Ask a Bartender

Real-life barkeeps weigh in on favorite watering holes, home bar supplies and, of course, alien encounters.

One of my regulars used to say, “If you have a good bartender, you will never drink alone.” One of the things I valued most when I was behind the bar were the conversations I had with guests. Sometimes we were solving the world’s problems, and other times it was just yammering on about the latest episode of a TV show. Was there wisdom shared? I’d like to think it happened occasionally. And if not, at least there was personal connection.

In the spirit of continuing the conversation, a couple of local bartenders and I will attempt to answer your questions. Here I’ve enlisted the help of local bartenders Brandon Allen and Jacob Pfund from the Principal’s Office to talk about favorite bartender bars, must-have home supplies and alien encounters. Cheers!

Where do bartenders like to drink in town?
—Daniel Norwood

Jacob Pfund: Anywhere open late that’s quiet and has cheap beer and shots.

Brandon Allen: I often go to The Point after a shift because it’s low-key. I am not looking to get a cocktail; I just need a shot and to decompress.

Frank Frey: I agree. Most bartenders after making cocktails just want a cold beer and a shot. I think the Burrowing Owl is a great place to go: cheap canned beer, and it’s super comfortable.

What is something I should always have on hand at the house?
—Kendall Utz

BA: Campari, just because I love it. Really though, you can drink it on its own, it works well with soda and mixes well with other spirits. I would also say beer—a lot of people drink it; it’s good to have around for guests.

JP: Any sort of soda or mineral water. You can add it to just about any spirit and have a drink just by adding a wedge of lime.

FF: I think you should always have a bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne in your fridge. It’s great on its own, and it’s easy to make it into a mimosa or a Bellini. It’s great for guests. You never know when you need an impromptu celebration!

Do you think there is intelligent life on another planet within 50 light years of Earth? If so, would you want to meet them, and what would your first question be?
—Craig Anderson

FF: I think it’s a possibility for sure. Given how little we know about the universe, I think it seems foolish to say no. I would like to meet them, and I would probably ask if they are aware of any other life in the universe.

BA: I hope not. It’s bad enough with some of the intelligent life we have here. I would rather not meet them; it could be scary. Have you seen the X-Files? It is terrifying. There are some opportunities that should be passed on.

JP: No, maybe a 100 light years away. Yes, I would like to meet them—we could take shots together. My first question would be, “Do you wanna take a shot?”

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