For anyone who’s been following GBH since the very beginning, today’s guest will seem like a blast from the past. One of the first interviews I ever transcribe wasn’t with a beer guysat all — it was with the owner of a wine shop.
Perman Wine Selections in Chicago’s West Loop is one of the city’s gems. It’s an unassuming storefront with a well-edited selection. But the real story of the place and its impact on Chicago food and beverage is its owner, Craig Perman. He conducts a lot of his business over email, through his newsletter, and he travels the world looking for niche producers that he can bring in to the US, and sometimes only to his own store as an exclusive retailer. He works with many Chicago restaurants to build their lists and supply great wines. And he’s long been an interesting follow for me given his proclivity for the written word. His newsletters are fantastic. So he’s in a bit of a hustle, like so many of us who work in the beverage industry, piecing together his skills in a variety of ways.
But the real reason I like following Craig, and occasionally picking his brain, is because so much of what’s happening for wine geeks right now indicates a possible future for some of the country’s best beer makers. Resources, agriculture, fermentation, and limited intervention (essentially wild wines). But also market factors like pricing, distribution, and trends.
There’s a lot more I want to get in to with Craig, and I’ll likely have to have him back again soon to do it. But this chat got us off to a great start.