Tuesday, April 3, 2012

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Encyclopedist Rowley Is Rumored to Live a Dream Life

I visited Northern California last month to work on two different booze pieces. When he learned I was coming to the area, senior editor Adam Rogers invited me to stop by Wired's San Francisco offices where he flipped the table and interviewed me.

Hey, hey, hey. I'm the one supposed to be asking questions, bub.

Speaking on Wired's Storyboard podcast, Rogers makes the outrageous claim "If civilization really begins with distillation, as William Faulkner is supposed to have said, then let me introduce you to one of civilization's premier encyclopedists...Matthew Rowley is here." Bryan Lufkin's write-up sets the tone for the podcast that follows. If you've never heard me speak, here's your chance as we talk about moonshine, California spirits, being a spirits judge and more.

Then over this past weekend, Ars Technica ran a story about how best to celebrate World Whiskey Day, including what to watch and what book to read. There's the suggestion that readers follow my Twitter and blog ramblings: "Rowley leads a dream life. The man is paid to travel, eat, and drink, and then write about it for some of the biggest names in the field."

Sunday afternoon I was thinking about that dream life I'm rumored to enjoy as I swung a pickaxe to break apart and pry from its earthly grip a decades-old sidewalk buried in our back yard. Sweaty, muddy, and grunting with mulch in my hair seems far from glamorous.

Yet...yet at the end of the day, I was greeted with an impromptu cocktail made with Germain-Robin brandy, fresh loquats picked from our yard, peach bitters, and a squirt of lemon. Didn't even have to ask.

Yeah, I suppose — and this is hard for a quiet and softspoken guy like me to admit — that my life has turned out pretty damn well, pickaxes and all. Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a brick wall that needs demolishing. After I clean those bricks, there's every likelihood they'll get reused as the base of a smokehouse — because, with a little work, even dream lives can get better.


frederic said...

Double congrats! I'll give the podcast a listen tomorrow!

Matthew Rowley said...

Thanks! If you know what to listen for, you can hear the aphasia kick in. Overall, I'm happy with it though — and what a great bunch of guys in the office. Did you know that Wired has office happy hours on Fridays? The day I was there, Anchor Distilling was swinging by with liquid swag. If only I worked in an office where there were bottles everywhe...hey, wait a minute.