Unsung Heroes of Beer: Joe Leary

01.19.16  Growler.Leary Joe Leary with his Vodka. photo Dan Toulgoet

Veteran journalist and radio personality Joe Leary stumbled into the craft beer world when he started the Just Here for the Beer radio show with Rick Mohabir. It was conceived in 2009 as a way to get free beer from Labatt, but as the craft beer industry gained momentum, Leary found himself an esteemed member of the small but (ahem) elite B.C. beer media.

What were you doing prior to your involvement with the beer world?

I was doing everything from a Top 40 radio DJ to nightclub DJ at the Roxy to CityTV weatherman, to freelance writer.

What would you say is the best aspect of beer culture? A

t some point you think we’re maxed out, we’re tapped out, there can’t be any more room. And there is. Stuff will come out that I personally don’t enjoy, but it still has a market. The best aspect is that there’s no limit and I’m kind of loathe to explain how that’s even possible, because in any other enterprise there’s definitely a saturation point. In this market, there doesn’t seem to be an off switch.

If you’re not drinking beer, you’re drinking…

Vodka. Lots of it.

Do you get tired of talking about beer?

Yeah, I do, because I’m not even that big a beer guy. I fell into this. Somebody suggested that we pitch a show to a radio station. Let’s think of alliteration – B and B. Beer and barbecue. Yeah, great. Free beer and barbecue. I was an average beer consumer, even though I’m Irish. I’m a vodka guy. If someone said, “Let’s do a vodka show,” I’m doing it tomorrow.

What’s your most memorable beer-related experience?

My first one. It was the first time I got hammered. I was in high school. My mom had deadbolted the back door, which was where my key was for. I was fumbling with the key, when my dad wakes up, opens the deadbolt, pulls open the door and I fell on him and threw up on his shoes.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Scottsdale, Arizona.


Because it’s always 30 degrees, there’s never a bad day in Scottsdale, and it’s fucking Scottsdale!

Just Here For the Beer airs the second and last Saturday of every month on TSN 1410. Leary’s new show BC Brew On Tap airs on on Shaw TV. 


Unsung Heroes of Beer

Unsung Heroes of Beer

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