Fabian Rodriguez

Who is Fabian?

Co-founder and CEO of the Drink Culture Podcast


Q. Are you an Indy native?

No. I was born just outside of Chicago, but I’ve been in Indiana since I was 13. I moved to Indianapolis in 2010 so I’m pretty much a Hoosier now.
 

Q. You and Jared Byczko founded the podcast in 2017. How did the two of you team up, and what was your reason for starting the podcast?

So I’ve known Jared since about 2012 when I started working out at his gym, Naptown Fitness. We became good friends over the years and really bonded over our love of bourbon and beer. In April of 2017, I sent Jared a text message and asked him if he wanted to start a podcast with me and he said yes. At that time we were both really into this podcast called Bourbon Pursuit. It was really the inspiration for starting our show. We thought that we could be the Indianapolis version of it, but we soon found out that we didn’t know nearly enough about bourbon or beer to actually sustain a show. That’s when we decided to transition from a show where we were doing all the talking to a show where we would interview experts and let them do the talking to educate our audience.
 

Q. What’s the gist of Drink Culture?

We talk to cool people doing cool stuff in Indianapolis. It’s basically a hyper-local version of the How I Built This podcast, and these days it’s all about trying to add to the culture of Indianapolis via our mission, to strengthen and inspire communities through storytelling.
 

Q. Having sipped plenty of beverages over the course of the podcast, surely you’ve discovered some favorites. What’s your go-to beer, wine, coffee, cocktail, or spirit?

I love IPAs and sours so a few of my go-to spots for those would either be Tomlinson Tap Room, La Margarita, or The Koelschip. I love trying new beers, so unfortunately I can’t name a favorite.

Tomlinson Tap Room

Q. I won’t ask you to pick a favorite (unless you want to!), but can you recall one or two episodes that really stood out to you? Maybe you gained a new perspective, you cried, you were inspired to try something new, etc.

I think that the interview we did with Artie Stevens will always be my favorite. Artie was a great friend of Jared’s, and I knew him for a few years as well through the gym. He owned Artie’s Paleo on the Go/Artie’s on Central. Artie had a great redemption story. He overcame drug addiction and had hit his rock bottom, but through faith and the help of his mentors he got sober and eventually started his own business. Artie died unexpectedly about a month after our interview. I feel so grateful that we were able to immortalize his story through our podcast so that we could share that with his family and hopefully inspire other people who have ever felt like they hit rock bottom and didn’t have an opportunity to change their life.
 
 
 

Q. Any dream guests to come on the podcast?

Andrew Luck, Victor Oladipo, Pete Buttigieg, Terry Gross, Mayor Joe Hogsett, Guy Raz, Ashley & Brit from Crime Junkies…I can keep going!
 

Q. Where in Indy do you like to enjoy a good meal, and why? Feel free to mention specific dishes. 

I love Napolese. My wife and I had one of our first dates there after moving to Indy and it is still a place that we love to take our guests when they come to visit from out of town. Start with the olives, move on to the roasted beet salad, split the Hamaker’s Corner pizza, and finish the meal with a pistachio gelato. And don’t forget the wine!
 
Napolese

Q. People love knowing about the hidden gems of a city. Care to reveal any of your favorite hidden gems in Indy?

Carniceria Guanajuato on Pike Plaza Road within International Marketplace. Order the meat table. Also, Central Library. This place really isn’t hidden, but it’s certainly a gem. I love to sneak in there to get work done in their study rooms.
 

Q. Is there a neighborhood within the city that you enjoy spending time in, just hanging out and soaking in the vibe?

Fountain Square. Some of my earliest memories and what really made me love Indianapolis include dinner and drinks at La Margarita. FSQ has changed so much since those days and now, through the podcast, I’ve become friends with many people who own businesses there so I love going out there to support what they’re doing.
 

Q. Describe your perfect day in Indy. What would you do, and where would you go? 

It would definitely be a Saturday in the summer. Wake up, head downtown for a workout at Naptown Fitness, swing over for a coffee at Foundry or Provider afterward or, if I’m really hungry, brunch at The Garden Table. Hit up the pool at a friend’s apartment downtown, then head out for drinks at a few of my favorite watering holes (8th Day, Sun King, or the new Upland in Fountain Square).  Early dinner on the patio at Black Market and a live show at an outdoor venue downtown.
 
8th Day Distillery
 

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