If you head west from H-town on I-10 towards the Texas Hill Country, somewhere between the Brazos River and Ol’ San Antone, you’ll come to a little map dot that many people don’t notice. That’s why we did.
Turn right off the interstate then after a couple of miles, take another right between the post office and the “Home of Earl Campbell Sausage”, you’ll discover a winding, farm-to-market road that leads to a small Texas ranch and a simple wooden back porch.
Of course this infamous porch was attached to a farmhouse, complete with a metal roof, wooden steps and yes, a wooden swing. It was here, 2 friends – self-described “Rednecks” – would roost for the weekend drinking beer & moonshine, smoking cigars, debating life and fixing the world. Friends and family often joined in for a little fishing or hog hunting, celebrating holidays or just savoring a weekend of peace and quiet – unless of course there was “an important football” game on TV. (Aren’t they all important on any given weekend?)
One of these weekends, James, a business man from the Houston area, joined the conversation. Somewhere between debating the best BBQ, country music song lyrics and the way the world is changing, the conversation turned to spirits. (Somebody probably needed a refill.) They carefully considered the finer points of craft beers, small batch bourbons and their favorite moonshine experience. Of course, Michael talked about the time he kicked back with Robert Earl Keen on his tour bus drinking ‘shine. Then the topic of the “stories” behind the best brands soon escalated — from legendary recipes to the newest celebrity offerings. Where was it created? By whom? Why did they name it that?
Jerry, who has been in the beverage business for more than 30 years, said he was on the lookout for a really good Texas Bourbon or Whiskey and maybe a vodka. He was looking for something unique with true character in addition to a great flavor profile.
James, usually a soft spoken, stay-out-of-the-spotlight kind of guy, got on his soapbox and said he’d love to see a product that just bluntly says what’s important to the everyday, working person. Forget the fantasy world of the rich and famous. Talk about everyday men and women and what matters to them. The people who get up, go to work, pay the bills and take care of family. The ones who are thankful for the military that defends our life and liberty and the police and firemen who protect us.
Despite working in Houston’s oil & gas industry now, he’s not forgotten the early years spent in the timber business and the trucking industry in East Texas. He said we should appreciate the working class and the hard work they contribute and respect the values they have. Certainly not the glamorous world of the rich and famous, but give a nod to the people with a strong work ethic that value simple things in life. A redneck perhaps.