Beer n’ Loathing Podcast

BnL Podcast Episode 063: Happy Holidaze!

I’m a little late on this but I was a guest on the holiday episode of the Beer N’ Loathing podcast put together by a few guys in Colorado and Michigan. In this episode I share the story of when I was in college 10 years ago and got stupid hammered then peed on the door of a frat house out in Tucson, AZ. Those were some good times.

My segment starts at about 20 minutes in but you should listen to the whole thing anyway. Check it out at the link below:

http://www.beernloathing.com/bnl-podcast-episode-063-happy-holidaze/

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Spirits Are The New Craft

A review of:
Adventurous Stills – Tempe, AZ
Located at 2125 E 5th St, #102, Tempe, AZ 85281
Open Fri 5p-8p; Sat 2p-7p
http://www.adventstills.com

And:
Three Wells Distilling Company – Tucson, AZ
Located at 3780 E 44th St, #120, Tucson, AZ 85713
Open Sat 5p-8p
http://www.threewellsdistilling.com

I’ve been writing about Arizona craft beer and wine for just under three years now and found enormous success in a very short time. Most people would be happy with my level of fame and coast on that early success without innovating until they die, Kurt Cobain style. But I decided to instead explore a completely different realm of the Arizona booze scene: local spirits.

As of this writing Arizona has 22 licensed distilleries and 14 of them are fully in production. The spirits scene in this state is young and full of small business owners with a lot of passion, big dreams and a do-or-die attitude that forces them to learn about the industry as they go. And I noticed all of these exact same qualities back when I was talking to craft beer brewers in the early days of starting my blog.

See, back when I decided to start this endeavor I made a list of all the microbreweries in the state. There were 54 at the time. That list has since grown to over 90 while still accounting for the places that have closed along the way. I’ve seen the craft beer scene explode in less than half a decade. I remember sitting in the tiny Pueblo Vida Brewing Co. taproom a week or two after they opened their doors three years ago. And now Pueblo Vida’s monthly, small batch can releases are so popular that people will drive down all the way from Phoenix and walk out with over 30 four-packs of their beer at once. I know this for a fact. I’ve seen it happen. You can get your dick sucked for a can of Pueblo Vida out in Phoenix, bruh.

Adventurous Stills1

I felt the excitement and growing pains of a new business while talking to one of the partners at Adventurous Stills, a craft distillery in Tempe. After two years in the making this operation officially opened their doors in January of 2017 and they built their stills (and pretty much all their equipment) by hand.

They’re only open two days out of the week and offer guided tours of their production facility while the bartender pours sips of their bottled spirits and mixes up some killer drinks from their cocktail menu. That last part was a nice surprise. I expected to just sit and sip straight glasses of my favorite spirits but I ended up having the option of drinking an Old Fashioned, a Mule and a Mojito, among a bunch of other things.

Adventurous Stills17

Before that, though, I took a small sip of every bottled spirit the place had to offer. There was vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, bourbon (which is American whiskey specifically made from at least 51% corn) and even moonshine. The Adventurous Stills moonshine was my favorite. It was smooth and had a nice chocolate-y taste to it and it was much better than the toilet moonshine that my Cousin Chico learned to make while he was in prison, which had more of a lighter fluid-y, butt cheek-y undertone.

I was impressed by the quality of spirits that such a young distillery was putting out and I admired their hustle at trying to get their bottles sold at local bars all across the state.

Adventurous Stills14

I wanted to continue learning more about these businesses so I headed to Tucson and met with the owners of Three Wells Distilling. This place was incorporated back in 2013 and they released their first product two years later. Like Adventurous Stills they also have a cocktail menu but their business hours are even shorter. The taproom is only open on Saturday evenings but they’ll give tours and tastings throughout the week by appointment.

I sampled the entire lineup of bottles that Three Wells offered. They had a vodka and two styles of gin that were all made with water obtained right here in Arizona. These spirits were great but I always have trouble sipping gin because I used to love gin martinis until one night when I had too many and I ended up giving face birth to what felt like an entire juniper tree. I powered through though because I’m a goddamn professional and I take this job seriously!

Three Wells1

There was also an agave spirit made in the style of tequila that can’t legally be called tequila because in order to use that label it has to come from the Mexican region named Tequila. But Three Wells did a fine job with their version of this drink.

And finally there was a spirit made from distilled prickly pear fruit that didn’t officially have a name. It wasn’t whiskey, it wasn’t rum and it wouldn’t fit any other spirit category that already existed. It was a sweet drink that tasted like a hybrid between rum and brandy but was something all its own. The preferred nomenclature for this spirit was a “Sonora.” And they offered three different versions: The Sonora Silver, Sonora Copper and Sonora Gold, each of which was barrel aged longer than its predecessor.

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Three Wells Distilling focused on putting Arizona in a bottle and so far they’ve succeeded.

Talking to these craft distillers made me feel like I was going back to basics. I forgot all about my fame, fortune and easy access to drugs and hookers (both alive and dearly departed) that I was mired in since I started blogging. I flashed back to that skinny Mexican from over three years ago with amazing hair and a suit jacket that would actually fucking button over his flat stomach. I felt the excitement of a young industry in Arizona that was set to blow up just like craft beer did only about 48 months ago.

And it’s time the craft spirit scene in Arizona gets our love and support. If we’re dedicated to drinking local then we should include our friends in the distilling industry as well because, like microbreweries, these are little guys fighting against giants like Captain Morgan. And I’m done with drinking Captain Morgan. That asshole has scurvy and probably a ton of syphilis.

Three Wells10

So when you go to a cocktail bar and order an Old Fashioned, martini, whiskey sour or whatever the hell you drink make sure you ask the bartender if they can make the drink with local spirits.

Yes, you’ll sound like a pretentious dipshit and you’ll get made fun of for being a snooty cock…but didn’t that happen to us back when we asked for the one microbrew on tap at a college bar? Hell, I’m all about the craft beer scene and I still hate any guy who walks in to a brewery and immediately asks for their “haziest IPA.”

We’re on the verge of something big here in Arizona with the growing craft spirit scene. Sure, this young industry has its own learning curve and not every distillery will survive – that’s just the nature of the beast. But it’s our job to at least give our friends and neighbors a chance to prove themselves. We’ve done it before. And that became the Arizona craft beer scene that we all know and love.

So always remember: Drink hard. Drink often. Drink local.

Three Wells

Salud!

AZ Food & Beer

For the first time ever I’ve written articles for a website other than mine own. A buddy mine helped launch azfoodandbeer.com and I contributed a series of three articles about events in and around Tucson. These are a lot more politically correct than what I write here so they’re still informative and funny but I didn’t, like, write anything about my butthole or whatever. 

The first article is a review of the new Culinary Dropout restaurant that opened up in Tucson and you can read that here:  https://azfoodandbeer.com/new-restaurants/tearing-tucson-part-one

The second is a review of Button Brewhouse, one of Arizona’s newest breweries that just opened a few weeks ago. It’s located in Marana just northwest of Tucson proper. That article is here: https://azfoodandbeer.com/featured/tearing-tucson-part-2/

There is a third and final article that will be coming soon and I’ll post the link here when it’s on the AZ Food & Beer website. Remember, these articles are exclusively for them so if you want to read more of my hilarious, late-night, drunken, keyboard-mashing sessions go to their website. 

And yes, I know this space has been a bit quiet but don’t worry, I’ve got some new adventures planned and some brand new writing coming for the blog. I’ve just been busy on a super secret, epic writing project that will be announced sometime within the next few months. In the meantime, follow me on all the usual social media accounts to keep up with my adventures. 

Salud!

Classy Invades Terrestrial Radio

This Saturday, 9/23, I’ll be on terrestrial radio as the celebrity co-host of a show in Tucson called “On The Menu…Live!” from 5p-6p. I’ll be talking about Arizona booze and food while desperately trying to avoid an FCC fine! Listen in to what could either be a really fun hour or the event that literally bankrupts me into oblivion if I can’t keep from discussing my genitals on the air.

For my younger readers: you know that thing in your car that you hook up your aux cord or Bluetooth to so you can listen to podcasts from your phone? Well that thing should also have a little knob that you can spin to hear music or other people’s voices jabbering about all kinds of horseshit. Turn one of those knobs to 104.1 FM KQTH, Tucson’s News and Talk on Saturday, 9/23 at 5pm to listen me drunkenly try to spew coherent sentences into an expensive microphone.

If you don’t have a radio or if you’re not in Tucson you can still hear me embarrass myself live by streaming the show on their website: OnTheMenuLive.com

How could anyone think I’d be a good fit for a public radio broadcast? I don’t know, I’m just as confused as you are!

Classy v. Tapthat: Dawn of Fatness

There comes a time in a man’s life when he must decide just how fat he is willing to be. In this life you either die a John Belushi or you live long enough to see yourself become Jim Belushi. As a heavy drinker who hates being alive I’ve basically decided that working on myself isn’t worth it and it would be nice to just kinda die in my sleep one night whenever.

Or at least that’s what I felt until I was called out by a fellow fat man who had the balls to challenge me. There’s a fairly new podcast out there called Tap That AZ. Each episode highlights a brewery or major player in the AZ beer scene. I was even a guest on the show myself. The host, Eric Tapthat (or whatever) is a nice guy who’s looking to drop some weight. The two of us met up with Justin Cross to join his Brewtrition workout plan. It’s a fitness plan for beer drinkers created because Justin believes you can drink beer and be in great shape as long as you earn your booze.

As of today Eric Tapthat and I will be competing with each other to reach our respective weight loss goals by Wednesday, November 22nd, the day before Thanksgiving. Because we’re gonna celebrate our achievements by stuffing our fat faces full of turkey.

We’ll be posting updates of our progress throughout our social media pages and I’ll be adding write ups right here on my blog. Here are our stats so you know where we’re starting: 

The Classy Alcoholic
  
Age: 31

Height: 5’9” (5’10” on a good day)

Weight (w/clothes): 194lbs

Weight (naked and drunk): 189lbs

Waist line: 39.5inches

Neck line: 18inches

Advantages: Used to be skinny. Got laid a lot. Misses it.

Obstacles: Lost the will to live years ago
Eric Tapthat

 
Age: 38

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 290lbs

Waist line: 44

Chest: 52inches

Neck: 19inches

Advantages: Actually cares whether he lives or dies

Obstacles: Chicken
Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates throughout the next 10 weeks or so as The Classy Alcoholic does what he never thought he would do and engage in some minimal form of physical exercise. Watch as two fat guys slowly make minimal gains that sober people who eat veggies make pretty much every time they take a dump.

The Classy Alcoholic Goes Global

The Classy Alcoholic is about to go on his first international adventure. For pretty much the rest of August 2017 I will be roaming and drinking throughout Tokyo and other places in Japan. There is a legitimate chance that I will be blown up by North Korea while I’m there so it’s my goal to be drunk enough throughout the entire trip that I don’t feel the nuclear blast rippping the meat off of my skeleton, Sarah Connor style!

I probably won’t be using this blog space too much until I get back so if you wanna follow along on my foreign booze adventures you should follow me on my various social media platforms.

Like my Facebook Page here. I’ll be posting pictures and drunken ramblings there.

Follow me on Instagram: I’ll also be posting pictures and a bunch of stupid hashtags there.

Follow me on Twitter: I just started a Twitter acccount. My handle is @brownanddrunk. This is probably the best place to keep up with my travels because it’s the best platform for quick pics and observations on the spot while I’m out in the land of Sake and Godzilla.

I’m like Anthony Bourdain, minus heroin, plus sadness!