This Guy Makes the Most Potent Absinthe on Earth
For years there have been individuals that I’ve seen around town who captured my imagination. This project, Drawn From the City, became an excuse to find out about their lives through interviews, documenting the cultural life-blood of the city.
What is your occupation? I consider myself a life scientist. Every job that I have ever done or attempted to do will never match up to wanting to be a brewer. [I am working on] putting together Scarlet Barn Brewery as a sustainable community project that will open its doors for free workshops. We want the opening of our brewery to coincide with 2020. We are coming up on some really fabulous times. It’s in astrology; there’re some amazing shifts that are about to happen. In fact, 2020 will be a big year – the same vibrations that we saw in the 1960s will reform, it happens in the 60 year cycle.
When did you start brewing beer? Fermenting has been a passion of mine since I was little. I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew the process was there. Strange things happened when I was a kid but that’s part of being a wizard.
When did you move to San Francisco? My life is weird; back when I was 18, I went to college for a little while. But I have always felt drawn to the mystical element of the world and I packed a bag to come to San Francisco in ‘86. I have been here learning from the different paths that come and go in this town ever since.
What is your favorite neighborhood? It used to be North Beach because lived there in ‘86. I was crashing out in this pad in one of those little SROs. I was sneaking in; it was crazy, desperate times. We were DJing at this one club over in South of Market. I lived in the Mission for a while back in ‘90 and ‘91; I loved that.
For peace and quiet, absolutely the Outer Sunset. It’s like going on vacation – you get on the N Judah and ride it out to the end of the line. You get off the train to clear-as-a-bell silence and all you hear are the waves.
This is my magic hat. With it I have manifested jobs for friends and myself, I have caused great amounts of inspiration to happen for friends around me, I have stopped a dragon, and I have helped a lot of people through a lot of places.
I live in Nob Hill right now; it’s kinda nice. It’s getting a little “jockafied” for my taste, but what are you gonna do. It’s all changing now. San Francisco has become this beautiful enigma. I have to figure out what I’m gonna do next.
What is your favorite place in the city? My house. I have everything I need at my house. I have all of the beer and absinthe that I want. I make a super potent absinthe that is bar none the most potent absinthe on the planet, and I don’t make that boast lightly.
How do you make absinthe? Very carefully. My process takes about 21 days. I usually start it on the new moon and add certain herbs in sequential order. The process of distillation starts on a certain date at a certain hour so we can gain what we want from it; it’s rather scientific.
Do you have a favorite article of clothing? This is my magic hat. With it I have manifested jobs for friends and myself, I have caused great amounts of inspiration to happen for friends around me, I have stopped a dragon, and I have helped a lot of people through a lot of places. It’s my halo. It was picked by my wife and my girlfriend, they both saw it and said you need this hat, so we enchanted it. So now it’s an enchanted hat.
How did you meet your wife? In 1992 I was living in the Mission and I was working in this store at 973 Valencia Street called Gifts of the Goddess. This was part of the really big groundswell of new age shops that opened on Valencia in the early '90s. At the time I was reading tarot in the back. The first time my wife came in I just heard her voice. I was reading someone’s tarot and I kinda peeked up and I saw her with another woman. She mentioned that she had just gotten back from Good Vibrations so I figured she was [with the other woman] and I went back to my work.
A couple weeks later her sister came into the store. She was equally beautiful and I was really grooving on her. I was going to ask her out but something in my head said, "Don’t do that, something better is coming along."
A couple weeks later my wife and her sister came in together. As she came in, my wife’s hair was in slow motion and she had these stars in her eyes and we were looking at each other and I was like, “Hi, how can I help you?” and the first words out of her mouth were, “You’re cute, turn around, I wanna see your tush.”
So we made a date that day. And I found this out later, but when she left the store she told her sister, “I don’t know, but I think I just met my husband.” So we shacked up for a year and then ran off and eloped in Reno and we have been married for almost 21 years.
Check back in next Tuesday for more Drawn from the City.
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