Drinking (and eating, and drinking some more) with Ian
If you haven't DWI'ed, you're missing out. That is, when DWI means "Drinking with Ian," the local cable access show hosted by Ian Rans that makes imbibing an art form (here's the very first episode to get you started). When he isn't filming his show at the 7th Street Entry, Rans can be found lurking at any local haunt that he hasn't recently dined-and-ditched at.
1. You've sampled a number of different beverages throughout the run of Drinking with Ian. Any standouts?
Sure. We have a different shot every episode -- which I think means we've made about 100 now. When we first started they were pretty horrible but now they're not only drinkable but enjoyable. The "Harriet Island Iced Tea" and the "Dumpster Behind the Skyway Show Lounge" are favorites at every party I have. Oh, and I was offered Hennessy in line at the Taco Bell in the West Bank. Not a favorite, but definitely a stand-out.
2. In the Twin Cities we have an outdoor ice bar, a zombie bar, and a cowboy bar (just to name a few). How important is atmosphere when you're drinking? Does it matter?
Very important. For example, I fear ice, cowboys and zombies. I tend to go to old man dive bars. The bars that your crazy uncle goes to and gets kicked out of every night. Surprisingly, Drinking with Ian goes over huge at these places. And prison. I'm not kidding. We get fan mail. Let me give a shout out to my peeps at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility! Represent.
3. We're closing in on patio season in Minnesota. Where's your favorite place to imbibe outdoors?
We had a drunken four square posse (the kid's game, not the social networking thing) in the neighborhood a couple years ago that'd go all-night and that was great for outside drinking. Around midnight you're a foursquare god. Around two you're just another bloody drunk guy in Uptown. But If I'm drinking outside, it better be for free -- like in a backyard by a grill or on a bike (that's legal, right?). Seriously, if I'm spending $8 on a drink I want a damn roof. Patios are nice, but if I wanted to drink outside I'd just become homeless.
4. Minnesota has been cranking out its share of homegrown beers and liquors in the past few years. Are you a fan of any of them?
The soon-to-be-released Grain Belt Nordeast is super and I LOVE Prairie Organic Vodka. Surly has somehow managed to make coffee and beer work like chocolate and peanut butter. We're really lucky to have such a great crop of local intoxicators, but I'm pulling for stilling your own whiskey to be to 2010 what an Etsy page was to 2009.
5. After a night of drinking with Ian, where do you like to go for a late-night food?
Give me the Flameburger! We need, like, 1000 more all-night diners in this town. When the first thing that comes to mind is a dive in Hilltop, we need to step our game up. I guess my "late-night" starts around 3 a.m., though. At that time you're lucky to get a chili cheese dog at S.A. You can't go wrong with the Town Talk Diner or Pizza Lucé if your night ends earlier than mine. Tell them I sent you. I'm still working off ditching on a tab. Yes. At all of these places. Times were lean there for a while. Also please tell my dealer I sent you. His name is Dré and he works the Chi-Lake neighborhood.
6. What's the classiest thing you've ingested on DWI?
My pride. Little by little for six glorious years.