Episode 30: Angela Mackenthun of Beam Suntory, Bill ‘Pooker’ Meister
I caught up with Minnesota’s Protector of the Peat, Angela Mackenthun of Beam Suntory, at Icehouse this week. She’s finally back in her kingdom after some time overseas, and brought back plenty of intel. And what whiskies will she take to her imaginary deserted island? We talked about all of that and more over a bottle of Auchentoshan that she bottled herself at the distillery!
This interview starts the show. Here are some key takeaways:
- You’re right: the “Beam” means “Jim Beam,” but Beam Suntory encompasses several brands and dozens of individual products. How does she and her team ensure equal representation for all of those brands? According to Mackenthun, it’s all about knowledge. Mackenthun explained, the more knowledge you can offer your customers, the better. Perhaps even more important is admitting when you don’t know.
- She also gave me a lesson in whiskey tasting (15:14). If you’re a novice whiskey drinker (which isn’t a bad thing! I am too), this will change the way to drink and taste whiskey. Listen carefully.
- Louis Dachis of Ace Spirits is still “in good spirits.”
Bill Meister: he goes by “Pooker” and runs Meister’s Grill in Stillwater, Minnesota. As Meister’s readies to celebrate 69 years in business, I asked him about his first jobs at the bar, how it’s changed over the years, and what’s stayed the same. We talked about how we gets away on the weekends, and the comfort that comes with knowing your community’s got your back. (24:09)
He didn’t drop any specific plans for Saturday’s anniversary party, but he did mention something else they’re celebrating that day and gave some hints as to what they might be doing next year when they officially turn 70.
At the end of this broadcast, there’s a little extra feature. Bill brought out a photo album out of the bar over the years, and we went through that during our interview. The photographs are below these podcast links, along with a recap of our discussion in the captions and when you can hear about them in the podcast. Enjoy!
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RELATED: Read about the time I hit up 15 breweries in one day in the Twin Cities area, then cooked my own burger at Meister’s afterward; and you can hear my first interview with Angela on The Podcast at the End of the World!
Me: “Was the truck driving up along the side of it, or was that truck in danger?”
Meister: “Um … I don’t know.”
And that’s how the show ends.