Cocktail Culture - New Haven CT Edition.

September 27th, 2017

On this week’s Podcast, our good friend Hazel Alvarado who works with me on the show, journeys to New Haven, CT to check out their cocktail culture and chats with Dan Rek, Beverage Director for Fork Hospitality and Tim Cabral,one of the owners of New Haven’s oldest Tavern - The Ordinary.

I told you last week that I heard from the fine people at Johnnie Walker.  They are releasing just 39,000 bottles of Johnnie Walker Black The Director’s Cut in conjunction with the release of the film Blade Runner 2049, starring Harrison FordThe film is directed by  Denis Villeneuve who collaborated with Master Blender Jim Beveridge to create this wonderful variation on Johnnie Walker Black.  It’s absolutely delicious.  Smokey like the original, but a little richer, rounder and even a bit fruitier.  Its 49% ABV as opposed to the 40% of the original.  Johnnie Walker Black is a great scotch...a classic, and I really enjoy this riff on it.

It comes in a really interesting futuristic bottle.

The original Blade Runner Movie was based on the book by Philip K. Dick called:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? So we’ll use that amusing name for our Cocktail of the Week!

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

  • 1 ½ oz Johnnie Walker Black Label The Director’s Cut, (or substitute Johnnie Walker Black Label)
  • ½ oz Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur
  • ½ oz Grilled Pineapple Juice (Juice from slices of Pineapple that have been grilled on each side for 3 mintues.)
  • ½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
  • 1 Dash Fee Brothers Molasses Bitters (or substitute Angostura Aromatic Bitters).
  • Freshly Ground Nutmeg

Shake all ingredients except Nutmeg with ice.  Double strain into an Old Fashioned glass with one large ice cube.  Grate a small amount of Nutmeg on top.  Garnish with a wedge of grilled Pineapple, preferably skewered on a Hip-Stirrer Metal Robot Swizzle Cocktail Stirrer.


Industry news from Bar Institute:

“This unrelenting hurricane season has already caused unspeakable damage from Texas to the Caribbean. And, as our dear friends in Puerto Rico prepare for another very serious storm in Hurricane Maria, we have made the choice to postpone Bar Institute San Juan in the interest of everyone's safety and out of respect for the limited resources (including power, water and food) that are now available on the island. 

The new dates are 1/29-1/31 2018”.


Oct 23-25 – Portland, OR

Nov 13-16 – New York, NY

Jan 29-31 – San Juan, PR


We have posted last week on about NY area industry events for hurricane relief. Look for the link under the show notes on the site for this episode.  If you are doing something too and would like to let us know about what your bar is doing to help, let us know on the contact page.


I think as a Bartender (or even an enthusiast who throws a lot of cocktail parties), being a great conversationalist is a great skill to have.  You need to have lots of stuff to talk about – knowing a little about a lot can help your conversation skills.    Podcasts are a great way to learn stuff – and you listen to podcasts!  I know that for a fact because you can hear me talking right now!

So I thought we’d try out a new segment called Unrealted Podcast Suggestion of the Week.


We’ll do a podcast suggestion that has nothing to do with Bartending, cocktails or spirits.

And since you listen to podcasts and most likely do a lot of that listening on headphones, our Unrealted Podcast Suggestion of the Week is brought to you by a great headphone company called Sudio.  They make great quality wireless Bluetooth headphones, which btw, if you are still using headphones that you physically have to plug into your phone you are nuts!  


These Sudio headphones sound great!  It’s a shame that over the last couple of decades we’ve been increasingly sacrificing sound quality for convenience. Sudio also has a wireless earbud style model.  And if you use my coupon code BARTENDERJOURNEY you can get 15% off any model.  Go to and make sure you use coupon code BARTENDERJOURNEY for 15% off and to show your support for Bartender Journey!


So our Unrealted Podcast Suggestion of the Week is Showcase from Radiotopia, a new podcast from Radiotopia featuring original series from emerging and leading radio producers around the world. The current series, Ways of Hearing, is a six-part series about listening in the digital age from acclaimed musician Damon Krukowski. It’s a really interesting and podcast about the transition from analog to digital. It’s a fascinating discussion and expertly produced and I hope you’ll enjoy it.  It’s a limited run series and all 6 episodes.  If you have a suggestion for Unrealted Podcast Suggestion of the Week I’d really love to hear it!  Send me an email at with “podcast suggestion” in the subject line.


Oh hey!  I was a guest on another podcast.  As you may know, I bartend at a Private Club.  I was recently featured on the podcast called Private Club Radio.  If you are interested in hearing me on another podcast, or if you happen to work in a Private Club, check out Private Club Radio.  We’ll have a link to my episode in the show notes on


If you are a Bar or Restaurant owner, this week on our resource page, we have a link to a couple articles about insurance.  Not the “sexiest” of topics, but definitely an important and necessary one. Learn about General Liability Insurance, Business Property Insurance and Workers Comp from Embroker Insurance.


We’ve also included the Northeast contact information for additional questions.

And here’s some legalese: The article posted is not an endorsement and is for information only; rules may vary by jurisdiction.


Oh boy, here we go again with TOTC drama.  If you remember, back in March 2017 there was a huge uproar in the Cocktail community about a picture Ann Tuennerman, founder of TOTC posted.  She repeated an insensitive remark made by her husband Paul Tuennerman, and in the photo, Ann was wearing blackface.  It’s an old Marti Gras tradition and I won’t get into the details, but I covered all this very thoroughly back in episode #203.  I’ll have a link with the show notes or search back in the feed for the episode called Diversity Awareness (& Some Turmoil) in the Cocktail World       


Shortly after all this happened, Paul stepped down from his position at TOTC. Tales formed a Diversity Council. Which according to their web site:  “This Council composed of professionals from across the industry and outside of the industry, will work towards implementing progressive initiatives and monitoring their progress over time. This process will be completely transparent, and each initiative will be documented and made viewable to the public”.   Paul didn’t attend Tales this year as far as I could tell and the 15th TOTC was awesome as always.  It was feeling like the healing was beginning.


Then last week, 9/22/17 the website Neat Pour broke the story that Paul would be returning to the organization.  Ann announced this to the Diversity Council in an email.  The Council was not consulted at all and in fact Diversity Council Co-chair Colin Asare-appiah publicly resigned his post immediately.   There was uproar and lots of posts on FB.  People were pissed off again.


Our friend Jackie Summers, member of USBG NY and proprietor of Sorel Artisinal Liqueur sits on the Diversity Council.   He posted a very detailed note late friday night/ saturday morning that begins “Time for some facts.  Hopefully this will add some clarity”.  I won’d read the entire post but it is clear that Paul’s reinstatement, just 7 months after the original incident was very disturbing to the Diversity Council as well as the community as a whole.   Later in Jackie’s post he says “While I consider whether or not to continue my own future involvement, my concern is that this sequence of actions may prove more divisive than the incident itself.”


 As I said, all this happened on Friday.


One day later, on Saturday evening  9/23/17 the following email


Tales of the Cocktail Co-Founders Step Down


“Co-Founders, Ann and Paul Tuennerman, will be transitioning away from their roles in producing the world’s renowned cocktail event, Tales of the Cocktail, effective immediately.


Melissa Young, who has served as Director of Operations for the past nine years will assume the reigns of the operating company behind the event, MOJO911, LLC, as President.”


The press release goes on with a quote from Ann:


"We have devoted our professional careers to the hospitality industry even before the formation of Tales of the Cocktail and the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society).  Our goal has always been to create something lasting that can benefit the industry and the people of New Orleans well beyond our years. This allows that to continue," said Ann R. Tuennerman.)


There is another quote from Paul, but no mention of the controversy or the timing of this decision.


“It has been an honor to spend the last fifteen years working within the industry to create something extraordinary. I am fortunate in that I have had the opportunity to work alongside some amazing bartenders, spirit producers, authors, and educators, from around the globe. While Ann and I have mixed emotions, we are excited about the next chapter in our lives, and look forward to watching the event continue to evolve and flourish,” said Paul G. Tuennerman.

So congrats and best of luck to Melissa Young.  She’s a super nice and smart lady and it will be very interesting to see what the future brings for TOTC as the baton is passed to the next generation!


Toast of the Week:

May we get what we want,

May we get what we need,

But may we never get what we deserve.


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Tasting Whiskey with Lew Bryson

September 14th, 2017

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Hospitality, plus More from Tales of the Cocktail 2017

September 7th, 2017

We are talking about Hospitality today, our book of the week is Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

  • Cocktail of the Week:
    Singapore Sling
    This is one of those drinks that everybody has heard of, but doesn’t get ordered very often and a lot of people have no idea what’s in it.
    I borrow this recipe from Tristan Stevenson’s Book The Curious Bartender: The artistry and alchemy of creating the perfect cocktail
    1 ¼ oz London Dry Gin
    2 oz Cherry Heeing Liqueur
    Barspoon of Benedictine
    ½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
    2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
    Club Soda to top
    Build in a Highball glass (or sling glass). Stir with ice. Top with Club Soda. Lemon garnish.
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Warren Bobrow, Mezcal: At Suite Silenceo & House of Elyx

September 1st, 2017


Warren Bobrow, Mezcal: At Suite Silenceo & House of Elyx

  • We talk with our friend Warren Bobrow. We caught up with Warren at a pool party on the rooftop of Hotel Montelegone during Tales of the Cocktail 2017.
  • Also, we travel to Suite Silenceo and House of Elyx for two amazing Tales of the Cocktail events, and learn more about El Silenceo Mezcal and Absolute Elyx.
  • Take a listen to the Bartender Journey Podcast No. 224 with the audio player on this page, or on Apple Podcasts/ Google Play Music/ Stitcher Radio for a slice of the Tales experience!
  • A yearly Tales event that is just awesome every year and gets better all the time is the House of Elyx. Elxy is Absolute’s high end expression. We’ll talk with Jonas Tåhlin.
  • House of Elyx was also at a new location this year: Latrobe’s on Royal, (Royal Street that is).

At House of Elyx they serve drinks in unbelievable copper vessels. The first drink I was handed was the Silly Rabbit, and it was served in a life sized copper rabbit!

Cocktail of the Week:

Silly Rabbit 

1 ½ oz Absolut Elyx

½ oz Manzanilla sherry

½ oz Fresh pineapple cordial*

½ oz Freshly squeezed pineapple juice

¼ Freshly squeezed lime juice

2 oz Perrier Jouet champagne 

Vessel: Copper Rabbit

Garnish: None

Method: Shake all ingredients except Champagne in a cocktail shaker. Add Champagne. Strain into copper rabbit over cubed ice, cap with crushed ice.

  • The team was generous enough to share all the recipes of the cocktails served at House of Elyx this year and we have them for you below. The recipes and lots of professional photos from the event can also be found at

Book of the Week:

The Craft Cocktail Compendium: Contemporary Interpretations and Inspired Twists on Time-Honored Classics by Warren Bobrow. His original drinks are so, unique, original and fun.   In this book he also explores the classics.

A glass in the hand is worth two on the shelf.


Elyx House at TOTC 2017 cocktail specs


The Elyx Martini 

2 ½ oz Absolut Elyx

½ oz Lillet Blanc

Vessel: Cocktail coupe

Garnish: Lemon zest 

Method: Stir all ingredients over cubed ice in a mixing glass, strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garish


Elyx Spritz

1 oz Absolut Elyx

1 oz Lillet Rose

Top Fevertree Elderflower tonic

Vessel: Highball glass

Garnish: Lemon wheel

Method: Build in highball glass over cubed ice, top with Elderflower Tonic, stir gently and garnish


Pimp My Mule

1 ½ oz Absolut Elyx

½ oz Fresh Raspberry Cordial*

½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice

Top Ginger Beer

Vessel: Copper mule cup

Garnish: Fresh raspberry and candied ginger

Method: Build over cubed ice in a copper mule cup and top with ginger beer. Cap with crushed ice and garnish


Cold Fashioned 

1 ½ oz Absolut Elyx

½ oz Oloroso Sherry

½ oz Cynar

½ oz Demerera syrup

1 oz Cold brew coffee

Vessel: Rocks glass

Garnish: Orange zest 

Method: Stir all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Strain over ice in a rocks glass and garnish  


Bloc Party 

(Compliments of Leo Robitschek)

1 oz Absolut Elyx

1 oz Cream sherry

1 oz Fino sherry

½ oz Yellow chartreuse

½ oz Red bell pepper juice

½ oz Freshly squeezed lime juice

¼ oz Fresh Vanilla Cordial*

¼ oz Fresh Passionfruit Puree

Vessel: Copper Squirrel

Garnish: None

Method: Shake all ingredients and strain into copper squirrel over cubed ice, cap with crushed ice and garnish


Fennel Countdown 

2 oz Absolut Elyx

¼ oz Suze

¾ oz Fresh Fennel Cordial*

2 oz Freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice

½ oz Freshly squeezed lime juice

Vessel: copper coupe

Garnish: grapefruit zest

Method: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garnish


Tangerine & Olive 

1 oz Absolut Elyx

1 oz Italian bitters 

1 oz Sweet vermouth

½ oz Freshly squeezed tangerine juice

1 oz Tonic water

1 dash Rhubarb bitters

Vessel: Rocks glass

Garnish: Dehydrated orange & green olive

Method: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass, strain into a rocks glass over ice, top with tonic water and garnish


Silly Rabbit 

1 ½ oz Absolut Elyx

½ oz Manzanilla sherry

½ oz Fresh pineapple cordial*

½ oz Freshly squeezed pineapple juice

¼ Freshly squeezed lime juice

2 oz Perrier Jouet champagne 

Vessel: Copper Rabbit

Garnish: None

Method: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, strain into copper rabbit over cubed ice, cap with crushed ice.



2 oz Absolut Elyx

1 oz Lillet blanc

4 oz Jasmine needle tea

1 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 oz Orange blossom & jasmine honey

½ oz Butterfly pea flower extract

Vessel: Rocks glass 

Garnish: No garnish

  • Method: Freeze in a slushy machine and serve
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Maker’s Mark with Jane Bowie

August 25th, 2017

This week, we continue our Tales of the Cocktail 2017 coverage. This is the 5th of 9 planned episodes about Tales 2017.


  • We will talk with Jane Bowie from Maker’s Mark. During Tales this year, I was invited to a Maker’s Mark event at Dicky Brennen’s Bourbon House. The Bourbon House had purchased a full barrel of Maker’s 46.
  •  Quoting from the invitation I received to the event, The Bourbon House is “the first in Louisiana to have created its very own Maker’s Mark® Private Select™. This is a first-of-its-kind barrel program that allows retail customers to customize their own personal Maker’s Mark by finishing fully-matured cask strength Maker’s Mark Bourbon in a single barrel made up of their custom selection of ten total oak staves, resulting in over 1,000 possible selections”.
  • Take a listen to Podcast No. 223 with the audio player on this page, or on Apple Podcasts/ Google Play Music/ Stitcher Radio for a slice of the Tales experience!


  • Patron is sponsoring an educational event.  It’s in Cleveland on September 12, 2017 at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center.  It’s a full day of education with Breakfast, Lunch and Happy Hour included and there is no cost to you! RSVP here.


  • BarSmarts Advanced will be conducting daylong sessions, providing education and hands on mixology instruction, plus testing and certification. Its taught by Dale DeGroff, David Wondrich, Paul Pacult, Steve Olson, Doug Frost and Andy Seymour.  At the end of the day you do a practical exam where you prepare three drinks for one of these gentlemen, so you might be making drinks for Dale DeGroff or in my case David Wondrich.  To qualify you have to do the online course first.

Cocktail of the Week:

Maker’s Boulevardier

1.5 parts Maker’s Mark Bourbon

0.75 part Sweet Vermouth

0.75 part Campari or Aperol

Maraschino Cherry for garnish

Stir with ice, strain, garnish and serve.


Book of the Week:

The Alcohol Textbook by T.P. Lyons $299.95

Whisky: The Manual by Dave Broom $12.34

Let’s go to Dicky Brennen’s Bourbon House.

  • I toast you with a very special bottle that I have not tasted yet.  It is a Maker’s Mark Private Select.  “Exclusive Oak Stave Selection By Bill Samuels Jr.”  Hand written on the label it says “110.9 Proof/55.45 % Alcohol by Volume”. On the back it is hand signed by Bill Samuels Jr.  


Here’s to the bottle which holds a store
Of imprisoned joy and laughter!
Here’s to this bottle
Many more bottles,
And others to follow after.


Tasting Notes

Color:  Amber to Orange

Nose:  Strong alcohol right away. Chestnuts.  Stone Fruit - Plums, Fresh Cut Wood, (like a beautiful brand new Bar!)  Rugged Leather, Fresh Herb or Grass

Taste:  Toast.  Burnt Orange Peel.  Peach Pie.

Mouthfeel:  Luscious.  Silky.  Refined.

Finish:  Strong alcohol.  Carmel.  Toasted Oak.


Impressions:  Wonderful and sophisticated Bourbon.  Adding a little water makes this something I want to drink everyday! Too bad the bottle will run out eventually.


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Tales of the Cocktail 2017 - Continuing Coverage

August 16th, 2017

On the Bartender Journey Podcast this week, we continue our Tales of the Cocktail 2017 coverage. This is the 4th of 9 planned episodes about Tales 2017.

  • We will talk with 2 very interesting ladies:

    • Laura Bellucci – Lead Bartender at Sobu in New Orleans
    • Aisha Sharpe – Brand Ambassador VDKA 1600
  • Take a listen to Podcast No. 222 with the audio player on this page, or on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play MusicStitcher Radio for a slice of the Tales experience!

Cocktail of the Week:
Courtesy of Aisha Sharpe and VDKA 6100
Spicy Kiss

  • 2 oz VDKA 6100
  • 4 Chunks Watermelon
  • 1 slice Jalapeno Pepper, plus some for garnish
  • ½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Simple Syrup

Muddle the Watermelon and Jalapeno. Add the remaining ingredients & ice. Shake and double strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Brian’s Note: Or try it as a tall drink, served over ice in a highball glass with some seltzer.

Book of the Week:
The Bloody Mary: The Lore and Legend of a Cocktail Classic, with Recipes for Brunch and Beyond

During Tales Absolute a Bloody Mary Bar and I met author Brian Bartels who is passionate about this Brunch Staple. The book is filled with variations on the timeless Bloody Mary, plus history and tips for setting up for a Brunch party. There are ideas for Infused vodkas, like Cilantro, Bacon, Shiitake and more. Great book for getting ideas about upping your Bloody Mary game!

At the Absolute Bloody Mary Bar there were four or so variations on the Bloody Mary. I choose a green one. There were tons of garnishes to choose from and customize your drink. There displayed them cleverly in hanging mason jars, with a little hand written chalk board behind each.

If want some great online Bartending education, check out the Mixology Certification Program from our friends at the Mixology Talk Podcast. Enter the code “BartenderJourney” for 20% this extreemly detailed on-line course.

Bartender Eductaion Opportunity:

If you are anywhere near Cleveland Ohio Patron is doing a Full Day class for you to learn about all Tequila. There is no cost to attend. You just need to RSVP and get yourself there on September 12, 2017. It will be held at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center.
Suggestion: get yourself a room at the hotel. Enjoy yourself, learn a lot, and be safe!

Toast of the Week:

One sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight beyond the bill of dreams.


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Avant Garde Cocktails & Cedar Ridge Distillery

August 12th, 2017

"Thinking outside the box."  Perhaps an overused phrase, but is an appropriate term for Summer Jane Bell's Seminar:  Shake Outside of the Box: Avant-Garde Cocktails.  Many great ideas were floated at this seminar.  Take a listen as Brian reads through his notes from this wonderful Tales of the Cocktail seminar.

Take a listen the podcast with the audio player on this page, or on:
Apple Podcasts
*Google Play Music
*Stitcher Radio 
for a slice of the Tales experience!

We also talk to Jeff Quint, founder and owner of of Cedar Ridge Distillery in Iowa, who is making farm to glass spirits.  We caught up with Jeff at Dicky Brennen's Bourbon House in the French Quarter during Tales.  We ate some oysters, sampled some whiskey and chatted about Jeff's Journey from Accountant to Distiller.

The American Distilling Institute named Cedar Ridge “Distillery of the Year", for 2017.

Plus, we catch up with Hazel Alvarado, as she tells us about the many industry events she has attended in NYC this summer, including the grand opening of the new Oscar Wilde-Themed Bar in the No-Mad neighborhood of Manhattan.

Book of the Week:
Beach Cocktails: Favorite Surfside Sips and Bar Snacks
Summer may be ending in a few weeks, but there's still time to up your "thirst aid" knowledge and add a few summery cocktail recipes to your cocktail library.

Cocktail of the Week:
El Presidente

  • 1 ½ oz Aged Rum Real McCoy 5 year
  • ¾ Dry Vermouth
  • ½ oz Orange Curacao
  • Bar Spoon Grenadine
    Stir with ice.  Strain into a chilled coup glass.  Orange twist.

Toast of the Week:
(From the book Toasts: Over 1,500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings, and Graces)

  • May you have peace in you igloo, oil in your lamp and peace in your heart.
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Hot Mic - Podcasting for Bartenders

August 2nd, 2017

From Tales of the Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans:

·   Tales of the Cocktail 2017 has wrapped up, but it lives-on, with Bartender Journey!  We have a total of 8 shows planned with Tales 2017 coverage.  This is the second in the series.

On the show this week, we bring you the audio from our Tales seminar:  Hot Mic - Podcasting for Bartenders. 

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You Are Throwing Money Away!

July 26th, 2017

Sustainability is the hot topic in the Bar & Restaurant world right now.  How can we help the environment AND our bottom line at the same time?

Brian is just back from Tales of the Cockail 2017 with a fresh perspective! 

"If we knew what to do with it, it wouldn't be waste any more!"

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Summer Social

June 28th, 2017

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast No. 218 and as you know I’ll be attending Tales this year again but this time as a part of a panel titled: “Hot Mic: Podcasting for Bartenders”.


I’ll be presenting along with Kara Newman, our guest author on Podcast 193, Sother Teague, a friend and propritor of the new socially conscious bar, Coup, that donates all profits to charities and Damon Boelte, of Speakeasy Radio. Special thanks to our sponsor, Brooklyn Gin!


If you’re headed down, make sure to stop by my session, Wednesday morning and if not, why aren’t you going? We’ll make sure to post details both for Tales and session tickets on both our blog and Facebook page.


The Bartender Journey Podcast will be taking a production break for the next few weeks and will return with a full length episode on July 26th.


We have lots of great interviews already recorded, plus I’ll be collecting lots of great audio at Tales, including an interview with the great whiskey writer Lew Bryson.


Meanwhile, this week we’ll kick off the Bartender Journey Summer (School) Social and will be posting and sharing valuable content on our blog, and Facebook page, Bartender Journey Podcast on spirits education, cocktail competitions, industry events and more, especially during Tales. Make sure you follow Bartender Joueny on IG and FB.


If you would like to contribute in any way you can, by writing a piece for Bartender Journey, leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sharing the show with a friend, we welcome your input. You can go to to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and maybe feature something you wrote on BJ. There is also our Tip Cup page  If this show has helped you out at all or entertained you…if you’ve learned a little something, please consider contributing to our Tip Cup at /tipcup.


We will have another podcast for you on July 26, 2017. Lots more great content to come. 

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