A textbook gentlemen with an eye for flavor. Austin's Steven Robbins has amassed a wealth of experience in the service industry while developing an astute ability to make some of the best cocktails you'll ever taste. Currently at Austin's Small Victory, Steven has taken many turns in his exciting life, but has summed his predilections towards science and hospitality to a jedi level. While regaling me with tales of Alabama's beautiful terroir, we dive into his latest effort, an opulent dad bod calendar featuring the brightest personalities (and bodies) in Austin's cocktail culture. This calendar symbolizes a dedication to his community and his support for the Austin's Children Shelter. The event, to be held on February 1st at the Hops and Grain brewery, will combine cocktails and the Rubenesque bodies that brought the calendar to life. Steven has manners, tact, and a way with words. Enjoy this conversation and join us at the release party for the Dad Bod Action Squad calendar.
A soon to be lauded 30 under 30 star, or so I predict, Chris Harrison is one of the mad scientist founders behind Liber and Co (http://www.liberandcompany.com). This Texas boy turned entrepreneur mounted an amazing pedigree of science and dirt biking before realizing the cocktail movement wasn't just a flash in the pan. Empowering bartenders with beautiful syrups ranging from a Pineapple gum to real grenadine, Chris and Co. has taken the industry with a momentous force in their 4 years of operation. We chat twins, chemistry, and how drinking every day certainly has its merits....for science.
From small town California to the burgeoning Austin, TX, Brandon is a dedicated father that makes you feel loved across the bar. A blue collar, skateboard brandishing, Hot Damn gulping good guy, Brandon has become a great friend to the industry in his 3 years in Austin. While embracing a unparalleled humility and admirable work ethic, Brandon is now the newly elected VP of the Austin USBG chapter. We talk about the pressing dichotomy of drinking as a need vs drinking as a want and how we all have to cope somehow. Don't mention Star Wars because this might be the first SW virgin on the show, luckily we have bourbon to dissipate the finger pointing.
Hopefully the headaches are at a minimum on this post- San Antonio Cocktail Conference Monday. A book nerd Cape-Cod-ian, Killian Oliver, manages the beautiful Whiskey Cake bar space at La Cantera San Antonio. With a massive respect for studiousness and cost management, there is no ceiling to Killian's impressive career. But as it often goes in this industry, one's personal relationships become challenging while living the vampire 9-5. We chat agave, scotch, and how picking up a few books now and again can give you a much needed mental advantage.
It's San Antonio Cocktail Conference week at SDV! This installment is an homage to Chihuahua and its beautiful native spirit Sotol. Ricardo Pico, a true diplomat of the state and fellow Sotol teammate, is the international brand ambassador for Hacienda de Chihuahua. He's an articulate, business minded, gentleman who shares his tales of growing up in Mexico and how a few short lived business ventures turned into a great partnership with Hacienda. It's an agave love fest in this chat and if you're attending the conference this weekend, please see Ricardo's panel "Discovering Sotol" JANUARY 16, 2016 | 1:30PM - 2:45PM, Baker Room at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel. We also sample the new Rustico from Hacienda, which is one of the most robust expressions of Sotol to hit the US. Salud.
It's San Antonio Cocktail Conference week at Show de Vie! The premier booze event of Texas rolls into another year this upcoming weekend January 14th-17th. With many great SACC partners to detail, this time we chat with Director of Marketing at Twin Liquors, Sandra Spalding. A textbook go-getter with musical chops, Sandra is a So-Cal ingenue that loves to reflect on the halcyon days of 90's rock. From the Pixies to Pitbull, her love of music and hospitality sees no bounds. Moving to Austin on a whim, a serendipitous trip to Twin Liquors changed the trajectory of Sandra's career. 15 years later, she finds herself the brains behind Twin Liquors marketing division and a highly influential personality in the Austin booze industry. We salute the wonderful support of Twin Liquors and lament the saturation of modern music in this fruitful chat.
A student of both spirits and academia, Austin's newly appointed USBG president Katie Clas has been a great influence on the culture since she arrived nearly 2 years ago. From dog fostering to Malort shooting, this ex-Chicagoan moved to Austin for a large brand ambassador position that was suddenly dissolved shortly thereafter. Left with few leads, Katie chose to advance her education and ultimately accepted a role with the Phillips Distilling Company. These various opportunities converged proving that Katie is the ultimate survivor. Whether demonstrating her marketing shrewdness, or her midwestern down-to-earthness, nothing can keep a good Chicagoan down.
Like a Scorsese screenplay, Larry's childhood started with explosions and evading organized crime. Traveling around the US like an army brat, Larry ultimately settled outside of Austin, Texas. Despite his love of generous Texans, we chat about the different varieties of racism and the unique covert flavor that Texas has to offer. From his days in the trenches at The Belmont in early Austin to his more auteur experiences at Peché, Larry has worked in all areas of the food industry. Most recently, Larry's notoriety as Angel's Envy's bourbon boss has introduced him to a whole new aspect of the industry and the opportunities seem limitless.