Good Beer Hunting

Other Than Beer

You may have noticed that the internet website you’re currently visiting is not called Good Margarita Hunting. Nor is it called Good Beaujolais Hunting. It's also not called Good Bourbon Hunting or Good Tequila Hunting or Good Mimosa Hunting or even Good Airliner Hunting. (We'll get back to that last one in a minute.)

Nay. This website is, in fact, Good Beer Hunting. But I will not let that stop me from telling you about all the wonderful things I like to drink that are decidedly not beer.


Here’s a thing to consider: if you don’t like margaritas, we probably shouldn’t be friends. Because, to me, you can’t not have a good time when you’re drinking a margarita. And if you’re against good times, you simply can’t exist in my orbit. Nothing against you, personally, necessarily (although maybe totally, tbh), but I’d venture a guess that you’d kill my vibe so quickly there basically wouldn’t be a vibe. I just can’t abide that.

But also, how can you not like margaritas? They're so flexible! You can basically put anything in a margarita and it’ll be rad. A cursory Google search for "different types of margaritas" yields the following types: blackberry grapefruit, raspberry rhubarb, cranberry, watermelon, pineapple, mango orange, and pomegranate.

Personally, I’m a fan of an OG marg, on the rocks, with salt. Lots of salt. Give me some big ol' blocks of salt. I want it to look vaguely like Superman’s ice lair all around the rim. That, on repeat, all day, in a beachy environment, with killer tunes? Well, that’s about as good as it gets, IMHO.

As far as wine goes, I don’t really know a whole lot. But I know what I like and what I don’t. For reds, I can get down with pretty much any Cab Sav, and I very much dig Pinot Noirs from Oregon. For whites, I’ve been known to enjoy a Pinot Grigio or an Albariño from time to time, as long as they’re super crisp. At the end of the day, though, my wino heart belongs to Beaujolais.

I’ve got GBH’s own Blake Tyers to thank for my obsession. At the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference in Washington D.C., Blake and me and a bunch of other folks went to this incredible little Italian joint in Logan Circle called Etto. It was there that I was introduced to Beaujolais for the first time.

I fell fast and I fell hard. Now, whenever I travel, I seem to come home with a bottle of Boujee, as I lovingly call it. (SHOUTOUT MIGOS) The flavors are just so damn pleasant—lots of fruit, a bit tart, some definite jammy character, but then some umami and earthiness, too. If you’re in the mood to search for flavors, there always seems to be something new. On the flipside, if you just want to chill and eat and drink and not think about what you’re drinking, it’s a super refreshing, really light, very approachable red wine. And I can’t seem to get enough.

When it comes to booze, I’m a bourbon man through and through. When the situation calls for cocktails, and sometimes even when it doesn’t, you can bet your ass I’ll be ordering a bourbon instead. Neat, please.

In descending order, my preferences are roughly as follows: E.H. Taylor Small Batch, any of the Wellers, OYO (a local brand), Woodford Reserve, and Knob Creek. Please don’t @ me about bourbon unless it’s to offer me some for free. I like what I like and I don’t want to have to work that hard.

Outside of bourbon, the only liquor I really drink straight is tequila, usually by the shot, and not very often. As much as I love tequila, I don’t drink it very often because I’ve found through trial and error—and, let's be honest, it's been mostly error—that it gives me ~tequila muscles~ and that results in extremely poor decisions on my part. Let's just say that, one time, tequila nearly landed me in the middle of the desert with a 350-pound man named Boy and his very rowdy California biker gang.

[Editor’s note: Please don’t tell Kyle that margaritas have tequila in them. In fact, please just dissuade Kyle from drinking tequila in general.]

Mimosas are great. The only other thing I have to say about mimosas is that they are my preferred breakfast/brunch drink (sorry, B. Mary, I respect you) and that the proper ratio is one part orange juice to five parts champagne.

OK, so. That brings us to the Airliner. What’s that, you ask? Well, "Airliner" is the name I made up for bourbon and gingers, as they’re pretty much all I drink on airplanes anymore. This is because my good pal and GBH editor Austin L. Ray turned me on to the drink recently when I was lamenting the beer selections on planes. They've been his go-to in-flight beverage for a minute, and in that moment, I joined the team, ordering one from a flight attendant and never looking back.

The great thing about Airliners is, while the ratio matters in making a perfect one, it matters not when making a serviceable one. I fly Delta quite a bit, and they almost always have Woodford Reserve on board, and that absolutely does the trick. No matter the mixture, it’s precisely what I need to deal with the sorts of trashballs who remove their shoes and put their feet on seats during domestic flights.

That mix of sweet and bubbly ginger ale with the smokey and boozy bourbon is just extremely chef kiss dot emoji. I encourage you to try one. And if you do, please refer to it as an Airliner. I’m trying to make it a thing.