“99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer….”
At Firestone’s Culinary Tavern we pride ourselves on the quality of our food. From sourcing the ingredients, to the preparation in the kitchen, to the final plating, Chef Dave Rusk takes great pride in putting dishes on the table that exceed our customers expectations.
That being said, it’s clear that about half our sales are of the liquid variety, and we take that seriously too. Manager Chris Tereyla has put together a wine list that reflects broad choices and prices, and has been recognized for its quality by The Wine Spectator. We’re proud of that. Our wines have enhanced many a brunch, lunch or dinner. But we also know that much of the jolly ambience that prevails after dinner, and on special days such as St. Patrick’s Day, is generated by our beer department.
We like to claim that we have the biggest selection of bottled beers and ales in Frederick County. That hasn’t been verified by audit, but I’ll stick with the story. I reviewed our beer and ale sales from July and early August and found that we sold 122 different brands of beer and ale by the bottle. Some are brewed practically next door, and some thousands of miles away. One of them actually comes from my nephew Adam’s Firestone & Walker brewery in California.
I remember from my college days having a choice of about four brands, often sold by the quart. What more could we need? A fancy night on the town might find a Heineken’s added to the list. Tastes, even among the college crowd (over 21, of course) are a lot more sophisticated these days.
To encourage folks to experiment with different brands, we started an Ale & Lager Club a few years ago. To become a member, you have to try 70 different ones (not all on the same night!). The bartenders keep a log of who buys what.Those who make it get their name on a special plaque by the door, and some other assorted perks. So far, we’ve had over 1,000 candidates sign up, and 46 now have their name on that plaque. I signed up myself, but I’m only about halfway there.
Our Beer Drinkers Wall of Honor
Apart from just enjoying the brews, pairing beers and ales with food has become quite trendy these days ( a far cry from “gimmee a cold one!”). We have put together a few special events just for that purpose, and no doubt there will be more to come. It’s been a lot of fun.