“Are you nervous?” Chris “Dutch” Daulton, the host of the popular After 2 Beers podcast, asks me.
“What? No, oh no.” I reply as I sit down for the taping of my first podcast.
I swear his bright blue eyes twinkle even more as he tilts his head, looking at me questioningly.
“Alright, maybe a little,” I admit. But there was no need. Recording the 74th episode of the After 2 Beers podcast was as carefree as hanging out at the local watering hole. Dutch and his co-host, Kimberly “Kimi Gibbler” Ross, put on a hilarious and unpretentious show. Because they’re hilarious and unpretentious people.
Dutch Daulton, Professional Hippie
It doesn’t mean what you think. The emphasis is on professional.
Daulton doesn’t call himself a professional hippie because he’s good at riding around in a VW van or something. Chris has mastered the art of driven Zen, finding a way to strive while also taking life in stride. When I ask him how he does it, he says, “It’s all just the cracker factory, you know?”
No, Chris, I don’t. He goes on to tell me about an episode of The Simpsons when Milhouse refers to his dad as “a pretty big deal down at the cracker factory.” Daulton works hard not to take himself or the inevitable professional setback too seriously. “In our own heads, we’re all pretty big deals down at the cracker factory. But we also have to remember…it’s a cracker factory,” Chris laughs.
But Daulton isn’t lackadaisical, either. He’s a man with a plan and a vision. He’s a hive of ideas. Working a day job while hosting his podcast (and all that comes with it) is hard work. It makes for a complicated schedule. And Chris does it all with a belly laugh.
After 2 Beers
The idea for After 2 Beers was planted while Chris was vacationing with friends (one being Phil Quinn). While Chris and Phil were cutting it up, their friends commented on how funny they were together and how they should create a podcast and share their humor with the masses. The two soon began recording off-the-cuff and unfiltered content. They recorded in bars, literally after a few beers, taking questions from the audience concerning every NSFW topic you can think of. Kimi joined them as just the announcer, but soon became a co-host in her own right.
When Phil needed to concentrate on his radio job, Dutch and Kimi kept on. After 2 Beers began to take off, netting 25,000 listeners and scoring interviews with the likes of TJ Miller, Nikki Glaser, and Jeremy Piven. Listeners loved the easy humor and relaxed atmosphere of the podcast. The After 2 Beers Facebook page racked up thousands upon thousands of followers. Their posts reached 20 million with 5 million engagements. Those are big-league numbers.
Shut Up, Facebook
The original After 2 Beers Facebook page had incredibly funny memes. But two memes were flagged and the page was taken down.
I would have been (and still am, on After 2 Beer’s behalf) rabidly furious. But Daulton, being the professional hippie he is, went with the flow. “A couple shaved down monkeys can run a meme page,” he laughs, “and that’s not really what After 2 Beers is supposed to be about. It got us a lot of eyes. But I need 1,000 really strong allies, not 10,000 voyeurs.”
I dare say that After 2 Beers has 1,000 really strong allies now, but that didn’t stop Chris from revamping his programming and content delivery.
Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag
The After 2 Beers podcast is a bit more toned down and compact these days. Chris and Kimberly loved the old format but realized the risque content could turn away advertisers. And family members. As Ross explained, “My step-dad wanted to listen, and I’d have to be like, ‘don’t listen to this one or this one or…'” They also wanted to create a shorter show, one that could be listened to during a typical commute.
The current format of After 2 Beers consists of a history and news segment, surrounded by awesome banter. During the history segment, our intrepid hosts describe the life of a pop culture/historical figure. Listeners try to figure out who it is. This part is my favorite because Chris is so talented at turning a traditional bio into a rip-roaring story.
The news segment doesn’t cover traditional stories. When I was on the podcast we discussed a male baboon who fled his upcoming vasectomy with his two sister wives. While the stories are funny, it’s Chris and Kimberly’s delivery that makes the segment.
Daulton and his significant other, Amanda Wise, look forward to growing and expanding their company. As Chris wrote in a Facebook post, “No one will ever be able to say I didn’t try to make After 2 Beers work.” They look to provide an enhanced web experience including e-commerce that offers After 2 Beers merchandise. Chris may even add weekly blogs to his content (as he absolutely should, the entries I read were great). After 2 Beers will continue to make new podcasts with an eye on constantly improving content.
Wise recently launched the After 2 Beers Midwest Facebook page. This page is dedicated to the “best of everything, from best dive bars and festivals to outdoor concert venues and breweries, all right here in the MIDWEST!” I love what’s been shared so far. But I have small children, so make sure to hit those cool venues for both of us.
After 2 Beers is a fun local podcast, hosted by delightful people. Chris Daulton possesses the vision and know-how to grow a company in a notoriously fickle market. I can’t wait to watch their continued success.