January 30th, 2014 — 12:51pm
Half Step’s Chris Bostick on Craft Cocktails, Texas Hospitality, and Coming Home, 1/29/14 – Eater Austin
Half Step founder Chris Bostick may be coming to Austin from L.A. craft cocktail mecca The Varnish, but he got his start in the service industry in a much humbler role. “I used to chop home fries at Magnolia,” he says, “I’m proud of that.”
Bostick attended St. Edward’s on a theater scholarship, and he sees his role behind the bar as something of a performance. “Welcoming guests as a host is my creative outlet,” he says. He discovered the burgeoning craft cocktail movement while working in New York in the late 90′s. Running the bar at Fonda San Miguel allowed him to experiment with a wider variety of cocktails and to use fresh ingredients from Austin farmers markets. But back in the early 2000′s, there wasn’t much of a cocktail scene in Austin. Bostick felt like he was “out on an island.” Read the rest here!
January 29th, 2014 — 1:06pm
When I started drinking whiskey, and more importantly American Whiskey, the coolest bottle I could handle paying for was Rittenhouse Rye whiskey. Rittenhouse is a rye whiskey bottling from Heaven Hill, the same people that make Old Fitzgerald, and Elijah Craig. Sitting right around $20-$25 a bottle, it very quickly established itself as the gold standard rye whiskey in my mind.
In late August, it was brought to my attention that Rittenhouse had changed. Rittenhouse Rye is a Bottled in Bond Whiskey, which has a variety of legal stipulations, but for the sake of my point, it has to have the Distilled Spirits Plant number on the bottle. The whiskey I know as Rittenhouse is actually from DSP-KY-354. The new changed Rittenhouse is from DSP-KY-1. In short, the Early Times distillery from Brown Foreman used to make Rittenhouse, and now the Bernheim distillery with Heaven Hill is making Rittenhouse.
This blew my mind. For so long I was committed to Heaven Hill and how good their rye was, only to find out it was being made by the same guys who make Old Forester. How did this happen? As it turns out, there was a fire in 1996, and they lost several warehouses and portions of the distillery. As a favor (and effective business deal) Heaven Hill relieved a portion of it’s production requirements by having Brown Foreman and Jim Beam make some of their whiskey until they could get back on their feet. In the last 10 years, Heaven Hill has been expanding capacity, and in 2008 the Bernheim Distillery began making rye. Both whiskies are delicious, and there are some differences if you’re looking, but Rittenhouse is to remain my gold standard.
All that being said, within the American Whiskey industry you have competitors coming to each others aid. It reminds me very much of the craft beer industry, and closer to home, the restaurant industry. Where everybody is pulling for each other, supporting the efforts of your neighbor, and being picked up by your buddies when you’re in need. American whiskey is great, because despite being behemoth companies and huge production requirements, they are still neighbors, friends and understand the importance of community and hospitality. A rising tide lifts all boats, and thats what we love about what we do.
Chad M. Owen
Lead Tender / Mixer of Miscellany
Seven Grand Whiskey Bar
San Diego, CA
January 28th, 2014 — 1:07pm
If you haven’t heard, Golden State Cocktail Week is rocking Downtown right now, and with so many Master Distillers and Brand Ambassadors in town, we couldn’t resist booking another event this week.
This Wednesday, Jan. 29th, we will be hosting 2 Master Distillers at once! Marko Karakasevic from Charbay Distillery here in California, and Kolin Brighton from Cedar Ridge Distillery in Iowa. Both of these gentleman are making some unique whiskies, two true champions of the Craft Distilling movement here in America. A Welcome Punch will be served at 6:30pm, with the tasting/education starting at 7pm. Latecomers will not be sat but can wait at the bar to meet Marko and Kolin after the event. Come early and get cozy with your neighbors!
RSVP on the link below, we look forward to seeing you Wednesday.
For more information on the Seven Grand Whiskey Society, hit the link beneath my signature. Memberships are $120 per year, can be purchased at the bar, and allow you to bring a guest to any event. First-timers can pay a one-time $15 fee for admittance.
Be sure to come check out BAR JACKALOPE, the new sipping lounge and tasting library in the back of Seven Grand L.A. Here we will strive to provide ongoing educations of all the events we host with the Whiskey Society. Get your own bottle in the cabinet!
We look forward to seeing you Wednesday, feel free to forward this invite to a friend!
Pedro, currently sipping Redbreast 21yr. Thank you Brian Nation!
Pedro Shanahan, Spirit Guide,
Seven Grand Whiskey Bar L.A.
Co-curator, Whiskey Society
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