MEET THE BLACK SHEEP TEAM
CHARLIE PASQUIER & CHAS KUBIS
MEDIA & MARKETING MANAGER
THE DUDE EXPLAINED.
THE STORY BEHIND OUR MOST POPULAR DRINK.
Born out of a smile, a quick text, and the click of a button 3,000 feet up in the air, the Dude-a-rita has graced us with its presence since 2017.
When the concept for Black Sheep, a bar with tacos, came about, owners Chas Kubis and Charlie Pasquier were working closely with bar manager Brendan O’Neill to develop a bar program that would be interesting, unique and efficient. They knew the focus would be on agave and margaritas and to streamline the process they came up with the idea to have the house margarita freshly made every morning and put on tap- saving bartender’s shoulders and getting a consistently delicious marg in hand ASAP. With this in mind, they began fine tuning the space, planning the design of the bar, the open kitchen concept and the mechanics of a bar with tacos.
Thus, the dude became. In searching for tap handles, Brendan stumbled upon a tap handle online crafted in the likeness of the Dude from the film The Big Lebowski for ~ $10.00 and immediately sent a picture to Chas with a smile and question mark. Chas, who was flying home from Florida at the time, didn’t even respond to the text before ordering it while his flight took off back to Washington. The tap handle arrived, and the “Dude-a-rita” became the name of the margarita on tap, evoking laughs at how funky and happenstance it was. It won best margarita in Bellingham, and the name stuck! Now, it’s a part of Black Sheep and is a good reminder of where we started- just a couple of people with a dream to serve delicious cocktails and tacos, a silly joke amongst friends that resulted in the most popular drink on our menu.
And yes, everyone can order a dude-a-rita! The name is not meant to denote an ounce of masculinity or femininity. It is rooted purely in the tap handle resembling the Dude from The Big Lebowski, and if you don’t want to say “dude-a-rita” because it feels silly, that’s okay too. We will happily pour you a house margarita all the same.
THE STORY BEHIND OUR FAVORITE SPIRITS.
Mezcal is distilled alcohol made from any type of agave. Agaves - or magueys - are found mainly in Mexico and grow as far south as the equator. Most mezcal is made in the state of Oaxaca, though it can also be legally produced in Durango, Guana juato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacan, and Puebla.
A single village can contain dozens of production houses, called fabricás or palenques, each using methods that have been passed down from generation to generation, some using the same techniques practiced hundreds of years ago.
Traditional mezcal production begins with underground roasting of the entire piña [heart] of the agave plant in an earthen, stone, or brick oven. This imparts the smoky aromatics and flavor commonly associated with mezcal. After roasting, the piña is crushed and mashed, traditionally on a tahona [a stone wheel turned by a horse or other pack animal] and then left to ferment in large vats or barrels.
After fermentation, the pulque [fermented mash] is transferred to copper or clay pot stills, and distilled twice before bottling. Barrel aging is less common with mezcal than tequila—most mezcals are bottled joven, completely unaged, or with minimal time in oak.
Mezcal is highly varied, depending on the species of agave used, the fruits and herbs added during fermentation and the distillation process employed. Some mezcals are flavored during distillation with fruit, spices, and meats.
Sotol, Raicilla, and Bacanora are spirits produced with similar methods, but from non-agave desert plants, or outside the legally defined areas for producing mezcal.
THE STORY BEHIND OUR FAVORITE SPIRITS.
Tequila is distilled exclusively from the blue agave plant, primarily in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Mexican law states that tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and limited parts of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.
Although some tequilas have remained as family-owned brands, most well-known tequila brands are owned by corporations. Roughly 100 distilleries produce more than 900 brands of tequila in Mexico. Consequently, every bottle of tequila includes a serial number (NOM) denoting which distillery produced the spirit.
The red volcanic soil in the region around the city of Tequila is particularly well-suited to the cultivation of Blue Agave, and more than 300 million of the plants are harvested there each year. Agaves grown in Los Altos (highlands) are larger in size and sweeter in aroma and taste. Agaves harvested in Los Valles (lowlands) have a more herbaceous fragrance and flavor.
In tequila production, the piña of the agave is roasted in an oven, mashed, and allowed to ferment in open containers. It is then distilled, typically twice, and either bottled immediately or aged in oak barrels.
The duration of oak aging is expressed by one of the following:
BLANCO [WHITE] or PLATA [SILVER]
Clear spirit, un-aged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation, or, aged less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels.
Aged for a minimum of two months, but less than one year in oak barrels of any size.
EXTRA AÑEJO [EXTRA AGED]
Aged for a minimum of three years in oak barrels.