Connecticut Should Turn Hartford into Nashville Northeast

26-year Connecticut resident here… and I admit our state kind of sucks. It’s better than it gets credit for though. I’d rather live here than Kansas or West Virginia, but we aren’t as cool as Tennessee or Texas. We are good at some things. Our location is mint. We have New York on our southeast boarder and Boston on the northeast. You could drive three hours and be in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island. I don’t even want to know how many billions of dollars get trucked through our state as a result (that we don’t get a dime from.) It’s also lowkey beautiful here. We have the ocean to our south, and the mountains to the north/northeast (ok hills to most but mountains to me.) We have New England charm in the east, and New York money all over the west. It’s the 6th richest state in the country, with a good quality of life.

Hartford, Connecticut, USA downtown cityscape.

So, what are the two things that hurt Connecticut and make it forgettable? In my opinion it’s the low state pride leading to a bad image, and lack of identity. Our government is often majority lib, so a lot of stupid decisions made. Everyone thinks we are stuck-up rich assholes, but really that’s the shoreline and New York boarder. Thats a very small part of our state. A lot of Connecticut folks are blue collar hard workers. Just because the state government only cares about helping the insurance industry and not its own residents, doesn’t mean we aren’t good people. A few years ago, we lost a bunch of our biggest companies like General Electric to Boston because they offered massive tax breaks we refused to match. Connecticut shoots itself in the foot a lot, but we still somehow keep going. With that being said, I have a plan to change the way the entire country views the state.

this beautiful tower sits on the Talcott mountain state park in Simsbury ct. you can also see the Hartford skyline from there.

Beer. Why is Nashville so popular? Broadway. Why would anyone go to New Orleans? Bourbon Street. What can you get at both? Beer. Hartford needs to rejuvenate its downtown area to make it a party center. Its already well setup. The XL Center (hockey/basketball), Dunkin Donuts Park (baseball), and Xfinity Theater (concerts) are all within a few miles of each other. We already have Pratt St. our little bar and club center. It’s a cute little start, but we need to make those a lot better. We need to make downtown Hartford so wild that people traveling to New York or Boston decide they need to make the hour trip to see it themselves. We need to make it so good that people coming up to Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine to ski or hike want to make Hartford a part of the side trip. It’s possible, it has to be good.

Let’s take it one step further. Let’s make Hartford the Northern Redneck city. First off, lets legalize anything. ConnVegas baby. Second, let’s get some Broadway type bars open up. Give me bars that have multiple levels and front windows that open up to the streets. Let’s get some live music going. It doesn’t have to be all country, but that would be the best. Lets get some other entertainment going. The Connecticut river runs right near the area I’m talking about, let’s get some party boats or river tours running. We have a convention center right near the bars, let’s bring in hunting and fishing expos more often. Let’s get cool investors to get in, why not have the “No Shoes Nation” bar by Kenny Chesney? He loves New England. Let’s have a Seth MacFarlane comedy bar. Why not get John Mayer to throw his name on a bar? A WWE bar? I mean there headquarters are located in CT. Aaron Lewis, The “Northern Redneck” bar? Fuck, Dana White is from CT, he would blow the city up. It would be wild and give CT a lot of identity for the first time.

Hartford is sandwiched between two of the biggest cities in the world, and it’s a sad, bankrupt, embarrassment of a city. It’s the gateway to New England. It should be absolutely flourishing. People come up here to ski, be outside, and recreate. Nashville was a dive of a city 20 years ago. Charlotte was a dive of a city 20 years ago. Hartford doesn’t need to be the dive that it is, it has a hell of a lot more to offer than those cities did back then. Rednecks need a haven, not everyone can afford to fly to Nashville. Let’s make that place Hartford. Let’s give Connecticut the identity it needs. Let’s make it so that I want to drive 30 minutes downtown and get a hotel and party on the strip. Will it ever happen? Absolutely not. But if Beats Beer Bonfires has anything to do with it, we will have a county bar sandwiched between two other celebrity bars.


I Thought We Had An Outlaw

Can we get our outlaw back? Luke Combs came out of the gate hot in 2017 with This One’s For You. To this day, that album might be my favorite of all time. The album highlighted by “When it Rains it Pours” and “Honky Tonk Highway” is iconic, and a game changing album. Then in 2019 we got What You See is What You Get another masterclass from Combs. Although I don’t think it was quite as good as its predecessor, it gave us “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and “1, 2 Many.” Then… Growin’ Up happened. Yikes. Luke Combs made it painfully obvious that he was no longer appealing to an audience that included me in it. “Doin’ This” sounded country don’t get me wrong, but it was kind of boring. There isn’t a drinking song on it, there isn’t a party song on it. Its kind of boring, pop, love songs or songs about time.

Naturally when Luke Combs announced he was going to change up his style a little bit on Gettin’ Old. I was excited. Did Luke realize after the poor performing first half of the album that people wanted more than poppy love songs? Well… kinda. “Hannah Ford Road” and “Back 40 Back” sound more rebelous country than a lot of his newer stuff but its missing something. Neither of those songs have any bite or edge to them, it feels like manufactured music that they are trying to sell to us. I’m not buying. “Fast Car” is a cover of an old Tracy Chapman song that went viral. Luke is sending it to pop radio. I just don’t understand, Luke rose up to be the biggest name in the genre and turned his back on everything that made him him.

Remember when Luke released “Can I Get an Outlaw” way back in the day? He sang about how country music sucks and Nashville needs a rough around the edges artist to come in and change the game. Then HE WAS THAT GUY and it worked. Then as soon as he hit the top he decided to sing the “pretty songs” that he trashed earlier. I don’t blame him for going after the big money. I’m sure selling out has tens of millions of dollars more attached to it than not selling out, but the overnight transition bothers me. I want to be a Luke Combs fan, hell I even spend $150 to stand in his pit this summer. Don’t forget about us Luke, the day 1s who propped you up when Nashville told you your music sucked.

This isn’t an article meant to bash Luke Combs. Authenticity right now is at an all-time high and an all-time low. On one hand you Hardy, basically saying I’m going to write and perform country because I’m the best at it, but I really want to do rock. You have Chase Rice saying fuck it to his pop sound, and then recording an album in his living room. Than you have the other side of it. Luke Combs, Jason Aldean, and Kelsea Ballerini all putting out shitty music because they know it makes them money, then trying to tell us country people that we are stupid for not liking it.

That’s my TED talk of the day. I’m tired of being bullied by big name artists that think there shit doesn’t stink. Just because you live in Nashville and own a Rizzini firearm doesn’t make you know what country is. Can you listen to it working a farm? Can you drink a beer to it? Can you cry to it when your girl leaves you, or when your granddaddy dies? Can you hang out around the bonfire and jam to it? That’s country. Don’t give me some pop infused LA inspired trap beat song and get mad at me when I hate it. Don’t give me 25 inorganic poppy love songs in a row and get mad at me when I hate it. Anyway, I’m going to listen to some George Strait now.


PBR Team Series: Power Rankings 1.0

The PBR team series is back! I’m a huge fan of the individual part of PBR since lets be honest, bull riding is an individual sport. But I also love the team series. The 8 teams bring an energy to PBR that will only help it grow. Last year, the last place Nashville Stampede upset the entire field and won the first ever team championship. It goes to show how close each of these teams are. This year, every team should be pissed off that they let the worst team in the PBR win the title. They should all be focused on bringing the title to their city. Lets break down who the best teams are in the PBR, who should be the favorites this year, and make our preseason championship picks.


To decide on how these power rankings, we took into consideration each teams rider performance in the 2023 season, as well as the 2022 team series regular season and final standings. Then we entered them into a formula to get the rankings.

8. Kansas City Outlaws

Kansas City is highlighted by a roster that includes Kyler Oliver. But with only 4 protected players, a last place finish in the 2022 playoffs, and a 7th place finish in the regular season, the Outlaws have some work to do.

7. Missouri Thunder

Like Kansas City, the Thunder have a lot of work to do. Andrew Alvidrez is a stud, but a weak roster around him hurts the Thunder. They finished 7th in the playoffs and 6th in the regular season last year, so the Thunder have nowhere to go but up from here.

6. Oklahoma Freedom

The Freedom are in the next class up. They have some big names on the roster, including Chase Outlaw and Jess Lockwood. Yet, the rest of the roster is littered with injuries and unperforming riders. The Freedom do benefit from finishing 4th in the playoffs and 3rd in the regular season. If this group can get healthy and consistent, they are a darkhorse for the 2023 championship.

5. Carolina Cowboys

The #1 team going into the first ever team series regular season, the Cowboys have taken a step back in 2023. They are led by studs Cooper Davis and Boudreaux Campbell. They also have the injured 2022 champion Daylon Swearingen on the team. If that big three can get together, Carolina can get back to being the darling of the PBR. Until then though, they ride a 5th place finish last year in the playoffs and 4th in the regular season to the #5 team in the power rankings.

4. Arizona Ridge Riders

Last year, my metrics hated the Ridge Riders. This year, they start the season in the top half of the power rankings. While they don’t have a top 5 rider, they have the three headed monster of Eduardo Aparecida, Keyshawn Whitehorse, and Luciano De Castro, all killing it in 2023. Arizona finished 5th in the regular season last year, but made a Cinderella type run to a 2nd place finish in the playoffs.

3. Texas Rattlers

Texas has to be excited about their team this year. While they don’t have the superstar’s name, they have 6 quality riders who can hang with anyone. Technically, all the top 3 teams actually tied in my metrics. The Rattlers get bumped below my other two teams because they have the 3rd best projected roster going into the season, below the other two. Still, Texas has as strong of a chance as anyone because they finished 3rd in the playoffs and 2nd in the regular season. Doesn’t get more consistent than that.

2. Austin Gamblers

Any team that has the #1 player in the sport has to love their chances. Austin has Jose Vitor Leme and Dalton Kasel, currently ranked 2nd and 3rd in the world on the team. They also have a solid squad around them capable of getting points. The Gamblers were the #1 team in the regular season last year but laid an egg and got embarrassed in the playoffs. They won’t let that happen again.

1. Nashville Stampede

I didn’t plan on having the reigning champions at the top of my rankings. Yet when you have the #1 roster going into this team season, and won the championship, it’s hard to deny Nashville. Let by world #1 Kaique Pacheco, and followed by another deep team, Nashville is in a great position to defend their title. They finished dead last in the regular season, but after going 4-0 in Las Vegas they shocked the world and took it all.

So this is power rankings 1.0 for the PBR team series. Power rankings 2.0 will come out after the 2023 draft. After that, it’ll come out starting in July. With the PBR world finals a few weeks away, I’m sure the rider rankings will change as well. Hopefully we can see a little bit of power ranking movement before the season even starts. PBR is starting to heat up, and I couldn’t be more excited!


I Need To Experience Texas

            Is it possible to have your favorite place in the entire world be somewhere you’ve never been? That’s how I feel about Texas. No, I’ve never been there. I’ve visited New Mexico, I flew over in when I went from Fort Lauderdale to Denver, but I’ve never touched Texas soil. I continue to hear stories about the freest state in the union. Stories of sad country songs and cowboys. Stories of rodeo, Friday night football at the local high school, and a slow cooked brisket by a bonfire. But no, I’ve never been to the great state of Texas.

            I’ve been a huge Cody Johnson fan since somewhere between 2013-2015. As I’m sure most of his older followers did, I was introduced to CoJo with “Diamond in my Pocket.” That led to some of my favorite songs, “Dance Her Home,” “Never Go Home Again,” and “Jesus Ain’t Watching” among many more. After having Cojo on repeat for months I decided to take a deeper dive into Texas. Surly if Cojo is a hidden gem, there had to be others, right? There absolutely are. At the time I got into Granger Smith and Aaron Watson, right before both dabbled in the mainstream success. More recently Texas has been on a heater with artists. Parker McCollum, Kolby Cooper, Corey Kent, and Casey Donahew are all on the way to being household names all over the country. The entire Texas country music industry is a sleeping giant, and as artists like Chase Rice, Ernest, and Warren Zeiders are even trying to develop styles made popular in the Lone Star State. The “Don’t Mess With Texas” playlist on apple music right now is my favorite, mixing national stars with up and coming artists like Austin Meade.

            The music isn’t the only thing about Texas that I love, bull riding is the best. PBR is the best show on dirt. Anytime a human wants to sit on a 2000-pound animal who wants to kill you I’m in. Right now, my boy Andrew Alvidrez is sitting 5th in the world in the PBR standings. Jose Vitor Leme, maybe the greatest bull rider ever, is positioning himself to win a third world title in just four years. Someday I’ll make it out to the World Finals, but until then I’ll just have to settle for the events in New York around me.

            General rodeo is badass as well. I’m certainly not knowledgably in it like I am PBR, but i watched Jimmy in Yellowstone one time. team roping is a sick event, two cowboys having to be perfectly in sync to knock down a calf as fast as possible. Its art to me. Barrell racing, which we do actually have around us up here in Connecticut is another favorite of mine. Rodeo is just sick because it’s all about teamwork between man and animal, or conquering animals trying to cause you harm, in a beautiful way.

            I love the art of ranching as well. In forestry, we learn that there is a balance between art and science in writing a management plan. It’s the same as ranching, theres a balance between raising cattle in an efficient and practical way, but also still doing it the cowboy way. I love knowledge, and I love people that are able to maintain tradition while also evolving with the times. Obviously not every rancher is this way, some haven’t changed the way things are run since the 1800s. I also enjoy the romanticized parts of ranching. Last November, I sat in a hottub on a backpoarch, overlooking at least 100 head of cattle, with the mountains in the background. It unlocked a part of me that I never knew was there. I strive to someday own a ranch like that and feel that way again. Sure, its hardwork, but when you were raised on working hard everyday you can overcome that.

            I’m sure Texas isn’t all glits and glamor. I’m sure that it’s a lot less like Broadway in Nashville and Yellowstone and much more of a grind. Still, I can’t imagine what its like to fire up the truck at 4 am, drive out to check the herd with Aaron Watson blasting out the speakers. Cowboy hat on the top and cowboy boots on the bottom. Then on Sunday going to a Rangers or Cowboys game to celebrate another hard week of work done. Can you love something you’ve never been apart of? Is Texas everything that I want it to be? Maybe someday I’ll find out, but for now, God Bless Texas.


Top 10 Country Artists I’d Like to Party With

10. Justin Moore

            Justin isn’t on this list because I see him as a modern day rockstar. I wouldn’t expect to see cocaine at a Justin Moore party. But he’s been my favorite singer since I got into country, and I can’t see not having him on the list. I’d be happy to just have a backyard BBQ with Justin, a few beers and a bonfire. A good ole country hangout would be enough of a party for me.

9. Lainey Wilson

            Lainey just seems like an awesome hang. I’m sure she would be fun at a party, but I want to attend a crawfish fry with her and listen to her tell the story of her rocket ship of a life. I’d want to talk about Yellowstone, working with Hardy, and where she sees her own music going. That would be an awesome time.

8. Chase Rice

            Chase just seems like a good time. He seems like the buddy that says, “damn that girl is hot” and then next thing you know he has his arm around her. He also seems like the guy that will just sit back and get drunk but watch everyone else be stupid around him. I mean, the dude owns bison. He’s cool. Throwing down with Chase on his bison farm would be legendary.

7. Michael Ray

            I think the Michael Ray crew is widely underrated. I’m sure Michael is an awesome hang. If he brings Tim Montana, even better. If Tim brings Travis Pastrana or Billy Gibbons… better. If Gibbons brings Nickelback… you see what I’m getting at. Micheal Ray seems like a good ole boy who gets a little bit of a bad reputation from his early music, but “Whiskey and Rain” and “Holy Water” are two of the most country songs I’ve heard in a long time. I’m down to booze with him anytime.

6. Jason Aldean

            Jason Aldean seems like the type of guy that has parties where everyone would wear white and drink fancy shit. Still, the guests at the parties would be insane. Dee Jay Silver, Chucks Wicks, and Donald Trump? Sign me up. Maybe the party would be at his massive mansion in Nashville. Maybe it would be down in Florida on some yacht. I wouldn’t be going to chill with Aldean expecting a camo redneck party, but it could be fun to hang with a bunch of rich conservatives.

5. Kid Rock

            Take everything I said about Jason Aldean but making it white trash. That’s exactly what I would expect from Kid Rock. I want beers flowing, extremely illegal drugs everywhere, and people driving around on quads. I want a massive bonfire that someone is dumping wood in using an excavator. I want kegs all over. I want the most redneck shit ever, and I’d expect that from Kid Rock.

4. Brian Kelly

            Give me a rager at the beach cowboys house on Daytona beach. I want some fruity beach drink in my hand, the waves in the background, and everyone in bathing suits in the sand. I’d imagine that’s exactly what it would be like to party with the former FGL singer. Give me the tropical dream party.

3. Koe Wetzel

            A party with Koe Wetzel should be how the hangover started. I’d expect to walk into the punk-country singers house, and then wake up in another state the next morning. I bet Koe goes hard, and I want to try and keep up.

2. Midland

            These guys are wildin. If you’ve never heard them on the “Bussin’ With the Boys” podcast, do it. I want all the shenanigans. I’d expect a lot of boozing, a lot of ball busting, and a wild night with Midland. They do have a cruise next year… maybe that would be a good time to go hang?

1. Morgan Wallen + Ernest + Hardy

            I’m going to cheat here. Obviously Hardy and Ernest should be on this list, but it felt kind of lame to have 30% of my list be those three. So I sandwiched them all together and I’d expect them all to be together when we throw down. Ernest has the kid, Hardy has the wife, and Morgan still has the wild side, but 1 night with these three all going 100% would be unbeatable. I can’t even imagine what a night with them would be like, but I’d be willing to bet it would be the best night I’d never remember.

            So this is my list. Who did I miss? Let me know in the comments!


The Reel Forestry and Reel Ranch Plan

I have to admit, I hate social media. I don’t see any value in it, I don’t care what 90% of people I follow post, and I’m pretty sure 99% of people that follow me don’t care what I have to post either. I’m very bad at it, I only make a post once every few months, and maybe have a few stories a week. If it were up to me, I’d never use it and let it go away. But, that’s not how the world works in 2023. People love social media. The biggest celebrities in the world right now are TikTok stars. Billions if not trillions of dollars are invested into it every year. Pat McAfee got paid 150 million dollars for three years just to say the words FanDuel. Its a wild world. It would be stupid to not try and get at least a tiny bit of the pie.

Beats Beer Bonfires was my first try at the world of social media and the internet. While nothing very notable has come from it yet, I’ve created some very exciting opportunities coming soon. I have a blog that does well, a good Instagram following, and hope for the future. However, I recently posted about two other projects I’ve been working on.

The first is Reel Forestry. Reel Forestry got created in 2020 after I graduated from college during a hiring freeze. The plan was to develop management plans for Connecticut landowners, then get my CT Foresters license and eventually execute the plans. At the time I had a major issue, I didn’t have a place to practice forestry. I had a few minor options of 1 or 2 acres, but not enough to get the full effect of writing a management plan. Eventually, I broke through the hiring freeze, got a job, and Reel Forestry was on the backburner. I never gave up on my dream though. I had the logo put on a Yeti cup, and still use it almost every day as a reminder of my dream. When Kayla and I purchased our property in 2023 and it had 10 acres, 9 of which are forest, I knew the dream was back on. Sure, I’ve been focused on the boring housework. Building things, moving things, redoing things, etc. has been consuming my time. But that’s coming to an end very soon. The weather is improving, and the Reel Forestry business plan is in development and ready to go.

The second logo I unveiled is the Reel Ranch logo. Yea I know, I live in Connecticut, we don’t have ranches. Yea I also know, ranches are out West. Sure, most ranchers will hate me for calling my little 10 acre plot of land in Connecticut a ranch. Ok fine, ranches are known for growing meat cows and I’m growing chickens and crops… its possible I have a farm. Guess what though, Reel Ranch sounds a lot more badass than “Reel Farm or Reel Agriculture” does. I’ve always had a soft spot for agriculture. I grew up surrounded by dairy farms. I went to E.O Smith High School and was a part of the FFA. Even in college for Forestry, I learned about Agroforestry and never wanted to talk about anything else. Shit, you can throw a cow in a forest, and both will thrive? Sign me up.

The first members of Reel Ranch
The first members of Reel Ranch

Reel Ranch is a project that I’m especially interested in because I want to learn. There is so much about agriculture that interests me in a way little else does. I don’t know anything about livestock besides cows give me cheeseburgers and chickens give me pork. I joined the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity trying to find people that would teach me about farming, but I found beer instead and forgot to ask the question. Agriculture is crazy to me. People only want to eat organic and non-GMO. Those same people however are the first to get mad over fertalizer emissions. They expect farmers to sell off pastures for more housing. Its bananas. I also am a sucker for the romanticized parts of farm life, as is anyone who watches Yellowstone by the way. I recently stayed in an Air Bnb in upstate New York, where I sat in a hot tub, with a beer in my hand, while a light snowfall came down, overlooking a pasture of hundreds of cows, with the Catskill mountains towering over me. I mean come on man, what’s better than that?

So yes, my sporadic and unorganized self has put more unnecessary work on my plate. I now have a full-time job, 3 business ventures that I’m exploring, learning how to be successful in the 21st century online, getting various licenses and certifications that I need, getting a house ready to show off to friends and family, and trying to maintain friendships and my relationship… I’m an extremely lucky man. I love every opportunity I have, and while I stress myself out for no reason trying to keep up, I wouldn’t trade any of this for the world. At some point I’ll have regular content, not just content talking about what I’m up to out for you to enjoy. For now here’s the plan for Reel Forestry and Reel Ranch!


The Offical Return of Beats Beer Bonfires

Beats Beer Bonfires is back fuckers! Just like half the characters in the Fast and Furious franchise, the brand is back from the dead and ready to fuck some shit up. I have a lot of explaining to do on where the site went, what I’ve been up to, and where we go from here. For all 5 of the people who take the time to read this, thank you for coming back to us. To the millions of people who will never see this, welcome to Beats Beer Bonfires and enjoy the ride.

What happened Beats Beer Bonfires?

Beats Beer Bonfires was a roller coaster of a ride that I didn’t expect. In December of 2020, I created the brand because of a bad breakup with another blog. I spent countless hours growing my blog, and hitting some huge milestones along the way. I received free tickets via Houston Bernard to a Granger Smith concert. Then I connected with and become friendly with Michael Ray. Finally, a few major country music “influencers” started stalking me over a blog that didn’t go over well. It was fun, but with the fun came the pressure to keep up, and it was weighing me down. Writing forced blogs isn’t fun, even if its topics I wanted to write about. The quality of my writing was diminishing. My level of effort towards Beats Beer Bonfires was suffering, and I needed stop with it. That’s when I killed Beats Beer Bonfires on Instagram, and stopped posting on the blog. I got the opportunity to join Raised Rowdy as well, a much bigger and more professional blog that this silly little thing ever will be.

I’ve very much enjoyed working with Raised Rowdy. I’ve gotten the chance to meet Nicky T, the founder and host of the site and the Raised Rowdy podcast. He’s an absolute legend in the game. He has his finger on the pulse of up-and-coming country music better than anyone in the industry. If you’re reading this blog, click this link right here to go to Raised Rowdy. Click around the site, give them a bunch of views, and support this tight knit group of people.

If you enjoyed Raised Rowdy so much, why are you leaving?

Raised Rowdy is a professional organization. They spend a lot of their time trying to promote artists that you and I won’t hear about for years. They can easily do this because most of the crew is in Nashville. That means they can attend industry events, such as Whiskey Jam and other writers’ rounds. Hell, they even host one, Rowdy on the Row, a must attend for anyone going to Nashville. Often, the first time you hear an artist on the radio they usually have been working in Nashville for 5-10 years. Raised Rowdy’s goal is to help promote the artists years 0-5 in the industry and become friendly with them. That way when an artist breaks out, Raised Rowdy can elevate with them. It’s a very cool concept. Raised Rowdy is playing the long game and with the level of commitment going towards the brand, I have no doubt they will be massive one day soon.

The key part of why I’m leaving Raised Rowdy is the first sentence of the last paragraph. When I joined Raised Rowdy, I knew what I was signing up for. I knew that I would have to be careful with what I said and how I said it. I had to balance my aggressive writing style with the fact that industry professionals would now be reading my content. At the time, that idea appealed to me. I wanted to try to take my blogging to the next level. I wanted to see if I could not only take one step forward but turn writing into a full-time career. I’ve learned that isn’t in the cards for me, at least not with this current path. I don’t enjoy screening myself or worrying about who might be reading what I have to say. I want to say it and move on. Now I want to double down and be very clear, Raised Rowdy is amazing, and I enjoyed my time working with them. I hope to maintain a relationship with Nick, and watch the entire Raised Rowdy crew continue to grow.

Why is Beats Beer Bonfires back?

I still love writing my dumb ideas. I’ve had a lot of ideas that aren’t Raised Rowdy appropriate that I have lined up and ready to go. I also don’t care about how anything does anymore. I don’t want to play the SEO game anymore (if you don’t know what SEO is, it’s a pain in the ass.) I don’t want to promote and develop Beats Beer Bonfires anymore. I don’t want to box myself into only writing about country music anymore. If I like it, I write it, I post it, I share it. Done. If 2 people or 2 million people read it, i’m content. It’s no longer something I’m trying to grow, it’s now just an outlet for the thoughts in my dumb brain.

I’ve also gone through a lot of personal changes in my life. My girlfriend and I have purchased a house… with 10 acres. My dream has always been to start a hobby farm, and now that I have the land to do it, I’m going to do it. I’m going to blog about my successes and failures related to that. Think Clarkson’s Farm, only instead of a rich hilarious British old man, i’m a poor American young adult who still drives a 2002 pickup because I can’t afford a truck payment. I’ve always wanted to start a forest management business also. 9 of my 10 acres are forest, so it’ll give me a lot of opportunities to practice gathering data and writing plans. Those blogs might be a little bit boring to some, but I hope it will lead to more knowledge of how forestry works.

I want to talk more about sports. My professional sports teams, the Yankees, Giants, Devils, and Heat are all good right now, and I’m enjoying it. UConn mens basketball just won a national title, and I live 15 minutes from campus. I got invited back to be a media member at the Worcester PBR event this year. I couldn’t make it, but I want to get back to covering PBR again. I want to up my NASCAR coverage as well. I fucking love NASCAR and I enjoyed watching the Daytona 500 this year than I did the Super Bowl.

Warning… This Part is Sappy and Vulnerable… Feel Free to Skip it

I also want to create a place of vulnerability that I never put on Beats Beer Bonfires before. In 2018-2021 I was a trainwreck mentally. I’m thankful that I have a college degree, but getting it fucked my head up. At one point, I was taking 22 college credit hours, working 25 hours per week, and trying to be an active member of my fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho. It was impossible and I tried to mask how stressed I constantly was, probably not well. When I finally graduated in 2020, I didn’t give myself a chance to enjoy my accomplishment. I wanted to move onto the next thing and put college behind me.

Also, during 2020 you might remember that little thing called Covid hit. In terms of the virus itself, I’m incredibly lucky because I or no one around me were affected long term healthwise. What affected me more was the fallout of the lockdowns. A lot of people in my life turn into extremist nut jobs, both left and right wing. This was compounded by the 2020 election, so I was always on eggshells about what I could say to who. Some of my closest friend’s pre-pandemic I’ve since had to separate myself from because I now can’t stand them. I learned a lot about humanity and lost a lot of respect for people because of how they acted when shit got weird.

I struggled to find a job for a while after college due to the massive hiring freeze. Often, I would apply for jobs, and they would tell me they were six months out until they would be able to hire me. I finally was able to fall into a good job and started saving to move out of my parents’ house. That took 3 years because of the housing market being insane, and rent being up 100% around me. That leads us to January of 2023, when I finally have been table to take control of the roller coaster.

Things have finally been on the way up. It starts January of 2022. My cousin called me on January 11th and asked me if I wanted to travel down to Tampa that weekend. He is a huge Eagles fan, and they were playing the Buccaneers in the playoffs. I had been in a massive rut, and I said there was no way I could make it. My brain was racing with all the reasons not to go… until I decided that I fucking needed it. I called him back and said yes, and the rest is history. That trip rebooted my brain. After that trip, I traveled to Miami, Nashville, and other trips that I’ve bragged about before (peep the instagram.) Then in December of 2022, I got lucky, and my house came along. Its not a dream house by any means. What it is though is the perfect house for two mid-20-year-olds. Its small, recently renovated and on 10 acres. Everything in my life has changed for the better and I trace it all back to that one mindset change a year ago.

Alright Chris, I get it, but I’m here for country music…

Alright mental health minute with Chris is over. Let’s get back to the fun stuff. The main topic of this website will still and always be country music. 2023 is going to be a massive year for that. Hardy, Justin Moore, and Brantley Gilbert are my three favorite artists. All three are releasing albums this year. Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs are the two biggest names in the country music and are releasing albums this year. It’s going to be a massive year for new music. There’s also a lot of artists on the verge of blowing up that I want to cover. Muscadine Bloodline, Kameron Marlowe, and Shane Profitt are among a few artists who are going to be huge very soon.

When I find an artist that I want to push the shit out of, I’ll be doing it. I’m the #1 Jade Eagleson guy that isn’t a member of his team. I will continue to be that. I’m going to be writing about how I 100% believe I introduced Hardy to the entire state of Maine a few years ago. I’d bet I can shotgun faster than Luke Combs, and I’ll be convincing you why. I love country music and as it enters a potential golden age, I want to be all over covering it.

So, you don’t want to promote a brand but are restarting a brand?

Yes… problem? I’m going to conjoin the Beats Beer Bonfires brand with the Chris Reel brand (cringy to say.) My socials are all going to be under my personal account. There is a Beats Beer Bonfires account still, but it’s hidden for now. The Beats Beer Bonfires blog is going to be my way of expanding on the internet. Since I stopped writing my monthly views increased by 25%. Why not start putting out more content and seeing where it goes. Perhaps people actually like me? I’m also going to up the country music content on my socials. Sorry to all the people that know me in real life but you’re going to know more about country music than you ever wanted to. All the things that you loved from following the old Beats Beers Bonfires account will be on my personal accounts going forward. It’s going to be a little bit weird; I admit that, but the beauty of it is I don’t give a fuck. It’s all for fun baby. I’m not going to be the only one part of the new Beats Beer Bonfires either, I’m bringing some old and new bloggers in with me…

Alright, so now what? This article is like 8 pages, can you end it?

I have a lot of fun stuff in store for the future… let’s get to it!


I’d Easily Win the Bussin’ With The Boys Beer Olympics

            The Bussin’ with the Boys squad recently talked about how they are holding a celebrity Beer Olympics this June. After careful consideration and hard work, I’d like to declare myself officially eligible to be invited to join. If the Bussin’ Boys really want a good control group, they would invite an average joe off the street to compete in the games… and I believe I’m the only one declaring myself eligible. Secret time though, Will and Taylor can’t read this, I’m going to turn myself into a Beer Olympics machine in the next few months. I also believe that I have the strategy to distract my other competition and EASILY win the Bussin’ with the Boys Beer Olympics.

The Bussin’ Boys

            The first two teams that I would have to beat are Taylor and Will, the boys themselves. Will is easy, get him three beers deep and he’s already distracted. Then, part of my training will be to learn all the history of Nebraska football to chirp Will with. This will cause him to get flustered and lose focus. Once that happens, the drinking will speed up, and just like that Will is useless.

            Taylor is a little harder to crack I’d say. Maybe I’d show up wearing a TCU or Ohio State jersey? Maybe I’d figure something out to get him insecure, like talk about his legs? To be honest with you, I think Taylor will be more focused on his hosting duties than winning, so it shouldn’t be all that hard to take him out.

Will thought I just wanted a picture, I was actually sizing him up knowing this day would come…

The Heavy Hitters

            Let me just get on the record and say, no I cannot beat Shane Gillis drinking. The best part is though, I won’t have to. I’ll constantly be challenging Shane to shot gun races, chug offs, and any other way to get as much beer into his body as possible. The trick is, I’ll purposely throw them and not drink much. I can take getting wildly embarrassed a few times by him to win the trophy. Shane seems like a very self-aware drunk, but hopefully being around all his friends lets him lower his walls, letting the alcohol to his brain faster, and making him sloppy in games like flip cup and beer pong.

            Bert Kreisher is so easy. Just get him talking and distracted. Bert is like a windup top; I’d just say hi and watch him go. I bet Bert wouldn’t even know what game we were playing because he would be talking about the time, he went sky diving onto the top of Mount St. Helena as it was erupting for tv. Like Shane, Bert can easily outdrink me all day, I’d just try to out whit them.

            Jelly Roll has me worried the most. While I’m over here drinking (insert future sponsor beer name here) Jelly is downing entire bottles of whiskey. I would turn to another weakness of his, drugs. I don’t know much about drugs, I don’t do drugs myself, but I know that being cross faded sucks. So naturally that’s what I would be doing to Jelly Roll. “Hey Jelly, you haven’t smoked your blunt recently” or “Hey Jelly, you look like you’re sobering up” would be common things I said to him. Besides that, I might just have to focus on my personal training, and hope that what I do up in Connecticut travels well to Nashville.

            Ernest is another heavy hitter, who I don’t think I’m as worried about anymore. Ernest has a kid, and I think that slowed his drinking down substantially. I think the Beer Olympics would be his day off from the whole dad thing, and as a result he would just be getting loose regardless of how he was performing. That’s where my training would kick in, and I’ll knock Ernest right out of the competition.

The Athletes

            This one is easy. I have a massive advantage over the potential athletes that might be there because while they are out lifting weights, I’m lifting cans. While they are hydrating with Gatorade, I’m dehydrating with (sponsored beer name.) The biggest thing that worries me about athletes is they are generally naturally good at stuff, and they have the competitive drive to win everything. I’m a slightly overweight 26-year-old who used to be able to throw a pig skin a quarter mile, but not anymore. I would fall back on my reps that I’m going to acquire over the next few months and my tolerance to outlast any athlete that gets in my way.

            George Kittle has me the most worried. Sure, NFL linemen I’m sure are all studs, but I think Kittle is the sneaky underdog. The TE grew up in Wisconsin and played football at Iowa. I’m pretty sure both states only know how to farm and drink, so Kittle gets the benefits of strong roots. He is a Cali boy now though, and I think that has weakened him a little bit. I also think he’s the guy you can butter up a little bit. I wouldn’t be a kiss ass, but I’d certainly watch some of his career highlights and ask some questions about them during competition. When his guard is down though, bam I’ll slam the door and knock him out. Another easy dub for your boy.

The Comedians

            Any comedian that isn’t sober is usually an alcoholic it seems. That worries me a little bit, they get down way more often than I do. I think that creates sloppiness. Like Bert, a lot of comedians like to talk, so I’d simply just get them talking and distracted. I might not be able to outright outdrink any comedians, but through the next few months of training I’ll take my ability to focus from an 8-year-old at a candy store to a hawk stalking its prey for hours on end before finally striking. Comedians, easy dub.


            I’d imagine that any celebrity drinking event in Nashville is going to have country singers involved, and I hope it does… all easy dubs. This isn’t a question of who can catch a beer from backstage, drink half of it and then throw it into the crowd, this is the Beer Olympics. You must be able to drink more than three beers, and a lot of country singers are soft nowadays. I’m a country music fan, this entire blog is about country music, but I don’t exactly have a lot of stories about country artists ability to drink on here. In fact, I’m pretty sure most of them are sober. So again… easy w for me.

The Training

            Training starts now for your boy. I’m not sure what games will be played but bet your ass I’ll be a master at flip cup, slap cup, beer pong, chugging, shot gunning, cornhole, and any other skill that will lead me to win. It’ll be a tough road ahead, but just like the Karate Kid, Rocky, and Mr. Incredible, I’ll train until I prevail.

My Partner

            I’m not exactly sure who I would get as a partner yet, but they must be tested. I need someone who can not only hold their own with beer drinking but help me execute my plan. I need someone who is willing to give up the next few months of their lives to become a Beer Olympic weapon just like me. Someone who can help me not look like a dumbass when I get in over my head and get way to drunk way to early. A Beer Olympics qualifier might be necessary to pick that person.

In Conclusion

            Listen Taylor, we will bring the good vibes. We will shake the hands, smile, not be weird around the celebrities you invite, but don’t be mistaken, we want to win. We will be laughing it up with everyone else, but we will always have one eye on the trophy that night. We might not be celebrities (although Beats Beer Bonfires would grow exponentially if we got invited) but we are the dark horse you need in the tournament. Invite us if you dare, and if you aren’t too afraid to, we will see ya ready to rock.