Im 5'8'', 170lbs. I have a gut(I love beer). I was wondering if I should eat at a deficit for a little while until I lose this excess fat and then start my bulk. Is this completely stupid?
Based solely on your measurements, it is likely that you don't have a large amount of weight to actually lose. That being said, it may be in your best interest to at least find out what your maintenance calorie intake is and then continue hitting that number while training how you would for your "bulk." Chances are that your training volume and intensity are not extremely high, thus you probably have room to increase the amount of work you are doing. IMO, in your situation, rather than delegating specific time periods to "cutting" and "bulking" it may be a better idea to simply train the way you would during your "bulk" while maintaining the amount of food you are eating and see how your body composition changes. There is a lot of research now showing that eating around maintenance or slightly above will yield similar results as that of a diet with significantly higher calories. However, the diet at or slightly above maintenance groups show much less fat gain.
If I was in your situation, I would begin tracking intake, find maintenance, and then begin training in the same way that I would if I was doing a "traditional bulk." I'd do it for a significant amount of time, evaluate my body composition, and then decide if I need to subtract some calories, or increase my workload in the gym.