Richard Betts, founder of Sombra Mezcal and My Essential Wine is a master sommelier and a master of mastery. As an inquisitive young kid in Arizona, a punk rock attitude and passion for detail set a successful academic career in motion. After leaving his legal degree pursuit for hospitality, Richard fell in love with wine; the root of his voyage into spiritous culture. After being a successful master somm, importer, and author, what's left to achieve in this sea of opportunity? Agave sustainability for one.... We talk Black Flag, soil, fibers, and Mezcal.
Judah Kuper's lust for life and passion for the world's cultures have taken him to many places. The serendipitous moments in Oaxaca were his most influential. This Colorado native enjoys adventure, action, and intense learning. It's no surprise that these passions culminated into the globally distributed Mezcal Vago. With continued years of sales growth that have led to the expansion of his Mezcal producers, how does Judah see this adventure now? We talk Rhum, violence, surfer, and more...
Missouri native Ryan Maybee has been at the helm of the cocktail movement in Kansas City. Although a different career choice than most of his family, the roots of hospitality and hosting were imbued by his grandmother. He has amassed multiple, highly lauded cocktail establishments, including the pensive Manifesto. But as his ambition guided him into new projects, the historical Rieger name started to resurface via a hotel and now an amazing distillery. Ryan continues to man his KC staples but has now enlarged his resume to include a "traveling spirits owner". We talk grunge, whiskey, and subconscious symbolism.
There is no more accomplished Gin distiller in the world than Tom Nichol. From many Tanqueray creations, and a career in distilling that spans over 40 years, retirement has been a well deserved break from the madness. Tom has traveled the world as one of the world's foremost authorities on Gin, but all of those flights and photo ops have taken a great toll. Now back in Scotland spending time with his wife and sipping a beer now and then, how long can Tom stay out of a distillery? The answer is- not very long. With a beautiful collaboration between J Rieger and Co and Tom to create a new midwestern style Gin, the creator is returning to fine form. We chat celebrity, Benedict Cumberbatch, and the proof of Gin.
Christopher Ware is a modern renaissance man. His pursuits in the military, higher education, law, and construction have created one of the most well-rounded people in this industry. After an impetuous move to San Antonio, his career trajectory was forever changed. Starting green to cocktails and hospitality, Chris has built his reputation and career into one of the most revered in the hospitality industry. With the greatest opportunity as bar owner and constructor falling short of expectations and leading to potentially irreparable friction, Chris now travels Texas sharing Seersucker Gin. However, the oasis of creating his dream bar follows in his rear view window. We chat bourbon, construction, rhetoric and more.
From early political strife and violence in Philippines to an academic pursuit in San Antonio. cocktail consultant and writer Jonny Yumol has seen a lot of different shades of the world. After taking a reprieve from academia and trekking into hospitality, his formative chapters were beginning to be written. Jonny was on the roster of San Antonio cocktail starters and years later the momentous scene has been touched by his deep interest in spirits. His influence and ultimate gig with Paramour transitioned into disenfranchisement, but more importantly a return to his love, writing. Where will the writing and cocktail consulting take Jonny next? We chat Canada, the dream team, and SACC.
The road to Rhum is the path less traveled, but for Spiribam's Kiowa Bryan, the rum relationship was forged long ago. Originally hailing from the East Coast, Kiowa loved the ice (for skating), but loved people even more. Starting in shot and a beer spot, the cocktail revolution was unfolding before her eyes. After a pursuit of acting and comedy took her to LA, her cocktail talents started to emerge. Now years later and a noted writer, host, creator, and rum aficionado, Kiowa is finally dedicating her career to the single love of her life- Rhum. We chat La La Land, hockey, and Chairman's Reserve.
Sometimes unknowingly, the hospitality gene rears its head at unexpected times. For Mixwell and Altos Tequila brand man Daniel Warrilow, an early janitorial stint at a Chinese restaurant paved a very influential path. Now after learning about cocktails and everything spirits on both coasts, Daniel finds himself in the third coast of Austin, TX where the latest chapter now begins. The finer things in life are available now, but how do we sustain the knowledge and ethics to continue good drinking? We talk horoscopes, running through airports, and Mezcal.