I'm quite amazed with what this guy is doing. He has become a celebrity in his own time just by traveling America to tackle all the questions that a home brewer thinks of. From the simplest conundrums to the most detailed debunking of brewing myths James is there.
Two things make this guy instantly enjoyable,
1) his professional journalistic abilities brought to the brewing hobby,
2) his insight and determination to bring the mystic art of brewing into the clear.
I might also add he can be quite humorous at times. He does a great job hosting audio and video podcasts packed full of knowledge that keeps me listening to the point where I no longer have music on my iPod his co host Steve Wilkes also poses a perfect pair to James and their myriad of adventures. I've learned plenty from the volumes of books I've read from the "fathers" of home brew, but until you let James drill them live about pressing brewing questions there is no real way to learn about the art.
Once the purchase of my iPod I cannot separate from his pod casts and the knowledge that spills forth. Even if you already think you know 100% about the topic of the current podcast, stay tuned, it's full of goodness... especially the mail bag. He does a very good job at corresponding with his mailbag... to the point where his own listeners answer questions of previous questions. If you keep on his podcast for every episode, then you find this very enlightening.
Let's move onto his DVD. This man makes his living off of people buying his instructional DVDs (the only thing that brings cost to his services). I personally bought the DVD to support his efforts, and actually found them to be quite useful. This DVD is very well made, and it eliminates the intimidation factor from learning how to brew... which can be very overbearing, especially to all grain brewing. If you are to introduce anyone to brewing, I would use these DVDs first, then a good book by Charlie Papazian, or John Palmer.
He also does a real neat trick with the All Grain DVD. You can choose what type of Mash, and type of Sparge you do from your DVD remote. This way it's like having 4 instructional DVDs instead of one. Also be sure to check out the outtakes
If you take brewing as dear to heart as I do, then you should check out his podcasts and video podcasts... they are free, you only gain from them! If you couldn't tell, I'm a big advocate of James Spencer and what he is doing... so spread the good word.
Pros: Professional attitude, voice, and character to the shows
Cons: not much