~ Sadie and Jason talk team Q & A on past (and present) LAB life ~
Sadie: What was the first beverage you drank that made you know you wanted to be in the beverage industry?
Jason: One on the alcohol side, and of course coffee on the other spectrum. I started hanging out at coffee shops - Broadway Coffee in KC, and Java Junction where I went to college - in 1995 or 96. I went to work on my art homework, and also meet girls. I've never had a loud voice, and I'm a talker, so I felt like I could get to know someone better in a coffee shop versus a bar. The original reasons to go quickly turned into for the enjoyment of coffee and feeling inspired. Alcohol took a bit longer since there wasn't an availability of craft alcohol then. In 2004 while living in NY, mojitos in Brooklyn, and visiting Brooklyn Brewery on the weekends hooked me.
Sadie: What's your "guilty pleasure" beverage you wouldn't admit to industry friends?
Jason: I really do like a good fall and winter coffee drink, which is typically a latte spinoff, using pumpkin, maple or egg nog. I honestly only attend independent coffee shops, so I have to order a drink like that from a shop like that. I always feel like I have to explain to the barista, or only order that drink if it's someone I don't know. The second thing is, we hardly ever have sodas in our house except an occasional root beer. I crave a Pepsi now and then, especially with pizza, and during the summer I've been known to drink a few slushies.
Sadie: What's the craziest thing that's happened to you on a work trip?
Jason: We've had a lot of good trips with many memorable moments, but throwing pumpkins in a fire at a weird Halloween party in Indianapolis with a bad cover band is one I'll never forget. Kent and Julie were with me on that trip. Before The LAB there were a few crazier ones. Not more fun, just more awkward.
Sadie: What did you drink the most of as a freshman in college?
Jason: Scary question. That was the mid 90s, so options were all about bulk and getting buzzed. I drank a good amount of coffee. I didn't start diving into the alcohol until sophomore year.
Sadie: Do you have a personal Caffeine Crawl ritual or favorite thing to do on Caffeine Crawl trips?
Jason: I like to eat an apple before each Crawl. I started that about a year ago. It supposedly helps with the vocal cords and with all the talking we do it really helps. I love getting a little alone time jogging or hiking around the city. I think a lot people know we try to visit some of the best drinking spots in town when we're traveling.
Sadie: What's the craziest thing you've ever drank?
Jason: Some of the papaya frescos in Costa Rica only because that was pretty foreign to me at the time. There are some weird beers out there now, and I've had several of those. Most of them are ok to sip or try, I don't plan to drink another beer with ghost chiles for a long time. I've had some rough Russian grappa and Kentucky Mountain moonshine, too.
Jason: If you weren't working in the beverage industry what would you like to do?
Sadie: Something with music or writing - I love both. I get to write a lot for The LAB & Caffeine Crawl and I play music whenever I can, but I think if I was in either of those fields full time, I would spend all my free time nerding out with baristas behind local coffee bars.
Jason: What's your favorite two hour stretch to work during the day?
Sadie: It totally depends on the day! I love routines, but also love having multiple projects and a flexible schedule. Sometimes I have a killer early-morning session with a cup of coffee and love feeling productive before everyone else's day has started...other times, winding down a busy day by crossing off to-do list items over a cocktail or coffee at an open-late cafe is awesome.
Jason: What city do you wish we'd do a Caffeine Crawl solely based on your interest of visiting the city?
Sadie: So many Nordic cities, and also anywhere in Italy.
Jason: What is your beverage "Taylor Swift" - what do you cut corners on or enjoy that's embarrassing?
Sadie: Sometimes, when I make a french press at my house, I walk away and it just hangs out brewing until I remember it. Mmm.
Jason: If we could have a celebrity join us for one of our events who would you pick, and what would you like them to do?
Sadie: Funny story - I was at Blueprint Coffee in St. Louis getting ready for the Crawl there this spring, and Carrie Brownstein was there, just hanging out and drinking coffee with her band. They had a show that night and it was truly a mini-moment in Portlandia. Her and Fred Armisen conducting a running commentary on a Caffeine Crawl Portland route (something like this) would be amazing.
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