The passing of a torch or passing of a beer, so to speak, is a special thing.
The story begins with our 2 Cent Board. This how customers leave us written feedback. We’d frequently get positive comments about our beer selection, and something kept happening that set events in motion – “A Tale of Two Beer Guys,” if you will.
Customers would comment on how helpful “the beer guy” was in making their selections. But they kept mentioning two different people. Many times customers would identify our current Beer Curator, Aeron, as the “beer guy” to be commended. Almost as frequently though, they would commend Brian, a Stocking Clerk, on his mastery of all things brewed.
With Aeron moving on these next weeks, Brian was eager to step in, and we wanted to introduce him to you, but not without acknowledging our outgoing veteran.
When Aeron started, Hart’s shelves were empty, and the number one requested item for this new downtown grocery, by and large, was craft beer. Rising to the challenge, Aeron was able to curate an extraordinary selection in a city that has set the bar pretty high in artisanal beer.
“It’s a craft beer town, so we had to work to be relevant. What was most surprising, was finding how popular cider is here. IPA’s are easily our best-seller, but ciders beat all the others out.” Aeron remarks.
When asked what his outgoing recommendation would be now, he says, “21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon – it works for a range of palates.”
Sitting down to discuss the passing of the torch from our previous “beer guy” to our “new beer guy,” Brian politely corrected the conversation, ”Now, we don’t want to set the prerequisite that the beer buyer has to be a guy.” We agree – there’s plenty of beer women in the building as well!
Even though it’s July, Fall beers are going to begin showing up later this month, and Brian is ready to take the reins. “Presently, we have an extensive selection in the space, and I plan on remaining faithful to the local craft brews.”
That being said, he has also set his sights on exposing Rochesterians to some less commonly seen brews such as West coast style ales and sour beers. “Anchor brewery has one of my favorite IPA’s and the only time I’ve seen that here, is when we brought it in a few months ago.”
When asked about his palate, Brian statedly remarks, “I like malts, I like hops, and I like barley. They have rich flavors you can do a lot with. It’s kind of like analog versus digital photography – I don’t like overcomplicating things with added flavors that are unnecessary.”
A purist, it seems. We’re looking forward.