When I started The Boozy Beggar, I bartended and worked a day job. Slowly, over time, I left that day job (an awful one, as a contract attorney), to bartend more, and then to work with Artisanal Imports doing tasting events, occasionally filling in at bars and restaurants for them, and then representing their Belgian spirits, from the Distillerie de Biercée. During that process, I wrote an article about a crazy company out of Seattle named BroVo spirits, who decided to make the leap from simple one-flavor expression liqueurs to complex, multi-ingredient amaros, made according to bartenders across the country. About a year after that piece, I got asked to work with them as well, and thus was born another part of The Boozy Beggar, an actual company with a bank account. No money ever went into that bank account for the purpose of writing a blog post – I just never really offered that as a service to people in the beer and spirits worlds (or wine or restaurant). I did make it known which beers and ciders and spirits related to Artisanal Imports, or Distillerie de Biercée, or BroVo Spirits. If that was ever unclear, my apologies, and thus, this post.
After some more words (like you didn’t expect me to get a little verbose after that huge intro paragraph), I’m going to list all the amazing brands I work with. Those are going to be probably 50% of the posts you’ll see here, mixed into events with friends and brands that I love. I’m fortunate in that 1) I represent amazing products 2) All of them are made authentically, with real ingredients, with real processes. No flavor chemicals. No adjunct cheats. So they stick to the philosophy I’ve tried to subtly espouse here. 3) they’re all small, craft businesses, dedicated to that. Those will be the themes of who we work with in the future here, and what products you’ll see most talked about that I don’t sell, but that I do love. When I can and when I believe in them, I’m going to talk about fun local stuff too; just because I work in imports doesn’t mean I’m the enemy of local. Good products get made everywhere, and it is rare you can’t see the connections between old world products and locally made products influenced by those original innovations.
This post comes out of what I think is a need in the general booze community. So many people wear many hats, and it seems, so few of them offer any kind of transparency. From the bar manager who works specifically with a certain brand and gets free products and trips, to the blogger that gets paid to post and market, to the bartender that doubles as a brand ambassador, the industry’s become as murky as the history of some of our products.
Without further ado, the long list:
Distillerie de Biercée – Peket de Houyeu genever. Less is More Gin, Thesis-Antithesis Gin. Griotte cherry liqueur. Noir d’Ivoire chocolate liqueur. Eau de Villee lemon liqueur. Orangine orange/cocoa liqueur.
BroVo Spirits – 4 vermouths (Witty, Pretty, Jammy, Pink). 3+ amaros on a national level, a myriad of local ones you’ll find in your city if you aren’t in Chicago, and some that are here (Peter Kim of The Frankling). A handful of liqueurs, chocolate, ginger, douglas fir. A Falernum from Danny Shapiro (scoffaw, sink/swim, slippery slope, heavy feather). Boomerang spiced cherry liqueur, from Micah Melton of the Aviary. More to Come!
Underberg – german digestif/bitters.
Brouwerij Bosteels – Tripel Karmeliet, Pauwel Kwak, DeuS
La Trappe Trappist – La Trappe Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel. Isid’or, Witte, Bockbier, Puur Organic. Oak Aged Quadrupel.
St. Feuillien – Saison, Brune, Tripel. Blond coming soon. Grand Cru.
Omer Vanderghinste (formerly Bockor) – Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge. Jacobins Kriek. Vanderghinste Oud Bruin. Omer Traditional Blond.
Aspall Cyders – Dry. John Barrington Still. Imperial. Perronelle’s Blush.
Robinson’s – Trooper (with Iron Maiden).
EZ Orchards – Cidre Dry. Semi-Dry. Hawk Haus. Pomme.
Sunner – Kolsch.
Veltins – Pilsner.
Bayreuther – Aktien Zwick’l Kellerbier. Landbier. Helles.
De Proef – Reinaert Flemish Wild, Wekken Sour, Zoetzuur Flemish, Sour Barrel #Series, collaborations forthcoming including the return of Flanders Fred
BOM Belgian Original Malt Baker and Brewery – Heaven, Hell, Full Moon 12, Kinky Berry, Wild.
Prearis – Quadrupel. Quadroccino (w/coffee). Grand Cru series (barrel aged variations of Quadrupel).
And also: Seefbier, Urthel, Farnum Hill Ciders, Colorado (from Brazil), Wals, Novo Brazil, Martens, and Bateman’s