I’ve been wanting to check out Tattersall’s new Clover Club for a while so I’m really excited about this event! Don’t have a Winter Passport? They’re now half-off and still valid through April 15th so you have no excuse. (The discount will be applied when the passport is in your cart, the site still shows $25.)
I recently completed a Data Visualization and Analytics bootcamp and it was really exciting to put some of the skills I learned to use – even if just to see how many bars we went to in 2019! (If you want to see the other impact bootcamp had on my life, just check out the year over year comparison chart.)
Click here to check out the interactive version of my 2019 Bar Charts!
After neglecting this site for most of a year, thanks to my decision to complete a certificate in Data Visualization and Analytics, I’m back and trying to give things a bit of a makeover.
I’ve added a Maps page – you’ll find maps for several of our trips coded to tell you places we liked, places we loved, and places that were recommended but we haven’t been yet. Eventually I’ll get lists posted for each location, but for now just feel free to click around on the Google Maps!
Also in the works is a Bar Data project. We’ve been tracking our bar visits for a couple of years now and a friend suggested we add some more info to make it useful for people trying to find a new bar to try. It’s in the early stages and we definitely need help getting more data, but even now we’ve got info on food, drinks, accessibility, amenities, parking, and more! I’m hoping to use this data to practice the skills I learning in the previously mentioned data boot camp so I’m not yet sure what the end product will look like – but I think it’s already useful.
2019 was a busy year but we still got a number of trips in, like Montreal, Washington DC, and a family trip to London. I became President of the local chapter of the United States Bartenders’ guild and we hosted the USBG Midwest Regional Conference. I earned the aforementioned certificate after an intense six month boot camp, fell in love with bike commuting, and turned 40. 2020 is sure to build on all the fun and learning of 2019 in amazing ways so stay tuned!
Hey, remember a few months ago when I posted about the Winter Passport cocktail program and how it was a really great deal – and a stupidly great deal with a promo code? GUESS WHAT IT’S SUMMER PASSPORT TIME!
It’s bigger, it’s better, it contains an ad for the USBGMSP, and there’s a pick-up party at the Hewing next Tuesday! (That I can’t go to because I’ll be filling my head with Excel but you should go and say hi to Patrick who will be saying nice things about USBGMSP.)
And there’s even another Promo Code because you know me and I know Zach so use CHEERSZACH and get your passport for only $10. $10 for 2-for-1 deals on beer, wine, cocktails, and coffee at 67(!) spots in the Twin Cities.
A couple of years ago, Summit Brewing and the Minneapolis Institute of Art teamed up and made a Tudor Ale for a special event at the museum. I was lucky enough to make it to the Summit taproom while they still had some and it was delicious and fascinating! I remember thinking it was a great way to make history come alive.
Well, Mia is at it again, this time teaming up with Tattersall Distilling to recreate alcohol and cocktails from 1769 to tie in with a talk by Bertie Mandelblatt, author of “Intoxicated Empire: Alcohol, Consumption & Slavery in the 18th-c. Atlantic World.”
Bertie will be at Mia on Sunday, March 3rd to talk about her new book and then will also attend the tasting at Tattersall on Monday, March 4th. The info from Tattersall says “you’ll sample historic concoctions like pear ratafia, milk punch, and saffron-infused bitters.” Chef Steven Brown will also be on hand with “foods inspired by recipes from the past.”
It all sounds like a delicious way to learn!
Tickets for the Sunday talk are available here for $10, or $5 for museum members.
Tickets for the tasting are available here for $50.
It’s been a couple of weeks since 2019 rolled in and it’s finally time to post the 2018 Bar Charts!
I started keeping track of our bar visits in my Bullet Journal back in October 2017 and converted it to a spreadsheet early in 2018. As the year went on, I used this project as a bit of a playground to hone my Excel and stats skills – sometimes work projects improved the bar chart and sometimes the bar chart taught me something that helped me at work. It’s been a fun and surprising project!
The key info includes:
“Total Outings” – this is how many times we’ve gone out for a drink, or to a place that serves drinks. If we go to the same place twice in a day, it’s only counted once. Also, we count a day as the hours between waking up and going to bed – so if we’re out past midnight, it counts towards the previous day.
“Individual Bars” – this is a count of unique bars in a given time period. Because we often go to the same bars repeatedly, I wanted to separate out this number from outings.
“Busiest Day” – After a few epic bar crawls, I started tracking what day of the month/year we had the highest number of bar visits. This often coincides with trips or USBGMSP events.
“Busiest Day Total” – How many visits we made on the busiest day.
“Busiest City” – It’s almost always home, unless we’ve had a trip that month.
On to the data!!
A few more numbers for which I don’t have fancy charts:
Of our 366 outings…
255, or 70%, were in the Twin Cities metro
15, or 4%, were in Outstate Minnesota
59, or 16%, were outside of Minnesota but in the United States
37, or 10%, were outside of the United States
Of the 172 unique places we drank…
77, or 45%, were in the Twin Cities Metro
10, or 6%, were in Outstate Minnesota
50, or 29%, were outside of Minnesota but in the United States
35, or 20%, were outside of the United States
2018 in Summary
We got to take some amazing trips – San Francisco, New Orleans (overlapping slightly with Tales of the Cocktail!), London, and Paris. We played a lot of “Bar Tag” where the bartender or a patron at one spot would tell us we HAD to check out another, so we did! Also, bars that were in our hotel did very well. Convenience wins!
While at home, we still spent a lot of time at Marvel. Considering we got engaged and legally married there, it will always be our “Winchester.” Despite being a 15-minute-walk away, we didn’t make our first visit to newcomer Hodges Bend until April. Even so, they managed to jump to second place. Republic stays high in the list because they have an amazing beer list and a great happy hour burger.
Being Social Media Coordinator for the USBGMSP impacted my drinking destinations quite a bit. We hosted our annual fundraising competition, Iron Bartender, in October and I did a lot of running around to photograph (and drink) cocktails.
I continue to have a great passion for the hospitality industry both at home and around the world. Very rarely am I heading into a bar or restaurant thinking “I can’t wait to have a drink,” instead it’s usually “I can’t wait to see my friend!” And even in the places we’ve never been or travel to, we seem to make an impression by being kind, respectful, curious, and excited – when we went to the Little Red Door in Paris for the first time, one of the bartenders there remembered us from our visit to Happiness Forgets in London, over a year before!
Here’s to another year of adventuring…and spreadsheets!
I’ve now been tracking my bar visits in my Bullet Journal for a full year! I’ve also started a spreadsheet so I can run more stats on my bar habits, because I like data. Chris has actually nudged me into learning Python in the hopes of really upping my data analytics game. I hear these things are useful for non-drinking related information as well…but where’s the fun in that?
Do you want to drink more cocktails? Do you want to visit some of the best bars in the city? Do you like getting great deals on things?
The Winter Passport launches today and you can get one 50% off! My friend Zach is managing the program here in Minneapolis and if you use the promo code ZACH, you can get a passport for $10. $10 for BOGO deals at some of the best bars in town! (And some coffee shops too, cool!)
I don’t work for Zach or The Passport Program – but I am all about helping people try new things for less money. 😀
Our flight landed about midnight and while I know New Orleans parties late, we knew we wanted to get up “early” so we just threw luggage in our room and hit the hotel bar. Now, to be fair, our hotel bar was the fairly famous Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone, so that was a pretty good way to start the trip.
It was very late (and if you want to get technical about it, Saturday) but I know I ordered the Rev. Stiggin’s Pineapple Daiquiri. The Plantation pineapple rum is amazing stuff and this drink showcased it beautifully. The only negative I will give this bar is that even before I had a cocktail, I was so exhausted from work and travel that the slowly spinning bar was really disorienting. Cool effect, but not when you’re that tired!
On Saturday night we went out with Lee and Dawn of Dashfire Bitters for dinner and drinks at Cane & Table, and more drinks at Latitude 29. Cane & Table felt like a hole in the wall but the food and drinks were fabulous. Chris and I shared the Prime Ribeye and it was the perfect amount of food for us, and beautifully seasoned. As you might guess from the name, many of the drinks feature rum but they are no means just a rum bar – with drinks featuring sherry, rum, calvados, and many more of my favorite things.
After dinner we went to Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 for some classic tiki cocktails. According to their site, “Jeff “Beachbum” Berry has spent the last two decades unearthing and publishing “lost” exotic drinks.” His dedication to finding unique and drinkable concoction is evident in the menu – it features tiki drinks that feel well thought out and carefully crafted (not always a given in a world of over-the-top booze bombs).
A few months ago, my husband’s company announced that they would be having a work meeting in New Orleans in July. “New Orleans in July?” I said, “that’s going to be awful!” Turns out, I was right – at least in terms of the weather. July in New Orleans is objectively awful to a Northern Gal like me but because of that, it’s also cheap. That makes it appealing to people hosting large meetings and conferences.
One of the conferences held in New Orleans in July happens to be Tales of the Cocktail. This year, it happened to be held the week before Chris’ work trip and happened to be at the same hotel as his company meeting. We happened to put two and two together and fly down late Friday night, to catch the tail of Tales.
Despite the fact that I’ve been doing the social media for the Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter of the USBG for most of two years, most of that as the elected “Social Media Coordinator” and despite the fact that most of the local bartenders consider me “industry,” I still have a strong case of imposter syndrome when navigating this world. My husband, Chris, is the actual cocktail nerd of the family – I can barely make myself an Old Fashioned and am often that dreaded customer who freezes like a deer in the headlights when asked if I want my Manhattan up or on the rocks. My passion for this world comes from a love of the hospitality of a good bar. In other words, I’m in it for the people.
Any fears that I didn’t belong at Tales started to dissipate when, just minutes after dropping our bags in our room at the Hotel Monteleone after our very late arrival, we walked into The Carousel Bar and within ten feet, I was being hugged by Jonathan Schulze, an MSP rep for A. Hardy Spirits who sponsored our last guild meeting. The chance meeting gave me some confidence that I was in the right place, doing the right thing.
With only one day of Tales overlapping with our trip, our tail of Tales was mostly limited to the Tasting Rooms on Saturday and Pig & Punch on Sunday. I went into the Tasting Rooms hoping to a)taste a lot of cool things and b)feel worthy of both my attendance as an enthusiast and the media credentials I was able to get. Despite starting the trip feeling like a total fraud, I finished Saturday feeling like I’d made some contacts of actual value – several of the spirits we tasted are launching in our area soon and they were thrilled to make contact with the local guild.
Oh, and we also learned that if you wander through Tasting Rooms as a couple with him in a seersucker suit and you in a cocktail print dress, you will get a zillion compliments. That didn’t hurt at all.
Our taste of Tales taught us that we want to get back and experience more of the events next year. We learned that we’ll need to pace ourselves, eat well, drink lots of water, and share samples (at sampling events, I’d rather drink half as much of twice as many). For me, personally, I learned that I can bring value to this industry that I love so much. I need to stop doubting my place in this world, stop thinking about myself as an outsider, and start actually putting more words on paper. (Words on screen just sounds so much less dramatic!)
I’ve been discovering that while I want to write about eating, drinking, travelling, and the hospitality industry in general – I don’t want to be a reviewer. Maybe I could get more followers if I gave scathing reviews of bad places or things – but I’d rather be positive and grow organically, if slowly. If I don’t like something or somewhere, I’m just not going to post about it. Maybe that’s too “laissez faire” but I’m okay with it, because it’s me.
New Orleans is a strange city and hard to categorize. Sometimes the city felt like Paris, other times I imagined I was in Cuba. Rarely did it feel like I was in the US. I went into this trip dreading the weather, the strangeness, the insanity of places like Bourbon Street – but I left with a strong desire to go back and find more oddities and hidden gems. Because of the heat and humidity, I didn’t discover as much of the city as I would have liked but I believe the unique personality of New Orleans helped me discover myself, far more than ever expected. So, as they say on the other end of the Mississippi from my home in St. Paul, “laissez les bons temps rouler.”