This is My Denver


Thanks to a partnership with entertainment site The A.V. Club, Basil Hayden’s is putting me on the road to mix it up with fans of our bourbon and fans of their site. We call this tour “This is My….” Starting in Denver, we’ll be traveling to several cities across the country to document a collection of people in each city doing interesting things centered around a theme. Our theme for Denver was après ski, that time when you ditch your gear and curl up with some good food, good friends, a good movie, and a good cocktail (or two). Special thanks to Williams & Graham’s Chad Michael George for crafting the Red on the Rocks cocktail and to Winter Session’s Tanya Fleisher and Roy Katz for sharing their story and their space for our first event.

The Collective Quarterly: Issue Ø

Today marks the launch of The Collective Quarterly, a travel magazine told from the perspective of a group of creative individuals brought together to collaborate with one another. Each issue focuses on a single locale: its people, places, and things. For those who have traveled to the place in question, the hope is that fresh surroundings will stoke the creative fire, infusing their work with elements of their discoveries while on the trip. For the locals featured, the hope is chiefly to be inspired by them, and secondarily, humbly, in their meeting this motley crew of writers, artists, artisans, and photographers, it may trigger in them a desire to further explore the potentials within their own craft. Pouring together this unique combination, reading about how it has come together in the pages of the publication, we think readers will aspire to more deeply explore their own passions.

I’m proud to have been asked to help with the creation of this publication from some of its earliest stages by its founders — photographer Jay Gullion, illustrator Jesse Lenz, and writer Seth J. Putnam – prouder still to have been asked to participate and have my work featured in this, Issue Ø.

The beta run of The Collective Quarterly is focused on the city of Marfa, Texas and its surrounding area. While on the trip we slept in tipis and vintage trailers, crossed the border in a row boat, learned some life lessons from our mezcal-swigging barkeeps, and garnered an inside look at the work of a number of the town’s artists and artisans. You’ll have to buy a copy and read all about it.

You’ll notice The Collective Quarterly is more than just a magazine. There is also a retail component featuring a collection of products made by members of the collective and inspired by the trip. As future issues develop, they will dive deeper into the creation of those products, documenting the people responsible for them and the sui generis story that lead to their creation. For issue Ø, Faribault Woolen Mill’s John Mooty made a blanket inspired by the colors of the wide skies of West Texas. That blanket was then incorporated into the manufacture of a backpack and a quilted vest.

In wrapping up, I thought it best to share the story of how I came to become involved with this incredible group. At one of our regular bar stool elbow-rubbings, one of my closest friends Seth Putnam asked me what I knew about Marfa. When I explained that — coincidentally — I had been planning a trip there with Basil Hayden’s in tow, he recruited me to help launch this ship on its maiden voyage, and thus began the process of reaching out to other shipmates — some of our favorite people, local folks in Marfa, clothing brands, clothing stores, advertisers, and other participants. That was followed by a crazy week-long stay in one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever been, and followed again by months of work on the part of all involved. Now, nine months later, Seth’s baby is born… well, Seth’s, Jay’s, and Jesse’s: Three Men and a Baby. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Collective Quarterly.

Pertinent Information:

The issue is for sale here.

The Collective Quarterly
The Coveted Man
The Midwest Style

The Collective:

Chris Mantz of Drift Eyewear

John Mooty of Faribault Woolen Mill

Kevin Russ, Photographer

Duncan Wolfe, Photographer and Filmmaker

Alternate Route

Coming tomorrow from the brand new Esquire Network is Matt Hranek’s show, Alternate Route.

A few years ago, Matt and I connected through our blogs. His, The William Brown Projectnamed for his 130-acre farm in upstate New York focuses on a life well-spent: hunting, fishing, camping, and working land not far from where he grew up. One of my favorite of his posts is the recipe for Kill Zone Granola, which I first enjoyed while staying the weekend in Delaware with the Gannon family (That reminds me: I need to make a batch this weekend).

Matt is a Brooklyn-based photographer who has spent the last 20 years traveling the globe, turning his lens and writing about some of the world’s most enviable destinations for many editorial and commercial clients such as Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and Martha Stewart.

Through his travels, he’s been exposed to incredible people, places, and things. Until now, he’s shared them on his blog. As of tomorrow, this show will allow Matt to share his discoveries with a televised audience.

I first learned of Matt’s show while on the phone with and old high school buddy who is producing Matt’s show. My buddy and I were trying to figure out if there was something we could do with Made Right Here. While the jury’s still out on our show, Matt’s show is set for a splashy debut tomorrow night. Be sure to tune in. And stay tuned! He stops in Chicago on the 18th of December. Don’t be surprised if you see some familiar faces.


Alternate Route
Esquire Network
Wednesdays at 10:30pm EST / 9:30pm CST

Good Beer Hunting x Buckshot Sonny’s at Camp Wandawega

GBHBSSGLast year, Good Beer Hunting’s Michael Kiser and I held an epic collaborative weekend at Camp WandawegaSee Michael’s recap of last year here.

Well, this year, it’ll be as epic if not more so.

This year, October 4-6, we’re filling the weekend with more great beer, coffee, and food than last year, by collaborating with several of our friends from The Great Lakes Region: Context Clothing, FountainheadIntelligentsia, KickapooLongman & Eagle, Penrose Brewing, Publican Quality MeatsSolemn Oath Brewery, and I’m certain many more.

Sam Macon, one of the directors of Sign Painters is screening his flick while we sip cocktails made by Seth Putnam of the Overserved Society.

Today, some space became available. We’d love for you to join us for this incredible dudes’ weekend! That’s right, ladies. I’m sorry, but NO GIRLS ALLOWED.

If interested, send me an e-mail, max (at) buckshotsonnys (dot) com for more information. Act fast, as this will fill up.

Stock Mfg. Co.’s Kickstarter


Chicago’s Stock Mfg. Co. recently launched a fundraising campaign via the website, Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced funding site perfect for the small, local designer. With nine days and about $7,000 to go before hitting their goal of $20,000, I spoke with one of the partners, an old acquaintance of mine Areill Ives, about what he and the other Stock dudes hope to accomplish post-kick.
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Basil Hayden’s & Winter Session at Warby Parker’s Annex

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Earlier this year, my good friends Roy Katz and Tanya Fleisher at Winter Session asked me to bring Basil Hayden’s to a party at Warby Parker’s Annex in New York’s Meatpacking District. The coolest dude, Fedora’s Fernando Trujillo tended bar.

For the complete rundown, head over to Whiskey. Among Other Things….

Basil Hayden’s: Whiskey Among Other Things

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I’ve been tapped to travel and write for the brand new website for Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, Basil Hayden’s, basilhaydens.com. We’re calling it “Whiskey Among Other Things.”
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DIY Business Association

Thanks to Meghan Keedy, Amy Cuevas Schroeder, and all the folks at the DIY Business Association for the lengthy feature.

As my business partner Joe Gannon says, I’ve got a few “irons in the fire.” Hopefully, that never changes, but it’d be nice to have one of them turn out really sharp (Is that what happens to iron after you remove it from the fire?).

The 900 Shops

Ryan M. Beshel, Public Relations Coordinator for Chicago’s shops at 900 North Michigan, reached out recently, asking me to pick out some of my favorite things from their stores for their holiday season’s“Must Give Gift Guide.” You can download my picks, along with Abe’s Market’s Ari Bendersky, Pure Wow’s Amalie Drury, A Perfect Event’s Debi Lilly, and Chicago Parent’s Elizabeth Diffin.

Thanks for the opportunity, Ryan.

The New York Times

Over the weekend, I was quoted in an article in The New York Times, the Old Gray Lady. Fortunately, owing to it being a holiday weekend, I was able to witness firsthand the reaction of several family members. My parents, old and graying themselves, excitedly grabbed for their reading glasses the minute they learned the news. As she finished the piece, my mother simply laughed a little and shook her head in disbelief. My father asked, “What does it say that it took leaving New York for you to appear in the Times?” He was half-right in his asking (more on that in a minute). My great-aunt, a retired nun and one of the smartest people I know, said, “I guess I should be paying closer attention to men’s suits.” Of course, I assured her she absolutely shouldn’t, or I would begin to question her intelligence. My aunt and uncle gave a resounding “Oh, cool!” at breakfast that morning.

As I walked the mile-or-so to the nearest Starbucks to pick up a couple copies (Why is Starbucks is the only place in the Midwest to carry The New York Times?), I thought about what it meant to have my picture taken for The New York Times. Friends of mine, close ones even, have appeared several times in this paper-among-papers. I thought about them. After they appeared, my impression of them remained the same. But these were great people receiving great attention for doing or saying great things. Why was I tapped to talk about slim suits? I wear one. I know a bit about construction of suits. I am a champion of one Chicago suit maker in particular. But, I’m a fairly regular guy, who — yeah — I wear a suit, or at least a suit jacket a lot, but I wouldn’t consider myself an expert. On my walk, I thought to myself that I hope this doesn’t change peoples’ impression of me.

And I suppose it’s fitting that I was as gussied up as I was appearing in the paper this time around. That’s right. I appeared in the paper one other time.
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