Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Sustained Himself on Beer, Whiskey, and Deer Meat While He Was in That Cabin Recording For Emma ...

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The deer hunter.
The deer hunter. Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Last night, at the Bushmill’s "Since Way Back" event held at The Wooly, Grub Street got to grab a few minutes with Justin Vernon, the man behind Bon Iver. Since the mood at the party was so whiskey-saturated, we naturally wondered how Vernon whet his whistle while he was famously secluded in a Wisconsin cabin recording For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver’s debut. And the diet was about as rugged as you might expect.

The deer hunter.
The deer hunter. Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

"Leinenkugel’s," Vernon said was his beer of choice. "And whatever whiskey my dad had around that I could steal. And venison." Hold up, did he have to hunt his own? "Me and my brother always hunted growing up, but I wasn’t actually living there during the hunt." Still, Vernon says meat from that year’s deer was in the cabin. "I ate a bunch because I didn’t have any other food." Nothing at all? Well, Vernon admits, his dad — who he describes as the "Kurt Vonnegut of North Woods" — would "would drop in once in a while and get, like, eggs and, like beer and milk and stuff."