Monday, May 13, 2013

Moving Behind the Bar

On a recent Monday, Beer Bar North Island was closed, but the staff held a barbecue with regular customers and an after party at the bar.

Not long ago I was scanning Twitter and I stopped on a post by the brewmaster of North Island Beer. The company was hiring for position in their bar. Interesting, I thought. That could be fun. I looked further into it, had a couple of interviews, and now I'm about two weeks into a training period. If all goes well, I'll end up a full time employee of North Island Beer, working mostly in the bar but occasionally in other areas. I've already had a hand in helping name an upcoming seasonal beer.

I never thought I wanted to work in a bar, but the idea of working for a craft beer company (and one that makes good beer) was appealing. Down the road, I hope to be involved in helping the company find new fans, expand to new markets, and keep making great beer. For more on North Island Beer, see the new section of links in the sidebar.

Here on the blog, there may be a surge in North Island related content, but I'll try to keep up to date with other breweries in Hokkaido and the general goings on in Japan as well. On Twitter, I changed my account name to @NorthIslandDan to reflect my new job. That feed will be a source of information in English (and sometimes Japanese too) on North Island Beer, including what's on tap at the bar, upcoming seasonals, and other news.

Having never worked in a bar of any kind, I'm picking up the skills little by little. Pouring beers and delivering them to happy customers is a lot of fun, but memorizing the menu, performing customer service in Japanese, and certain other tasks are still ... under development, if you will.

Until August, I'll be at the bar nearly every day, but in many cases I won't start until mid-way through the night as I wind down my schedule at my current job. After August, I should be there just about every day (the bar is closed on Mondays). If you're in town, come by and try some good beer.

As a side note, I'll continue as editor of Hokkaido Explorer, the online magazine I helped start with my current company. I'll focus on that in the afternoons, head to the bar at night, and sleep in the morning (roughly).