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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Dr. J's Public House

I have always wanted to own a pub. Serving drinks, being in charge of an awesome beer selection, creating the atmosphere of a really great, relaxing neighborhood bar seems like an incredible way to earn a living. Isn't it natural to want own the type of place you enjoy being around? But then reality sets in and you realize that owning a pub costs a lot of money, is very hard work and according to the many publicans I talked to in Ireland, more stressful than lucrative. But still, everytime you set foot in a good local tavern your mind starts to rearrange the furniture, change the decor and edit the tap selection. Maybe you even change the food menu around and come up with a new name for the establishment. The "dream" to own is still there, haunting you like the ex-girlfriend who would never just give-up and accept that things were over.

How can you enjoy the best part of both worlds? How do you own a pub without the stress, hassle and financial costs, while being able to design, create, operate and enjoy your own pub? The solution is quite simple. Build a pub in your home. Dr. J's Pub recently opened for family and friendly business. My wife and I just finished an addition on our home. As part of the addition, I negotiated for a space to build a small 4 barstool pub. A little room in my home is now decorated in the style of an old Irish Public House. My pub has a 3 tap beer tower, hooked up to a dedicated Guinness line, a tap for my home brew and a rotating tap that currently contains a 1/6 keg of Flying Fish ESB. The pub walls are all done in knotty pine, stained dark mahogany with a mahogany bar top. Warm lighting and all of my beer decorations to boot. In essence, I am the proprietor of my own pub without all the hassles. I am in charge of who comes over for a pint ( most of the time), the beer selection, serving and just plain playing the publican. It's fun and I get to realize my dream with out having the risk of owning a bar. My advice to you is to find a spot in your house, the basement, garage, closet or even a shed and build a pub. It will set you free.

The Beers

DogFish Head Punkin Ale: This beer poured a deep amber color with an ample head. The aroma was of Nutmeg. My fist sip reminded me of pumpkin pie, but with not so much pumpkin and minus the sweetness. I guess it was the lingering aftertaste of all the different spices. Surprisingly drinkable and a very good beer. 7% alcohol which should help you get through Thanksgiving dinner in a mellow way.

Riverhorse Special Ale ESB: Poured a nice dark copper color with a thick, foamy head. My first taste was of a surprisingly hoppy flavor (on the mild side, but very detectable). The aftertaste was filled with a touch of honey. As I finished this beer, it dawned on me that this ale was almost meadish, but a manly Mead. The type of mead you might imagine Robin Hood drinking, not the type of sweet, swarmy stuff they serve you in one of those Irish Castle dinner shows. This was an enjoyable beer and would be a great compliment to a restaurant BYOB meal. Perfect to have one before, during and after dinner.

Brasserie Des Rocs Triple Imperiale; AKA Belgain Special Dark Ale: This beer gave off a sweet, malty smell and poured a beer that was dark carmel in color and a firmly carbonated head. At 10% alcohol the beer was very warming, almost like a Barleywine and had a malty taste to it. This ale is bottle conditioned with all the sediment intact. Brasserie des Rocs makes a good dinner beer. Very filling and one 750ml bottle is all you really need.

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