One year ago, I committed to keeping alcohol consumption at or below six drinks per week (a 60% reduction from the estimated 830 I consumed in 2016). In anticipation of a productive year, I needed to cut back on the number of boozy evenings and foggy mornings challenging productivity.
While it would have been most optimal to eliminate drinking entirely, I’ve found such a sacrifice restricting, often socially compromising, and ultimately unnecessary for me. Alcohol played a role in entertaining, dating, and business development, activities often otherwise diffused by strict sobriety. Furthermore and most importantly, I appreciate the craft of beverages. I like drinking. And I do it responsibly…most of the time. Many friends and artisans I adore make livings putting great care and innovation into beverage craft. Frankly, well-made drinks taste good, I enjoy them, and I feel good supporting my friends and local businesses. Everything in moderation, as they say.
For added flexibility, I permitted myself to “accrue” six drinks per week so that I could save up for benders like bachelor parties, visitors from out of town, and birthday trips. I spent many weeks of the year in the red and had to cut back my drinking to catch up. To those who caught me on those weeks, I’m sorry. It was nothing personal.
After a ton of pressure from family and peers making the case that I would not be productive anyway, I waived three full weeks this year for drinking (but did not accrue six drinks during those weeks either) so that I could liberally enjoy my two-week once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica and another week at the very end of the year to enjoy the holidays including my 30th birthday.
Ultimately, in the weeks that counted, I exceeded my goal by 4 drinks (298 total versus 294 accrued). I feel guilty about failing my goal for the year, but it was pretty dang close and I feel accomplished having tracked my alcohol this closely for 365 consecutive days. Counting my trip to Antarctica and the holidays, I had 362 total drinks in 2017 (44% of the total drinks consumed in 2016), feel better than I have in a long time, and accomplished a ton this year.
Breaking my drinking down by type, I enjoyed a little bit of everything this year. Beer continued to be the most prominent player in my consumption, but cocktails (liquor-based recipes with three or more ingredients) were not far behind. “Liquor” represents any straight pours or shots of liquor like cognac, scotch, soju, tequila, whiskey, jello shots, etc. In addition to red and white wines, the “wine” category includes champagne and sake.
The following chart breaks down cocktail consumption by base spirit. Whiskey and tequila dominated my cocktail selections throughout the year, but I drank and continue to drink a much broader spectrum of spirits.
The following chart breaks down wine consumption by style.
Since nearly 50% of my beer consumption happened through shared tasters or bottle pours, it would have been too time intensive for me to break down my beer consumption by style. That said, stouts and sours remained my beers of choice, with IPAs not far behind.
Unsurprisingly, I drank the most around the summer and winter holidays:
Also unsurprisingly, I drank the most on Fridays and Saturdays:
Drinking Buddy Leaderboard
Of the 167 souls I explicitly took note of drinking with this year, I drank with the following individuals most regularly. To rank the list, I took into account unique outings, the intimacy of those outings, and total volume consumed. I also disregarded out of town guests who would have ranked on volume alone during their single visit since they were not technically regular drinking buddies of mine (love you, Sarah H. and Mai!).
- Eddy C. (15–17 occurrences, 44.5–54.5 drinks)
- Emily L. (15–16 occurrences, 32.75 drinks)
- Justin L. (15–16 occurrences, 27.25 drinks)
- Andrew S. (7–8 occurrences, 26.5–29.5 drinks)
- Will H. (7 occurrences, 28 drinks)
- Eric L. (8 occurrences, 24.5 drinks)
- JD R. (11–12 occurrences, 17.5 drinks)
- Kyle O. (9–19 occurrences, 11.25–33.25 drinks)
- Jenica W. (9 occurrences, 12.75 drinks)
- Brad A. & Kathleen A. (7–8 occurrences, 9.25–17.25 drinks)
- Jacqui D. (10 occurrences, 36.5 drinks, mostly on vacation)
- Jen L. (6–14 occurrences, 7.5–26.5 drinks, mostly on vacation)
- Sara R. (6 occurrences, 14 drinks)
- Steve O. (7–9 occurrences, 5.5–8,5 drinks)
- Scott P. (6 occurrences, 12.25 drinks)
Watering Hole Leaderboard
Aside from my own condo, which easily took the cake for hosting 27 unique drinking occurrences and 72 total drinks consumed, I frequented the following public venues most often:
- Broadway (5 visits, 15 drinks consumed)
- Rackhouse Pub (6 visits, 5.25 drinks consumed)
- Vaca (3 visits, 8 drinks consumed)
- Union Lodge №1 (4 visits, 5 drinks consumed)
- Finn’s Manor (4 visits, 4 drinks consumed)
- Williams & Graham (3 visits, 4.5 drinks consumed)
- Beryl’s Beer Company (4 visits, 3.75 drinks consumed)
- Cerebral Brewing (3 visits, 4.5 drinks consumed)
- Jake’s Brew Bar (3 visits, 3.25 drinks consumed)
- Mockery Brewing (3 visits, 2.75 drinks consumed)
What follows is a chronological log of every drink I had, where I had it, and with whom I had or shared it with in 2017. If you recall having a drink with me this year, search for your name and join me in getting nostalgic. For the rest of you, you’d be a weirdo to read through all of this, but here it is for you to read—please enjoy. For me, this ended up being a remarkable diary of memories made throughout the year including the total eclipse, weddings, bachelor parties, epic trips, impromptu cocktail nights, house parties, birthdays, barbecues, crawfish boils, after parties, work drama, friend visits, movie screenings, holidays, short trips to the mountains, board game nights, and dates that I might not have otherwise remembered. What started as a quest for productivity and health turned into an amazing chronicle of my year.
Without further adieu, here’s every alcoholic beverage I consumed in 2017:
January 1 — New Years Day in Denver, CO (~2 drinks)
- Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee Dark Star Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Fremont Brewing at Finn’s Manor with Jared L.
- Split a four tasters at Our Mutual Friend: Jack of Hearts sour, Cherry Gose, Sur Framboise Belgian sour wit on raspberries, and Year Four mixed fermentation golden brett ale aged on Damson plums with Jared L.
January 6, 7, 8 —Denver, CO (3 drinks)
- A barrel-aged manhattan at My Other Bar with Jenica after seeing Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” at the Esquire.
- Perrin’s No Rules Vietnamese Porter (4.75) at Parry’s Pizza with Kyle L. to pick his brain about travel to Antarctica.
- All That Glitters (Union Lodge Select Barrel Laws Rye, golden date honey syrup, Golden Ichor Bitters, Amaro and Becherovka by Alex Daniluk) at Union Lodge №1 with Jenna.
January 15 — Denver, CO (~2 drinks)
- Tasters of Born to Hula Dry-Hopped Tropical Sour, Dry-Hopped Foeder-Aged Stringbender, and Fourtrack Porter with Libby at Black Shirt.
- Split a pour of Wassail and tasters of Ginger and Lila with Libby from C Squared Ciders at Rackhouse Pub.
January 17 & 18 —Orange County, CA (~5 drinks)
- Boulevard Brewing’s Collaboration №6 Barrel-Aged Blend at the Irvine Spectrum Yard House with Ben N.
- Sprezzatura (Wyoming Whiskey, Dios Oloroso, Sfumato Rabarbaro, Cranberry-Cabernet Reduction, Miracle Mile Chocolate Bitters); a whiskey flight of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength 2013, Booker’s 2016–02, and Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 2015; House Eggnog (Kirk & Sweeny 18 Year Rum, Torres 10 Year Brandy, Amaro Lucano, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Cream, and egg), and a Mezcal Negroni with Scott P. at Broadway.
January 21 & 22 — Dinner Parties in Denver, CO (2 drinks)
- Fireside Whiskey Old Fashioned with Brad, Kathleen, Jen, and Drew at my place for homemade japchae.
- Can of Black Shirt’s Stringbender Saison at the Rogers’ house for burgers and the pitiful Steelers AFC Conference Championship game.
January 27 — Tijuana, Mexico (~5 drinks)
- Roughly 68 oz of 48 different beers in tasters at Mamut, Border Psycho, Donkey Punch, Insurgente, Fauna, and Kope Cafe brewery tap rooms in Fiesta Square, Tijuana, for Andrew’s belated birthday.
- And after returning to San Diego, we split a can of Saint Archer Nelson IPL while playing old Gameboy games on a Raspberry Pi.
January 28 — San Diego, California (~10 drinks)
- A fresh can of AleSmith Speedway Stout, a hair of the dog compliments of Will H.
- A five-way split of a can of some mystery hazy IPA from Monkish Brewing.
- Shared pours of Necessary Evil Sour Wheat with Raspberry and Passion Fruit and #Buzzwords Super Dank Pale Ale from Half Door Brewing Co.
- Two tiki drinks from Fairweather: the Gringo Verde (mezcal, pressed lime, banana liqueur, habanero) and Heming’Guey (mezcal, Maraschino liquor, fresh lime and grapefruit).
- A five-way split of canned Mumford DTLA IPA.
- Between three of us, split 8 tasters at Eppig and 4 tasters at Rip Current.
- Split three full pours between three of us at each of Bottlecraft, North Park, and Tiger!Tiger!
- The Mayan Concubine (reposado, fresh lemon, apricot liqueur, and bitters) at Polite Provisions.
- …then returned to their place in North Park to drink a Lagunitas Brown Shugga’.
February 1 — Laguna Beach, CA (3 drinks)
- Hunter S. Thompson’s Revenge (Glen Grant 12 Year Whiskey, Germain-Robin Apple Brandy, Gran Classico, IPA syrup, lemon, grapefruit oils); Nose Tickler (Clear Creek Pear Brandy, Beckerovka, lemon, oro blanco grapefruit, sparkling rose, tarragon); and Port Flip (Lustau Solera Reserva, Tawny Port, pomegranate juice, winter spice syrup, whole egg, nutmeg) on new menu night at Broadway for client drinks with Eric L. and Ryan R.
February 2 & 3— Denver, CO (2 drinks)
- 1 taster of Great Divide’s Barrel Aged Hercules Double IPA with Bryan S. to discuss the Ballpark Neighborhood Business Improvement District.
- The Maude (Barboncourt Rhum, Becherovka, sweet vermouth, Peychaud bitters, and C Squared Ginger cider) with Justin L. at Rackhouse Pub.
February 10 & 12— Denver, CO (3 drinks)
- Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatimus Prime Imperial Oatmeal Stout (4.25) by Mountain Sun for stout month at Vine Street Pub with Ryan K.
- Odd 13’s Humulus Kalecumber Sour Ale (3.75) at Alamo Drafthouse to see “John Wick: Chapter 2” with Nic G., Ryan K., Jeff & Rebecca W.
- Mystery tiki drink at Retrograde, a speakeasy behind a freezer door in the Frozen Matter ice cream parlor with Jeff O.
February 15 — Orange County, CA (1 drink)
- Lagunitas High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout (4.25) at Heroes & Legends playing “7 Wonders” with Ben N, Duy, Rob H. and Kailyn H.
February 17 & 18 — Denver, CO (2 drinks)
- Glass of Koyle Gran Reserva Carmenere 2012 from Colchagua Valley, Chile with neighbor Katherine R. at home watching “Chef’s Table.”
- Don’t Panic Black IPA (3.75) at Our Mutual Friend with Ashley C.
February 20, 21 & 23 — Denver, CO (~4 drinks)
- 2015 Beast Moans Cherrywood Smoked Imperial Stout with Cherries (3.75) from Woodland Empire Ale Craft with JD & Sara R. at home.
- Premium Amber Beer (3) from Kombolcha Brewery BGI Ethiopia with Sarah at Mesab Ethiopian Restaurant.
- Smoked Pina-Rita (house pepper infused tequila, Montelobos Mezcal, pineapple-limeade, Strawberry Fanta, chili lime rim) and Flight of the Agave (Milagro Reposado, lavender honey, egg whites, lime, Strawberry Fanta) with Mandy at Los Chingones in the Denver Tech Center.
February 24 & 25— Denver, CO (~5 drinks)
- The Ford Variation (Vida Mezcal, Dry Vermouth, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Absinthe Rinse) with Jenica at The Populist.
- Pours of Woody Creek’s Colorado Straight Rye, The Bruery’s Wiki Wiki Tart, Copper Kettle’s Mexican Chocolate Stout, and a Coors Light at Brian and Chelsey’s housewarming party.
March 3 & 4 — Denver, CO (2 drinks)
- Pour of Redemption Rye with JD playing “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” on Nintendo Switch.
- An adult chocolate shake (reposado tequila, chocolate ice cream, cinnamon, and whipped cream) seeing “Logan” at Alamo Drafthouse with Dad, Brad, Kathleen, Alan, and Laura A.
March 6–9 — Denver, CO (~6 drinks)
- Split three Demon Series beers from Avery with David F. including The Beast Grand Cru, Pump[KY]n Bourbon Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Porter, and Samael’s Oak-Aged Ale at home while playing “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” on Nintendo Switch.
- Had a pour of Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon with Mike O. and Oak Town Brown Ale from Calicraft at home while playing “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” on Nintendo Switch.
- Whiskey Challenge (rye whiskey, Gingercello, Amaro, lemon, black rice vinegar) at Adrift Tiki Bar with Eddy.
March 10—Denver, CO (~7 drinks)
- Tequila Spicy Basil Sour with Brian C. and Castle S. at Work & Class before getting carried away with a Party Paloma (Sauza Blanco Tequila, Stiegel Grapefruit Radler) at The Populist, a Handyman of Tulum (Montelobos Mezcal, piloncillo syrup, lime, hibiscus tea, ancho chili rim), an Ace Cider, and two tequila sodas at Pon Pon Bar, and a third tequila soda at Forest Room 5.
March 16 — San Clemente, CA (~2 drinks)
- Tasters of Trigger Finger IPA, Bye Felicia Double IPA, Party Milk Milk Stout on Nitro, and a Trigger Finger-Unicorn Juice Blend plus a half pour of HoliDAVE Imperial Stout with the ENVOY team for happy hour at Artifex Brewing Company.
March 17—Denver, CO (~4 drinks)
- Tasters of 2nd Anniversary Ale Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Brettanomyces, “Dyatlov Pass Incident” Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, and Arse Over Elbows ESB plus a half pour of Lemon Zest Grissette at Alpine Dog Brewery with Sarah H. and co-workers Brad, Kyle, Alton, and Karissa.
- Ronnie Buders (Michter’s Sour Mash whiskey, sour cheery, sour beer gastrique, sourdough, Sour Patch Kids) and half of a Mel Waters (Bulleit rye whiskey, blueberry bitter aperitivo, Henriques e Henriques Rainwater Madeira, black pepper, rose hip) from Trick Dog who took over the bar for the weekend at Williams & Graham with Sarah H., Jenny, and Eddy.
- #50 (Cognac, Jelinek Slivovitz, Lillet Rosé, Giffard Abricot, orange bitters) at Bar Fausto with Sarah H., Eddy, Nick M., Ari F., David F., and more crazy kids.
March 18 — Denver, CO (~4 drinks)
- Split full pours of Park Session IPA and Maui Express Coconut IPA at Denver Beer Company with Sarah H., Brian & Chelsey, and friends.
- Had an embarrassing pull of Bud Light Lime atop a roof under the blazing sun on an 82 degree winter day for a crayfish boil with Sarah H., Eddy, Alissa R., Drew H., Jen L. and a whole bunch of other people.
- Hosted a cocktail night at my place with everyone above plus Zack P., Brittany, Mike H., Sara & JD, Emily L., and Kyle from Sarah’s work. I made myself a spicy margarita (regular and jalapeño-infused blanco tequila, Cointreau, lime, agave, assorted Penzeys spice rim) and an Oaxaca Old-Fashioned (reposado tequila, Vida mezcal, jalapeño-infused blanco tequila, agave, Angostura bitters, flamed orange twist).
- To finish off the night, I had a can of Overcast Espresso Oatmeal Stout with Coffee from Oakshire Brewing.
March 19— Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- Three pours of bottomless blood orange mimosas at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox for a glorious and necessary brunch with Sarah H.
March 20— Denver, CO (~6 drinks)
- Split tasters of Born to Hula Dry-Hopped Tropical Sour on Nitro, Frontmaniac Double Dry-Hopped IPA, Blood Orange Double IPA, and Black Beacon Storm Imperial Red Rye Stout on Nitro with Sarah H. at Black Shirt Brewing.
- Split tasters of Gin Barrel-Ages Ginny Girl Stout, Grizwald Sled Wax Spiced Chocolate Stout, Mila Petite Sour Saison with green syrup for St. Patrick’s Day, and a full pour of Mila Rouge Petite Sour Saison with Rhubarb at Beryl’s Beer Company with Sarah H.
- Split a pour of A-Team Steam California Common collaboration between Bierstadt Lagerhaus and Little Machine and pour of Ruby Cider with Montmorency Cherries Aged in Red Wine Barrels plus tasters of Ginger and Lila ciders from C Squared Ciders with Sarah H. at Rackhouse Pub.
- Split four cocktails at Union Lodge №1 with Sarah H: Roast Beast (rye whiskey, smoked cherry peppercorn syrup, smoke bitters, Benedictine by Becky Rose); Amaretto Sour (Amaretto, bourbon, lemon, egg whites); Upon a Winter’s Dream (tequila, egg white, sour apple syrup, acid phosphate, rosemary by Colin Overett); and Midnight Walk (dark rum, overproof rum, allspice chocolate mint whipped cream by Kate Krieger).
March 24 & 25 — Denver, CO (~2 drinks)
- Split pours of TRVE’s Ecate Golden Mixed Culture Ale Aged on Grape Pomace (4) and Odell and Verboten’s collaboration, Ignorance Is Bliss Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (4.5), at Freshcraft with Mark and Cindy for Mark’s birthday.
- Split pours of Silver City’s Tropic Haze India Pale Ale and New Image’s Year One Hoppy Anniversary Double Dry Hopped New England IPA with Justin and Emily playing Star Wars™ Battlefront at home on Xbox One.
March 27 — Denver, CO (~1 drink)
- Split Fulton’s War & Peace Russian Imperial Coffee Stout and another Silver City Tropic Haze India Pale Ale with JD at home to celebrate my finishing 313 hours of studies on the history of the Roman Republic.
March 29 — Costa Mesa, CA (~2 drinks)
- The Medicina Mestizo (Xicaru Silver Mezcal, Alexander-Jules Manzanilla, Bittermens Tepache Spiced Pineapple, housemade Falernum, lime) and shared a bottle of 2009 Martinez Bujanda Viña Bujanda Reserva Rioja Tempranillo with my brother and uncle for Scott’s birthday at Vaca.
April 1 — Denver, CO (~2 drinks)
- Split tasters of Cherry McGuire Belgian golden ale with whole tart cherries, Helluva Caucasian Stout, Alter Brewing collab German Chocolate Cake Stout, Pikes Peak collab Smoke’em If You Got’em Smoked Peach Wheat (plus a full pour of that cause…weird), Empty Trophy Case dry hopped American style IPA with Simcoe, Meridian, and Zythos hops, Beglian Quad, and a Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Russian Imperial Stout at Living the Dream with Brad, Kathleen, and Kuma.
April 6— Denver, CO (1 drink)
- Barrel aged Spruce with the Fir (St. George Terror, Diplomatico Anejo, Cardamom, Gran Classico, Smoked Fir) with LJ, Eddy and Justin L at White Lies (RIP).
April 7–9 — Denver, CO (~4 drinks)
- A barrel aged boulevardier at Society with LJ and the NextVR crew.
- Split 11 tasters with Kelly at Crooked Stave: Nordic Blueberry, Ampersand Volume 3, Chapter 1 golden sour botanical ale aged in Ransom Old Tom Gin barrels, Red Valve dry hopped golden sour collaboration with Ballast Point, Petite Sour Rosé, Surette Reserva Sour Cherry, Hop Savant, Origins Burgundy Sour, Nightmare On Brett, Nightmare On Brett with Raspberry, Colorado Wild Sage, and Do You Even Zest? American IPA.
- Split a bottle of Hakushika Snow Beauty Nigori unfiltered sake with Jon, Brooke, and Ian at Tokio for Ian’s birthday.
April 12— Orange County, CA (~2 drinks)
- Split full pours of Offshoot Wave the White Flag hazy juice bomb with Golden Promise, wheat, Vic’s Secret, Mosaic, Citra and Conan yeast; Griffon Bruxellois 2017 oak aged sour brown ale with cherries; Wakefield collab Taking My Talents to Anaheim berliner weisse with dragonfruit, passion fruit, lime juice and Minneola tangerines; and 3 Floyds collaboration Rue D’Floyd 2017 barrel aged imperial porter with coffee, vanilla beans, and tart cherries with Will H. at The Bruery taproom.
April 14–16 — Denver, CO (~9 drinks)
- Wicked Weed’s Recurrant American sour ale aged in cabernet barrels with black currants (4.25) at Finn’s Manor; full pour of Strawberry Gaarden witbier (3.5) and split tasters of Gin Barrel-Ages Ginny Girl Stout (3.75) and DRiNk RiNo ALTimate Secret double secret alt-style beer with Colorado malts and hops (3.75) collaboration between all the RiNo breweries at Beryl’s Beer Company; and a short pour of Bank Note Blended Scotch Whisky at home playing “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” with David F.
- Split growlers of Resolute’s Pilsner (3.75) and Dead Hippie’s Gun Barrel Golden Belgian Strong Ale (3.5); split bottles of Adelbert’s Raspberry Sour (4.5), Silver City’s Tropic Haze India Pale Ale (3.5), TRVE’s Buried Sun french-style farmhouse (3.75), High Water’s Stella Blue American sour ale aged for one year in wine barrels with blueberries, strawberries and rhubarb (4.5), and Fulton’s War & Peace Russian Imperial Coffee Stout (4.0); and suffered half of a Hite with a soju bomb and jello shots with Phil W., Bart, Jamaal, and friends at Phil’s house for a barbecue.
- A little mimosa with family for Easter at the aunt and uncle’s house.
April 17 — Laguna Beach, CA (3 drinks)
- Sonoran Sunset (Xicaru Silver Mezcal, Opuntia Prickly Pear Liqueur, housemade prickly pear jam, lime, honey), Southern Longing (Pueblo Viejo Reposado, Cappelletti Aperitivo, club soda, meyer lemon oils), and a Sidewinder (mezcal and Green Chartreuse) with Eric L. at Broadway.
April 20 — Denver, CO (~1 drink)
- About 10 ounces from tasters of Rocky Mountain Chowda Hazy Session IPA, Cattywampus Grapefruit Double IPA, Sawatch American IPA, Triple Bypass Triple IPA, Ninja Donkey Juicy Imperial IPA, Uber Slayer Saison (with Japanese fruits, green tea, shiitake mushrooms, kelp, roasted seaweed, toasted sesame seeds and Japanese pepper), and Grouse Mountain Blood Orange Gose with old friend Pat M. at Jagged Mountain.
April 25 — Corona del Mar, CA (~2 drinks)
- Four tasting pours from Daou Vineyards: 2015 Paso Robles Chardonnay, 2016 The Pessimist red blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Tannat, and Grenache, 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2014 Paso Robles Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. We also split a bottle of Cascade’s Sang Noir imperial spiced sour aged in oak barrels with cherries with Chris O. and Will H. at The Wine Gallery.
April 29 — Denver, CO (~5 drinks)
- Split tasters of Future Tense Dry-Hopped Gose (3.75), Affordable Luxury Dry-Hopped Saison (3.75), Muscle Memory American Pale Ale (3.75), Living Fossil New Zealand Pale Ale (3.75), Rare Trait House India Pale Ale (4), Tandem Jetpack Double India Pale Ale (4.25), Known Entities English Brown Ale, and Work From Home Imperial Breakfast Porter (4.5) at Cerebral Brewing with Brad and Kathleen.
- A pour of Zuma barrel-aged cider (3.5) from C Squared Ciders at Rackhouse Pub with Eddy, then split a 720ml bottle of The Bruery’s 2015 Mash barleywine-style ale aged in bourbon barrels at my condo, followed by splitting a bottle of Goose Island’s 2015 Bourbon County Brand Stout aged in bourbon barrels to celebrate finally beating “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” after 151 freaking hours of gameplay.
May 1 — Littleton, CO (1 drink)
- Perennial Artisan Ale’s Savant Blanc 100% Brettanomyces fermented Belgian-style Blonde Ale aged 5 months in Chardonnay barrels with Chardonel grapes (4.5) at Jake’s Brew Bar with Mary Katherine.
May 2 — Cherry Creek, CO (1 drink)
- Glass of Takatenjin Sword of the Sun Tokubetsu Honjozo sake at Departure with Matt T. for a client dinner.
May 5 — Denver, CO (1 drink)
- A can of Goose IPA at an 11am city district meeting…because it was Friday after a long week and we all just needed a beer.
May 6 — Denver, CO (~4 drinks)
- Spanish Scaffa (blended scotch, Spanish brandy, Pedro Ximénez sherry, bitters, and lemon oil) for a family dinner at El Five.
- Two strong homemade margaritas and a few short tequila shots for a Cinco de Mayo house party at Callie’s.
May 13 — Denver, CO (~1 drink)
- A short pour of Hood River’s Pendleton Blended Canadian Whisky and half a can of La Cumbre’s Elevated IPA at home with neighbors including JD, Sara, Mike, Lenka, Calvin, and more.
May 17 — Irvine, CA (~3 drinks)
- Split bottles of Gekkeikan Draft Nama Sake and Momokawa Diamond Junmai Gino Sake (let’s just say Americans don’t know how to make sake) with Scott P. at Kona Grill in the Irvine Spectrum.
May 19 — Denver, CO (~2 drinks)
- A bottle of TRVE’s Cursed mixed culture sour pale ale with Jenny while seeing the Denver Film Society’s Reel Social Club 2nd annual RSC Shorts Fest Opening Night short film program at the Sie FilmCenter.
- Tasters of Hefe’s Passion Kettle Sour with Passion Fruit and Pancakes Maple Porter plus a full pour of Strawberry Fields Rye Pal Ale with Strawberry & Fennel at Renegade Brewing Company for Klaus’s Golden Girls-themed birthday party (yes, I dressed up) with Jenny, Justin, Emily, Klaus, Kate, and more.
May 21 — Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- Amy’s Bees Knees (gin, honey syrup, lemon juice) and Dan’s Manhattan (rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, cardamom bitters), the two special cocktails served at Amy and Dan’s wedding at Blanc.
- A tequila soda with lime at The Matchbox for the wedding afterparty with Amy, Dan, Jenna, Collin, Eric, Alyssa, Jeremy, Gaston, and more.
May 23 — Irvine, CA (1 drink)
May 25–28 — Pittsburgh, PA (~10 drinks)
Took a trip to Pittsburgh for Gabe’s bachelor party with Catherine, Joe, Alex, Eli, and Van. Many drinks ensued:
- Very small pour of a Fat Tire on Southwest Flight 3018 from LAX to PIT.
- Small tastes of Wigle’s Absent Minded Absinthe and Steven Soderbergh’s Singani 63 at Catherine’s house.
- The Puerto Escondido (tequila, lime, jalapeño, curacao, lychee, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, pineapple, bitters) and pulls from punch bowls of Jaguar Shark (gin, lemon, fassionola, Pimm’s, maraschino, elderflower, peach, ginger, pineapple, bitters) and Krakatoa (Wigle Landlocked, Jamaican and black strap rums, lime, falernum, honey, pineapple, tiki bitters, nutmeg) at Hidden Harbor.
- The Yakuza Bang (Ardbeg Scotch whisky, sake, blanc vermouth, activated charcoal, togarashi), a Falling Petal sake shot with hibiscus syrup, and a taste of Kavalan Single Malt Taiwanese whiskey at Umami.
- Pulls from Tullibardine 228 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Burgundy Finish and Woodford Reserve by the fire on the rooftop at our Airbnb in Lawrenceville.
- Sage Against the Machine (tequila, Montenegro amaro, lime, sage) and a toasting pour of Montenegro at Station.
- Alltech’s Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Blackberry Porter (3.75) and a PBR pace car at Pork & Beans.
- Smoke & Mirrors (Espolon blanco tequila, Montelobos mezcal, cinnamon & pequin pepper Aperol, grapefruit, honey, lime, tarragon), Black Dahlia (Old Overholt Rye, lapsong tea, lemon, activated charcoal, egg white) and part of a Founders beer I can’t remember at Butcher and the Rye.
- Split tasters of Hazedelic Juice Grenade New England Style IPA (4), Little Kahuna pineapple sour ale (3.75), Hop Sensei double IPA (4), Kolsch On the Run (3.5), and BLACK In the USSR nitro stout (3.25) at Grist House.
- Split tasters of Indigenous Saison #1, Indigenous Saison #2, Allemande wild ale with Riesling grapes and green apples, Cru wild fermented old ale, Prototype #3 dry-hopped wild ale, and Geestelijke farmhouse ale aged on lees at Draai Laag Brewing.
June 3 — Littleton, CO (2 drinks)
- Fremont’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star Oatmeal Stout (4.75) and WeldWerks’ S’mores Achromatic Stout (4.5) at Jake’s Brew Bar with Justin L., Emily L., Zack P., Emily M. and Daniel B.
June 6–8 — Orange County, CA (~5.5 drinks)
- Fear & Loathing (St. George Green Chile Vodka, Xicaru Mezcal, Becherovka, papya, lime, papaya-pepper jam) and an Iberian Old Fashioned (Dos Maderas PX 5+5, house cream sherry, Miracle Mile Toasted Pecan Bitters, orange peel) with Eric L. at at Vaca.
- Mind Mischief (Diplomatico Reserva Rum, Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe, vanilla syrup, lime, Miracle Mile Chocolate-Chili bitters) and Lower Than Heaven (Park VS Cognac, Gutiérrez Colosía Amontillado Sherry, Tempus Fugit Cacao, Trader Vic’s Macadamia, lime) by the master Michael Rooney with Debbie & Thomas E. at Broadway.
- Allagash’s James Bean barrel aged Belgian strong ale infused with cold press coffee (4) at Yard House with Uncle Rob, Aunt Holly, and the boys.
- A few pulls of a Sapporo and soju with Uncle Rob, Aunt Holly, Adrianna, and the boys at Shik Do Rak Korean BBQ for Adri’s graduation.
June 9 & 10 — Denver & Silver Plume, CO (~1.5 drinks)
- Split a Dugges Tropic Punch sour ale with lactobacillus, mango, passion fruit and peach (3.75) with JD at home while hanging out with James D., Lauren, and Katherine on a Friday night.
- Half of a Cortez Thompson (tequila, Colorado apertivo, grapefruit, agave) at Bread in Silver Plume on the way back after hiking St. Mary’s Glacier with James D. and Lauren.
- Split The Major (Monkey Shoulder Scotch, “spices,” peach bitters) with James D. at Retrograde behind Frozen Matter with Lauren and Eddy.
June 26 — Denver, CO (1.5 drinks)
- Bad Hombre (Sierra Norte Oaxacan White Corn Whiskey, Amargo-Vallet Mexican Amaro, muddled with cherry, sugar cube, burnt orange peel, and sal de gusano worm salt tobala spritz) and split a Phở-kya (housemade phở spice liqueur, Coppermuse Jalapeño Vodka, lime, jalapeño, basil) with Jenica at Rebel Restaurant.
June 28 — Lake Forest, CA (1.5 drinks)
- Split a bottle of The Bruery’s Chocolate Rain with Jeremy on his new patio to properly celebrate his purchase of a new house.
July 1 — Denver, CO (1 drink)
- Handyman of Tulum (Montelobos Mezcal, piloncillo syrup, lime, hibiscus tea, ancho chili rim) at Pon Pon Bar for Michael L.’s birthday with Justin, Emily, and others.
July 3 — Denver, CO (~6 drinks)
- Hosted approximately 30 people for a cocktail party at my place to watch the Rockies fireworks show from my balcony. From what I can remember, I had partial pours of Our Mutual Friend’s New Boot Goofin sour ale aged on montmorency cherries, Frost Beer Works’ Lush Double IPA, Crooked Stave’s Origins Burgundy Sour, and Moody Tongue’s Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter.
- I also had shots of Old Overholt Rye and Milagro Blanco Tequila.
- As for cocktails, I had entire Treaty of Paris (Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac, St-Germain, lemon, cinnamon bark syrup, oak aged balsamic vinegar, angostura bitters, muddled strawberry), King George’s Aneurysm (Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, St-Germain, grapefruit juice, lime, cinnamon bark syrup, cane sugar, rinse of St. George Absinthe), half of a John Adams (Flor de Caña White Rum, Appleton Estate V/X Rum, Becherovka, cane sugar, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters), and little tastes of pretty much all of the cocktails we made on the menu below.
July 4 — Black Hawk, CO (1 drink)
- Because it was amazing, I made myself and everyone else another Treaty of Paris (Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac, St-Germain, lemon, cinnamon bark syrup, oak aged balsamic vinegar, angostura bitters, muddled strawberry) at Callie’s family cabin in Black Hawk to watch the fireworks with David & Ally G., Justin & Emily, Laura G., Jenny, and more.
July 8 — Denver, CO (~5.5 drinks)
- Split an Irish Coffee (Fireside Whiskey, CODA cold brew coffee, Square Deal Farms pure maple syrup, coffee ice, vanilla froth) with Brad and Kathleen at Morning Collective.
- A half pour of Odell’s #realpilsner at Next Door Union Station with Ty, Heather, Jude, and their friends.
- At Banded Oak Brewery, split tasters with Ty and Ross of their Double IPA, Cornhole and Chill Vienna Lager, Barreled Lager Bock Bier in Cabernet Barrels, Imperial Brown in Cabernet Barrels, Ye Olde Ale in Fireside Whiskey Barrels, and Belgian Dark Strong in Cabernet Barrels.
- Duplicitous Batch 3 Sour Ale with Blackberries and a Raspberry Table Sour Slushie with Ty, Ross and Eddy at Baere Brewing for the brewery’s 3rd anniversary party.
- Worship the Void Mixed Culture Blackberry Saison at TRVE with Eddy, Ty, and Ross.
- Split tastes of Dead Hand Cuvee Blended Fruit Sour, Shadow Factory Blood Orange and Boysenberry Wild Ale, and Dreamland Sour Golden Ale at Black Project with Eddy before calling it a day well drank.
July 9 — Irvine, CA (1 drink)
- The Drunken Avocado (muddled avocado, fresh ginger, pineapple and lime shaken with tequila) at Scott and Cathy’s with Kyle and Jen for Kyle’s birthday.
July 11 — Pasadena & Glendale, CA (~3.5 drinks)
- Split a 300ml bottle of Shunka Shusetsu Echizen Junmai Ginjyo sake with Kyle for his birthday omakase dinner with Jen and I at Sushi Enya.
- Champs-Élysées (cognac, green chartreuse, lemon, bitters) and Angel Reyes (bourbon, Ancho Reyes, Frangelico, Fernet-Branca, lemon, angel bitters) at The Oak and Vine with Kyle, Jen, Cary, and Grethel.
July 12 — Highlands Ranch, CO (2 drinks)
July 13-15— Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- Local Knowledge Raspberry Sour (4) at Great Divide with Brian S. and Matt V. to discuss Ballpark Collective business.
- Part of a John Adams (Flor de Caña White Rum, Appleton Estate V/X Rum, Becherovka, cane sugar, Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters) at home with JD before playing Puerto Rico for the first time.
- Half a glass of Joseph Carr ‘Josh’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 with neighbors Jane and Katherine in Jane’s condo later that night.
- Barrel-Aged Rye Teo, Ol’ Chap! Stout in Laws Secale Rye Whiskey barrels (4) at Wynkoop Brewing with Mandy, Holly, Amanda, Jessica, and more for Mandy’s birthday.
July 18 & 19 — Irvine, CA (~8 drinks)
- Sugar Daddy (Isle of Skye 8 year Scotch, Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado, Licor 43, Trinity Bitters, lemon oils), Verão (Novo Fogo Silver & Tanager Cachaças, housemade lime cordial, Crude “Rizzo” Bitters), Piña Party (Cimarron Reposado, Giffard Caribbean Pineapple, Turbinado, lime, coffee bean), half of a Murder Chareau (Alexander Jules Fino, Chareau Aloe Liqueur, Green Chartreuse, Ancho Verde, lime, honey, celery bitters) and a shot of Beckerovka through a bone marrow luge at Vaca with Eric L. and Jeff S. for client drinks and dinner.
- A Buffalo Trace old-fashioned with Eric, Jeff, Bill, William, and Peter at the Hotel Irvine Red Bar & Lounge.
- The Bruery’s Filmishmish barrel-aged sour blonde ale with apricots, a short pour of 2016 Black Tuesday, a Mexican daiquiri (tequila, lemon, agave, Angostura Bitters), and half of an R&D drink with equal parts Bulleit Rye, Amaro Nonino, port and Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters for a lads’ night with Jeremy, Will, and Nathan at Jeremy’s house.
July 27 — Atlanta, GA (~3 drinks)
- Orpheus Brewing Truth.Body.Soul Double India Pale Ale and a split a bottle of Three Taverns 2017 Heavy Bell Bourbon Barrel Aged Quad with cousins Derek, Meghan, Justin, Courtney, Logan, Vanessa, little Caden and Rhyan on a boat on Lake Lanier.
- SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale back at Meghan and Justin’s house with Derek and Vanessa.
July 28–29 — Blairsville, GA (~8 drinks)
- A bourbon smash and glass of champagne at Gabe and Katie’s wedding at the Union County Community Center.
- A Bulleit Kentucky Mule and pour of Laphroaig 10-Year back at our Paradise Hills cabin after the wedding with Kili, Allison, Matt, Sarah Ann, Amy, David, Gabe, and Katie.
- Scofflaw Basement IPA (3.75) plus pours of Laphroaig 10-Year, Aberfeldy 12-year Scotch Whisky (really, really freaking good!), and McAfee’s Benchmark №8 Straight Bourbon at the cabin with all wedding attendees from college and the bachelor party.
July 30 — Andrews, NC (~1 drink)
- Split tasters of Juggling Molecules Pale Ale (3.75), Wentzek Belgian Tripel (3.75), Front Line Winner Amber Ale (3.25), Tha Cereal Killah Coffee Stout (3.75), and Best Day Ever Milkshake Hazy IPA (4.5) at Hoppy Trout Brewing Company with Matt and David.
August 3 — Denver, CO (~5 drinks)
- Tasters of Billion Dollar Baby IPA with Cascade Hops (3.5), Brettanniversary Farmhouse (3.5), Blueberry Table Sour (4), and Azacca Table Sour (4) at Baere Brewing with Eric L., his father, and cousin.
- Brain Transplant Blended Sour Ale (4.5) at TRVE with Eric L., his father, and cousin.
- Half pours of Oak Alliance Oak Aged IPA (4) and the Blood Orange Gose (4) at Banded Oak Brewery with Eric L., his father, cousin and more family members.
- Split bottles of shōchū between nine people over Korean BBQ at Dae Gee.
- Ended the night with a What’s In the Trunk? (Sherry Cask Dry Rye Gin, Cocchi Rosa, St. Germain, cucumber, tonic) at White Lies (RIP) with Eric L., his father, and cousin.
August 6 & 8 — Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- Canon 13 Chardonnay with Heather R. on the patio of Humboldt Farm Fish Wine in the rain.
- Split a Drunken Monk (Leopold’s Gin, mint, Kaffir Lime, Icing Grapefruit Rice Beer) and Black/Gold Junmai Sake with Heather R. at Cho77.
- House margarita at Leña with Heather R.
August 15 — Lake Forest, CA (1 drink)
- Deschutes’ The Abyss 2017 Russian Imperial Stout on Nitro (4) with Ben N. and James K. at Heroes & Legends.
August 18 — Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- Split tasters of Dreamy Thing Farmhouse Pale, Rare Trait House India Pale Ale, Double Dry Hopped Rare Trait (4.5), Orange Kushcicle India Pale with Lactose, and Cheat Code New England IPA (4.5) with Andrew S. and Kyle L. plus a full pour of Cheat Code at Cerebral Brewing.
- Glass of 2016 Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc and pour of champagne for Dad’s birthday with Kyle O., Jen L., and Mom at Café Terracotta.
August 19 & 20 — Deadwood, SD (~3 drinks)
- A can of Odd13 Codename: Superfan American IPA in the hot tub at the Deadwood Mountain Grand Resort with Alissa, Justin L., Emily L., Kyle O. and Jen L.
- Tasters of Buzz Light Cream Ale, Nut Hugger Brown Ale, Panty Dropper Porter, Strawberry Fields Blonde Ale with Basil and Strawberry, and The Mule Ginger Beer at Sick-N-Twisted’s tap room in Deadwood with Andrew S., Nic, Alissa, Jenica, Justin and Emily.
- A can of Toppling Goliath’s Pseudo Sue Citra Pale Ale at Oyster Bay Bar & Casino with Andrew, Nic, Alissa, and Jenica.
August 21 — Platte County, WY & Greeley, CO (~1 drink)
- Sips from tasters of Juicy Bits New England IPA (4), Piña Colada Fruity Bits (4.5), Orange Creamsicle Fruity Bits (4), Extra Extra Juicy Bits (4.75), Coffee Bits New England IPA (3.75), Galaxy Double Dry Hopped Juicy Bits (4.75), Alpha Bots New England IPA (4), Choco Taco Stout (4.75) and Piloting Change #4 Belgian Tripel (3.75) at WeldWerks Brewing with Justin, Emily, Nic, Alissa, Jenica, Andrew, and Andrew’s Mom.
August 22 — Denver, CO (2 drinks)
- Spyro’s Sponge Bath (Montelobos Mezcal, Caffo Bitter Herb Liqueur, Fruitation Cranberry, lime) at Finn’s Manor with Krisia.
- A Sazerac (rye whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters, absinthe) at Union Lodge №1 with Krisia.
August 24 & 25 — Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- Summer Teath IPA with James C. at The Post Chicken and Beer.
- Split an El Soridito (Derrumbes San Luis Potosí Mezcal, bitter orange syrup, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Green Chartreuse, lime, and a rim of Makrut lime salt, crushed Urfa chiles, and smoked paprika) and Grey Day at Punalu’u (Fortaleza Blanco Tequila, Kalani Coconut Liqueur, brûléed pineapple/lemon/basil soda, whipped egg white, volcanic black salt, housemade pimento/hibiscus/ginger bitters) with Heather R. at Rebel Restaurant.
- A glass or so of 2015 Apothic Red Blend with Heather R. on her patio.
August 27 — Denver, CO (~2 drinks)
- Split a bottle of Cooper & Thief Red Wine Blend Aged 3 Months in Bourbon Whiskey Barrels with Emily L. while watching the “Game of Thrones” Season 7 finale with Patrick G. in my condo.
August 30 & 31 — Irvine, CA (~2.5 drinks)
- A shot of reposado and Icy Hot (silver tequila, elderflower liqueur, cucumber, agave, heat) at the Hotel Irvine Red Bar & Lounge with Bill and Eric for client drinks.
- Margarita Organica (Azuñia Reposado Tequila, organic agave nectar, lime) at Javi’s with Eric and Greg before flying back to Denver.
September 1 — Denver, CO (~1.5 drinks)
- Saturn (Plymouth Gin, lemon, passionfruit, orgeat) at Ste. Ellie with Eddy.
- Random tastes of many spirits making cocktails for Eddy, Chelsea, and JD at home that probably amounted to a measurable portion of booze.
September 13 — Laguna Beach, CA (4 drinks)
- Dance with the Devil (bartender’s choice, no idea what was in it), Laguna de Piña (Xicaru Mezcal, Giffard Caribbean Pineapple, Fernet Branca, lime Turbinado, grilled pineapple), and a yet-unnamed cocktail (gin, Tozai Snow Maiden Nigori Sake, St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur, orgeat, yuzu, lime, Crude Apothecary 10 Cherry Walnut bitters) at Broadway with Eric L., Kim W., Aaron C., Ty L., Ryan R., and Michael B. for client drinks.
- A Jameson ginger at the Sandpiper Lounge (a.k.a. The Dirty Bird) with Eric L., Kim W., Aaron C., Ty L., and Ryan R. to round out the night.
September 23 — Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- Small tastes of Firestone Walker’s Merlin (nitro), Lagunitas’ Rum Barrel Aged Brown Shugga (nitro), and Prairie’s Deconstructed Bomb! (Chili Peppers) at Tupelo Honey for brunch with Mark G.
- Full taster of Barrel Aged Imperial Red On Tangerines at Great Divide with Mark G. and crew for his bachelor party.
- Stacy’s Mom (Casamigos Silver Tequila, Craneo Mezcal, watermelon, ginger syrup, lime) at Machete Tequila + Tacos with Mark G. and crew for his bachelor party.
- Bartender’s choice (Laphroaig 10-Year, chartreuse, cocchi americano, Petite Orange Shrubb, Carpano “Antica Formula” Sweet Vermouth) at Star Bar with the bachelor party crew.
- A small taste of Mark’s Peach Cobbler Imperial Amber Ale at Jagged Mountain to round out the bachelor party.
September 26 — Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- Split tasters of Smooth Moves Vol. 1 Berliner Weisse (3.75), Strange Claw New England IPA (3.75), Time Crystal New England IPA(3.75), Super Secret Chatroom DIPA (4), Orange Kushcicle IPA with Lactose (3.75), and Safe Word Imperial Stout (4) with Russ R. at Cerebral Brewing for client drinks.
- Glass of 2014 Halter Ranch Adelaide District Cabernet Sauvignon with Russ and Samantha S. at Table 6 for a client dinner.
- I’m Going Ananas (Flor de Caña 4-Year Rum, Aragoshi Yuzushu Sake, Diplomático Rum, Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur, lemon, demerara, Bitterman’s Tiki Bitters) at Williams & Graham with Russ and Samantha S.
September 29 — Denver, CO (~2 drinks)
- Spent the evening trying to build and tweak the perfect Vesper and Americano cocktails for the James Bond Cocktail Series in December. I can’t say for sure how much we consumed, but I wasn’t hungover at all in the morning after building eight half-cocktails we didn’t finish and several quarter-ounce tastes of Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Plymouth Gin, Ketel One Vodka, Maurin Vermouth, Cocchi Americano, Lillet Blanc, Campari, Punt e Mes, Montenegro Amaro, Becherovka, Old Overholt Rye, Disaronno, and R. Jelinek Slivovitz.
September 30—Glenwood Springs, CO (~3 drinks)
- Shared pours of East Bank Honey Farmhouse Ale (5–21–17), Cherry Fruit Stand: Attika/Utah Giant Fruited Farmhouse Ale (7–25–17), Casey Family Preserves: Nectarine (Independence, 9–8–17) Fruited Farmhouse Ale, The Cut: Grape (Gewürztraminer), The Cut: Peach (Red Haven, 9/8/16) and The Cut: Apricot (Perfection, 7/27/16) with Brad and Kathleen at Casey Brewing and Blending.
- Split tasters of Mango Gose, Barrel Project #7 Baltic Porter in Brandy Barrels, αβ Project: Ekuanot Double IPA, and Black Diamond Imperial Stout with Brad and Kathleen at Glenwood Canyon Brewpub.
October 6— Denver, CO (~2 drinks)
- Split tasters of Brave Little Grissette, Broken Time Golden Ale on Blackberries, The Deepest Darkest Fear Imperial Stout, and Gruppetto Tiramisu Imperial Stout with Corbin B. at Our Mutual Friend
- Split short pours of The Fuzz Whiskey Barrel-Aged Peach Cider, Märzen Apfelwein Cider, and Kühlcumber Mint Cider with Corbin from C Squared Ciders at Rackhouse Pub.
- A pour of Casey’s The Low End Farmhouse Ale at Finn’s Manor with Corbin.
October 8 — Los Angeles, CA (~2 drinks)
- A Jack and ginger ale at Desiree and Ari’s wedding in Orcutt Ranch.
- A glass of 2015 Bell’Agio Chianti with Adam and Kasha S. back at their apartment in Northridge.
October 14 — Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- Continued to tweak the perfect Vesper, Americano, and a special cocktail for the James Bond Cocktail Series. Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Ketel One Vodka, Cocchi Americano, Lillet Blanc, Maurin Vermouth, Campari, Punt e Mes, Montenegro Amaro, Becherovka, and Old Overholt Rye were used.
October 19 — Denver, CO (1 drink)
- A house margarita at La Loma for dinner with my father before seeing retired astronaut Scott Kelly talk at Trinity United Methodist Church.
October 21 — Denver, CO (~7 drinks)
- A barrel aged version of Nature’s Sweater Barleywine at Platt Park Brewing Company with Justin and Emily.
- Samples of several different whiskeys during and after a tour of Laws Whiskey House with Justin and Emily: Four Grain Straight Bourbon, Secale Straight Rye, Triticum Straight Wheat, Four Grain Straight Bourbon Bottled in Bond, Two Grain Straight Bourbon, Straight Corn, Hordeum Straight Malt, Bonded Barley, and Four Grain Straight Bourbon Finished in Armagnac.
- Smoke Signal (Mezcal, Bonal, Aperol, Yellow Chartreuse) and a Suerte Blanco Tequila shot with an orange slice and cinnamon at Telegraph with Justin and Emily.
- The Common Dante (Pepitas-Infused Scarlet Ibis Rum, Sweet Vermouth, Amaro Montenegro), Westchester (Naked Grouse Scotch Whiskey, Giffard Crème de Banane du Brezil Banana Liqueur, Walnut), and bartender’s choice I can’t remember, and split a tiki drink with Justin and Emily I don’t remember at Ste. Ellie (we got a little carried away…I literally fell off my bar stool).
October 23 — Denver, CO (~1.5 drinks)
- Tasters of Juice the Mutha Sour Ale, Sour Grape Sour Golden Ale with Muscat Grapes, and Barrel Aged English Dutchman Imperial Stout plus a 10oz pour of Rock the Fuck On IPA With Rye with Millie at Mockery.
October 24 — Placentia, CA (~4 drinks)
- Black Tuesday (2017)
- Black Tuesday (2012)
- Berried on a Tuesday (blueberries, orange and cinnamon)
- Blacklava Tuesday (Baklava-inspired treatment)
- Oreo Black Tuesday (oreo cookies, cacao nibs and vanilla)
- Cafe Almond Tuesday (toasted almonds and coffee)
- Neapolitan Black Tuesday (strawberries, vanilla, cacao nibs and lactose)
- Brazilian BBQ Tuesday (brazil nuts and barbecued pineapples)
- The Grrreat Tuesday Cookie (Frosted Flakes, cacao nibs, toasted coconut, toasted almonds, lactose)
- Salted Cashew Caramel Chew Tuesday (Black Tuesday with salted cashews)
- Nuts About Tuesdays (macadamia nuts, toasted coconut, hazelnuts, hazelnut Coffee)
- Grandma Knott’s Tuesday (boysenberries and vanilla)
- Joyful Tuesday (almond and toasted coconut)
- Pecan Pie Black Tuesday (toasted pecans, vanilla beans, maple syrup)
- Elvis Black Tuesday (peanut butter and banana-inspired Black Tuesday)
- Pistachio Vanilla Black Tuesday (Black Tuesday with pistachios and vanilla)
- Single Barrel Black Tuesday, and
- MOSTRA Tuesday (Black Tuesday with Black Tuesday barrel-aged coffee beans from MOSTRA Coffee).
- They also had Offshoot’s Super Juicy Tuesday New England IPA and Piña Colada Pale Ale.
Largely unfulfilled by the event, we walked over to The Bruery’s tasting room and split tasters of several beers with Jeremy, Will, Kyle and others including:
- Bruery Terreux’s Frucht: Bemango-Berazzled Sour Blonde Ale
- One Way Or Another collaboration with Cascade Brewing
- Tell No Tales Rum & Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Ale with Yams and Spices
- Rest Oak Aged Strong Dark Ale
- 10 Lords-A-Leaping
- Mole Martes (Randall)
- Chronology:12 — Imperial Porter
- White Chocolate With Cherries, and
- Chocolate Rain (2015).
October 27 & 28 — Denver, CO (~6.5 drinks)
- In continued prep for the James Bond Cocktail Series, several people came over to help Eddy and I try drinks including JD & Sara, Katherine, Lahne & Evan J., Chelsea, and Paula. In addition to the Vesper and Americano cocktails, we started building drinks for the movie, Dr. No, using Plantation 3 Stars Rum, Appleton Estate V/X Rum, Appleton Estate Rare 12 Year Rum, The Scarlet Ibis Trinidad Rum, Giffard Crème de Banane du Brezil Banana Liqueur, Michter’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon, I Quercioli Secco Reggiano Lambrusco, honey syrup, fresh tangerine juice, fresh lemon juice, lavender syrup, mango puree and syrup, ackee fruit, egg whites, sorbet folded with black pepper, Reed’s extra ginger beer, and a host of other tiny experiments. I honestly can’t say for sure how much I consumed in total from all the taste testing, but judging from the resulting hangover, my guess would be somewhere in ballpark of 4–6 total drinks.
- Beyond cocktail research and development, we kept hanging out until 4:30am and I split bottles of Black Tuesday (2017) and Cooper & Thief Red Wine Blend Aged 3 Months in Bourbon Whiskey Barrels with Eddy, Chelsea, Patrick, and Jenica.
- Had a tastes (hair of the dog) of Coffee Porter and Pumpkin Chai at Brewability Lab for Kelly’s birthday with Adam, Jenica, John M., etc.
- Split a bottle of Devil Stuff Sour Ale at TRVE with Nic and Alissa.
November 1 — Denver, CO (2 drinks)
- Two bartender’s choice drinks—one with Plantation 3 Star Rum, Lillet Blanc, grenadine, orange shrub and the other with mezcal, Ancho Reyes, yellow chartreuse, orange shrub—with Sophie at Adrift Tiki Bar.
November 3 & 4 — Big Bear, CA (~7 drinks)
A group rented a cabin in Big Bear to celebrate Andrew’s 30th birthday including Rachel, Justin, Jared, Leah, James, Cary, Grethel, Joey, Rachyl, Will, Kristen, David G., and Maxx. We got a decent amount of work done:
- For liquor, 2 oz of Laws Triticum Straight Wheat, a Martinez (gin, Martini sweet vermouth, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, Angostura bitters), and split a cocktail of mezcal, lemon, agave and bitters at the cabin the first night.
- For beer the first night, we split bottles of Toppling Goliath’s Hopsmack! Double IPA (4.75), Odell’s Friek Wild Ale (2015), Gunwhale’s Sheltered Harbor New England IPA (3.75), and sips of random IPAs.
- After a 6 mile hike on day two, we split a can of Oskar Blues’ Beerito Vienna Lager at the trailhead and pitchers of Coors Light and Lagunitas’ IPA at Murray’s Saloon for karaoke.
- Back at the cabin, we split several more bottles including Anchorage’s Nelson Sauvin Farmhouse (3.75), The Bruery’s Bourgogne Blanc Sour Ale (2016) (3.75), Firestone Walker’s Helldorado Blonde Barleywine (2016) (4), High Water’s Campfire Stout (3.75), The Bruery’s Wineification III, and Hoppin’ Frog’s T.O.R.I.S. The Tyrant Triple Oatmeal Imperial Stout (4)
November 6 — Irvine, CA (~2 drinks)
- Split bottles of Hite and OB Pilsner at I Can Barbecue Korean Grill with Scott P.
- A can of Unsung Brewing’s Naturia Double IPA at Square One Pizza with Scott P.
November 12 — Denver, CO (~2 drinks)
- More prep with Eddy at home for the James Bond Cocktail Series, specifically on a drink we’re calling the Honey Ryder, with Iris Liqueur, Michter’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon, honey syrup, Old Jamaican ginger beer, and bitters.
- Split a small bottle of Voodoo’s Big Black Voodoo Daddy Imperial Stout with JD at home.
November 14 — Buenos Aires, Argentina (~2.5 drinks)
- A pour of champagne at Parrilla Don Julio steakhouse with Carola, Kyle and Jen for lunch.
- Split two cocktails each with Kyle and Jen at Florería Atlántico including El Charro Azteca (tequila, grilled pineapple, Chimichurri and cilantro), Legado Jesuita (Príncipe de los Apóstoles Mate Gin, corn whiskey, Yerba Mate, Calabaza, tangerine), La Cachuera (Skyy Vodka, Menta mint liqueur, orange and guava marmalade, Mate cocido), Terre Des Hommes (Martin Miller’s Gin, yellow chartreuse, orange bitters, orange oil, beach sand), Por el Canal de Panama (rum, falernum, coco, cranberry soda), and La Rose (gin, elderberry, rose and lime cordial, soda).
November 15–23 — Cruise to Antarctica (~21.5 drinks)
I went on the trip of a lifetime with my brother and his girlfriend. We stepped foot on mainland Antarctica, I mountaineered my way through the peninsula, and we met many amazing people on our boat. Everyone told me to enjoy this vacation and not worry about my drink count, so these don’t count:
- For dinner on November 15 at sea, a pour of Moncagua Malbec.
- For the captain’s toast on November 16, a pour of champagne and pour of Aussières Rouge Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah blend for dinner at sea.
- On November 18, I celebrated a successful climb of Cuverville Island with a single Laphroaig 10-Year and glacier ice we pulled from the water that morning and two pours of Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 for dinner.
- On November 19, I had a margarita with Dale for Mexican night. We had landed and I climbed the mainland that same day.
- November 20 got a little crazy in celebration of successfully climbing Spigot Peak with a Guinness with Ryan T., a Macallan with more glacier ice, and three pours of Milara Spring Shiraz / Cabernet Sauvignon.
- To celebrate our final landing on Deception Island on November 21, a pour of champagne, a Boddingtons’ Pub Ale, a glass of Terra Noble Gran Reserva Carmenere and three glasses of Moncagua Malbec at dinner with Jacqui and more friends, an Americano cocktail, and two more Guinness with Ryan T. late into the night.
- On November 22 at sea, they pored champagne at an auction and I had two glasses of Llama Malbec.
- On November 23 for our last night at sea, I had two pours of champagne for the captain’s toast, two glasses of Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 for dinner, and a pour of Hennessy with Pete.
November 25 — Buenos Aires, Argentina (~2 drinks)
- Split a bottle of Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyards Red Blend Malbec 2015 with Jacqui, Kyle, and Jen at El Burladero for dinner.
December 2 — Denver, CO (~5 drinks)
- Split tasters of Dip Dat Donut Milk Stout (3.75), The Rutledge Barrel Aged Stout (4), Mila Rouge Petite Sour with Black Currant (4) and Heaven N Helles Lager (3.75) at Beryl’s Brewing Company with Eddy to taste beers for Kegmás.
- Split tasters of Sweet Darkness Coconut Chocolate Porter (3.75), Rock the Fuck On Forever IPA (4), Rye Saison With Brett (4), Juice the Mutha Sour (3.75), Golden Porter (4), and Wish You Were Here Mango Pineapple Blonde (3.5) at Mockery Brewing with Eddy to taste beers for Kegmás.
- Hosted the Licence to Drink James Bond cocktail series Casino Royale event at my condo and partook in the three featured cocktails we made for everyone including our takes on the Americano (Campari, Maurin Red Vermouth, Punt E Mes, Peychaud’s Bitters, soda, cinnamon-seared orange slice), Vesper (Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, vodka, Cocchi Americano, Lillet Blanc, lemon twist), and a custom drink we called “The Bitch Is Dead” (Old Overholt Rye, Becherovka, Maurin Red Vermouth, Montenegro Amaro, Dram Black Bitters, orange twist).
December 6 — Orange County, CA (~5 drinks)
- Not Mushroom In This Bar (shiitake tincture, apple, absinthe, sweet vermouth, rye whiskey) and split a bottle of Palacios Remondo La Vendimia 2015 with Michael R. at Farmhouse.
- The party continued on to the Marine Room in Laguna Beach with a pour of Tullamore Dew and two of a concoction my peers affectionately called “The Edmonton” (Seagram’s Seven Crown Whiskey and maple syrup dropped in a Coors Light…yeah, we thought that was a good idea).
December 8 — Corona Del Mar, CA (~1 drink)
- Half of a Smokey & Boozy (mezcal, raw sugar syrup, Jerry Thomas bitters) and a short pour of 2016 Twenty Rows Cabernet Sauvignon at Five Crowns Restaurant & Steakhouse for the ENVOY company holiday party.
December 9 — Denver, CO (1 drink)
- A Sazerac (rye whiskey, absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters) at Union Lodge №1 with Joey, Rachyl, and friends.
December 14 & 15 — Denver, CO (~7.5 drinks)
- Split tasters of Strawberry Rhubarb Sour Ale, Hazy IPA, and Chai Yeti at Great Divide with Jacqui to taste beers for Kegmás.
- Split tasters of Vanilla Caramel Amber, English Old Ale w/gingerbread spices, Wee Heavy, Horchata Stout and Toasted Coconut Brown at Lone Tree Brewing with Jacqui to taste beers for Kegmás.
- Stole a few sips of Jacqui’s The Low End Farmhouse Ale from Casey Brewing at Jake’s Brew Bar with Dad, Brad, Kathleen, Brian, Jon, Ian, Nic, Alissa, Justin and Emily to pregame The Last Jedi.
- On Friday, took Jacqui to Crooked Stave and split tasters of Salvador Cybies Double Barrel Aged In Leopold Bros Maryland Style Rye Whiskey Barrels, Persica Wild Ale, Petite Sour Reserva Marionberry, Origins Burgundy Sour, Nightmare On Brett w/ Cherry Aged in Leopold Bros Whiskey Barrels and Mama Bear’s Sour Cherry Pie.
- Another Licence to Drink prep night at home to build drinks for Dr. No and Live And Let Die with Eddy, Jacqui, Dan G., Sara, JD, Jen, Drew, Patrick and Calvin. We worked with a very large list of ingredients to design five different cocktails including our twist on a Sazerac, a tiki drink we’re calling Underneath the Mango Tree, and Old Gran Dad Old-Fashioned, the Honey Ryder mentioned earlier, and a blueberry-lavender sorbet with champagne. I can’t say for sure how much I drank, but it was a toasted night, but with very little hangover so let’s call it five…one for each drink we designed.
December 17 — Denver, CO (~2.5 drinks)
- Split a Fez Medina (rye, amaro, Aperol, orange bitters, cedar, lemon oil) with Jacqui at El Five.
- Split a Capetown Honeybush (Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey Milk Punch, Rooibos Honeybush Tea, Yellow Chartreuse, Amaro Nonino, lemon juice, honey), Lonely Hearts Club (Plymouth Gin, Ancho Reyes Verde, beet syrup, cucumber, egg white), Yam Bam Thank You M’am (Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, sweet potato syrup, lemon juice, cream), and Stranger Danger (Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Lustau Manzanilla Sherry, Bigallet China China, Averna Amaro, Luxardo Bitter Blanco) with Jacqui at Williams & Graham.
December 20 — Irvine, CA (~.25 drinks)
- A pour of champagne with Scott, Cathy, Kyle, Jen, Logan, and Colin at the house for a family Christmas season dinner.
December 22 — Highlands Ranch, CO (~.75 drinks)
Everything after this gets a little fuzzy. I decided to take the final week of the year off from my drinking goal to enjoy the holidays, my 30th birthday, my annual Kegmás kegger party, many out of town guests, and bonus time with a special someone. Henceforth, my notes were not great. Therefore, counts are all approximate and I likely missed a few things.
December 24 — Highlands Ranch, CO (1 drink)
- Glass of Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 over Christmas Eve fondue with my family and Adri.
December 25 —Centennial, CO (~2 drinks)
- Homemade margaritas (blanco tequila, agave, lime) for a fajita Christmas dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house with the extended family.
December 26 — Denver, CO (~3 drinks)
- In the process of picking up kegs for the next day’s Kegmás party, I stole sips of beers from Black Shirt, Mockery, and Beryl’s Beer Company and ciders from C Squared Ciders at Rackhouse Pub with Nicole and Michael.
- Suit Separates (Suntory Toki whiskey, Plymouth Sloe Gin, Lustau Palo Cortado Sherry, pineapple gum syrup, Bittercube Bolivar bitters) at B&GC with Nicole, Michael, and David F.
- Had a hot sake with Mai at Tokio over late night sushi after picking her up from the airport.
December 27 — Denver, CO (???)
Every year for the past eight years on December 27th, I have hosted a de facto birthday party for myself that has affectionately come to be known as Kegmás with tons of tasty craft kegs and enjoy the company of 70 to 150 friends and family. With so much going on, so many kegs, so many bottles being opened, and such a late night, it’s impossible to say for sure how much I drink during this party. For record keeping sake, maybe 10 drinks? 15? Hard to say.
- I had a least one pour of each of the following kegs we bought: Black Shirt’s Chai Fourtrack Porter, Mockery’s Rye Saison With Brett, Lone Tree’s Vanilla Caramel Amber, Black Shirt’s Frontmaniac Hazy IPA, Beryl’s Mila Rouge Petite Sour, and C Squared Ciders’ Wassail Spiced Winter Cider.
- I enjoyed tastes split with others from each of the following bottles: O’so Brewing’s Arbre Qui Donne blended sour ale with Georgia peaches (2016); Prairie Artisan Ales’ Suburban Beverage Gose with Valencia oranges, key lime, and Mayer lemon; Saint Arnold’s Pumpkinator (2017); The Bruery’s
Imperial Cabinet Ramos-gin fix inspired sour; New Belgium’s Imperial Frambozen With Cocoa; Goose Island’s 2016 Bourbon County Brand Stout; The Bruery’s Chocolate Rain (2017); Casey Brewing’s Casey Family Preserves Nectarine; and Black Shirt’s Stringbender Saison.
December 28 & 29 — Denver, CO (~7 drinks)
- Had a Bangkok Bloody Mary (MEll Vodka, Sriracha, Lime, Cilantro, Basil, Fish Sauce & House Bloody Mix) at Snooze with Mai, Andrew, Rachel, Nicole and Michael.
- We tried to continue prepping for the Dr. No Licence to Drink event that night at my condo, but we were a little too ambitious to do so after surviving Kegmás the night before and quit early.
- Split a bottle of Grand Teton’s American Sour (2016) with Eddy and Mai after we gave up.
- Enjoyed two pours of the leftover Black Shirt’s Chai Fourtrack Porter at home with Mai while we prepped egg rolls for New Years.
- Tried a few more variations of the Underneath the Mango Tree cocktail for the Dr. No Licence to Drink event with Mai, but still did not get it right.
December 30 — Winter Park, CO (~7 drinks)
- Two glasses each of Natale Verga Barolo 2012 and Cooper & Thief Red Wine Blend Aged 3 Months in Bourbon Whiskey Barrels and pours of Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon with Jacqui, Mai, Brad, and Kathleen and their family condo in Winter Park before dinner.
- A margarita (1800 Silver Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, La Sierra agave nectar) at The Ditch for dinner with Jacqui, Nathan, Tanya, Matthew, Mary, Brad, Kathleen, and Mai.
- Two pours of mulled wine and a pour of Hideaway Park Brewery’s “Rye Not Try It” Stout back at the condo with everyone over board games.
December 31 — Denver, CO (~7 drinks)
Well, this was fun. While I learned a lot from this and tracking my alcohol intake certainly helped me keep drinking down to a reasonable amount this year, I cannot imagine keeping up with my drinking at this level of detail again this year. Tracking my drinking in 2017 was a really fun experiment. Now on to the next one.