One pandemic “later” . . .

It’s cute that I thought 2020 would be the year I got back in to bar blogging. That, obviously, didn’t happen.

I finally got around to going day by day through my 2020 Google Maps timeline in order to see just what an impact the pandemic had on our habits. The drop would be even more dramatic if we hadn’t had a USBGMSP bar crawl and a trip to San Francisco at the very beginning of the year.

Minneapolis Behind the Booze — The Passport Program

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.)


Source: Minneapolis Behind the Booze — The Passport Program

2019 Bar Logging Data!

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!

Updates and a new project

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.

Frodo doesn’t
think data analytics
are that hard.

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!

It’s Summer Passport Time! 134 drinks for $10!??!?

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.

Booze for History Buffs

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.

2018 Final Statistics

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.
  • “Most Visited Bar” – Pretty self-explanatory really.
  • “Busiest City” – It’s almost always home, unless we’ve had a trip that month.

On to the data!!

Here’s the main breakdown of 2018. As you can see, our numbers tend to spike when we travel. Also, the “Most Visited Bar” formula tends to pick a winner even if it’s a tie – which it was in both October (5 each for Marvel and Hodges Bend) and December (4 each for Marvel and Hodges Bend).
What would bar tracking be without a bar chart!?! This just shows total outings vs. individual bars by month. The closer the bars are, the more new/different places we went.
This pie chart is pretty useless because of all the places we only went once, but it’s pretty. (Also a good demonstration of how we’ve split locations that have separate restaurants and bars – so Young Joni is at the bottom but their Back Bar tied for 7th place.
The pie chart becomes a bit more useful when limited to bars in the metro area.
Our 2018 top five visited bars.

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!

October 2018 Bar Stats

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?

My October 2018 bar tracking page. The general rule is that I count any bar, restaurant, or event where I had an alcoholic beverage. 
October 2018 pie chart of bar visits. Mmm…pie. A lot of these visits were for Iron Bartender promos. By the way, the finals are this Sunday, November 4th. You should be there. 
My Bar Bar Chart. Heh. I’m having a hard time explaining “Individual Bars” but basically, it’s a count of unique bars – whether or not we visited them more than once. I wanted to know how many *different* bars we went to, because we’re regulars at quite a few places.

Drink more, pay less.

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. 😀

New Orleans – The Big List

If you want the daily breakdown with commentary, keep reading!

If you want to skip to a list and map of our recommendations, click here.

Friday – July 20th, 2018

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!

Saturday – July 21st, 2018

You can read my other New Orleans post to get a sense of how we experienced the tail end of Tales.

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).

Sunday – July 22nd, 2018

Monday – July 23rd, 2018

Tuesday – July 24th, 2018

Wednesday – July 25th, 2018

Want to know where all these things are? You’re in luck! Here’s my custom Google Map containing our recommendations along with places we didn’t go but had recommended to us.

Just the facts…