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
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
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."
DALE'S PALE ALE
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
ST. GEORGE IPA
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.