Pintly perspective Erin and Brian ValdiviaColumns Food & Drink Radio 

Celebrating Craft Beer from The Pintly Perspective

By Julie Horner

KBCZ 89.3 FM, the Santa Cruz Mountains’ own community radio station, highlights the art of craft brewing on The Pintly Perspective, airing Fridays from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Husband and wife team, Brian and Erin Valdivia host the engaging hour long show sipping offerings from mostly local breweries and exchanging lighthearted banter while they examine fermented flavor profiles that might taste good with, say, Beyond Burgers or…Girl Scout Cookies. 

The show is one of KBCZ’s most enduring broadcasts. The station launched in the summer of 2013 from a small office above Jenna Sue’s Cafe in downtown Boulder Creek. Brian, an avid home brewer, began pre-recording a 20-minute beer review segment in 2014. Erin said, “We were already so busy, we had two kids. You said, I want to do this thing, ‘The Pintly Perspective,’ and I was, like, Oh! Sounds good, but we do not have time for this.” But there is time. There’s always time for the things you really want to do.

By 2016 KBCZ was hosting live remote broadcasts, first from Barry Tanner’s Boulder Creek Music Works studio at the old Post Office, then from a small room at the Boulder Creek Recreation and Parks Center, and then to its current location in the Burl Building at the junction of Highway 9 and Big Basin Highway in the center of downtown. Brian said, “I started doing the Friday drive-time, just music and news. I asked my buddy Joel Di Mauro if he’d like to come on around 5:00 and we’d start drinking beer on the air.” That’s when the show really took off. Joel couldn’t be there every time, so Brian reached out to his friend Eric Temes. “He became my consistent solid partner at the station for The Pintly Perspective,” Brian said. “That’s how we built it up.” They invited friends from the brewing industry to join them in the studio: Steel Bonnet, Discretion, Fruition, and more. 

Then covid hit. Friend Eric Miller donated equipment so that Brian could broadcast from his home. That’s when Erin jumped in, who admittedly didn’t know anything about beer. But Brian said, “I didn’t need someone who knew about beer, I needed someone who would make the show fun!” As a layperson, Erin upped the game. “It helps to have someone who doesn’t know about beer,” she said. “I get to ask those questions. Why is my beer darker than yours? What makes something an IPA?” Brian added, “I really think it helps to have the female voice in this type of program. The beer industry and beer culture is so heavily dominated by white males. Especially in a radio format it helps to have a diversity of opinion.” 

Erin adds visuals to the tastings. What beer would pair well with good conversation around a campfire? Or at a festival. What are you feeling when you’re drinking this beer? Does it make you want to hang out on the grass and throw a frisbee? She also tackles the tough questions: Beer flavor descriptions. A popular tasting term, petrichor. Erin said, “It’s the smell of the first rain. So when you taste a beer like this, you’ve got some toasted malts, you get that fresh smell. To me it’s like asphalt after it rains. It’s stirring.” Dank, pine, and resin could describe a west coast IPA. “It’s interesting, a lot of these things don’t sound appealing. This smells like hay. But it works.” Desirable attributes are cat pee (an aroma associated with particular hop varieties) or the funkiness of horse blanket. “Those are real flavors in beer. It sounds disgusting. So it’s weird to take that sip and go, yeah I do get cat pee, but actually it’s, like, enjoyable.”

Catch Brian and Erin Valdevia broadcasting live at the “Beers with Friends” tasting series at Lúpulo Craft Beer House in downtown Santa Cruz. In partnership with fellow KBCZ DJ Rudy Kuhn, this monthly event showcases guest brewers and their brews. The Pintly Perspective also broadcasts live at other brewhouses. Steel Bonnet Brewing is next on April 21. 

Listen to The Pintly Perspective on KBCZ 89.3 FM, Fridays from 5:00 to 6:00 pm.

Julie Horner writes about art, music, and culture in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Reach out to Julie at

Featured photo by Julie Horner

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