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Happy Independence Day!

Posted on by Eric Burke

On this day it is an American tradition to cook meat at high heat over an open fire, gather with friends, drink and end the night with many loud explosions. (Also known as a cookout and fireworks.) But since this isn’t a cooking (without spirits), gathering or fireworks blog, let’s address our topic and help you decide what you should be imbibing on what, at least here in Minnesota, is looking to be a mighty fine day.

Bud Light is the best selling beer in the American market. But is it really all that patriotic to drink a beer owned by a Belgian/Brazilian company? Of course it isn’t. So what are proud, patriotic Americans to do when their favorite beverage is under foreign ownership? Well, in typical fashion, I have two answers for you. I’m all about choice after all. 

One, you could turn to one of your local craft brewers. Hard working people making tasty beers just for you. Here in Minnesota, I’ll probably have a Summit or a Schell’s or a Surly (Minnesota's beers all start with S? Oops there's Fulton, never mind). You probably know your locals better than I do. Though if you don’t, go down to your local beer emporium and search them out. You’ll be happy you did.

The other option I have for you is my favorite drink and namesake of this site: bourbon whiskey. Widely called America’s Native Spirit (erroneously thought to be because of an Act of Congress), it has a history as old as the United States itself. It, along with it's sibling rye, were developed right here in the USA, or at least what would become the USA. Beer is a worldwide phenomena. Vodka is European, Tequila is Mexican, Sake is Japanese. Scotch, Irish and Canadian whisk(e)y are, well, Scottish, Irish and Canadian.

But back to bourbon and rye. Or as I like to call them, Liquid Patriotism. To even be called bourbon it has to be produced in the US (amongst other rules). And though you've all heard of Jim Beam, Makers Mark, and Wild Turkey, might I suggest that we support the small businesses in this category too? Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn makes a bourbon. So does Kentucky’s MB Roland. I've had, and like, the Iowa Bourbon from Cedar Ridge. FEW Spirits in Evanston, IL makes both a bourbon and a rye. And I even hear rumors of a bourbon being produced in my home state of Wisconsin by Milwaukee’s Great Lakes Distillery. Though I find no evidence of that on their website.

So there you go:  a plethora of choices. And whether your choice is big, small, foriegn or domestic—please enjoy it, and your celebrations, in moderation and safety. I’d hate for you to lose a hand with those firecrackers. I mean, what would you drink with?