Starting a small Tavern in rural Northern California. Barley and Hops Tavern catalogs the trials and tribulations of the restaurant biz, and teaching wine country to love beer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The recap of our grandest of openings had been further delayed due to certain relatives holding the photos cataloging this momentous occasion hostage. You see, in order to simultaneously pour 5-6 pints of beer like a sort of demented octopus, I ran out of appropriate appendages for camera operation. Luckily, family members, and a certain server documented the occasion with a camera of her own- but neither have provided me with photographic evidence, backing up my assertion that we were, indeed, slammin'.

For all YOU, my audience knows, Barley and Hops Tavern had not a creature stirring (not even a mouse...)

Alas, the opposite was true.

First, our friends, the A's showed up. The A's, Aaron and Amy, are married couple; a team of sorts. A Team. A-Team. See where I went with that? Yeah, the A-Team showed up. Let me tell you something about the A's - they are always there for the long haul.

Once, my lovely wife and myself went to Treasure Island for a music festival with the A's. For those of you from somewhere other than the greater San Francisco area, Treasure Island is an artificial island right smack in the middle of the Bay Bridge, and was built sometime in the 30's to commemorate the building of the Bay and Golden Gate bridge. But my point is that I'm not a big Heineken fan. You see, as much as we love music festivals, Aaron and myself, and the girls, really enjoy a fine sudsy beer. However, even after checking booth after booth, stand after stand, and tent after tent- the obvious became apparent: this was sponsored by Heineken, and if we wanted a beer, well gosh damn it, it would be a snarking Heineken. So we had a few dozen and stuck with it, all the way through the show, even though Heineken is the Budweiser of the Netherlands (which is, in turn, the Holland of Europe).

So the A's planted their respective asses on our extraordinarily comfy barstools and stayed for about 90 or so of our finest beers, from the early afternoon, until whatever time it was when we got home, which was some hour that we didn't realize clocks had, as we'd never been awake for it before. They stuck with it, which I suppose makes us a bit like Heineken, but with more hops.

In addition, my family and extended family came to wish us well, eat our food, and leave large tips. Dad is a musician. His name is Andy T, and I can only guess the T stands for turnip or maybe torque converter. He brought Howard, the bass player and my server, Rachel- her brother flew out to play the drum kit, which I supplied. I also sat in for a song and sucked. It was awesome, and by awesome, I mean rad.

The thing is, I really thought I had a lot of pub glasses. Mountains of them sit behind the draft faucets, waiting to be filled with beer and cider - but I ran out. Ohhh boy did I ever run out. I ran out to the point where I was pouring people beers in two little tiny short beers equaling one pint. I was expecting a crowd, but I wasn't expecting a mass of people filling my restaurant, filling the deck, wrapping down the stairs, and into the parking lot. And they all wanted beer. Except that some wanted wine. I did not have enough white wine, even though I had about a dozen bottles, and was pouring by the glass, it was not enough for the opening, which caused this review.

Afterward, we lay in bed staring at the ceiling, basking in what it was that we wrought with our own hands.

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