“a woman walks into a bar…” with Jeff Miller of Thrillist!

on 09/06/15 at 3:33 pm

a woman walks into a bar...

Girl-barfinalIt’s dark down here! My eyes have to adjust so I can find teddy bear, Jeff Miller, Thrillist’s Senior City Editor for Los Angeles. I was curious about someone who is able to hit up all the very coolest places and go to the very coolest events likes to drink and Jeff, super nice human, agreed to tell me.

We meet in Casey’s Irish Pub downtown where Jeff and his band, Black Crystal Wolf Kids, will be playing later that night. During our chat, he orders his go-to drink, an Old Fashioned! How did an Old Fashioned become his fallback when I would have expected it to be Fireball or Jäger? Well, years ago on a press trip, he went to the Jim Beam distillery in Kentucky, and “if the intent of the trip was to make me a bourbon drinker, it worked: they also distill Makers there, which is what I usually order, though I’ve been getting into ryes recently. High West is probably my favorite.” Excellent choices and an evolution from his “make-me-anything-with-citrus-elements guy” when he first started drinking cocktails. His confession that a Negroni is “not his thing” came as a bit of a shock…like, Really?! Negroni Week meant nothing to him (sad face). Ok, I’ll let that slide because not everybody digs gin and Campari.band

What about the beer scene here? “I think craft beer in LA is still on the precipice: there is a small, vocal group that’s onboard, but I don’t think it’s gone mainstream in the same way as, say, mixology bars did a few years ago — I think in one year we’ll be singing a different tune about it.” Agree. L.A.’s beer scene is still in the nascent stage with a long way to go before making it onto the must-go-to beer map. Especially with San Diego a heartbeat away. Well, without traffic.

While Jeff says he’s “not a huge beer drinker – too filling/carby”, he loves “anything wheaty…a good hefeweisen” and has “always had a problem being a “beer geek” because I can’t get through more than about one bitter beer in a seating, so IPAs don’t do it for me. But I find Hefes/ great lagers/ shandy’s hit the spot when I’m itching.” Hmmm, that sounds like a pretty good beer drinker to me!

You might be wondering what Jeff actually does as Thrillist Editor. Ok, if you could make up a fantasy job, it might go something like this: do whatever the hell you want, interview celebs and anyone who interests you, drink, play in your own band, have SoCal as your playground, do crazy shit like getting your butt hole steamed AND all you have to do is write about it – tongue-in-cheek style (we’re not going for a Pulitzer here) which is like writing in your diary about all the stupid fun you had this week. Yes, that job exists and it’s Jeff’s and he loves it. Loves it so much, he can’t imagine doing anything else. Seriously, he has got the world on a string!

If you’re not familiar with Thrillist, it’s a cool guy’s guide to eating/drinking/traveling/dressing/sex advice (hang on! coming soon on Fridays) delivered to your mailbox, daily, so you won’t be a dumbass and can be in-the-know about what’s going on. It started out as mostly dude stuff but with a demo now 50/50 male to female, it’s getting more gender neutral about its coverage. And that’s a good thing so now Jeff can cover lingerie fashion shows and get a Brazilian bikini wax so you don’t have to.

As employee #7, Jeff has seen Thrillist grow to today’s 350 employees who are almost all in New York and, probably at some time or other like in the middle of winter, wish they had his SoCal gig. In the last few years, Thrillist demo is getting broader, and the site has become more service-oriented, with features not soley targeted to their initial audience of young men.

And as far as trends go, Jeff is right there with his bushy beard that until a couple of weeks ago was entirely beaded from when he had it done on his trip to Jamaica. The last beads finally fell off and I think I just saw a picture of him with it dyed purple. On trend like I said. Oh, he has a beard stylist.


Jeff, two-fisted drinking, judging the Mix-Off mixology competition. See the 2 beads in his beard?