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Exp Bar Rises to Our Video Game Cocktail Challenge

A little bit back I explored the best of the video game-inspired cocktails, and that's how I made the acquaintance Joe Fronczek of Exp Bar, based out of Lewisville, TX. It turns out that there is a huge community of gamers who are also mixologists. Folks like Fronczek and the people behind The Drunken Moogle run fantastic websites that perfectly blend alcoholic brotherhood with gaming camaraderie.

"The nerdy cocktail community is actually quite large," said Fronczek. "We are almost two years in and we have been pushing along and the community has been blossoming and growing larger and larger. It's much bigger than I ever fathomed."

Fronczek began his enterprise at an E3 party for Gears of War 3. He met Carlos Ferro, the voice of Dom, and wanted to have a drink with him. Fronczek knew that the people at Drunken Moogle had already crafted a Gears of War cocktail, but the bar didn't have all the necessary ingredients to produce it.

Undeterred, Fronczek invented a new rum-based concoction on the spot he calls the Domfather. Pleased with the result, he sent it to Drunken Moogle for review, and the success he had with it and other drinks he developed eventually led him to start Exp Bar on tumblr.

Fronczek is actually TABC-certified, and formerly tended a bar in Oklahoma. He doesn't currently work as a tender anymore, preferring to let drinking ramp up his gaming hobby instead.

"I feel that drinking extremely enhances gameplay when playing with friends, said Fronczek. "Nothing is more fun than playing with a group of friends and getting smashed."

After he saw my initial article about nerdy cocktails, he sent me a very nice email thanking me for featuring his God of War cocktail, and for making sure to credit and link to the original source (Note to bloggers and writers: You make a lot more friends this way than just uploading and not shouting out). Fronczek also invited me to make a drink challenge. I had only one character in mind.

My favorite game of all time is Final Fantasy VI. It's got steampunk before that was even cool, a huge cast of characters, great music, one of the last great character class-based battle systems, great graphics, just everything.

However, my favorite character in that game is one who is almost universally reviled. Umaro the Yeti is a secret character found in the second half of the game. You have to beat him in a fight, but once you do he is a loyal and powerful ally.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner