For The Love of Beer

For The Love of Beer is a short video piece we put together to show why we do what we do. Our love of beer, and craft beer, has led us on a never-ending journey of discovery, sharing, and kinship, with brewers, beer drinkers, and beers themselves.

Being able to work with the beer industry at an incredibly exciting and innovative time is a privilege, a joy, and also a responsibility. We are responsible for staying true to the ideal of the brewers, and for delivering a variety of quality brews for fellow beer lovers.

Why do we do what we do?

Because it feels right. It’s who we are. It’s for the love of beer.

For The Love of Beer: Video Transcript

Ken Henricks: What do I love about beer? Is “everything” a good answer there?!

Jason Akemann: It is accessible to everyone.

Tracy Hurst: I think it pairs well with anything.

Chris Bisaillon: I love a good sessionable beer.

JA: It’s Ancient! Ancient people made this!

Bart Vivian: Beer is a communal beverage; it brings people together, and so what we don’t want to do is to intimidate people to the point that they are afraid to talk about what they really want.

KH: The driving factor behind the craft beer on draft was really one that stemmed from our love of beer.

CB: Beer to us is every man’s drink. Or every woman’s drink.

KH: With the different styles and flavor profiles that are coming to market now, every experience can be a new one. The Craft Beer segment of the industry os the only segment to have double digit growth, i think for the past five, six, seven years.

For The Love of Beer - draft beer tap handles

Nathan Hilding: With Old Town Pour House, we said how could we offer the same amount of beer [as a successful neighborhood craft beer bar] and do it in a unique way?

CB: We’ve got a great draft beer offering [at Old Town Pour House] – 144 taps here and 90 distinct varieties.

KH: This concept is possible now because of our suppliers, and their ability to bring us great craft beer in smaller vessels (5.1 gallon vessels), and so we have the opportunity to serve more varieties with the understanding that we can get through that product in a shorter period of time.

Building a list the size of Howells & Hood, for example, which has 114 draft beers available, current the most in the city of Chicago… it’s probably my favorite part of the job. I want to celebrate American craft beer, and give offerings within each style of beer that is available.

Rich Szydlo: Between the Pour Houses and Boundary and everything else [in Chicago], they have a good commitment to beer and local beer, so people know to come there to try these new beers.

KH: Between the Chicago representation and the best of the US craft beers, that makes up about 90% of the [Howells & Hood] list. With that other 10%, I like to bring in the unique to market and seasonal stuff that you aren’t going to find in a grocery store or in a neighborhood tavern.

It’s a tremendous amount of organization that has to happen to manage a keg room that sometimes has 400, 500, 600 kegs in there.

For The Love Of Beer - Keg Room at Howells & Hood

JA: I think the separator for us is what we have our staff learn and impart to the guest. Take the pressure off the guest – it’s a big list! Try and find out what they like and try and direct them in a way that’s going to make them try something that they may not have tried before.

Kristin Albert: We want to make sure that people are set up for success of selling craft beer, and providing a guest with that special experience, and knowing all about it.

RS: When you’ve got so many different varieties on draft, it lets me help people and guide them into new areas that they probably wouldn’t have been able to enjoy otherwise.

KH: Whether you are a 100 level beer drinker or a 400 level beer drinker, we want to have a celebratory experience around beer, with you.

BV: We can always get better. We can always know more. We can always get geekier and geekier about beer. The more we know about it, the more enthusiastic we are about it, the better we are able to serve our guests as they walk in the door.

JA: If we were doing anything else, it wouldn’t feel right. Because it’s not who we are.

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