The new way to consume classical music.
Classical Pairings brings together two leaders from a city’s creative economy – a top classical music artist paired with an innovator in the craft food or beverage industry – to blend two different cultural experiences into one delightful listening and palatable pleasure.
Interested in attending one of our Classical Pairings Live events, presented by the National Bank of Indianapolis? Click here for more information.
February 22, 2024
Dive into the heart of the Indianapolis spirits scene with its seasoned veteran, Hotel Tango Distillery. Learn how founder Travis Barnes lets time become the maestro, meticulously aging each sip to perfection. Join Nick as he explores their barrel-aged haven, unlocking the secrets behind their reserve whiskeys, genre-bending gin cocktails, and surprising concoctions like the marshmallow infused ‘Shmallow.
We’ll uncover the alchemy of oak and grain to learn how patience transforms raw spirit into liquid gold and witness the artistry of time in every bottle. Take in whispers from charred barrels, each sip a concerto of flavor and craftsmanship, and hear how this gritty distillery pairs with classical music.
February 8, 2024
Classical Pairings is raising a glass at Chilly Water! This Fletcher Place hotspot is known for award-winning craft beers and a vibrant live music scene. It’s the perfect escape from the ordinary, a place where hops and harmony collide in perfect balance. Dive into their diverse taps, where every sip is a sonic adventure inspired by music of all types. Join Nick as owner Dan Krzywicki shares three meticulously brewed masterpieces that pair with both classic and modern pieces of repertoire.
January 25, 2024
Join us as Classical Pairings unlocks the true essence of the cacao bean, revealing its hidden depths and nuanced melodies. Imagine tasting the symphony of flavors within each bite, like an intricate counterpoint unfolding on your tongue. SoChatti Artisanal Chocolates are part of a larger movement orchestrated by True Essence Foods and their patented technology. This technology removes unwanted notes and amplifies the natural harmonies of chocolate, creating a symphony of pure flavor with every bite.
Listen in as Culinary Director, Jessica Halstead, changes Nick’s preconceptions of what real chocolate can be. Plus, catch the bonus, wintery cocktail recipe Nick himself concocted to warm up friends and family during the cold season.
January 11, 2024
At The Brass Ring Lounge, where vintage charm meets vibrant creativity, Classical Pairings shares drinks and music with bartender/cellist, Jesse Lee. Immerse yourself in sophisticated, yet approachable cocktails as the episode explores its vast bottle selection and suave concoctions. It’s not just Nick’s favorite neighborhood bar; it’s a haven for Indy’s creatives, a place where the city’s artistic pulse beats strong after the last encore. Pull up to the bar as we experience classical repertoire in this classically cool locale.
December 13, 2023
Join Nick Johnson as he explores 8th Day Distillery; Indianapolis’ haven of handcrafted spirits, community spirit, and sustainability. Co-owner Jaime Lamping shares their unique approach to cocktail creativity and passion for all things local. Hear how the interplay of flavors in each cocktail harmonizes with carefully curated classical music, creating a truly multi-sensory journey. Uncork a symphony of flavors and embrace the spirit of Indianapolis with 8th Day Distillery and Classical Pairings.
November 30, 2023
Our host, Nick Johnson, joins co-founder of Ash & Elm Cider Co., Andrea Homoya, as she shares ciders that make for unique pairings at any gathering. Discover how the interplay of acidity, sweetness, and tannins in each cider create a symphony of new flavors to compliment your favorite seasons, experiences, and, of course, classical music. Join us to hear how Ash & Elm creates these somewhat rarer, gluten free sips in Indianapolis and brings them to your holiday tables year round for all 4 seasons plus the unofficial “5th season.”
November 16, 2023
Nestled in the heart of Indianapolis’s Near Eastside neighborhood of St. Clair Place, Rabble Coffee has become a beloved haven for coffee enthusiasts and local supporters. Owner Mitchell Tellstrom joins our host, Nick Johnson, to share his passion for coffee and his vision for Rabble Coffee as a vibrant community hub. Tune in as we explore Rabble Coffee’s dedication to quality and hear how it pairs with classical music!
November 2, 2023
Classical Pairings host, Nick Johnson, chats with general manager Brian Spony over drinks at Four Finger Distillery. Brian explains their unique cocktails, made with the distillery’s own award-winning spirits and locally sourced ingredients. Join us to hear how these complex concoctions pair with classical music.
October 19, 2023
In this episode, host Nick Johnson visits Lick Ice Cream; known for its unique flavors and commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients. Nick shares small-batch ice cream and conversation with one of the founders, Meredith Kong. Listen in to learn about Lick’s creative process and hear how it pairs with classical music!
June 16, 2023
In this episode of Classical Pairings, host Nick Johnson interviews Jill Potter, Owner and Founder of Helm Coffee Roasters. Located in the Garfield Park area, Helm Coffee is an LGBTQIA+ women-owned coffee roaster dedicated to providing outstanding and approachable specialty coffee. Tune in to see what Nick pairs with their most popular blends!
May 19, 2023
In this episode, Nick Johnson chats with Jenna Unrue, owner and chef of 4 Birds Bakery, a wholesale bakery in Indianapolis. Crafting an irresistible array of hand-made baked goods using high-quality, local ingredients, tune in to hear what Nick pairs with their Spent Grain Crackers with chicken salad and Oatmeal Maple Pecan Cookie!
April 21, 2023
In this episode, host Nick Johnson interviews Matt Steinbronn and Jesse Blythe, co-owners of Leviathan Bakehouse. Located in Indianapolis’ Chatham Arch neighborhood, Leviathan is inspired by a pride in craft, local-meets-global cuisine, and the spirit of community. Listen to this episode to hear what Nick pairs with their Pumpkin-Orange Eclair and their Banoffee (banana and toffee) & Hazelnut Cream Danish Brioche!
March 31, 2023
In this episode, host Nick Johnson invites Kristin Patrick, co-owner of Loren’s AF Beverages, to the podcast. Offering alternatives to wine, beer, and spirits, Kristin explains that their alcohol-free bottle shop isn’t about sobriety – Loren’s AF is about disruption and inclusion. Find out what Nick pairs with Jøyus non-alcoholic sparkling wine and rose!
March 10, 2023
In this episode, host Nick Johnson welcomes Dylan Morse, the Director of Accounts at Tinker Coffee Co., to the podcast. As a specialty coffee roaster located in Indianapolis, Dylan details how the company is focused on roasting the finest specialty coffees from around the world and providing visitors with an awesome and educational experience. Tune in to this episode to hear what Nick pairs with their Colombia – El Vergel and their Ecuador – Loja single-origin coffees.
February 3, 2023
In this episode, host Nick Johnson interviews Justin Crider, the Assistant General Manager of Grand Junction Brewing Co., the award-winning craft brewery in Westfield, IN. Honoring Westfield’s rich history, they talk about their method of brewing traditional, true-to-style beers, all while sampling their Hoosier Pride Cream Ale, The Mulligan, and Hundy.
January 12, 2023
Classical Pairings is back for 2023! In this episode, host Nick Johnson invited Nicole Kearney of Sip & Share Wines to the podcast to talk about her boutique winery, which produces a diversity of handcrafted vegan wines. In their conversation, Nicole shares how they are passionate about creating a community with wine, especially for wine lovers who are often overlooked and underrepresented by the wine industry.
December 1, 2022
In this episode, host Nick Johnson welcomes Dimitri Morris, Kan-Kan Cinema & Brasserie‘s bar manager, to the podcast. In addition to learning about the opportunities this theater and eatery offers the city of Indianapolis, they have an excellent conversation about all things movies and pair two fantastic cocktails with themes from film scores.
November 12, 2022
In this special episode of Classical Pairings, host Nick Johnson is joined by Chloe Boelter as they travel to Bengaluru, India. Their guests include Akshatha, a formal student of the Carnatica style, and her father Ranga Kadambi, who has been singing with his family and tradition for much longer informally.
September 21, 2022
In this episode, host Nick Johnson invites Justin Duenne, the Store Manager at Quills Coffee Indianapolis, to introduce us to the Indy coffee community. Quills has grown from a tiny neighborhood shop in Louisville, Kentucky, to a regional and national presence with shops in New Albany and Indianapolis. Find out what Nick pairs with their Salted Bourbon Caramel Latte and Mystic Coffee Soda.
August 9, 2022
In this episode, host Nick Johnson invites Nick Traeger, the lead distiller at Hi & Mighty, to introduce us to Indianapolis’ newest distillery. Established by Dan and Jamie Fahrner, Nick describes how he became an integral part of the company and shares some exciting news about Hi & Mighty’s future in Indy, including new products that are set to launch this year and a full-scale distillery, tasting room, food & cocktail garden within the Indiana State Fairgrounds campus. Tune in to this episode to hear what Nick pairs with their Twin Gins: Big Fuss and Big Heart.
March 31, 2022
In this episode, host Nicholas Johnson invites Daimien Weems, Cocktail Program Director & Bar Manager at Bar One Fourteen, to show us the ins and outs of Indianapolis’s luxe microbar, dining, and listening room. Daimien shares his knowledge of Japanese microseasons and how that plays into his creative vision for the cocktail menu. Tune in to this episode to hear what Nick pairs with this unparalleled listening experience in an environment like no other.
February 22, 2022
On this special edition of classical pairings, host Nicholas Johnson is joined by Chris Caruso-Lynch, music director of Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis. On this episode, they embark on a journey to find the perfect beer to pair with two iconic pieces of classical music: Giuseppe Verdi’s, Requiem and Louis Vierne’s Organ Symphony No. 3.
To find these pairings they travel to the 13th annual Winterfest beer festival organized by the Brewers of Indiana Guild. Nicholas and Chris must choose between hundreds of different beers to find the perfect matches for their selections.
January 26, 2022
Classical Pairings is Back for 2022! Host Nicholas Johnson invites Jessica Taylor of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits to create some amazing mock-tails to celebrate dry January. Jessica shares two original recipes and invites Nicholas to find the perfect name for the delicious concoctions as well as the perfect pieces of classical music to listen to while enjoying these amazing beverages.
The Palm Pilot
Because Why Not?
Batti, Batti” – Wolfgang Mozart, from the opera Don Giovanni
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1, 3rd movement (Fuga) – Heitor Villa Lobos
July 31, 2020
Host Nicholas Johnson is joined on this special episode by his fiancé Chloe Boelter along with Alex and Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks food website. They trade tips on how to successfully navigate romantic and creative partnerships before pairing two delicious pastries with some amazing classical pieces.
July 24, 2020
Host Nicholas Johnson visits Indiana’s oldest operating Brewery and speaks with Billy Hannon and Jonathon Mullens of the Broadripple Brewpub along with Frank Felice of Butler University. They have an amazing conversation about all things brewing and pair some fantastic beer with pieces by Bartok and Elgar.
July 17, 2020
On this special remote episode, host Nicholas Johnson makes the most of a trip to Brazil and pairs authentic Brazilian cuisine inspired by the rainforest with some amazing Brazilian classical pieces.
July 10, 2020
Host Nicholas Johnson speaks with a knowledgeable duo of curators; Philip Ponella of Indiana University and Joshua Ratliff of Newfields. They pair three amazing wines with music from all over the world and discuss how collecting is about much more than just accumulation.
July 3, 2020
Host Nicholas Johnson talks with Classical Music Indy’s own program director Michael Toulouse as they enjoy some amazing German-style beer from head brewer Scott Ellis and the folks at Liter House. They wax poetic and pair their drinks with works by one of the most celebrated composers of all time.
June 26, 2020
Host Nicholas Johnson speaks with Mark Ortwein, assistant principal bassoonist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Corrie Cook of The Smoking Goose. They talk about finding silver-linings during trying times, before sampling an amazing Charcuterie array from Goose paired with some amazing compositions.
June 20, 2020
Host Nicholas Johnson chats with executive chef Erin Gillum of Spoke & Steele along with experimental composer and musician Rob Funkhouser about creative use of space as organizations and industries adapt to the ‘New Normal.’
June 19, 2020
Host Nicholas Johnson, along with music sociologist and pianist Joshua Thompson and Chef Oya Woodruff of The Trap, have a socially distanced conversation about how artists and entrepreneurs are paving the way forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 3, 2020
Join the Classical Pairings crew as we revisit a live pairing event hosted by Chilly Water Brewing in the fall of 2019! Nicholas Johnson hosted the event and musical selections were performed by Joshua Thompson. Insight into the brewing process was provided by head brewer Dan Krzywicki. To learn more about future Classical Pairings Live events, contact [email protected].
Pairings from this event include:
The Chilly Water Radler paired with In the Bottoms by Robert Nathaniel Dett and Ringplay by William Grant Still.
The Moonlight Sonata Vienna Lager paired with The Adagio in Fminor by Chevalier De Saint-Georges.
The One-Hop-Wonder IPA paired with Africa Suite: Land of Romance by William Grant Still.
The Breakfast in America Oatmeal Stout paired with the Three-Fours Waltz Suite by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
The Blood on the Tracks IPA paired with 24 Negro Melodies by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
The Wall Berliner Weiss paired with The Single Petal of a Rose by Duke Ellington.
November 14, 2019
Host Nick Johnson discusses the importance of being local and creating unique experiences with Jacob Joyce, Associate conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Dave Colt and Clay Robinson, co-owners of Sun King Brewing.
October 30, 2019
Host Nick Johnson talks with composer Michael Schelle and Neal Brown of The Libertine liquor bar talk about cultural appropriation and fusion foods. Later they’ll sample some extremely unique cocktails and avant-garde music.
The audio and video versions have been modified to include longer musical excerpts.
October 16, 2019
Host Nick Johnson discusses inspirations and currents trends in the hospitality and arts industries with female leaders from both. Jessica Taylor, mixologist for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, and Janna Hymes, Music Director of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, share a few drinks and classical music selections in this episode.
October 2, 2019
Host Nick Johnson brings you the ins and outs of the cafe and coffee culture in Vienna straight from the source! He’s joined by musical guests who live and work in Vienna to discuss composers like Gustav Mahler, Johann Strauss Jr., and Franz Schubert and the relationship they had with coffeehouses.
September 17, 2019
In our second episode of Classical Pairings, host Nick Johnson talks music and popcorn with Matthew Kraemer, the Music Director of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and Carly Swift and Mandy Selke, the owners of Just Pop In!
August 30, 2019
Our very first episode features Ron Smith, a beer judge based in Carmel, IN, and Jay Harvey, long-time music critic for the Indianapolis Star and host of his own music blog. We were hosted by St Joseph Brewery in the Mass Ave neighborhood, where our host and guests sampled their Testament Tripel.