Over the last week or so the response to my questions: “What is your favorite pub, bar, tavern or restaurant… and why?” and “How do you name your beers?” has been most interesting.
The following are the answers to those two questions.
First: “What is your favorite pub, bar, tavern or restaurant… and why?”
My local is the Grey Lodge Public House in Philadelphia (6235 Frankford Ave.), some 30 miles from my house (Lawrenceville NJ lacks for decent taverns, just chains have the liquor licenses!)!!
The Grey Lodge, from the moment you enter the place, is as comfy as a favorite old shoe, with a mix of retirees from the neighborhood, beer geeks from all over the region, families dining upstairs on the excellent gastropub menu, couples canoodling at 2-tops along the wall and in the front windows of the place, and dart players gathering toward the rear of the first floor where the competition if fierce and entertaining.
The beer selection changes frequently on the craft-only beer menu, a dozen taps and the occasional surprise firkin atop the bar. The bartenders know the beer, but they're not pushy or opinionated about it, and bring samples when a customer is unfamiliar with a style or name. The Lodge is that rare combination of old-school neighborhood corner bar and quirky, sophisticated beer boite, and it has a strong gravitational pull on its patrons. When you're there, you never want to leave.
The answer to the second question: “How do you name your beers?”
Naming is the fun but also very hard these days. When you create a successful brand you want to tell a story. In that story the brand names of your beers should complete the circle of helping to tell the story and educate the consumer. In the old days you named the beers whatever you wanted and hoped no one else had that name in use, you could pay a lawyer to look it up but most of the time you asked for forgiveness afterwards. Now we live in an information age so with a quick google search you see if anyone else is using that name now. This makes it super hard especially with the massive growth of craft breweries and brands in their houses. I honestly do not think you can come up with another "hop" pun name but yet it seems every month someone does. The only thing I hate is when I see a brewery using a marketing company to give it a name, you can tell because that name does not have the soul of the brewery or the craft movement.
It is great to hear from readers and sharing their thoughts on all the fascinating aspects of beer and all that is connected to that timeless elixir of the soul.
Anyone who cares to debate that is invited to contact me directly…