Unlike the other folks of the Northern Hemisphere, Americans endure winter. We hardly celebrate or embrace it, and when we do, it’s often expensive, like skiing, or specialized, like ice fishing. There isn’t much in the way of “winter culture.” When I talk to Finnish, Icelandic or Swedish friends, for whom this is a large part of their year, they are amazed we basically hunker down, hibernate, eat and get fat like bears, stay inside and simply wait for seasonal warmth. It’s where smoking a pipe can be a pleasant indoor or outdoor activity, as it can be social or it can be solo. I have always enjoyed smoking outside at any time of year. Sadly, there still isn’t much excitement unless you do it yourself.
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 394! Our featured interview tonight is a return visit with Per Georg Jensen. Most pipe enthusiasts know Per from The Mac Baren Tobacco Co. Last time, we talked about Georg Jensen Pipes, the pipe company that Per’s father started in the ’50s, which Per still helps run. This time Brian and Per will talk tobacco for which they both have a vast amount of knowledge and experience. In Pipe Parts, we launch a new segment for tobacco and drink pairings, and who better to talk to than me, Kevin Godbee, imbiber-extraordinaire. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
I had a chance to sit down with Chris Gawith and chat to him about his two brands, Samuel Gawith and Gawith and Hoggarth. It was an audio interview, so I have transcribed it as such.
Are you thinking about dropping one of the brands?
No, not at all. They are all made under the same roof; when Sam Gawith came over to us we bought the men, machinery, and the brands, basically everything just sort of moved, more or less all of them stayed, maybe one or two decided to move on. It has been run up to now as just their company under our roof, which works to a point. But now we’ve discovered what the demand is, but the two brands will remain as they are.
The problem with leaving it just at that stage which we are trying to address. You can’t operate as a business with two teams of people; we need to manage the equipment and the human resources to deliver what pipe smokers want us to deliver. Gawith Hoggarth can produce tobacco a lot quicker; it’s just the nature of how the tobacco is made at Samuel Gawith.
This is going to hurt you more than it does me. Well, maybe.
You know the adage you can lead a horse (I prefer a mule) to water but can’t make it drink!
Or the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
My favorite is you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Nah! That’s not quite right.
Here is the explanation: In my misguided youth, I smoked Sir Walter Raleigh in all my pipes, purchased from a B&M’s basket of pipes. El cheapos.
But a fuzzy, fossilized fellow behind a B&M tobacco bar told me to venture out. Try some of the tremendous aromatic tobacco blends available.
Last May I attended the Chicago Pipe Show, and the first person I saw was an Englishman named Reggie Stevens. Reg lives in Birmingham, England and speaks with the accent of someone who has lived in the north of England his whole life. He sounds a little like Ringo Starr.
“Reg!” I said, “It’s so good to see you!” as I gave him a big bear hug.
“Well, I’ll tell you, mate,” he said, “I’m feeling a little better now. My wife of 54 years died in January, and this is the first time I can feel the cloud lifting a little – because of all the love and friendship there is at this pipe show.”