Saturday, August 4, 2018

1876 Ale Works plans September opening, pays homage to German bar tradition

Posted By on Sat, Aug 4, 2018 at 9:15 AM

click to enlarge 1876 Ale Works is set to open in early September. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • 1876 Ale Works is set to open in early September.
1876 Ale Works (3352 Templeton Gap Road) is currently under construction, and co-owner Kevin McCarthy’s excitement is unmistakable. He and co-owner/brewer Steve Bannon (not that one) have been working on the steampunk-themed brewery for over a year now and, at long last, plan on opening in early September.

“Every piece [of the interior] is either being handmade or hand-selected by me,” he says. “The tables, the bar — the locomotive steel plates they used in the boilers I’m using as part of my bar — all of this stuff. It’s a little intricate.”

McCarthy was born and raised in Germany, the son of an Air Force service member. Currently, he’s an officer in the Army, also boasting eight years in the restaurant and hospitality industries as both a chef and manager. Bannon’s an avid homebrewer of 10 years, turned on to craft beer by friends who worked at New Belgium Brewing Company. He’s also a former personal trainer — he met McCarthy while helping McCarthy’s wife recover from a traffic collision. Bannon had a vision, and McCarthy wanted to get back into hospitality management after retiring from his military career. Currently, they’ve announced eight beers they plan to offer. And despite McCarthy’s kitchen background, the space they’re using has ruled out in-house food, so they’re partnering with various food trucks around town.

“I want to set food trucks up to help facilitate who’s going to be there,” says McCarthy. “A run club isn’t going to want to eat soft tacos all night. Geeks Who Drink may.”

There's another unique feature McCarthy plans to include at 1876, a nod to a German bar tradition. In a corner, there will be a table that looks different from the rest, a Stammtisch, or standing table. It's a special table reserved for either a town's big decision makers or friends and family of the staff, depending on the bar. But wherever it is, the stammtisch doesn't get opened up for regular customer seating.

“I would be at the alt [old bar] in Rammstein… it would be three people deep at the bar, and if you looked at the stammtisch, it’s two guys with beers smoking cigars, and the rest of the chairs are empty,” he says. He and Bannon have yet to decide who will be on the list for the stammtisch — McCarthy suggested family members or brewery supporters as options.

Of note, the brewery also has a Kickstarter running to help finance the last stretch before opening. For more information, click here.

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