Saturday, March 13, 2010

Viva Beveridge!

As both an ex-Austinite and confirmed Tito's drinker, I was thoroughly delighted to see this profile of the great Tito Beveridge (yes, that's his real name) in the WSJ Magazine this weekend:

That story is the unlikely reinvention of a geophysicist with a knack for making booze and genially talking about it with anyone prepared to listen. In 1988, Beveridge headed to Venezuela and Colombia to work for Western Geophysical, where dynamite blasts were used to hunt underground oil reserves. It was 16-hour days on six-week rotations, with two weeks spent winding down . After three years overseeing crews of hundreds of men, negotiating with local politicians, and taking events like the totalling of a Bell helicopter worth hundreds of thousands of dollars as routine, he knew it was time to go home. “I’d gotten to the point where if I stopped, I could still integrate back into society,” he says.

Back in Texas, short stints as a water geologist and a mortgage broker reinforced the feeling that desk jobs weren’t his calling. He tried an exercise he saw on public television—making a list of his strengths (managing people, science, numbers) and loves (the outdoors, live music, women). His uncle had taught him to make flavored vodkas and he’d also tried fermenting exotic fruits in South America, so Beveridge set about trying to make a sippable spirit that women would drink. The reasoning: “A guy will buy a girl anything.”

So go grab a bottle of Tito's, pour yourself a strong one, and read the whole thing. Preferably in that order.

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