Off the wagon, sitting in the dust.

We like booze.

Let’s just get that out there. This isn’t about getting drunk or blacking out. It’s about the means, not the end.

We like good booze.

No one writing for this site has ever technically been on the wagon. But, if we were to find ourselves atop a rolling platform pulled by horses or oxen, I imagine we’d all fall off. In splendid, dramatic fashion.

The phrase “fell off the wagon” originates in the late 1800s. Before roads were paved and transportation was motorized, horse-drawn wagons would sprinkle water on the dirt roads, keeping the dusty trails less dusty. Apparently some poor souls would rather jump on these water wagons to quench their thirst in their avoidance of anything containing alcohol, or so the saying goes. And when their lust for the good stuff overwhelmed them? Well, they had to jump down off that wagon to find said good stuff.

Which brings us to today. I don’t believe Denver, or most of its inhabitants, have ever been on the wagon, but here’s to falling off, staying off, and sitting in the dust with friends.

Denver is an amazing place. The people, the things to do, the weather, we’ve got it all, and we know it. We’re a mile high cliché, working hard and playing hard. And we play hard.

We make and drink a lot of alcohol. We drink it straight, we mix it up, we pour it heavy, and we do it often.

Denver Off The Wagon is here to tell you more about the alcohol culture and community in Denver. To steal and alter a phrase from the New York Times, we’ll provide all the booze news that’s fit to print. We’ll bring you stories, interviews, reviews, calendars, commentary, and whatever else we can think of that fits. Only Denver. Only alcohol.

Our contributors are from many walks of life and different industries. Let me introduce you:

Kell Benson 

Kell has been drinking non-stop since turning 21, and yearns to start a brewery. His life goal is to rope and ride a moose while under the Aurora Borealis.  No regrets, that’s his motto. That and everybody Wang Chung tonight.

Taylor Beseda 

Taylor is a web engineer who enjoys classic cocktails, homebrewing, and big beers.

Billy Broas 

Billy Broas is beer guy – drinking it, making it, and writing about it. He publishes a beer blog at BillyBrew.com and runs an online training program for homebrewers, called The Homebrew Academy. After a lifetime on the east coast Billy recently made the move to Denver and is loving every minute of it.

Kevin Burke 

Kevin is an occasional barman and fulltime practitioner of the Janitorial Arts at Colt & Gray.

Ryan Conklin 

Ryan is a beer, cocktail and food loving bartender, photographer and writer who spends long nights behind the bar @Euclid Hall. He is constantly in search of the most fun and well crafted cocktails and beers served up with the best food by some of the best hospitalitarians in Denver.

Christie Day 

Christie likes vodka. She likes other things too. But she really likes vodka.

Bess Dougherty 

Bess Dougherty’s life revolves around hooch. By day she slings giggle water at Westminster Total Beverage. At night this dame can often be found sipping whiskey and beer.  This bearcat is also an avid homebrewer.

Colin Ferguson 

Mover, Shaker,  and a terrible baker, Colin takes much delight in the smaller things in life. Like self-medicating with food, and walks along the beach. His favorite beer is Bud. Contact Colin at colinferguson@greatdivide.com.

Dave Gottlieb 

Dave has lived in Denver for almost a decade, and has learned a lot about booze in this town through osmosis. And drinking.

Ashley Hausman 

Ashley Hausman moved to Colorado to climb, hike and escape from Wisconsin for a bit. New York University was the next stop a few years ago. A few long papers, a thesis and a masters degree later, she found wine was not only an incredible way to enhance Derridean studies, but it had its own story to tell: of regions, soils, cultures and farming. While Woolf still had her heart, Burgundy was creeping in…

She now manages a wine shop by day, sips and tells all in her blog by night. It’s a passion that grows only more complex with every passing vintage.

PJ Hoberman 

PJ likes beer. A lot. He’s working on opening a brewery in Denver, and in the meantime spends his time drinking beer, talking about beer, thinking about beer, or sleeping off the beer from the night before.

Jim Halligan 

Jim is a modern day conquistador. When not teaching his three parrots to speak Italian, he spends time poking flags in things and calling them his own.

Jess Hunter 

Jess is a Regular Jane by day and industry connoisseur by night.  Cocktails, beer, wine, and fine food are her passion, as well as consumption.  She’s the curious patron who wants to know what you’re serving.

Justin Lloyd 

Justin believes that Beer, Tacos, and Cookies are the perfect foods, as long as one of them is spicy.  He prefers interesting to boring, and has no patience for people that are simply taking up space and wasting air.  Most of the time you can find him at the bar he owns and operates, making cocktails and friends.  You should go meet him.

Nick Nunns 

Nick loves two things above all others: Beer, and heavy metal. If you get him drunk enough, he will probably raise a toast to a Norse god.

Dina Ramsted 

Dina has a history of pouring great drinks. She can currently be found behind the bar at Star Bar.

Josh Rapp 

Josh is a beer and whiskey enthusiast.  He is a home brewer and a long time member of the Denver Whiskey Club.  He is one of the founders of Denver’s BigBeerCrawl and works at the Rackhouse Pub for money.

About PJ Hoberman


PJ likes beer. A lot. And whiskey. Gin. Wine. Cocktails. Um.. what were we talking about?