Friday, February 6, 2009

What it's All About...

One of the most appealing aspects of the craft beer world is the downright amazing sense of community that lurks around every corner.  As a group, we are living proof that beer brings people together, no more so than among those who brew it.  Examples abound, from the familiar site of brewers showing up at each others' establishments at the end of a long workday, to the sharing and lending of information and ingredients, as well as coming together around a common cause of charity or solidarity.  Brewers are drawn together to form guilds and groups, to host tastings and festivals, to solve problems, and enjoy to the fruits of everyone's collective labor.  Winemakers sometimes say it takes a lot of good beer to make great wine.  It takes a lot of good beer to make great beer, too.

Brewers have always been this way, going back to the guilds of Europe in the middle ages.  Not event the time-out of Prohibition could break this tradition.  Small-scale craft brewing disappeared after that until the 1970's.  But when it returned, beginning with Fritz Maytag's purchase of SF's Anchor Brewing (thereby saving it from imminent closure), the sense of shared purpose was quick to materialize.

By 1975, Maytag was putting out the first, bona fide, craft-brewed beer in the U.S. since before Prohibition, having re-tooled the company's equipment and researched traditional styles and methods.  At the same time, Jack McAuliffe, recently back from a military stint in the UK, began homebrewing in Sonoma County.  And another pioneer, Dr. Michael Lewis, began teaching brewing science at U.C. Davis in the 60's.  McAuliffe picked his brain about stepping up his operation and building a commercial brewery.  With that advice and some malt from Anchor, McAuliffe opened New Albion Brewery in 1976, releasing its first beer in 1977.  That gave him bragging rights to the first start-up microbrewery in the country.  Don Barkley, an early grad of Lewis' program, came to work for McAuliffe in 1978 and another enthusiastic homebrewer, Ken Grossman, came to visit that year while on his own path to open a brewery in Chico: Sierra Nevada.  Some of Sierra's early equipment was handed down from Anchor and thus began a long tradition of brewers helping each other get started and sharing the know-how needed to make better beer.

The next wave of pioneers had to have found it at least a little bit easier thanks to the efforts of Maytag, McAuliffe, Grossman, and company.  New Albion was ahead of its time but when it closed in 1982, Barkley quickly landed at the start-up Mendocino Brewing in Hopland and so did some of New Albion's equipment.  Mendocino was the first brewpub in California and second in the country (less than a year behind the first).  Throughout the Bay Area in the 80's, brewing systems were cobbled together, information shared, mistakes made and learned from, and a community grew in the form such places as Buffalo Bill's, San Francisco Brewing, Triple Rock, Willets Brewing, Berkeley Brewing, Anderson Valley, and Marin.

Today, we kick off SF Beer Week to celebrate this local heritage and the evolution of the local beer community.  We celebrate pioneering publicans like Dave Keene, Judy Ashworth, and Gene Bromstead, who sold craft beer long before it became fashionable to do so, and chefs like Bruce Paton, who did the same with beer and food pairing.  And, we celebrate the Bay Area culinary environment in which unique and artisan-made products are encouraged to flourish.  It nurtures us, opens doors for us, and allows us to keep pushing the envelope, redefining what good beer means and what you can do with it.  That was every bit as true in 1976, when the small, independent wine, cheese, and other food producers of Sonoma County paved the way for Jack McAuliffe to do his thing with beer.

If you look at the variety of events happening during SF Beer Week, you'll see lots of happy marriages between the local beer and food communities in the form of pairings and dinners that would have been unheard of a couple of decades ago.  You'll also find history celebrated in a glass in the form of the triumphant return of Original Albion, brewed for the first time in decades by Don Barkley, now at NapaSmith Brewery (try it starting today at Magnolia and Alembic, among a great list of places).  You will also find events centered around the cutting edges of the beer scene: tastings and dinners with brewers now working with wooden barrel-aging, unusual fermentations, creative ingredients, and otherwise "extreme" brewing methods.  Not to mention a few events centered around beers from countries with burgeoning craft beer scenes recently inspired by our own.

These achievements reach critical mass more quickly than would be otherwise possible because of the tight-knit nature of our community.  Because information flows so freely, yesterday's weird experiment becomes tomorrow's beer style or technique.  Bottom line: we respect the work of our peers and like each other a lot just for being out there trying to make the best beer we can.  Know that when you walk into a brewpub or order a pint of local beer at a bar or restaurant, you are connecting with a tangled web of knowledge, hard work, friendship, and community.

This coming week, much more so than usual, you will be seeing all of us quite a bit.  Beyond the various angles, the education, the history, the showing off of technique, flavor, and ingredients, the discovery of new pairings and combinations, the diversity of ideas on display, and the enthusiasm, lies a very special solidarity and like-mindedness without which SF Beer Week could never happen.  And underlying that is a profound desire to have fun this week.  It's all about the beer, after all.  Cheers!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bound to Cover Just a Little More Ground

And now a word from our Director of Operations, Dean James:

San Francisco makes me happy. Really, it does. Very much. It forces some issues to the surface very easily, takes some of the effort away, if you will, in the best possible way. You want to be the restaurant that sources locally, organically, sustainably, or any other word that ends in –ly. Well, do it. It’s right in front of you. Accessibility like few other places on earth, it seems, a climate that’s favorable to just about anything you want to grow. I’ve been so infatuated with those cities or regions where it’s a lot harder to get the ‘good stuff’ onto a menu, and how much harder they work to get it, and they do get it. It’s brilliant, really, and must make for an amazing amount of self-satisfaction. I’m jealous. Here at the pub, we pick up a phone or drive down the street, we can get it. Whenever. I like that way too.

I simplify the process, of course. Anyway, what is sustainable or organic, after all? It can be quite subjective, as it turns out. Sustainability connects the systems of human economy (production, distribution, etc.) to the systems of human ecology (agriculture, fishing etc.) and measures environmental impact, among other things. Environmental impact, as we know, can be a screwy science, depending on who’s doing the research and who’s paying for the research. And then you inevitably bump up against the fact that 7 billion people on one planet is probably not good, in and of itself not sustainable. Growth rates are spiking dramatically upward, but organic food still accounts for only 2% of all food sales worldwide. Organic certification is a murky process, and varies from country to country. World grain supply is down to some of the lowest levels ever, as demand raises the price of food and for us, beer too. For every new farmer, another one goes down, either permanently or to the all too lucrative cash crop. Just ask
Michael Pollen about corn.  And spinach scared everybody a few years back, and tomatoes have done it again this year. How can you really trust food?

I’m being a total downer, sorry. It’s not all that bad. The individual is starting to care about what goes in his/her mouth. And that is a measure of victory right there. The old manifesto “know your farmer, know your food” is as prescient as ever, and the comforting figure of Alice Waters looms large over the current restaurant industry, connecting the farm to the table with a chain that hopefully never gets broken. And seeing as you are reading this, the message can continue to grow at that exponential rate, everyone plays a part in spreading it. Magnolia acts the message because everyone here believes it, or else it would never work. So in the spirit of things, here’s five things I’m really into right now:

• Slow Food
Those people rock. As Slow Food Nation aims to overtake San Francisco this Labor Day Weekend, do yourself a favor and check out the event itself and the mothership site. As catchphrases go, Good, Clean and Fair is a pretty good one. 

• Heidrun Meadery
Few people seem to love honey more than Gordon Hull, who runs the Heidrun Meadery in Arcata, way up at the top of California. And we love the product here at Magnolia. Mead, or wine made from honey, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing, would give beer and wine a run for their money in the which-came-first debate. And the history is not lost on him. Do yourself a favor and
check out his site, and his mead, conveniently available at Magnolia.

• Italian beer
Catching some folks by surprise, the craft beer movement in Italy is alive and kicking, and starting to make it to a supplier near you. And the best part is: it’s not all great! That is, some of it tastes amazing, but it’s rare that you can look at a region and see the growth of the whole group, complete with the almost-there’s and the why-would-you-do-that’s. In Italy, beer inspiration can come from anywhere: Belgium, England, even the USA. Styles vary wildly, ingredients tend to be a good mix of local and carefully sourced, and the brewers themselves are viewed as mavericks, which seems to only harden their resolve to be different. Shameless plug: you can drink some of it at Alembic right now.

• Saba
What is saba, you say? Basically, grape must is the residue that is produced from crushing grapes to make wine. Unfermented, it is cooked down for a near eternity until it is a sticky, honey-like substance that, trust me, will make anything taste great. Brandon has been using it perhaps too sparingly on our Baby Doll watermelon bar snack with a touch of salt. I have been eating whole spoonfuls when no one is looking. Whatever gets you through the night, right?

• The Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market
Kind of a risky venture, I know, as a Saturday at the Ferry building, for those of you who know it, can be either an exercise in patience for your fellow man, or can build an instant desire to do bodily harm to tourists of all persuasions. But, I have staved off the latter impulse on the last few trips through some completely random interactions. I’ve always been excited by the willingness of the farmers to talk shop with you, especially if you arrive early enough, before the masses. And it’s fun to be pushing the big cart around, trying to beat all of the cities chefs and restaurateurs to the perfect heirloom tomato. Good times. But recently, I’ve been engaged in a discussion about someone’s rooftop garden in a high-rise apartment building, a woman who scoured the market for the perfect spearmint( she found it too, I bought some as well. Wow.), and witnessed a gentleman quite patiently extolling the virtues of a good avocado to someone who spoke very little English, but seemed excited nonetheless. So the passion for food is all around, I’ve seen it.

I’ll leave it at that for now.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

If you plant ice you're gonna harvest wind

That was one of my first favorite Robert Hunter lyrics, a flowery twist on the old, cautionary "you reap what you sow" saying.  Twenty years after first hearing it, I can't help but notice that it has come to define much of what we do here.  It is an especially apt way to describe our philosophy on sourcing ingredients.  We strive to find the best ingredients for everything we make, whether in the brewery or the kitchen.  Economic reality sometimes dictates that we can't always get what we want, but our decision-making process over potential products always involves a lot of questions about who, where, and how.  Not only do we seek to avoid planting ice, but we ask it of all of those upstream from us.

This process leads to a complex series of victories, compromises, and trade-offs in our quest for both the delicious and the sustainable.  Take our malted barley, for example.  We praise the virtues of local beer, reducing beer and food miles, etc.  But no one grows malting barley anywhere within 500 or maybe even 1000 miles of Haight and Masonic.  Even worse, no one in North America is growing heirloom varieties like Maris Otter or Golden Promise, two of our favorites.  And, even if that weren't the case, there are not, on this continent, any commercial floor malting facilities in which to turn that barley into beautiful malt.

So, we look overseas to the UK, where committed farmers choose to plant lower-yielding, more fragile, heirloom varieties, like Maris Otter.  Some of these farmers sell their barley to one of the five or six remaining commercial floor maltings in Great Britain.  Floor malting is very labor and space intensive compared to modern methods but produces amazing results.  

We buy most of our malt from such a place.  Thomas Fawcett & Son's has been making malt in the same Castleford, Yorkshire location since the 1780's.  It is managed today by the sixth and seventh generation members of the Fawcett family to be involved since operations began.  Though they have modernized over the years, the heart of their operation continues to be a floor facility in which they carefully produce some of the finest Maris Otter malt around.  

We buy this malt, considerably more expensive than mass-produced alternatives, and use it as the base of most of our beers.  We get it through a local wholesaler, Certified Foods, operated by a man named Joe Vanderliet, because he listens to his customers and knows we and a handful of other breweries will deal with rising freight costs, overseas shipping delays, and other frustrations in order to make the kind of beer we love.

These personal connections, with Joe at Certified, with John Fawcett at the maltings, and our trust in John's careful sourcing from farmers near him, add to our satisfaction when using this malt.  To me, these factors mitigate my frustration of having to buy a key ingredient from people 6,000 miles from my brewery.  I recognize that I am still lucky to work with people whose values are so well aligned with mine.

And I can't wait to someday get over to Castleford and visit the place where this special malt is made for us, as well as some of the farmers who grow it.  I visited our previous floor malt supplier, Beeston, of Nottinghamshire, in 2000, and it was an amazing experience to tour the facility, walk on the floor, and have a pint of cask bitter with some of the malting crew in the pub across the street (brewed with Beeston Maris Otter at a nearby brewery).  Sadly, they closed a couple of years later, suffering the fate of many traditional family businesses that can't make ends meet in this modern world.

We continue to look for new ways to develop deeper connections to our ingredients, too.  One of our neighborhood customer's father grows Maris Otter at his farm, Branthill, near Wells-next-to-the-Sea in Norfolk.  He has it malted at one of the other remaining floor maltings 10 miles down the road, and sells it mostly to local breweries.  But the ocean-facing microclimate and loam over chalk soil of this part of northern Norfolk produces some of the best Maris Otter in the UK and we're trying to get our hands on some of it.  Teddy Maufe has visited Magnolia with his son, Zac, and, despite the long journey for his malt, we would be thrilled to be able to turn this personal connection into a good English bitter.

Life might be easier if we could give ourselves some arbitrary rules and guidelines but at the end of the day, the best way to serve our creative muses is to look at everything on a case-by-case basis.  We can't promise to be 100% organic or 100% local or really, 100% anything, because we don't think it's that simple.  This is true in the kitchen, as well, though we are blessed with one of the best food production regions in the world within a 100 mile radius, so Brandon fares much better at sourcing locally.  Freshness, too, dictates that we buy most of our food from closer to home. 

Kitchen or brewery, we get out of this what we put in.  The more attention we pay to who makes our ingredients, the better we can satisfy our vision for quality and character in our food and beer.  And your choice to embrace this philosophy with us and share in its rewards makes it all possible.  So, thanks.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Welcome Back

Whew!  What a whirlwind.  As our good friends down south at The Linkery said recently, dying is is hard.  But we did it, we are back, and we couldn't be happier to see all of you.  Even as old traditions end, new ones have already begun.  Every time I walk through the front door I see more and more longtime regulars congregating around the new communal table.  Some of you are discovering new favorite seats.  Many of you are finding new favorite dishes while others are eating their way around the menu, trying everything.  The sausage program is a hit (early favorite: boudin blanc, followed by the "pastrami") as are the new sandwiches.  Me?  I like the roll mops.

All of us keep looking up at the phantom beer board when trying to order...that one's gonna take some getting used to.  Never fear, as our friend Oliver DiCicco is constructing the new one as we speak, to fly proudly over the center booths.  For now, we're busy admiring his light fixtures.  The Mirror Guys (John and Doug) have a few tricks up their sleeves still to come, and yes, the hooks under the bar will be back tomorrow (thanks, Mike), hopefully before we make the no-hooks-bar hall of shame (there is one).

Speaking of Mike Olinger, how many contractors get to say they built the same bar/pub/restaurant twice?  I'd like to say it was a pleasure seeing all of these folks plying their craft in some sort of harmonious symphony, except that's not at all how it went down.  We were all in each others way, we tried to do way too much in 9 days (it turned into 10, but could have easily been 20), and it was a chaotic, hair-raising adventure putting everything back together last Thursday.  Nonetheless, I'll be eternally grateful for the long hours and dedication last week of Kevin, Devin, Mike, Ray, Lisa, Chris, Oliver, Howie, Jeff, Eduardo, Arturro, Greg, Cornelius, Martin and family, Neil, Ben, Dean, and a handful of others who got it done.

Meanwhile, Brandon, Justin, Ron and their crew in the kitchen braved the construction chaos and managed to put together the best Magnolia menu yet.  This is what we were talking about: carefully sourced, seasonal, sustainable, and delicious.  It's the real deal after many a long year working toward this kind of food vision.  I now feel about the food like I always have about the beer and, like the beer, I can't wait to get to know this menu better.  

Lastly, Dean and Neil rallied the front of house troops and seized the opportune downtime to spend several days training and working out better systems to help you all have a better time here.  From the retooled wait list system (sign up on the chalkboard by the door) to new table assignments and other service improvements, they were pretty much ready to rock at 4:59 last Thursday afternoon.  Turns out it's pretty hard to work on that stuff when you're open 363 days a year for ten years straight.  This was time well spent.

I know some of you are sad and miss some or all of the "old" Magnolia.  I understand and I miss it, too.  Right now, it's all a little strange, honestly, after ten years.  And I've had over a year of planning to sit with these changes in my head before I made them.  It comes as a surprise to some of you.  Change is hard, but believe me when I say this change will yield amazing results for your little neighborhood brewpub.  It feels a little like it did ten years ago...a little too new...not lived in enough.  But that's just on the surface.  The soul of Magnolia lives on, same as ever, and with your help we'll have it feeling alive and vibrant again within months.  As always, it's a work in progress.

And if you're not quite sure, if your first impression didn't take, I humbly invite you to come back, relax, have a beer, and put down some new roots.  This place is the sum of all of our energy.  We couldn't do it without you.  And if you're still not happy, and you need to vent, lay it on me.  I'm not going to argue with you.  It IS dramatic.  But I really will try to get you to join me on the next chapter of this nutty adventure, even if I have to use beer to do it.  Cheers!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

There's a thin line beyond which you really can't fake

 There's a sweet spot we strive for and it straddles the edge between tradition/history and the fresh and creative.  When we hit it, it opens up the pipeline to a rich and complex past, connecting us to the traditions of generations before us, while keeping us squarely in the here and now by expressing our unique perspectives.  

It sort of marries a Slow Food-like respect for tradition with a Grateful Dead-esque approach to inspired creativity.  We as a culture are enriched by the celebration of our food and drink traditions.  Those traditions bring us together, remind us of our shared culture, and help strengthen our sense of place and identity.  Meanwhile, the Dead, especially Garcia, exhibited an almost pathological curiosity about music that helped build an encyclopedic set of mental references for use in real-time creative expression.  That added emotional depth and cultural identity to in-the-moment improvisation.

Filtered through our little corner brewpub, this manifests in the beer when we reference and honor traditional brewing styles and methods while adding something modern and fresh to the conversation.  And it manifests in the food program when we tie what we're doing here today, using our bounty of California-produced ingredients, together with the great cooking traditions of the pubs and beer halls of old.  Too much of the past, though, and we become "Ye Olde Pub", too little and we miss out on our connection to the deep roots that add so much to the pub-going experience. 

This week, as we remodel, we're trying to make the same ideas manifest physically in the pub itself.  I love our building.  It wears its 105 years of history quite well.  There are a lot of period details (tile floor, woodwork, exterior tile) from the 1920's, when the space went from grocery store to pharmacy.  Much as I've loved our mural, it became clear that it was drawing the eye away from the architectural details already abundant in our space.  A team of brilliant and talented artisans is hard at work right now, gently reworking our room (and restrooms) to create a space that feels consistent with our other pub goals.  

Signs of this new comfort are emerging today, via the wainscotting of the booths, the new tile in the restrooms, layers of new specialty paint treatments, and little but important things like the new tap wall.  After a couple of days of tearing things apart, we've clearly turned a corner and are putting them back together.  

Friday, May 9, 2008

Once in awhile you get shown the light...

One of the most elusive prizes in the world of beer is that perfect pint of living, breathing, cask-conditioned bitter.  Despite the care and skill applied to its production and dispense, it is, by definition, fragile and dynamic.  This quixotic quest for perfection leads the seeker to a variety of pubs, bars, and breweries, often to find oneself enjoyably close but falling just a tad short.  No matter, as close is still pretty delicious, and some combination of good food, relaxing atmosphere, and conviviality usually surrounds a committed cask beer program.

Almost equally elusive is the magic that happens in a great pub, when all of those individual components come together in a whole far greater than the sum of their parts.  The pub, as an institution, can trace its roots all the way back to the tavernas of ancient Greece, and is cousin to many similar institutions: beer halls, brasseries, bars, inns, roadhouses, restaurants, and izakayas.  They all serve and strengthen their communities, bringing people together around food and drink.  But the pub may be unique among them in the special way it bestows a sense of ownership on the community around it.

I am both humbled and inspired by the many great pubs in which I have hoisted a pint, but at the same time, I know a pub can achieve even more.  Few pubs are actually attached to a brewery, and ours is the heart and soul of Magnolia, where we serve a muse that demands creativity, careful sourcing, and attention to every detail.  Brewing in small batches, experimenting with ingredients and techniques, managing an elaborate cask program...these are luxuries afforded to the small pub brewers like us.  This is the "brewpub" part of Magnolia, and it defines who we are.  It connects us to the pub-brewing of the middle ages, when a branch or wand was hung outside a home to signal a new batch of beer was ready for the neighbors to come by and enjoy.

Just as important to me, however, is the way the kitchen mirrors that identity, for that same family brewing the beer would have offered home-cooked meals as well.  That's the "gastropub" part of Magnolia, and it's about reviving a lost art of pub cookery that pre-dates the modern era of fried and simplified bar food made with mass produced ingredients.  It's about re-imagining what pubs might have been like at one time, by diving deeper into traditional butchery, charcuterie and sausage making, and other elements of nose-to-tail and farm-to-table food production.  

Brewing, at one time, would have shared the stage with such culinary endeavors, because in our agrarian past, that was all we would have known to do.  While I have little interest in an historical recreation of the past, I find the story of artisan brewing strengthened by this connection and I love the notion of bringing some of these connections into the here and now.  

Combined with honest and heartfelt hospitality, I think this is the path to a better pub, one that nourishes and sustains its loyal locals in a variety of ways.  And I hope that, far more often than not, we get everything "just exactly perfect" in this quest to be a good pub.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Can't go back and can't stand still...

...but I can wax nostalgic for a moment or three while pondering the future.  It has truly been an honor to watch the Magnolia community form around these four walls at the corner of Haight and Masonic.  Now more than a decade into this little adventure, Magnolia is a public house in the truest sense of the words.  You and our hardworking staff make it so.  The proof is in the sense of ownership you take in the place.  I have no doubt that for many of you this pub does indeed feel a little bit like home.  

That has never been more evident than now, as I try to shepherd Magnolia into its second decade with pragmatic enthusiasm for the future AND glorious reverence for the past.  I'm a little bit floored by the outpouring of comments and feelings about the recently manifesting changes.  The ongoing dialogue I have been having with the extended Magnolia family has ben enlightening and energizing, as I develop a deeper understanding of just how important Magnolia is to you.  Many of you are as excited as I am but some are understandably worried that they could be losing their "local".  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here's the deal: Change has always been the norm around here and Magnolia has always felt a little bit like a grand experiment, even as it slipped comfortably into its role as a reliable corner brewpub.  It's probably no secret (see: pub name, murals, beer names, music selection) that the Good Old Grateful Dead provided a healthy dose of inspiration for this quirky place.  

More on that another time.  For now, that inspiration can be distilled down to a handful of thoughts: the DIY/chart-your-own-course/think-different approach to one's art/craft/career, the power and importance of community, the surprising creative energy of the groupmind, the responsibility to be kind to each other and the earth, and, most importantly, the mantra of endless, limitless curiosity that weaves its way through all of the above.  Somewhere along the way, this stuff got fused into my DNA and thus it is part of Magnolia's DNA.

The beer drives this bus, but it has equal co-conspirators in the food, the room, and the hospitality.  Within a year of falling in love with brewing I knew I'd express that love via a brewpub.  I made pilgrimages to England and Germany and soaked up the role of local beer and local pubs in strengthening a sense of place and community.  Equally important, I appreciated the opportunity to control the beer from grain to glass, and to further shape the beer experience via the food and atmosphere surrounding it.  

While the gastropub movement was just taking off in England at that time, the bar for food was lower at the average American brewpub.  But if the strong message from the brewery was to source everything with care and make everything with passion and respect, how could that philosophy be turned on and off like a switch between brewery and kitchen?  With that in mind, Magnolia was set on a course, in 1997, with Tim McCutcheon minding the stoves, to remake American brewpub food expectations.  We have both succeeded and failed at times at staying true to this vision but Magnolia is at its best when the food is approached with the same creativity and passion that we pour into the brewery.

Fueled by that mission, it was inevitable that Magnolia and the Slow Food Movement would find each other.  And with that came the tools, information, and enlightenment about our larger role in sustainability as well as our responsibility to offer our guests food and drink that is "good, clean, and fair", as they like to say in the Slow Food world.

What I hope this illustrates is that this is a path we have chosen.  There is no turning back.  When we put our sustainability, our food choices, our brewing techniques, or our vision for community and hospitality under the microscope, this path requires us to continually find ways to be better at everything.  It presents challenges, like the fact that the ingredients we are talking about are not cheap, that our space and systems sometimes hold us back, that these lofty ideals can only be achieved by 100% commitment by our entire family, etc.

But I think we are onto something here.  We're a brewery and pub on a mission, and I'm thrilled by how many of you are along for the ride.  I feel a great responsibility to keep Magnolia fresh and vibrant, so that it can pursue and refine this mission for decades to come.  The renovations, the menu, the new logo and design elements will all, I promise, enable us to rally around this philosophy and do a much better job of being your favorite, neighborhood brewpub.