Jun 21, 2018

Beer Break

Beer Break Vol. 3, No. 26
Would you like to own a bar?

April 10, 2003

Earlier this year we took a quick look at what it takes to hold what many of you would consider a fantasy job, being a professional brewer.


Let's try another job many of you must have dreamt about. Who wouldn't want to own a bar? You can put your favorite beers on tap, host beer dinners, cellar exotic beers and later sell what you don't drink for high prices, have brewers visit for special tastings, educate the public about specialty beer, ban televisions, and do whatever else you want to create the pub of your dreams.

The men and women who operate some of the best pubs in America will gladly tell you how great their job is.

"... I like to drink special beer and share it with my friends," said Tom Peters, co-owner of Monk's Café in Philadelphia. "You have a party every night. You are the host - you control the flow. You get to share your favorite things with your guests."

Andy Klubock, who runs three Summits Wayside Taverns in the Atlanta, Ga., area, says the hours are long, but that's good when you like your job. "I get to meet people and talk to people and drink beer with people. It's really that simple," he said.

Yes, drinking beer is part of the job. "Sampling the new beers is my favorite part," said John Clinger, who is partner in two KClinger's establishments in Pennsylvania, discussing the subject last year. "It's my only perk. The Kalamazoo beers (Bell's, Michigan) finally came into Pennsylvania. I'm trying all them that I can."

Before you quit your day job, consider this from Chris Black of the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver, who loves his job as much as any bar operator in the country.

One Saturday morning during the Great American Beer Festival, before most of the revelers were even thinking about getting out of bed, Black was back at the Falling Rock. Hose in hand, he carefully washed down the patio area in front of the bar.

"This is why so many people wish they had your job," he was told.

"Right, glamorous," Black said, breaking into his signature laugh. "But not as glamorous as dealing with the toilets."

The morning before the toilet in the downstairs women's bathroom was stopped up, and water was flowing out into the hallway. Fixing that was easy compared to keeping a urinal operating in the men's bathroom. When a boisterous customer broke off a four-inch section the only immediate solution was to patch it with epoxy. While Black was at work filling in holes in the ceramic, Don Younger - operator of the legendary Horse Brass Pub in Portland, Ore., for more than 25 years - wandered in.

"We started talking about how everyone else sees the other things, the selection of beers, hanging out with people like (beer authority) Michael Jackson, and the best brewers in the world. But he sees the things like I was doing because he's been there, too," Black said. "It may not be the glamour part of the job, but it's part of it, and I wouldn't have it any other way."

Tasting notes

Brewed by Oskar Blues in Colorado
This was the first Colorado craft beer to be sold in cans Michael Jackson writes:
Bubbly head. Bright, full orange color. Fruity, raspberry-like aroma. Long development of flavours in a lively interplay. "Barley-sugar" sweetness in a firm malt background. Fresh fruitiness, with hints of citrus. Very late hoppy dryness on the tongue, and a nice touch of acidity, in a spritzy finish. Surprisingly playful for a beer of 6.5%. The alcohol isn't obvious until later.

Brewed by St. George Brewing in Virginia
Roger Protz writes:
With a bronze color and a tightly-beaded head, it has juicy malt, spicy hops and tart fruit on the aroma. The palate has bitter hops and bitter orange fruit, underscored by biscuity malt. The finish is finely balance, with the hops finally dominating and leading to a dry bitterness. A fine companion for blue cheese or fondue dishes. As St. George brews British-style beers, I will once again mike the point that many modern IPAs are too dark; the originals used only pale malt.

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