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Street Smarts

Sales of high-end bourbon are spiking, microbrews are pouring left and right, and it's trendy to "craft" your own beer and wine. What's behind it all?

click to enlarge Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith of Park Haven is a computer programmer.

What's your drink of choice? Definitely microbrews — the darker and more full-bodied, the better.

Is there a drink you used to love but don't now? I avoid hard liquor now, but in college I drank Yukon Jack religiously. I also avoid Guinness now. I like to support local microbrewers over the corporate megabrewers.

What's behind the explosion in crafted spirits? Good question. My brother and I used to attend the local craft beer festival every year, but we stopped when it got so crowded you'd stand in line for an hour.

Will the craft boom last? These things ebb and flow. Eventually, something else will become the new hot trend.

Have you ever made your own beer or wine? No, but my brother makes beer all the time and my dad is into making wine. I've helped them both.

click to enlarge Kirsten Fossum

Kirsten Fossum of north of downtown is a college student.

What's your drink of choice? Tequila and whiskey. They have the least adverse next-day effect.

Is there a drink you used to love but avoid now? I absolutely avoid vodka ever since my 21st birthday.

Why the surge in craft beers and spirits? One of the first things people who get money do is go out and buy nice alcohol. People like good drinks.

What comes to mind when I say "bourbon"? Movies where some guy about to be divorced is twinkling a glass with ice in it.

Have you ever made your own wine or beer? No, but I want to when I have money for the equipment.

click to enlarge Sam Hollingsworth

Sam Hollingsworth of Shooks Run is a construction foreman.

What's your drink of choice? Bourbon or port. A little heads-up: If you like bourbon, try it with iced tea some time. It's sooooo smooth.

What's behind the explosion of craft brews? People like crafting their own this-and-that at home.

Have you ever made your own? I don't like the taste of hops, so I'm not a beer drinker. I know people who've made their own, though, and my father-in-law makes wine regularly. It's surprisingly good.

Will the boom in make-it-yourself spirits last? I think so; people get a kick out of it.

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