~ As summer comes to an end, it's time to reminisce. ~
...Where did it go?
We reached out to four industry professionals all in different beverage categories from distilling to green coffee to find out what their favorite drinks of summer were. They all had memorable beverage stops somewhere along their treks the last few months, and we're sharing those new discoveries. Some good ones, and feel free to add your finds as we roll into fall.
Andrea Slinde - with Golden Chai, Denver & San Francisco
My favorite drink of the summer, by far, is the Blackberry Whiskey Cold Brew brought to us by Marjorie at SloHi Coffee + Bike at this year's Caffeine Crawl Denver. What a treat (probably should stress this in all caps). It was made with Leopold Brothers Blackberry Whiskey and Strava Coffee's signature strength roast. It's boozy, bold and completely unique.
Image provided by Andrea Slinde
One of our new top favorite spots in Denver is Europa Coffee House. It's hip, quiet, and full of succulents which makes for an enjoyable space to work. They serve up a damn good latte and have the added bonus of extra cushioned seating. Europa has won over our hearts.
Jeremy Danner - Ambassador Brewer for Boulevard Brewing Company, Kansas City, MO
I was lucky enough to be on the crew that represented Boulevard at the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival in June. After spending a fairly long day pouring (and of course drinking) dozens of styles of beer in the heat, I was handed a super cold can of Firestone Walker’s Pivo Pils. In that moment, as hot and palate fatigued as I was, the slightly sweet, crisp, spicy/herbal pilsner completely refreshed my palate and I. It was the equivalent of getting out of the car to stretch your legs on a long drive, or splashing your face with cold water. I’'d be lying if I said I didn'’t reach for a few more that evening.
Image from Firestone Walker Facebook page
The weekend after Boulevardia, I spent a week with my wife and son in, and around Olympic National Park in Washington. We spent the final day of our vacation exploring Seattle, and found ourselves looking for a “normal” dining experience similar to what we'’d have back home if we weren'’t on vacation. Pizza sounded good so I Googled “"family friendly pizza Seattle",” and landed on Frelard Pizza Company. The place is super cool and casual, evoking a similar feel (even with a completely different aesthetic) to Waldo Pizza. They have an extensive beer list and made from scratch pizza. When I travel, I don'’t typically focus on beer/breweries since I spend so much time thinking about it at work, so I asked the server to bring me his favorite IPA of the moment. Thinking about it right now, I have no idea what the beer was called or who made it, but it was perfect in that moment. I do recall that my wife, Randyl, ordered a Rainer Beer, and I was a bit jealous of the elegant, refreshing simplicity of her choice.
In Kansas City, I’'ve continued my love affair with bourbon by working my way through the cocktail menu and whiskey list at Julep. It’'s one of my absolute favorite spots in town to grab a cocktail, a beer, and a shot. A must visit when I have friends in from out of town.
Image from Dean Kallivrousis
Dean Kallivrousis - Midwest Manager with Ally Coffee, Kansas City and Greenville, South Carolina
This was a few summers ago, but the summer of 2014 I had the chance to spend 2 months in Greece with my wife. It was my first time visiting Greece. For a Greek, there is no greater privilege and right to visit Greece. We had the opportunity to stay with my grandfather on the island and village were my family is from, Synati. Synati roughly translates to, call it what you want. I didn't know it at the time, but my grandfather grows his own grapes and makes his own wine. We would drink wine in the afternoons and evenings on my grandfather's porch, and eat what was growing in the garden, plus what we bought in the market that day. One of the first times I was drinking with my family was a sunny afternoon. I was feeling a little tipsy and was asked by one of my family members if I wanted another drink. I said no because I was starting to feel the wine. I remember they asked me what I was worried about. I wasn't going anywhere, and I could take a nap if I needed to. So, we drank! We talked. We laughed, and when we were done I laid down for a nap.
Image from Dean Kallivrousis's Instagram
Second Best Coffee has been a go-to since I moved back to KC in January. Their rotating menu of specialty drinks and mocktails are seriously tasty, but also engages my imagination. Is coffee a beverage, or an ingredient? At Second Best, the answer is absolutely!
Image from Hops Meet Barley Facebook page
Jason Valentine - Regional Sales Manager of Yellow Rose Distilling, Houston
My favorite drink has been the 6580 Mule. It's served at the Paradora Lounge in Houston's Marriott Med Center. It’s a twist on a classic mule, and uses bourbon instead of vodka. Love it! Great way to cool down a bourbon drink in the Texas heat.
For a new find, Jason says Houston's Hops Meet Barley is a great joint with tons of beer and whiskey to choose from. Plus, has lots of local products.