Arlie Dale’s Jug Liquors Celebrates Birthday Number Nine

Almost ten years ago….

Dikkins Liquor Store

Dikkins Liquor Store

How could downtown Salida not have a liquor store? Ever since Prohibition ended, F Street had been host to a bottle shop.

For years, local residents relied originally on Dikkins Liquor Store and later the Jug to find their libations. Sadly, the owners of the Jug closed the shop in 2001 due to family health issues. Essentially, it was gone.

Well, how about a real estate office instead? Nope. How about a massage studio? Nope. Salidans wanted their favorite liquor store back.

Chad Hixon

Chad Hixon

Fortunately, our heroes, Jerry, Sally and Chad Hixon, entered the scene and bought the former Jug property in the fall of 2003. They decided to run a specialty liquor store. With a focus on high-end wines, specialty liquors and craft beers, the Hixons opened the new version of the Jug on February 21, 2004.

So, the store had a new look and a new name (sort of) Owner Chad Hixon wanted to include his grandfather’s name in the full name of the bottle shop. Thus, Arlie Dale’s Jug Liquors it was.

Now Arlie Dale’s Jug is a nine-year Colorado institution. The store offers a selection of more than 300 wines and carries more than 200 microbrews and imports. And who doesn’t recognize the famous Jug logo on stickers, hoodies, koozies and hats around Salida, (and the US for that matter)?

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Here’s to the “Bourbon Legend”

© Decatur Wine & Spirits

© Decatur Wine & Spirits

Bourbon whiskey is pretty much badass. Not only is it uniquely an American spirit, but it also has been known, historically, to suppress coughs, add flavor to other liquors and beers, and not to mention, its distilleries were used to produce penicillin. Bourbon also made a guest appearance on Star Trek as Captain Kirk and Spock downed the amber liquid during a Wild West gunfight episode.

Its origin

Back in the1700’s, Scottish and Irish immigrants, who were also pretty B.A., began making whiskeys and distilling bourbon in Bourbon, Kentucky, which, ironically is mistakenly thought to be a dry county today ( A popular saying: “You can get a drink in Christian County but not in Bourbon County,” has led to this bourbon legend. Actually, Bourbon is a “wet” county, but no longer has any operating bourbon distilleries.

Painting by Emanuel Leutze

Painting by Emanuel Leutze

Supporting the troops

When the British were putting a halt to importing sugar and molasses, which were key for Rum production, colonists began to make bourbon instead.

Soldiers greatly appreciated it and took to bourbon during the Revolutionary War (sexcigarsbooze).

Medicinal magic (or so we thought)

In the 1800’s and into the earlier 1900’s, doctors also liked the smooth aspect of bourbon in terms of a cough suppressant. They often prescribed it — even to children. In fact, bourbon was such a popular way to treat coughs and sore throats that it was the only liquor, along with other whiskies and sacramental wine, that was legal from 1920-1933 during Prohibition. However, you had to have a doctor’s prescription to get the “Medical Bourbon.”

Today, doctors do not recommend alcohol as medicine, pointing out that it causes dehydration. Despite warnings from the medical community, people still make bourbon Hot Toddies to combat a cough and throat tickle. Additionally, in general, many people like the warming effect bourbon brings on.

“It definitely gives you a really warm rush throughout your body. It really warms you up; that’s why it’s a winter drink,” says bourbon fan Alison Manthey.

“I totally understand why the men with the funny little Scotty hats sat at the bar and sipped whiskey in Ireland when it was freezing and cold,” she adds.

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Tasty Terms

Painting by Antonio Casanova y Estorach

Painting by Antonio Casanova y Estorach

When connoisseurs talk about wine, it often sounds like they are referring to moody relatives with a lot of personality whom they just ran into at a family reunion.

It’s always so wonderful to see my noble, brilliant and mature grandmother. But wait… oh great. Here comes the buzz kill: my uncle who can be so austere, bitter and aggressive.

Where should I sit? Maybe at the table with my bright, focused and elegant cousin? But I’d probably have more fun with my other cousin and her friend who’s racy, foxy, hedonistic and complex.

Wine terminology has always gone along with swishing the glass, sniffing the wine and mentioning the bouquet (which is a desirable combination of several aromas)

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Taking Tequila Seriously

© Alan Light

Tequila = crazy, wild parties, questionable judgment, a submerged worm and Pee Wee Herman — right? Sometimes, sure, in the US. Mexico, however, takes its famous liquor very seriously. Tequila, which comes from the blue agave plant, is the national drink of Mexico and a symbol of cultural pride.

In the early 1990s, the country established The Tequila Regulatory Council (El Consejo Regulador del Tequila.) Essentially “tequila” is trademarked and no other country can use the name or officially distill the blue agave beverage as tequila.

In fact, there is actually a town called Tequila, which, of course, is where the liquor comes from. And the central Mexican region that includes Tequila as well as Guadalajara is the only place 100 percent agave tequila can be officially produced.

The tequila and agave region in Mexico
© Marrovi

Even adding flavor was a huge no-no in the eyes of the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico, which put the hammer down for many years on flavoring tequila. Distillers who added flavor to tequila could not call it “tequila.” Recently, however, the council eased the restrictions, allowing the name “tequila” to be used for flavored tequilas (except for pure 100 percent agave tequila.)

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A Pass You Can’t Pass Up

A driver’s license and a season pass to a ski resort may be the two most important IDs for a Coloradoan. Monarch Mountain’s One Planet One Pass is a prized possession for many residents of Chaffee, Fremont, Pueblo and El Paso counties. Why is a season pass to Monarch Mountain such a gem?

“Hometown Mountain”

Tailgating on the closing day

The nickname seems appropriate. The lift lines don’t snake around and around; the lift operators often address you by your name; you can tail gate in the parking lot and there’s a family friendly portion of the lodge where many skiers and snowboarders set up their crockpots and coolers.

Definitely, season pass holders say one of the attractions of Monarch is this laid back atmosphere.

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Word from the Grapevine

It’s almost the end of August already. One of Jug Liquors’s August Specials is The Antaño Tempranillo 2010. It’s a tasty and reasonable red wine that we’ve made even more reasonable!  

 Wine find: Antaño Tempranillo 2010 from Bodegas Antaño.

Real deal: $7.99 (originally $9.99) Buy a case and receive an additional 10 percent off, which results in an overall savings of 30%!!!

Origin: Spain. The growing regions include Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

© Fabio Ingrosso; Azienda Agricola Beconcini Pietro, il tempranillo della Toscana

Type of Grape: The black grape, Tempranillo, typically results in a full-bodied red wine with fruity aromas and hints of spice. Tempranillo generally don’t need a long growing season and are usually ready to go earlier than most red grapes in Spain. Consequently, the name comes from the Spanish word “temprano,” which means early. Tempranillo, translates as “little early one.”

Fun Fact: Known as the noble grape in Spain, Tempranillo also was grown in California in the early 1900s as the main ingredient in jug wines.

Antaño Tempranillo Review:

  The Good Wine Guru says:

Fruity aromas are followed by a very light, mellow Tempranillo with flavors of fruit and hints of spice.  The fruitiness of the wine is tempered quite well with tannins.  Will mix well with sharp cheeses or lightly spiced food.

Recommendation:  This is a nice and mellow Tempranillo that will mix very well with most foods, except those that are heavily spiced.  If you’re looking for a slightly more interesting red wine that you can enjoy with food or by itself, but that isn’t the usual bottle of merlot, this is definitely the bottle you should try.  However, if you’re looking for something that will add a lot to your meal, this probably isn’t the bottle of wine for you.  For the price it’s certainly worth a try, but don’t be expecting a bottle of wine that will change how you think of red wine or Tempranillo. (

© Agne27; Wikimedia Commons.