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.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


There are a few things that newcomers to rural life notice, right off the bat. The cows mooing, the sheeps bleating, and the hay ziggurats. I'm not sure what posseses all farmers to construct these terraced hay structures, but I assure you no public farm is complete without one, or, more typically three. Each year, we pilgrimage (buckle-hats and all) out to whatever local farm has a nice pumpkin patch, and usually a corn maze, for a nice Fall day of picking pumpkins, and getting lost. This year was no different; in fact we visited multiple area farms, but they all had hay ziggurats in common. I'm not sure whether northern California is populated by Aztec farmers, or Q*Bert enthusiasts.

Anyway, we had planned to do a Halloween event of some variety, but we were unable to book music for the night, so, instead, we didn't. That didn't stop the town from coming in costume, which was pretty spiffy. Extra spiffy were the large number of girls who came in dirndls with steins, which is appropriate attire for a tavern. Also, Mirjam decorated the bar with light-up spiders, cobwebs, dangly bats, and such. It looked awesome, and by awesome, I mean super. I thought about putting up a Bud sign to scare people, but there might be children present, and I wouldn't want them to have nightmares about beer made with rice.

In restaurant news, we have started fresh pie of the week. That doesn't mean that we only bake one a week, because week-old pie isn't very good, unless it's a hostess fruit pie, which isn't really pie (and I don't think really contains fruit). This week is peach. Mmm. Pie.

Also, Mirjam is now 31, which necessitated a party. We went to a Sharks game with group-o-friends, and she got a pink jersey, which looks really cute with her new pink hair. Tish also got a pink jersey, which made them look like a mini girl shark team. I got an authentic jersey because pink didn't match the my shoes. It was a great night at the Shark Tank; 3-1 defeat over the Wild continuing an undefeated at-home streak. Mir at a Sharks game is quite a sight - she gets very riled up and screams a lot. Sorta like when a customer realizes we're out of Maui Coconut Porter again.

In addition, there's a new bar kitten, the newest addition to Tish's family. Her name is Lola (my suggestions of "Captain Flookie" or "Snugglepaws McWhiskers" were summarily overruled). Lola enjoys porters and stouts, like our new St. Peter's Old-Style English Porter, served in proper glassware 500ml for $8.50, or our new Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout, in a 22oz bottle for $6.50.

Thanks to all of our customers to making October our most successful month yet. As we head into the Winter, rest assured that your favorite watering hole will be serving up warm pub favorites and new specials and the finest beer from around the world, so bring in your friends for a pint, check out Monday night football, bar specials (42 inch high-def plasma!), and, of course, magical rainbow ponies.

We're working on getting a consistant entertainment schedule going. We pay in beer and food, plus tips and CD sales if you have CDs to sell. If you don't have CDs to sell, you can sell t-shirts, or autographed watermellons, or whatever. We do NOT charge cover at the door. Currently, we're most interested in Rock, Blues, Indie, Jazz, Bluegrass, DJ's who play down-tempo, reggae, etc on VINYL (not interested in CD-J's or IpoD-J's). Not so much interested in cover bands, hippie-folky-dead, bongos. Email us with a sample ASAP, tell your friends / favorite bands! Check out our myspace at

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