There’s some predictability when it comes to the West’s watering holes and the all-too-human habit of using them. Each year, Portland will snag a lot of mention for its exquisite beers, a bunch of people will do stupid things under the influence and someone, somewhere, will outdo the people who established the previous year’s criminal records relating to alcohol and its consumption. But this year we’ve got a couple idiots in Denver who simply won’t be outdone, shored up by a visit from Dog Chapman. Apologizing in advance for the 2012 issue, we present …
1) Things to do in Denver when you’re dead
Robert Jeffrey Young and Mark Rubinson must have anticipated the Mountain Gazette’s annual Bar Issue when they took Young’s roommate out for a night of boozing, with the roommate picking up much of the evening’s tab. Jeffrey Jarrett had no complaints as the trio went to Teddy T’s bar and grill. The three went on to Sam’s No. 3 bar before Young and Rubinson drove Jarrett home and put him to bed. Young and Rubinson then went back out to snag a little Mexican food and naturally, made a final stop at Shotgun Willie’s strip club, where they used Jarrett’s ATM card to withdraw $400. Right about now you’re saying Jarrett should be pissed, but we’ll never really know. You see, Jarrett was dead when the two loaded him into Rubinson’s Lincoln Navigator, and he stayed in the back seat for a couple bar stops before being returned home. Young allegedly found his roommate unresponsive on August 28, and instead of, I don’t know — calling 911 or something — he took Jarrett out for one last night of fun. According to police reports, Young and Rubinson flagged down a cop at about 4 a.m. and indicated that Jarrett was back at the house and might be, I don’t know — dead or something. The two are charged with abusing a corpse, identity theft and criminal impersonation, although neither is charged in Jarrett’s death. Denver police aptly described the incident as “a bizarre and unfortunate crime.”
2) Come on, white boy!
La Montaña Linda is a cozy little bar and restaurant on Breckenridge’s funnish Ridge Street, and most nights you can rest assured that Duane “Dog” the Bounty Hunter Chapman isn’t going to come in and go batshit crazy. But all bets were off in early July, when the mulletted Chapman and his entourage busted in, looking for the owner’s father and generally acting like a bunch of assholes. Something to do with jumping bail, naturally. The father seriously was not there, but that didn’t stop a near-brawl from ensuing, with several bar loyals getting in Chapman’s face, and one of them spraying one of Dog’s muscle men in the face with cleaning fluid. The spray-wielding patron ended up in the emergency room with a cut face requiring 15 stitches — after Chapman’s man lashed back. A potted plant was thrown, naturally, Chapman allegedly brandished but didn’t use a stun gun, and the incident moved into the street, which had filled with patrons from nearby bars. Somewhere in all this Chapman issued his famous “Come on, white boy! Come on, motherfuck@r!” mantra to a would-be aggressor, and was able to get in a brazen hair toss before jumping into the getaway SUV with similarly haired Buxom Wife Beth. Catch the action on YouTube.
3) With distinction, naturally
The Daily Beast came up with a formula that combines total drinks per month, percentage of heavy drinkers, percentage of binge drinkers and deaths per 100,000 of alcoholic liver disease to establish the esteemed Most Hungover Cities of 2011. We were stunned to see Milwaukee top the list, but a few locales in the American West show that people here are willing to live and die for booze. Coming in at No. 5 is Reno, which quaffs an average 12.13 drinks per person per month, and where 11.9 out of 100,000 die from alcoholic liver disease. Denver held up its end at No. 12, with 12.94 monthly drinks and 7 liver deaths, respectively, and 17 percent of adults admitting to binge drinking.
4) Buzz Killers
Montana State Rep. Alan Hale (R-Basin) spoke out last spring against a law to stiffen DUI penalties for repeat offenders. Montana consistently leads the country in drunk driving stats, but Hale, who runs a tavern, oddly enough, said DUI laws were “destroying a way of life that has been in Montana for years and years… They (bars) are the center of the communities. I’ll guarantee you there’s only two ways to get there: Either you hitchhike, or you drive, and I promise you they’re not going to hitchhike.”
5) If Esquire says it’s true…
From the magazine that rightfully decries Bud Light’s Chelada, which is infused with Clamato (yeah — tomato and clam juice), salt and artificial lime as the worst beer on earth, we have the best cities for drinking beer. In no particular order we have Chicago, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, St. Louis and San Diego. The other cities come and go in various ratings, but Portland is always on any list that puts beer in a favorable light. Perhaps because it has more breweries than any other city on the planet, Portland is bound to get it right at least some of the time.
The general rule is that the colder the state, the more beer people drink. That said, Alaska and Hawaii’s annual consumption are nearly tied at 32.4 and 32.7 gallons per capita. With kudos to Las Vegas, Nevada comes in at No. 1, with a belchsome 44 gallons. Montana is 41.5, New Mexico, 37.8, and Arizona, 36.4. No shocker here that Utah lags behind the pack at 19.5 gallons.
Tara Flanagan splits her time between Boulder and Breckenridge, where she works as an equine massage therapist. Her monthly blog, “Out There,” can be found on mountaingazette.com.