Taking One For The Team

Most people seem to think that being a bartender is a pretty great job, especially at a place like Bailey’s. What they fail to realize is the level of sacrifice one makes day in and day out to know everything that passes through those tap handles. And as usual, that tyrannical boss of mine isn’t making it any easier. I came in this past Monday to catch up on a few new beers that had just been put on. Sixty ounces later, I’m stumbling out of the bar at one in the morning, shaken, but at least feeling confident that I knew what beers were what and which were my favorites and which I could in good conscience recommend to all you beer loving patriots out there. But by the time I had recovered from my Monday night gauntlet and arrived back at Bailey’s on Thursday to start my usual shift, what did I see? Six—count ‘em six—new beers on tap. In two days’ time?!

Geoff does this to me all the time. As soon as I’m caught up, he pulls the rug out from underneath me by selling a whole lot of beer and then putting new, fresh, delicious beers on tap to replace them. And all of a sudden, I’m right back to where I started. Thanks a lot, you despot!

There’s six new beers on tap that I haven’t tried: Deschutes Cinder Cone Red (Nitro), North Coast Brother Thelonious Belgian Dubbel, Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA, Alaskan Smoked Porter 2006, Pike Naughty Nellie Golden Ale, and Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA.

You see my dilemma.

How can I do my job without knowing these beers backwards and forwards, inside and out? How can I look a desperate customer in their sweat drenched face and tell them I don’t know whether the Blue Dot or the Elysian Avatar is the better IPA because I haven’t tried them yet? How can I lock eyes with a thirsty stranger and admit that my knowledge of the Alaskan Smoked Porter or the Brother Thelonious is based solely on my experience trying them in the bottle several months ago? I can’t, beer god damn it. I can’t.

So what I’m going to have to do is come in tonight and try these six new beers, and maybe have an extra couple of pints of the Anderson Valley Summer Solstice and the Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere afterwards to wash it all down. And then maybe chase that with a snifter of the Train Wreck.

I hope you folks appreciate the sacrifices I make for you. I really do.

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