April of 1990. In addition, he helped Eric Rice as a volunteer for the annual live broadcast of the Father's Day Bluegrass Musical Festival.

That led Wesley to producing live broadcasts of multiple festivals, including California Worldfest, the KVMR Celtic Festival, High Sierra, the American River Music Festival and Hangtown Halloween, plus live broadcasts from various regional venues as "On The Road Live" over the past 19 years.

Tom "MaltMan" Dalldorf and Wesley "HopHead" Robertson (Tom's nicknames for the pair and who Wes calls collectively the "Suds Buds") have been busy planning the show format, which could include the beer of the show, beer song of the show, beer travel destination, beer humor and, don't worry, they're just warming up.

"We want to be a vehicle for listeners to access expert information in an interactive way with call-ins in such arenas such has home brewing, new industry trends and updates on regional events associated with the ever-expanding craft beer culture," according to Robertson.

"But the real mission of 'The Beer Show' is to entertain," he smiles. "Oh, and promote craft beer knowledge and enhance KVMR's listenership." 

You see, Wes had this idea for a craft beer show, found out Tom was in town, and they ran into each other, well, sorta, at a urinal during a Center for the Arts concert. Wes sprung his idea, and Wes says they "bonded over a bottle of Simtra in the parking lot after the show." 

In any event, they may even try to gain an instant audience via "listening parties" held at various brewpubs and restaurants within the Nevada City noncommercial station's listening area. And the self-styled "Suds Buds" say they hope "to cultivate a loyal following among the growing numbers of craft beer enthusiasts in this area and across the country via the internet at kvmr.org".

"If NPR can have a huge hit with two guys from Boston talking about cars," Dalldorf says with a grin, "I'm sure Wesley and I can get our audience's attention on the subject of beer."

And guess what?

They can't wait for St. Patricks Day at noon to get here.

Tom "MaltMan" Dalldorf (left) and Wesley "HopHead" Robertson are the "Suds Buds" and hosts of "The Beer Show," which will get a trial broadcast Friday, March 17 at noon on KVMR 89.5 FM.