An Interview with The Granary, Part 1

I got the chance to do something really fun recently and I also get the opportunity to share that with you over the next month!  Our bar services director, Tim and I, sat down to discuss the new bar space, aptly named The Granary.  Read on for more information on what this space is adding to our beloved Brick Gables.

-Erin

Photo by Jeff Frandsen

Tell us about the Granary.

The Granary is a creative, full beverage experience.  It includes both liquor and other alcoholic drinks as well as espresso and coffee drinks.  We feature a traditional cocktail bar that everyone is used to seeing.  But we also can add in those coffee and espresso specialties, too.  It’s really got to be more about you and your event than about the bar.  For me, I want to create drinks that are about you and what you stand for.  And ultimately I can do that with the bar space that we have designed.  We exist to celebrate YOU, which we can creatively do through your drink options and state-of-the-art bar space.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve been married 28 years to my beautiful wife Carole.  We have 2 sons that are doing incredibly well.  One owns his own landscaping company and the other works for Teen Challenge International.  We spent most of our lives on the west coast in California.  I was lucky enough to grow up with a set of grandparents who raised me and allowed me to be creative.  There wasn’t a weekend that didn’t go by that we weren’t putting together homemade jewelry or baking pies and biscuits or carving wood, etc.  That environment mentored me and celebrated my creativity.  My wife Carole and I met in the performing arts.  She was an opera singer and I was a theatre major and we decided to get together and make beautiful music!

We came to the East Coast because I was offered a scholarship to complete my professional performers acting training program.  We fell in love with Lancaster County!  While we were here we would take trips to the area and the agriculture reminded us of the San Juaquin valley area that we were from on the California coast.  It was kind of a perfect fit for us.  We have the beauty of the country and also an area that functions as if it is the city in the realm of the arts.

 

Photo by Jeff Frandsen

What is your background and how does it help with your position as Bar Services Director for The Granary?

Before anything else, I am a creative.  It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I always work in a ‘WOW!’ factor to it.  I have a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Master’s in Acting and Directing.  I’ve been involved with life theater and film for 2 decades.  This bar was a natural fit and transition for me, because although I can also put a personal and unique twist on a drink, I also have a natural ability to interact and entertain your guests as well.  You’re getting a 2-for-1 when you have a bar experience at The Granary!  I’ve been working in both the bar and coffee businesses for the past 20 years.  When I started my beverage career, I was lucky enough to get in on the floors of mom and pop companies that allowed me the space to create individual products.  That challenged me to get really great at knowing what flavors go well together, what products work well together.  This was the vision behind bringing this unique vision of a full-service bar to the table at Brick Gables in the form of The Granary.

Can a couple design their own signature drink and what does that process look like?

Yes they can! That’s what makes us unique and kind of sets us apart from other bar services in that we’re not just your typical bar. If you love a traditional bar drink, that’s where we’ll start. Once we sign the contract, it’s time to have some fun! What we do is to figure out what flavors you like, what drinks you like, what flavors you don’t like. We find out about you. If it’s for an event, we dig into what’s the backstory. And then we really cater the bar and the full beverage experience to the individual and what makes them unique or special.

Photo by Jeff Frandsen

Can you suggest wine/drink options based on our catering options?

Definitely and I absolutely will. I’ve done tastings with different wines and all of the foods that Brick Gables serves.  I’ve been able to narrow it down to two wines that I usually recommend. But at the same time, if you’re a wine person, then at the end of the day I will always insist you use your best judgement. Because it’s ultimately about you and what you want. So if there are 4 wines that you absolutely love, then do you! Do them! Because my motto for every beverage experience is that if you have what you LOVE then your guests will celebrate that. And that’s what we’re here to do. Not everybody is going to love every cocktail that we make based upon what the bride and groom loves. But what I’ve found out is that if my team embraces the choices of the bride and groom and we encourage your guests to try it? It’s a no brainer. Again they drink it because they’re here celebrating a special couple and special celebration and they embrace that beverage then.

Photo by Jeff Frandsen

Can a couple bring in their own specially made wine or beer?

Absolutely! There really are no rules to what a couple can bring in. If they have a friend who has his own brewing company and that friend wants to treat them to a beer or wine paring, then that friend can absolutely do that. The only rule we really have is that once the liquor is delivered to the barn, then I am the one who has possession of that for the duration of the event. There really can be no other liquor on the premises without my permission. But yes, you can bring pretty much anything you want, as long as you’re handing it over to me.

Do you offer an option for the couple that is picky?

Absolutely! I mean when you are crafting your special day, we’re all different, right? We all have our preferences and our favorites. We hope that a bride and groom is picky because than that means that we’re going to have something unique at the end.  When we end up with the final product, we will end up with something that is going to put a smile on their faces and make their special day even more special. So BE PICKY! I want to know all of the details! And then once we hash out all of the details, I will send over multiple different options for the bride and groom to give them each a few choices to narrow it down. When we have narrowed down that final menu and what the drinks are going to be titled and what drinks we’re going to have, it’s really easy from that point on.

Photo by Jeff Frandsen

How is beer served?

So typically, the preferred method of beer service is from a bottle. We all know that is probably the most popular option of beer service. I have also learned that people enjoy holding their bottle. It sounds a little funny and maybe a little odd, but it’s true! They prefer using a bottle, it’s easier to hold and it’s nice and cold. During the summer months it’s a nice and refreshing aspect as well. Draft service is available if you choose our preferred vendor Zerns, and they offer a lot of specialty beers on tap. However, I’ve also noticed that even if you go with a quarter keg, you have a significant amount of beer and you cannot take that keg home with you. So at the end of the day, I ultimately recommend people choose their beer service in the form of bottles, because you can then control the usage. Then at the end of the night, it’s easier to remove that and give it to your guests or take it home. We also offer for beer to be served in a pint glass, so that is another option, if you would prefer something different.

Thoughts on a champagne toast?

To be honest with you, only about maybe 20% of our couples utilize a champagne toast. It’s a nice touch, but the going standard for toasting is to really just toast with whatever is in your hand. Within the cocktail hour, we encourage our guests to take a beer or cocktail with them up to the barn for during dinner service. The bar is closed during the dinner service, so they already have something on their person to toast with. I just feel like if you’re going to toast, do maybe some special champagne for the bride and groom and maybe the wedding party, and just let everyone else toast with whatever they have. It’s easier on you and it saves a little bit of money!

 

Stay tuned for more of our Q&A session in the coming weeks.  Tim and the team here at Brick Gables are busy wrapping up another busy and successful wedding season and we are so thrilled to be able to share those details with you soon!  As always we thank all of our brides and grooms and their families and friends for visiting and sharing this special day with us.  We are deeply honored and will continue to do what we love to help you start the next chapter of your story!

Photo by Jeff Frandsen

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