As editor of The Bitter Southerner, Chuck Reece channels the wide range of voices the South has to offer. Frustrated by how the media depicts southerners as either rednecks or goofy, polite people, Reece focused on stories and topics that shed an accurate portrayal of the region. However, the original inspiration for the magazine was sparked by a cocktail trip to New Orleans.
“I was fascinated with the revival of old style cocktails and I meet a bunch of old bartenders who really knew their trade. I came back home to Atlanta and I saw this magazine called Drinks International just put out a list of the fifty best cocktail bars in the world and not one of them was in the South. All these historic drinks came from New Orleans. How could there be no bars in the South on this list?”
Evolving from an idea to start a cocktail blog, The Bitter Southerner inspired Chuck to expand on bigger stories from the South rather than just mixed drinks. He wanted to create a publication to give a platform to the array of southern voices and their untold stories.
“There’s so much storytelling in everyone’s blood down here that I think it’s a great place to do the kind of stuff we’re doing at The Bitter Southerner.”
The magazine deals with short form and long form content. However, Chuck believes that the long form pieces are the best illustration the South’s voice. Focusing on old fashioned storytelling, The Bitter Southerner let’s authors dive deeper into their tales.
This lost art of southern storytelling helped the publication receive praise from Forbes, Southern Living, and Creative Loafing to name a few. Crafting innovative, poignant narratives from a healthy demographic of southern trail blazers, The Bitter Southerner continues to represent the South and its unique light.
“I think a southern audience generally has a little more patience to hear a whole story then wanting just bits of information thrown at them every three seconds. We found if we tell stories and we make them visually rich whenever possible it makes people want to engage with a longer, deeper story than they might otherwise want to do.”
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