When Mike Selberg, owner of Cannon Beach Distillery, picked up the phone and heard the caller was from the show “Booze Traveler” on the Travel Channel he was surprised and excited. He says his rums have won many awards, such as his “Donlon Shanks” Amber Rum that won best in class in 2014, so that probably helped put him on the show’s radar. Plus, he says, “Cannon Beach just speaks for itself, it’s such a great place.”
Selberg did a phone interview, then worked with the production manager on what she wanted it to look like. From time to time they would touch base again, then they finally showed up a few months later. “They were putting together an episode of many places in the region and whittled it down to include us. Even then, after filming, there was no guarantee we would end up in the final version,” explains Selberg. Finally, he says, it took almost a year from beginning to the show finally airing. And he didn’t know if he was in it until it appeared on TV. The show aired Season 4, Episode 6, called “Wet and Wild Pacific Northwest.”
“The original plan was to do a bonfire on the beach and get some clams and do a little clam bake bonfire. But I don’t think they knew too much about the Pacific Northwest in the fall,” laughs Selberg. So he met the host, Jack Maxwell, on the beach where they walked around and talked a little bit about the options, quickly realizing a clam bake wasn’t going to work. So he took them back to his distillery and showed them around.
Selberg reports that he enjoyed his visit with Maxwell. “It was really cool just to walk around with him on the beach. He’s very personable, a really nice guy. Very authentic. He’s soft-spoken off camera but he gets very excited and boisterous when he talks about how much he likes rum and brandies, and what he likes to drink. He’s really used to how they shoot so he was only sipping. They told us to take it easy too, they were going to be doing a lot of shots,” he laughs.
Once the crew finished at Cannon Beach Distillery, they asked for suggestions for a good place to have lunch. He showed them where he likes to eat, which happens to be the nearby Cannon Beach Hardware Store and Public House. General Manager Brooke Lynn Neuwirth tells about that experience.
“Walking in the back door, Jack Maxwell was very confused, wondering why he was going to a hardware store for a drink. That was genuine,” laughs Neuwirth. “He was honestly surprised and taken aback by what we are. We have some restaurant tables back there and he didn’t understand why they would be next to screws and bolts.”
She was busy bar-tending and also not comfortable going on camera so they brought in the owner, Ryan Dewey. Onscreen he talked with Maxwell about the origins of the idea of a bar and hardware store, ironically a place Dewey and Maxwell had actually both been to in Dingle, Ireland called Foxy John’s.
Neuwirth says that the hardware store and public house are exactly what they seem to be. “It can be hard to drive clear to Warrenton or Seaside during bad weather or the busy tourist season, so we need the hardware store here,” she explains.
She goes on to describe how Maxwell was there for about two hours doing the interview while the crew spent five or six hours taking different shots. Neuwirth echoed Selberg’s comment on the way that Maxwell just sips drinks and advised the rest to do so as well. “If he drank as much as they shoot, that could go bad fast,” she laughs.
Since the visit to the hardware store and public house was spontaneous, they didn’t have any pre-planning. And they also didn’t know they made the episode until it aired. “They had told us they were looking for different cool spots to check out and that they may film like ten businesses but only end up showing six,” explains Neuwirth.
Selberg says it was fascinating to watch the crew. “They have a really good crew of people who all travel the world together, they’re really tight. It’s interesting to see their perspective and it’s flattering when they like your town.” Selberg also reports that he hasn’t noticed a lot of change in his business since the show aired, but he’s hearing more talk around town lately about the episode.
“People are asking where these places are that were on the Booze Traveler,” he smiles.