Pocket-sized drinking buddies: Folks standing in the checkout line at Orange Street Food Farm may have noticed a new display of whimsical pewter figurines with the "Made in Montana" stamp. Those who looked twice no doubt discovered these aren't just cheesy run-of-the-mill collectibles. They're actually bottle openers fashioned to look like your stereotypical lush, and the tagline says it all: "Get a 'Little Drunk.'"
Where they come from: The Little Drunk line of bottle openers was developed by Hamilton artist Tim Joyner, who deals in Western-themed prints and sculptures. Joyner says he hatched the idea years ago and always got a chuckle out of his "Get a 'Little Drunk'" wordplay. The figurines, which just hit retail outlets in the region this month, go for $4.99 each and have been available on Joyner's website since the beginning of the year. Joyner says they've proven popular so far. In fact, he just put in an order for 900 more from the caster he contracts with in Kalispell.
Collect 'em all: Joyner has designed and marketed five different Little Drunks to start. The Indy recently picked up "Toasted Ted," the "wino" of Joyner's pewter crew. Joyner realizes that not everyone may appreciate his sense of humor, which is why he's double-marketing one of his Little Drunks as the "Montana cowboy" using separate packaging. Joyner's long-term goal with the figurines is to continue developing new characters to introduce to the lineup. "I'm a trinket-y kind of guy," he says.
Where to get a Little Drunk: Joyner's retail distribution is fairly small for now, mostly bars and grocery stores between Hamilton and Lincoln. We found ours at the Food Farm. The Little Drunks can also be found on his website at timjoyner.artistwebsites.com.