with Jody Palubiski
Q: THERE ARE SOME PLACES OUT THERE DOING 100 – 150 DIFFERENT TAPS. WHY ONLY 40 TAPS AT BEERTOWN?
JP: I wonder about the need for that many taps. We try to find the perfect sweet spot. Create a superior and intelligently curated evolving list that offers something for everyone, while serving beer as optimally as possible. We clean the lines frequently and turn over our inventory quickly to serve the freshest beer. As a restaurateur, I think the details matter – if you say you have 40 beers on tap – make sure you do. Don’t run out. Have all of your products ready to go – in the right glass – with the right coaster. It's incredibly hard to do every day but that’s what will set us apart. So many times I walk into a place where they have a huge number of taps and they are out of 5 or 10 beers. That makes me cringe.
Q: What is ‘craft’ beer?
JP: Ahhh. This is a great question. Like so many other ‘buzz’ words today – craft, local, fresh – it gets bastardized and put through the marketing mill. Craft means many things to many people and you have to decide for yourself. We feel ‘craft’ cannot be indicated by geography – ‘local’ is not necessarily ‘craft’. The size of a brewery is not always indicative of its commitment to well ‘crafted’ beer – you just have to do some research on Garret Oliver and Brooklyn Brewery to gain that perspective.
Q: Have you ever considered brewing your own beer at Beertown?
JP: We never really did. We are hospitality – food and beverage – it doesn’t mean that we have the ability to brew incredible products. We are more interested in collaborations with great brewers where we can share ideas and come together on a unique beer just for us. Let the master focus on crafting the beer and we focus on creating the best experience to serve it.
Q: YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY FOR OVER 25 YEARS. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES YOU’VE SEEN?
JP: A lot of trends with food and beverage have come and gone. For us, the biggest change has to do with the internet and social media. Our managers and chefs have to develop marketing skills like never before.
Q: A lot of people ‘fall into’ the hospitality industry – that wasn’t the case for you, was it?
JP: It captured me from the beginning - hook line and sinker you could say. I was 15 when I started as a fish cook at the Rockway Restaurant. I loved it then, and aspired to it. As my career developed, it has only gotten better.