#TastemakerTuesday - J Grilla Green

j grilla.jpg

The one thing I love about BBS is the fact that we get to meet so many cool people across the country. I remember when Jason and his crew, who I ‘lovingly’ refer to as ‘Dem Chicago Boyz’, joined BBS. I thought they were a rambunctious group of men who declared to takeover the group… But what I soon learned is that, these dudes were cool AF. They are great group of friends who know their whiskey, and they became great contributors in the group. When we held our first event in Chicago, they all showed up in support for BBS and welcomed me with open arms. Jason and I have become friends beyond BBS and he is someone who’s opinion I truly appreciate. Without further adieu, let me introduce you to this week’s #TastemakerTueday honoree, my homie, J Grilla Green.

Name: Jason "J Grilla" Green

Occupation: Sales Supervisor by day/ DJ by night

Location: Chicago

Favorite cocktail: Bourbon + 1 ice cube

Favorite bourbon: Willett Family Estate

What's your bourbon story? What was your first dram? How did you fall in love with whiskey?
My bourbon story began many moons ago with my 1st shot of Wild Turkey being handed to me on my 21st bday. (not gonna date myself with the year) I continued to try bourbon here and there through out the years. Then about 5 yrs ago a couple of my good friends decided I needed to join them on their bourbon and cigar exploits. I haven't looked back since and little did I know how far this journey would take me. I started at the bottom shelf and worked by way up. That's how I feel in love with the juice. I figured I will never know what's good if I can't compare it to what's not so good. There is nothing like a solid 2-4oz pour of your fav bourbon after a long day. It is indeed one of the finest continued moments in this guys life.

Why did you join BBS?
I joined BBS because it was like no other bourbon community that I had ever encountered. From the 1st time sipper to the seasoned connoisseur. It truly is a great community of like minded African Americans all looking to share in their bourbon experience. Its also a pleasing to see so many people RESPONSIBLY enjoying this spirit and showing others how to as well.

Why is diversity and inclusion important in the spirit industry?
Diversity and Inclusion is important in every industry not just the spirits industry. But with bourbon, especially, there has always been a "old southern boys" stigma. So discovering things like the story of Nathan Green & how African Americans contributed to the creation of this fine spirit has made the learning and enjoying bourbon that much more. . .well enjoyable! We have our own unique perspectives that we bring to this industry and it behooves the industry to pay close attention to our input. Its also important that manufactures, distilleries, distributors, retailers and the like understand our story and that cannot be done without African Americans and other minorities being an integral part of the entire industry. We can all raise a glass to that!