The Interview


Many words come to mind when you mention the name Stu Bale to those who know him.

“Fuck that guy”, “Oh God, what’s happening now?” and most commonly “Fuck yes, this project is going to be amazing.” Glasgow born and bred he is a man out of time, quite frankly, with his irrefutable desire to explore every facet of the world around him mixed with his hedonistic love for all that is both good and bad for him it makes for a heady mix when you spend time with him. It’s intoxicating.

We spoke to him in this fucked up socially distanced world about his life and some other stuff and needless to say it didn’t’ disappoint.


ORA: Tell us about yourself in a couple of lines, who you are, what you do and why you do it?​

STU: I own Crucible, which is kind of like a playground for anyone that is interested in flavour. We have a a load of mad equipment that the majority of folk aren’t able to access and let them loose on it.

Alongside that we run our own consultancy company from there. We’re kinda like the Black Ops of bars help out a lot of people behind the scenes, writing peoples speeches, education programs for brands.

We also help people bring brand ideas to life. The dream used to be for people to own their own bar, now they want their own fucking gin or RTD or some shit which we actually really enjoy doing.

ORA: The last time I was in Crucible you had a youtube video of Gandalf smoking his pipe with some fucking intense music behind it on for hours, tell us a little bit more about your taste in music and the vibe it brings to your workplace?

STU: Ha! That wasn’t intense bro that was some gentle working music. James Murphy and Pat Mahoney Fabriclive 33. That CD is one of my all time favourites Music has always been important to me, I started going to legendary Glasgow institution Optimo when I was 17 and it is know for having a particularly diverse set of bangers.

The music in Crucible depends on what is going on at the time. I try not to keep it too wonky.


ORA: What’s in your glass right now?

STU: One of Gregor from Rapscallions burnt Lime sodas. He’s a rocket but he is making some damn tasty juice.

ORA: Gun to your handsome face, what one album do you take with you to the other side?

STU: Every New Year Optimo would give away a cd with the New Year Party ticket because they felt guilty about charging people. Optimo Live at West Runton Pavilion I think was the 2004 one so slightly before my time but I got hold of a copy of it and it is proper full boomfter.


ORA: In a world where everyone is dialling up their at home drinks-game, got any quick hacks to help them out? ​

STU: Get the balance between sweet and sour right. Pinch of salt normally helps. If it still tastes like shit chuck in a load of Ting that normally sorts things out.


ORA: You’ve put forward the infamous Buckfast Negroni for the signature drink for the tee, it’s insane there is a Vice article about it, how did that come about? ​

STU: I did the menu for the sadly departed Bad Sports bar in Hackney, and Vice caught wind of it one or another and decided to do an article on it. It was at 10 am for some dumb fucking reason and they were shocked that we were drinking it. The caffeine content is one of my favourite aspects of it I think that qualifies it as breakfast juice. And that mad shit you have in Ireland the brown bottle with extra caffeine! I swear I thought that was an urban myth until I saw it in the flesh. It would probably be illegal over here. Or most places. I fucking love Ireland. Idiots.

ORA: What are some of your favourite bars you’ve visited? ​

STU: My favourite bar in Dublin I can’t actually remember the name of, its a wee place upstairs, very green, very grumpy person working there very quiet. Was perfect. I’m sure you’ll know the one Oisin pointed it out.

I love the Pot Still in Glasgow.

Brilliant corners in London.

Bar Martha blew my mind in Tokyo.

Zoltan’s place in Budapest Boutiq is a ridiculous amount of fun. Last time I was there me, Erv (Trkyovsky) and Rhys (Ferguson) ended up acquiring a Trabant and trying to drive to Draculas castle. We need made it, the car was written off by the chief of Police in Romania he felt so bad he put us up for the night then gave us the blue light taxi to the castle.


ORA: Favourite place to smash a quick pre-shift meal? ​

STU: Generally I’m more of a fan of slipping the chef a sneaky pint and having a mid-shift meal.


ORA: If you weren’t doing Crucible or anything hospo-related, where do you think you would have ended up? ​ ​

AARON: Alarmingly I discovered the drinks industry, alcohol drugs and cigarettes while studying to become a dentist. Doesn’t bear thinking about.


ORA:  ​The sky is the limit – what is one thing you would love to achieve this year?

CIARÀN: I’m launching a product. (Not this t-shirt) . It’s good I am very happy with it.

The Apparel


Redemption comes in many forms, most pertinently to us it is often found in that first sip of a beer at the end of a long fucking day, that new pair of pristine kicks you’ve wanted for months or the feel of a crisp, fresh white tee before heading out to see some mates (at long, fucking last). These tees are a triumvirate of philosophes that we hold dear: devout belief in delicious drinks, bold colours and a fucking sense of humour.  


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