“Home Brew History”: A passion turned into a podcast


Prakriti Adhikari/The Lion's Roar

Joey Ricci and Riley “Bo” Trisler started their own history podcast during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Home Brew History” has featured well-known historians and authors such as James Holland and Dr. Jeremy Black.

A podcast that began as a joke between two friends has evolved into an avenue for them to interview well-known and respected historians from around the world.

Joseph Ricci, a graduate student of the History program, runs the history podcast “Home Brew History” along with his friend Riley “Bo” Trisler, a recent master’s graduate from the Department of History and Political Science.

The podcast first started back in March of this year, and according to Ricci, the idea began a few years ago when they were undergraduates and has since evolved into a regular commitment.

For “Home Brew History,”  Ricci and Trisler utilize Zoom to speak with guests. Each episode has its own outline.

“We have outlines and they all start with an introduction, general housekeeping rules and what we’re going to talk about with questions and comments and things like that,” said Ricci. “If not, they send us an outline and it’s up to us to do the research, so we’ll get online and try to find books that we can do sort of a crash course in whatever topic they’re going to talk about.”

Guests of the “Home Brew History” podcast include experts such as English historian and author James Holland, who has written over 30 books on World War II and has a podcast that was the main inspiration for Ricci and Trisler’s. Another guest of the podcast was Dr. Jeremy Black, also an English historian and author who has covered topics such as 18th-century British politics and international relations.

Both Ricci and Trisler reach out to potential guests through social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Ricci explained how it has become easier to reach out to potential guests during the pandemic.

“It’s made life so much easier because if you want to get in touch with somebody, they have nothing else going on, so it’s easier to get in touch and set up a meeting,” said Ricci.

When it comes to the subject matter for each podcast episode, they are both autonomous in choosing the guests and planning the outline. By doing research prior to choosing their guests, the two hosts have a general idea of what their guests will talk about.

Ricci and Trisler both have a deep love of history that stems from different people in their lives. For Trisler, his inspiration came from a high school history teacher.

“For me, it was my 11th grade American History teacher,” said Trisler. “He sat everybody down on the first day and basically said forget everything you know about American history that you were taught because it’s probably expletive and wrong. He taught a lot of different topics and they made much more sense to me than what I was taught at a younger age.”

Ricci comes from a family that is actively involved in history, with his mom being a curator for the Civil War museum in New Orleans and his dad studying and reading history from a young age.

Episodes of the “Home Brew History” podcast are available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Speaker and Listen Notes.