EP-059 Seth Putnam of Collective Quarterly

EP-059 Seth Putnam of Collective Quarterly

Seth has written for countless magazines, about fashion, travel, food and beverage, and over the years, he worked his way into the middle of some really interesting projects. He started an event series called The Overserved Society (which is still on a long hiatus), where he and a friend researched old cocktails and re-invented them for a private pop-up party somewhere in the city every couple of months. This is around the time I got to know Seth well and they‘re still some of my favorite all-time parties. And most recently he’s helped get a new magazine off the ground, called Collective Quarterly. It’s a stunning cultural document, with a really unique business model.

Now in it’s third issue, titled Mad River after the Vermont Landscape they explored together, the magazine seems to be gaining the traction they all hoped it would. It’s a growing group of artists, Collective is part of the concept after all, and Seth is just one small piece of it. So while we do talk about this project, which is all but consuming him at the moment, the larger discussion with Seth digs into his writing history as a beat reporter down in Louisiana, his aspirational college days, and how all of his ambitions and skills have routed him in to an area he hesitantly calls Soft Journalism. There are a lot of parallels here with Good Beer Hunting’s place in the world, where we aim to create cultural documents ourselves, not just the reporting, and when you’re embedded that deeply and emotionally in a story, everything changes, and it’s uncomfortable, it’s physically and mentally challenging, and hopefully, it’s beautiful.