Advice

Drink This Cocktail: The One-Stop Beer Shop

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Jack from the One-Stop Beer Shop on breaking up in a bar and your favorite cheap beer.

Jack

One-Stop Beer Shop
134 Kingsland Avenue
Brooklyn

What are we drinking here?
The Clandestine Moon. You can really see in this light how the beer mixes with the cocktail.

So do you get a lot of people at One Stop Beer Shop on dates?
Actually yeah, we do. We've only been open for a couple of weeks, but especially around happy hour time you'll see a lot of couples around the bar. On New Year's eve we threw a big party here and we had a couple get engaged. The guy popped the question right here in the bar.

No way. How did he do it?
It was like, two minutes after New Years — it was crazy. And he just brought her outside and proposed to her.

Did everyone cheer? Was it a big celebration?
Yeah, everybody bought them like, five drinks each. Maybe they just did it for the free drinks.

Can you tell when someone's here on a date?
You can always tell when someone's on a first date. You know, people are a little quieter, they keep to themselves, there's not a lot of chit chat with the bartender. A lot of the time you'll get that thing where one person shows up fifteen minutes early and they're sitting there fidgeting, checking the door, that sort of thing. But once people get more confident, then they get more active in the beer program. They want to try stuff. Or one member of the couple might try to, perhaps, show off a little bit. For people who know beers, this is the place, because that's something they can share with the person they brought.

Do you think there are certain types of beers that are suited to certain kinds of people? Like, if I order a stout versus a pilsner, does that say something about me?
If you want it to [laughs]. You know, there is always that thing. When you look around a bar, you can assume something based on if someone's drinking whiskey neat or if they're drinking a gin and tonic or a mai tai. With beer it's a little more difficult I think. Certainly stouts and darker beers have that reputation for being more badass, but they aren't necessarily more badass. Actually, if you want to win a drinking contest and impress your friends, drink Guinness. Everyone thinks its so badass because it's so heavy, but it's only about 4% alcohol. 

Are there any drinks that, when people order them, you'll judge them a little bit?
Vodka Red Bull's a big one. The whole liquor and Red Bull thing I've never quite gotten. It's like, do you want to get drunk? Do you want to stay awake? Also, it's just bad for you. But if you order something with confidence and it's what you want, it's what you want.

So as long as you say appletini with confidence, you're alright?
Right. Well… I might add appletini to the list. Anything in the neon family.

What kind of drink should a guy order to impress a girl at a bar?
You know, it's weird, I'm old-fashioned in a lot of ways, but I've never been one of those people to order for the girl. I remember making that assumption once, with my first girlfriend, actually. I said, “Oh, I'll get you something nice,“ and I came back with a drink. She said, “Can I get Jack Daniel's on the rocks?” 

So you mentioned you've seen a proposal here. Anything else you've seen here that's been on the other end of that spectrum? Like, anything just sort of odd?
Here? This is kind of like a neighborhood bar, it's cozy, it's small, it's warm, it's a place people come to relax and chill out a bit. So people tend to have quieter dates here. Sorry, I wish there were something I could report. I've worked in places that are louder than here, Jagerbomb-type places, and you see weirder stuff there.

Any stories from the Jagerbomb bars?
Oh, I have seen so many couples break up at bars. And it's not like, hey let's meet for a drink and I'll break the news to you right on the spot. It's like, they'll get a few drinks in and one of them will be like, 'this isn't going to work out.' Who goes to a bar to break up with somebody?

At least when it's over you're in a bar. What should you order then?
Oh, everything you're not supposed to drink. Just shots of whiskey, shots of tequila. Or just do that classic movie cliche of just sitting at the end of the bar, staring into the bottom of your drink. 

As a bartender at a place with an extensive craft beer selection, do you ever just crack open a PBR?
[laughs] I've heard that chefs at gourmet restaurants go home and order KFC. But there are cheap craft beers. When I can, I'll buy good beer. But I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't occasionally have the cheap stuff. As a friend of mine always explains — he's a Coors Light guy all the way, one of my best friends — he says the problem with craft beers is they're so rich and so flavorful, and usually higher in alcohol. As he says, "I drink for quantity, I don't drink for quality." 

I wonder how it became Coors Light and not, Miller High Life or something else.
The funny thing is every beer snob I know has their favorite crappy beer. It's like Coke versus Pepsi. Some people are like, “I don't drink Miller High Life, I drink Coors.” Even when they drink crappy beer, they're still snobby. 

I've definitely met people like that.
It's the same argument as McDonald's fries versus Burger King fries. It's all crap. But you have your favorite crap.


Clandestine Moon

1.5oz Original Moonshine
.5oz Drambuie
 leaves of mint
2 tsp muddled blueberries
agave nectar to taste
top with 2oz Southampton Double White beer