Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to explore Austin’s music scene. Well, music and drinking scene. Such things go really well together in most towns, but especially in Austin where you can’t walk down the street without tripping over a bar or music venue.
I bummed around South Congress Street, poking into hear James McMurtry, the talented blues-rocker whip up the crowd at Continental Club. I sipped whiskey of some unknown extraction until closing time.
I went to East Austin’s legendary White Horse, now dwarfed by neighboring chain hotels, yet still holding its head high. A country-western act from Fort Worth was in town to scorch the room with hard-driving honky tonk twang. I held an ice-cold can of Lone Star in my hand while wishing I had a pair of cowboy boots on my feet.
I hit Cheer Up Charlie’s, a proudly pansexual stronghold on River Street, where a band performed, its singer shrieking and topless.
The point of all this is: Austin knows booze, it knows music, and it knows how to party. But is that something that can be—or should be—exported to lands beyond the Lone Star state?
Deep Eddy Vodka is giving it a try.
Deep Eddy’s Dive-In Tour Trailer
The Austin-based spirits brand, which has a Skittles-worthy portfolio of naturally flavored vodkas in addition to its original, is dispatching a squadron of meticulously refurbished 1946 Spartan trailers (the “Cadillac” of hitch-trailers) to bring its local day-drinking and music-listening ethos to the rest of the country.
Hitting music fests around the country as part of a campaign called #MixWithMusic, one of these Dive-In Tour Trailers parked at the recently-concluded Chicago Riot Fest. This year, Weezer, Elvis Costello, Run the Jewels, Bad Religion, Blondie, Suicidal Tendencies, Johnny Marr, and Pussy Riot made appearances during the three-day rock/metal/punk festival.
I had to wonder: Is Riot Fest really the right venue for something as pedestrian as flavored vodka? Flavored vodka just doesn’t seem very… well, punk rock.
Parked in the VIP area of the Riot Fest, the trailer had two simple cocktails on tap: the Lemmy (Deep Eddy Sweet Tea, lemonade, and a hint of Motörhead) and the Oderus (Deep Eddy Original and fruit punch).
The vibe of the trailer falls somewhere between a 1950s diner and a mobile speakeasy: there’s blue vinyl seating, a little television, a corner bar with metal-and-vinyl counter stools, and a sound system tuned to a local classic rock station. I kind of dug that they weren’t trying to co-opt a Riot Fest soundtrack, instead choosing to keep their anything goes attitude.
Outside, they had set up shady lounge seating and games like corn hole and a Skee-Ball/putting green hybrid. If you squinted hard enough to block out the Chicago skyline and just concentrated on the oppressive heat and listed to the rock music wafting in, you could think you were in the confines of laid-back Austin.
I went for the Lemmy, their version of a John Daly, who was basically the Lemmy of the PGA. The drink was served in a yellow plastic cup that read “Riot Fest Sucks,” which is the festival’s own anti-slogan. On a weekend as hot as this one was, it was refreshing, not as sweet as I feared, and just the thing to cool off when running between stages.
The Lemmy got the job done. And, in fact, the Deep Eddy Dive-In trailer does an admiral job of bringing Austin’s day drinking and agnostic spirit of music appreciation to Chicago.
Turns out, Deep Eddy mixes with punk just fine.
Upcoming Deep Eddy Dive-In Trailer Schedule
The trailer is on the road these next few months, popping up at music festivals across the country. See below for the remaining 2018 dates. Then swing by and ask for a Lemmy.
- October 5-7: ACL Fest (Austin, TX)
- October 6-7: All Things Go (Washington, DC)
- Oct 13-14: Treasure Island Music Festival (San Francisco, CA)
- Nov 10-11: Driftwood Music Festival (Orange County, CA)
- Dec 6-9: Art Basel (Miami, FL)