Tucker Hutchinson has had quite the career. After getting fired from his finance job in New York City, he joined the Obama campaign in 2008 before heading abroad to teach English in Seoul, South Korea. Since then, he’s co-founded Go Overseas, an online resource that simplifies the process for going overseas to work, volunteer, study abroad, or even take a gap year. Tucker and I met up at Jupiter – a brewpub in Berkeley, CA – to talk all things related to going abroad, traveling in Asia, and of course, to drink some of Jupiter’s creamy in-house brews.
Jupiter – Berkeley, CA
Jupiter is a “Berkeley institution.” They are known for their in-house beer, their wood-fired pizza, as well as their massive patio, which is awesome in the summertime. The place is now 25-years-old, and has some pretty awesome Gothic-inspired architecture, all the way down to the pews salvaged from an old Presbyterian church.
- IBUs (International Bittering Units) are used to quantify the bitterness of a particularly beer. I forgot what these were when we were doing the interview. There’s a lot of chemistry that goes into this measurement, so that’s as far as I’m going to go in this description. Wikipedia is really helpful if you’d like to learn more.
- GoOverseas.com provides listings and reviews for programs abroad, including studying, working, and volunteering to name a few. Think of it as the Yelp! or Trip Advisor of overseas programs.
- While Tucker did not study abroad in college, his first long-term experience overseas was teaching English in South Korea in 2010 and 2011, a formative experience that helped bring about Go Overseas.
- We recorded this episode while it was snowing in New York City. Needless to say it was not snowing in Berkeley…
- After losing his job in the fall of 2008, Tucker went and volunteered for the Obama campaign, where he met his co-founder Mitch, and then proceeded to go teach English in South Korea.
- Tucker feels the best way to get in an “alternative” study abroad program is to take a “gap year” – a year off – which has been common in Europe and Australia for years, but is just now picking up in the US. He also recommends doing this between high school and college, although after college is great too.
- Another “study abroad hack” to save money is to do “direct enroll” with a university overseas for a semester rather than going through your university. There are pros and cons to this approach, but it will save you money.
- Round 2 starts off with the ultimate creamy mouthfeel.
- Tucker’s drinking story happened during a post-Korea 7-week-long trip across Southeast Asia with his college buddy Dan. While playing a drinking card game with a bunch of Brits while drinking Thai vodka, 2 Germans had to…well, you’ll just have to listen.
- OHIOOOOOOOOOOO! (read: We talk about Ohio.) Tucker paints a pretty cool picture of what it’s like to serve on a political campaign in a state that’s not your own.
- Regarding teaching English in South Korea: “Kids…they say the darndest things!”
- Tucker downloaded the entire Harry Potter series while in Korea. No, not the audio books, not the movies…the actual manuscript.
- Drinking culture is big in South Korea. Corporate teams will go out drinking often. Tucker gives us a quick rundown of Korean drinking customs, including the country’s national drink – soju – as well as 24-hour karaoke joints.
- For the best all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ and soju in the Bay Area, hit up YakiniQ in Japantown.
- If he could grab a drink with anyone, Tucker would grab a drink with Barack Obama, his “favorite guy.” Unfortunately, when Tucker met Barack, he was not available to split a bottle of soju.
- After a couple of drinks, Tucker will own you at Catchphrase and Heads Up.
- Go Overseas sets themselves apart with their rockstar dream team. Expect to see them get into adventure travel soon, with other exciting developments on the horizon…
Drinks of the Show:
- Jupiter Amber Ale – 5.9% 28IBU – “Our take on an extra special bitter. A brew with toasted malty flavors and subtle earthy hop character.” Oh, and it has a beautiful color. Thanks Tucker…
- Jupiter Dry Stout – 4.8% 28IBU – Definitely smooth and roasty. This nitrogen stout had some chocolate notes and a dry finish. Most importantly, it has the “ultimate creamy mouthfeel.”
Tucker’s Favorite Bars & Restaurants in Berkeley:
- Comal – A bomb Mexican restaurant with a mean Mezcal cocktail. They have a secluded rear patio and al fresco beer garden + fire pit, and as far as the cuisine goes, Executive Chef Matt Gandin gets inspiration for his dishes from Oaxaca and neighboring coastal regions.
- Tupper & Reed – Another great cocktail joint located just down the street, they feature table-side cocktail service, and are housed in a nearly 100-year-old building that used to be home to a music store.
- Angeline’s Kitchen – This New Orleans-style restaurant probably has the best fried chicken “this side of the Sierras”…I also just found out that they do spring crawfish boils, which I’m pretty stoked about!
Resources for When You’re Sober:
Seriously, check out GoOverseas.com! Whether you’re planning to study, volunteer, or work abroad, or even take a gap year, they have the resources and programs to help you, well, go overseas!
Connect/Drink with Tucker:
Hop in a space ship! Lol, just kidding…Jupiter is located at 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704. Bar hours are 11:30am-12:30am Monday through Thursday, 11:30am-1:30am Friday, 12pm-1:30am Saturday, and 12-11:30pm Sunday.